For Your Consideration

MOVIE:  For Your Consideration

NUTSHELL:  An unworthy, low budget film inexplicably gets Oscar buzz which wreaks havoc on all involved.

GOOD THINGS:  Paper Badge scene with John Krasinki and Paul Dooley, John Michael Higgins as a publicist, Parker Posey, Rachael Harris, Christopher Moynihan, a Pilgrim epic, hilarious depiction of abused writers

BAD THINGS:  Another one of those movies like The Terminal and Closer which are really too similar to real life to enjoy.

FEATURES:  Jennifer Coolidge, Fred Willard in a fauxhawk AND a deerstalker hat, Jane Lynch, hula balls, character named Mary Pat Hooligan, Purim Purim Purim and a spot-on Ed Begley Jr. as makeup artist Sandy Lane

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Christopher Guest’s weird portrayal of a director and Eugene Levy phoned-in agent role made me cringe.

NOTABLE:  I guess since it’s a more familiar subject to the creators than dog shows, folksingers or small town musicals, everything’s a little more bitter and pensive in this one. Definitely not a fun romp but still laugh out loud funny in parts.

BEST PART:  Ricky Gervais. Always Ricky Gervais. Ricky Gervais uber alles.

BEST LINE:  In every actor there lives a tiger, a pig, an ass, and a nightengale. You never know which one is going to show up.

CROWNS:  3 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:25 am Leave a comment

Driving Lessons

MOVIE:  Driving Lessons

NUTSHELL:  A shy teen with an overbearing mother takes a part-time job with a dotty has-been actress. Coming of age ensues.

GOOD THINGS:  Rupert salsa dancing! Blotchy Rupert in the tub! Rupert creeping the girls out at the pool! Rupert Rupert Rupert! plus Julie Walters, great non-relating to parents scenes and cloche hats!

BAD THINGS:  Obtrusively tall model Tamsin Egerton as the girl next door, witnessing, adultery, unsane ending that went off the richter scale for discomfort

FEATURES:  Slutty Scottish girls, poetry readings, Rupert doing the choking scene from Othello, loaves and fishes, Michelle Duncan, NIcholas Farrell who is presh presh presh!

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Laura Linney as the approaching-Ordinary-People-level mean mom.

NOTABLE:  As a full-time Rupert Grint enthusiast I am clearly not the most impartial reviewer so… grain of salt, people.

BEST PART:  Something about Rupert riding a bike dressed as a eucalyptus tree just sends me.

BEST LINE:  I’m a poet; I understand the power of words.

CROWNS:  4 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:25 am Leave a comment

Keeping Mum

MOVIE:  Keeping Mum

NUTSHELL:  A paroled murderess working as a housekeeper fixes the lives of a family by killing everyone who is annoying them.

GOOD THINGS:  Maggie Smith, countryside, um…

BAD THINGS:  Nosy neighbors, distractingly tall model Tamsin Egerton as the slutty daughter, dogicide, religious jokes and (last but definitely not least) Patrick Swayze in (1) his full creepy Darko mode, (2) a golf sweater and (3) a shiny thong

FEATURES:  Kristin Scott Thomas, Rowan Atkinson, Liz Smith as Gladys Kravitz, Toby Parkes, pond problems

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  The entire Swayze thing is just skin-crawlingly bizarre.

NOTABLE:  When the daughter is so tall and oddly beautiful that you have to write an explanation into the script, please reconsider your casting. Thanks.

BEST PART:  Uh scenes of quaint village life and that

BEST LINE:  Shall I put the kettle on?

CROWNS:  1 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:24 am Leave a comment

The History Boys

MOVIE:  The History Boys

NUTSHELL:  In 1983 Sheffield, a group of students at a grammar school spend their last term trying to pass the Oxbridge exams with the help of two very different professors.

GOOD THINGS:  A lot of good words, an impeccable cast, stuff to say about big things like education, love and “Now, Voyager”, cute teenagers, 80’s pop soundtrack, entire scene in French

BAD THINGS:  Deeply, deeply unpleasant subject matter, Clive Merrison as a wacky Thatchery Headmaster

FEATURES:  Richard Griffiths, Frances de la Tour, Stephen Campbell Moore, Georgia Taylor from “Blackpool”, Shaun of the Dead’s mum, sort of a lot of singing

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Here’s this great movie from a play which is possibly staged too similarly to a play but it didn’t bother me a bit. However, the unpleasant subject matter gets closer and closer to the central themes and story until you can’t really avoid it and all every

NOTABLE:  So is the intensely Christian P.E. teacher some sort of archetype in British culture because it does crop up a lot, doesn’t it?

BEST PART:  Oh I love me that little mod kid.

BEST LINE:  How do I define history? Well it’s just one fucking thing after another, isn’t it?

CROWNS:  5 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:23 am Leave a comment

Ghosts of the Abyss

MOVIE:  Ghosts of the Abyss

NUTSHELL:  James Cameron’s documentary which explores the modern day wreck of the Titanic in the North Atlantic with state of the art technology, historic and marine experts and cutting edge photography.

GOOD THINGS:  Interesting, not too long, lovely to look at and fascinating. But, hey, look who you’re asking – I’m a Titanic nerd.

BAD THINGS:  Sigh. No Leo.

FEATURES:  Bill Paxton acting like a pussy. I don’t believe it for a second, big guy.

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  37145

NOTABLE:  Is in 3-D. And, unfortunately for me, you can’t watch without the glasses and just have to put up with things poking out at your for an hour.

BEST PART:  The recreations edited in with the film of the wreckage

BEST LINE:  Err… it’s mostly narration and windbaggish narration at that so I’ll pass on picking best line this time.

CROWNS:  3 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:23 am Leave a comment

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

MOVIE:  Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

NUTSHELL:  Same as the first movie except… nope same thing.

GOOD THINGS:  Cast, some of the ideas for sequences are nice, familiarity, cutie pie killer dawg, Mackenzie Crook is in this one more.

BAD THINGS:  Screenplay, slow pace, CGI madness and general soullessness

FEATURES:  More supernatural + less pirates = Boo

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  I don’t understand the point of having Bill Nighy if he’s going to be covered entirely by CGI. I mean be reasonable, people.

NOTABLE:  Contains scenes that look like you’re on the ride which is a negative in my view but still sort of funny and takes you out of the screenplay bataan deathmarch for a few moments.

BEST PART:  Jack Davenport, Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Mackenzie Crook in one movie. Not since Tristam Shandy has casting converged in a manner so pleasing to us.

BEST LINE:  It’s a mythological creature, I can calls it what I wants!

CROWNS:  3 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:22 am Leave a comment

Night at the Museum

MOVIE:  Night at the Museum

NUTSHELL:  Wacky CGI thing with Ben Stiller as a security guard trying to control the residents of the Natural History Museum when they come alive at night.

GOOD THINGS:  Features three of my favorite men doing their patented “things” – Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais and Owen Wilson plus Paul Rudd as a wired “bond trader”

BAD THINGS:  Story is a little blah, characters outisde museum wackies are a little blah, predictable action sequences, some atrocious ADR, Jake Cherry as the greasy kid stuff

FEATURES:  Kim Raver, blank-faced puppet creatures, Carla Gugino, Dick Van Dyke, Bill Cobbs, mischevious monkeys, a veritable Noah’s Ark of animated creatures, Sakakawea

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Cavemen make me nervous and coin tricks/sleigh of hand gags make me itch.

NOTABLE:  Written by two of my favorite Reno 911 guys who do get around writing-wise

BEST PART:  Mickey Rooney’s weird name calling

BEST LINE:  Octavius, Mary!

CROWNS:  3 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:21 am Leave a comment

Seafood (hai xian)

MOVIE:  Seafood (hai xian)

NUTSHELL:  Zhu Wen’s DV quirky tale of a suicidal Beijing prostitute who goes to the seaside resort of Beidaihe to end it all, only to find another hotel guest beats her to it and a local policeman is psychotic… and pretty darn frisky even for a nutjob.

GOOD THINGS:  Jin Zi as the depressed, congested and yet ghetto-fabulous pro.

BAD THINGS:  Cheng Taisheng as the psycho. Way too creepy for me! (Plus violence and rape)

FEATURES:  Prada, snow, train rides, sunglasses, a hell of a way to lose money, KFC hand blow dryers

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Salamanders served as food. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. I was sure I was about to see something very unpleasant.

NOTABLE:  Notes say it’s in Mandarin but apparently a couple characters aren’t aware of that.

BEST PART:  The denouement I think. Maybe the funny stuff with the depressed long hair down the hall.

BEST LINE:  Life is wonderful. So much good seafood to eat.

CROWNS:  3 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:20 am Leave a comment

Dazed and Confused (guest)

MOVIE:  Dazed and Confused

GUEST:  XGirl2000

NUTSHELL:  Teens smoke pot, drink beer and cruise around Austin, Texas, looking for a party on the last day of high school, 1976.

GOOD THINGS:  Wiley Wiggins as awkward teenage boy, Parker Posey sending up the high school bitch, a pre-irritating Ben Affleck playing a fat bully, and especially Matthew McConaughey. He is so fab in this movie, that I’ll forever forgive him for all the crap he’s done since.

BAD THINGS:  Absolutely nothing. I worship this film.

FEATURES:  Everyone is in this movie – McConaughey, Posey, Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Anthony Rapp, Milla Jovovich, the London brother who wasn’t on Party of Five, Cole Hauser, Adam Goldberg, Rory Cochrane (who is suprisingly playing a forensic scientist on the Miami CSI – who would’ve thunk it!). Apparently, even Renee Zellweger is in this flick, but I’ve seen it about 900 times and, even though she’s in the credits, I still can’t find her anywhere.

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  The keg delivery getting squelched. Parents answering the door to partygoers who don’t know the party’s off. Adam Goldberg picking a fight with Nicky Katt, getting beat up, then crying about it.

NOTABLE:  A movie so much like my high school experience (sans Texas and the hazing) it scares me. In fact, I once went out with a guy who was just like Wooderson. Thanks to his prediliction for young high school girls, he earned the nickname Joven, Spanish for “yo

BEST PART:  Everything – driving around town aimlessly, as you search for the next party spot, the bitchin’ Camero cruising into the school parking lot to the opening chords of “Sweet Emotion,” Wiley Wiggins buying beer, Parker Posey, and Wooderson, Wooderson, Wooderson. Really, what the f-happened to Matthew McConaughey after this movie? Someone please give him some career guidance.

BEST LINE:  There are so many, it’s hard to pick one, so here are a few: Simmone – “Fry you little piggies, fry!” Darla – “OK all you freshman bitches!” Wooderson – “That’s what I love these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.” Wooderson – “There’s a new fiesta in the making as we speak.” Wooderson – “I love them redheads…” Wooderson to Mitch – “Say man, you got a joint?” “No, not on me man.” “Well, it’d be a lot cooler if you did…” Darla – “Miss Hotstuff, I’m going to make the next year of your life a living hell. Lick me! All of you!”

CROWNS:  5 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:15 am Leave a comment

Finding Nemo (guest)

MOVIE:  Finding Nemo

GUEST:  Nathan Arizona

NUTSHELL:  Big fish eat little fish… unless they’re in a 12-step program.

GOOD THINGS:  Incredibly detailed scenery, fluid animation, sharks needing interventions, short-term memory loss jokes that made this movie MUCH funnier than “Memento” (wait, that wasn’t a comedy…)

BAD THINGS:  Constant peril

FEATURES:  Al Brooks, Willem Defoe, Ellen DeGeneres (no, I will NOT make a cheap joke about tuna), X-treme-sports-loving turtles, World War Two relics, headgear

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  The barracuda

NOTABLE:  A Disney/Pixar film without a heartwarming song by Randy Newman? WTF? And what happened to the outtake reel?

BEST PART:  Bruce fails to cope with temptation.

BEST LINE:  Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine? Mine?

CROWNS:  5 out of 5

May 11, 2011 at 11:14 am Leave a comment

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