The Grinch

The Grinch would be the biggest Dr. Seuss effect on society if it wasn’t for that feline that wore head accessories.

Speaking of the Cat of the Hat, I have still never seen that live action movie. But it was supposedly terrible, so bad that that the Seuss family said no more live action films. Just animated. Which means that eventually we got to have The Lorax from Illumination Entertainment, a company normally on my shitlist, because they make shit to average films.

And despite seemingly having any Seuss thing to work with, they figured they could just do The Grinch again. Why? I don’t know. We have a successful animated 2D version, and a successful 3D live action version, so I guess we need another version, this time animated and 3D.

If it was a better company, I would be annoyed because they could have decided to do One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish instead. Maybe Tim Burton will tackle that one after Dumbo.

Snowman
One way to ruin Christmas is to teach the local youth about jerking someone else off.

Oh yeah, this is the section where I talk about the plot of The Grinch.

So uhhh, there is this place called Whoville, where all these Whooligans live in splendor and wonder. They are overtly happy and cheerful, and for whatever reason, they all enjoy the shit out of Christmas. Decorations, noise, presents, togetherness, food, you name it. Christmas is number one. Celebrations all month long.

But someone doesn’t love Christmas. No, he hates it. The Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch) lives in a mountain outside of Whoville, alone and bitter, with his dog, Max. He just wants to be left alone, but he has to visit Whoville to buy food occasionally. Normally he hides up all December to avoid the festivities.

This year, however, he has to return and get involved. Because they are putting everything bigger, 3 times bigger at least, and that he cannot stand. He must steal this Christmas from them, to make them feel as sad as he does all the time. That will show those Whos who’s boss.

Also featuring Angela Lansbury, Cameron Seely, Kenan Thompson, Rashida Jones, and Pharrell Williams at the narrator.

Santa
That’s not Santa! Santa Claus is a black man!

There is only really one major point I want to harp on, so I will get to the quicker stuff first. The Grinch doesn’t seem mean, just sad and lame. The film felt too long, and featured what turned out to be an unnecessary reindeer plot to pad the time. And the backstory they gave to him paints the city of Whoville as a terrible place to be with a bunch of assholes, and also sort of makes his behavior completely justifiable. Great.

However, besides all of that, I have a question. Do you think the Whos in Whoville worship Jesus or believe in any sort of god? Because in the last two movies and the book, they have not made any references to Jesus or religion. They celebrate Christmas like Americans, the secular ones at least. Presents, Santa, food, and togetherness.

There are no mangers in Whoville! This is not Earth at all, it is its own planet or city or entity. Shit, maybe it is on a snowflake.

But not in this movie. The first sign was when a choir was singing “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” in what was definitely a minute long and silly scene. It took me out of the movie. They had Angels on trees, which isn’t as bad. But then even later, there was a singing of Silent Night, another very religious song.

These movie makers are so out of touch with the material, that they are getting their own potential Christmas traditions mixed up with Whoville Christmas traditions and that is a problem.

Come on, you know it is true. A fundamental breakdown of this magnitude is either agenda driven, or a lack of intelligence, neither of which should be celebrated.

1 out of 4.

Hot Girls Wanted

It is hard to be a girl. People don’t let you drive late at night. Being some sort of freak, where people all sit and stare with their eyes. You know, being a girl, all pretty and petite. And people won’t let you have any rights.

And other lyrics from Just A Girl, where I get all my go to info on what it is like girl-ing.

Hot Girls Wanted is an interesting title because it can be read in many different ways. There is the “Oh shit, is that person trying to buy attractive women?” way. There is the obvious statement of “Of course hot girls are wanted, no shit sherlock.” And there is the “Wait, why did they say girls? That’s creepy.”

And I guess the answer for this documentary is basically yes to all of that.

HGW
One of the riskiest google searches for pics for this movie in recent history.

This movie is about the amateur porn business! Thanks to the internet, there is porn in every dirty nook and cranny and they need a lot of people to do it. Apparently the “amateur porn” stuff, or entry level porn for the women involved, is all over the USA, not just California anymore (thanks to laws they have regarding condoms). Especially in Miami! Girls can find a Craigslist ad to get into porn, head on down, stay in a house with other women trying to break it into the field, and live the life of luxury!

Unless…unless the porn business isn’t as glamorous as people imagine? That wouldn’t be the point of this documentary, would it?

Well, probably. This documentary premiered at Sundance this year and is probably only famous because Rashida Jones is a producer (along with like, 15 other people).

In actuality, the film more or less talks about 4-6 porn workers. I wouldn’t call them porn stars, because they aren’t industry leading names or anything. No, these are the ladies who found ads on craigslist and are doing a shoot here or there earning a couple hundred bucks to a thousand dollars a shoot, hoping one day to lead to stardom.

And then we learn a lot about pron archetypes that are about abuse and forced situations to make everyone uncomfortable watching, and then we see what the ladies are now doing with their lives after the fact.

If there was any one real interesting part, I would say the awkwardness of one girl telling her parents and the conversations surrounding it. Yeah, that is solid docu-tainment right there. My issues with the rest of the documentary is that overall it felt kind of pointless. It tried to argue against this type of stuff, I think, but they did it through 5-6 text on screen scenes randomly put in the documentary and that was it. No porn experts, no psychologists, nothing. Just the girls in the situation over presumably a few weeks.

So all in all, Hot Girls Wanted just felt very incomplete and a little bit boring. I guess it is an okay subject to show and talk about, I just wanted something more. Some sort of analysis. Some sort of better point.

2 out of 4.

Cuban Fury

I really don’t think I can come up with a clever introduction to this review of Cuban Fury. Literally, no amusing anecdotes at all.

Well, maybe one. This movie is about a big guy salsa dancing. Hey. I am a big guy, and I was a big guy when I was on a Salsa Dance Team and a Ballroom Dance Team. I think I’d be able to relate to it very nicely.

I also like two of the three people on the cover. But I won’t tell you who is who.

Early
I think I literally own that exact outfit. Actually, both outfits.

Bruce (Nick Frost) used to be a great salsa dancer. He was arguably the best of the best with his partner, rising through the ranks and proud to be a dancer. Then he quit. He was getting embarassed. People made fun of him and he quit. What a kid.

Now look at Bruce. Middle aged, working for a random company, miserable and fat.

But he is a bit interested in this person at his job, Julia (Rashida Jones). Just she is really pretty and he isn’t. He accidentally stumbles upon her at a Salsa class. SALSA. He can get back into form and do something impressive, she might like him.

Kind of very creepy, actually. But what is creepier is the other work mate, Drew (Chris O’Dowd), your standard dick, also is in to her and sabotaging Bruce and getting to hang out with her. But he is only an okay dancer.

Bruce might have the wrong ideas about why he is doing what he is doing, but with the help of his former coach (Ian McShane) and a very…intense man from a dance class (Kayvan Novak), he is able to relearn the steps he once knew. But more important, he is going to learn self confidence, trust in himself, and realize he shouldn’t be doing this to impress a woman. He should be doing it for himself.

Finale
But hey look, he still gets her in the end. I guess.

Alright alright alright. The plot line is straight out of the 80s / 90s, yes. That is terrible. It is literally about a guy who is fat and ugly (personality wise too) playing the blame game and thinking he can’t do anything right. We should be past all these types of films. So that is why, despite the initial conditions, I was happy to find that it was more about his own personal journey and gaining confidence than winning the girl. Sure, that was a driving factor, but in reality by the end he knew he had to do it for himself and no one else. Yay some sort of moral!

But outside of that, unfortunately the movie didn’t have a ton going for it. It was an okay story and some okay jokes for the most part. There was one scene in particular that caused me to rewind the movie a little bit back, just to rewatch it again because it actually ended up being hilarious and I wanted to make sure I saw it correctly. That was great. If you see it, you will know the scene.

But you know. O’Dowd was a typical jerk, a lot of the plot was a typical underdog sports movie. It just didn’t have a ton unique going for it. Sad to say.

Oh well, time to ignore this one forever.

1 out of 4.

Celeste & Jesse Forever

Celeste & Jesse Forever is a movie that I am pretty sure I heard about…once… maybe, and then never again. So imagine my surprise when I see it and say sure. I mean, a lot of those Rudd-esque actors have been in lesser movies they made themself recently. I loved Jeff Who Lives At Home, not even sure why. THIS COULD BE MY NEXT JEFF.

Couple
WELL? WHICH ONE OF YOU WILL BE MY NEW JEFF?

Neither.

Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) are the best of friends. They play dumb penis games. But they are DIVORCED! AND STILL FINE WITH EACH OTHER. Saying they will still just be friends is never what actually happens. But I guess it is for them?

Well their friends (Ari Graynor, Eric Christian Olsen) are tired of it. They are basically married, without it. They demand more room, damn it. Jesse is a slacker/artist, not finding a stable job, potentially too childish. Celeste is a hard working woman. She can’t put up with his shit anymore.

So they decide to actually try to be apart. Celeste tries to date other men, who all have flaws (not to mention her own). And Jesse has a girlfriend (Rebecca Dayan). Pregnant. Who he wants to marry. Huh. Who’s childish now, bitch!?

Also featuring a hobbit as a friend.

Hobbit
Guess which one?

Celeste & Jesse Forever is written by…Rashida Jones herself! Her first foray into writing, so I also assume this movie was her idea which explains why she is the main character.

The script is complicated, characters have layers, people change throughout the movie. Everything you’d want in a good drama. But…but…I didn’t care?

I guess its a hard way to describe it. But despite the details, I just didn’t care about the characters or story. Realistic, sure. But entertaining? Not really for me.

Hooray, website based on my opinions on things!

But seriously, I think this movie is lacking something and its hard to describe. But the acting is nice, the story is a good idea. It just needs more. Maybe next time Rashida.

2 out of 4.

The Social Network

Everyone knows about The Social Network.

Everyone. I mean, come on. You do. You all probably saw it. But damn it, I wanted to write about it anyways.

Because sometimes you just want to write about a greatm ovie.

BU girl
And it’s all because of some BU girl.

Also I should note that I recognize that this is mostly a work of fiction, and based on true events. But you know, might as well write about it as if it is real.

Mark Zuckerberg got dumped by Erica Albright. He also talks, a lot. He goes to Harvard and can’t understand why he got dumped. So he did what any reasonable guy doe, gets drunk and makes a website to compare all of the women in college to one another, and crash the Harvard network.

This gets him noticed by the Winklevoss twins, two olympic rowers. They have the idea of making a Harvard based social networking site, and by making it a lot more exclusive than something like Mypace. You have to get invited, have to have the harvard.edu, no weird band people etc. They want Zuckerberg to fix the site and make it live for them. But he is inspired by it. And kind of takes their idea.

Getting one of his roommates, Eduardo, to invest in his project and have a third stake in the company, he eventually makes The Facebook and becomes instantly “popular” on campus. The decide to expand to local colleges and hire some other people to work for them. Eduardo wants to get advertisement for their site to make money, while Mark just wants the site to be cool and grow. Advertisements aren’t cool.

They also eventually meet Sean Parker, the founder of Napster, who immediately befriends Mark and pisses off Eduardo. He convinces them to move to LA to set up a company, and weasels his way in. Despite being broke at that point, he now knows a lot of people helping facebook get into the door. Lots of conflict, and lots of people get pissed off.

The movie is told with the twins and Eduardo currently suing Mark for different reasons, and their pre court hearings are used as the device for telling the story, up until Eduardo gets tricked out of the company. Rashida Jones is also in this movie as “Random lawyer helpful person” who preps people before they go in front a jury.

JT
No idea why he is seen as a bad influence.

I realize how ridiculous going over the plot actually is. I mean, its about the invention of facebook. That sounds very uninteresting in itself. Whod have thought there was lots of drama behind it? Intense drama at that.

When I first heard about it, I thought it was dumb, but the previews were so well made and epic looking, I just had to watch it. And it did not disappoint. Despite being two hours, I feel as if the movie goes very fast and flies by for me, which I think is a sign of a great movie. The acting is great, the dialogue is great, but that is expected when Aaron Sorkin is writing the dialogue.

If for some reason you still haven’t seen TSN, you need to. But I am pretty sure there doesn’t exist anyone in that category.

4 out of 4.

The Muppets

I can’t say I know much about The Muppets. Pretty sure I watched more of the Muppet Babies cartoon than any actual muppet movie or show. And by pretty sure I mean 100% positive. I have seen many episodes of that cartoon, and no episodes of the old Muppets show or any Muppet movie before. Just wasn’t raised on them, my bad.

So needless to say the only preconceived notions I had on this movie was that A) a lot of people loved it and B) the title was dumb/vague.

Muppets
I like that dog one myself.

In this world, I guess Muppets are just real things. I couldn’t tell if all things that were Muppets like were known as Muppets, or if only this select group of /things/ were known as the Muppets. A third option is that they are more or less identical to real people, and the people who were part of the show The Muppets are the Muppets. I think that is the real answer? Kind of weird though.

The story is about a “Guy” named Walter, who clearly is a muppet. Or at least a weird looking human. He is best friends with Jason Segel‘s character, and they are roommates for like, forever. Jason has been dating his girlfriend for 10 years, Amy Adams, and on their anniversary they are going to the magical land of Los Angeles. She also happens to be a school teacher, and I was weirded out when it was her and NOT Alyson Hannigan.

They invite Walter along too, because he is lonely, and wants to see the Muppet studios. He is obsessed with that show. Like, really obsessed. That is all he talks about. Kind of makes sense why not many friends. So of course all he wants to do is see the studio. Amy Adams main goal is to finally have alone time with her boyfriend and maybe get a proposal finally. But shit goes wrong. Turns out an “evil” man (Chris Cooper) is about to but the old studio, because there is oil underneath it. And in the original contract, they have until some time next week to buy it again for $10 million.

Walter flips a shit, and wants to try and stop him. So he finds and convinces Kermit to “Get the band back together” and that people “Still care” about them, and hopefully try and save their studio. So they get all the Muppets they can and work on getting a telethon the day before to hopefully raise enough money, with a lot of musical acts, and host Jack Black!

Also, eventually Jason stops being such a jackass, and realizes he is dating Amy Freaking Adams and does the right thing. Don’t worry.

Tons of cameos of famous people playing themselves or other weird roles, including Rashida Jones, Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman, Kristen Schaal, Donald Glover, and Emily Blunt.

Walter
Look at this noob. He is too fanboyish to be a real Muppet.

Honestly, I thought the plot was pretty weak. The ending didn’t seem to make much sense to me. Heart warming, sure, but nonsensical. I don’t want to spoil it, but feel free to ask me if you saw the movie, haha.

BUT. I did like a lot of the jokes. When they were getting all the muppets, and needed to do it in a montage? That was great. And map travel. I also enjoyed a lot of the music. The songs involving Amy Adams and Jason Segel were my favorite, but the Muppet only songs during their telethon were pretty entertaining as well. Especially the barber shop quartet.

But out of all that, it just means I might be more willing to buy* the CD, and not really care about watching the movie again. It was decent, probably a lot better for those that you know, grew up with the muppets though.

2 out of 4.

The Big Year

Apparently if I watched some of the trailers for The Big Year, you still wouldn’t really know what it is about. I will tell you right now. BIRDING. Or Bird Watching, if you want to be lame about it. Yes. The art of looking at birds and feeling good about yourself.

Mort importantly, A Big Year in the birding world is a competition to see who can see the most birds in a single calendar year. The competition can be state / province based, lower 48 states, or the biggest area of all states except Hawaii, and a bunch of other territories around the US. I didn’t learn these until I wiki’d that shit.

Big Year
Can you tell who each of these three big actors are by just this picture alone?

So the story tells of three different “birders” who are attempting the big year. Owen Wilson plays an expert birder. In 2003 he reached a new record for A Big Year, reaching 723, putting him into instant celebrity status. Well, pseudo celebrity. Dude can find a bird like no other. He hasn’t attempted another big year since, but this year he is just going to do it for a few months, set the pace, make sure no one is getting close to his record. But will his dedication and drive break apart another marriage?

Steve Martin is a CEO who is retiring finally. Super rich, he wants to try a big year, full support with his wife, JoBeth Williams. But his job constantly is bugging him to return to the game, to fix problems, to even take another job. Joel McHale and Kevin Pollak are the corporate D-bags who continue to harass him throughout the year, warning him that after retirement, comes death.

Jack Black is the narrator and also attempting for the first time. He has trained to recognize any bird by a few notes only. He isn’t rich though, kind of poor, disapproving dad, and working a full time job to help pay for this during the year. But he is inspired to finally do something with his life. If he could also woo over Rashida Jones (who can do hundreds of bird noises on her own (I think in real life too?)), double win. Bird love. All that shit.

The movie shows the three men and their journey across America, just doing the things they love. They don’t travel together, but they run into each other enough to build a rivalry. Of course they don’t want others to know they are doing a big year, will make them no longer help them out. The movie probably sounds super boring. Bird watching. Wtf?

ACTION
But look, there is some action!

Of course this whole thing is based on the honor system. Don’t have to take pictures, because hearing the bird counts as well. So it sounds like cheating may happen, and obviously it is dealt with in the movie. Not to mention Jim Parsons of Big Bang Theory slinks about in the movie as well.

But overall? The story was definitely done pretty nicely. By the end, you don’t hate Owen’s character like you’d expect. Everyone has their own appeal and their own “happy ending” so to speak. Had some chuckles, and hey, good for the whole family.

2 out of 4.

Our Idiot Brother

Our Idiot Brother, or “that movie where Paul Rudd has a beard and long hair” can somewhat be compared to Hesher.

Why? Because the main characters both have long hair, when normally they don’t have long hair. Outside of the head situation, movies are quite different though.

sweater
Also, Rudd wears nifty sweaters, while “Hesher” doesn’t own shirts.

The movie begins with Paul Rudd being PUT IN JAIL! For selling pot. But he is a friendly guy. He got out of jail pretty early. See, he isn’t an “idiot”. He just assumes the best out of everyone. Why would people want to screw him over?

Enter his sisters. Liz (Emily Mortimer), the oldest, married to Steve Coogan, a documentary maker. Then there is Miranda (Elizabeth Banks, who looks way too much like Parker Posey), writer for some sort of magazine! Has a neighbor too, Adam Scott, and she is very bossy. And last he has Zooey Deschanel, hippy sexual sister, living with like, seven roommates and currently lesbianing it up with Rashida Jones (who is the “more successful stern” lesbian).

After being released from prison, he is kicked out of his old home, and lives with the different members of his family. Of course while he does, he “Accidentally screws everything up” by doing the right thing, trying to make everyone happy, and believing other people to honest / not so cynical. So more or less, he is just a good free spirit, who doesn’t think the world is out to get him.

And that’s the movie. By the end they all love each other and have their lives fixed (and in better standing) than before, and then they do a giant disco party.

just kid
Hah! No disco party. Sorry. But here is Zooey and Rashida.

It was an enjoyable movie, but I thought it could have been a lot better. Not sure if I will ever watch it again, but glad I got to see it at least once. Paul was great in this role, pretty different than his normally “ahhh everything so stressful!” roles. His character does crack near the end, and it was great. The sisters all had good chemistry with each other and him, and it actually felt like a family.

2 out of 4.

I Love You, Man

I Love You, Man is my first review of a movie that has been requested of me. Every movie I have seen (except for a few I saw in theaters) have been based off of one time viewings only. I owned this DVD already, so I had seen it once or twice before, so this review is more than a first reaction. Oh boy! I will have to do more reviews of things I have already seen, to help bring an influx of reviews to the site.

If anything, this movie can win an award for being one of the few movies where you don’t immediately hate yourself a bit because Jaime Pressly is in it. Yay small roles! I am however fine with her in TV shows.

Pressly Earl
“Hey Darnell!”

Most of you know the movie, but it stars Paul Rudd, about to get married to Rashida Jones, but they come to the realization he doesn’t really have any male friends. Not even his family can think of any (Parents, J.K. Simmons and Jane Curtin, brother is Andy Samberg).

So Rudd has to try to find new friends, going on a few mandates and failing miserably. Thankfully at a house showing of Lou Ferrigno‘s house, he meets Jason Segel, and the rest is history! The film explores how hard it is to make friends when your older. Even though it isn’t an Apatow movie, it still has the awkwardness down to a T.

What really makes this movie is the chemistry between Rudd and Segel. I found Rashida Jones to not be as good in it the movie, but eh, not everyone can be perfect. The movie does a good job of making you feel annoyed at the annoying parts. I could go the rest of my life without hearing Slappin’ Da Bass, which was an obviously bad inside joke in the movie, yet for some reason people like to bring that annoyingly bad saying into my real life conversations with them. Fuckers.

Although a very decent movie, it is probably one best enjoyed with many months of downtimes between viewings.

Hulk Lou
By now you probably know, if there can be a Hulk image, there will be.

3 out of 4.