HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Apartment Troubles
HTS Overall Score:62
“Apartment Troubles” reminds me greatly of something that Noah Baumbach would try and product. Except Baumbach would actually create something semi watchable. Co-directors, writers, and stars, Jennifer Prediger and Jess Weixler, create a bland and uninspired take on Millennial malaise that borders on nauseating. I can take hipster films. I can even enjoy them as Noah Baumbach has proven time and time again, but there has to be LIKEABLE characters in there somewhere. Or at least someone who’s relatable, even if you don’t like the person themselves. Weixler and Prediger create facsimiles of real characters that go to such ridiculous extremes that suspension of disbelief became nearly impossible in the film environment. By the end of the 79 minute film, I was just begging the gods to have the ending come soon, but unfortunately it did not come soon enough.
Nicole (Jess Weixler) and Olivia (Jennifer Prediger) are both a bit “odd”, shall we say. They’re the epitome of stereotypical “bad” millennials. They sit in their subletted apartment all day, doing art work, finishing spiritual cleanses, not paying their electric bill in order to stick it to the man, and decide to burn their dead cat on a barbeque because they’re not going to pay the cremation fee. When their slightly goofy landlord (and ex-lover of Nicole, who is played by Jeffrey Tambor) decides to evict them for not paying their rent (who woulda thunk it?!), the two decide to go on an impromptu vacation to their Aunt Kim (Megan Mullally). Vanishing in the middle of the night to on this trip, they end up arriving at their destination with dead cell phones (ummmmmmmmm, how do they charge cell phones when they don’t have electricity in their apartment due to “sticking it to the man”?) and no way to get ahold of Aunt Kim, the two hitch a ride with an Adderall popping stranger who almost ends up killing them.
Aunt Kim is basically Karen from “Will and Grace”, giggling tippsily around the place as she pours bottle after bottle of wine down her throat and attempts to hit on Olivia. The pair ends up going on America’s got talent, and bombing MISERABLY, only to now decide that they need to reevaluate their life. Only the reevaluation is so ridiculously superficial that by the time the credits role I was wondering just WHAT they had reevaluated! They come back to New York only to find that their landlord has kicked them out EARLY because someone else was willing to pay him 3x what he charged the girls and their life is in even further disarray.
Prediger and Weixler try hard to make the film work, but you can only polish a turd so much. “Apartment Troubles” suffers from having completely unlikeable characters, act in such a boorish and stupid fashion that you feel no sense of pity for their fate whatsoever. It doesn’t help the movie much that there doesn’t seem to be any overarching plot, or attempt to make a cohesive story. Instead it just stumbles around in the dark with our drug induced pair of heroines as they make fools of themselves in front of everyone. The sad thing is, there is no playing for humor. The two make very sad and audience embarrassing fools of themselves with an ending that leaves one feeling frustrated and void of any sympathy.
Not Rated by the MPAA
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=57073[/img]Well, if anything, “Apartment Troubles” has a very pleasing video encode to enjoy. Shot digitally, the film looks very natural and clean, filled with warm pastels and splashes of mild primaries. Contrast can run just a tad hot sometimes, giving skin tones a pale hue and showing some very mild softness here and there. Fine detail is solid, with some of said softness showing up in the outdoor shots with brighter natural light. Black levels are impressive, and show some good shadow detailing, although the boosted white levels sometimes show some washed out bits on the black levels. Overall it’s an impressive encode and seems to be free of digital artifacting.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=57081[/img]The 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track is just what you would expect from a dialog heavy film. It’s extremely forward heavy, with 95% of the work being done by the center channel. Dialog is always clean and clear of any distortions, and I never once had to raise or lower the volume to accommodate for swinging dialog levels. There’s some good panning effects when the pair gets to the beach, or when they’re driving through traffic with Will Forte’s character, but in all honesty, the track is mainly a 3.1 experience. Some supporting sounds trickle in through the surround speakers, and the LFE adds some bottom end to the score, but the majority of the time the front 3 speakers are doing the heavy lifting.
“Apartment Troubles” is more like production and story troubles. There’s very little if ANY redeeming points in the movie whatsoever and the characters are a big part of the problem. Had there been some attempt to ground them so that they could be palatable to the audience I might have been able to overlook some of the flaws, but hating everything about the people you’re supposed to be feeling sympathy for is just an effort in futility for the viewer. Honestly, the only good parts of the disc are the audio and video. Lacking any extras as well as any semblance of cohesive storytelling, “Apartment Troubles” is something that should just be forgotten about as quickly as possible. SKIP IT!!
Starring: Jennifer Prediger, Jess Weixler, Megan Mullally
Director: Jennifer Prediger, Jess Weixler
Written By: Jennifer Prediger, Jess Weixler
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Studio: Anchor Bay
Runtime: 79 Minutes
DVD Release Date: September 29th, 2015
Buy Apartment Troubles DVD on Amazon
Recommendation: Skip It
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