This Is the End (2013)


Take Yo Panties Off!

This Is the End (2013)Based on the poster alone, I had no interest in seeing today’s movie.  I liked the people I saw on the poster, but I’ve seen them all in movies that were both great and awful, so the poster alone couldn’t really capture my attention.  But that’s why they make trailers.  When I started seeing the trailers for the movie, my desire to see it took to a sharp incline.  The trailer wasn’t laugh out loud funny, but that could be a good thing in this case.  The trailer should just show the potential for the movie; not spoil the best jokes.  And that’s what this trailer did.  Plus, the premise seemed fantastic.  But Friendboss Josh already had an appointment to see this movie with his girlfriend, the Whitney-Bird.  So we went down to the theaters to catch Man of Steel instead.  But that shit was sold out.  Good thing for me, Friendboss Josh values his friendshipbossship with me more than he values vagina, so we went to see This Is the End, written and directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and starring Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Emma Watson, Michael Cera, Jason Segel, David Krumholtz, Paul Rudd, Mindy Kaling, Martin Starr, Channing Tatum, Kevin Hart, Rihanna, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Aziz Ansari.

Jay Baruchel goes to Los Angeles to visit his friend Seth Rogen.  After a celebratory day of smoking weed and playing video games, Rogen suggests that the two of them go to a party at James Franco’s house, but Baruchel doesn’t want to go because he doesn’t know or like anyone at the party and worries about being left alone there.  Sure enough, upon arriving to the party Rogen goes off on his own, leaving Baruchel in uncomfortable conversations with people like Michael Cera, Emma Watson, and Rihanna.  Rogen and Baruchel walk down to a store to pick up some snacks, but their shopping is interrupted when blue beams of light grab some of the shoppers and drag them up to the heavens.  Then the fuckin’ apocalypse happens, instantly killing many of the celebrities at Franco’s party, leaving Rogen, Baruchel, Franco, Craig Robinson, and Jonah Hill alone in the house to fend for themselves.  They ration out what little supplies they have and go to sleep for the night.  When they wake up, they find that Danny McBride had crashed the party and fallen asleep in a bathroom upstairs, and had come down and prepared all of their food for breakfast.  How will this group of sheltered celebrities be able to survive the reckoning?

I feel like I won’t have very much to say about this movie.  What I will say is this: this is probably the best comedy I’ve seen in a very long time.  I just can’t think of very many funny things that I could put in a review about something that was keeping me laughing super consistently for the greater majority of the movie.  There was a moment to make me laugh out loud at least once every five minutes.  That’s one hell of a ratio!  I barely ever laugh in movies, so that should tell you just what I think about this movie.  I would say that it could be easily argued that the story was a little underwhelming.  It was mainly just an excuse to get these really funny people into situations they could improvise jokes about.  But a comedy doesn’t really need to blow you away with story.  One of my favorite comedies is Airplane! and that’s really all that movie is.  I’m not going to come back here and write a review about the fact that its story wasn’t spectacular when all it was trying to be was a comedy and it kept me laughing.

The cameos in this movie are crazy.  They have ridiculous celebrities in this movie.  I liked most of those people and was tickled to see them in this, and I even really liked the celebrities that I don’t normally like.  Rihanna had a funny moment with Michael Cera, Channing Tatum had an amazing joke, and even though I don’t like them, the Backstreet Boys reveal was pretty awesome, albeit unnecessary.  Jay Baruchel was a little whiny in the movie, but he was also plenty funny.  Seth Rogen was hilarious.  I did think that it didn’t make sense for people to act like he wouldn’t get into heaven if he used Jesus’ name in vain.  He’s Jewish!  They don’t care about Jesus!  James Franco had plenty of funny moments as well.  I especially liked the story he told about Lindsay Lohan thinking he was Jake Gyllenhaal and him telling her to call him the Prince of Persia.  Danny McBride is always a strange character for me.  He never really plays anyone likeable, but he’s really good at playing that character.  And he made a great joke about Franco being gay.  I would say if there were anything bad to say about the cast of this movie it would be that Emma Watson had too small of a part in the movie.  She was great in the movie, and the parts she was in were pretty hilarious, but I want to look at her at all times, and I also want to have a little resolution to what happened to her.  After she leaves, we never see her again.  I assume there’s no way she could go to heaven because she portrayed a witch in 8 movies, so that’s means she’s for sure Hell bound, but the movie never said for sure.

I really can’t do much in a review of This Is the End.  I cannot add funny to the funniest movie I’ve seen in a long time.  This movie was created by a bunch of professionally funny people, and I do this for free.  The story was an interesting idea, but a little simplistic, but who cares because it was mostly there to set up some really funny people being funny.  This movie kept me laughing all the way through, giving me only brief pauses to catch my breath so I wouldn’t die while watching it.  You definitely need to get out to see this movie as soon as you can.  I can’t imagine you’ll regret it.  This Is the End gets “The power of Christ compels you!” out of “I’d be pretty bummed if I don’t at least get a bite of the Milky Way.”

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What’s Your Number? (2011)


Are You Going to Rape and Kill Me Later?

The only inspiration I had for watching today’s movie was my love of the main actress in it.  I know I’ve said that I was in love with probably 20 actresses by now, but I like to keep my options open.  And that’s kind of what today’s movie is about.  I knew the basic premise of today’s movie and knew that it was a comedy, but was mainly drawn to the movie by the star.  I’m sure there was a point when it was available on RedBox, but I found the movie on Netflix and got the disc sent to me.  So let’s check in with What’s Your Number?, written by Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden, directed by Mark Mylod, and starring Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Ari Graynor, Blythe Danner, Ed Begley Jr., Heather Burns, Eliza Coupe, Kate Simses, Tika Sumpter, Dave Annable, Joel McHale, Chris Pratt, Zachary Quinto, Martin Freeman, Andy Samberg, Thomas Lennon, Anthony Mackie, Mike Vogel, and Aziz Ansari.

Ally Darling (Anna Faris) makes the mistake of reading an article that says that the average number of sexual relationships a woman has is 10.5.  Ally has had 19.  Finding that her number is so much higher than all of the people she knows, and the article saying that women that are too sexually available never find a husband, Ally resolves to not have sex again until she’s found her husband.  It goes great for her … for all of a few hours, when she gets really drunk at her sisters bachelorette party and sleeps with her ex-boss Roger (Joel McHale).  Having reached 20, and having no desire to stay with the ball scratcher/finger sniffer Roger, Ally decides that her only solution is to find all of the other 19 guys she’s slept with to determine if they are better prospects since the last time they were in her.  She enlists the help of her neighbor, Colin (Chris Evans), and gets started on some poor decision making.

I was vaguely fond of this movie, but probably not for many reasons you’ll find in this paragraph.  The story didn’t really connect with me.  It seemed like some chick read an article in Marie Claire, got pissed because it made her look like a whore, and then decided to make a movie that vindicated her.  I don’t know if 10 is the actual number or not, but if someone is worried about how guys will feel about their number then they should probably be more discerning with their vagina.  I can’t speak for all guys, but I’d say that I personally wouldn’t care that much about what a girl’s number was as long as she didn’t have a kid or any other venereal diseases.  Most of Ally’s reactions to her predicament annoyed me with how little they made sense.  Her first reaction is to get sloppy drunk at a bar.  Yeah, ‘cause no one’s ever slept with someone under those circumstances.  Well, Ally was able to be the first person to do it, ruining her number and leaving her in the situation where she made her next poor decision to try to find old boyfriends.  As they pointed out in the movie, you probably left those guys for a reason.  Also, if you tell a guy that you had sex with 20 guys, his reaction will probably not be much different than telling him you had 21.  So, instead of locking your vag and looking through your old black book, do what you should have been doing already and hold out on the sex until you like a guy.  But that probably wouldn’t have made much of a movie premise, so we let it slide so long as they make a funny movie.  They never really manage to pull that off either.  I would say that this movie finishes as “cute”, but the actual laughs in the movie are few and far between.  They try often enough, but I’d say the movie only managed about three laughs out of me.  I appreciated that Ally realized, as she was climbing a wall to get to someone, that she probably should’ve just waited for him at his apartment.  It was what I was thinking at that point and it got a laugh out of me that they pointed out that it didn’t make that much sense.  The movie also follows a pretty basic romantic comedy pattern, but it does it so slowly that the lack of some real funniness leaves you wishing they would just get to the conclusion that you know they’re heading towards already.  Another thing that I’m pretty sure I’ve noticed in other romantic comedies is that they always pick the strangest little hobbies for the main character to enjoy and somehow find employment from.  I remember in Bridesmaids that Kristen Wiig’s character loved to make cupcakes.  In this movie, Ally strangely loves to make creepy little dioramas that Mr. Right tells her she should do for a living.  Why can’t they ever do something normal and more typical with their time, like writing reviews in all of their free time?

I think the performances are what charmed me the most in this movie.  I’ve been a big fan of Anna Faris since the first time I saw her.  Not only do I find her gorgeous, but she’s typically very funny in all of the movies she’s in.  She’s never really been given the opportunity to participate in a really good comedy, and I have no idea why.  I think she’s got great comedic timing and tends to bring it to all of her movies.  In this movie, she did what she could with material that was spotty at best.  The real thing she brought for me was intense hotness and being almost naked numerous times in the movie.  And what’s more is that I feel the exact same bunch of stuff can be said for Chris Evans.  He’s really good looking, he was nearly naked a lot in this movie, and he’s a pretty good comedic actor.  He’s had much better luck in his career than Anna Faris has, but mostly with action flicks.  Though he was the comic relief in Losers and the Fantastic Four movies, the only actual comedy I’ve seen him in before this was Not Another Teen Movie, but he was pretty funny in that.  I liked Ari Graynor as well, though the only thing that sticks with me that she did was that I liked her vows at her wedding.  I also found the crew that they got as representatives of the 20 guys Ally had sex with were interesting.  The majority of them were pretty big actors that just popped in for a scene.  People like Joel McHale, Zachary Quinto, Martin Freeman, Andy Samberg, Thomas Lennon, Anthony Mackie, the voice of Aziz Ansari, and Anna Faris’ real life husband Chris Pratt.

What’s Your Number? manages to make up for what it’s missing in quality writing and comedy with its two main actors.  It’s got a couple of solid laughs in the movie, but they’re too far spread out and left me just wanting them to cut to the chase and reach the conclusion that you can see coming from about 20 minutes in.  If you’re in the market for a romantic comedy, you could do much worse than this one and it’s at least worth a watch.  If you’ve no interest in a romantic comedy, then you have no real reason to pay this movie any mind.  What’s Your Number? gets “I know that I’m not perfect, but I wanna be with somebody who appreciates me” out of “How’s your blow job?”

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30 Minutes or Less (2011)


I’m Holding the Bomb

When I noticed this very day that today’s movie was available at a RedBox near me, I decided I needed to see it. Not because I expected it to be good, but because it was a movie and I watch those. I had heard vaguely good things about this comedy, but mostly from people whose opinions I do not value when it comes to the quality of movies. So going into this movie, I had no strong opinions either way. Let’s see if I was right! This movie is 30 Minutes or Less, written by Michael Diliberti, directed by Ruben Fleischer, and starring Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari, Nick Swardson, Fred Ward, Bianca Kajlich, Michael Pena, and Dilshad Vadsaria.

Because I went into this movie with this knowledge, I’m going to share it with you because it may have skewed my opinion of the movie itself. A very similar incident to what happened in this movie actually happened in real life, with less comedy and more actual person dying. A pizza delivery guy named Brian Wells actually had an explosive device strapped to him and he was made to rob a bank in 2003. The police captured him, but the bomb went off and killed him before the bomb squad could arrive. Also, everyone involved in this movie (from what I’ve read) acted like they had no knowledge of this incident before the movie and it was just coincidence that a pizza delivery guy has an explosive device strapped to him and he was made to rob a bank in their movie. Personally, I find myself a bit skeptical that they had no knowledge of it. I grant that I didn’t know about that incident myself, but I also didn’t write a movie that was exactly like it. Let’s see how a guy’s death becomes a comedy in this movie though.

Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) is a pizza delivery guy. He and friend, Chet (Aziz Ansari) get into a big fight one day because Nick slept with Chet’s twin sister, Kate (Dilshad Vadsaria). Elsewhere in the same town, two guys are shooting at watermelons with a crossbow. One of them, Travis (Nick Swardson), straps mini-bombs to the watermelons for added amusement. I’m sure his internet-taught abilities to make bombs will never come up again. The other guy, Dwayne (Danny McBride), is fed up with living with his domineering, rich father who is called Major (Fred Ward). To forget their sorrows, Travis and Dwayne go to a strip club to see them some titties. Dwayne confides his story to one of the strippers, Juicy (Bianca Kajlich), who convinces Dwayne to give her $100,000 dollars to hire an assassin to kill his dad. Their big plan to get the money (which probably came from some news story, or maybe people around the world are actually getting this idea around the same time) is to get a pizza delivery boy, strap a bomb to him, and get him to rob a bank. Nick is their unlucky victim. Nick recruits Chet to help him and the two attempt to get the money in time to save Nick’s life.

I’ve made it fairly clear that I am extremely dubious that the filmmakers were completely unaware of the Brian Wells situation. What I haven’t made clear is that I would totally accept a comedy based on an unfortunate situation if it were funny enough. The biggest problem with this movie is that it’s not funny. In some situations in this movie, I wasn’t even sure what was supposed to be funny. Jesse Eisenberg makes a Facebook comment that I assume was intended to be funny at one point, but I didn’t press the “like” button on that one. The rest of them I saw were trying to be funny, they just weren’t. The next paragraph will give you my thoughts on why most of the comedy was lost on me, but for the most part, I blame the writers. I assume there was some improv to be had in this movie, but I would say the majority of the failed comedy would be the fault of the writers. A lot of things in this movie just didn’t make sense on a story level either. This would be easily forgiven were the movie funny. There were perhaps plot holes in Hot Tub Time Machine, but you don’t see a comedy for it’s story, you see it for it’s comedy. Since I wasn’t wasting my time laughing in this movie, I paid more attention to the story. First, it’s not a funny situation. Perhaps the fact that this kind of thing happened in real life made the situation too real, but it’s a situation better suited for a drama or an action movie. I don’t see the humor in life threatening situations. Or, perhaps I just didn’t see it in this movie. Jesse and Aziz spend a lot of time fucking around before they go to rob the bank, especially for a guy wearing a bomb and a guy sitting next to a guy wearing a bomb. They go shopping, go get food, go see Jesse’s girlfriend, and Jesse tells off his boss before they decide to work on getting the bomb off by robbing the bank. Then it takes them all of 5 minutes to knock that part out and escape the cops before going back to fucking around. Aziz also feels pretty comfortable making jokes about his friend who MAY be having a bit of a bad day. Another thing that bothered me is that these guys robbed the bank with plastic guns. They get the REAL gun away from the security guard at the bank, and later encounter yet another real gun, but neither of them ever think that they might be able to make use of a real gun and never pick these guns up. One of the big problems of the movie was the amount of money everyone was after. I’m not rich by a long shot, but $100,000 is not THAT much. You DID rob a bank, guys. You could’ve gotten away with more than that. The biggest problem with this movie BY FAR is that Michael Pena’s character makes a joke about the Konami code, calling it the Contra code, and reciting it as something like Up, Down, Up, Down, Select, Start. That’s bullshit, guys! The Konami code is Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start! You completely lost me at that point in the movie. And also when you didn’t do anything funny.

If I were to put this movie’s cast in order of comedic value in the movie, it would read as: Nick Swardson, Michael Pena, the end. But let’s go in order. Jesse Eisenberg doesn’t do anything comical that I can recall in this movie, but I was impressed to see that – once he got the bomb on – his performance was pretty great. He acted like Jesse Eisenberg for the first part of the movie, but when the bomb got on, he was frantic and scared. Danny McBride is really starting to bum me out. This will sound familiar to you if you’ve read all of my reviews, but “Danny McBride plays the same character Danny McBride always plays”. I need to copy that and paste it into future McBride movies. Again, this didn’t used to be a bad thing, but the last time he was funny in a movie was Tropic Thunder. I hope he can get into better movies in the future, otherwise he’s going to lose all appeal for me. I love Nick Swardson. Nick Swardson is a very strange case because he’s a hilarious guy who is usually only in awful movies, but he’s usually the funniest part. I haven’t seen Bucky Larson yet, so his ratio is still pretty good. He’s probably the funniest character in this movie, but even he doesn’t get me to laugh here. Another strange thing about the people in this movie is that people find Aziz Ansari funny. I’m not saying they’re wrong, I’m just saying that I disagree. I find Aziz to be aggressively unfunny. I’ve seen him in a couple movies, I’ve seen him in a TV show, I’ve just never seen him do something funny. Michael Pena was a strange character. He looked like a classic gangbanger, but had a really quirky quality to him that I found vaguely amusing. Just not enough to be funny with the words coming out of his mouth. On a positive note, Dilshad Vadsaria is hot.

I had heard good things about this movie, but it failed to deliver in my opinion. That being the case, I cannot personally recommend you see this movie, but I can say you can find it on RedBox so you can watch it on the cheap and form your own opinions. To me, this movie had a story not suited for comedy, which worked out for it because it also wasn’t funny. So, 30 Minutes or Less gets “Sometimes fate pulls out its big ol’ cock and slaps you right in the face” out of “Fucking victory tacos”.

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Parks and Recreation: Season One (2009)


I’ll Give You Two More Seasons, But Then I’m Out

I just realized recently that I had only done one TV show review. And, since I just recently cancelled my cable TV service, I figured this was the best time to do another one. This TV was one I had heard a lot about and only finally decided to try watching because I found it on Netflix streaming and I just finished catching up on 30 Rock. So I decided to watch a very similar show, Parks and Recreation, starring Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Paul Schneider, and Chris Pratt.

There’s not a lot of summarizing to do here. The whole premise of season one is that Amy Poehler is the head of a Parks and Recreation committee and Rashida Jones is an angry resident of a neighborhood where there is an empty lot with a deep pit in the ground that her boyfriend, Chris Pratt, fell in and broke his legs. Poehler decides that they should build a park on that lot and the rest of season one is basically about that. In episode two, they go around asking people in the neighborhood if they want the park. Most say “no”. In episode three, Poehler gets interviewed by a reporter about it. In episode three, Poehler gets in trouble because she was drinking with some guys from the office on the lot and underage Aubrey Plaza posted a video on the internet of her drinking. In episode five, Poehler goes to a banquet honoring her mother. And in the last episode, episode six, they go to a rock show of Chris Pratt’s band after his leg casts come off. The park has not yet been built.

I went into this show really wanting to like it. I like Amy Poehler a lot from Upright Citizens Brigade, Baby Mama, and SNL. I like Aubrey Plaza from what little I know about her, mainly from Scott Pilgrim. A lot of people like Aziz Ansari. And a lot of people also like this show. But I just didn’t find myself liking this show that much, at least not from the first season. I’m still giving it a shot with season two because sometimes it takes shows a little while to become awesome, but I’m not talking about later seasons yet since I haven’t watched them. But this show seems to be a lot like a midway point between the Office and 30 Rock, two shows that I really like. 30 Rock had a bit of a shaky start, but I’m pretty sure I was into it by episode 2 or 3. The Office also had a longer shaky start, mainly because they were so concerned with staying a lot around the British version until they decided to make the show their own. But this show shares the same style as the Office of having it be like a documentary film crew is watching the people of this building and they have a boss that means well but is kind of stupid and doesn’t have very good people skills. Liz Lemon from 30 Rock is smarter than the other two bosses, but definitely has people problems. I think what this one lacks is the strong supporting cast that the Office and 30 Rock has, or at least the storylines to allow them to shine. The Office has Pam, Jim, and Dwight to back up Michael Scott. 30 Rock has Jack, Jenna, Tracy, Kenneth, Frank, Toofer, and Cerie in Liz’s corner. Parks mainly focuses on Poehler and Rashida Jones.

Sadly, I didn’t laugh at all in these six episodes. I wanted to like it so bad and it bummed me out that nothing did anything for me here. I like Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones so much but there weren’t any good jokes in season one. Rashida’s boyfriend in this, Chris Pratt, was a pretty typical douchey boyfriend, just like Pam’s boyfriend in the Office. I have never really liked Aziz Ansari either. The persona he takes in the movies and TV shows I’ve seen him in just annoys me. And, since I’ve never seen him in a different role, I’ll stick to that. Aubrey Plaza didn’t have much of a part in the show yet, so not much to say there. Nick Offerman was an entertaining character that will hopefully get better as time goes on.

I don’t have very much to say about this show and that bums me out. I wanted to like it so much but I didn’t find it funny and nothing really impressed me yet. Again, that may just be something they’ll overcome as time goes on, so we’ll see about that when I finish season two. I just think it reminds me too much of two shows I like much more and that may have hurt this show. But I feel like it does have potential, so I’m still watching. So, I’ll give this show “I had hoped for more” out of “I may need more practice reviewing TV shows”.

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