Michael Scott

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Little


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Movie: :1.5stars:
Video: :4.5stars:
Audio::4stars:
Extras: :2.5stars:
Final Score: :3stars:



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Movie

When I first got Little in the mail this last week I offered the digital copy to a friend of mine since I don’t collect them and his words were “not for all the tea in China”. I was a bit surprised as he was the type of guy who would watch just about anything and collect just about any digital code I swung his way, so hearing him emphatically deny the code was a bit puzzling. After watching Little I can understand why. A reverse story of Big, Little is an excruciatingly painful movie that tries so very very hard, and fails so very very much. Filled with over the top quips, unintentionally hilarious moments, and forced humor, Little is one of those movies that leaves you completely speechless with the awkward attempt at humor you just saw.

As I said, Little is kind of a reverse of the Tom Hanks movie Big. Instead of a kid who suddenly becomes an adult, this comedy (or at least it attempts to be a comedy) takes an overbearing adult and crams it into her 13 year old self due to a magic trick gone awry. Like usual, she has to learn how to be a good person again before she can re-adopt her adult body, and the films is just rife with cheesy jokes and cringe worthy humor.

13 year old Jordan Sanders (Marsai Martin) doesn’t like being a middle schooler. She’s smarter than all of the kids, but is constantly being picked on for her nerdy love of science. Her parents assure her that she’s going to grow out of this, and like many smart people, end up coming out on top as the smart ones tend to be the bosses of the bullies. Sadly Jordan takes this to heart just a little bit TOO much and when she grows up becomes a snotty jerk who abuses her employees (and everyone around her) while she runs a tech firm. When Jordan’s biggest client decides to drop her for a newer tech firm, the CEO and raging witch of a woman is given 48 hours to come up with a pitch. Naturally she disses the idea from her assistant April (Issa Rai) and furiously storms out, only to run into a young “magician” who places a hex on Jordan for her rudeness.

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Laughing at the little girl magician, Jordan goes home, goes to be,d only to wake up in her 13 year old body once more. Scared, frustrated, and completely bewildered, Jordan tries to backtrack what got her here in the first place. Thanks to a neighbors “call”, Jordan is investigated by CPS and has to fake going to school so that CPS will get off her back and TRY to mend fences with April so that her assistant can help her figure out just how she got here, and how she can get back to her original body.

As with all these tales of body displacement, Little plays out like a young version of What Women Want. Jordan is forced to come to grips with her 13 year old fears that she never grew out of, and also learn to be a human being again to other human beings. The problem is that the first 1/3rd of the movie is spent gritting your teeth and listening to grating and excruciatingly annoying Jordan shriek and rage on. It’s kind of the point though, with Jordan being a complete jerk and the audience having to learn to like her again. The problem is that she’s soooooooooo unlikable and exactly like the people she hated in middle-school that you just can’t invest in the character. Not once in the movie was I drawn over to Jordan’s side, and I didn’t feel any empathy for her at all. Even the second act is spent with Jordan begrudgingly helping people and acting like a 13 year old jerk that by the time the final act rolls around and we’re meant to care for her, I just couldn’t associate those feelings with what we saw on screen.

Little plays things a bit too safe as well. It’s almost predictable to a fault and you can predict how the movie is going to turn out before each scene takes place. Then you top it off with jokes that aren’t funny, and racial and social stereotypes played out in an unfunny manner onscreen. Jordan is making an Alexa type ripoff called “homegirl” (yes, that’s what it’s called), she has to insult every waiter, cashier and underling a million times, and Issa Rae spends most of the movie imitating the unfunny stylings of Tiffany Haddish. There are some well intentioned themes throughout the movie, but they are so stereotypical and mired under thousands of pounds of awkward humor that they get lost in the flow of things.




Rating:

Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content




Video: :4.5stars:
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The best part of the entire Blu-ray is probably the 1.85:1 framed AVC encode. Shot digitally, Little is a bright and bubblegum cheery encode that is graded rather neutrally. Primary colors literally pop off the screen at every turn, and the film’s natural luster is jaw dropping. Detail levels are through the roof, with the audience able to see intimate clothing details, or the metal and stone curves of Jordan’s tech firm backdrop. The film is almost overly sunny and bright, with dark scenes being few and far between, and gorgeously lit city scapes taking up a large portion of the runtimes. Black levels are deep and inky and even in the bowels of Jordan’s new “school” experience shows great shadow detail. There’s a few spots of banding and I noticed a little black crush in the auditorium, but otherwise this is a fantastic looking encode.






Audio: :4stars:
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The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is exactly what you would expect from a modern comedy. Dialog takes up the majority of the sound in the disc, with Regina Hall’s shrill shreaks being the predominate feature of the first act. There’s some mild ambiance from the city traffic, the rumble of Jordan’s sports car and a few background discussions, but this really is a very front heavy mix with lots and lots of dialog to fill out the track. The score is punchy and strong with the urban themed music, and the LFE takes things up a notch when Jordan gets her “homegirl” device to play her morning jams. It’s simple, effective, and checks all of the proper check boxes to make a good solid comedy track.







Extras: :2.5stars:
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• Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Tina Gordon
• Gag Reel
• More than a Little Talent
• Regina Goes Method
• Marsai Martin Presents...
• Black Momma Whuppin' Situation
• Issa Rae's Assistant Survival Guide











Final Score: :3stars:


Little is a painful movie with good intentions and some actually decent acting jobs. Both Regina Hall and Marsai handle the dual roles as Jordan quite well, hitting that perfect tone to where you can believe both the adult AND the child version of Jordan is the same person. Marsai got the ticks and cues that Regina Hall made down to a T and I was actually pleasantly surprised by her performance. Sadly she’s undermined by an atrocious script, horrible direction and a generally unlikable persona that really keeps the audience from forming any sort of meaningful attachment to the character. In short, Little is a hard pass on just about every front that I can think of, with the only redeeming qualities of the movie is the technical specs for the audio and video. Just Skip It.




Technical Specifications:

Starring: Regina Hall, Justin Hatley, Tracee Ellis Ross, Tone Bell, Issa Rae, Marsai Martin, Mikey Day, JD McCrary, Tucker Meek
Directed by: Tina Gordon
Written by: Tracy Oliver, Tina Gordon
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish, French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Studio: Universal
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 109 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: July 9th, 2019
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Recommendation: Skip It.

 
Last edited:

Asere

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Thanks for the review. I will skip this one.
 

tripplej

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Thanks for the review. I will also skip it based on your review. :)
 
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