F.I.L.M. of the Week (December 21, 2012)

21 12 2012

There are few movies in the world that can make me laugh harder than “Role Models,” my pick for “F.I.L.M. of the Week.”  An R-rated romp that slipped through the cracks for most upon release in 2008, David Wain’s riotous comedy is fantastic through and through.  It’s held up miraculously well, too – trust me, I’ve watched it dozens of times and still bust a gut.

As the two leads doing a comic man/straight man routine, Seann William Scott and Paul Rudd are absolute perfection.  Scott gets to play the absurd variation of the Stifler character for “American Pie” that made him famous, while Paul Rudd plays perhaps his best bleakly blunt pessimist yet.  Though Rudd rings real in opposition to the ridiculous Scott, that doesn’t mean he’s grim or depressing.  Rather, he’s all the funnier and relatable as Paul Rudd proves once again he might be the most adept actor at bringing all our frustrations and annoyances to comedic light.

The free-wheeling Wheeler (Scott) and Danny (Rudd) find themselves in a world of trouble after a particularly bad day on the job peddling energy drinks to kids.  But rather than go to prison for their trail of destruction, they wind up getting community service at Sturdy Wings, a Big Brother-Little Brother type program.  The two quickly find out that prison is a more appealing option than most people would consider.

First of all, Sturdy Wings is run by a crackpot ex-alcoholic and drug addict, Gayle Sweeney – played by Jane Lynch pre-Sue Sylvester (this part probably got her that character).  And to say she steals the show is a vast understatement.  You only hear every other line from her because your laughs from one line bleed over well into the next one.  She speaks in bizarre metaphors that don’t make sense and LOVES reminding everyone of her former habits to a painstakingly hilarious extent.

And Gayle pairs them with two “littles” that scared off everyone else who was volunteering.  Wheeler gets stuck with a firecracker in Ronnie, a crude and manipulative little version of himself.  Danny, on the other hand, is given Augie, an introvert with a good heart that loves nothing more than a good live-action roleplaying game.  Their adventures are strange and funny, leading them to campfires and virtual battlefields, but David Wain brings a funny-bone and a heart to every moment of it.  His “Role Models” packs an excellent message of mentoring and guidance towards becoming a better person without ever being sappy or cheesy; rather, he finds a way to get it across smoothly with laughs, smiles, and good feelings all around.

Random Factoid #449

20 10 2010

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I’m back again (along with everyone else in the world) to bash an article with incredibly poor logic and taste, this one surprisingly coming from the prestigious New York Times.  Michael Cieply published an article entitled “Longing for the Lines That Had Us at Hello,” lamenting what he called the “lost art” of the one-liner.  Such a statement is just begging to be refuted.

Clearly Cieply has been living under a rock for the past decade.  Perhaps he missed when “Juno” started a revolution in vocabulary and shook up the jargon like no movie had ever done before?  I probably quote that movie in some form or fashion EVERY DAY, be it through the use of one word or rattling off an entire line.

Comedy over the past decade has churned out many a great one-liner; two particular favorites of mine are “Role Models” and “Knocked Up,” both of which hit you with quotable line after quotable line.

But even if comedy is too “low-brow” for Mr. Cieply, plenty of dramas over the past ten years have quotable lines.  I’ll run you through one for each year among the Best Picture nominees.

  • 2000: “What we do in this life echoes in eternity!” (Gladiator)
  • 2001: “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” (LOTR)
  • 2002: “My precious!” (LOTR)
  • 2003: “We wash our sins, we bury them clean.” (Mystic River)
  • 2004: “Anyone can lose one fight.” (Million Dollar Baby)
  • 2005: “I wish I could quit you.” (Brokeback Mountain)
  • 2006: “Maybe.  Maybe not.  Maybe go f*** yourself.” (The Departed)
  • 2007: “Call it, friendo.” (No Country for Old Men)/”I drink your milkshake!” (There Will Be Blood)
  • 2008: “Jamal! Latika!” (Slumdog Millionaire)
  • 2009: “That’s a bingo!” (Inglourious Basterds)

So needless to say, there ARE great lines in non-comedies nowadays.  And it’s not like this problem has escalated this year; as Vulture points out, we have an outstanding quotable movie in “The Social Network.”  Here are the ten lines they pull out of Aaron Sorkin’s phenomenal script that they think we will be quoting soon enough.

1. “If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you would have invented Facebook.”
2. “I’m six-foot-five, 220 pounds, and there’s two of me.” Great for bar fights!
3. “A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? A billion dollars.”
4. “You better lawyer up, asshole.”
5. “Like my brother and I are dressed in skeleton costumes chasing the karate kid around a high-school gym.”
6. “Because we’re gentlemen of Harvard.”
7. “I like standing next to you, [insert name]. It makes me look tough in comparison.”
8. Using “The Winklevi” in a sentence. When being dismissive, generally.
9. “If your clients want to sit on my shoulders and call themselves tall, they have the right to give it a try.”
10. “I believe I deserve some sort of recognition from this Ad Board.”

So, Mr. Cieply, here’s my proof that you are indeed very, very wrong.  I’ll keep quoting movies all day long, and you can continue living on your cloud of ignorance if you so desire.

(P.S. – Is it something in the New York water?  See Random Factoid #376 for a similarly styled refutation of a detestable article published in New York Magazine a few months ago.)

Random Factoid #375

7 08 2010

As if a divinely sent sign after a melancholy morning, I discovered I was tagged in the “Happy 101” meme sweeping the blogosphere by fellow teen blogger Dan the Man.  Thanks, homes.

I have a bunch of time today to watch movies (although I will be finishing up summer reading and doing college application work too), and I was planning on watching some heavier stuff.  But after this morning, I needed a cheer-up movie or, at the very least, something that wasn’t going to be a huge downer.  So as I’m writing, I am watching “Almost Famous” for only the second time, a movie that I love and is raising my spirits some.

But in the spirit of the meme, here are ten movies that I’ve watched on TV recently fora good smile:

  1. Father of the Bride
  2. Mrs. Doubtfire
  3. The Little Rascals
  4. Amelie
  5. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
  6. Shrek 2
  7. Knocked Up
  8. Baby Mama
  9. Wanted
  10. Role Models

Sorry, but I’ll pass on tagging because everyone I read has pretty much been taken care of – and it’s really late.  My mind is tired after a third viewing of “Inception.”

Oh, and here’s the nifty little graphic thing that I should probably include.