Bad Moms

MOVIE:  Bad Moms

NUTSHELL:  A perfectly serviceable movie in which moms get annoyed and dance while they drink some wine.

GOOD THINGSKristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Wanda Sykes, David Walton, Clark Duke!!! and Wendell Pierce

BAD THINGS:  I am not in what I would posit is the very narrow, and possibly imaginary, demographic for this movie.

FEATURES:  Mila Kunis, Jay Hernandez, Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett Smith, Annie Mumolo, a lot of white wine, unsympathetic children, porn addiction

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  I wish there were more uncomfortable moments.  Other than the Clark Duke scenes and an inspired supermarket montage, there don’t seem to be any stakes.

NOTABLE:  I don’t think having children should be a requirement to enjoy a movie.

BEST PART:   Kathryn Hahn oh how I loved you on “Philly Justice”!

BEST LINE:  “Well, as a therapist, I’m not allowed to tell you what do to, but uh as a human being with two fucking eyes in my head, yea I think you should get divorced as soon as possible. This is some catastrophic shit. ”       

CROWNS:  2 out of 5

September 7, 2016 at 12:06 pm Leave a comment

The Jungle Book

MOVIE:  The Jungle Book

NUTSHELL:  CGI Animals, a precocious child and somehow only one song

GOOD THINGSThere’s a Garry-Shandling-voiced porcupine

BAD THINGS:  This is another one of those movies like Jurassic World that toys with the prospect of a precocious child being eaten by wild animals but never follows through.

FEATURES:  Really just a kid but also the voices of Bill Murray, Lupita Nyong’o and Idris Elba

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  One song.  Did I mention there’s one song?  Remember how much you loved the Jungle Book as a kid because of the almost complete absence of music?

NOTABLE:  I would like to be excused from colonial fables about everyone working together henceforth.

BEST PART:   Further confirmation that Scarlett Johansson is an incredible movie villain.

BEST LINE:  “Am I in the right monkey temple?”       

CROWNS:  3 out of 5

July 6, 2016 at 4:18 pm Leave a comment

Captain America: Civil War

MOVIE:  Captain America:  Civil War

NUTSHELL:  Ken Burns’ “The Avengers”

GOOD THINGSAll the great looking people doing super crazy awesome stuff like always, but…

BAD THINGS:  … with a lot of interpersonal trauma and drama which I frankly found very upsetting.

FEATURES:  Everyone plus Paul Rudd, Daniel Bruhl, Chadwick Boseman and…. Marisa Tomei?

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  But, but, but I only want Natasha and Clint to be in love forever and ever!

NOTABLE:  Spider-Man does nothing for me and I’m very sorry if that is upsetting to you.

BEST PART:   30 second Martin Freeman blasts

BEST LINE:  “I hate you.”       

CROWNS:  4 out of 5

May 3, 2016 at 4:09 pm Leave a comment

Keanu

MOVIE:  Keanu

NUTSHELL:  Key and Peele embark on an extremely messy recon mission to save the cutest (and most popular) kitten in history.

GOOD THINGSTiffany Haddish, badass kittens, Method Man, Andrew Ridgeley jokes, the name “17th Street Blips”

BAD THINGS:  I would like to know more about the Allentown guys.

FEATURES:  Nia Long, Anna Faris, Country Bear Jamboree remnants, Luis Guzman, Will Forte

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  I hate snakes but it’s nice to finally see one with a believable character arc.    

NOTABLE:  Guys!  Never leave your lady alone with Rob Huebel!

BEST PART:   Keanu’s derring-do and words of wisdom

BEST LINE:  “I know everything about hip hop.”       

CROWNS:  5 out of 5

May 3, 2016 at 3:53 pm Leave a comment

“Sometimes there’s no lesson. That’s a lesson in itself.”

It’s April, you guys and I still don’t quite know what to say about 2015. It was kind of subpar? Sometimes the movies I really hated would make $652 million dollars and sometimes I would accidentally see a movie I saw in 1977 already. Plus the movies I liked were musicals on Broadway about the founder of the Coast Guard and experiencing a ticket broker feeding frenzy reminiscent of that time I tried to eat tacos in front of a Weimaraner.  Plus more than anything else, the U Talkin’ U2 to me podcast continued to rock my world

I liked Love and Mercy quite a bit. I tried to be a good filmgoer and go to a bunch of movies at the beginning of award season but after I saw Spotlight I pretty much thought I wouldn’t see anything better so I stopped trying. There’s some… revulsion is not a good word for it… but I look at the trailers and advertising and marketing of a lot of movies and have no interest. I know, invest in a drive to the local independent cinema. I honestly tried but had some time management issues in 2015 that curtailed my movie watching in general. It’s a scandal that with such time constraints I still sought out movies I knew would be at best problematic and at worst really horrible. But come on how funny are those car movies where they never stop talking about family and the timelines are all crazy? And that whale movie was B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

So maybe 2016 will be pretty cool with Keanu and the lady Ghostbusters and Martin Freeman being Brooks Brothers Man in “Captain America: Civil War – No Not That One, A Different One”. Also did you know they still make the Star Track movies and the billionth one is coming out on my birthday?

I just looked at a list of movies coming out in 2016 and it made me a little sad. There are lots of sequels, you guys! But Emma Watson has a few movies coming so that’s cool. And something called Bill Hader R Rated Comedy which is somehow the minimum and maximum information I need to make plans to see it right now.

I’m sorry I don’t have any recipes/menus for the Oscars (and that this is 6 weeks late for that.) But, here is a list of great stuff from 2016!

Trainwreck
Kingsman
Spy
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Anomalisa
What We Do In the Shadows
Ant-Man
Documentary Now
Survivor
Jane the Virgin
Portlandia
Children’s Hospital
No You Shut Up
Fresh Off the Boat
Key and Peele
Orphan Black
Community
The Grinder
Archer
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Brooklyn Nine Nine
Parks and Recreation
Rick and Morty
Wolf Hall
Better Call Saul
Silicon Valley
iZombie
Veep
Review
The Soup
The Great British Baking Show
Mad Men
Fargo

Yeah there is stuff on here you can’t believe I didn’t list. But I guarantee that it’s on a streaming service and I haven’t seen it yet. 2015, you guys! It was pretty annoying!

April 11, 2016 at 2:48 pm Leave a comment

2014 The Good! or “We’re so cute. I wanna punch us in the face.”

The things that I really loved this year came from all media and sometimes crossed over and back again (Veronica Mars, Comedy Bang Bang, Monty Python Live). My favorite movie moment was listening to a man explain the plot of Paper Moon at length in French. I was also lucky to see a lot of good movies in a row which was unprecedented.  In fact, I think I mostly saw ONLY good movies for a lot of the year probably because I pushed a lot of the awards season trash to after January 1st. Favorite 2014 Movies

  • Veronica Mars (I am what I am.)
  • Anchorman 2 and Anchorman 2 Redux
  • The Lego Movie
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Benson Movie Interruption of anything
  • Monuments Men
  • A Matter of Life and Death
  • Captain America:  Winter Soldier
  • The Trip to Italy
  • Pride
  • Gone Girl
  • Dear White People
  • Into the Woods
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • M. Hulot’s Holiday
  • Monty Python Live

My Favorite TV moment was Fargo.

Favorite 2014 TV

  • Fargo
  • Key and Peele
  • Archer
  • Parks and Recreation
  • The Soup
  • The Great British Baking Show
  • Babylon
  • Short Poppies
  • Comedy Bang Bang
  • No You Shut Up
  • Shakespeare Uncovered
  • Brooklyn 99

My favorite overall entertainment this year was the U Talking U2 to Me podcast and yes that’s pretty weird and sorry to everyone I tried to talk to about it.  Imagine when you tried to discuss Serial with someone who hadn’t listened to it only with a podcast where people talk about everything except U2 but also eventually U2 but only barely. Favorite 2014 Podcasts

  • U Talking U2 to Me
  • Comedy Bang Bang
  • Doug Loves Movies
  • You Must Remember This
  • Serial

(I don’t really recommend books because you should read the books you like and my taste is too weird.)

February 16, 2015 at 8:53 pm Leave a comment

2014 The Bad? or “It’s just I haven’t spoken 1950s in quite a while.”

I know I’ve mentioned that I no longer do the Bataan movie death march / try to see every nominated film every year.  I don’t believe I’ve mentioned how much happier I am about it so here it is on the official record.

I heroically managed to avoid Interstellar and when I look at the list of movies from 2014 I get chills just considering the horribleness that I somehow managed to dodge.  Yet I was still exposed to movies that weren’t very good whether by mistakenly going to see something horrible in a theater or succumbing to peer pressure or even just walking around the house while someone else watched The Judge.

There are still some specific questions I have such as:

Did anyone see Nightcrawler?  Because it was fantastic and no one mentions it.  Did I somehow dream it?  Because that means I have a lot of issues relating to local news coverage and Bill Paxton.

Why is Effie in “Hunger Games 3: Seriously, what’s going on with Peeta”?

What outlet is there for my dozens of “Hobbit 3:  Warning Contains No Hobbit” jokes?

There are scars that don’t heal.

I missed a lot of good films this year too and am confused / saddened /enraged that I still haven’t seen Obvious Child among many others and that I didn’t see The Inbetweeners 2 even though I was in frigging London.

The most horrible entertainment calamity I experienced this year was also in London and was having to leave Richard III during the second half so maybe all the bad things in the world aren’t related to movies but entertainment in general.

Movies were again not the greatest this year and other media sometimes held much more interest for me (“U Talking U2 to Me” Podcast – OBSESSED).  In fact I don’t even have a menu planned for Oscar night because I have no horse in the Best Picture race whatsoever.  Perhaps some elaborate cakes for The Grand Budapest Hotel and a lot of assorted alcohol for the rest?  Look at this mangy bunch of 8 and see what you think:

The Theory of Everything – this wasn’t good and the lead performance isn’t good but Felicity Jones is great so please see Like Crazy.  She is also good in The Invisible Woman but that movie is an example of taking a great story and dramatizing everything that is not that interesting from it.  Also see:  Unbroken

Birdman (or the something something of something) – It’s fine.  Edward Norton is great.  The script somehow required 4 people and it does unexpected things in both good and bad ways.  Let’s not get carried away.  IT’S FINE.

Boyhood –Sadly I am still waiting to have the 4 hour window of time that this movie requires.  (I am factoring crying and/or angry texting afterwards.)

The Imitation Game – I love this one but it is extremely up my alley so I can’t decide if it’s great or I just like it.  It has everything I want and it’s very well made but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it unless I knew how you felt about Bletchley Park and Rory Kinnear.

Whiplash – Did not see it.  It looks too intense, there appears to be too much acting and I reject the idea that a drummer is the hero.

American Sniper – No thanks!  I heard this in the next room and that was 1000% more than enough for me.

The Grand Budapest Hotel – I loved this but can’t believe anyone else saw it.  I really think they are faking.  I don’t understand why this is the Wes Anderson movie people embrace but okay!

Selma – Did not see it.  Did not get a screener and I missed the half-day it was in theaters.  I’m not happy or sad about it, just annoyed at this point.

February 16, 2015 at 8:43 pm Leave a comment

2013, Imaginary Lava Falls, and also some movies

On a lighter note, there were some fun things in 2013.  I wouldn’t say a majority came from moviegoing.  But even though I care more about Troy Barnes leaving to travel the world and Jesse Pinkman getting away than any of the “Best Pictures”, it doesn’t mean I don’t still love movies.  At Casa De Knievel to be honest we are beside ourselves about the Veronica Mars movie and Grand Budapest Hotel coming.  Plus that movie where Aaron Paul and Dominic Cooper are going to drive cars!

Here are some favorites and yes, I know some of these are TV shows and yes, I know some are not from 2013 and yes, there may or may not be a podcast on there.

Community

Sherlock

Boardwalk Empire

Key and Peele

Portlandia

Doug Loves Movies

Wits at Largo

Pinball Hall of Fame

Archer

Parks and Recreation

Ted’s Montana Grill, Boulder

Hawaiian:  The Legend of Eddie Aikau

Time Bandits

Nativity!

Doctor Who 50th – the funnest thing all year and I went to a Cornetto Trilogy marathon

Hunger Games:  Catching Fire

Enough Said

Endless Summer

Don Jon

Saving Mr. Banks

Philomena

Upstream color

Bling Ring

Zero Charisma

Austenland

World’s End

Plus, how hilarious was Fast 6, you guys!

March 1, 2014 at 10:12 pm Leave a comment

“I have to apologize. I was born with a disfigurement where my head is made of the same material as the sun.”

I can’t believe it’s that time again and have been dreading it to be honest. I’m not sure if it was an exceptionally weak year and some very odd choices but I care less and less each year about what some insane, wizened people consider the best movies of the year. 

 I guess I’m not going to have anything pithy and sarcastic to say about 12 Years a Slave even though I am typically all about Bandersnatch jokes.  It’s the same with Dallas Buyers Club because I did not see it and the world begins and ends with Wooderson and Jordan Catalano as far as I’m concerened. 

 American Hustle was flawed but okay.  It definitely had the best close ups of shoes and belt buckles than any other film this year.  Jeremy Renner and Jack Huston saved it from being 100% miscast and only because it’s impossible to miscast those two.  (Who can we get for the half-faced assassin slash love interest and Jack Keroauc?)

 I loved Captain Phillips but it is another one of those Paul Greengrass movies where you know how it ends and when the lights go up at the end all the menfolk are weeping. 

 Gravity was great in IMAX but I experienced several separate mutinies from people when trying to watch it on a small screen.  Apparently it’s only about immersion and the effects because the Lucy Ricardo in space thing worked for exactly zero people when viewing at home.  One held out until Clooney floated away and then it got really ugly for me. 

 Her is good but long.  I know he was creating a world so maybe it needed the length but to me it felt way too long.  Wolf of Wall Street was absurdly long.  I wish Scorsese would turn all his attention to film preservation and history because I cannot sit through any more of these that make no sense, have nothing to say and yet still use the budgets of a dozen movies that could have actually been good. 

Did not see Nebraska after Payne stood in front of the writers of the Descendants and took all the credit at the Oscars like an asshole.  Blue Jasmine should fuck off by the way.

Philomena was great.  Saving Mr. Banks was great.  Don Jon also great and Mandela was better than everything listed above.  The last three are not nominated for “Best Picture” by the way.

So I guess I don’t have a cohesive-ish menu as in years past because most of these movies inspire exactly nothing in me.  I suggest making Walt Disney’s chili recipe in protest and drinking 12 pints of beer to salute the end of the Cornetto trilogy.  I will race you since I’m hoping I will be unconscious for the ceremony this year.

March 1, 2014 at 3:08 pm Leave a comment

2012 Favorite Movies and Honorable Mentions

I know.  I’m a weirdo and a comedy nerd.

  • 21 Jump Street
  • Argo
  • Cabin in the Woods
  • Celeste and Jesse Forever
  • Chronicle
  • Friends with Kids
  • The Impossible
  • Looper
  • Marvel’s The Avengers
  • Moonrise Kingdom
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • Pitch Perfect
  • Safety Not Guaranteed
  • Savages
  • Titanic 3D
  • Wanderlust
  • Zero Dark Thirty

Best animated:  Pirates!  Band of Misfits

Best description:  “Mr. Pretty with the Kermit Voice” – Doug Loves Movies on Eddie Redmayne

Tardiest entry for Olympics dressage:  Jamie Foxx Django Unchained

Most underrated award season film:  The Impossible

Most overrated award season film:  Django Unchained

Martha Stewart Multitasking award:  Les Miserables during which I took down the entire Christmas tree

February 25, 2013 at 11:35 am Leave a comment

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