Category: Movies


Dinner For Schmucks

Dinner for Schmucks

Directed by Jay Roach. Starring Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Jemaine Clement, Zach Galifianakis, Stephanie Szostak, and Lucy Punch.

Let’s face it, you already know if you’re going to like Dinner for Schmucks. Can’t get enough of Steve Carell’s painfully uncomfortable awkwardness or Paul Rudd’s seemingly effortless charm? Then this is the movie for you. Dinner for Schmucks suffers from a terribly slow first Act littered with too much expository dialogue, but with the introduction of Steve Carell’s Barry, the movie picks up some serious speed and becomes all that it promises to be: funny.

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Mind-Heist Madness

Inception

Written and directed by Chris Nolan

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, and Michael Caine

“There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.” So says David H. Everett and Inception agrees to the fullest, by constructing a world where dream and reality collide to the point where it becomes nearly impossible to distinguish the two.

Inception, at its very basic level, is a heist film, except instead of robbing a bank or jewelry store the characters break into a subject’s subconscious via dreams and their big pay-off is information. Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) are specialists in “extraction”, breaking into someone’s mind and taking whatever information they’re hiding. However this can only be accomplished when the subject and extractors are sedated and hooked up to a “sleep machine” of sorts (similar to “jacking into” the Matrix) allowing for multiple layers of dreams to be created (dreaming within a dream).

Cobb and Arthur are eventually hired to do the opposite of extraction: “inception”, which is planting an idea deeply enough into the subconscious of a target, so that they wake up thinking the idea was theirs, allowing you to plant any idea (sinister or benign) without a trace. They plan on doing this by creating a triple layered dream (dreaming within a dream within a dream, get it?) and so they set out to recruit a team and plan their attack for this widely considered impossible feat.

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Marvel has announced that Tommy Lee Jones will be joining the ever increasingly awesome cast of their upcoming movie Captain America. Tommy will be playing Col. Phillips who, for those of you unfamiliar with the comics, is the guy who recruits Steve Rogers (Captain America) to be a test subject in project Rebirth, which eventually transforms him into the shield wielding hero.

While I’m still skeptical about how Chris Evans’ performance as the Cap will turn out, having Tommy Lee Jones join in, alongside Stanley Tucci and Hugo Weaving (as friggin Red Skull), will hopefully make this movie great. That is if those three have a lot of screen time. Since it is an origin story I’d think that Tommy and Stanley’s roles will be slightly larger than they actually are in the comics and if that’s the case, they can easily help carry any scenes for Chris Evans if he starts to bomb. Can’t wait to see how this one turns out.

Monologue’n

Since there haven’t been any Descents the past two days because both Kyle and I have run out of funny (kind of) non sequiturs to jazz up our work days, I decided to come back to a series that I had abandoned here and talk about monologues!

It’s been a while since I’ve touched this segment. I’d like to blame it on the fact that my collection of plays is limited to crazy absurdist tragicomedies and Arthur Miller, but we all know the real reason is laziness. Thankfully I’m working now so my laziness takes a back seat to intense boredom and I come write about plays to keep myself entertained…if I had a lot of good plays to write about. Seeing as how I don’t, I’m going to talk about a movie today! Training Day directed by Antoine Fuqua to be more precise.

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Hulu-Hoop

terrible title

Me when I discovered Hulu
I apologize for the lackluster Descent post yesterday; I was occupied with a magical creature called Hulu. I found out only this afternoon that I am capable of watching videos on Hulu while at work! I have no idea why this is. Hulu (among other sites) has a frustrating NO WATCHING OUR CRAP OUTSIDE OF THE STATES policy, and consequently I’m a little more stretched for entertainment than my US-based friends. Discovering this warehouse of digital media was a little overwhelming at first. There is so much stuff to watch! I watched an episode of Modern Family, Glee, and the first few minutes of Dr. Strangelove without a problem. I didn’t have to hunt down a DVD or download anything via torrents (not that I would ever do that ever). Unfortunately this well of delights is only available at work. My thinking is that the American embassy is considered to be on American soil, and hence isn’t technically outside of the United States. I’m not sure, and I don’t dare investigate further for fear of jinxing my discovery. What baffles me further is that my work computer has neither Flash nor Java activated on it, so I have no idea how Hulu functions.

I don’t mean to turn this post into a “starving children in Africa would love to have this” deal, but it’s going that way. You bored folks in the states (with a decent internet speed) are incredibly well off. Pandora, Hulu, Netflix, and other US-exclusive services are enough to entertain you for half of your lifetime. Going back to the internet speed thing, most people in the States have a significantly better connection than a surprising amount of the rest of the world (or at least the entirety of Poland). I miss playing World of Warcraft with a ping of <300 milliseconds.

I think I’m done grumbling for now- oh look, Star Trek: First Contact. See you in two hours!

CONCERNING DISNEY MOVIES

LISTEN UP YOU PERPETUALLY INCOMPETENT ASSHATS, TODAY WE’RE TALKING ABOUT FILMS MADE BY DISNEY

FOR OVER 70 YEARS DISNEY HAS BEEN CRANKING OUT THESE FLAWLESS HALLMARKS OF CINEMA. SERIOUSLY THEY HAVE AN ALMOST PERFECT TRACK RECORD (EXCLUDING THE PAST DECADE OR SO, THEY’VE HAD SOME LESS-THAN-STELLAR RELEASES).

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Amanda Bynes #Retires

She coulda been the next Meryl Streep.

Amanda Bynes, star of such innovating films as She’s the Man, Sydney White and Big Fat Liar, announced her retirement from acting through her twitter account Monday.

“I’ve never written the movies & TV shows I’ve been apart of I’ve only acted like the characters the producers or directors wanted me to play. Being an actress isn’t as fun as it may seem. If I don’t love something anymore I stop doing it. I don’t love acting anymore so I’ve stopped doing it. I know 24 is a young age to retire but you heard it here first I’ve #retired.”

You know it’s true because of the hashtag. If Penelope Taynt is telling the truth, then The Easy A will be her last role in film and her part in Hair Spray will be her best one. She’ll always be Judge Trudy to me. Bring out the dancin’ lobstahs!

What To Watch – Batman: Under the Red Hood

For any big Batman or Batman: Animated Series fan, this is pretty awesome news. The famous story arch of The Red Hood has been turned into an animated film set for straight to DVD release on July 27. The film, similar to the comics, is set years after Jason Todd’s (the second Robin) death and follows Batman as he battles a new mysterious villain, Red Hood. I won’t give any spoilers away for those who haven’t read the story, but the twists are pretty crazy and the movie has an assortment of characters from Joker and Nightwing to Ra’s al Ghul to stick to the comics as much as it can.

While neither Kevin Conroy nor Mark Hamill return to voice the characters of Batman and Joker respectively, the new cast does include Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser M.D., How I Met Your Mother) and John DiMaggio (Gears of War, Futurama) to name just a few.

I know I’m excited about this thing and am definitely going to pick me up a copy come July 27, how about you guys?

Some Things Just Can’t Be Undone

Dragonball: Evolution

Directed by Jason Wong, starring Justin Chatwin, Chow Yun-Fat, Emmy Rossum and James Marsters

The past few posts I’ve made have all started out with an apology for The Shpitz’s lack of…dedication and this one is no different. We’ve all been too lazy to sit down and write something plus we all had very a stressful seven days vacationing in sunny Barcelona last week (which Tyler recorded and might put up here… might) so I’ll use that as an excuse for not posting anything in forever.

Good news though, this is our 50th post and what better way to celebrate that than with a review of Dragonball: Evolution! YAY!!!

This movie blows.

Now, I wish I could stop there. I’d like to end it at that, turn around, walk away and try to suppress the memory of ever having seen this thing. But for some reason, I can’t. It was so terrible that I actually want to talk about it; I need to rant about this horrifying Anime adaptation and the crap that goes on in it, for the good of the land.

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The Best of Brooks

Mel Brooks certainly rode a blazing saddle. With a Grammy, Tony, Oscar and Emmy under his belt and the honor of having three of his films ranked in the top 20 on AFI’s 100 comedies of all-time, it’s safe to say this guy knows funny. After rewatching the musical mash-up of his work at the 2009 Kennedy Center Honors, I decided to put together a little list (in no particular order) of my favorite Mel Brooks comedies. LISTS!

Spaceballs (1987)

Brooks’ Star Wars spoof is packed full of ridiculous gags that’ll make you roll with laughter and slap your forehead sighing, “wow he actually went through with that one” (gotta love that jammed radar joke). With Rick Moranis, John Candy and Mel Brooks himself at the helm of this satirical ship, it’s a must see for any comedy fan. May the Schwartz be with you.

Blazing Saddles (1974)

The movie that gave us the famous campfire fart scene, Blazing Saddles tells the twisted tale of a corrupt political boss who convinces the dim-witted Governor (cross-eyed, paddle ball enthusiast Mel Brooks) to elect a black Sheriff in hopes that he will be lynched leaving it unprotected for bandits. With Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn and Cleavon Little, this movie satirizes the obscured racism of Cowboy movies…but more importantly it’s hilarious.

Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)

As the tagline states, “the legend had it coming…”. Mel Brooks retells the Robin Hood mythos with his own comedic, satirical twist in his parody of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Robin Hood leads his men in tights (tight tights!) to steal from the rich, give to the poor and yadda yadda you know the story already. Cary Elwes, Dave Chappelle and Richard Lewis front this film and deliver a stream of gags that will most likely leave you more entertained than the recent Russell Crowe adaptation.

The Producers (1968)

Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel, need I say more? Brooks’ most ambitious project is about a pair of Producers who realize you can make more money with a flop than with a hit, and then go on to produce “Springtime for Hitler” (a supposed sure-fire flop) only to have audiences fall in love with it. While most critics at the time hated this film, it’s garnered a significant cult following due to the musical adaptation’s success (also written by Mel Brooks) and the fact that it’s amazing.

High Anxiety (1978)

Have you ever thought that Alfred Hitchcock was too dark and just needed to lighten up a little? Well apparently so did Mel Brooks and so he created High Anxiety an homage to the Master of Suspense, parodying “The Birds”, “Psycho” and “Vertigo” to name a few. The film stars Brooks staples Madeline Kahn and Harvey Korman and is a laugh a minute.

Young Frankenstein (1974)

Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle and Cloris Leachman lead this classic horror movie spoof about a young Dr. Frankenstein (that’s Frankensteen, thank you very much) who travels to his Grandfather’s castle for scientific research, ultimately ending in reanimating human life! Brooks is at his best with this movie and the scene where Dr. Frankenstein and Igor discuss a werewolf is so stupid that it’s amazing.

The Producers (2005)

Yeah, yeah I know, I already have “The Producers” on my list, but this one is the musical adaptation and is significantly different than the original. So there. With Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Uma Thurman and Will Ferrell, the musical version tells basically the same story as it’s predecessor but with enough changes for it to be a completely different experience. Mel Brooks further proves his comic genius (as if that needed proving) by writing all of the songs in this musical, and you’ll be singing “keep it gay” weeks after watching.

History of the World: Part I (1981)

What Mel Brooks movie list is complete without “History of the World: Part I”? This film gave us the famous Brooks line, “It’s good to be the king” as well as an assortment of jokes and gags that you’ll recognize even if you haven’t seen the film. It’s one heck of a movie and if you’re a Mel Brooks fan who hasn’t seen it (which is doubtful) change that now!