22 10 2009

PREFACE: I mentioned back in Random Factoid #42 that I had gone through a stint of reviewing movies when I was 13. After rummaging through my old home computer, I managed to find some of these reviews. In a special five day mini-series, I will reveal these reviews in their unadulterated form. I leave it up to you to comment, see how my style has changed (or maybe hasn’t). The third part in the series concerns Adam Sandler’s “Click.”

All great comedians have a style of humor.  Adam Sandler’s involves having every character curse at one time or another (kids included), overly long gags, and half-hearted attempts at having a heart.  Although Click still fits the Adam Sandler stereotype, you walk out of the theater feeling something…a first for the marvelous comedian.  Sandler plays architect Michael Newman who is torn between being with his family and working hard to give his family everything. Kate Beckinsale plays his wife, who looks gorgeous but does not show enough emotion to be convincing.  One day, he is fed up with his frustrating and seemingly mediocre life.  To make matters worse, he can’t find the remote for the TV.  He goes to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to look for a universal remote, where Morty (hint: there’s something in the name) gives him the top of the line.  Soon, Michael figures out how to control his universe using the remote.  He can turn down the volume on his dog, mute his sister-in-law, and do picture in picture.  Life is all good for Michael.  He can finally give his scumbucket boss (marvelously played by David Hasselhoff) a piece of his fist.  However, the remote has a mind of its own.  It begins to program itself by things that Michael has been doing a lot.  While he fast-forwards, Michael is on auto-pilot where he is there but doesn’t talk.  As he fast-forwards to his next promotion, he discovers a year has passed by and that his marriage is on the rocks.  The remote fast-forwards ten years to which he is CEO of the company.  His wife ran off with the swimming instructor who sports a Speedo at all times, he is incredibly obese from bad eating habits, and things are out of control.  Click is hysterical, but isn’t afraid to be melancholy to get across the message.  This is the best Adam Sandler movie yet, and without a doubt the only one with a relevant theme.  There is incredibly mindless humor at times, but it made the audience think…something new for this genre.  3halfstars

Random Factoid #32

29 08 2009

My moviegoing pet peeve is crying babies.  Most people know by now that talking on your cell phone during a movie is like urinating in your front lawn – that is, something that you just know not to do.  With the dawn of the iPhone and other touch screen cell phones, the annoying clicking of texters has been significantly minimized.  And I talk a lot during movies, so for me to say that is my pet peeve would be extremely hypocritical.

But whenever some couple brings their infant to the movie with them because they were too lazy to get a babysitter, I want to go punch a wall.  The majority of the time, they start whining and crying.  Unfortunately, most parents are too busy serving their selfish desire to watch a movie to take their disruptive child into the lobby, thus ruining the movie for the rest of the audience who has paid good money to see the movie.

I do have a specific worst crying baby moment.  I was at “Funny People,” and I was jammed next to a woman and her baby.  I knew that it would be bad news before the movie started when her daughter wouldn’t stop whining during the pre-show entertainment.  She managed to keep it together for the beginning of the movie, but I knew she was a ticking time bomb.  During a poignant and emotional scene between Adam Sandler and Leslie Mann, the baby starts screaming at a level so loud that it blocked out the sound from the movie.  And if the audience was staring bullets at her mother, she must have been wearing a Kevlar body suit.  She let her daughter scream and cry for over 2 minutes before taking her out, just in time to ruin the scene for the entire theater.

REVIEW: Funny People

31 07 2009

Funny People” is a solid effort by director/screenwriter Judd Apatow, but it falls just short of what it hopes to accomplish: a perfect blend of comedy and human drama that is both touching and amusing.  I walked out of the theater just thinking about all the potential it had, and I nailed the main factor as to why it paled in comparison to Apatow’s previous features, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and the uproarious “Knocked Up.”  It loses the sense of realism and relatability that Apatow nails so brilliantly.  The story concerns itself with comedians, one a superstar, one at the cusp of stardom, and several right underneath that cusp.  These people have a funny exterior, but when you peel back the layers, they are vulnerable, troubled, and quite dark.  It is harder to identify with these people because their problems are so detached from our own, as supposed to previous Apatow characters like the slacker, the virgin, the control freak, and many other “normal people.”

If you saw the first trailer for the movie, you know just about all there is to know about the plot.  George Simmons (Adam Sandler) is a lonely comedian diagnosed with a terrible disease and prepares himself for death, mainly by trying to form a true human relationship with another comedian, Ira Wright (Seth Rogen).  But when he appears to be cured, he tries to reclaim what he has lost in his life, mainly Laura (Leslie Mann), an old girlfriend who he let slip away.  Sprinkle in a ripped Australian husband for Laura (Eric Bana), a few of Ira’s friends trying to make it big (Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman), a quirky love interest for Ira (Aubrey Plaza), and a few celebrity cameos, and you have “Funny People” in essence. Read the rest of this entry »