Alex and EJ are brothers with nothing in common. Alex is a straight A student who desperately wants to be cool and win the affection of Lo (the coolest girl in school). EJ is a former high ... See full summary »

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Lo
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Ellie
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EJ
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Owen
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Darius
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Jonathan
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Jamie
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Mr. Delaney
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Arthur
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Maureen Finn
Jason Nash ...
Mr. Eskin
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Exec
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Stu
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Ferny
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Cole
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Storyline

Alex and EJ are brothers with nothing in common. Alex is a straight A student who desperately wants to be cool and win the affection of Lo (the coolest girl in school). EJ is a former high school legend living at home, wasting away in middle management in GE's innovation lab with dreams of becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg. When Alex and EJ's parents leave town for their second honeymoon, the boys join forces to throw a legendary high school party with hopes of making Alex the king of his class and EJ the next great app developer. Written by Blessedly Silent Films

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Comedy

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11 January 2017 (USA)  »

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$500,000 (estimated)
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User Reviews

 
The worst thing on YouTube Red
15 January 2017 | by See all my reviews

"Alexander IRL" is a student film masquerading as a professional production.

I expected a trite, unfunny, clichéd comedy when I started watching this movie. I was a little excited to see Nathan Kress in something, since he hasn't done much of note since "iCarly," but other than that, I didn't know any of the names involved with this movie.

And let me emphasize something I've been saying for all of my other YouTube Red reviews: The films and series that these YouTubers create for this service should not be exclusive to their fans. Meaning: I should not have to be an existing fan of (checks YouTube video) MrBrent98 to like his movie. I would feel comfortable, for example, recommending "Rhett and Link's Buddy System" to people who've never heard of Rhett and Link, or "Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares" to people who've never heard of the titular angry British chef.

But even if I knew who MrBrent98 was, I would not have enjoyed this movie.

Whereas other YouTube Red original films were brought down by single Death Star- like fatal flaws -- Smosh's "Ghostmates" had abhorrent writing, while the editing of "The Keys of Christmas" utterly destroyed the movie -- there isn't a single thing "Alexander IRL" does right. Not a single thing worthy of praise that wouldn't turn into a backhanded compliment.

The acting is overstated and unconvincing. The performers look as if they have no idea what they're supposed to be reacting to, or what they're supposed to be communicating in their scenes.

The music choices make the first 30 minutes feel like a music video that never ends. Songs are played far too frequently, and there's even an incredibly out-of-place "Nutcracker Suite" during a film that couldn't have anything LESS to do with Christmas, but I'm not even sure I want the alternative, which would be more of the original score, because the music composed for this film is equally incompetent. There isn't one original piece of music played in this movie that doesn't sound like Stock Film Score Track #32.

On top of that, a lot of the post-production work is incomplete. People talk into microphones but nobody edited the audio to sound like it was coming from a mic.

There are more problems, too, with dialogue not syncing up to actors' mouths, random dropped frames in the middle of the movie, superimposed images not blending with the environments, and populated bars in which you can't hear the other patrons talking. It's like Nathan Kress wandered into a bar for the deaf, where everyone can only communicate by reading lips.

But the real Achilles' heels of this film are its direction and cinematography. For one thing, whatever camera "Alexander IRL" was recorded on is something made for skater videos, or maybe really hip (read: pretentious) music videos. The center of every shot is in focus. The edges are always out of focus. The only exceptions are the extremely unwarranted bird's-eye-view shots and the lousy iPhone video footage.

This odd depth of field wouldn't be jarring if there wasn't stuff to pay attention to on the perimeter of the frame. People walk and talk off to the far left, or Kress' character holds his phone toward the top of the shot. We're supposed to be looking at the edge of the frame, but the edge of the frame is BLURRY!

All of this is not to mention that there are far too many Dutch angle shots in this film, and they're not even used properly! AND every single shot is so overblown, so whited- out to the point of incomprehension!

And it all culminates in the worst party ever put to film, where only the lead actors were mic-ed and the extras don't even have the benefit of ADRed-in dialogue or sound effects.

There's a single instance of freeze-frame that never happens again.

There are plot threads that cease to be the instant the party begins, and they never resurface.

And it is all in the service of nothing.

No message that it doesn't shamelessly double-back on in the end.

No reason to be.

"Alexander IRL" is aimlessness incarnate.

I couldn't even watch it all in one sitting, just in 5- to 10-minute chunks. I'm not expecting any YouTube Red content to be worse than this. This was a major release from a supposedly professional video service, but I know student filmmakers that could make infinitely better movies with none of the budget.


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