Project 101

Dan attempts to watch 101 movies in 12 months

Posts Tagged ‘comedy’

#11 Suburban Mayhem

Posted by Dan on December 20, 2008

Suburban MayhemFor all of it’s pride, Australian cinema still struggles to get real mainstream recognition. I’ll be the first to admit, that there’s a lot of stinkers that we put out, but it’s because of these mainstream flops that a lot of other smaller indie movies never get the exposure that they deserve. For every Fat Pizza: The Movie, there’s a dozen 2:37‘s, which I have to say that for the larger part of it, it breaks my true blue heart.

Suburban Mayhem, when it was released, seemed to get a fair bit of press, but nobody I know actually went to see it at the movies. I’ve always liked a good Aussie indie movie, but this is one that kept slipping down my To See list.

Suburban Mayhem is the quintessential tale of “where did it all go wrong?”, and at the end of the movie, you kinda realise that your life aint too bad. The story centres around Kat, a hormone-charged 19 year old single mum who seems to exist in her own separate world compared to everyone else – one that’s full of drugs, petty crime, cheap sex, fast cars and manicures. Her life then quickly starts to fall around her after her older brother Danny goes to jail for murder. Kat idolises Danny to almost disturbing levels of loyalty. He’s not a bad guy,  just a stupid kid with a bad temper. The true tragedy is that it appears that Danny is the most level-headed member of the family.

Kat’s mum was a drug addict that abandoned the family when Kat was a young girl, yet she’ll always be a little princess to her dad, John, played by Aussie screen stalwart, Robert Morgan. John’s a honest hard working tradie who just wants the best for his kids, which ends up with Kat walking all over him and treating him like her own personal ATM. Then there’s family friend Dianne, but to be honest, she has very little baring on the movie and her role seems to be nothing more than a mere afterthought.

One day, John decides that enough is enough and cuts off Kat’s financial flow, so Kat does whatever she can to make sure that someone’s looking out for her – and she gets it no matter what she has to do. Kat betrays and uses people left right and centre, and becomes more and more dillusioned about the world she’s living in, and to boot, she’s a truly awful parent, to the extent that John and Kat’s boyfriend Rusty are constantly being visited by police and Child Welfare. The main driver of the movie, is Kat’s obsession with the idea that Danny can get out of jail, if only she can raise the money to pay for court costs to appeal his sentence. It’s  then suddenly Kat gets an idea of how to get money – by killing her dad and selling the house. What happens then, well, you’ll have to find out for yourself.

Kat is played fantastically by Emily Barclay, who won an IF Award for Best Actress for this role. She’s supported by a great ensemble cast. Why Laurence Beuls, who plays Danny, hasn’t starred in more roles than he has is just beyond me.

All in all, this is a really enjoyable movie. It’s a very gritty, often confronting story about a group of people off the rails who will do anything within their grasp to get back the control of their lives that they once had.

I give Suburban Mayhem 4 out of 5 life sentances.

“I knew the mother, she was mad. I knew the grandmother, she was madder. It’s genetics I reckon. That’s the only thing I can come up with. You just can’t get clean water from a dirty tank.”

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#9 Lars And The Real Girl

Posted by Dan on December 15, 2008

I remember when I saw Mysterious Skin a few years ago, when it was finished, I sat in the cinema chair completely silent through the credits, trying to gather my emotions. When I left the cinema, me and the two friends didn’t say a word until we were out on the street, and one of my friends said “I need a drink”, and we all nodded. It seriously fucked with us all, and it took me a while to work out whether or not I like it. It’s that sort of feeling that I live for in movies. As much as I love a good brainless comedy, or some cheap throw-away action film, I truly love a movie that fucks with my head.

Lars &  the Real Girl is one of these. I only finished watching it an hour or so ago, and I still don’t know how I feel about it. So really, this ‘review’ (a bit rich calling it that, but still) could go either way.

Lars & The Real Girl is a story of Lars (Ryan Gosling) living with the grief of the death of his parents. His mother died at birth, although I don’t think that they never really explained what happened to his dad. But now, Lars and his brother have inherited the family home.  His brother Gus lives in the house with his wife Karin, played wonderfully by Emily Mortimer. Lars chooses to live in the garage on his own. He’s a strange guy bordering on mental illness – he’s a shut-in with very little friends except for the guy he shares a cubicle with at work. It’s here that he’s shown the Real Doll website, and a few days later, Lars orders one.

Lars’ mental instability takes a new turn when Lars treats his new doll, Bianca, like a real person. Gus and Karin are delighted by the news that Lars has met a woman who he’s invited to dinner (at which Karin struggles each day to get him to share a meal with even just the two of them), but then things get awkward when Lars brings along Bianca. They send him to see their family GP (played by Patricia Clarkson), who also happens to be a pyschiatrist, who treats Lars under the guise of taking Bianca in to the practice each day for a check-up.

In an odd turn of events, the whole community decide to go along with Lars’ delusion, showing the great compassion that everyone has for Lars, and everyone in the community seems to draw something out of the situation for their own benefit. It’s a sweet tale that proves that it’s actually possible to love, without having to feel like it’s some kind of transaction, that it’s possible to simply love.

Now, there are bits of this movie that I loved, but others that I struggled with when it came to suspending my sense of disbelief. I can’t imagine a community, big or small, so openly accepting Lars’ delusion with such open arms. Whether or not Lars’ family was a “pillar of the community” type is never really explained. There isn’t a single person that seems to have openly hostile prejudices to the situation, which I find a little hard to believe. There’s really only one scene where Gus tries to tell Lars that Bianca isn’t real and is just a rubber doll, but even that only lasts a moment, and is largely ignored by Lars. Even the sweet Margo, who’s clearly had a crush on Lars since the dawn of time is patient and understanding when she realises that she’s been passed up for a rubber doll. She either has a stone for a heart, or is even more accepting than I give her credit for. I mean, shit, I’ve been knocked back by a girl for another guy before, but at least that guy was alive. I’m not sure I could take that kind of set-back.

If anything, I really related to the role of the brother, Gus and if anything, Gus really relates how I felt about the movie. I found Gus to be the main driver and a metaphor for the movie’s plot – at first, Gus was confused about what was going on and didn’t really understand it, so he became resentful and angered with Lars, hoping that he’d just “snap out of it”, but then, like everyone else in the movie, used the situation to explain his feelings and what happened in the past with his brother and finally tell him he was sorry, and in the end, even though he was still a little unsure about the life he and everyone around him was living, learned to become compassionate and understanding.

“Sometimes I get so lonely I forget what day it is, and how to spell my name”

I give Lars & The Real Girl 3 out of 5 Fleshlights

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#7 Zak & Miri Make A Porno

Posted by Dan on December 10, 2008

ooOOOoooh, lookie at Dan, watching a movie that hasn’t come out yet (I believe it’s coming to Australian cinemas in March)! Blah blah, I’m sure half you motherfuckers have already seen this anyway. If you haven’t, please call me, and I’ll make you a copy, because this is seriously one of the funniest movies I’ve seen all year.

Zak and Miri, starring Seth Rogan (who’s totally awesome) and Elizabeth Banks (who’s totally hot) is about two childhood friends who live together, but can’t afford to pay their bills. Eventually after their power and water get shut off, that they get the idea to make a porno to raise the cash, after Zak chats to a guy at their high school reunion, who tells Zak how much money he makes each year.

It’s one of those movies that is fairly predictable, but yet is so damn enjoyable that you just don’t care. They talk about how they promise that “nothing will change after they have sex”, but you know it will, and that it’s “just for money”, which you know it’s not, but there’s a shitload of laughs all the way through it, from Justin Long’s flat-out hilarious performance as Brandon, the gay porn star from California. And there’s also Craig Robinson, who I love, playing, well, Craig Robinson.

A lot of Kevin Smith’s movies, while being enjoyable, really do end up catering for the Kevin Smith key demographic, but I think that this is definitely one you can recommend to almost anyone (Nan, if you’re reading this, please, don’t). It has that Kevin Smith feel to it, without having that Kevin Smith feel to it, if that makes sense?

Either way, I’m trying to talk about this movie without giving too much away. So please, in the words of Molly Meldrum, do yourself a favour, and go see this movie. It’s a really sweet comedy, with some really distasteful jokes in it … as well as Jason Mewes’s penis – but I’ll let you decide whether or not that last point is a ‘pro’ or a ‘con’.

I give Zack & Miri Make A Porno 4 out of 5 Dutch Rudders
(no, I’m not going to explain what a Dutch Rudder is, just go and see the movie)

Miriam: Nobody wants to see us fuck, Zack!
Zack: EVERYBODY wants to see ANYBODY fuck. I hate Rosie O’Donell, but if somebody said “I got a tape of Rosie O’Donell getting fucked stupid” I’d be like “Why the fuck aren’t we watching that right now?”

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#2 Super Troopers

Posted by Dan on December 3, 2008

well damned if this isn’t a funny movie, meow. I can’t believe I haven’t watched this meow before! It’s catch-phrase-o-plenty on this one meow, and I can easily see meowself going back for repeated watchings for this one, especially after a few meow cones.

The one bad thing though was that I didn’t like Farve, the fat guy. Like, I know you weren’t really supposed to like him, but I didn’t like him AT ALL. He was really fucking annoying. But then again, the main chick in it was cute, so I guess everything evens out in the end

I haven’t seen Club Dread, but it’s definitely better meow than Beerfest, and if meow Slammin’ Salmon ever comes out, I can meow compare it to that too. Although that apparently has Coby meow Smulders in it, so with that fact alone, it’s my favourite Broken Lizard movie.


Not that I want to get into the habit of ‘grading’ movies as I go along, but I’d give this one a definite B+

“aaahhh. …. biker. I’m an idiot”

Champagne comedy.

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