Project 101

Dan attempts to watch 101 movies in 12 months

Posts Tagged ‘comedy’

38 – Funny People

Posted by Dan on April 10, 2010

I know this movie got panned in most reviews I saw – but I think the main problem is that it was advertised as a typical Apatow movie. I mean, just look at that poster. It even says that it’s The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up as associated movies. Yes, Judd Apatow wrote and directed Funny People, but do yourself a favour and just ignore that shit before starting this movie. Funny People is not supposed to be a funny movie.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are funny moments, but – okay, let me break it down for you: Adam Sandler plays, well, Adam Sandler. His character’s name is George Simmons, but essentially it’s like it’s Adam Sandler 20 years from now. One day George finds out that he’s got a terminal illness and only has a few months to live. So one night, down in the dumps, goes to some suburban open mic night, where he sees Ira, played by Seth Rogen. Ira is an okay comedian, but has dreams of giving up his shit day-job to do comedy full time. George gets up on stage before Ira and does a routine that’s more like a foretelling of death. Ira takes the piss out of him a little and thinks he gets away with making George look like an idiot until he runs into him in the carpark. They exchange bland pleasantries. The next day, George calls Ira and asks him to join him for a corporate gig a few weeks later. During the gig, George offers him a job as his assistant.

We then follow George on his trip of dealing with his terminal illness and his experiment with a trial drug, monitored by his doctor, and how his life revolves around it as he accepts his fate. Apatow apparently wanted to write a story about his life as an up and comer, but realised that all his mentors were quite nice to him – but what would’ve happened if his biggest influences were jerks? This is that movie. It’s almost a documentary in parts than it is fiction. There’s plenty of comedic actors playing themselves, and you’ll spend many scenes picking out your favourites – hell, there’s a scene where even Eminem tells George that he needs to relax.

Also, being an Aussie, it’s quite jarring to see Eric Bana playing an Australian. There’s a particular emotional scene which is quite weird due to all the St Kilda Football Club merch that surrounds the characters in the scene. Not to mention Eric Bana finally playing an Aussie role again!

Funny People is an occasionally funny, but generally quite emotional and rather sad movie, but in an unexpected way that makes it a joy to watch. You feel like you’re getting a true insight into their lives in an authentic, genuine way.

Funny People gets 4 out of 5 one-liners.

Ray Romano: [regarding George’s illness] How did he know he had it?
Ira: He said he was feeling dizzy and tired. So he went to the doctor, and it was in his blood work.
Ray Romano: That sucks, ’cause I get dizzy and tired. Anybody gets sick and I think I’m gonna get it. Is it contagious? It’s not contagious, is it?
Ira: No. No, I’ve been around him a lot. I feel fine.
Ray Romano: Okay, ’cause when you were talking, a little bit of your spit hit my lip. Not that you got it, but he spits on your lip, you spit on mine, and the next thing you know, I’m dead, and my wife’s fucking George Lopez.

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#35 – Family Guy Presents ‘Blue Harvest’

Posted by Dan on August 31, 2009

Blue Harvest - Cover ArtOkay, so I guess this is kind of cheating. It’s not really a “movie” exactly, but it is a ‘feature-length’ episode, and it was released on dvd as it’s own special, so fuck it. Besides, I’m a little behind schedule and need to catch up, so this is a quick win for me.

I really don’t know what to say about this – it’s exactly what you think it is. It’s Family Guy taking off Star Wars IV. It’s good because there’s enough for just the casual Family Guy fan (because let’s face it, if there’s anyone that hasn’t seen the Star Wars trilogy, well, I can’t know you), but then there’s a heap of great references to keep fans going as well – some of the ‘camera’ shots are absolutely perfect. Not to mention how much they would’ve paid in royalties.

So, essentially, the ‘episode’ happens when the episode opens to the Griffins watching tv (one of the funniest gags of the whole thing), when the power goes out, Peter tells everyone the story of Star Wars. One of the best bits is actually right at the end, when Chris accuses Peter of just copying what Robot Chicken did a few months ago – funny because Chris is voiced by Seth Green, one of the co-creators of Robot Chicken, with Peter, voiced by Seth MacFarlane, one of the creators of Family Guy.

As a self-confessed Star Wars geek, the most impressive thing about this is the attention to detail. From the same shots, to homages to favourite quotes, to picking at what was originally a huge plot hole that have been talked about for years. Naturally I’m going to give this a solid 5 out of 5, and as an indication, here’s the opening scrolling text that parodies the intro to each of the Star Wars movies…

A long time ago, but somehow in the future…

Episode IV A NEW HOPE

It is a period of civil war and renegade
paragraphs floating through space.

There’s cool space battles, and the bad guy is the good guy’s dad. But you
don’t find that out ’til the next episode. And the hot chick is really the sister of
the good guy, but they don’t know it and they kiss. Which is kind of messed up.
I mean, what if they had done it instead of just kissed?

Angelina Jolie kissed her brother. Yeah, she did. You know it, I know it,
and her dad knows it. That’s why they hardly ever talk anymore.
You can run away to Africa, but you can’t run away from the truth.

Oh, by the way, here’s a tip for you: when this is over, go out and
rent the movie “Gia.” She’s way naked in it, and makes out with another chick
and everything. It’s awesome. I stumbled across it late night on HBO after I had
just got back from hockey, and I almost fainted. But I digest…

Princess Leia was coming back from buying space groceries when this happened…

Oh and by the way, it’s called “Blue Harvest” because that’s what Return Of The Jedi’s working title was.

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#32 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – LIVE BLOGGING!

Posted by Dan on August 23, 2009

209731_3Well, here’s another one of my movies that gets the reaction of “oh my god, how could you not have seen that movie?” with Ferris Beuller’s Day Off. So, given that everyone’s probably already seen this, I though I might do something slightly different and live-blog my review, so I’ll give some running commentary as I watch it, completely unedited. I dunno how this will pan out, but let’s give it a shot, shall we?

For those that want to play along at home, I have the dvd copy of it (yes, a legally purchased copy – I got it as a triple pack a few year ago, and yet I STILL haven’t gotten around to watching it until now), so to get the full experience, you’ll want to watch it along with me, press play on your dvd player …… now:

0:00:00 START
0:00:39 … is there a movie from the 80s that DOESN’T have a wood-panelled station wagon?
0:03:18 oh god, I hope they don’t do that “break the fourth wall” thing throughout the whole movie
0:03:56 … shit, they really are, aren’t they
0:05:22 if this was around today, I’d assume he was gay
0:05:35 what?? WRONG! THE WALRUS WAS PAUL!
0:06:17 … I’ve seen that teacher in something before, I swear. I should IMDB him later.
0:06:57 oh hey cool, it’s the guy from Spin City
0:08:49 holy shit, that computer is SO HIGH TECH!
0:11:46 ew, did Jeanie just refer to her brother as a ‘trouser snake’?
0:17:26 the first black person of the whole movie!
0:18:07 as if they’d leave it to the school nurse to pass on the news of a death in the family!
0:23:23 seriously, is Ferris meant to be gay?
0:35:00 Cameron’s outfit does not work at all. A hockey jersey with brown slacks? And that hat!
0:36:14 very very nice. It explains the rope on the statue from earlier.
0:27:02 wow, that really is a fucking nice car
0:27:41 .. is she wearing shorts? Are they shorts?
0:28:40 jesus, they really are shorts. Fuck I love the 80s
0:29:04 first genuine laugh of the movie
0:29:32 stop talking into the camera!
0:31:14 aahh, so this is where “Save Ferris” comes from
0:31:58 This principal really has a lot of spare time on his hands
0:37:11 is it just me, or does this seem like a really lame day off? They’re not even drunk yet!
0:38:01 So was Steve Jobs a fan of this movie?
0:42:31 Seriously! Why is nobody drinking????
0:42:41 This Gloria Estefan wannabe is getting really annoying. I hate her character
0:46:02 hahahaha, those sunglasses are AWESOME
0:48:00 do they really have baseball games during the week? In the middle of the day?
0:48:48 Seriously, what is her problem?
0:49:19 Well, it’s nice to know where they got the idea for Home Alone
0:51:35 See, I don’t buy a school principal taking THIS much interest in 1 student. This guy has issues.
0:54:19 Really? An art gallery? How fucking lame are these kids?
0:55:50 Okay, now I’m confused – this is as normal school day and now there’s a parade? With children both in the parade and watching it? Why aren’t THEY in school?
0:57:41 And now I’m supposed to believe that Ferris has made it to the front page of the local paper??
1:00:48 Okay, now you’re really jumping the shark. I’m seriously close to turning this off.
1:03:43 And now he’s hurting animals? This principal is seriously not right in the head
1:04:43 … and breaking-and-entering
1:07:00 wait — so she doesn’t recognise the principal at her own school? wtf?
1:07:30 fucking hell, the towing companies don’t fuck around
1:09:30 Surely you’d just go back to the parking place and complain?
1:11:46 ooh good, we might at least get a good perve session in this scene. Let’s find out!….
1:13:11 hmmm, yeah, that’s not a bad view
1:13:56 holy shit, is that Charlie Sheen? Playing the part of Charlie Sheen? I wonder if he knows the camera is even rolling. They just pushed him onto the set and told him to take a seat.
1:15:32 THANK YOU CHARLIE SHEEN! THE ONLY VOICE OF REASON IN THIS MOVIE
1:16:32 Okay, this clearly is going to end badly. Hughes was never one for subtlety, huh.
1:18:23 What made them thing that that trick would even work?
1:19:19 here it comes…….
1:20:04 wouldn’t you turn the engine off?
1:21:25 aaaand there goes the car.
1:23:48 I must say, he’s being awfully calm about the wreck
1:27:22 I still don’t understand why she hates Ferris so much
1:27:46 wait — isn’t that the girl from Flashdance?
1:28:05 So I just went off to check IMDB, yeah, it is her
1:28:40 but yes, in case you haven’t guess, I haven’t seen Flashdance either
1:29:50 Mind you, I have no interest in seeing that movie either.
1:30:15 I can’t believe I’ve had to wait this long for the only decent part of the movie
1:31:05 No seriously, that principal is fucking disturbed. He would be fired in a minute.
1:32:37 If nobody was home, how did all the deliveries make it inside?
1:34:58 This song is the only good thing about this movie
1:35:26 that is the worst fake-driving I’ve ever seen
1:37:39 GOD WHY WON’T THIS MOVIE END???
1:38:45 THE END.

That was awful. Truly, truly awful. I mean, I know there’s always the factor of not having seen it back when it came out, so part of the point of the movie is kinda missed now that it’s been over 20 years since it came out, so maybe I would’ve enjoyed it more if I’d seen it back then. But now? Wow, this movie does NOT hold up well. Far too many plot holes, way too many cliche movie mechanics, terrible acting, unbelievable scenarios. Eugh. Just eugh.

I give Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 2 out of 5 Ferrari’s.

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#25 Sixteen Candles

Posted by Dan on April 15, 2009

sixteencandlesHoly crap, it’s been such a long time since I’ve updated this thing – I should get my arse into gear! It’s not like I haven’t been watching new movies, because I have. I’ve watched a few since my last entry, so I’m definitely keeping up the pace. The problem is now remembering all those movies enough to write them down!

I guess my real life has been getting in way of this blog. Quite a few things have changed though. My relationship with my fiance broke down and like a phoenix from the flames, I’m in love with someone new, who just may happen to be the woman of my dreams. I’ve got a new flatmate, I’m getting ready for overseas travel, I’ve been busy with my podcast (you can listen to me at http://www.favouritefive.com or just look for it on iTunes), and generally just, well, being me.

But, I can tell what you’re thinking. You’re sitting there thinking to yourself “I don’t give a fuck about you, I just wanna read about the movies you’ve been watching! What’s the matter with you, son?” Firstly, thanks for not calling them “reviews”, for this is clearly not a title I’m worth of. Secondly, don’t call me “son”, that’s so patronising. Thirdly, I’m doing what’s called “padding”. See the movie I just watched? Sixteen fucking Candles. I’m fairly sure that I’m the only person on this planet who has not seen this movie.

I don’t really know what to say – there’s no point telling you about the movie because you’ve already seen it. If you haven’t, well you’re worse than me. There’s something about the 80s, but every second movie that came out was a “coming of age” type movie. They don’t have them anymore?

Either way, Molly Ringwald is kinda cute in this movie. Plus it kinda looks like they were trying to tape down her boobs or something. She looks like she’s about 25 years old in this movie, but playing a 16 year old girl. It’s weird. She’s kinda hot though in this movie … you know, for a ranga.

There was one really big surprise about this movie that I didn’t see coming: I actually enjoyed it. I mean, I LIKED this movie, I’m not sure it gets more fucked up than that. I’m starting to blow this whole ‘tough guy’ image I’m trying so desperately to maintain.

But seriously, the movie seems to be a little too quick in trying to be over. There’s almost a little too much assumed information.  There’s no real reason to explain why people are the way they are. So many unanswered questions!

Why is Samantha seemingly so unpopular?
How come Samantha didn’t mention anything in the days leading up to her birthday to her family?
Why would your only sister schedule her wedding on your birthday?
For such loving parents, how can they let their daughter marry a guy she’s only been with for 6 months?
Is the only reason why Joan Cusack gets gigs is because John insists on having his sister?
Why is Jake Ryan going after a ranga?
And how come Jake’s girlfriend is so comfortable with the knowledge that she’s just been drugged and fucked by the school geek? IT’S CALLED DATE RAPE, PEOPLE! YET SOMEHOW THIS IS ACCEPTABLE?
And let’s not forget about the good ol’ fashioned racism shown when they introduce an Asian guy. Long Duck Dong? Jesus H. Macy, I was expecting one of the other characters to exclaim “ME NO RIKEY!”

Anyway, despite all this, I give this movie 13 out of 16 candles.

“I really love Rudy. He is totally enamored of me. I mean, I’ve had other men love me before, but not for six months in a row. “

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#24 Burn After Reading

Posted by Dan on February 12, 2009

burn_after_readingYou can usually pick a Coen brothers movie from a mile away, and this one is no different. In fact, you could probably pick this from 5 miles away. Mind you though, I’m still undecided on whether or not this is a good thing. When you’re a filmmaker, you can either keep making the same type of movie again and again and get accused of just churning out the same photocopy on film again and again, or you can finally do something different, and get accused of selling out – I mean, shit, just ask Kevin Smith. I guess the secret is finding something to churn out time and time again that’s actually good. And as much as I’d hate to admit it, the Coens have probably found it. But, this isn’t an essay on the Coen brothers (although I would love to write one).

One of the things I love about a movie by the Coens’ is that they almost have a celebration of the ordinary. There’s usually themes of average people, even losers, who manage to think that they’ve made it big, that they’ve hit some deep hardcore problems. It was evident in one of my favourite movies ever, The Big Lebowski, and it reeks here.

Burn After Reading has an amazing cast – Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, John Malkovich, as well as some cult favourites like the always-amazing JK  Simmons. It’s kind of hard to go into the a simply synopsis of the movie without writing for pages and pages, but needless to say, if you’ve liked previous Coen movies, you’ll like this one too. There’s some kind of sick fascination that I have with watching idiots get in over their head, and just witnessing the painful scenes that play out – kind of like in the original version of The Office. I can only watch a couple of these shows in a row because it’s so awkward. This is similar – it’s so hilarious, yet oh so painful to see these idiots (well, mainly Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand’s characters) who think that they’ve stumbled on some high-class military FBI secrets. But really, it’s just a book that Osborne Cox (John Malkovich) has written about his life working in the FBI, which is nowhere near as insightful as it could be.

It’s one of those great movies that has lots of characters with seperate storylines that always seem to end up being the same storyline with the same characters. The plot twists are ridiculous to the point of hilarity, and at times you just have to accept that what you’re watching really is happening. It’s only during the last few minutes watching JK Simmons sum up what you’ve ultimately just watched, that makes you realise how stupid the events that have just unfolded have been – but it’s an amazing ride that’s definitely worth a second visit.

I give Burn After Reading 4 out of 5 hard-bodies.

Rather than give the usual quotes from the movie, I’ll give you an excert from a great article I read about the movie:

Pitt, who plays a particularly unintelligent character in Burn After Reading, said of his role, “After reading the part, which they said was hand-written for myself, I was not sure if I should be flattered or insulted.” Pitt also said when he was shown the script, he told the Coens he did not know how to play the part because the character was such an idiot: “There was a pause and then Joel goes…’You’ll be fine.'”

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#22 Bad Santa

Posted by Dan on January 4, 2009

bad_santa_filmThere’s something to be said about expectations in movies, especially when it comes to Christmas movies. I usually avoid them like the plague, because they’re pretty much the same story archetype. It’s nice to see one that doesn’t quite fit it as much. Well, it still fits the mould, but rather than fitting it nicely, it’s squashed and jammed in, not being before doused in booze in the hope that making it wet makes it more malleable.

Bad Santa is the story of Willie, played by Billy-Bob Thorton, who’s an alcoholic and a criminal. His scam is working as a Santa at the local mall, and with the help of his friend Marcus (Tony Cox), who plays his elf side-kick, they sneak back in after hours and rob the place. Everything is fairly routine until Willie befriends a local kid and starts dating a local barmaid (Lauren Graham) who has a kinky fetish for having sex with ‘Santa’.

There’s also a number of great supporting actors, including both the late Bernie Mac and John Ritter. This is actually John Ritter’s final acting role. He died 2 months before the release of the movie, and as such, the movie has been dedicated to his memory. Seeing them both in a scene together seems a bit odd, but both of them are fucking hilarious. The funniest bit comes from Marcus’s dialogue though. Marcus is the voice of reason and makes sure that Willie stays on track and doesn’t drink himself into too much oblivion, but every now and then he needs to give him one of Marcus’s extra special pep talks.

Sometimes I get the feeling that Billy-Bob was just playing himself in most of this. Willie is just a terrible terrible person, and only just starts to become a regular human as the movie progresses until the end, when… well, you can just go and watch it.

This is worth a watch just to finally see a movie with Santa Claus in it that has Santa not being his usual jolly self. He’s a real sad, bitter bastard … and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I give Bad Santa 4 out of five reindeers

Willie: You know, I think I’ve turned a corner.
Marcus: Yeah? You fucking petite chicks now?
Willie: No, I’m not talking about that. I beat the shit out of some kids today. But it was for a purpose. It made me feel good about myself. It was like I did something constructive with my life or something, I dunno, like I accomplished something.
Marcus: You need many years of therapy. Many, many fuckin’ years of therapy.

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#20 Dan In Real Life

Posted by Dan on January 4, 2009

dan_in_real_lifeWell, here we are, 1/5th of the way through the list! Thanks for sticking by (that is, if there are actually people reading this. If you’re reading this, you should comment! Don’t be afraid!). I think I might have to put the brakes on a little bit – I’ve gone through 20 movies and I’ve only been doing this for a month!

This is one of the movies that was on my own personal ‘must see’ list for quite a while, but not because I’m a Steve Carrell fan – I’m actually fairly impartial to him. I kinda got this feeling that he was becoming a bit typecast, and while some of the movies that he’s been in I’ve really enjoyed, I was kinda wondering when he was going to actually start acting.

Dan In Real Life is the story of Dan Burns, who writes an advice column for his local paper, and is a widower with 3 bratty daughters, as he takes them up to the grandparents house for their annual family holiday. His family is like any others – they seem nice and normal, but with Dan around, there’s always that thin layer on tension that you’re never quite sure when it’s going to break. Dan’s life isn’t really full of pleasure and his family begin to take pity on his subservient ways, especially romantically. His family is played by a fantastic ensemble cast, including Dianne Wiest as his mother, and John Mahony (the old guy from Frasier) as the father. There’s even a great job done by Dane Cook, who plays one of Dan’s brothers, Mitch, which I never saw coming!

One day, Dan makes a quick trip into town to get some supplies when he meets Marie, played by Juliette Binoche (who you might recognise from the Three Colours movie trilogy). Instantly the two hit it off, and what starts off as a quick 5 minute trip to the shops for Dan ends up a day-long impromptu ‘date’ and for once you see Dan come out of his shell and he finally looks happy. After Marie leaves to also head off to a family holiday, Dan practically floats back to the house only just maintaining to not burst out of his skin with joy. He tells the family about the girl and everyone’s esctatic for him. However while this is going on, Dan’s brother Mitch has been busy telling everyone about how nervous he is about bringing his new girlfriend to spend holidays with the family and how this girl could almost be “the one”. So when she shows up– that’s right, Mitch’s girlfriend is Marie.

It’s at this point that the movie can go either way – it can become an all-out slapstick humourous movie or can becoming incredibly saddening and depressing. Luckily, it seems to tread a thin line straight down the middle of both of these options, resulting in what is a thoroughly enjoyable movie. There are laughs there, but they’re not the usual set-em-up-and-knock-em-down jokes, and you find yourself either whincing or laughing because there is, at least for me, that sense of an air of familiarity, which is the movie’s, especially Steve Carell’s greatest asset. There’s a beautiful subtlety to every single piece of dialogue, and it’s reaction to those that hear it.

I really liked everything about this movie and is definitely one of those movies where the more you think back on it, the more you remember the bits about it that you liked. It’s a great story about love that never goes according to plan, with a great cast full of some amazing performances. It’s funny, sad and downright frustrating at all the appropriate moments and is definitely original enough to keep you wondering how the rest will pan out.

I give Dan In Real Life 4 out of 5 single parents.

“Instead of telling our young people to plan ahead, we should tell them to plan to be surprised”

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#19 Tropic Thunder

Posted by Dan on January 1, 2009

tropic_thunder_ver3I was really looking forward to this movie. I wanted to go see it at the movies, but I just never quite found the time to go. Thankfully due to the lightning speed that it seems to take movies to come out on dvd now, I didn’t have to wait that long.

I should have kept waiting.

This movie is awful. I’ve never been so disappointed in a movie like this for ages. I love Robert Downey Jnr, but his character was a bit of a one-trick pony and the funniest lines he had were already used in the preview. Jack Black was almost nonexistant in his usual comedic schtick, which seemed to be simply overrun by the other actors on the screen. Then there’s Ben Stiller. Fuck I hate that guy. The only thing I really liked about that movie was Tom Cruise’s role and the fact that Alpa’s man that he was in love with, “Lance”, turns out to be Lance Bass.

This movie was incredibly sub-par. Sure, I can see what they were trying to do with it, and I totally get it, but just the execution was awful. I even hated the commentary, which has Ben Stiller and Jack Black giving some really boring insights, and RDJ who kept in character the whole time.

I give this movie 2 out of 5.

“I know who I am – I’m a dude playing a dude disguised as another dude!”

P.S.
Here, as a treat, let me save you the copy of rental, the whole movie can be summed up in their trailer:

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#18 Club Dread

Posted by Dan on January 1, 2009

club_dread_ver2Holy shit this movie was bad. I loved all the others that Broken Lizard have done, but this was just rubbish.

Let me save you some time:
– The killer is Sam, the guy that’s the “fun police”.
– The only ones that get away are Penelope, Jenny and Lars.

The only good thing about this movie is when Penelope gets her boobs out towards the end of the movie.

I give this movie 1 out of 5

“It’s not a party until someone breaks the jacuzzi!”

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#14 Bubba Ho-Tep

Posted by Dan on December 25, 2008

671647bubba-ho-tepcShithouse. I’m not even going to write about it.

I love Bruce Campbell, I loved the Evil Dead series. I have a copy of They Call Me Bruce sitting next to the dvd player.  Hell, the only reason why I sat through those piece of shit Spiderman movies was because I found out that Bruce Campbell was in them.
But this? Shit.

I give it nothing out of nothing.

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