Friday, July 25, 2008
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO WONDERED WHERE I WENT ON MYSPACE. I DELETED MY ACCOUNT. MORE TROUBLE THAN WHAT IT WAS WORTH. SO I DIDN'T DROP YOU IF THAT'S WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE THOUGHT. YOU CAN ALWAYS REACH ME VIA COMMENTS HERE- AS MY BUDDY TYLER DID WHEN FOR SOME REASON I CALLED "I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK & LARRY" AS "I KNOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK & LARRY". THAT'S WHAT GETTING OUT OF WORK AT 1AM WILL DO TO A MAN.
SORRY FOR THE ALL CAPS. I JUST FELT LIKE USING THEM.
Saturday, July 05, 2008
Length: 81 minutes
Directors: Mike Judge (Office Space; Idiocracy) and Yvette Kaplan (“Beavis and Butt-head”; “King of the Hill”)
Writers: Mike Judge (Office Space; Idiocracy) and Joe Stillman (Shrek; Shrek 2)
Starring: Mike Judge, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Robert Stack, Greg Kinnear, David Spade, David Letterman, Cloris Leachman, Richard Linklater, Eric Bogosian. Tracy Grandstaff
I remember seeing “Beavis and Butt-head Do America” on it’s opening Friday back in 1996. I went with my good friend Diana, some pretentious doofus named Phil, and a kid who’s name escapes me that was mentally challenged (maybe?) and his big deal around school was that he thought he was Vanilla Ice. Before the move started, the Vanilla Ice kid (I can’t believe I don’t remember this kid’s name) went in front of the crowded theater and danced and free-styled. Nobody seemed to notice or care, but I thought it was pretty funny (in a kind way). Then the movie started and honest to God when I popped a copy of it into the DVD player the other day to watch it, I didn’t remember more than a couple of scenes. I watch a lot of movies, but I usually remember at least a little of the movie, especially one that was as culturally popular as this one was at the time. If you weren’t around at the time, “Beavis and Butt-head” was the “Friends” of the Gen X youth. Watching the movie I wondered why that was. I haven’t seen an episode of the show in quite some time either, but I imagine it would have more novelty than the film has. When the show first started, my friends and I used to complain about the video commentary that would interrupt the actual episodes. Now I understand why it was necessary. The characters are funny, situationally, only in small doses. There were reasons the episodes were short and the videos were included. The movie itself is now painfully dated and uncomfortably unfunny. It’s like a home video you and your buddies filmed in middle school and unearthed your senior year of high school. “But it was hilarious back then…” The jokes in the movie are stale and deal a great bit with Beavis’ masturbation issues. I laughed a couple of times, but the laughs didn’t feel very natural. They felt kind of like pity laughs. When the end credits rolled and that goddamned Red Hot Chili Peppers “Love Rollercoaster” cover played for the millionth time in the movie (they killed that song on MTV and the radio when the movie was released), I recalled the Vanilla Ice kid and I laughed. That laugh wasn’t a pity laugh. I guess a kid pretending to be Vanilla Ice and beat boxing is more dated than a “Beavis and Butt-head” movie, but it saddens me to say that in 2008 the Vanilla Ice kid holds up better.
Friday, July 04, 2008
Length: 110 minutes
Director: Dennis Dugan (You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; Big Daddy)
Writers: Alexander Payne (Election; Sideways), Jim Taylor (Election; Sideways), and Barry Fanaro (Men in Black II; Kingpin)
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Jessica Biel, Dan Aykroyd, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Allan Covert, Rachel Dratch, Richard Chamberlain, Nick Swardson, Dave Matthews, Lance Bass, Rob Corddry, Robert Smigel, Richard Kline, Nicholas Turturro, Dan Patrick, John Farley, Mary Pat Gleason, Dennis Dugan
Alexander Payne and Jim Payne (Election; Sideways; About Schmidt; Citizen Ruth) co-wrote this movie? What the fuck? Okay, now that I got that out of the way, I can start the review (apparently even highly respected Oscar winners still need to earn a living? I don’t know, this still confuses the hell out of me). Hmm, let’s see- oh yes- “I Know Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” is a movie starring Adam Sandler and T.V. “star” Kevin James as a couple of macho fire men who have to get married in order to provide a life insurance policy for widowed James’ children (Cole Morgan and Shelby Adamowsky). Ladies and gentlemen, let the gay bashing and balls and dick jokes commence! And that they do! But don’t worry, by the end of the film, there’s a lesson to be learned- I think it’s that even though gay people are gross and weird and different and stuff they’re okay, you know, “as long as they don’t pull any of that ‘gay shit’ on me”. Just picturing Payne and Taylor sitting at the computer typing some of the dialogue in this movie warps my brain in ways I didn’t think was possible. Still, I’m sure you noticed that I gave the movie a very generous two stars. Why? Because I suppose it serves it’s point. It was made for the exact reason that it displays itself. Is it going to make the frat crowd that worship Sandler any more tolerable for homosexuals? Doubtful. But it kind of tries (in a way like calling a gay guy a “fag” and then telling him later in secrecy that “hey dude, I’m sorry. I know I was out of line”. In fact, one scene even has Sandler protesting the word “faggot”). Sandler’s character, Chuck, of course, is a ladies man- he’s Mr. February in the “Fireman’s Hunk Calendar”- and James’ character, Larry, is still mourning the one year plus death of his wife. So the crazy comic shenanigans they get into while adjusting to their “new lifestyle” are bound to give the usual Sandler fans some chuckles (James is a lame duck- he’s strictly for sitcoms. He just doesn’t have the crossover appeal for the movies)- and granted, a few of the jokes do work. Some fall very flat- including a extended gag involving tough new firefighter, Duncan (Ving Rhames), who is inspired to come out of the closet thanks to Chuck & Larry doing so. The state doesn’t quite buy the marriage so they send an investigator (Steve Buscemi) out to snoop around. In defense, the two have to hire a lawyer (Jessica Biel), who is conveniently super hot, and Chuck falls for. Wonder what’s going to happen there? It’s predictable, occasionally offensive, occasionally stupid, but also occasionally funny. I wonder if we have Payne and Taylor to thank for those funny moments- even though I’m sure they get red faced whenever someone mentions this movie to them. If you had a Best Screenplay Oscar wouldn’t you?
Buy the DVD Here
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Length: 88 minutes
Director: Marco Schnabel
Writers: Mike Myers (Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery; Wayne’s World) and Graham Gordy (War Eagle, Arkansas)
Starring: Mike Myers, Jessica Alba, Justin Timberlake, Ben Kingsley, Stephen Colbert, Romany Malco, Meagan Good, Omid Djalili, Jessica Simpson, Val Kilmer, Mariska Hargitay, Verne Troyer, Kanye West, Jim Gaffigan, Rob Huebel, John Oliver, Rob Blake, Telma Hopkins, Deepak Chopra, Graham Gordy
Remember how funny “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” was the first time you saw it? How “yeah baby!” and “shagadelic” and all those annoying catch phrases hadn’t been imitated by every single male that went to your school (in my case a very southern school- nothing beats hearing a redneck in camouflage doing his best “do I make you horny?” every single day in gym). Then came the next “Austin Powers” and the joke got old fast, but that didn’t stop the third “Austin Powers” where the jokes had become so old and overused they might as well have been Fatty Arbuckle vehicles. That’s what Mike Myer’s latest movie, “The Love Guru”, is like- except the jokes get third “Austin Powers” old ten minutes into the movie and then there’s still another hour and fifteen minutes to go. What happened to Myers? Was I the only one that found “So I Married an Axe Murderer” funny? Ditto both the “Wayne’s World” movies (particularly the massively underrated sequel- weird for Myers)? “Austin Powers” literally ruined the man’s comedic talents. I still stand by the first film as being extremely funny, but the sequels… well, we’ve all ready been down that path in this review. But the point is, Myers believes the multi-million dollar success of the “Powers” and “Shrek” franchises have given him the freedom to do whatever the hell he wants and he seriously believes just because he’s the Mike Myers people will watch it and think it’s funny. How quickly everyone forgets “The Cat in the Hat” fiasco. Here Myers plays a character that wouldn’t fill a six minute “SNL” sketch, yet alone a feature film, named Guru Pitka- a self help guru who is considered the second best in the world compared to some other guru. Pitka dreams of being number one and appearing on the “Oprah Winfrey” show. The only way to do that, apparently, is to reunite a hockey star named Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco) with his estranged girlfriend (Meagan Good). The problem is that the girlfriend is involved with rival hockey star, Jacques Grande (Justin Timberlake- overdoing it a bit, buddy). There’s also a romantic subplot involving Pitka and Toronto Maple Leafs owner Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba- actually trying her best, but you know she has no one blame but herself- she keeps making these kind of movies- i.e. “Good Luck Chuck”). But let’s get down to what “The Love Guru” is really about- cramming in as many penis and shit jokes as humanly possible in under ninety minutes that won’t force the censors to let the film get an “R” rating. That much the movie accomplishes. If that sounds like the type of movie for you- well you’re dreams have been answered.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Length: 121 minutes
Director: Martin Brest ("Scent of a Woman"; "Meet Joe Black")
Writer: Martin Brest ("Going in Style"; "Hot Tomorrows")
Starring: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Justin Bartha, Lenny Venito, Lainie Kazan, Missy Crider, Peter Van Norten, Shelby Fenner
I avoided “Gigli” as long as I could even though there was a burning curiosity deep inside of me that wanted to watch it. I had to see how bad it really was. I started watching it when I was in Reno and couldn’t make it past the thirty minute mark. It was bad, I thought to myself, but not that bad. Sure enough, upon finally completing the entire film, the movie isn’t as bad as the general public was lead to believe. However, make no mistake this is not a good film. The immortal Jennifer Lopez line “gobble, gobble” will go down in history as one of the worst in cinema history. Let’s face it, the Ben Affleck/Jennifer Lopez relationship was so played out by the point of the movie’s release that the critics went in hungry, waiting eagerly to rip it apart. And they did, so much in fact, that it still gets mentioned when bad movies are brought up (it is currently ranked #80 on the Internet Movie Database’s Bottom 100 list). I can’t defend the movie and I don’t want to, but I will say that I have seen much worse in my lifetime. Affleck stars as Larry Gigli, a low level hood who is assigned a mission to kidnap the mentally challenged son (Justin Bartha) of a district attorney. When he arrives to pick up the young adult-ish Brian, he runs into his new partner, Ricki (Lopez), a sassy lesbian whom didn’t know she had a partner in the assignment and neither did Gigli. Uh-oh! He’s a piggish, male chauvinist and she’s a bitchy man hater- combined with a silly ol’ retard and this is going to make for one crazy road trip! (Wherever they’re going). Sure enough, an unlikely love story develops between Gigli and Ricki (leading up to “gobble, gobble”) and they also both grow attached to the lovable and dim Brian, who thinks the whole time that they are driving to the “Baywatch”. At a minute over the two hour mark it’s a wonder what anyone was thinking. Editing this down to ninety minutes or so and a couple of re-writes and maybe, just maybe this might have worked. After all director Martin Brest isn’t Uwe Boll. He’s an Oscar nominee for “Scent of a Woman” and he directed the Brad Pitt starring remake of “Meet Joe Black” that remains unseen by me, but everyone else seems to love. So what went wrong? Way too much press backfired (the other “Bennifer” movie, Kevin Smith’s “Jersey Girl” also bombed commercially and critically)? Did Brest give himself a script that just wasn’t workable (his first script since 1979)? I say that it’s just a mess all around. The all too brief cameos from Christopher Walken and Al Pacino bring so much to the table in this film, that in a normal movie it would just be considered scenes featuring them- here their scenes are the movie. Gobble, Gobble.
Download Soundtrack MP3:
Sir Mix A Lot- Baby Got Back
I couldn’t find the trailer for the movie on YouTube for some strange reason, so here’s the best part of the movie instead: