( #MovieReviews, #TGIF )
On a recent trip to California, I watched a ton of movies on the plane and in the airport. Here is a quick rundown of movies you may have missed and might be interested in seeing.
Much has been made about this movie being a raunchy girl comedy. It is. It is a good, raunchy, girl comedy. It has one classic scene that people will probably talk about for years to come. Kristen Wiig did a great job and it is totally worth watching (Wilson-Philips cameo aside).
The first of two Jason Bateman movies I am reviewing. Basically this movie is loaded with people I enjoy watching, but the plot is obviously not rooted in reality. The movie starts off funny with the lead’s bosses doing various things to make life horrible for our heroes. Then we end up in the ghetto looking for a hitman and the movie goes to shit (literally with dental floss…). Jennifer Aniston was pretty damn funny as the sexually inappropriate boss.
The other Jason Bateman movie I came across. This one also stars Ryan Reynolds and Leslie Mann. This movie has LOTS of naked women and poop jokes. The best parts of the movie are Bateman (as Reynolds) interacting with his fake kids. The movie has typical “challenges” and there are absolutely no plot turns that will surprise you (outside of poop).
This movie was hilarious. Cameron Diaz redeems herself after a horrible string of movies. Good mix of school humor, drug humor, and sex humor. I had very low expectations going into this and I was pleasantly surprised.
Take Me Home Tonight
A Topher Grace movie that plays homage to 80’s movies. It involves a house party, a hot girl, a crazy fat friend, and cocaine. Typical speech about “what I learned from this night” at the end. Another movie that has a cast full of people that I like. It wasn’t a great flick, but I didn’t mind watching it on the plane.
I feel like this movie went under everyone’s radar (including mine). Super 8 is about a small town that plays host to an alien and a bunch of kids that figure it out. It is a more mature E.T. – the military are the bad guys, the alien is a little scary, some people actually die, so maybe not a movie for small children, but it a good one to watch for the PG-13 crowd.
So that is my movie catch-up, I never usually watch that many movies because I can’t sit still at home, but when stuck in airports with delays, there are worse ways to spend time. I hope my recommendations save you some time and hopefully you enjoy the movies.
( #HunterSThompson, #RumDiary )
If you read this blog (or look on the left panel for “Gonzo Stories”), you could tell pretty quickly that I am a Hunter S. Thompson fan. Outside of his epic drinking and drug abuses, he was a man that understood the fine line between a news article and a story and then he pissed all over it. I read the Rum Diary 5 or 6 years ago and enjoyed it. Hunter had yet to discover the Gonzo form of journalism he made famous, but this book (and Thompson’s alter-ego “Paul Kemp”) was clearly a proto-form of his later style.
All that being said, Johnny Depp does an excellent job of creating a coherent storyline out of a book that does not really have one. All the characters are there, but in the book version, Thompson zones in on the drinking, the hangovers, the parties, and the sweating. It was less about the story and more about feeling what was happening. In the movie version, Depp cleans up the story and makes the antagonists more clear.
The movie also does a great job of explaining Kemp’s dealings with the real estate holdings group and his involvement with Sanderson. In the book, Thompson seemed more focused on screwing Sanderson’s girlfriend, the movie makes the whole situation more layered (and makes Thompson seem a little more gentlemanly). Johnny Depp does not do a balls out Hunter Thompson impression like he did in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but as I said, Thompson was not Gonzo yet. Depp does a very good job at playing a twenty-something Thompson, not once did I think “hey this guy is almost 50.” The standout performance of the movie might have to go to Giovanni Ribisi’s portrayal of Moburg. Ribisi taps into the classic frantic Thompson energy and of anyone, he is the one paying homage to Dr. Gonzo.
I really liked this movie, but I give the warning that it is not for everyone. As the title might indicate, it is about a guy who gets drunk, not in a fun “Arthur” kind of way. It is essentially the story of how Hunter S. Thompson found his writing voice and got really messed up along the way. As Thompson once said, “Buy the ticket, take the ride.”
Six weeks ago, I saw a commercial for a promotional website for the movie “Hot Tub Time Machine” (Kicksomepast.com); the commercial mentioned getting a free screening of the movie for you and some friends. I quickly went to the site and I actually got the free passes. Since then, I have been doubting if these promo tickets were legit, and I was worried about asking my friends to show up on a Monday night to a theater in the city and we would get turned away. That didn’t happen. Not only did the Ritz honor the Eventful promotion – we actually got a bunch of free stuff too.
While the premise of the movie was equally ridiculous yet hilarious sounding – I had my concerns that all of the good stuff would be showing in the trailer. Didn’t happen. Without giving too much away, the movie’s self-referential mocking was outstanding (how are you going to do a movie about the 80’s and skiing and not reference Cusack?). There is also a glorified cameo that will make lovers of time travel movies wet their pants. Was the script the next “Citizen Kane”? No. But it was one of the funnier comedies in the last 18 months. While I think the movie would have benefited from an original “Army of Darkness”-style ending, the neat little bow wrapped up at the end was satisfying.
This movie comes out March 26th. Go see it. Watch out for the squirrel.
This is not a review of the movie “The Dark Knight”; if you want to read one check out the billion or so that is out on the internet or a newspaper right now. This is a review of the experience of going to the midnight showing of “The Dark Knight”. Let me be quite up front… I did not find the experience enjoyable. Before I get heat from the fanboys, let me state that I am a fanboy. I have read the last 20 years of Batman, Nightwing, Robin, Birds of Prey, and Gotham Central comics… so yeah I understand the concept of a respectable Batman movie, but you guys give comics a bad name.
1.People Dressing Up: It was funny a few years ago when Star Wars came out, but it is pretty lame now (actually it was pretty lame back then too).
2.Bringing a Computer to the theater: I noticed that the people dressing up seemed to be together in a large group – at least twenty strong… they brought a laptop. WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU NEED A LAPTOP FOR!?! There was no internet access in the theater. They were playing with Microsoft Word clip art – they passed the laptop back and forth making captions. Of course they had a mac because these were the typical uber-pretentious neo-nerds that think there every opinion is the right one because some jock shoved their head in a toilet 10 years ago
3.Reverence of the Source Material: Just because you read the comics doesn’t mean you have more of a right to be in the theater. As stated, I read comics; my friend Frank who has a baby and one on the way doesn’t have time, but I respect his opinions about films more than just about anyone.
4.Holding Seats: A few of my friends went to get pop corn around 11:30 (they left sweaters and personal effects on the seats), some fat assed woman comes into the isle and I politely tell her that the seats are taken. “Are they in the theater?!” she belched. I furrow my brow and give her my death stare… “Yes.” She repeats her question, louder. “Yes – they are getting pop corn.” – I say this with a growl. Her friends comment to her to walk away as she beings to verbally molest people right next to me. Get a clue, come early for an event movie if you want a seat and don’t bother people holding seats.
5.Clapping: Once the previews hit, people started clapping for every trailer. I don’t think you should clap at a movie unless someone on the creative team is present. The audience geeked out for the Watchman trailer – okay, I overlooked this one – then they clapped for a Disney movie and I just wanted to punch anyone.
6.Sit Down Comedy Routines: I love the people who sit there waiting for their chance to make a snarky comment and then shocked when the theater tells them to shut the hell up. But once that situation starts, it takes 10 minutes for everyone to shut up.
7.The Parking Lot: This isn’t anyone’s fault but it took 30 minutes to get out of the parking lot which sucked.
Fanboys… remember that you have a penis. Don’t let that overheated laptop battery shrink your balls. Show some self respect and act like a man.