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[A Million in the Morning] A Million in the Morning
Label: Street Carnage/Decon Media

Author: Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez

"A Million in the Morning" is a mockumentary centered around a Netflix sponsored contest where contestants attempted to break the world record of movie watching. For those not familiar with the concept, a mockumentary is a mock documentary where comedy, usually dark humor and satire, is used to poke fun at the subject of the documentary. The genre became popular ten years ago with the film "Best in Show." That mockumentary poked fun at the obsessive and extreme nature of dog owners obsessed with their pets. It was a success, due mostly to the top notch cast and fresh concept. Since then, there have been plenty of attempts to capture the same magic, but very little success. For those wondering what the hip-hop link might be in all this, the music for this movie is provided by Decon Records. Decon included music from Jay Electronica, RJD2, and El-P for the score. Outside of that, this film is all about movie watching, sleep deprivation, and Netflix.

The main thing to note about the movie is that it is essentially one long advertisement for Netflix. The brand remains the focal point of the film as the sponsor for the contest. While the logo gets plenty of face time, this is not the best advertisement. The film is full of plenty of attempts at humor that fall flat time and time again. The host tries to set up the mayhem that is to follow by visiting a doctor to ask about the effects of sleep deprivation. The result is an awkward, dry exchange between doctor and patient. The mockumentary follows up with plenty of information of the insanity that can result from sleep deprivation, building expectations for off the wall reactions from contestants. Ultimately, it is an unfulfilled promise as the remainder of the film is as boring as the beginning.

Rather than get the audience emotionally invested in the contestants who are attempting to stay up for 127 hours straight, the film focuses on the host and his crew. Very little information is given about most of the contestants save for the "Indian nerd" and "European Chick." For that reason, it is of little consequence when a contestant is disqualified for dozing off or blinking too much. The host interviews them after they get disqualified to capture their insanity, but there is very little entertainment there. One of the contestants doesn't know what 8 times 8 is. Another describes a break in reality. Interviews with the contestants during the contest are just as bad. One of the guys can't remember what the film he just watched is about. Overall, everything about the contestants and most of the film is plain boring. The host isn't anywhere near as charismatic or funny enough to keep the movie entertaining. Early in the "documentary" he confuses Richard Simmons for Gene Simmons and approaches the work out guru in full face make up declaring his love for KISS. The premise is simply not believable and it occurs way too early in the film to blame it on sleep deprivation. Later on, the host blames sleep deprivation for his manic attempts at giving away free popcorn to the audience that gathered around the contest. He frantically throws popcorn all over the place and slams his fist through a cardboard box.

"A Million in the Morning" is a failure in every way possible. For a movie with corporate sponsorship, filmed in Times Square, and with a premise that is ripe for comedy it is shamefully boring. The corporate sponsorship should have given them a better script. Times Square should have presented plenty of zany characters for impromptu comedy. A group of sleep deprived people watching movies should have allowed them to take the humor to the extreme. Instead, you have a bland host, bland characters, and little comedy. At the very least, the movie could have been one that was so bad it was funny, but "A Million in the Morning" just comes off as a boring home movie you're forced to watch at a relative's house. Probably the only funny thing about the ordeal is the fact Netflix attempted to advertise it as a subversive, edgy film. The press kit calls it a documentary that got so out of hand, Netflix disowned it. With that marketing campaign, they should have gone all out. Instead, the "craziest" thing to be found on the film is a contestant who uses cold ice on his genitals to stay awake. Overall, there is no entertainment to be found on here. The soundtrack adds nothing to the film and you surely could find those songs elsewhere.

Content: 1 of 10 Layout: 1 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 1 of 10

Originally posted: April 6, 2010
source: www.RapReviews.com

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