Thursday, August 14, 2008

Summer Comedies

Pineapple Express

A great movie and a great comedy. I'm sure everyone has heard the buzz surrounding James Franco's portrayal of Saul Silver, the lovably oblivious pot dealer, and it is true. Franco comes off as the quintessential dealer without appearing overly cheesy or satirical (aside from one part in which his overt satire concerning his musical choices during deals is used perfectly). Newcomer Danny McBride provides the "McLovin"-factor for the movie as Red, a middleman for Saul who goes hard to soft quicker than a Now and Later. He isn't overused and almost all of his lines are comedic gold, including a line near the end that will surely be on of the most quoted from the film. The villians are equally star studded. Gary Cole (most well-known as Bill Lumbergh from Office Space) is disappointing as supplier Ted Jones. His slack is more than picked up by Craig Robinson (Darrel from The Office). Robinson, who plays sensitive hit-man Matheson, serves as a foil to Red's character, logging as much screen time and equal laughs. Rosie Perez and Kevin Corrigan score laughs for the bad guys too as a dyke cop and family-oriented hit-man, respectively. Seth Rogen's character, Dale Denton, is usually relinquished to the background when in scenes with Saul or Red, but still delievers lines in Rogen's trademark bumbling. Despite remaining withdrawn, Dale's back and forth with Saul is smooth and quick-hitting, shooting laugh after laugh and highlighting the centerpiece of the film, the chemistry between Franco and Rogen. Watching them work out of ridiculous situation after ridiculous situation while becoming best pals adds a nice backdrop to the over-the-top action. As of right now, Pineapple Express exceeded my expectations. The action sequences were great for a comedy and the comedic sections were non-stop laughs. Written by Rogen and Evan Goldberg, Pineapple Express is sort of a stoner version of Superbad (also written by the duo), but I think ranks above it. One of the best Apatow movies (just below Knocked Up and 40-Year Old Virgin) and highly recommended. I also have a feeling it will grow on me even further when I watch it again (and again) on DVD when released. Check it out.

Grade: B+

Step Brothers

I think Will Ferrell is hilarious. Movies like Anchorman and Old School cemented him as one of the top comedic actors of our generation. I even thought Blades of Glory was pretty funny, despite all the criticism it got. Recently, he has fallen off. Talladega Nights was a waste, Semi-Pro wasn't even semi-good, and though Blades of Glory gave me some good laughs, it didn't have the wit that his previous classics had. As far as John C. Reilly goes, I haven't been much a fan of his comedies. I think of him more as the policeman in Gangs of New York than Dewey Cox. With that said, I went into Step Brothers with low expectations. Well I was shocked. The movie is hilarious. My biggest problem with Will Ferrell had been that the character he played in his previous movies had all started to sound the same. It was as if each of his movies had a different plot but starred the same fictional guy. However, Brennan Huff is not like Ron Burgandy or Bobby Ricky or Jackie Moon. This character fits the plot rather than finicking with the plot to fit his character. Similarly to Franco and Rogen (who makes a cameo in Step Brothers) in Pineapple Express, the centerpiece of this movie is also the chemistry between Ferrell and Reilly. They seem like they are having so much fun and are really brothers that you forget they aren't actually when watching the movie. Although the plot of the movie is simplistic, the laughs are unrelenting. I was actually crying during parts of the movie. Look for a scene where Brennan's younger brother, Derrick (played by incredibly hilarious Adam Scott) and his family do their personal rendition of Guns 'N' Roses "Sweet Child' O Mine". The laughs are cheap here (usually involving sex, bodily functions, and constant use of every curse word known to man), but definitely one of the funniest movies I've seen in awhile. Must see.

Grade: B

Apatow is having a huge summer. He just seems to churn out movie after movie that are priceless. I'd love to just get an in with their crew. Aside from being hilarious, they all help each other out. Every one of their movies you see someone who was some obscure role in another Apatow flick.

I actually re-watched Heavy Weights this week too, which I didn't know was also an Apatow joint as well. If you haven't seen it, one of Ben Stiller's best performances. Go rent it now. One of the greatest 90's movies you've never seen.

More updates later.


Saturday, August 2, 2008

Promise. Still here.

Huge party tonight at Doug and Danny's new house in Bowie. Math time: 86 acres + 4 kegs= madness.

A lot of shit to catch up on. I swear I'll be better at posting in this.

Update later.

P.S. Everyone pick up these two albums. So good. Pay money too, they deserve it.

Anthony Green- Dear Child (I've Been Dying To Reach You)

Good Old War- Coney Island