Tag: Josh Gad

Frozen II

Seven years ago, Frozen hit the world one Thanksgiving week, and we weren’t ready for it. I don’t recall a lot about the trailers, but I do recall the teaser trailer, and it was very basic.

And you know what? I loved it. Most of the soundtrack was really good. They didn’t use Menzel enough, and Groff was ignored stupidly, but they could have done better. It was still a really good sign of Disney amping up their animation department, and led to the also quite perfect Moana!

And let me say, that for Frozen II, I wasn’t dreading it at all. I loved their first teaser trailer. It made this movie look darker, more plot focused, more adventure full. I was ready to be blown away.

A water horse in water? That makes sense. Land horses are on land.
Three years after the events of the first film, everything in Arendelle is going so darn swell. The gates have been open, people are happy and prosperous, and oh golly gee gumdrops, everything will stay the same.

Except… Elsa (Idina Menzel) is starting to hear a strange calling in the distance, and only she is hearing it. And Anna (Kristen Bell) is helping run things, she loves having all these freedoms. Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) is about to propose to Anna, but she is so preoccupied with her sister things keep coming up. And Olaf (Josh Gad) is dealing with his strange existence, getting older and more mature.

All of this only slightly matters. What matters the most is that voice, and all of the exposition the beginning of the film talked about. There used to be an enchanted nearby that the old King saw when he was a boy, and the two groups tried to be friends. But, betrayal! Sadness! And a lot of magic left the world.

I guess Elsa just has that magical adventure itch, because she gets the gang together after a disaster in their city to try and enter that blocked off enchanted forest to see if they can figure out what is going on, or maybe just that voice.

Also starring various voices by Alan Tudyk, Ciarán Hinds, Sterling K. Brown, Evan Rachel Wood, Alfred Molina, Martha Plimpton, Jason Ritter, Rachel Matthews, and Jeremy Sisto.

Reindeers rush better than people, Sven wouldn’t you say that’s true? 

Really early on in Frozen II is when I realized things weren’t going to be as good as I had hoped. It started with a scene from their childhood, pre trolls interfering with memory. And it had the long story their dad said about the forest, and a bonus mom song. And the entirety of the movie relies on the scene.

The entirety of a sequel relying on a scene that didn’t happen in the first film? Ugh. There were a lot of plot points they could have naturally done based on the first film. Hell, they could have done most of this film without that scene. But really this just feels like changing the canon. Sure, that kid conversation could have happened in their life and not changed the first film at all. But it now just feels tacked on.

Another downgrade for me is the music overall. Now of course, I love that they gave Groff his own song and parts of other songs, keeping true to his character. They also used Menzel more. But most of the songs don’t capture the spirit to me like they did in the first film. I already listened to the soundtrack a second time and I am not left with whimsy, I’m not wanting to hear and sing a long over and over.

Again, overall, the plot is okay. It has some good parts, some lame parts, some rushed parts, and some tacked on parts. Some of the Elsa and Anna scenes are really strong, but the film overall feels a lot weaker. And that is a shame. It will still probably win an Oscar for animated awards because the Academy is usually really lame though.

2 out of 4.


I´ve joked in the past that Chadwick Boseman is being forced to play every famous black American throughout history. You know, Jackie Robinson, James Brown, T´Challa, and so on.

But holy shit. Thurgood Marshall as well?

What is his agent doing? Is he trying to mold the youth of America into thinking everyone in History is Chadwick Boseman? Maybe Boseman is playing some long plan to eventually run for president himself. With his past roles he will seem like a trendsetter, someone with soul, a ruler, and someone who knows the fuck out of some laws.

I don´t know when we should start being scared by all of this. Maybe in two more real bio roles. Maybe if he ever plays Eminem in a biopic.

Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?

Thurgood Marshall (Boseman) is super famous. He did a lot of things as a lawyer, went to the Supreme Court a lot, did the whole Brown vs Board of Education thing, and even decided to move in and live in the Supreme Court.

But this movie is about before all that, just when he was working with the NAACP, looking for any case that might have racial bias to help free innocent men or women. Especially those who could not afford their own council of choosing.

Thurgood is now in Connecticut, where a limousine driver (Sterling K. Brown) allegedly raped and tried to kill his boss´ wife (Kate Hudson). A real shocker of a trial, but he claims his innocence. They imagine they are just grabbing any black gentleman and they have a civil rights case on their hands.

In order for Marshall to get on the case, they need to join the team of someone who has passed the bar on the state, and through some shenanigans, got a local insurance guy (Joah Gad) to take on the case so that something could be done. The judge (James Cromwell) isn´t having any of their shit either, so doesn´t let Marshall do any of the talking, just behind the scenes help.

Yep, this is a battle against racism. A battle against injustice.

Also starring Dan Stevens and Keesha Sharp.

Inconspicuous thugs are inconspicuous.

You know who deserves a movie about their lives? Thurgood Marshall, for sure!

You know what this movie gave us? A movie about Marshall and Sam Friedman, the local insurance lawyer. You see, Friedman later went on to do more civil rights cases too! And he had to do most of the fronting of this trial, due to racism. So it is a movie about how this white dude overcame his personal lawyering fears and branched out to be a better person.

That is cool and all, but I really don’t give a fuck about Sam Friedman. I came to see this movie because it was about Thurgood Marshall. I didn’t expect a double biopic about him and some white guy. This may be one of Marshall’s biggest and earliest cases, but I really do think they did a giant disservice to him. In fact, they mentioned in this film he had already argued in front of the Supreme court multiple times. We know he did it later. And, for crying out loud, he was there for Brown v The Board of Education!

Why the hell did they pick a case where he isn’t really the main star or focus? Why?

Oh yeah, because they needed a white loveable lead to make sure white people saw this movie too. Gotcha.

This movie is very okay. The acting is fine, the case has its moments, and some characters cry. Some people yell, some justice is served. But goddamn it, the focus is so far away from Marshall in a movie that carries his name, it is just unacceptable.

2 out of 4.

A Dog’s Purpose

Dog films are all the rage now. Just look at the last two reviews on my website. But in reality, despite this mini awkward dog theme, actual dog movies are NOT popular like they were in the 1990’s and 2000’s. They pop up every once in awhile and usually try to kill a dog by the end of it in order to get all pet owners to cry and feel nostalgic about past pets and current pets.

It is easy money. A Dog’s Purpose is based on a book that a lot of people liked and read, so it should have made money. Then it had a silly controversy a whole week before it came out, people decided not to see it, and here I am today, hoping it is terrible because it came out in January.

But really, I want to note that the idea behind the movie is brilliant. If dying pets makes people love the movie, buy it on DVD and give the movie money, then why not have the main dog more than once? Why not a whole handful of times?

There is tear jerking, and there is tear sucking out of you with an industrial vacuum.

I think an alternative title for this movie might have been Doghood.

The movie has dogs, people, and a lot of both. If you are the type of person who gets sad over the death of pets, you are goign to get really fucking sad in this movie.

Because our main dog (Josh Gad) who goes by many names, so I will just call him Dog, is going to die over and over again. This Dog is wondering what his purpose in life is. He likes to play and have fun he guesses, and there are humans that tell him to do things, but what is he here for?

So he hangs out with a kid who grows up into an adult. He hangs out with a lady in school. He is in an abusive home. He is a dog for a cop! He does so much more, but really, he just wants that stomach scratched.

Featuring a hot mess of people though, so here we go: Britt Robertson, Bryce Gheisar, Dennis Quaid, John Ortiz, Juliet Rylance, K.J. Apa, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Logan Miller, Luke Kirby, and Peggy Lipton.

I wonder how many humans die in this movie? More than dogs?

A Dog’s Purpose is a waste of time. For dog lovers, cat lovers, and human lovers alike. Now, I have never made a movie before, but I have to imagine that making the audience care about a pet has got to be pretty easy. I imagine it is one of the easiest tasks ever to make someone cry in a theater by having the pet go bye bye, second only to a relative.

And yet, after watching A Dog’s Purpose, which had at least five dogs, I think, I found myself unable to make a connection with most of them. In fact, some of them, the deaths came sort of out of nowhere. And not in a “Oh no, tragedy, death!” shocking sort of way. Just a “Oh, this is the end of this plot line I guess, let’s move on” sort of way. They just did a poor job of making me care.

Maybe a big element to get someone to care about the pet is time with the pet, but a common narrator sound just isn’t good enough. I wasn’t feeling the stories, I wasn’t feeling the other humans, I just didn’t care.

And a dog movie, where the dog dies so many ties, that fails to make me cry? Just feels a bit shallow and rushed. No emotional connection, means not a good drama film.

0 out of 4.

Beauty and the Beast

Wow, how do you introduce a tale as old as time? Something as true as it can be? You just gotta speak from the heart.

I do love the animated Beauty and the Beast film. It celebrates intelligence! It has one of my favorite introduction songs. Gaston is fascinating, with his own great song. But I have always had issues for it. So I better get it off my chest now:

The main takeaway from Beauty and the Beast is bullshit. The prince was punished for not seeing someone’s true beauty, so he was turned into an ugly creature. To learn his lesson, he needs to fall in love and be loved in return, with a nice kiss too, before he turns 21. (Which of course means he was punished as a kid, joy). So how does it eventually happen? By getting the perfect person in his life. She is smart, kind, but also the hottest chick in the village. To really drive the point home, she should have been not matched the perfect standard of beauty. It is kind of crap. Shrek and Shallow Hal end up driving the point home better.

Okay, no more of that. I also appreciate that Gaston is set up as a typical old school Disney Prince, who just wants love because they are beautiful, so it sort of shows Disney going away from their older film tropes.

What I am really getting at is that I am excited for the live action version of Beauty and the Beast. I was not excited for the live action Cinderella, because the plot of Cinderella is shit and celebrates obedience to mean people and doing chores until a prince can take you away. Fuck that.

Give that bitch a book. Bitches love books.

In some nondescript village in old timey France, there was a castle. None of this is Paris, we know that for certain. There was a prince (Dan Stevens), who lived in the castle, and he was mean. He was so mean to some haggy bitch, that the haggy bitch turned him into a really hairy dude and all of his servants into utensils and shit. What in the fuck!

Now years later, they have almost given up hope at becoming human again. The Beast has to not just fall in love, but have someone love him back. They are depressed, cold, and a spell was put on the area for people to forget about their existence. So that doesn’t help either.

Thankfully, there is a really freaky girl in that poor provincial nearby town. Belle (Emma Watson), a girl who was trained to use that brain of hers, an inventor, a girl who likes books and is somehow still decent looking. Some shit goes down with her dad (Kevin Kline). He finds himself locked up in this castle forever. Thankfully, their horse was also trained to use its brain and he is able to take her to the castle and HOLY FUCK, A BEAST!

Using that goddamn brain of hers, she is able to trick her dad into taking his place, planning to escape in the future. You know, because she is so youthful. But then she falls in love. Oh, way too early. A lot of strife happens. But after a good old fashioned food orgy, she starts to love the place, and thinks about calling it home. Plus, it can clean itself, with the magical slave item army and all.

Also starring Ewan McGregor as a candelabra, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as a duster, Ian McKellen as a clock, Emma Thompson as a teapot, Stanley Tucci as a piano, Audra McDonald as a dresser, Luke Evans as a tall, dark, strong, handsome brute, Josh Gad as his miniature life mate, and also Hattie Morahan as a begger.

Gaston’s face cannot be shown because Gorgon Reviews is not a big enough website.

Remember Cinderella? That film I already mentioned? Again, it was okay. It was colorful. Shit story. Good dresses. A terrible idea for a first run. It was like the Universal Monsters series trying to give us Dracula Untold as the start of their shared Universe. But now they gotta get The Mummy to save their asses. Yes, I recognize we have had a few other live action films since Cinderella, but this is the first one since then to be about a Disney Princess!

Beauty and the Beast delivers, and it delivers hard.

Of course, we get the best parts from the original. Bonjour is fascinating, with a village of real people, and we still get the “Please Let Me Through!” line. Be Our Guest is an explosion of extravagance. The Gaston song starts off awkward for me, but grows into its own, feels like a giant party, and has a few surprises. (Although, the chorus of that song is also almost impossible to understand)

But we also get a whole lot new! An expanded introduction, more backstory on the Beast and Belle’s lives before the film and their parents, bigger connections to the castle and the village and why it is a big surprise, Belle being a stronger female character, and more. AND! Alan Goddamn Menken, the Disney musical genius, came back to rewrite some of his songs from two decades ago, plus a few new ones. Three at that. Day in the Sun and Evermore are great additions to the film and Evermore had me crying. And don’t worry, the Human Again song added to the animated film does not take place in this movie.

I am annoyed that at the timing of this review, I have to wait a week to hear some of the newer songs again, just to see if I like them as much as I am writing.

Beauty and the Beast is not just a remake. It is also a re imagining. With more backstories, more lines for side yet important characters, everyone feels more fleshed out. Even Gaston and especially LeFou. We get some good call backs, and good changes to match the times. It was an incredible job done by the team, who treated their source material with respect, and really matched what made the first film great 26 years ago.

4 out of 4.

The Angry Birds Movie

When they first announced The Angry Birds Movie, you couldn’t have paid me to see the prescreening of it. That is because I was steadily employed when it was first announced. Now, when the actually prescreening occurred, I would have gladly accepted money to go to it. Alas, if I went I would have had to go for free and that still wasn’t good enough.

Now I played Angry Birds before. Yeah, like, in 2010, really early after it came out. I had an Android phone and it was 100% free, with a lot of components to it, so yeah, I played the shit out of it. Then I eventually stopped caring. I hated the space game, hated the star wars one, and well, just stopped caring, and never looked back.

At the same time I was annoyed by all the clothing and merchandising that was suddenly existing. It was just a small phone game, why would someone want a backpack with them on it? Oh well, I ignored it and then hey, six years after the game, a movie appeared.

Needless to say, waiting for it on DVD was always a safe bet for me.

Red anger grrr
Oh yeah, they really captured his anger there.

Red (Jason Sudeikis), is a bird, and he is angry. Everyone else on this island is happy, but not him. He is pissed off. All the minor things really piss him off. And after a series of incidents, he has found himself face first in an egg, so now the chick thinks he is its daddy. So the family goes to court over the incident and the judge (Keegan-Michael Key) sentences him to Anger Management class, the harshest sentence!

At the class, it is run by a white bird named Matilda (Maya Rudolph). He also meets a yellow bird who is incredibly fast, Chuck (Josh Gad), a big black bird who explodes sometimes, Bomb (Danny McBride), and a very, very large red bird who doesn’t talk a whole lot, Terence (Sean Penn).

But wait! A ship appears over the ocean. On it, a large pig named Leonard (Bill Hader), bringing gifts and technology to their small area. Everyone loves them, except for Red, because his house gets damaged in their arrival and he doesn’t let it go. All of the other birds get annoyed at Red’s anger and basically make him leave. Red decides that something must be up, as more and more pigs are arriving every day. He decides to bring Chuck and Bomb with him on a quest to find the Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage), famed super bird who can FLY to help save the day.

And if that doesn’t work, well, then maybe they will have to fix things on their own before everything goes sour.

Also featuring voice work from Kate McKinnon, Tituss Burgess, Hannibal Buress, Tony Hale, and Ike Barinholtz.

Oh, that pig is a king too. Royalty. King Leonard, the majestically hammy.

If you couldn’t tell, I went into this movie expecting to hate it. A franchise that has become both forgettable and annoying, about a game with not a lot of plot. It seemed like a cash grab (and regardless of quality, it is still that). Judging from the animation style, I expected it to be just as annoying as most of the Minions movies have been.

And then I laughed. I laughed quite a few times. I was surprised at how much humor they actually smushed into the film. It has a pretty standard 90 minute-ish run time, but there are so many things going on, almost at all times. It was made for the ADHD crowd. Background jokes, frontground jokes, puns, double meanings, and more. And of course globs of reference humor. The last time I saw this many jokes in an animated film was Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2.

Despite how quick everything went, it still also took its time, surprisingly. It took almost a whole hour into the film before the pigs finally went bad and did the bad stuff, leaving just the last act to chase them down and tear down their city in retaliation, aka, the angry birds game part. Normally that would be an issue but time surprisingly flew by.

Heh, like the birds when you sling them.

The Angry Birds Movie has a shitty title and a shitty franchise, but damn it, it was a pretty funny film and a decent experience. It won’t change the animated world, but it will make you giggle.

3 out of 4.


For some reason, Happy Madison is developing a bad rep. Adam Sandler‘s production company has been around for awhile and has brought in such classics like, Jack and Jill and Grown Ups 2! Hell, just this year we already got Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser.

With such a rich pedigree, how does a company like that get hated on? Hell if I know.

And then there was Pixels, their third film of this year, and one I thought would be completely animated given the posters. Whoops. I obviously figured it out before I watched it, but damn, I don’t think I have ever been fooled like that before. Sure, it could be loosely based off of a Futurama episode, but that was a cartoon, so everything is fair game.

Unless they wanted a giant Mickey Mouse here, then they’d have been fucked.

Brenner (Sandler) was a big deal, in 1982. He was the master of the local arcade, able to see the patterns in the games, creating high score after high score. Hell, he entered into the national arcade tournament and made it all the way to the finals. He lost though to Eddie (Peter Dinklage), a cocky son of a bitch though, because Donkey Kong has some real random elements to it, so he can’t quite figure it out. Oh well, it didn’t ruin his life.

After all, 33 years later, he is working for what constitutes a Geek Squad like company, installing technology in rich big houses. Oh hey, and his best friend, Cooper (Kevin James) ended up as president (married to Jane Krakowski too). But he is seen as a buffoon. Who gives a shit though, because Aliens are about to attack!

Oh yeah, there was a third friend, Ludlow (Josh Gad), who was pretty good at games too, but became a conspiracy nut. And looks like he was write about aliens at least!

The strange thing about these aliens is they are attacking using what looks like arcade games from the early days. You see, after the tournament, they sent digital copies of the games and a lot of pop culture items into a time capsule into space. And alien race took the games as a challenge and built giant replicas of these games to attack the Earth. Each side will only have “three lives” so the first to “win” 3 of these attacks, wins overall. If Earth wins, they leave, if Earth loses, everyone dies. You know where this is going: losers from the 1980’s have to save the day!

Also starring Michelle Monaghan, Matt Lintz, Sean Bean, and Brian Cox.

I’ve had a nightmare like this before. I was playing a real life centipede, but I had no ammo.
Basically insects just fell on me from the sky.

Maybe its the nostalgia, maybe the cool effects, or maybe Dinklage giving his impression of the guy from King of Kong, but Pixels wasn’t super terrible. I know everyone around me said it was bad and they hated it, but I also know they went in ready to rage on it.

Pixels definitely had its moments, but the best parts were the clever ways they “fought” the various levels that totaled the many cities around the world. Having Pac-Man terrorize NYC as they chased him with cars? Come on, that’s clever.

There are unfortunately some lamer elements to the film. Having a cheating subplot? Waste of time, and ruined some of the fun. Q*bert? Fuck Q*bert. That mostly felt like an annoyance more than anything. Creepy suggestion that a woman can be a trophy? Well, you know.

But overall for the most part, Pixels was entertaining. It could have had more fun real life battles instead of an all out attack at the end to cameo in games. If we got even more in depth levels, it would have been great. It was like an advanced Nick Arcade. Just one that probably should have gone for the PG-13 rating, since it probably didn’t deserve PG at all with some of the jokes and language thrown in.

2 out of 4.

Buy It! – This movie is available now on {Blu-Ray} and {DVD}.

The Wedding Ringer

The Wedding Ringer seems to fail at the most basic level, having an interesting title. A lot of movies begin with “The Wedding” and end with some noun. Ringer is really only associated with The Ringer and that is a weird movie to be kind of associated with. Or it might make it sound like a shitty horror, if you think about it hard enough.

Oh well. I will note that Sony Pictures really wanted people to see this film a head of time. I think I could have first gone to a screening in October or so. And then roughly 2 a week until it finally came out (exaggeration, but barely). I am normally a bit more weary about films that show too many screenings, because I think they don’t think they will be successful without a lot of positive word of mouth. Like, a lot a lot. And that means it is probably shit.

Not that I am judging it or anything. But Kevin Hart has been on a downward spiral in terms of film quality, with me hating the last few of his movies outside of About Last Night. But hey, despite all these negatives maybe I will be surprised.

This movie probably will taste better with copious amounts of alcohol.

Doug Harris (Josh Gad) is super rich. Like, parents died, took over their business, gained a lot of wealth, and makes a lot of income. He is also kind of fat and awkward and has no friends. But when the daughter of one of his clients suddenly gets interested in him and finds him interesting, he runs with it. Now he is marrying Gretchen (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting) and it is expensive. She wants everything and he agrees, this includes a big bridal party. Now ten days away, all she knows about the bridal party is their names, weird things about them, but no pictures and none of them around. Shit.

So Doug finds out about Jimmy (Kevin Hart), who runs a Best Man for hire business. With the time line and the number of people needed, Doug needs The Golden Tux package, costing him another $50k, but he is doing it because he totally knows lying is the best option to make his soon to be wife happy. Inventing fake friends ftw. He just stills has to impress her much smarter sister (Olivia Thirlby) and angry dad (Ken Howard).

And we also have the 7 hired groomsmen. Jorge Garcia, Affion Crockett, Dan Gill, Corey Holcomb, Colin Kane, Alan Ritchson, and Aaron Takahashi. Also Ignacio Serricchio as a gay Hispanic wedding planer. And Jenifer Lewis as Hart’s assistant and advice giver. I think I got every one in there.

Best Men
The most eclectic group of friends since All In The Family. Errr.

One of the most annoying parts of this movie is it just is an impossible service to imagine. Doug has to pay $50,000 for the service he offers, and the only other price we see is about $20,000. Some people apparently have a lot of money on the side that their soon to be spouse know absolutely nothing about. So it is not only a huge breach of trust, spending that much extra before you share things, but the other breach of trust about lying about someone in your life. It is crazy.

So after I get over that fact, there are quite a few amusing moments in the movie. I could tell how the whole thing would end after about 20 minutes, so they never really stray off of the beaten path. That is a bit disappointing.

The cast of extra characters was entertaining. Kevin Hart was his usual self. Gad was never really anything funnier than “That fat guy”, so his character needed a lot of work. They gave me a Lost joke, which is all I really cared for.

The Wedding Ringer is okay, and not the giant shit show I thought it would be. After all, Kevin Hart’s last January movie was Ride Along which failed to live up to its potential.

2 out of 4.

Wish I Was Here

I have wrote before about the secret feud that must exist between Zach Braff and Josh Radnor. They both were the stars of long running comedy sitcoms that were ingrained in pop culture. They also both directed movies, Braff had Garden State and Radnor had HappyThankYouMorePlease. Both, very indie drama/comedies.

But then Mr. Radnor changed the rules. No longer willing to just copy Mr. Braff, he went and directed a second movie called Liberal Arts. Not only that, but the very indie movie dealt with sex. That is a huge game changer.

So Braff looked at Radnor, knowing he had to direct another movie to get back at Radnor’s arrogance by jumping the line. He decided to direct and write a film called Wish I Was Here, trying to out indie the latest indie movie of Radnor. Braff just had to use the power of Kickstarter to do it. On plot alone, he might have done it too. Braff was attempting the very rare, and usually very good, indie family road trip movie.

With at least one Turkleton by his side.

Now, this is a story all about how Aidan Bloom’s (Zach Braff) life got flipped-turned upside down. Hmm, not entirely true. One could argue it happened after his mom died and left a sizable sum of money to his brother (Josh Gad) who seems to be wasting it all. One could say it has been bad for the last couple years, as he is a struggling actor, unable to find work in LA, living in a shitty home. His wife, Sarah (Kate Hudson), is working at a shitty job with annoying coworkers and is taking out her frustrations on her husband who isn’t providing income.

But at least his kids (Joey King, Pierce Gagnon) are going to a good school. They are in a private Jewish school, thanks to funding from his father (Mandy Patinkin). But even that is about to change. Looks like his cancer is back, and he wants to use the rest of his savings for a risky procedure to maybe get rid of the cancer for good. Maybe.

Well, Aidan didn’t have a good life in public school, so agrees to home school his kids. But does he know how to teach them? They are quite different, and he wasn’t the smartest in school either. But with so much in his life going sour, Aidan really doesn’t even know what to do. According to the Rabbis he is failing, that is for sure.

Also featuring Braff’s friends. You already knew Donald Faison was in here, but what about his Garden State buddies, Jim Parsons and Michael Weston? Natalie Portman was presumably busy.

Braff literally carried around his Kickstarter money until the film was finished. Every last scene.

I know a lot of people were disappointed with this film, calling it “Not Garden State” but this film wasn’t going for Garden State at all. Garden State was about depression, this film just has depressing subject matter. I was completely wrong with the genre though, the trailers made it seem like a road trip movie, and there is some traveling, but most of it takes place around LA.

It is about a man trying to cope with his existence, with what his family expects of him, with what others expect of him, and whether or not he truly is the reason that everything in his life is falling apart.

The film also has a strong indie feel, especially when Braff gets caught up in his imagination (not like JD). But it doesn’t feel so indie that I am pissed off by the end, wondering what the entire movie was about. That’s an indie stereotype. This film sort of celebrates the bizarre of every day ordinary life and of raising a family. And it does a decent job at the story it wants to convey.

Funny and serious, Wish I Was Here was better than I thought it would be, and certainly better than Liberal Arts, which I have to compare it to. Just arguably both of these gents had better first films than their second films.

3 out of 4.


Well, if no one else is going to say it, I will.

I thought the title was better when it was written out as jOBS. It made me laugh and it was cute. Sure, some saw it as disrespectful, but I thought it was funny. Steve Jobs had a sense of humor after all, and this movie isn’t even a full biography.

Now we have the title as Jobs, (Trailer) which is a terrible name for a movie if you try to Google it without any extra words.

Sony is doing their own Steve Jobs movie that is being written by Aaron Sorkin, based on his biography from 2011. It will come out within the next two years, it will probably include his death and it will have a more serious tone.

“Draw me like one of your French Girls…”

The iPod. You probably have one. It helped change the music scene forever. Our story begins with a press conference of its release in 2001, then takes us back a few decades to get a more complete story.

It takes us back to Steve Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) while he is already in college. I mean physically he is in a college, but he is a free spirit and not actively enrolled, despite being a pretty smart dude. After some design classes, we then see him working for Atari. He wants to be innovative, but everyone else just wants to keep the status quo. It turns out, he doesn’t work well with others, so he has to be put on his own projects.

But once his friend Steve Wozniak (Josh Gad) shows him an invention he is working on, his life changes. Woz has made a machine that will display text that you type on a “keyboard” when hooked up to your television. Mind blowing, I know. That way you can see what you are working on, as you work on it.

With an eventual investment from Mike Markkula (Dermot Mulroney), they soon turn their garage corporation start up into a very successful corporation, leading the personal computer craze with the Apple II launch!

They even become a publicly traded company! This becomes bad news when they end up in development hell with the Lisa computer (and eventually the Mac) spending tons of resources and time on a machine that Steve will not release until it is 100% perfect. This leads the board of directors (J.K. Simmons) to get a new CEO for the company, John Sculley (Matthew Modine), the man who invented the Pepsi Challenge.

Jobs tells the story of a man who had a vision, and had a hard time getting that vision to the public. Steve Jobs would walk over anyone to achieve his dreams too, even his friends, because he really isn’t a nice person. The movie basically takes us up to the release of the Mac computer in the late 90s, in their attempt to make it sexy again. and briefly talks about the release of the iPod.

The Woz was later made even more famous thanks to the show Code Monkeys.

Basically, what I learned from this movie is that Steve Jobs could be a real jerk. He ignores his friends who helped get the company off of its feet. He threatens to sue his competition. He refuses to let people who work with him who tend to differ in opinion. He even refuses to believe his daughter is actually his.

He was not a swell guy.

What I dislike most about the movie is how disjointed it all feels. It is not a complete story by a long shot, only focusing on a few major events. By skipping around every few years, we are left to catch up every time the movie skips to another important event.

The ending included an inspirational radio quote by Steve, but it came about pretty suddenly. It was odd that they didn’t even talk about the idea for the iPod, and only mentioned it in the first scene. If they had it in complete chronological order, they could have at least ended it with the iPod scene, which would have provided some sense of closure. Partial biography or not, as a movie, it should have a coherent plot and an ending.

Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs did give him a chance to actually act for once and I’d say he did a great job. But the rest of the acting was just okay and overall this didn’t feel like it did a good job of telling me a lot about Steve’s life outside of a few specific events. It didn’t try to find out why he was a jerk to his friends, or where he got his inspiration from. I hope the next movie they make on his life is a bit better, and gives a more complete story.


1 out of 4.

The Internship

When you first heard about The Internship, you thought one of three things:

“Oh great, a movie where the jokes are only at the expense of nerds and old people trying to be hip!”

“Oh great, a giant advertisement movie for Google!”

“Oh great, an Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn movie trying to recapture the magic that happened with Wedding Crashers in 2005!”

Well, to be fair, I think all of these ended up being true.

Because why the fuck not, they also play some quidditch.

Billy (Vaughn) and Nick (Wilson) are a great team and have been for decades. They sell watches and they have personality. Sales have been down this year, and they find out in the middle of a potential big sale that their company has folded. Great, what are two unskilled salesmen to do with the economy like it is?

Well, get a job at Google, of course! Or at least an interview, for an internship, that could lead to a job. While not being extremely qualified candidates, they are able to smooth talk their way into the intern process, because not every applicant should be a perfect nerd 20-something with no actual life experience.

Needless to say, they are not popular amongst the other applicants. Only one team of interns will be guaranteed to receive jobs by the end of the summer and when it comes time to pick teams, they are stuck with the other nerds who weren’t picked (Tiya SicarTobit RaphaelDylan O’Brien) and the newest and most nervous group manager (Josh Brener, who you may remember last summer in this Samsung Galaxy S3 commercial before movies).

As expected, this turns into a group of ragtag individuals, trying to work together to overcome the odds and become the top team by summers end. Along the way, Nick has to try and woo a higher up Google employee (Rose Byrne), Billy has to overcome his inability succeed, and they all have to figure out ways to beat the supergroup made by Graham Hawtrey (Max Minghella), and also convince the head of the interns (Aasif Mandvi) that they aren’t complete losers.

A comedy like this of course has a lot of cameos, including Will FerrellRob Riggle, and Josh Gad.

I know the entire idea of this movie probably is a turn off to a lot of you. It looks formulaic, almost like a 1990s comedy (Another aspect of the film that I cannot defend). But it also has something else that is hard to value that really turns it into a decent movie. It has heart.

Wilson and Vaughn have amazing chemistry together, which is a fact we already knew. But it is amplified so well into this film! The dialogue is just so great, the two are able to make the entire thing still feel real and natural.

The Internship is not the funniest film of the year, no where close, but reports say that I giggled pretty consistently throughout it. The film accurately also showed the pressures that college graduates face today, where they can be perfect their entire life and still have trouble/stress once they hit the real world.

I did hate a few of the “speeches” by the end of the film, when they were announcing the winners. I think they cheapened the results by going about them that way, and could have easily been more clever about it. I’d say The Internship is worth checking out, but only if you are want a feel good story and if it is a matinee.

3 out of 4.