Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Year End Movie Review

There have been a lot of year end lists, reviews and magazine specials recently, so I figured it was time for mine. To my records, I have seen 33 movies that were released this year. Probably not as many as my brother, who constantly reminds us that he "lives across the street from a movie theater." Thanks for the reminder. Now go enjoy that 2:30 showing of Happy Feet. So without further adieu, my top ten.

10. Thank You For Smoking

Satire is always hard to pull off, but Aaron Eckhart and the rest of the cast pull it off. Highlights include Rob Lowe and Adam Brody as a kimono-wearing movie exec and his high energy assitant.

9. Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny

I wasn't a huge D fan before I saw this movie, but it really has turned me on to their stuff. Yes it's cheaply done. Yes it has fart jokes. And yes it all works. Cameos from Amy Poehler, Dave Grohl, and Tim Robbins compliment the sheer joy that Kyle Gass and Jack Black have riffing (literally) off each other. And I'm still working on my push-up.

8. Stranger Than Fiction

Will Ferrell's transition to the Jim Carrey side of film works well his first time out. Flanked by Emma Thompson and a hilarious Dustin Hoffman conjuring the quirkyness that he first fleshed out in Wag the Dog and I Heart Huckabees, Ferrell's Harold Crick is an everyman that you end up rooting for despite his own inner torment.

7. Borat

My favorite movie of the year with an extended full nude man-on-man wrestling scene. At times cover your eyes-gape your mouth offensive, at others wipe your eyes-guffaw inducing hilarious, Sacha Baron Cohen's social statement says more about the racism and ignorance of Americans than any Spike Lee documentary could. But, people ask me, aren't you offended as a jew?? People, Cohen (duh!) is jewish. The real offensive people are the ones who can't understand his message.

6. Dreamgirls

Just give Jennifer Hudson the Oscar right now as far as I'm concerned. She gleams as Effie, the ousted backup singer diva of the titular 'Dreams'. The flaws in the film are the flaws of the stage show. Underwritten and underdeveloped, it may have been more satisfying with a four hour running time as a two part-TV movie or miniseries. Yet the production values are flawless and the performances electric. And I am telling you I'm going to see it again.

5. The Devil Wears Prada

We've seen it before. A green young kid gets met with obstacles in his/her way to becoming a professional. But the obstacle this time was a diabolical ice queen played with such pinpoint devilish glee by the master, Meryl Streep. Between guessing what meal to bring her, to the daily tongue-lashing she receives from her boss Streep and co-worker Emily Blunt, Anne Hathaway held her own and then some. Streep proves once again that she is THE top actress in America.

4. The Departed

Matt Damon. Leonardo DiCaprio. Jack Nicholson. Mark Wahlberg. Alec Baldwin. Martin Sheen. You knew it was going to be good. But it exceeded even the highest expectations anyone must've had. It was truly entertaining, engrossing, and had it just felt like you were watching a slick, intelligent crime story. Scorese gets back to his roots, Damon and DiCaprio do some of the best work of their already stellar young careers, and Alec Baldwin steals every scene that he's in. I only wished it would have as smart an ending as the rest of the film.

3. The Descent

First, I am a horror fan. I love a good, scary movie. And the best horror movies are the ones that are about real people, that don't pander to stupid teenagers, and that throw you curves here and there. A film about six people who get stuck in a cave might have been terrifying enough, but then it turns on its head halfway through as Bat Boy attacks. And though it could have devolved into a standard monster movie flick, and became more and more about man vs. man, and how people would react in pressure situations. Plus, I never was, but I will NEVER go into a cave in my lifetime.

2. Casino Royale

Daniel Craig gives the grittiest Bond performance in history in the best Bond movie ever made. In what is perhaps the best action movie since Die Hard, Casino Royale makes Bond bleed, not from his leg or his arm, but from his heart. The tango Craig engages with co-star Eva Green, is witty, warm, and real. We finally see Bond without his armor, and that makes him much more human to us. And now, we know why he is who he is. Truly a film, like Batman Begins, where I can't wait for the next one.

1. Little Miss Sunshine

Heartwarming and hilarious, this is the little picture that could. A dysfunctional family trip with sad and funny bends at every road. Led by the loserish-Tony Robbins patriarch Greg Kinnear and a surprisingly tender Steve Carell as a suicidal gay scholar, this should be required viewing for any who has thought that their family just doesn't get them. The script stays true to life while throwing the family into a few outlandish scenarios. And when they finally arrive at the Little Miss Sunshine beauty contest, it begins to really get scary. Funkilicious!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

New Schedule

So I want to get back into writing here more, but finding the time is the immense issue. I thought maybe if I set a schedule based on want I usually write about, it could be followed cause I'm such a Type A personality.




NOT!!! I mean about the type A thing, not the schedule thing. So here's the first schedule thing. Since I talk about movies a lot, I'll make Friday my movie night, and preview all the upcoming films hitting theaters each weekend. This Friday it's gonna be movie equation night. Here goes.

Matthew McCounaghey - shirtless ness

divided by

United 93 - twin towers + football team



Jumanji - Robin Williams + Ben Stiller + Robin Williams

multiplied by

A Night at the Roxbury - the Roxbury


Night at the Museum

Rocky + Rocky II + Rocky III + Rocky IV (but not Rocky V)

mutliplied by



Rocky Balboa

Syriana + Good Night and Good Luck

divided by

Ben's boyfriend and Brad's girlfriend


Brandon Ridenour


The Good Shephard

So for the weekend, if you're choosing to venture out I'd say
Best Bet: Rocky Balboa
If you've got the money: We Are Marshall
Steer Clear: Night at the Museum

and if you don't want to go out

DVD Rental of the Week: Little Miss Sunshine.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I'm baaaaack!!!


Hello?? No, no, no. Don't hang up. It's me. Me. Unky Rob. Remember?? We were friends once. I used to write to you a few times a week. I had afternoons filled with thoughts about Steven Seagal, Chick Flicks, and midgets. But then something amazing happened.

I got a job. What? Yes, a real job. Kind of.

So I'm a hall monitor at my old high school. It beats renting out The Lizzie Maguire movie to a 40 year old man. It's better than working retail or cash register or at a car wash. I think I love schools, but I hate classes. That's a problem. But now I get to punish kids who have the same problem.
Disrespect me? Detention!
In the hall without your pass? Detention.
Hitting a kid in the nuts?? Double Detention.
Ripping up the detention I give you?? Well, you're looking at a fat inschool suspension.

And when I wasn't monitoring, ahem, excuse me, SUPERVISING the halls, I was at rehearsal for Children of Eden. Molding minds. Choreographing arms. Smacking AJ in the back of the head. You know, the stuff every director does. But now that we've closed, and all know what the shape of Dwight's Linus looks like, I can continue writing with a vengance. And I'm back. Back, baby!

Don't hang up. I'm not done yet. You may want to get rid of me. You may want to make me disappear like Michael Richards career. But it ain't gonna run. I aint' scared. I will commit. I will commit again. I will recommit, if you will, to you. To the kitchen sink. And to you Mr. Seagal. God bless you.

Unky Rob