Tagmovie review

Uncut Gems needs cutting.

Uncut Gems movie poster

I was skeptical about seeing this movie because it starred Adam Sandler. I took a chance on it because it wasn’t an Adam Sandler Movie. It had high scores on Letterboxd and I had seen a couple of people I follow online mention it was enjoyable.

I could say something about the plot. But it was unmemorable. Man makes series of extremely poor decisions. Outcome is as expected. I didn’t hate this movie for any of the reasons I was prepared to.

The Sound Mixing.

What happened? When mixing sound, the point is not to layer sounds upon sound upon sound and call it done.

When you have a room full of shouting people, layering all of those shouts and then adding music from your old Atari on top of that isn’t a good idea. It was so loud and discordant and painful to endure.

At one point there’s a fountain. You’ve seen fountains before, yes? They’re found outside office buildings as this one was. When you walk near it as the water flows through it, does it sound like a roaring ocean sweeping away everyone in the street? Perhaps you’ve awaiting The Rock’s appearance landing a Chinook on the corner? No? Then why did you make the fountain sound as if Sharknado was around the corner?

The best part though had to be a scene where our hero is hiding in a closet texting his love interest. And we are to believe the DING DING is not audible across the room. I’m pretty sure the people in the next theater over heard those texts coming in.

I don’t know exactly what it was about the sound (other than the volume turned up to 11) but I felt anxious the entire time. I spent the entire film fidgeting and crawling out of my skin. It was a painful, uncomfortable experience to sit through this film.

There were many shots in the film that… went… on… way… too… long… for no good reason. Here’s Adam Sandler walking away. There he goes… There’s a car driving down the road. Why? We needed to make this movie hit 2 hours 15 minutes. When it could have been 75-90 without losing anything.

Plot: Meh

Sound: OMG NO!

I have never enjoyed the silent elevator ride back to the lobby and silent walk across the street into the misty night after this aural assault.

Tiny: A Review About Living Small

Tiny: A Story About Living Small

Rating: ★

I’m interested in the tiny house movement. I think the idea of casting away most of the junk that fills our homes and storage units is admirable and pleasant. This may be taking it to an extreme but I thought this would be a good intro and look into the world.

It wasn’t.

photo of the tiny house from tine-themovie.com

I enjoyed hearing about the motivations and desires of the tiny house dwellers interviewed. However, the main person in the story built a house because. Because he was bored? Because he had nothing better to do? Because he wanted to?

I don’t really know. It came off as I built this house because I had nothing better to do and it sounded like a good challenge. It’s a DYI Project Turned Documentary. It would have been better if it were a series of interview clips with people about the hows and why of their tiny homes. I wish the main person would have gone into detail at all about his tiny house.

  • What challenges did he face?
  • How did he overcome them?
  • Did he overcome them?
  • Is living in the tiny house all he hoped it would/could be?
  • Is he happy he worked on the project?
  • Does he live in the house full-time?

I don’t feel like I learned anything watching the documentary. It was a story of a bored man who wanted to build something and film it.


Since I was interested, I did visit the film’s website and saw an update about them two years later. This was written in May 2014.

Christopher, the main person in the documentary lived there full-time for 10 months.

Christopher lived in the Tiny House full-time from June 2013 through March 2014 (minus the month of January, when we was in Los Angeles helping a friend with a film project). When asked whether it’s what he expected, he always laughs and says it was surprisingly easy to live in such a small space. The only big challenge was living without running water. Because the land in Hartsel didn’t have access to water, we didn’t build plumbing into the house and hauled water in. So he showered mostly at the gym (an excellent motivation to work out!) The house is still located in this spot, in a very generous friend’s backyard on a rise just east of Boulder, Colorado, with an incredible view of the Continental Divide. Though my life is mostly rooted in New York these days, I’ve been back to visit quite a few times and stayed in the house for a few weeks when Christopher was out of town this winter.

Now, the house sit empty in the backyard of a very generous friend.

So as I suspected, this was a one-off project and not a lifestyle choice. It was more about the film than about the house or the lifestyle. Which is fine. That was his goal and he’s happy with it. But it’s not what I wanted when I sat down to watch the documentary.

If you want to watch it, you can stream it from Netflix.

For more information, check out the official website.


Update: My friend Reesa pointed me to Small is Beautiful: A Tiny House Documentary. It’s another documentary about tiny houses that’s now in-production and looking for money to finish. While I have no finished product to judge, this appears to be a documentary from people who want to build a tiny house and live there. I’m hoping it will be what I didn’t get out of Tiny.

If you’re in the Washington DC area, you can RSVP to visit Boneyard Studios. A tiny house community. I missed the most recent open house the weekend I moved. But there is a form to RSVP for their next open house.