Archive for the ‘Movie Reviews’ Category

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Credit: Lindsey8417 Copyright: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Lindsey8417
Copyright: Wikimedia Commons

First of all, yes I am biased. I have been a Dane Cook fan since I caught his Comedy Central Presents episode in 2000. I signed up for his mailing list on his website and he was the sole reason I joined Myspace. The thing I’ve now realized is that is still one of my favorite things he has ever done. That and the sweater sketch from the 1st time he hosted Saturday Night Live.

Of course I follow him on twitter and happened to see a tweet by him about two weeks prior to tonight’s show advertising it. I’ve never had a chance to attend one of his shows live and $5 is definitely a bargain. If you don’t know what Ustream is, anyone can broadcast live on their webcam. Sometimes you can catch really great shows on there like the evening before last Thanksgiving when KISS put on a full show. This is the first Pay Per View event that has been hosted on UStream.

At about 6:30PM ET a comedian named Al Benson took a camera crew backstage so we could see people hanging around backstage at Dane’s live show. After not too long Cook joins him and 2 other people who later turn out to be the other two opening comedians for the show.

Then Benson sits down with Dane & everyone sends questions in, Benson reads, & Dane answers. Granted the Ustream chat was going pretty fast but I didn’t see any of the handles that this guy was reading off questions from. It was cool but nothing titilating was revealed. We did find out that Dane’s favorite movie is Goodfellas.

Then Cook had to go get ready so Benson started interviewing a lot of douchey people on the red carpet. This included bimbos who worked at a tanning salon, who were definitely getting their money’s worth and four 13 and 14 year old boys and girls who said they smoked marijuana.

Interspersed throughout were old clips of Dane performing at other shows which were pretty funny. The audio & video went out a few times but not too often.

The first comic up was Al Benson. I didn’t find much of his act funny and throughout his set and prior to he was somewhat racist to African Americans and Puerto Ricans.

Next up was the cute Nick Thune. He started off singing jokes which bored me, so I started reading a book. He did have one funny joke about sending people Starbucks gift cards without any money on them.

The last opener was Whitney Cummings. She was very funny but all of her humor was centered around dating. I feel that women comedians who focus solely on dating make men respect all female comedians less though. She looked really bad but I looked her up & she normally looks great. I think not looking your best in front of millions of people who are discovering you is a misstep.

I’m not going to give away Dane’s whole show as it’s a performance of his Isolated Incident tour which you can buy or rent the dvd of. First of all he looked great and had on one of those awesome angel wing back tee shirts. These were just a few high and lowlights to me. I did not enjoy a fairly long joke about urine and tons of stuff about masturbation. He interspersed bits of old beloved jokes such as “I Did My Best” and “The Pickles”. They weren’t the whole thing, more like a taste. I really enjoyed the “Twat Swatter”, “Black Baby” and “What Would Hilary Duff Do?” jokes.

The show was funny but Dane seems to be getting angrier and more vicious. The show dropped out and I had to log back into it 5 times so I missed some of the jokes. I have a great connection, so this wasn’t on my end. Ustream chat confirmed that a lot of people were going through this. Audio was all over the place during the show. I constantly had to readjust the volume as it would get really low or really loud for no reason.

After the show they aired some clips that appeared to be from this tour. Then Benson started interviewing people who are waiting to meet Dane. This was really boring and I had to login back in twice. Then they showed Dane meet people and take pictures with them while Benson interviewed people who were waiting. A quick search shows that 2 front row tickets and backstage passes were auctioned off for charity for this show for $2500.

Despite the technical problems this was a fun show. Ustream will probably work those bugs out for future events.

Note: This post originally appeared on Yahoo on February 6, 2010.

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My Top Movies of 09

Dec
2009
30

posted by on Movie Reviews, Movies/TV

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with a wax figure of Hugh Hefner at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas

While reading the endless articles by film critics all over about their top films of the year I realized what bothered me about every article. Average people do not have access to all of those art house movies. Plus even if you live in a big city that shows them (I do not) people who don’t see movies for free have to make a choice. I know if it’s up to me and I have to decide to spend $10 seeing either something that makes me laugh or something that makes me cry, it will often be the former. I think I’m in the middle, I enjoy some weird shit but am also into big popcorn movies. Plus, I usually catch up on everything during the next year. At the end is a list of films that I am eagerly awaiting catching on dvd (as that is your only choice when you live in the boondocks).

COMEDY:

Dance Flick
This was by far the funniest movie I’ve seen this year. Combining a parody film with all of the teen dances movies is fantastic.
Bonus: Follow Shoshanna Bush , Damien Dante Wayans & Marlon Wayans

Spring Breakdown (direct to DVD)
This movie stars Amy Poehler, Parker Posey and Rachel Dratch. I knew going in that it would either fail fantastically or be hilarious. It was hilarious but unceremoniously dumped direct to DVD. In a nutshell it’s 3 adult women who were outcasts in college running around during spring break finally getting to let loose.
Bonus: Follow Seth Meyers

Miss March
If you saw the trailer you probably thought that this looked pretty ridiculous. Well it is, but it’s too funny. A guy goes into a coma in high school and when he wakes up he finds out that his ex-girlfriend is now a Playboy Playmate. Craig Robinson has a great role.
Bonus: Follow Hugh Hefner & Craig Robinson

The Hangover
I don’t have to sell this to you, you know that it’s funny. I went in expecting to like it because I’ve been a fan of all of the principal actors for years. Initially I was worried that it wouldn’t hold up to repeated viewings. I bought it watched it for a second time though and I think that will be a classic for me.

The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard
Jeremy Piven can’t get no respect. It seems like this movie was rushed in and out of theaters. Then it was released on Netflix prior to getting a regular release to test sales. That’s sad. It’s very entertaining. I’m still a little surprised that Piven now plays these suave guys when he started out as the loser second banana in flicks but I dig it.
Bonus: Follow Jeremy Piven

Bride Wars/Labor Pains (direct to dvd)
I’m not gonna lie and say that these are not formulaic chick flicks but if are a chick (like me) and would like to indulge in a new one from ’09 you could definitely do worse.
Bonus: Follow Lindsay Lohan

Santa Buddies
(direct to dvd)
Yes, the kids’ movie about labrador retrievers. You can read my Associated Content review here

DRAMA


Spread

Ashton Kutcher plays a womanizer who targets older women but sleeps with basically everybody. Lots of sex and callousness abound. Imagine if Brian Kinney and Samantha Jones had a son then he might be a lot like this. Unfortunately they try to give him depth that doesn’t really mesh but nothing’s perfect.
Bonus: ah, too bad Kutcher’s not on twitter. xd

The Informers
If you are a fan of Bret Easton Ellis’ books and hopefully the film adaptations you should check this out. It would take a far better person than I to analyze him.
Bonus: Follow Bret Easton Ellis

Powder Blue
This is known as that Jessica Biel stripper movie. Of course it’s much more than that if you actually take the time to watch it. I don’t really want to give anything away because it’s better if you have no idea what’s going on. I will say that it’s about a bunch of screwed up people just trying to live. Also the cast includes Forest Whitaker (who always shines) and Ray Liotta (who I have a tiny thing for).

EXPLOITATION

Crank 2: High Voltage
This film is a million times more over the top than the first. The 1st was about a guy who has been poisoned running around trying to keep his heart rate up. Now he’s running around with an artificial heart trying to get his heart back. Everything is completely over the top, the violence, the sex and a weird fantasy sequence. If I hadn’t seen This Film Is Not Yet Rated I would ponder at how they were able to get an R rating on this sucker.

Bruno
This movie is all about fame and homophobia and exploiting that for laughs. It’s not as funny as Borat but perhaps just because you’ve seen the premise from the other film with the whole fish out of water thing. Very graphic.

HORROR:

Drag Me To Hell
I am a huge fan of Army of Darkness and Alison Lohman. I was pretty worried that this couldn’t live up to my expectations but it was amazing. Plus it actually scared me. I had nightmares for 2 nights. Justin Long (whom I’ve had a major crush on) annoyed me despite playing a really nice boyfriend. I have no idea why. I was a little disappointed that there was no cameo by Ted Raimi. This film has layers and subtext. You can do a quick search after watching to find out what I mean. I don’t want to give it away because then you’ll notice while you are watching it.

My Bloody Valentine 3D
I liked the use of 3D and the actors that they chose. The story was kind of TV movieish but still fun. Definitely get the original. It was the better film if you can get over the old hair and clothing styles.

The Final Destination
I’m a fan of the series. Plus they used a lot of 3D in this, much more than My Bloody Valentine. (Note: Unfortunately the 3D Blu-ray was later recalled so you can only buy this 3D movie in 2D.)
Bonus: You can follow Nick Zano

ACTION:

Inglourious Basterds

If you like Tarantiono, you’ll like or love this. I was worried I wouldn’t because it is a “war” film and I hate those. It really isn’t though, so I had no need to worry. I was so stoked to see Eli Roth really acting in something.
Bonus: Follow Eli Roth

Fast & Furious

As most FF fans will tell you the best was the first. Then they started losing people. I’ve never even watched Tokyo Drift because I didn’t give a shit. In the 4th installment we get back to the original characters. Chicks want the guys and guys what to be them. (Or theorize that they are gay because they are jealous). Yes, there are ridiculous feats but come on, that’s what you want.
Bonus: Follow Michelle Rodriguez & Paul Walker

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
I really enjoyed all of the gadgets and Sienna Miller’s character in this movie.
Bonus: Follow Channing Tatum & Marlon Wayans

Streets of Blood (direct to dvd)
It’s a cop movie starring Val Kilmar and 50 Cent. It was right up my alley. Read my Netflix review

UNSEEN
The Slammin’ Salmon
An Education
Dorian Gray
Crazy Heart
Bad Lieutenant
Moon
The Hurt Locker

2010 Update: I eventually saw all of the ‘Unseen’ movies. The Slammin’ Salmon was hilarious, Dorian Gray included tons of quotes from the book (my all time favorite book!) so I loved that aspect of it, I enjoyed Moon, Bad Lieutenant & The Hurt Locker, & I felt that Crazy Heart & An Education were overrated. You need to care about the characters to make a film work & I didn’t even like, let alone care about them. I liked the 60’s look of An Education though. My late brother was a bigger alcoholic than Bridges’ character & I still didn’t feel empathy for his character.

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You know when a movie is so fantastically bad that it’s incredibly fun/funny? This movie is like a John Waters’ wet dream.  I felt like renting a film starring James Franco after hearing about his current turn on General Hospital.I remembered seeing a commercial years ago for a Made for HBO movie starring Franco as a whore. So I Netflixed it expecting your run of the mill redemption story. That is how it starts out with his character returning from the army.

However it descends into wonderful camp. He & Brenda Blethyn (as his mother) overact all over the place while Men Suvari & Harry Dean Stanton (Big Love) are believable. It’s as if they are acting in 2 different movies. Some high/low points: Franco dressed as a cop in a scene out of an old porno that spirals into the old lady demanding to be fucked with his nightstick, the phrase “she’s had you selling cock since you were 12 years old” & a cameo by Nic Cage as “Acid Yellow”, a homosexual pimp. I also have no idea when the movie is supposed to be set. It was released in ’02, Suvari wears ’80s clothes & there is a date scene with 2 girls that is straight out of the ’50s.

When the credits roll on playing a techno version of Ring of Fire you aren’t the least bit surprised. Then you come to find out that it was in the words of the included trailer the “directorial debut of Nicolas Cage”. I think “from the twisted mind of Nic Cage” would have been more accurate. While I don’t turn down action packed Nic Cage vehicles, it makes you long for his older oddball work.

FYI: You also get to see Franco bare-assed.

BUY

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