February 9, 2014

Bad Grandpa

I was the correct age and gender to get maximum enjoyment out of the Jackass tv series and first movie. The subsequent movies have so been great , though it was clear in Jackass 3D that the crew was getting a little too old for the shenanigans. I actually didn’t think we’d ever see another movie from them, so I was a little surprised when Bad Grandpa came out.

Bad Grandpa has some funny bits, but they pale in comparison to the Jackass hijinks of old. They tried to weave in way too much narrative. It felt like Borat, but the funny parts weren’t as good. In the hierarchy of low-brow comedy it is definitely in the bottom half, but that isn’t all bad considering Johnny Knoxville and friends own the top.

There are a few segments of Bad Grandpa that are definitely worth seeing. However, I don’t think there are enough good parts for me to recommend watching the entire thing.

February 8, 2014

Frozen & Feminism

Dani Coleman on Frozen (via Medium)
What else does Anna have going for her? She isn’t intelligent, no matter how many words she can spit out per minute. If she were, she wouldn’t rush into an engagement with Hans, nor — for that matter — leave a man she barely knows in charge of her kingdom while she rides out in the snow without a coat. She’s certainly self-absorbed, using the first opportunity to make Elsa’s coronation all about her; and she’s vain, believing absolutely in her ability to talk some sense into Elsa despite having had no relationship with her sister for what looks like roughly ten years.
To be honest, I didn’t read the entire post. To be fair, the post is longer than the actual movie. There is something to be said for a writer that can rant for so long about a film and make it mostly coherent.

February 7, 2014

SNL "Her" Spoof

I was watching hulu+ last night and decided to catch up on some SNL. I decided to watch the Jonnah Hill episode from a couple weeks ago. Overall it was good. I got a few laughs out of it. But the spoof they did of Her was amazing. You will appreciate it a lot more if you’ve seen the film, but either way it is funny stuff.

➔ YouTube - Jonnah Hill SNL “Her” Spoof

February 5, 2014

Spike Jonze's Her

Her is a Spike Jonze film that takes place in the not-so-distant future where they wear high pants and computer keyboards are non-existent. Theodore Twombley (Juaquin Phoenix) is a lonely guy who falls in love with his cell phone named Samantha, but everybody seems to be pretty cool with that.

The premise sounds ridiculous, but the movie is surprisingly good. Once you get past the absurdity, it is an effective drama that explores our relationship with technology. There are some big questions asked in Her, and I'm not sure it ever elaborates on what it is trying to get at; but I'm not sure it really has to. In the end it seems to center on the simple, and maybe cliche, concept that we need to step away from the glowing screens and seek out human interaction.

Overall I really enjoyed the film. It is extremely well made, and anchored by Juaquin's performance. He is on screen for 99% of the movie, most of the time interacting with a only a voice. It is impressive that he is able to make this strange situation feel so genuine. It is worth watching Her just for him.

I did have a few issues with the final third of the film, specially when Samantha starts hanging out with other OS's for these secret cyberspace rendezvous. It seemed to take focus away from the relationship that we were invested in for the first two-thirds of the film. If you've seen Her I'd recommend listening the the /Filmcast episode where Dave & Devindra discuss it. I agree 100% with all of Dave's complaints about the film, and like him I still loved it. When it comes out on dvd I'd definitely recommend checking it out.

February 4, 2014

Inside Llewyn Davis

The newest Cohen brothers film, Inside Llewyn Davis, follows a short span of a folk singer’s unfortunate life as he sulks around in self pity and alienates what few friends he has left. It is almost universally loved by critics, but I doubt it will be joining Oh Brother, Where Art Thou in the average movie fan’s dvd collection.

If you like the rest of the Cohen filmography you will surely love Llewyn Davis. It is shot beautifully and Oscar Isaac puts on a wonderful performance as Llewyn. His acting makes it believable, his singing makes worthwhile. As a film, it is impressive, but the story meanders to an unsatisfying conclusion. We are subjected to the plight of the tortured artist, and feel a little bit tortured ourselves.