SORRY TO BOTHER YOU (dir. Boots Riley, 2018)

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Thought this was really good but could’ve been great. RIYL Repo Man

flappy bird, Saturday, 14 July 2018 20:16 (four months ago) Permalink

Want to get to this ASAP

devops mom (silby), Saturday, 14 July 2018 20:18 (four months ago) Permalink

Walter Chaw's review has sold me on this.

Police, Academy (cryptosicko), Saturday, 14 July 2018 20:18 (four months ago) Permalink

I can’t fucking wait to see this

U. K. Le Garage (wins), Saturday, 14 July 2018 20:22 (four months ago) Permalink

Seeing it Tuesday! Very stoked

Simon H., Saturday, 14 July 2018 20:24 (four months ago) Permalink

v good movie

we æt so many shimripl (Whiney G. Weingarten), Saturday, 14 July 2018 20:28 (four months ago) Permalink

This was good, yeah. It goes some places. Repo Man comparison is otm, also reminded me of Brazil.

devops mom (silby), Sunday, 15 July 2018 23:25 (four months ago) Permalink

One might want to dismiss this movie as “obvious” but it is in the nature of things to seem obvious when they are laid out in front of you, which i guess is the curse of successful political art.

devops mom (silby), Sunday, 15 July 2018 23:37 (four months ago) Permalink

I found a lot of it half baked and underdeveloped, particularly all the union stuff & the Left Eye group. I think many things were spelled out too much, made plain, lots of extraneous expository dialogue. The ending was disappointing.

flappy bird, Sunday, 15 July 2018 23:39 (four months ago) Permalink

Loved the dystopian TV stuff, but damn, y'all only have three channels in the future?

flappy bird, Sunday, 15 July 2018 23:39 (four months ago) Permalink

I feel like this would just be another thing that makes me want to take a road trip to some white-ass exurb with "good schools" and give the regional arson investigators a lot of work

El Tomboto, Monday, 16 July 2018 00:01 (four months ago) Permalink

Several comparisons to Putney Swope have been made, but today I saw one to The President's Analyst.

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Monday, 16 July 2018 02:11 (four months ago) Permalink

Plz link to the latter immediately!

El Tomboto, Monday, 16 July 2018 05:20 (four months ago) Permalink

I wish this was more like Putney Swope. It wants to be too many things, leaves lots of loose ends stylistically and in the plot.

flappy bird, Monday, 16 July 2018 05:29 (four months ago) Permalink

I dunno, that feels a bit like complaining Airplane! has too many jokes.

Philip Nunez, Monday, 16 July 2018 06:10 (four months ago) Permalink

Airplane is so much more focused than this movie.

flappy bird, Monday, 16 July 2018 06:41 (four months ago) Permalink

enjoyed it overall, kinda agree with flappy bird that the movie's eyes were bigger than its stomach, but there were enough stylistic flourishes and great moments (big and small) that i was able to mostly ignore the tossed-off plotlines and loose ends.

ant banks and wasp (voodoo chili), Monday, 16 July 2018 14:31 (four months ago) Permalink

Haven’t seen this yet, but I’ve seen obvious comparisons between this and Get Out, with the reviewer making the caveat that Peele was more sure-footed due to filming genre exercises for years before he made his feature.

Gunna try to get a group screening together with a bunch of local DSA folks later this week.

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Monday, 16 July 2018 17:02 (four months ago) Permalink

there were at least two really funny parts in this movie that my audience didn't react as voraciously as me but idk if we should post spoilers yet

we æt so many shimripl (Whiney G. Weingarten), Monday, 16 July 2018 17:21 (four months ago) Permalink

it's a racial/social satire that veers into magical realism, like Get Out, but i don't think the comparison does favors to either film.

ant banks and wasp (voodoo chili), Monday, 16 July 2018 17:34 (four months ago) Permalink

not really haha funny but i thought it was 'huh' funny that i couldn't tell david cross and patton oswald's voices apart. i feel like they got into sumo wrestling poses and volleyed impressions of each other until they converged.

Philip Nunez, Monday, 16 July 2018 17:35 (four months ago) Permalink

why was the dude with the eyepatch's name bleeped out

flappy bird, Monday, 16 July 2018 18:26 (four months ago) Permalink

he was voiced by Patton Oswalt right?

flappy bird, Monday, 16 July 2018 18:26 (four months ago) Permalink

it's a racial/social satire that veers into magical realism, like Get Out, but i don't think the comparison does favors to either film.

― ant banks and wasp (voodoo chili)

it's kind of a tonal mess. it veers from racial/social satire (white voice), to magical realism via Repo Man, to Brazil/Infinite Jest dystopia, to horror at the end, to straight up rom-com (boilerplate relationship arc between Cash and Detroit, also the scenes with her and Squeeze go nowhere). the world building is not done well, scenes in the bar & outside at the strike feel like a completely different (more realist) universe than stuff in the office or the news/fake TV shows, or everything else later on. I also think there's a lot of extraneous dialogue & scenes that go on way too long and throw off the rhythm.

don't get me wrong though, I liked it a lot. my criticism stems from frustration that imo this could've been a masterpiece or a modern classic, but it falls on its face and the momentum is really uneven. it's so close to being amazing. but obviously a semi-failed experiment will always be more interesting than a well done, 'safe' film.

maybe my favorite line: "Look, this trophy shows me two things: you have initiative, and you can read. You're hired."

flappy bird, Monday, 16 July 2018 18:42 (four months ago) Permalink

i wasn't as put off by the second half, but i will agree that the first half of the film (the more grounded, telemarketing related half) was far superior, and i found myself missing the characters who were in the beginning of the film (mainly jermaine fowler and terry crews, but also the office drones and "team leaders")

ant banks and wasp (voodoo chili), Monday, 16 July 2018 18:46 (four months ago) Permalink

*who were prominent in the beginning

ant banks and wasp (voodoo chili), Monday, 16 July 2018 18:46 (four months ago) Permalink

yeah i totally agree, first half was much better.

"Get a room!"
"I have a room, motherfucker!"

flappy bird, Monday, 16 July 2018 18:47 (four months ago) Permalink

Maybe the movie needed to be deliberately worse like Freddy Got Fingered to convincingly assert that its gluttonous lurching was the truest expression of itself.

Philip Nunez, Monday, 16 July 2018 18:53 (four months ago) Permalink

STBY is trying to do something more serious & less unhinged and personal than FGF, I don't see any similarities between the two.

flappy bird, Monday, 16 July 2018 18:55 (four months ago) Permalink

"Loved the dystopian TV stuff, but damn, y'all only have three channels in the future?"

who wants to pay for cable when you have a phone

maura, Monday, 16 July 2018 19:00 (four months ago) Permalink

It definitely feels unhinged and personal. Pretty similar narrative thrusts, too. Unwilling male lead coerced into adulthood via workforce participation, bizarrely succeeding.

Philip Nunez, Monday, 16 July 2018 19:06 (four months ago) Permalink

Nice to see this actually made a little money this weekend - seems like the sort of movie that could have easily flopped and disappeared quickly.

Simon H., Monday, 16 July 2018 19:09 (four months ago) Permalink

This is one of Annapurna's first few films as a distributor it seems, which I'm kind of surprised to learn they haven't been in that business for longer.

devops mom (silby), Monday, 16 July 2018 19:17 (four months ago) Permalink

(they also publish video games now)

devops mom (silby), Monday, 16 July 2018 19:22 (four months ago) Permalink

Huh Annapurna is distributing the next Bond movie too

maura, Monday, 16 July 2018 19:30 (four months ago) Permalink

It definitely feels unhinged and personal. Pretty similar narrative thrusts, too. Unwilling male lead coerced into adulthood via workforce participation, bizarrely succeeding.


Fair point, but the sociopolitical focus of STBY fundamentally makes it a different kind of movie imo. It’s also a lot less unadulterated id than FGF, even if it is personal.

flappy bird, Monday, 16 July 2018 19:36 (four months ago) Permalink

Nice to see this actually made a little money this weekend - seems like the sort of movie that could have easily flopped and disappeared quickly.


Word of mouth is crazy good for this, I went to a show on Friday night & seemed like everyone was talking about it

flappy bird, Monday, 16 July 2018 19:37 (four months ago) Permalink

also per Eric Hatch’s point in his recent essay about ‘safe’ arthouse habits giving way to stuff like Get Out & I Am Not Your Negro & Moonlight being huge ‘unexpected’ hits, this movie hit at a really good time

flappy bird, Monday, 16 July 2018 19:39 (four months ago) Permalink

There's some funny and pointed stuff in this -- Lakeith Stanfield is very good -- but about 40% of it falls flat or meanders.

I liked the music! Have never listened to The Coup.

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 01:32 (four months ago) Permalink

Music was great. And LOUD. Also, anecdotally, I went to another movie tonight and there was a line out the door for STBY.

flappy bird, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 01:35 (four months ago) Permalink

well i especially noticed in the bar scenes that the b.g. music was absurdly low, to the point where i was fully conscious of the actors doing their dialogue with no on-set track at all.

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 01:40 (four months ago) Permalink

a bunch of the score was by tune-yards

maura, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 02:54 (four months ago) Permalink

yep

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 03:45 (four months ago) Permalink

agreed about the shonky world-building (it is really hard to connect a world with Worry Free to a world with 2018-style labor struggles in a telemarketing office - wouldn't they just fire everybody and replace them with Worry Free? if this company is also in the kind of business we ultimately see upstairs, why would it even care about the normal telemarketing downstairs?). would add as a gripe that the gender politics are pathetic --- it fails the bechdel test outright, and the detroit-squeeze pairing raises shades of "male character loses sexual fidelity of woman, marking his low point." (also distracting given what we've been told about squeeze's sex life, in the film's worst and most tonally off joke.) buttttttttttttttttt i am glad this movie exists. the good kind of shaggy and unfocused i'd say. putting tons of stuff on the table. new metaphors and images that people are hungry for, for a bunch of different pressing issues. big, bold, eager. i wish i'd had this to chew on as a high school junior instead of just bulworth and wag the dog.

This is a total Jeff Porcaro. (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 04:07 (four months ago) Permalink

oh and bamboozled obv.

This is a total Jeff Porcaro. (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 04:10 (four months ago) Permalink

o wait that was 2000

This is a total Jeff Porcaro. (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 04:14 (four months ago) Permalink

i didn't get the sense the movie was interested in world building as much as it was trying to show what present day oakland looks like.

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 04:19 (four months ago) Permalink

The key Stanfield-Hammer scenes were among those that needed tightening, but Armie had one hilarious line reading: "I'm not insane."

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 10:50 (four months ago) Permalink

worry free is a standin for wework, no?

i didn’t find it hard to connect the worryfree world with the low wage telemarketing one - it seemed clear that worryfree was new and trying to aggressively expand, cf that scene with the freshly cleared out housing tracts, and a la so many development efforts that start off like a house on fire and reap the uncritical press attached to the business world, and the telemarketing efforts were connected to that expansion and would probably be swallowed up by it eventually.

hey, everyone doesn’t have a tesla but it still gets a lot of press.

maura, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 12:08 (four months ago) Permalink

that's fair!

This is a total Jeff Porcaro. (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 17 July 2018 12:41 (four months ago) Permalink

that's well said

the bhagwanadook (symsymsym), Saturday, 21 July 2018 04:45 (four months ago) Permalink

Very

flappy bird, Saturday, 21 July 2018 04:55 (four months ago) Permalink

soundtrack album is really good

maura, Saturday, 28 July 2018 15:31 (four months ago) Permalink

"i brought all kinds of weapons"
"it ain't that serious, man. it's serious...not THAT serious"

fuck the NRA (Neanderthal), Saturday, 28 July 2018 15:37 (four months ago) Permalink

In the Q&A he did after our screening, Boots mentioned that Squeeze and Detroit had a good deal more conversation film but it got cut

Also that the manager of the telemarketing place had an anarchy tattoo on his neck because the Boots’ own manager back then had one and was in(or managed?) the band Neurosis

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Saturday, 28 July 2018 15:58 (four months ago) Permalink

This movie reminds me of so many classic Boots lyrics

"I used to work at Mickey D's
To my old busta ass manager, LICKY DEEZ!"

"I asked him why I couldn't get mo hours
He said it must be cause I lacked the mental powers
If I was smart then I would be in his position
I left his nose in a busted up condition"

fuck the NRA (Neanderthal), Saturday, 28 July 2018 16:14 (four months ago) Permalink

"two inches to the left of Trump" will be fine with many ilxors

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 28 July 2018 23:59 (four months ago) Permalink

good quick read w/ Boots on the history of the American left

https://www.vox.com/2018/7/27/17620246/boots-riley-sorry-to-bother-you-history-of-the-left-interview

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Sunday, 29 July 2018 01:03 (four months ago) Permalink

oh def, I really assumed workfree was mainly about conditions in amazon express-shipping facilities and so on. arguably the lifetime-contract thing is what the movie really gets wrong: the trend is towards making labor more disposable, part-time, and precarious, not locked-in for life.... not a major problem tho. i do wish hammer got a line about like "hey these people all signed contracts, it's an equal agreement" or w/e. big part of that whole ideology that cd be made explicit.

WorryFree reminded me of the alleged practices of Sea Org, except operating openly and with sufficient legislators bought to make their practices legal. But its real roots, apart from American chattel slavery, is the workhouse tradition of the U.K. and probably other countries. I know that the Salvation Army and other religious organizations have been accused of exploiting the labor of people they are supposedly serving.

Am I correct in not finding any trace of religion in this movie, either as a tool of the ruling class or a traditional support for African-American communities?

Also, LOL at "Michel Dongry."

Polly of the Pre-Codes (j.lu), Friday, 3 August 2018 23:42 (four months ago) Permalink

Man, this was an ugly mess. Interesting, audacious, but ugly. Repo Man comparisons OFFTM. The satire was second-rate Harrison Bergeron in subtlety, and the interesting unionizing stuff got trounced under dirty heehaw bits.

rb (soda), Saturday, 4 August 2018 00:35 (four months ago) Permalink

https://t.co/QaWznaVsuo

— Nicky Smith (@nickyotissmith) August 5, 2018

flappy bird, Sunday, 5 August 2018 22:32 (four months ago) Permalink

they're... not really the same

Nhex, Tuesday, 7 August 2018 20:29 (four months ago) Permalink

they're both set in Oakland, case closed

16, 35, DCP, Go! (sic), Tuesday, 7 August 2018 21:08 (four months ago) Permalink

i didn't get the sense the movie was interested in world building as much as it was trying to show what present day oakland looks like.

flappy bird, Tuesday, 7 August 2018 21:47 (four months ago) Permalink

-Philip Nunez
Posted: July 17, 2018 at 12:19:47 AM

flappy bird, Tuesday, 7 August 2018 21:47 (four months ago) Permalink

Blindspotting is the fleshed out sociopolitical realism that STBY veers into in between the heavily stylized genre stuff

flappy bird, Tuesday, 7 August 2018 21:48 (four months ago) Permalink

the humour and satire were really bad, but visually it seemed p inspired

flopson, Tuesday, 7 August 2018 22:10 (four months ago) Permalink

in terms of the political critique it felt like it could have come out before 2008

flopson, Tuesday, 7 August 2018 22:12 (four months ago) Permalink

Boots did say he wrote it during the 1st Obama Admin

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Tuesday, 7 August 2018 23:57 (four months ago) Permalink

likewise with Blindspotting, which was written by the two stars over a decade ago

flappy bird, Wednesday, 8 August 2018 00:17 (four months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Basically the same reaction as the Joaquin Phoenix film earlier this year: "What the hell did I just see?" Intriguing, to say the least (and pretty amazing for a director's debut, whatever you think about it). I think it might be a Trump film, but I don't know--want to go back and read some reviews now.

clemenza, Monday, 27 August 2018 13:41 (three months ago) Permalink

Just noticed the two comments above. I guess any connection to Trump--I had Armie Hammer in mind, obviously, but just kind of reflexively, without a great deal of thought--would be purely accidental.

clemenza, Monday, 27 August 2018 13:45 (three months ago) Permalink

Trump is a byproduct of the same economic and social conditions that drove this film. I see above that Riley wrote the screenplay during the Obama administration, but when did this movie go into production?

Accattony! Accattoni! Accattoné! (j.lu), Monday, 27 August 2018 13:49 (three months ago) Permalink

Principal photography began on June 22, 2017, in Oakland, California and concluded on July 30, 2017.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 August 2018 13:52 (three months ago) Permalink

Met a (white, decently well-off) lady this weekend who hated this movie for how "dystopian" and "negative" it was, lol

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Monday, 27 August 2018 14:45 (three months ago) Permalink

since Riley is saying in interviews "Trump has already pushed Dems to the right" I don't think he tailored this to who's in office.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 August 2018 14:48 (three months ago) Permalink

But the equisapiens were just about to kill the bad guy--it's very uplifting. (xpost)

clemenza, Monday, 27 August 2018 14:50 (three months ago) Permalink

Maybe she thought Armie was the good guy.

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Monday, 27 August 2018 14:51 (three months ago) Permalink

Armie is very definitely an on-the-nose portrayal of a certain type of startup dude who goes to Burning Man every year

Uhura Mazda (lukas), Monday, 27 August 2018 17:03 (three months ago) Permalink

more like up the nose right

flappy bird, Tuesday, 28 August 2018 01:58 (three months ago) Permalink

finally caught this last night, theater was pretty full!

lots of good one-liners throughout... "that's CLEARLY an OLIVE door"

the strongest callback/influence I felt in it was the movie How To Get Ahead In Advertising, same uncomfortable mix of dead end capitalism and horror/surrealism

sleeve, Sunday, 9 September 2018 17:48 (three months ago) Permalink

"maybe the artist is being literal"

difficult listening hour, Monday, 10 September 2018 06:39 (three months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Tonally it's a mess isn't even criticism anymore -- it's description. The social protest scenes were written, not felt too. Armie Hammer was simultaneously perfectly cast and too on-the-nose, although his nose was perfect for the coke sequence (directed too broadly too; many of the performances could've benefited from hitting the obvious notes). Didn't care for the early office politics scenes: too familiar, especially the De Bauchery joke, har har.

But the connections between telemarketing and an plutocratic global Octopus made sense, and the fantasy stuff >>> realist scenes.

You like queer? I like queer. Still like queer. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 02:07 (one month ago) Permalink

should have put "tonally it's a mess" in scare quotes

You like queer? I like queer. Still like queer. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 02:07 (one month ago) Permalink

yknow I liked STBY but I'm mostly excited about the fact that it seems to have done well enough that Boots and maybe some other filmmakers of the far left will actually manage to get shit funded a little more often. ultimately I found the politics more resonant than the filmmaking, though it's not totally graceless or anything

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Wednesday, 24 October 2018 13:59 (one month ago) Permalink

i loved this

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 7 November 2018 00:30 (one month ago) Permalink

this was really good.

the equisapiens freaked me out

( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 8 November 2018 18:35 (one month ago) Permalink

it needed more wildcard moves like the equisapiens, instead of the umpteenth parody of performance art.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 8 November 2018 18:37 (one month ago) Permalink

the performance art is significant for the contrast with direct action also carried out by Detroit, and each one's potential for changing minds (in various directions)

Sing The Mighty Beat (sic), Thursday, 8 November 2018 18:58 (one month ago) Permalink

the union/labor stuff was the most banal and should've been excised or tackled differently

flappy bird, Thursday, 8 November 2018 19:15 (one month ago) Permalink

How much time/money was spent on the Michel Dongry short? That was great.

dinnerboat, Thursday, 8 November 2018 19:21 (one month ago) Permalink

A beautiful mess of a movie, probably my favorite thing I've seen this year. I even kind of like how unfocused and underdeveloped some of the ideas are

Vinnie, Friday, 9 November 2018 01:40 (one month ago) Permalink

Anybody else catch “Both Sides Convenience Store”?

― devops mom (silby), Tuesday, July 17, 2018 9:17 AM (three months ago

That is actually the name of the store. It is called that because it has entrances on two streets. I bought cigarettes there on the reg at my old job

sarahell, Friday, 9 November 2018 03:03 (one month ago) Permalink

oh that's awesome, I assumed it was a Repo Man style world-building detail

sleeve, Friday, 9 November 2018 03:08 (one month ago) Permalink

Lol no. Inconveniently, it doesn't sell alcohol, but I think it's partly due to licensing issues and also the people who run it are Muslim

sarahell, Friday, 9 November 2018 03:10 (one month ago) Permalink

A while back (like 10-15 yrs ago iirc) there was a series of incidents where Black Muslims would go into Arab Muslim-owned convenience stores that sold liquor and like threaten them and criticize them for selling alcohol and poisoning the local black community

sarahell, Friday, 9 November 2018 03:12 (one month ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

How much time/money was spent on the Michel Dongry short? That was great.

It was, but it completely horrified me! That part where the view pans up and you get a Simpsons-esque view of between the floors, and it just looks like flesh and bone...ugh. Such a little detail but important. The whole film seems to be about flesh in one way or another, pretty obvious given it’s about capitalism. The most popular tv show is about people being subjected to horrific physical abuse, the Worryfree system is buying whole families of people to farm out for labour, Detroit’s piece involves her exposing her body while the audience injure and stain it. The equisapiens are designed to improve on the inherent weakness of human flesh etc.

I’m going to feel really silly if I get this on Blu-ray and find out that’s not what it was meant to be at all!

Other things I liked:
- obvious but still funny shot of Lift with both republicans and democrats, just to rub it in
- the worryfree ads increase in scale and frequency to where they’re telling people to sign their whole families up. Maybe children are better at putting together high end electronics? It reminded me of that black mirror episode about the bike farms where families are separated.
- lift says worryfree isn’t slavery because there’s no coercion or violence but cassius’s uncle is considering signing up in desperation he’s going to be made homeless and his diabetes is playing up.
- the cribs parody with the dead-eyed workers was great and reminded me of those creepy fake amazon worker twitter accounts
- whole film looked amazing

Anyway this comes out this week in the UK I think?

gyac, Wednesday, 5 December 2018 10:00 (one week ago) Permalink

Looks like it. Kermode loved it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQkloGDZjSY

flappy bird, Friday, 7 December 2018 22:26 (six days ago) Permalink

Liked this a lot.

Kermode's review is so plodding, drawn-out, obvious and lifeless. Was he always like this?

Luna Schlosser, Sunday, 9 December 2018 12:45 (four days ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.