Home (2015)

2016 #35
Tim Johnson | 90 mins | streaming (HD) | 1.85:1 | USA / English | U / PG

Oh (Jim Parsons) is a Boov, a race of friendly aliens looking for a new home planet to escape their enemies. When they arrive on Earth, Oh tries to invite everyone to a party, but accidentally alerts their enemies to their new home. Outcast, he bumps into Tip (Rihanna), a girl accidentally left behind when the rest of mankind was relocated by the Boov. Desperate for friendship, Oh agrees to help her find her mother.

Initially I ignored Home, because nothing about it looked particularly inspiring. But I’ve been wrong about CG kids animations before (How to Train Your Dragon; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), so when I happened to see the trailer and it amused me, I decided to give it a go. Unfortunately, characters and affectations that are amusing in the form of highlights lasting two minutes quickly grate in the film proper.

Home’s biggest problems are all in its most fundamental aspect: the story. It doesn’t just have plot holes — the whole premise and inciting incident don’t even hang together. I don’t believe this is just a movie for little kids, I reckon it was written by them too. That’s surely the only way to explain its absence of plausible logic.

Why do the Boov speak English? Why do they speak it wrong? Why does Oh speak it so much more wrong than any other Boov? Why do they know the words for things they have no concept of? Why would humanity accept total relocation without any kind of response? How would only one girl on the entire planet be missed? How would she have had time to come to hate the Boov enough to make multiple pieces of anti-Boov art and set up an elaborate Home Alone-style trap in her apartment when the film suggests the Boov arrived just a couple of hours earlier? How does she know how to drive? If she’s old enough to know how to drive (and to be voiced by Rihanna), why does she do art that looks like it’s by a six-year-old? Why do the Boov make recognisable monuments float in the air? Why would a communication device’s two options be “send to one person” and “send to not only the entire species, but the entire universe, including our enemies”? Why is there no option to cancel such a transmission that is going to take 40 hours to reach said enemies? I mean, that last one’s a stupid question, because why is there even a way to message the enemies?

And those questions are just from the first 15 minutes.

Tip’s full name is Gratuity Tucci, which may just be the most implausible name in the history of the world. Our heroes spend a chunk of the middle of the film just driving across the Atlantic (don’t ask) doing things like listening to Rihanna music (you mean, they listen to songs by the lead voice actress? What a coincidence!) Sometimes the film is scored with such Popular Songs, often tweeny crap, but other times it’s blandly generic Movie Music. Either would be an adequate creative choice, albeit resolutely unremarkable, but having both at random is distractingly schizophrenic. And the songs don’t even have accurate relevance to what’s happening.

Story aside, Home is not poorly made, and there are fleeting glimmers of entertainment. Which is damning with faint praise, really. Naturally, I don’t recommend you waste your time on it.

2 out of 5

Home featured on my list of The Five Worst Films I Saw in 2016, which can be read in full here.

The Value-for-Money Monthly Update for February 2016

It’s only words, and words are all I have to introduce this post.

So let’s get on with it.

The Martian#21 Predestination (2014)
#22 Prisoners (2013)
#23 Macbeth (2015)
#24 Daybreakers (2009)
#25 The Martian (2015)
#26 Ex Machina (2015)
#27 Quigley Down Under (1990)
#28 Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (2014)Ex Machina
#29 SuperBob (2015)
#30 The East (2013)
#31 Pillow Talk (1959)
#32 Home on the Range (2004)
#33 Crimson Peak (2015)
#34 Grand Piano (2013)
#35 Home (2015)
Crimson Peak#36 Noah (2014)
#37 The Equalizer (2014)
#38 The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015)
#39 Big Eyes (2014)
#40 The Hangover (2009)
#41 Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
#42 Evangelion: 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo. (2012/2013)
#43 Cinderella (2015)
#44 Lucy (2014)

  • Value For Money Assessment, Part 1: before I cancelled Netflix last month, I watched 10 films on there. That’s £0.79 per film.
  • Value For Money Assessment, Part 2: after joining Now TV this month, I snuffled out 230+ films that interested me. Of those, I watched 10, plus the Oscars. That’s £0.91 per film/awards ceremony. (That subscription’s not over, so I’ll get more value out of it next month.)
  • Value For Money Assessment, Part 3: I bought and instantly watched four new-release Blu-rays this month. That was £11.87 per film. Picture quality and special features were lovely, though.
  • No WDYMYHS film this month, for reasons I’ll come to in a minute. I did watch two last month, though, so it’s OK.

This month, I watched 24 new films. Yeah, that whole “watch fewer films so I can do other stuff” thing isn’t going so well. (“Moan when you’re not watching enough films, moan when you are watching plenty of films — what’s wrong with you?!” Yes, I do feel a bit Shinji-ish.)

The reason? The Oscars. Not watching the nominated films, but paying £9.99 for a month of Now TV so I can watch them. Are the Oscars worth £9.99? No, of course they’re not — hence catching up on lots of other films while I have it. That’ll continue until the middle of next month… when I’ll get Netflix so I can watch Daredevil season two, and also attempt to extract maximum value for money by watching a load more films. So in the middle of April I may finally stop watching so many movies…

Of course, watching so many films brings with it a number of personal ‘achievements’: it easily surpasses the February average (9.63) and crushes the February record (13, jointly held by four previous Februarys); it’s the 21st month in a row where I’ve watched over 10 films; it’s only the fifth month ever with over 20 films; oh, and it’s a new third best month ever. (“Best” in this sense just meaning “most prolific”, of course. Volume does not equal quality. Unless you’re Mad Max: Fury Road, in which case winning the most Oscars means you are the Academy’s best film of the year. Yes it does. Yes it does.)

Quick inaccurate future predictions: following the relatively-huge January and February, and as I intend to maintain my ten-per-month minimum, this year’s looking at a final tally of at least 144 films. That would make it easily my second most prolific year ever. Which is nice. If by some failure of purpose I continued to achieve my current 2016 average of 22 films per month, I’d be looking at ending around #264. Sounds utterly ridiculous, but in January 2015 I laughed at the statistics suggesting I might make it to #192, and I ended up reaching #200.

This month, I’ve all but finished posting my 2015 reviews. Just The Story of Film remains, joining Veronica Mars in the eternally-unreviewed club. Maybe I’ll fix them both next month. Plus, the debut of my monthly TV review.

Superheroes, Disney, history, and noir — both classic and futuristic. Alphabetisation leaves the structure of this series to the whims of fate, but I think it’s a nicely varied month.

The 9th Monthly Arbitrary Awards

Favourite Film of the Month
Any month with 24 films is likely to have more than its fair share of highs and lows, and so it was with February. Shortlisting contenders for both this and the next award showed more of the former than the latter (nine vs. three), thankfully, but I think this one boils down to a three-way five-star sci-fi stand-off. Of those, I think the best marriage of idea and execution may have come from Predestination.

Least Favourite Film of the Month
Two animations with “home” in the title are the frontrunners (rear-runners?) here. However, I expected Home on the Range to be terrible (and only watched it in aid of seeing all the Disney Animated Classics), whereas I only watched Home because I thought the trailer looked entertaining, so was thoroughly disappointed.

Best Apocalypse of the Month
Plenty of movies have shown us the end of the world now, but very few have done it in a story set millennia ago. For doing it so convincingly (if not plausibly), congratulations to Noah.

Most Disappointing Shakespeare Cut of the Month
“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.” Why did they excise one of the best lines from Macbeth?!

The Audience Award for Most-Viewed New Post of the Month
Maybe it was the broad range of series covered, maybe it was just because it was something new and different, but my most-viewed new post in February was The Past Month on TV #1. (For the sake of keeping things on topic, I’ll add that the most-viewed film-related review was my Oscars-centric take on Star Wars: The Force Awakens.)