Half in the Bag Episode 157: Bird Box

by: RedLetterMedia

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half in the bag but 9/11 moon landings were an outside job and I can't believe it's been like two weeks and stupid people are still doing that bird box challenge oh god oh this is so hard I can't see anything all the camels right Oh [Music]

really dangerous

okay and I'm thinking I found my twine Jesus Christ Oh God oh fuck there we go hard um wrapping twine unlike the ER just okay I'm gonna try and drive to the grocery store

so Mike have you seen bird box I have what made you think of that

Netflix presents bird box it's the movie premise equivalent to the horror jump-scare Sandra Bullock stars as a pregnant lady who has a baby then adopts another baby to take care of all the while dealing with not looking at something evil or it makes you crazy or it makes you kill yourself or makes insane people sane but bad either way a whole bunch of people act scared crazy or annoying all while Sandra Bullock acts her way through the movie while loaded up on valium eat shit and die Netflix laughing at why do you laugh so much what are you happy well Jay here we are tell us all about bird boxes where do we where do we start with bird box because the movie itself is not good it's not interesting bad it's just kind of generically bad but people have lost their fucking minds over this thing it's bizarre [Music] yeah I think this whole thing kind of like flew to the side of me I remember seeing like I'm Netflix like Sandra Bullock with a blindfold on and and those what's that yeah now you said Sandra Bullock nope eh well yeah but I'm gonna watch Office reruns for the millionth eye there you go that's what you do that's the only thing they should just rename Netflix to the office but then it was like have you seen Bird box Oh bird box and I was like what why but what and then and then I heard what you told me that Netflix while they don't release their numbers they said 45 million accounts watched the bird banks that's the that's the weird thing because Netflix doesn't release their numbers ever yet for some reason with this one particular thing they said 45 million people watched it you don't want to be left out do you so I'm wondering if these numbers are accurate or not because that's the thing people are saying - is that the movie is about on par as far as how many people have seen it with like Black Panther as far as movies that have come out in the last year it's under Avengers infinity war but it's right around the level of Black Panther yeah I guess so like box-office wise if you figure yeah this all roughly speaking I think they think that figure was ten bucks a head or under yeah yeah exactly it was gonna be a little over 400 million and if this was released in the theaters but the thing is if this was released in theaters 45 million people wouldn't gone and seen it this movie would probably have tanked III chock its popularity and its success up to one viral marketing partially on Netflix part but also on the rise of the Box challenge because it's a fun thing that people can do they and the good old fashioned WOM word of mouth where the mouth sure was awesome portent and cheapest form of marketing I got the kids we have the kids and I think even more important than that though is the fact that it was released right before Christmas right around the holidays everybody's home people are off of work they're not off of school they got nothing to do you're with your family mom like Sandra Bullock I guess we can all just watch this I guess I guess this this this is a new genre called mom horror mom horror that's a good word for it yeah a couple spooky things happen in it you know you got the Sarah Paulson getting hit by a bus old lady get stabbed in the neck so there's spoilers oh yes by the way spoilers for this whole thing because nobody cares yeah but yeah for the most part it's not super gory or super tense it's it's actually I mean to me I didn't absolutely hate it it's it's an easy fix in a lot of areas a couple of lines of dialogue to explain the threat some some light editing trimming I mean rearranging of the entire structure or the structure of course this is like they should they could teach classes on how not to structure your narrative and use this as an example they structured the movie in a way that it deflated all tension yes because let's get into it it starts off Sandra Bullock is it public or Baalak or Bullock public don't like ball Baalak bowling look Bullock Bullock like licking a bowl yes not licking a ball Bullock Bullock I've never known how to say her name starts off shot of her eyes under no circumstance are you allowed to take off your blindfold camera pulls back that's directing and she's yelling at her kids with which she is named girl and boy yes that's the whole her arc of the movie is that she's she's emotionally closed off from people so much so that she doesn't want to name her children you know what this movie so popular in 2019 girl and I don't even finish the sentence are gonna be the most popular names I named her Karl after my favorite movie which will always be my favorite movie that's like the the people that like 10 years ago were naming their kids after Twilight and now those kids are getting beat up and OH school I also got pregnant while doing the bird box challenge I don't know who the father I just loved the film yeah it's gonna be all the rage and at frat houses girls want to do the bird box challenge bro bro dudes are gonna be high-fiving each other all over colleges well okay first of all yeah yeah okay Sandra sir I'm just telling your kids you know don't look at anything you're gonna die we got to go down the river yes and then so the point of this part was the structure she's going down the river with the two kids but that's and then we flashback five years and we are introduced to litany of characters that we all know will be dead yes cuz we know that she ends up with just her and the two kids also in the opening the scene right after that she's in the hospital you know they're there checking out the baby and we see she only has one baby so we're like oh okay so one of those kids isn't hers and then ten minutes later we're introduced to another pregnant woman who is conveniently due writer on the same time as Sandra Bullock so we say oh the other baby is that lady's and she's going to die tension deflated again mystery deflated mysteries gone mysteries solved yeah before they become mystery but we were introduced to Sandra Bullock's sister played by Sarah Paulsen who should have played the lead because Sarah Paulsen's awesome and Sandra Bullock's boring but Sarah Paulsen she's too busy shooting American Horror Story she said I'll show up for a day and then I'm gonna jump in front of a truck people described seeing an entity that takes on the form of your worst fears it's a movie that could work if a lot of little things were fixed moved around tweaked it kind of feels like a like a first draft of a screenplay sure you know for anyone writes notes like hey maybe don't do this framing device that gives away everything I know it's based on a book and a book is is written by one person usually unless you have ghost write or whatever the singular idea of an author I don't know who or when but and then someone adapts it into a screenplay so I get that but it does feel like a first draft of a script before people look at it and go oh take this out damn this I'll rearrange this structure fix this explain something yeah yeah so it kind of feels like like that where it's like a little frustrating because there were some good sequences there was some some good performances or some lot of good moments but Oh messy messy it's a good it's a good um if you're if you're looking to write scripts or if you're a like kind of like movie buffs like us because I like movies like this that because they're kind of fascinating in a way where it's like oh yeah it's like I mentioned it's a good example to show to someone as an example of how not to structure your script right right structure your story yeah or you like it's a good movie to show in a film school yes let's talk about why this doesn't work yes or give us your reactions look at II it's a teaching tool that's a teaching tool and I think it felt like a drag because like we said the structure was wrong where it deflated all the tension if it went in chronological order yeah where it's like yeah and like most zombie movies do we don't we don't know what's happening the characters don't know what's happening and then we learn along with them I mean Dawn of the Dead if we if we showed the helicopter ending where you didn't get away they got the two characters get away yeah and they leave in the helicopter and then we say six months earlier and be like Oh the zombies are gonna overrun them all not knowing what happens in your movie is important especially in a movie like this where it's a disaster and everyone's fighting for as far as the story goes not as far as the the creature oh yeah yeah oh sure it's good to know what's going on with the motivation of your creature or what it's capable of that too is important yeah and that's what this gets wrong as well it's a threat in the film that has no limits yes it has psychological powers because at the young Sandra Bullock is running around the woods and the little kids and her are hearing voices so it could tap into your brain I think the only thing you can't do is like physically harm you it can't go into houses you can't go inside cars we for whatever reason I don't know what the cutoff is for what it can and can't do as far as what's outdoors and what's indoors right it's all very nebulous yeah and that's like I always say rules are so important in horror films because this one I didn't know the rule it becomes awkward because it's like everyone's comparing this to a quiet place but the to me the structure of it mostly reminds me of every zombie movie ever made well sure and in a zombie movie like in the George Romero zombie movies we never really know what causes the dead to come back to life people come back to life we don't know why but we understand what the threat is how to stop them what the rules are don't get yourself a club or a torch beat'em or burner may go up pretty easy so even though we don't know the start of it we still have some sort of structure to know what to be scared of and what kind of peril our characters are in in this movie it's just sort of like anything yeah so if you look at the monster then you want to kill yourself but then there's this whole little plot point where they mention the the Institute for the criminally insane and how they all broke out and then they broke into the the guy's house and we're making the you know like there's the guy in the river in the beginning when he's like I watch a children crazy I want you to look at it too it's like yeah crazy people are now recruiting you to look at the things so yeah if you're crazy whatever that means because there are varying degrees of crazy this is true I guess just general generalized crazy disorder if you look at the monster then you become like a cult member or just a really mean person but the one thing that's the confusing part to me is the British guy British guy knocks on the door and John Malkovich rightfully says don't let him in patty-cakes a lots of men I'm I'm just a British man I was here on a work trip and me and my co-workers all hid in this house crazy people came in they forced us to you know look at the monster I didn't I ran away blah blah blah things in the house for quite a while acting completely normal acting completely normal until he decides that now he's crazy yes and he's going to fuck everyone over by opening up the windows and or that was his plan all along and somehow he's able to act normal for long enough who know rice was he lying or was he crazy in disguise if so then you have real big problems because you don't know who to trust and and it's almost like every which could be interesting if they flush that out if that was the only threat was that people become infected with this disease and then the some people might be like spies or bad and then they just try and stab you yeah but and on top of that we have monsters and we have you kill yourself if you look at a monster it's like everything in the kitchen sink being dumped in there like threat wise and then any specific thing isn't very well explained and that gets somatically confusing to the whole because they're going down the river and it's kind of set up like one that she says to the two kids one of you is gonna have to look and navigate for me because the river gets rough up ahead and I guess it's like oh she's probably gonna make the kid that's not hers do it because it's not her kid but then she says no neither of you are gonna look and so it was the theme of the movie that we should just have blind faith I don't know what the theme of this movie suppose the name of the movie is she learns to open her eyes to motherhood but if it was like she took off she said okay you guys we someone has to look to navigate this she was gonna have one of the kids do it then she says no I'm gonna take the responsibility and then she takes her that then you would have a point baby yeah and I'd and that little kids made it to the compound yes or she survived for whatever reason the thing didn't show up but she learned to take responsibility for these children that should be the moment that she opens her eyes because that's the the central conflicts the muddled muddled yes some themes within the boat capsizes and they all float down the river anyway it sounds like those kids are dead and if the theme was really strong it'd be easier to forgive some of the the details the literal kind of technical details of what's happening again like a quiet place like there's so many things you could pick apart in that but the the point of the movie is really strong the theme of it yeah is clear and and well done but this movie it's like the narrative is messy the themes are messy the mythology of the threat is messy so it's like nothing gels [Music]

so why is this movie so popular it's it's one of two reasons one it's manufactured excitement or lies sir like oh my gosh bird box is the most popular thing in the world everybody there were there was a conspiracy theory that there were like BOTS Twitter accounts that were doing the hashtag bird box challenge and that's what got it going Russian Russian BOTS it's always those Russian BOTS we're gonna make Americans walking around with blindfolds on or it's it's like lowest-common-denominator entertainment like a Transformers movie kind of where it's it's that version of horror where it's so spooky cuz Sandra Bullock can't see anything yeah I think it's the blindfold hook is stupid it's just sort of fascinating that's such a mediocre thing is caught on the way it has yeah once it gets going then you get so many dummies just following do the front bangs she's about to drive with her blindfold on I'm sitting scared DOM and I tell her when to stop whatever it's weird and scary what happens with a lot of things it's very easy to manipulate people yeah and especially like I mean that's like fashion you know like everybody's doing this everybody's wearing this yeah people follow along and they you know they follow trends and they don't even think about what got it started or why Bird bucks challenge let's put blindfolds on oh that's actually it's kind of a really creepy example when you think about it I guess see like like like a bird box challenge for Mom you know trying to work her Facebook page or the blindfold on you know but but not like like boiling a lobster but young people would do something dumb yeah you know hiking in the Grand Canyon bird box style no no no that's the funny part is enough people have apparently gotten injured where Netflix felt the need to release a statement said hey stop doing this your stupidity will be blamed on us I wonder if they if you could figure out if Netflix did manufacture the bird box challenge and then if they did then if they be culpable reliable for a class-action lawsuit all because of bird box movie it's ironic isn't it well class I a lawsuit [Music] for the most part if something has a genuine word of mouth like swell yeah it's probably pretty good but with this it was odd so I think I'm in the conspiracy camp okay I mean they are Netflix is still somewhat selective did you hear about the Holmes and Watson movie it got such negative response and test screenings that the studio wanted to just sell it off to Netflix and dump it on Netflix and Netflix was like nope and so they're like I guess we got a release in theaters and then of course it comes out and it gets horrible reviews and it flops so I think it's even though this movie's mediocre it's still had one in s Sandra Bullock and everybody loves her and then it has that hook the blindfolds yeah horror so it's like even though the movies pretty mediocre it's got something we can sell Cloverfield paradox terrible movie but it's got the Cloverfield name it's something we can sell it's dead so fine yeah there you go this is mom war and that's dad sci-fi it sat in my big armchair with the coffee and I smoked a cigar and I ate potato chips that I fell asleep in the middle for the end I'm gonna take my diabetes medicine there you go now it's like the Adam Sandler movies that they they started pumping those out on Netflix or it's like they're not good but they have an audience and there's that hook yeah yeah Holmes and Watson they probably looked at that and said this is we got nothing it's easier to to walk out so to speak of a Netflix movie yeah it is when you go to an actual theater pay money sit down that's why I say if this movie come out in theaters it probably would have flopped or at least not done very well uh-huh right yeah 45 million no no one wants to leave their house in the middle of winter to go seabird box nobody wants to I mean if I were Netflix I would have bought homes and moths who wants to go to the theater to watch that that's true oh yeah of comedy Will Ferrel I'll click probably got would have gotten 50 million clicks you ever watched a minute and shut it off yeah but then you could claim that it's the most successful Netflix movie ever yeah and then everyone would be doing the Holmes and Watson challenge which is to eat a tied pod or just just get really really really old and unfunny like Will Ferrell trying to age myself faster I'm lying in the Sun I'm drinking booze and I'm not making jokes I'm just yelling non sequiturs so Jay even though it's free and you don't like if you have enough loot subscription and I said that in the video once I was like it's free because it's on Netflix and there were people in the comments they're like there's no free could you pay for enough flicks take you know what the fuck I mean some genuine anger you know when I beat you asshole love to type up the gotcha comments but no I would out recommend its there's some decent movies apostle is on Netflix right now it's a Gareth Evans movie with Dan Stevens sort of period peace cult movie it's really really good I recommend that as far as Netflix movies go I don't know I would say like if you're curious to see what all the buzz is about you know he didn't watch it oh god so I got killed 16 people but I made it to the grocery store and back mr. blinken I'm really surprised you would take part in some stupid trend like the bird box challenge for box challenge

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