IHAO on ... the Brass Teapot

I am always interested in a good morality-supernatural flick.  I also love slapstick.  I also love that kid from Sky High and Forbidden Kingdom, as well as loving portrayals of married couples.  So I read about this flick after it was suggested to me, and was like "yup, I should like this a lot."  It was originally a short film, much like Oculus was, and that movie I thought was excellent, letting the director take his short film and take it to new lengths with new depths of artistry and storytelling.  Did the Brass Teapot do the same?  Well ...

The plot here is that a loving couple, both having a hard time making ends meet financially like many couples do, at least have each other.  There are small gripes and problems, but overall, they have each other.  But this week, they get hit hard.  Interviews go bad, Sky High loses his job, and they get t-boned by a truck.  This leads to the finding of a magical brass teapot, with the magical ability to give you money ... whenever you hurt yourself.

From there ... *sigh*.  Ok, from there, we get into a series of vignettes, that while they do all grow upon each other, in the end are basically just little choppy bits.  Except they also try to put some real "thematic" through-line to it all ... and ... it just doesn't work anymore.  Vignette films in general are made to be episodic.  Think like a travel film, or a mondo film.  The point of what you are watching are each little vignette.  But you take that and then try to add theme and arc on top of it, and it just doesn't flow correctly.  Everything feels choppy, and bits are missing ... because they are.  This film has a lot of just little ... bits missing.  Some logic problems are forgivable because of the morality-show nature of the film, like why do they never save any money so they don't have to hurt themselves in the bathroom at the restaurant to pay for dinner.  But missing whole sections.

Fun fact: Disney has my favorite travel/mondo film (above) AND my least favorite vignette-ruins-narrative film.  Correct guess in the comments gets a cookie.

So yeah, after the first 15 minutes, this movie just doesn't quite jive any longer.  It doesn't know if it wants to be funny or be dark or be real dramatic or be real cynical or be real touching ... it doesn't know what it wants.  And it suffers for it.

Luckily, Sky High and Juno Temple are both great.  And the mystery and magic of the brass teapot itself is really cool.  I loved every little bit we got of that.  But the vignettey, doesn't-know-what-it-wants-to-do stuff is just no good.  And that's really unfortunate.  There's some real good stuff in here, but in the end it just kind of is ho-hum, glad I watched that.  And I am glad I watched it, I'm just sad it didn't turn out better.  It just ended up being real standard middle of the road.

Grade: C

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