Tag: Jonah Hill

The LEGO Batman Movie

If you are new here, I have rallied against animated films so far this year. We just had a summer with Cars 3 and Despicable Me 3, both incredibly bad to super bad films. And these are our tent pole films for the year more or less!

There is very little hope of animated films saving it by the end of the year, but I openly acknowledge that I had not yet seen The LEGO Batman Movie. I know a lot of people enjoyed it, our first LEGO movie since The LEGO Movie.

But I am one of the people who only gave The LEGO Movie a 3 out of 4, it was no where close to being my favorite animated movie of the year, but it was quality and hilarious, I give you that. Despite that, I was never looking forward to this movie. I was disappointed to hear it as a sequel.

I want some new original LEGO content, not relying specifically (mostly?) on pop culture content from a single established franchise. I also acknowledge that the previous LEGO film was FULL of pop culture content, but it wasn’t entirely. This just feels…well, unoriginal.

Robin
Now that brightly colored chap, he seems like a great way to take any brooding franchise.

Ah yes, Gotham, city of villains and crime and 1 super rich dude and some vigilantism. Batman (Will Arnett) is the best and everyone loves him! But he lives a life alone, mostly hanging out in his house, sometimes interacting with Alfred (Ralph Fiennes). But you know, just being a lone with all his money, cool gadgets, and lobsters.

He is still really good at fighting crime though, and even when the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) gets a shit ton of villains to work together to blow up the city, Batman still stops them. Even worse, Batman refuses to acknowledge the Joker as his greatest villain, his foil, his reason for Batmanning. So now the Joker feels bad. Batman just shuts the door on everyone!

However, with a new commissioner in Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson), they are going to focus less on Batman and more on actually catching these bad guys who still terrorize the streets. And you know, maybe focus on getting them fixed instead of just imprisoned. And shit, it starts to work, so Batman has even less to do and no one to hang out with in his increased downtime. Except for Dick Grayson (Michael Cera), whom he accidentally adopted.

Of course eventually some stuff happens and things get really bad, but Batman has to learn to work with others if he is going to defeat this new threat!

Featuring an incredible slew of famous people doing extremely minor voices, because YOLO. Seriously, most of these people have like, 1-2 lines, or grunts, or one scene.Again most, there are like two people thrown in here who have slightly more lines. Totally pointless for the most part still, so, whatever. We got Adam DeVine, Billy Dee Williams, Channing Tatum, Conan O’Brien, Doug Benson, Eddie Izzard, Ellie Kemper, Hector Elizondo, Jason Mantzoukas, Jemaine Clement, Jenny Slate, Jonah Hill, Kate Micucci, Mariah Carey, Riki Lindhome, Seth Green, and Zoe Kravitz.

Joker
And just think, that wall of text is just the famous people you know who did voices.

Right away in the film, we get introduced to the Joker and his plans to take over Gotham once and for all, with a giant team of villains on his side, which are all presumably real Batman villains. Action, fighting extreme. I was shocked it happened so early, but since this film mostly deals with Batman’s loneliness, we needed to just get him doing Batman stuff, so we could see him existing waiting to do more Batman stuff.

And that part was just…okay. It didn’t connect with me on an emotional level or anything, because this is a film focused on comedy, so it went for quick jokes instead. And to contrast the opening, the ending is long and even more action packed. Even more villains, many more than you’d expect in a Batman movie, and explosions, and action and…

Being overwhelmed. That is what this movie felt like. It went to the extremes early on, then it went to the extremes in the end. In the middle, it is mostly lowkey, plot stuff. My body didn’t enjoy the “rollercoaster”. It failed to find a middle ground, and frankly, basically all of the action felt so excessive that it was not enjoyable from my point of view.

The best parts of the film were just Batman interacting with Robin and Barbara, regular dialogue for regular jokes. But the majority of the plot was off, along with my earlier complaint. It was an okay film when it comes to entertainment, but not one I am rushing off to buy and talk about over and over, like The LEGO Movie.

And now, also this year, we have The LEGO Ninjago Movie? This is based on their own IP, so hopefully they stick to their own stories to give a good film and don’t rely so heavily on other franchises pop culture references.

2 out of 4.

War Dogs

War Dogs came and went and no one cared. And you know what that is?

Jonah Hill is back to being fat in it. Not only is he fat, but he looks uncomfortably rapey. Everyone thought that skinny Jonah would not be funny, but he totally is! And then from then on, Fat Jonah was put in shitty movies. Like The Sitter.

Needless to say, the Fat Jonah theory is definitely one of the main reasons I stayed away, and it sounds like a lot of people in America stayed away as well. I can only hope it is for the same reason.

Suit
Fuck, they don’t even make him reasonable to look at when they put him in a suit.

This is partially a story about David Packouz (Miles Teller), a man in love and who cannot find good work. He has spent a lot of money on some high quality sheets to sell discounted to retirement homes, but the retirement homes don’t want nice sheets for people going to die soon. His only real income is giving massages which is not his ideal job either.

His lady Iz (Ana de Armas) is taking care of them. Until he runs into an old buddy from high school, Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill), who eventually invites him to join his company. The company, AEY (which stands for nothing), is a sort of middle man company, who sells arms to the US government for the ongoing War in Iraq.

How did he get into that business? Long story, it is shady, but they are making their money by getting weapons from other countries and bringing them to Iraq, sometimes physically on their own. And once they get paid and people like what they get, they get more government contracts and start to live like fat cats. These are the deals that big contractors don’t bother with, but will still make them millions.

But eventually the money gets to their head, and the pursuit of more and more money. This leads to problems. This leads to threats.

Also featuring Patrick St. Esprit, Kevin Pollak, and Bradley Cooper.

GUNS
Making money off of war. There is a word for that I think.

It was hard to get a lot out of War Dogs. Just from the basic color scheme of the film they go out of their and way to make it unpleasant looking.

Just look at our main characters. They didn’t even try to accurately look like the people they portrayed. Nothing. Alike. At all. They are only similar in that they are men. Normally in these things they try and make them at least look similar. The casting director here gave no fucks, went for who they wanted, and in addition to it, decided to make Hill as ugly as they possibly could to drive home a point.

What was that point? That the charcter was a scumbag. Of course this is all based on testimony of the other guy, who wrote a book and got less prison time. Of course he will make himself seem not too bad.

Somehow despite everything I still found it an okay watch. They rushed through a lot of things and the entire thing seemed to hurt my eyes, but in there somewhere is an okay story with a decent lesson.

Fuck bitches, get money. Or else I think that is what the lesson was.

2 out of 4.

Sausage Party

I wanted to see Sausage Party, I honestly did. I loved the first trailer, avoided all other spoilers, and wrote it on my calendar. But then real life made me miss it and I had to wait weeks to see it. Having kids doesn’t help.

But I didn’t mean to see Sausage Party for today’s review. No, I went to the theater to see Hell or High Water, everyone told me I had to! Well, word of mouth is powerful and it was in a small dinky theater and sold out. Thankfully, Sausage Party was roughly the same time starting, so I easily went ther and just moved it up my schedule a couple weeks.

Hey. Sweet. Now I can have some laughs and review two animated films in a row this week! And also dick jokes. Dick jokes, sex jokes, death jokes, stoner jokes. Hilarious.

Party
I haven’t seen food party this much since Foodfight!

Frank (Seth Rogen) is a sausage. Not just any sausage. A horny sausage, ready to fuck. He has some other wiener palls, like Carl (Jonah Hill), Troy (Anders Holm), and Barry (Michael Cera), who is a bit deformed and smaller than normal. His package is right next to a nice package of buns, including Brenda (Kristen Wiig), his soul mate.

Or fuck mate. They really wanna screw. They want to get picked together by one of the Gods to go into the Great Beyond, outside of the supermarket. And soon is “Red, White, and Blue” day, so their chances of getting picked are high! And of course, the Gods have spoken, and they were chosen together to live out their wildest fantasies.

But then the unthinkable happens. The Honey Mustard (Danny McBride) was returned and he went crazy. He said the Great Beyond was a lie. Everything outside was terrible. And he caused a cart accident. Food went flying, Disaster. Frank and Brenda were left outside the cart to survive on their own. With Sammy Bagel Jr. (Edward Norton) and Kareem Abdul Lavash (David Krumholtz), who keep fighting.

Can they determine the truth of the Great Beyond? Or were they punished by the Gods for touching tips? How will their friends survive in the outside world? Can I ask more questions about the food sex?

Also featuring Bill Hader as a Native American stereotype, Salma Hayek as a taco, Craig Robinson as grits, Paul Rudd as a nerdy sales clerk/jerk, James Franco as a stoner, and Nick Kroll as a big douche.

Gasp
Some say a big douche is just the roll that Nick Kroll was born to play.

Sausage Party at its core is an insane film. Apparently it came out just wondering what a film would be like if food had feelings (something Pixar hadn’t touched on yet), and Rogen realized it would be an incredibly fucked up film. And a fucked up film is what we got.

It is basically the most adult animated film since South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut and even has a musical number! And by adult humor, I don’t mean sophisticated tax jokes, but you know, sex, language and drugs. So 14 year old humor, if you will.

It will make you cringe, make you laugh, and maybe make you cry. The references are out of control, including an amazing visual from Saving Private Ryan. It was constantly surprising with the direction it went, including two different turn of events near the end. You know, when they fight for freedom and celebrate their potential freedom.

Because like I said earlier, they just wanted to fuck. That’s life in a nutshell.

Sausage Party is raunchy and honestly a film I can imagine watching and hiding from my own kids for years to come.

3 out of 4.

Hail, Caesar!

Fuck yes. I am hyped. I am beyond hyped. I am too hyped.

I am hyped because I am excited to see Hail, Caesar!, potentially the first great movie of the year. We are out of January, and things can start to look up, if only for a little bit.

But hold the fucking phone. Two years ago, on the first Friday of February 2014, a different movie came out that I was super hyped for. That was The Monuments Men. I assume everyone knows that The Monuments Men ended up being one of the most disappointing films of that year, given that it had such an excellent cast and potential, but it was entirely squandered.

And George Clooney starred in both of them. Arguably there is more talent behind the scenes this time, but he has let me down before almost two years to the day.

So I am going in a bit timid. Excited, hoping for the best, but weary nonetheless.

Cloon
BUT CLOONEY IS THE GREATEST ACTOR OF ALL TIME.

In the 1950’s, Hollywood was a rough place. It was chaotic. There was no CGI. The sets were big and the egos were bigger. Heck, people were talking and singing in movies now. In color. Everything is splashy and outlandish.

Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) is a man who loves his wife and kids and is a devout Catholic. But he is a hard ass and he knows what needs to be done. He is one of the heads of Capitol studios, the biggest studio in Hollywood, and he is a fixer. He works long hours, looks at the film dailies, and make sure everything goes according to plan. That means makes sure the actors are where they are, finding replacements, protecting the image of everyone working there from a potential disaster. He is a one man wrecking crew, but like, the opposite of wrecking, because he saves everything.

So when Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) goes missing from his set of Hail, Caesar!, a giant historic epoch of a Roman general who met Jesus before he was crucified and became a believer, Mannix was on the case.

Mannix will also have to deal with a western actor being forced into serious drama (Alden Ehrenreich), the acclaimed director who cannot stand it (Ralph Fiennes), a singing swimming starlet whom is pregnant but unmarried (Scarlet Johansson), gossip columnists (Tilda Swinton), and maybe leaving this job behind for a similar, better paying, easier job in the tech industry. He doesn’t have to worry about Burt Gurney (Channing Tatum) though, he’s perfect.

Also featuring Frances McDormand, Jonah Hill, Veronica Osorio, and Alison Pill. They all basically have only one scene. But Heather Goldenhersh has a bunch, still minor.

Mermaid
Every good film has a mermaid in it.

Oh you Coen brothers. You sly devils. I originally watched the trailer for Hail, Caesar! assuming it would be a period peace film. I love Ancient Rome things, and I would love it if they decided to put their hats into that ring. But it wasn’t about ancient Rome, it was about Hollywood and many film genres of the 1950’s. They decided to go meta with it, allowing multiple story lines and themes, providing a bit of satire along the way.

Well, I still hope in the future they give me a movie about Ancient Rome with George Clooney in it. I will be wait. Thankfully, Hail, Caesar! was a great movie to watch to help pass the time.

H,C! was hilarious. It really had my funny knee in stitches. I might be getting some of that terminology wrong, but I giggled quite hard many a time. In particular, I loved the religious round table, the scenes between Ehrenreich and Fiennes, and the song and dance numbers. Ehrenreich killed it in this film, despite still being relatively unknown. He has the same sort of vocal twang he had in Beautiful Creatures that made me so happy, so I was glad to hear it again.

Brolin did a nice job of carrying the film, although his character felt like a lot of his previous roles. Clooney and Tatum were also swell.

What can I say? The Coen brothers are a great team. They know how to write together and direct together. They consistently put out high quality entertainment, even though not everything is a guaranteed hit, you know there is a good chance it will at least still be zany.

4 out of 4.

True Story

True Story is a True Story! And given the cast, it is going to be a hilarious romp about a real life situation that is probably grossly exaggerated!

Or or or or! No, maybe this is a pseudo-sequel to This Is The End? Our main characters playing themselves, maybe pre-Apocalypse!

Wait. What? This is a Drama/Thriller? But but…the cast. This doesn’t make sense.

I think I need a moment before I write this review. Please close the page and come back in ten minutes to finish it to let it all sink in.

Prison1
We can wait all day.

Michael Finkel (Jonah Hill) is a reporter for the New York Times and Christian Longo (James Franco) is a prisoner who maybe murdered his wife and three kids!

Basically twins. Finkel only learns about Longo after he was found in Mexico, using Finkel’s name as an alias. Finkel had his own problems, like maybe fabricating details of a story about African refugees to make it sound worse for one guy. But at least his problems don’t involve murdering his family.

So Finkel heads over to Longo in prison to figure out his story. Figure out why he was using his name. Figure out what lead him to his current situation. You know, the mind of a killer. Or the mind of someone in a terrible situation. Hey, that’d be a good book probably. Finkel should write it. Yeah.

And Felicity Jones is in this movie! The main 3 all Academy Award nominated people! She is Finkel’s wife. And Ethan Suplee is in this movie! Not nominated though. And not a wife.

Prison2
If prison movies have taught me anything, men can be wives as well.

This movie is directed by Rupert Goold. Haven’t heard of him? Well, this is his first movie, his only other directing coming from two TV shows of British TV. I think for a first time movie, he did a good job.

Now, the first third to maybe even half felt incredibly slow to me. And a drab boring. It was reducing me to close my eyes quite frequently. Despite that, throughout the film the shots were normally set up beautifully. Good framing and a lot of longer shots allowing the actors to act.

At times, it did feel like too much though. Too much time of characters just staring off into distance, feeling angsty, with dark brooding music. Too much of the film trying to turn it into a bigger mystery than it really ended up being. It doesn’t help that Franco’s character has the slowest talking voice ever.

It was an okay movie, and again, some of the acting was top notch at some point. Felicity Jones felt mostly wasted outside of one pretty intense scene. Some very good visuals. But really a movie I probably wont want to see again for a long time.

Shit. Do any pictures of this movie exist that aren’t just of these guys talking at a prison? Looking accross the internet that is basically it, minus a courtroom picture or two of Franco, but they look the same as well given the outfits.

Oh here’s another.

Prison3
2 out of 4.

22 Jump Street

If I told you four years ago that not only would a 21 Jump Street comedy be made, but that Jonah Hill would be involved, and they’d have a sequel called 22 Jump Street, you would have kicked me in the nuts. Then publicly shamed me for being a terrible person. You also may have been slightly confused at the oddly specific-ness of that foretelling.

For all intents and purposes, 21 Jump Street should not have done as well as it did. But it ended up being funny, making a lot of money, and here we are. And this time, they don’t care what you think.

Fuck You
Picture speaks for itself.

College! That is where our heroes, Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill) are going. Same aliases. There is a new new drug that has its own list of side effects that killed a girl. So they are going to infiltrate the dealer, find the supplier and take them down. Hmm, same plot too.

But this time it is different. Because in College, people can be free thinkers. You also don’t need a hall pass.

This time, Jenko is going to try out for football looking for dealers, where he meets the quarterback Zook (Wyatt Russell), who is basically Jenko’s clone and instant best friend.

Schmidt is going the art kids route, looking for drama and poetry geeks who might be hitting the WHYPHY up hard. That is where he meets Maya (Amber Stevens) and gets a girlfriend out of it. It isn’t creepy like the last movie, because she is of age.

But no! It is not just the same! After all, their bosses are still played by Ice Cube and Nick Offerman. Because that makes sense. But the new thug bad guy is Peter Stormare. That is different. Not to mention we have people from Workaholics, like Jillian Bell and uhh. That might be it.

Basically, what is important though is that they have the same blanket set as I do in real life.

Rocket Car

After viewing, I determine that 22 Jump Street was like one very long and elaborate inside joke. That would be annoying normally, but here is the good news. You are in on the joke, too. It all makes sense, because you are a person who saw the first film and understands that everything probably has an extra layer of meaning to it.

That’s right. This film is really aware of itself/meta/whatever you want to call it. And it will beat you over head with the jokes and at least for me, it didn’t get stale at all. Not only did it just keep building and building, along with an increase in action, but they didn’t even stop when the movie ended. It had to be one of the more amazing/funny credits I have ever seen. And they didn’t even fill the credits with dumb outtakes or anything.

Tatum might just be a comedy guy. Hill’s character had its moments, mostly dealing with one fight scene near the end and his interactions with Ice Cube, but Tatum had so many laugh out loud lines and moments. Only a few were shown in the trailer. The “lightbulb” scene with Tatum might be the funniest thing I have seen in a movie in over a year. Just thinking about it makes me laugh.

I feel like I am giving out this rating far too much over the last few weeks, but seriously, movies are really earning their keep this summer. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are comedy gods and they should be worshiped as such.

4 out of 4.

How To Train Your Dragon 2

For those with a lot of courage, you may have seen my review for How To Train Your Dragon. Why courage? because that review is old and weak and it certainly shows. It is weak because it was one of my first 100, which I made in like a month by adding words from my facebook status reviews that they came from. And because I tried really hard to avoid spoilers that basically didn’t exist.

Basically, parts near the end bugged me so much it lowered an overall fantastic movie to a meh movie. I still haven’t rewatched it for that reason.

But now we have the sequel, How To Train Your Dragon 2. This one perfectly allows for the crap that happened in the first to not happen again, because now we are based with the assumption that dragons are awesome, and we should train them.

Flight
Yeah. So you can stoically sit on top of them doing zero tricks. Good job, guy.

Set five years after the events of the first film, Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is still a god amongst mortals in his small Viking town. Although technically not immortal, he does have cyborg parts now and a flame sword. So I mean, basically. He has his dragon, and now he is exploring more and more areas outside of the small town. After all, with dragons they now have the ability to explore, because Vikings rarely explored on their own.

While exploring he finds…dragon nappers! And giant sheets of unnatural ice through a fort. The nappers are lead by Erit (Kit Harington), who is collecting dragons with his crew for the great and powerful Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou). A mad man who claims to be able to control all of the dragons and wants to use them to take over the world. Your typical desires from an awkwardly darker skin character than everyone else in an animated movie.

Oh no!

It becomes up to Hiccup to use his excellent cyborg dragon abilities, and excellent sized human heart, to save the day. Especially if he can use the help of the mysterious dragon lady (Cate Blanchett), who you already know everything about if you watched the trailers. But in case you didn’t, you are welcome.

A lot of returning characters, such as his dad (Gerard Butler), the smithy (Craig Ferguson), his lady friend (America Ferrera) and his other friends (Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller). And of course, dragons.

Drago
And that is how I met and trained your dragon master’s mother.

First off, after the success of the first movie, DreamWorks starting thinking long term about this as a new franchise. So they put into development this sequel and a third film, at the same time. Which is why there was a four year delay between 1 and 2 (heavy CGI movies take a long time if done right (meaning not Planes)), but only two years before the third movie comes out.

Speaking of DreamWorks, I have hated or thought meh towards their last six movies. That is insane. Literally haven’t had a winner since Kung Fu Panda 2. Thankfully, How To Train Your Dragon 2 turned that downward spiral around. And I don’t just mean clockwise to counterclockwise, I mean up. Like a daring dragon flying maneuver.

This sequel has a lot going on for it. The CGI is extraordinary, which is probably too fancy of a word to describe it, but it really is gorgeous. They spent a lot of time and detail on every character, every scene, every dragon. Speaking of detail, the backgrounds of scenes are rarely pointless. They either showcase great scenes, or have hidden jokes and tomfoolery going on in the background as other characters are talking. It was awesome.

Bonus
To avoid this wall of text, here is a bonus picture. Just. No. Bonus. Joke.

There is a lot of humor, there is a lot of character growth, there are more than one touching moments, and there is a lot of daring fight scenes. In fact, there were some terrifying scenes, and some darker moments, including some potentially heavy material for a PG movie. One drowning scene in particular still makes me shudder.

I will say there are some issues I found in terms of messages they are trying to convey. I think some parts of the ending directly contradict information said earlier in the film, a similar message given to us by Pokemon: The First Movie – Mewtwo Strikes Back.

But overall? Shit, this thing is enjoyable. Minor moral issues aren’t a big problem. The 3D only seemed blurry in the first scene of the film, so that is good.

For those who have saw it, I made a theory halfway through the movie on how the third one might go, and the ending seemed to solidify it. I’d love to talk to anyone in private about my theory, but if it goes the way I hope, then yeah, it will be epic. But this is all jibberjabber at this point. Awesome flick, and probably going to be one of the top 3 animated movies this year (to go with The LEGO Movie, and The BoxTrolls, based on its fantastic trailers alone).

4 out of 4.

The Wolf Of Wall Street

Sometimes, the best publicity for a movie is a battle with the MPAA. Just ask Harvey Weinsten and the movie Bully. That is what (intentionally/unintentionally) happened with The Wolf Of Wall Street. It was supposed to come out on November 15, but after being given an NC-17 rating by the board, Martin Scorsese had to go back and cut some more material out of his three hour biopic of of one Jordan Belfort.

Which is why it was pushed back to Christmas (pushing back Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit to January 17. Same distributor, didn’t want to compete against itself). I couldn’t be happier that it got pushed back, either. Compared to last years Les Miserables and Django Unchained, this year’s releases needed a kick in the butt to be anywhere close as good.

Talk Wolf
A raunchy, naked woman filled hard kick in the butt.

Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), for all intents and purposes, was a self made man. His parents were accountants, and he wanted to go to Wall Street in the late 1980s to become a stock broker. He quickly got a job, became good buddies with the boss (Matthew McConaughey), and was taught all of the ins and outs of the business. Including the not so legal ins and outs.

Well, his first actual day as a stock broker, Black Monday happens, and the firm he works for quickly goes under. Back to being on the bottom, Belfort finds out about “penny stocks,” companies too little to be sold on the actual stock market, where the commission for a broker goes from 1% of the sale to 50% of the sale. If he can land some big fish on these worthless stocks, he could probably make fat cash quickly, with everyone none the wiser.

But that illegal activity is just the tip of the iceberg. Drugs. Money laundering. Drugs. Drugs. Prostitution. Tax fraud. Bribing officials. You name it, this guy did it. With the help of his very awkward buddy, Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), there ain’t nothing they can’t accomplish, or at least nothing that can’t be bought.

The Wolf Of Wall Street has a huge cast of characters, most of them actually quite important and memorable. Rob Reiner plays his dad, an angry accountant, and Kyle Chandler the FBI agent trying to bring him down. Cristin Milioti plays his original wife, and Margot Robbie plays his new wife. Jon Bernthal plays a drug dealer, and Jon Favreau his lawyer. Finally, last but not least, P.J. ByrneKenneth ChoiHenry ZebrowskiBrian Sacca and Ethan Suplee play his original start up friends and workers who carry him to the top.

DANCE DANCE DANCE DANCE
I don’t think I need to say anything for this one.

The Wolf Of Wall Street can best be summed up by three words: Unforgiving, Real, and Amazing.

I initially groaned at the three hour run time, and although it can be difficult to make it through if you drink a lot of fluids during the movie, the viewings at home when you can pause will be easy peasy. The three hours are full of so much tension and energy (while also constantly moving the story forward) that it all flies by in a jiffy. In the last twenty minutes or so, the extreme length became noticeable as the movie slowed down. But slowing down makes sense at that point in the movie, to fully understand that Belfort’s bubble had finally been burst.

The acting performances by everyone involved was incredible. DiCaprio, despite looking like himself, felt like a completely new man. Every time he got up on the microphone, I was in awe at the intensity and heartfelt that he showed. The second “chest bumping song” scene is unforgettable. On the other side, Hill didn’t look or sound like his normal self at all. Dare I say, he has actual acting talent?

The movie definitely earns its R rating, and it is pretty clear why originally it was given the NC-17. It was incredibly dark and funny, so much that I couldn’t tell if I really wanted to laugh or run and hide from the screen. It is a twisted version of the American Dream, a train wreck that somehow rampaged through the country side, and something that I could not take my eyes off.

Although I doubt it will be considered the best film of 2013, it can certainly be considered the most ambitious.

 

4 out of 4.

This Is The End

It is hard to pull off a movie like This Is The End. The actors end up playing fictional versions of themselves, setting the film in “the real world” where the stars are stars and the random people in the background are real random people. I should also mention this film is part of my Apocalypse Week.

In fact, I’d say some of the funniest cameos in history have been actors playing fictional versions of themselves, such as Neil Patrick Harris in the Harold and Kumar trilogy. So here we have a movie using only that joke and setting it during the Apocalypse? I smell comedy gold.

Cera
Michael Cera smells pussy.
Jay Baruchel (Jay Baruchel) is headed back to LA to visit his friend Seth Rogen (Seth Rogen). They used to be great friends, both being Canadian and growing up together, but now Seth is a lot bigger in Hollywood than Jay! So Seth he has new friends and seems to have moved on. Thus, Jay hates LA and all of Seth’s new friends.

But after getting high and chilling, Seth really wants to go to James Franco’s (James Franco) house for a killer party. He has a new place, it is supposed to be off the hook, and he promises to not leave Jay alone. They meet some of Seth’s new friends, like the ultra way too nice Jonah Hill (Jonah Hill), and the charismatic Craig Robinson (Craig Robinson). This might sound like a love story between Seth and Jay and in a way, it is.

Unfortunately during the party the apocalypse happens! Blue beams come out of the sky and take away the good members of society (meaning the actors are all left behind of course), leaving only the sinners and scum of the Earth left to wallow. We also get fires, sinkholes, darkness, ash, and maybe even the spawns of Satan roaming the streets, killin’ everybody in sight. Yay!

Too bad they also have Danny McBride (Danny McBride) stuck in their house, being the general unpleasant sourpuss that he is. For those curious, yes, he is identical to his Kenny Powers self.

We also a huge load of celebrity cameos, including Michael CeraEmma WatsonRihannaKevin HartAziz AnsariMindy KalingChristopher Mintz-Plasse and more.

FREAK OUT
This movie was very aware, very funny, and very awesome. It had thrills, chills, laughs and gas. It wasn’t a straight up “stoner comedy” either, which was a big fear of mine. Was there drug usage? Yes. But it wasn’t the main plot point. After all, supplies run low really quickly during an apocalypse.

The last “meta”-esque movie that I enjoyed this much was Tropic Thunder. Although it wasn’t the actors playing themselves, it was at least actors playing other actors and extreme versions of actor cliches. However, I expect this movie won’t lead to anyone getting a nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Long story short, I laughed constantly throughout this movie. I am sure over half of it is ad-libbed too, and yet I was still surprised at times at how far they went. I am excited to buy this on Blu-Ray to see all the outtakes. In fact, I bet even the commentary will be pretty dang awesome. It should also be noted that Michael Cera was even better in his small cameo than the trailer let on. If I had to change one thing, I would have added a lot more Danny McBride, who was by and large the funniest part of the film.

This Is The End isn’t for everyone, but it was almost perfect for me.

4 out of 4.

The Watch

The Watch had a lot of negative press surrounding it. Unfortunately its first previews started to appear right before the Trayvon Martin shooting down in Florida. Which was done of course by someone on a Neighborhood Watch patrol. Bad timing indeed!

But really this has very little to do with the plot of the movie. Because this movie is dick jokes and aliens.

Mouth face
Lets count how many dicks and aliens you see in this scene.

Evan (Ben Stiller) is a normal middle aged man living in Suburbia in Ohio. He founds a lot of clubs and cares for his community. But bad things happen. Very bad things. Like the security guard at Cotsco, HIS STORE, was brutally murdered and had his skin shaved off. Pretty damn gross. He realizes the cops in the town are pretty incompetent. There are only eight, and the main two hate him (Will Forte and Mel Rodriguez). Plus they think he is a suspect, since he had the ability to get into the store!

Well damn. So Evan founds the Neighborhood Watch while his wife (Rosemarie DeWitt) is away for a weekend, but interest is limited. He gets Bob (Vince Vaughn) a rich man who loves capitalism, but has to raise his daughter (Erin Moriarty) mostly alone because his wife travels for business, and really just wants some nice man friends. There is also Franklin (Jonah Hill) who now lives with his mom, wanted to be a cop, but failed all the tests, including the mental one. And Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) who also really wants to just hang out/fit in after a divorce, and has an Asian fetish.

This rag tag group of people are forced to do mundane things, until…Evan hits something with his car. And it has green slime! And there is a weird ball that explodes whatever they point it at, assuming they actually finger all the holes. Turns out it is Alien technology, and they might be dealing with a giant alien invasion in their small town Ohio!

I’m sure the creepy skin talking neighbor (Doug Jones) has nothing to do with it. Also Nicholas Braun is in this movie, as guy trying to get with Bob’s daughter. So you know he is going to get fucked up as well. And why does Evan not want to have sex with his own wife? Damn it, Evan.

Steam
Oh, so he lets out his steam another way? Do go on.

DICK JOKES. Dick jokes on dick jokes on dick jokes.

Honestly, I’d say that 85% of the humor in this movie was about the male genetalia. It just kept coming up, and came quite frequently. The other 15% would be spread out between some racial/ethnic humor, bromance, and then miscellaneous. But wow.

I didn’t think the plot was that bad. But a movie needs to penalized if it strikes the same funny chord as its go to mechanic. Thankfully the dick jokes were actually, mostly, well connected. But at the same time, it got quite annoying.

Vaughn played a character he always does, and Stiller basically the same. I would say Ayoade and Hill brought something different, since at least with Ayoade he hasn’t really been in an American film yet, and Hill got to play a pretty psychotic military character.

So sure, a bit disappointing, but thankfully it wasn’t complete trash.

2 out of 4.