Archive for the ‘Actors’ Category

One Blonde Goes to a Movie: 127 Hours

November 30, 2010

Jessica says:

The description you might have heard about 127 Hours is probably something along the lines of, “It’s based on a true story about a guy who has to cut his own arm off.”  Let’s just clear something up right off the bat – to say he ‘cut’ off his arm is a bit misleading.  What actually happens is way more horrifyingly awful.

It is based on the true story of Aron Ralston, a 20-something outdoorsman who had an accident while hiking a desert canyon alone.  He fell as a boulder came loose.  That boulder ended up pinning his arm against the canyon wall.  He remained stuck there for the 127 hours of the film’s title.  127 hours.  Just think about that for a second.  Think of how uncomfortable you would be if you just had to stay on your couch for 127 hours, much less be pinned against a canyon wall with no food or water.

Aron does end up cutting off his own arm, but as I said before – ‘cut’ isn’t really the right word there.  He actually hacks his own arm off with a blade the size of a nail file.  I am not typically squeamish in real life, or in movies, but I had to avert my eyes at points.  Bones breaking, cutting nerves, drinking urine – It’s all a bit much after an hour or so.  I actually just looked up the runtime of 127 Hours and was shocked to find that it’s only 94 minutes.  I would have sworn it was closer to two hours.  I was worn out by the end of the movie.  Side note on the drinking of the urine:  I learned from reading Why Do Men Have Nipples? by Mark Leyner and Billy Goldberg that drinking your own urine doesn’t really help you any if you’re dying of thirst.  It doesn’t hurt you because urine is sterile, but it doesn’t help.  I digress…

127 Hours is an emotional workout.  I would be remiss if I didn’t say something about James Franco’s performance.  I expect to see him nominated for a Best Actor Oscar and he deserves the nomination.  If you’ve seen director Danny Boyle’s previous work like Trainspotting or Slumdog Millionaire, then you know his style is a bit frenetic.  I’ll be honest, sometimes I like that franticness exciting and sometimes I find it tedious.  I liked it in Slumdog Millionaire and was irritated by it in Trainspotting.  I ended up on the fence about it in 127 Hours.  The movie did make me question how strong my own desire to live is – would I be willing to break my own bones and slice my own nerves?  Would I have the mental strength to keep myself sane while starving to death?  I hope I never have to find out.

I would recommend seeing this movie, but not if you are prone to fainting, squeamish, etc.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you though.  It’s tough.

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Two Blondes Go to a Movie: Morning Glory

November 28, 2010

Jessica says:

I’ve become obsessed with trying to figure this out – is Harrison Ford really as cranky as he appears?  His character in Morning Glory is cartoonishly over-the-top in his curmudgeonly ways.  He literally growls at people.  Then in all the press I’ve seen him do for this…or ever, now that I think about it, he seems grumpy in the interviews too.  Is that actually him or is that the “Harrison Ford” character he plays in the public?  I guess I need to go to someone who knows him to verify, so hang on a sec. while I ring up Calista…

Even though the entire plot of this movie was foreseeable to me and anyone who has ever seen a romantic comedy, I still thoroughly enjoyed it.  It kind of felt like some marketing executive downloaded all my information from Facebook and made a movie tailored to me – young aspiring television producer works her way up the career ladder, falls in love with cute boy at work, falters in both personal and professional matters, but comes out on top in the end.  This movie played me like a fiddle, but it’s OK because it was fun (like what I imagine it’s like to play “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”).

Rachel McAdams is adorable, but that really shouldn’t come as any surprise.  Diane Keaton is likeable even when she is playing a character that is kind of crazy.  I really wish John Pankow would have had more screen time as the 2nd in command to Rachel McAdams character.  You might not recognize his name, but you would recognize his face from his many, many appearances on TV in character roles (Mad About You, Ally McBeal, Law & Order, etc.).  He was funny and sympathetic – I wanted more.

All in all, I’d say this movie is exactly what you’d expect, but that makes it nonetheless entertaining.  It would make a nice Sunday matinee with a girlfriend, your sister, or mom.

Alison says:

I really, really like Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford, so I went to see this film with Jessica despite being the kind of girl who often prefers movies with explosions or elves. And despite the lack of explosions and/or elves, I really enjoyed the film. It’s charming and cute and funny. I’m really happy to see Rachel McAdams playing this type of character and she does a good job of carrying the film. I thought she was really great playing against Harrison Ford as the crotchety old guy. And there’s just nothing not to love about Diane Keaton. Also, can we talk about how amazing Diane Keaton’s figure is. I’m not trying to be creepy, but her body is rocking.

I found myself laughing throughout the film and did enjoy myself and loved the cast, but towards the later part of the movie, it did start to feel pretty predictable, somewhat “paint by the numbers” (not sure if that works as a description for a script, but I’m going with it). The music got kinda heavy handed and you felt like you were being spoon fed the plot. That said, it’s still a film I’d recommend going to with your girlfriends or your mom. You’ll laugh and be charmed.

LA Viewers: I’d recommend a matinee or Netflix.

Translation for non-LA Viewers: It’s a cute flick.

Two Blondes Go to a Movie: Easy A

September 23, 2010

Jessica says:

Easy A is the story of…well, it’s the story of Hestor Prynne in The Scarlet Letter.  OK, not exactly.  Thanks to Mr. Oldvader and AP American Literature my junior year of high school I’ve actually read The Scarlet Letter (not just the Cliff’s Notes).  Emma Stone’s character, Olive, does not have an adulterous affair with a minister (Spoiler alert?  The book was published in 1850, so you can’t be upset if you didn’t already know that).  In fact, she doesn’t have an affair with anyone, but claims she does.  The entire plot of the movie is then predicated on that lie.  Olive pretends to sleep with a friend who is bullied for being gay.  Her claims of sexual promiscuity multiply and snowball from there.

There are some issues with the plot

– the story mechanics can be clunky at times, but Emma Stone sure is charming.  As charming as she is, Patricia Clarkson, Stanley Tucci, and Lisa Kudrow steal the movie in supporting roles.  I did often find myself distracted with thoughts about how no public school I’ve ever head of would allow a female student to wear a bustier as a shirt (which Olive does for most of the film).

Easy A is 100% predictable, but still enjoyable.  Save this one for a rental though.

Alison says:

Here’s what I have to say after watching Easy A – I really like Emma Stone.  She’s funny, beautiful and talented, but I’m sure you didn’t need me to point that out for you. I was happy to see her getting her own movie and think she held her own in it. Also, I must point out Stanley Tucci is much buffer than I realized. he’s a hot dad in this movie. And there’s a scene where he’s wearing a form fitting gray shirt, and I was pretty astounded to realize he’s got major biceps.

Back to the movie… I really liked parts of this movie. There were some cool shots where the director showed how quickly gossip travels around a modern day high school campus, lots of zipping around in a big circle.  I laughed a fair amount throughout the film and found the main characters endearing and amusing.  It was entertaining along with being sweet.

But there were parts to it that felt heavy handed and super predictable. Maybe if I was 16, I’d feel differently, but I’m not. There was one scene where a story “twist” occurred that Jessica and I could see coming from 3,000 miles away, but there were others in the movie theater who gasped. So maybe Jessica and I are just too smart. That’s probably it.

LA Viewers: Worth paying for a matinee at the Grove. It’s cute and funny. And we like supporting gals like Emma Stone and biceps like Stanley Tucci’s.

Translation for non-LA viewers: Matinee it up!

One Blonde Goes to a Movie: The Town

September 17, 2010

Jessica Says:

I just read an article in Entertainment Weekly where Ben Affleck said; “It’s kind of hard to disavow a movie when you’re the actor, writer, and director.  You’re definitely all in.”  The good news is he won’t have to worry about trying to disavow The Town because it’s great.

The Town is a movie full of actors I enjoy watching:  Ben Affleck and Jon Hamm (both dreamy…I mean, handsome), Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall, Titus Welliver (the Man in Black from Lost and honestly, is there a cooler name?), and Chris Cooper.  Ben Affleck plays the leader of a gang of bank robbers from Charlestown in Boston.  Charlestown was apparently the bank robbing capital of the US back in the 1990s.  Rebecca Hall plays the manager of the bank the gang robs at the beginning of the film.  They are concerned she might be able to identify them after the robbery, so Ben Affleck’s character tails her.  In the process of following her, they end up romantically involved and that relationship (along with other factors) leads his character to question his life choices.  Jon Hamm and Titus Welliver are the FBI and police agents tasked with catching the robbery gang.  Through the rest of the film you watch him struggle to escape the pull of his community.

One of my favorite little twists (not a plot twist, so not a spoiler) is that the hero’s best friend (Jeremy Renner) is also one of the villains of the story.  Jeremy Renner, along with the entire cast, delivers top-notch performances, which must partially be a testament to Affleck’s directing ability.

Without giving away the ending, I will just say that I approved of it.  I was nervous as the story progressed that I wouldn’t like what the ending might be because the truth is quite a few horrible crimes are committed by the hero of The Town and even though you know he’s struggling to change his life, I also felt like he and his gang should have to pay for their crimes.

Go see The Town this weekend.  It’s deserves to have a decent opening weekend.  It’s totally worth the full ticket price.

Two Blondes Go to a Movie: Going the Distance

September 8, 2010

ALISON SAYS:

I was slightly anxious about going to see this movie.  A friend wrote the screenplay and the main female character is based on my old roommate’s best friend.  So I was worried about going to see this movie, not liking it (I was not in love with the trailer) and then having to write an honest review.  Luckily, I didn’t have anything to worry about and really enjoyed this flick.

I’m also not a romantic comedy kind of girl, but Going the Distance is not a typical romantic comedy kind of film.  First off, it’s a lot funnier than those types of films and it’s not forced humor like you usually see in chick flicks. And it’s not just for the ladies. Guys will like this film too, I swear.  The jokes are dirty, mostly smart and darn funny. It’s one of the more honest portrayals of what it’s like to date in this day and age. And also what’s it’s like to try and keep a relationship alive despite having 3000 miles keeping you apart. I also loved the relationship between Justin Long’s character, Garrett, and his guy friends. Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis were hysterical as Garrett’s disgusting, intrusive, loveable pals.

Drew Barrymore and Justin Long are really great in this film.  They make a cute couple, are funny together and brought a levity to some of the “sadder” scenes that I did not expect to find seeing this movie.  But for me, some of the best parts were what the supporting cast brought to the screen. I was so excited to see people like Kristen Schaal (in a minor part), Jim Gaffigan and Rob Riggle. This was also probably one of my favorite roles for Christina Applegate since The Sweetest Thing.  Kudos to the casting director.

Overall, I laughed a lot.

LA Viewers: I paid full price at Arclight and think it was worth it.

Translation for non-LA viewers: Wanna laugh?  Go see this movie.  Ladies, need a date movie your dude won’t hate? Go see this movie.

JESSICA SAYS:

I can tell before I even get started writing this that this review is going to be pretty short.  Between seeing Going the Distance last week and writing this review I came down with a bad case of some kind of stomach flu.  I’ll spare everyone the details, but I’m just now coming into the clear.  My post-flu haze is making it hard to remember the details of what I really thought of the movie.  What I do remember is it was one of those movies where you walk out and go, ‘That was enjoyable.  Not really challenging on any level, just an enjoyable story to watch.’  As Alison said in her review, I, too, know Alison’s old roommate—the girl who was the basis for one of the supporting characters in this movie.  I was a bit nervous of how to handle this review, if I ended up not liking the movie.  Luckily, I liked it.

My main thought coming out of Going the Distance was – it seems like it would be fun to hang out with Drew Barrymore and Justin Long.  They seem fun.  Plus, Jim Gaffigan and Christina Applegate are pret-ty funny.  There is a scene on a dining room table that made me laugh out loud, but I don’t want to ruin it for you (it’s in the trailers though).

Going the Distance is worth the full ticket price.  It would make the perfect date movie.

Two Blondes Make Their Emmy Predictions

August 28, 2010

Emmy time is upon us!  Here is our breakdown of who we think will win and who we want to win for each category for the 2010 Primetime Emmys:

Outstanding Comedy Series

Jessica’s Vote:  30 Rock – If it my choice here comes as a surprise to you, this is obviously your first time visiting our blog because I mention my love for this show and Tina Fey about once every other post.  Love, love, love, love.

Alison’s vote: I’m going to have to agree with Jessica on this one.  I love 30 Rock, but I am a little torn, because Modern Family has made me very happy this year.

Jessica’s Prediction:  Modern Family – There has been so much buzz about this show this year, it would come as a surprise if anything else won.  Glee is obviously a much buzzed about show as well, but I’m giving the edge to Modern FamilyGlee is an hour-long show, which is unusual for the comedy category and there was some industry grumbling about whether or not it belongs in this category. I think Emmy voters will be drawn to the fact that Modern Family is a traditional-style sitcom.

Alison’s Prediction:  I also second Jessica’s prediction for Modern Family.

Outstanding Comedy Actor

Jessica’s Vote & Prediction:  Steve Carell (The Office) – I know Tony Shalhoub has taken this category in the past, but I think this is finally Steve Carell’s year.  He’s announced he’s leaving The Office at the end of this upcoming season and has yet to win for this role – one that it’s hard to imagine The Office without.  Hmm, it might also go to Jim Parsons for The Big Bang Theory.  He has buzz still going from last year.

Alison’s Vote & Prediction:  I have a real soft spot for Monk, but also am constantly amused by Alec Baldwin and Steve Carell.  I’m gonna have to vote for and predict Steve Carell.

Outstanding Comedy Actress

Jessica’s Vote:  Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) – While Tina Fey is awesome, when it comes to specifically being a comedic actress, I can’t think of anyone working in TV who is better that Amy Poehler.  She manages to make Leslie Knope, a character who in lesser hands would be irritating, endearing.

Alison’s vote: Tina Fey.  I heart 30 Rock.

Jessica’s Prediction:  Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) – I have never seen this show*, so I have no idea what her performance is like, but I hear good things about her and the show constantly.

Alison’s Prediction: Not sure who to predict, as I’m a little behind on what’s going on in television these days and haven’t seen all of these shows.  Wait, Alison, you haven’t seen these shows and you’re still voting on such important issues? Yes, yes I am, it’s my blog and I can blindly vote if I want to.

Outstanding Drama Series

Jessica’s Vote:  Lost…or Mad Men…how can I be expected to choose one?  I mean, I love Lost.  Loooove, and I’m still mourning my loss from the show ending.  It deserves the Emmy win for best drama for the overall show, not just this season.  However, I also love Mad Men and…OK, if I have to pick one, it’s Lost.

Alison’s Vote:  I really don’t know how to choose between Lost and Breaking Bad.  They’re two of the best television shows you will ever see.  Best writing, directing, acting, everything!  I love both of them to the point of watching multiple episodes in a row and not getting enough sleep on many occasions.  Jessica is telling me I have to choose…. KA-PLOW!!!!!!

We interrupt this blog to let you know Alison’s head exploded because she could not decide which is better, Lost or Breaking Bad.

Jessica’s Prediction:  Mad Men

Outstanding Drama Actor

Jessica’s Vote:  KYLE CHANDLER!  Sorry, I’m just so excited that he’s finally nominated I couldn’t contain myself.

Alison’s Vote: I don’t know how to choose between Matthew Fox and Bryan Cranston and am terrified to even try because of the previous incident.  They both amazed me this year with their work.  Also, like Jessica, I am a huge fan of Kyle Chandler’s.  He should win the award for portraying the kind of husband every girl wants with eyes that reach into your soul.

Jessica’s Prediction:  Bryan Cranston.

Outstanding Drama Actress

Jessica’s Vote:  CONNIE BRITTON.  Sorry, same problem again.  Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler are my favorite couple on television.  However, I fear not enough people watch Friday Night Lights for it to win, so…

Alison’s Vote: I really, really want Connie Britton to won. The way she portrayed a mother’s struggles with her teenage daughter really made me want to call my mom and apologize for a lot of incidents in high school.

Jessica’s Prediction:  Julianna Margulies.  She’s already won every other award for which she qualifies with The Good Wife and it is a good show.

Outstanding Reality – competition Series

Jessica’s Vote:  Well, my vote would be for So You Think You Can Dance, but it’s not nominated.

Alison’s Vote: I don’t watch reality TV, so I leave this one to Jessica.

Jessica’s Prediction:  Amazing Race because, well, they always win.

Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy

Jessica’s Vote & Prediction:  Gee, I don’t know…maybe THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O’BRIEN!!  Do I enjoy and watch all the shows nominated in this category?  Yes.  Did I work on one of them, namely The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien?  Yes.  It’s just like my mom told me when I wanted to be in student council in junior high and one of my friends told me she would vote for me, if I would vote for her.  Mom said if you’re not willing to vote for yourself, then why would anybody else vote for you?  And I’d really like us to win this.

Alison’s Vote & Prediction:  Jessica’s words on this subject were perfect.  I loved working on this show with this group of people and we all worked really hard to make something special. Just getting a nomination already is of course wonderful enough recognition on its own, but it would also be nice to watch our friends holding up a shiny, dangerously pointy award on stage.**

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

Jessica’s Vote:  30 Rock “Anna Howard Shaw Day”  In case you don’t remember, this is the episode where Liz Lemon schedules a root canal on Valentine’s Day.  Look it up on Hulu, if you haven’t seen it.

Alison’s Vote: I can’t choose between 30 Rock and Modern Family.  Both shows make me incredibly happy and both shows are what I take the time to watch on a regular basis.

Jessica’s Prediction:  The Office “Niagra”  It’s the Jim and Pam get married episode.  Very good, but my heart belongs to 30 Rock.

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Jessica’s Vote:  Well, this is really impossible for me to choose.  I’m having the same Mad Men versus Lost conflict in my head, but this time it’s complicated even further by the fact that one of my friends, the lovely and talented Ms. Erin Levy, is nominated for co-writing the “Shut the door.  Have a seat,” episode of Mad Men.  Plus Friday Night Lights is also nominated.  This is impossible to choose.  I know the finale of Lost was controversial, but I liked it.  In the end, I’ve got to go with my friend – “Shut the door.  Have a seat.” from Mad Men (yay Erin!).

Alison’s Vote: LostLostLost.  Never before has a show captured my attention so completely from start to finish.  I have almost ended friendships because of ignorant friends who didn’t know they were not allowed to talk while Lost was on.  I love Lost.  It transformed television and I can’t thank the creators enough for making something so amazing.

Jessica’s Prediction:  “Shut the Door.  Have a Seat.” Mad Men.

*Nominated Shows I (Jessica) Don’t Watch (and therefore can’t really have an opinion on.  And don’t yell at me, I know I should be watching a lot of them, but I do have other things to do in life.)

Nurse Jackie, Monk, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Breaking Bad, Dexter, House, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Closer, Damages

**Alison was lucky enough to attend the Creative Arts Emmys this year.  Here is her report:

The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien's table at the Creative Arts Emmys 2010

Alison at the Creative Arts Emmys 2010

I was lucky enough to attend the Creative Emmys last week and thought I should dole out another award in accordance with my time spent there.

OUTSTANDING PEOPLE TO SPOT AT CREATIVE EMMYS

The award is a tie between Jon Hamm and Damon Lindelof. Jon Hamm will someday be in the dictionary next to handsome.  I realize he’s also a talented dramatic actor and was also very funny on 30 Rock, but it’s hard to even think about that while standing in the same lobby.  He’s just so gosh darn handsome, it’s like looking into the sun.

Damon Lindelof is adorable and a genius.  He is part of the team behind Lost and I obviously am a big fan.

Two Blondes Go To A Movie: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

August 4, 2010

ALISON SAYS:

So yeah, I’m not 13 and I did go see Eclipse. Sure, I was a little embarrassed walking into the Burbank theater, worrying someone I know (besides Jessica) would see me and ask, “Hey, are you going to see the Twilight movie? Does that mean you’ve read the books too?” And I would answer haltingly, “No. Of course not.”  But yes, I read the books. I didn’t think they were great, but they passed the time and are entertaining.  Same with the movies.

I think the quality of the series has increased with each film.  I didn’t laugh quite as much when Edward sparkled or when the vampires did their crazy fast running.  The opening scene was pretty cool for a teen film.  Also, Robert Pattinson is very handsome. Very, very handsome.  And Taylor Lautner has incredible abs. Jessica and I were sitting next to two women (grown women, not teenage girls) who were gasping when those two were onscreen,  They were VERY moved by the “romantic” scenes.  So that added a whole new level to our filmgoing experience.  Mostly, I found myself either giggling or slightly bored.

LA Viewers – I’d say wait for the DVD, unless you’re a 13-year-old girl. But going by the box office reports, I’m pretty sure you’re not going to listen to me.

Translation for non LA viewers – Same goes for you.

JESSICA SAYS:

First off, I will admit that I have now seen The Twilight Saga: Eclipse twice in the
movie theatre. Twice. I saw it the first time back when it was a relatively new
release. Alison and I decided to review it, but by the time we decided to do a
review I had pretty much forgotten anything I initially had to say about it. So, I
agreed to re-screen it with Alison. The only problem is that now, after seeing it
twice, I still don’t really have a lot to say about it. Here’s what I can say:
• It’s the best of the three Twilight films so far.
• I’ve had a crush on Robert Pattinson since I solely knew him as the-guy-
who-played-Cedric-Diggory, but after his recent growth spurt (because
he’s actually young enough to still be growing), I’m warming to Taylor
Lautner. As I’ve said before, on the outside I’m Team Edward, but my
inner pedophile is totally Team Jacob.


•The special effects, while still cheesy, are leaps and bounds better than

the first Twilight.
• Can we all agree that it’s a little ridiculous to call it, “The Twilight Saga?”
Saga? Really? All right, teenage girls, stop shouting and throwing things
at me.
That’s pretty much it, except one last tidbit. I called my mom when I was on
the way to pick up Alison. I told Mom we were going to see Eclipse. Mom’s
response was, “Well. That’s one I won’t be seeing.” Now, you might be
thinking, “Oh, Jessica’s mom has decent taste in movies. That’s why she doesn’t
want to see Twilight.” If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re wrong. My mom
was so adamant that she wouldn’t see it because she is a ‘Pollyanna.’ That’s
her description of herself. What she means by ‘Pollyanna’ is basically that she
refuses to watch or enjoy anything she deems dirty or violent; which means she
turns up her nose at anything from The Simpsons (that Bart sure is disrespectful
of authorities) to Pulp Fiction (swearing, violence, sex, drug use, etc., etc., etc.).
Because she knows Twilight is about vampires, she won’t see it—no matter
how much I tell her that she would actually probably like it because really, it’s a
romance and a morality tale about the importance of keeping one’s virginity until
marriage. Nope, Phyllis is having none of it. Vampires? She’s out.
I would tell you this movie is OK to see as a matinee, but let’s be honest – if you
had any desire to see it, you probably already have.

Two Blondes Go to a Movie: Robin Hood

June 25, 2010

Today we are featuring a guest ‘blonde,’ Pete D’Alessandro, and his review of Robin Hood.

Making a good movie is hard work, even when you’re part of a crew that’s gotten it right several times over. Robin Hood marks the first time in my life I have been bored by an epic climactic battle. While the execution of the film isn’t half bad, this is easily the worst script Hollywood has spent big money on.

For two and a half hours (which felt like five), the movie was devoid of likeable or even three dimensional characters who had no real values or motivations. The story threw new tangents out like stray arrows fired by a lesser archer. The audience was pulled in every direction, to no purpose, and to what seemed like a never ending series of rewrites that actually took place while the film was screening.

I wasn’t really bored by the whole movie; just the action sequences. Overall my feeling was shame and embarrassment to be sitting in the theatre watching this movie. I felt I should have left 20 minutes in, but then realized, “This is a Ridley Scott. Give him a chance.” Then, for the next two hours, Ridley Scott proceeded to punish my faith with ultra-slo-mo, silly villains, and a protagonist with the sense of direction of a blind lemming on nitrous oxide.

Pete D'Alessandro

Two Blondes Go to a Movie: Get Him to the Greek

June 25, 2010

Jessica says:

Rockers are not my type.  The eyeliner, the skinny pants, the heroin, etc.  Not my thing.  However…there is an undeniable charisma to Russell Brand.  I mean, I can see what Katy Perry and the 1.2 million previous ladies he has (allegedly) bedded are drawn to.

The plot of Get Him to the Greek is fairly simple – Jonah Hill plays a record company employee tasked with getting rocker and drug addict, Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), from London to a gig at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles in three days.  You might recognize the character, Aldous Snow, from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, where he was the title character’s boyfriend.  When I saw the previews for this movie, I feared that it might only have the four jokes in the ad (a con that has been played on me before by the movie industry).  Not so.  It’s actually pretty darn funny.  I can’t say for certain if Russell Brand is just playing himself on screen or not, but it does seem that way.  In fact, it seems that way for Jonah Hill and Sean “Puff Daddy” “Puffy” “P. Diddy”  “Diddy” Combs too.  Jonah Hill is a loveable everyman and SPDPPDDC is a demanding and slightly crazy record company executive.

I really enjoyed this movie.  There is a Vegas hotel room showdown that spirals into one of the funniest fight scenes I’ve ever seen.  The music is all a bit ridiculous (as intended).  I saw Get Him to the Greek at Universal’s CityWalk and the best review I can give it was that it was entertaining enough to make the room full of teenagers that are inescapable at CityWalk shut up.  That’s no small feat.  It’s totally worth seeing at the full movie ticket price.

P.S.  SPDPPDDC mentions owning 11 Koo Koo Roos in the movie.  I just thought I might explain, for those of you who don’t live in Los Angeles, that Koo Koo Roo is a rotisserie chicken chain.  See here.

Alison says:

All of us have that drunk friend (or have been that drunk friend) you have to get home one night. All they want to do is go have another drink and/or lie down in the middle of the street so they can watch the stars. So we can all relate on some level to the plight of Jonah Hill’s character in Get Him To The Greek. But most of us haven’t had the experience of trying to get a rock star home safe (or to a concert).

I did not think I would love this movie so much. I hadn’t seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall, so I didn’t know anything about the character of Aldous Snow.  All I knew about Russell Brand was he’s British, engaged to Katy Perry, a comic, very loud, and I once saw him make out with Ben Lyons’ grandmother during a red carpet interview.  I was pretty sure I was going to find him annoying after 2 hours.  I was very wrong.  I found him hilarious and charming and kinda sexy, even though (like Jessica) I’ve never been the kind of girl to fall for a guy who wears eyeliner and tight pants.

I also did not think I’d find Sean Diddy (or is it Puff Daddy?  I really have no idea) funny, but once again I was wrong.  He cracked me up.  I was genuinely laughing throughout the entire movie.  Jonah Hill was funny as usual.  I was also impressed with both his and Russell Brand’s ability to display vulnerability in their characters.  There was more depth to this film than I expected.  I was actually touched at times despite my ice-covered heart.  But most importantly I did laugh my ass off and had a great time watching this film with Jessica.

LA Viewers: Totally worth paying full price at the Grove or Arclight. Also would be fun to see at 21+ screening at Arclight.
Translation for non-LA viewers: Go see it!

Two Blondes Go to a Movie: (500) Days of Summer

September 11, 2009

JESSICA SAYS:

I moved into my current apartment in Los Angeles just over two years ago.  It’s a v. cute, old building – Art Deco, built in the 1920s, etc.  However, it is in a neighborhood that has its sketchier bits.  It seems that the combination of Art Deco and a slightly dodgy neighborhood attracts hipsters like moths to a flame.

Anyway, I quickly learned that people like to film in my building…a lot.  The first thing that was filmed there after I moved in was (500) Days of Summer.  I looked it up on IMDb when I saw the notice of filming signs and was not all that surprised to find that it seemed to actually be a film about LA hipsters.  It stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel (the reigning queen of hipsterdom) as two young Angelinos, who meet, fall in love, yadda, yadda.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not entirely anti-hipster (as I’m realizing I might sound).  It’s just that I tire easily of the whole aren’t-I-cool-the-way-ironically-like-things-from-two-decades-ago.  So, I was intrigued by the movie, not only because I knew it would feature my home, but also because I find Zooey Deschanel to be quite charming.  Did you see her sing in Elf?  Adorable!  Here’s a shot from the film of Deschanel and Gordon-Levitt on my roof:

(500) Days of Summer won me over fairly easily.  It’s a pretty charming little story.  The opening narration warns you that, “this is not a love story,” and that is true, kind of.  It is a love story, just not a story of everlasting love.  I’ll give kudos to Marc Webb (director), Scott Neustadter (writer), and Michael H. Webber (writer) for managing to tell the story of a man getting his heart broken without being overly sentimental or depressing.  The title, (500) Days of Summer, refers to the 500 days the relationship between the main characters, Summer and Tom, lasts.

The film has a great soundtrack, even if it does heavily feature songs by The Smiths, a band of which I am not a huge fan.  I have been known to rock out to the blue-eyed soul styling of Hall & Oates on many an occasion, so imagine my joy when there was an entire dance sequence in the film choreographed to their hit, “You Make My Dreams Come True.”  Awesome!

I recommend seeing (500) Days of Summer, but you should try to go quickly because it’s been in theatres for a while now.  It would make a good date movie.