Comedy

Potential Return of The Office

Going all the way back to the mid 2000s Amber and I have been avid fans of The Office. Watching every new episode all the way up till the ending in 2013. We have since binged the entire series multiple times on Netflix. It is literally our go to when there is nothing on and we find that we are still laughing in nearly every episode.

So when I recently heard that there was a possible comeback for the show we were both very interested. I read that the show is looking to return with a mix of old and new characters. I am intrigued, but I do have a few thoughts about this possible comeback.

First, I don’t think I can take the show seriously without the presence of Dwight. The show ended with Dwight finally becoming Regional Manager and I don’t think it would be practical for any continuation without him in that role. The article I read said that they were looking for someone who could fill the shoes of Steve Carell but I think that would be a horrible mistake. Avid fans like us know, Dwight would never leave Dunder Mifflin, and I think he is already the character they are looking for. It’s not like Rainn Wilson has anything else going for him so he would be perfect as one of the returning characters.

Obviously Jim and Pam are out and I don’t think either of those characters should be involved. It’s blasphemous to say so but I never liked the two of them as a couple. They were terrific as the friends who were actually in love but once they actually got together I thought they lacked the chemistry to be a believable couple. Jim was great and I loved his shenanigans with Dwight but his character moved on to bigger and better things and it simply wouldn’t make sense to bring him back.

Other characters who moved on at the end of the season include Darryl (Athlead), Andy(Cornell), Oscar(running for office), Stanley(retired), Creed(in hiding from the law), Toby(fired by Dwight) and Kevin(opened a bar after being fired). I didn’t mention Ryan or Kelly because they were gone long before the show ended and I don’t see a return from either as practical.

That leaves Angela, Erin, Phyllis, Meredith, Pete, and Clark. I actually really liked the new additions in later seasons of Pete and Clark so I would like them to return. It’s hard to imagine Ellie Kemper coming back but Erin became one of my favorite characters and I really hope she does. I hope the door isn’t closed for an Oscar return, maybe his running for office didn’t pan out and he returned to his old job. I’d also really like Kevin to be the barkeep that makes regular appearances at happy hour.

I don’t know what is in store for any new rendition of the show but I know quite a few people like Amber and I who continue to watch the show on a regular basis. If anything I would assume that because it’s streaming on Netflix that the show is actually much more popular now than it ever was while airing weekly. Just last week I found myself at a resort in Cabo San Lucas and walked around wearing a Dunder Mifflin t-shirt that got a lot more attention than I expected.

I would really be open to a continuation of the show as many shows are currently seeing some sort of revival and finding success. If they don’t pick up in some sort of fashion where they left off though I would be really disappointed. Dwight will be the indicator about whether or not I give any new version a chance. I think the show should really get back to the basics. When it was its strongest was in the first three seasons before they started upping the ante for more laughs with weirder and weirder plot lines.

It should be just like Seinfeld, a show about nothing that takes place in an office with characters that peak our interest and keep us laughing.  That’s exactly what it was in the first three seasons and that’s where it should pick up. With Dwight as the zany boss that drives everyone nuts and some fresh faces to go along with some of our beloved older ones.

What do you think about a potential return of the series? Would you like to see Dwight still in charge or should they go with a new Michaelesque character? Which characters would you like to see return? Let us know with a comment or a message.

 

Advertisements

Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny

Year: 2006
Directed By: Liam Lynch
Written By: Jack Black, Kyle Gass, and Liam Lynch

RYAN’S REVIEW

I was never much of a Jack Black fan, until I saw this movie. In fact I had to be practically forced to see the movie by Amber whose persistence paid off when I found not only did I like it but I loved it. The movie had me from the very beginning when little JB sings his tasty jam. I love that song, as well as many in the movie. I have the entire soundtrack downloaded on iTunes, and I rarely skip it when it comes up on random play. Songs like Kickapoo and Beezleboss literally put me in a better mood when I hear them and that still surprises me over ten years later.

Jack Black has been around forever and slowly risen through the ranks to be a leading man but I was having none of it. I have actually to this day still never seen arguably his most famous movie, School of Rock, and the same goes for Nacho Libre. I didn’t see them when they came out on principle because I simply didn’t like Black. So many people told me I should see them, but I have always been a stubborn fan when I got my mind set on something and I had my mind set on Black. I think it stems from Orange County and the role he had in that film. I had mixed feelings about it but one thing that really annoyed me was Black’s over the top portrayal as the drug addict brother.

I felt completely different after seeing this movie and didn’t shy away from his movies afterwards but I never went back. Maybe somewhere deep in my subconscious I’m a little frustrated at how thoroughly Amber put me in my place on the subject of Jack Black and I stubbornly stand by my original principles out of spite when it comes to movies like School of Rock and Nacho Libre. Maybe one day I’ll check those out and realize how wrong I have been for all these years. It’d make a lot of sense actually because I admire Black’s musical skills so much. School of Rock just makes sense, but that stubborn fan in me is unrelenting.

I love this movie, through and through, but I think there is an easy formula that won me over with it. Start off with a bang and leave them laughing in the end. I’ve already mentioned how much I love the beginning of the movie with little Jack Black and Meatloaf. It’s funny and fun. It’s a great song too and it sets the entire tone for the movie. Check this out and tell me it’s not a great way to start a movie:

Kickapoo hits the mark and I feel the Rock when I hear it and I feel the passion. I love the tasty jam and it’s delightful use of the fuck word. It takes me back to when I was a young child trying to rock out in my own religious home. I have always loved my explicit material but it was absolutely not accepted in both of the religious homes I grew up in. One of the most embarrassing memories I have from the age of yesteryear was how I saved up enough money to buy some music. I don’t remember how old I was but back then we were buying tapes. I bought Green Day’s Dookie album on tape and I was pumped. I’ll never forget that after meeting my dad in another store he took one look and went all Meatloaf on me. In one of the most humiliating moments I had at that age I had to stand there while my dad loudly demanded my money back for garbage they had no business selling to someone so young. It was only one of the most famous albums ever but it had “four letter words” in it. My dad wasted not a second tearing the tape open and reading the lyrics on the inside when I showed him what I had gotten. The same went on in the other household when I was scolded for listening to Nine Inch Nails or Snoop Dogg. I’ll be honest, I don’t know what I’d do as a parent myself, but I’d be more likely to confiscate and keep it for myself than to humiliate or whip out the belt.

Tangent over and back to the point. Kickapoo was a great opening that follows with some fun and some shenanigans before leading up to an ending that blows me away every time. There is little more I love more in the combination of music and film than Tenacious D and their rock off with the devil. I love the devil, who was played by the giant Dave Grohl of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters. Though I’ve never been a fan I have to have respect for such a key figure in the history of rock, but I think as the devil he rocks the hell out of this shit. “I’m the devil I love metal!” that’s just fucking awesome. See for yourself:

I love how blasphemous it is and how awesome. It doesn’t matter if it makes any sense or if it’s practical. It’s all about the Rock and this absolutely fucking rocks. I love that not only is the devil funny and on point but when he rocks you can feel the difference. It would only make sense that the devil was the greatest rocker of all time.

I love a movie that catches me so by surprise and wins my affection despite all my instincts. When a movie proves me wrong it reminds me that I’m not right about everything and I think we would all be better off with a little bit of a reminder to that undeniable fact. Amber had been after me to watch this movie for months back in 06 or 07 and I refused as long as I possibly could. She owned the album for the film on CD and would play it often. I would get frustrated because with no context I hated listening to it. That’s something else she was right about because I find myself in an on going love affair with the music still after all these years.

This movie is overwhelmingly silly at times but that’s all part of the fun. Where this movie wins is with the music and that’s fitting because it achieves what it is literally trying to do. I may have avoided this movie and done my best to not see it, but when I did I fell in love with something unexpectedly. This is some of the most fun I have watching any movie and I love when the songs hit my playlist on random and I can feel that fun all over again. I think this movie is worth your time, your attention, and your ears and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

NEXT MOVIE: The Terminator (1984)

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze

Year: 1991
Directed By: Michael Pressman
Written By: Todd W. Langen, based on characters created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird

 

RYAN’S REVIEW

OK full disclosure here, I haven’t watched this movie in order to review it. Oddly enough I found myself watching it with my kids sometime within the last six months and I think that gave me a good enough impression to go with. I’m like a freaking adult now, can’t be having two sittings of this movie within six months of one another. That would just be silly.

I distinctly remember this film coming to theaters, I was 7 at the time. There was a contest for coloring a picture of the turtles to get free tickets to the film. I specifically remember how much effort I put into it, not only the easy part of getting all the colors correct but also shading with crayons in a way that could rival my abilities as an adult. I put all the effort capable of a seven year old into that drawing and I was so proud to turn it in. When I got the call that my coloring had been selected I lost my shit. I felt like I had won because I was somehow a superior Turtles fan. I had poured my heart into something, probably for the first time in my life, and I had succeeded at it. Low and behold I realized years later that my dad was the manager of the theater that promoted the competition. A coincidence that can’t be overlooked as one reflects on life experiences.

That charming memory aside I loved this movie through and through when it came out and I saw it in the theater. I thought it far exceeded the original film and captured the humor that the turtles were capable of. Plus there were other mutants in this one! I have always been a fan of Toka and Raza, the capabilities of Jim Henson Creature Shop can never easily be overlooked. These guys were no Bebop and Rocksteady but they upped the ante for the turtles nonetheless.

Yet as I have gotten older I find myself revisiting this film now and again. I find that with each viewing I see more and more childish shenanigans. Things I started out blind to because of my childhood love suddenly started to come into focus. The ninja turtles don’t even really fight in this one. In fact they’re the motherfucking Harlem Globetrotters of combat! How can I knock this guy down without using any actual violence? Hmmmm we’re gonna need more props and gags.

The thing is I no longer know what to think about this movie. I watch this movie now and I want to sit here and tell you it’s garbage. Nothing but juvenile nonsense and it isn’t worth your time. However I have to consider the memories that come flooding back. I absolutely loved this movie when it came out and ignored all flaws for years following. Maybe this is a great movie because it captured me as part of the obvious target audience. Maybe what I think about it now fails in comparison to the magic I saw as a seven year old.

If nothing else this movie continued the turtle story line and deepened their characters. That can’t be said for the third in the franchise. I don’t think this movie was worth my time to sit down and watch again within a certain time frame. Upon deep consideration I would say that it is most definitely worth the time of your preteen child. Even though it is silly I think there is still plenty to like about the film for any Ninja Turtles fan.

NEXT MOVIE: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)

Team America: World Police

Year: 2004
Directed By: Trey Parker
Written By: Trey Parker and Matt Stone

RYAN’S REVIEW

I was in college when this movie came out and I specifically remember scraping money together for a chance to see it in the theater. Sure I needed every cent, food and expenses being what they were for a broke college kid, but this movie was a priority. All my anticipation and penny pinching was validated when I sat down to see it. I don’t know that I’d ever laughed so hard before and I appreciated the satire in all my adolescent political prowess. I’ve since seen it more times than I can count and I love it more with every viewing.

I think this is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen, top 5 all time comedy hands down. The fact that it features puppets only makes it more impressive. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are nothing short of genius. I don’t know why they haven’t made more movies but I really wish they would. This proves it because it’s so unbelievably exceptional. Everything from the dialogue to the music is just perfect, and they did it with freakin puppets!

I am a proud American but I have not always been proud of my countries actions. This movie captures exactly how I felt back when I was involved and I cared. My political feelings aside, I don’t know that anything has ever summed up America quite like this:

It’s the attitude behind it, the inclusion of all things American from Walmart to Disney World. In a nutshell this is the country I have grown up in.

I love this movie. It’s just brilliant how ridiculous and serious it can be at the same time. It so flawlessly captures the ignorance, arrogance, and the entitlement of America as a nation. I love my country, but I can’t help but laugh. It is what it is and when you can’t change it you have no choice but to accept it. As an American though there is one thing you can’t forget…

As much as I love this movie there are two scenes I can’t stomach. Something too disgusting to watch is to be expected from Parker and Stone now and again. The two scenes I can’t and won’t watch are when Gary violently throws up for what seemed like forever because it is just so disgusting. The second is the sex scene. It’s funny at first, these two puppets are getting it on, but then it goes too far. And it keeps going, and when you think it’s gone as far as it can go it gets more perverse. It’s too much, but it’s easy enough to skip those two scenes and enjoy what it otherwise so perfect.

Back in 04 the leader of North Korea was just as crazy as the son is these days but he didn’t get the attention of the Saddams and Bin Ladens of the world. I have always thought it was hilarious that he got the spotlight in this film. Kim Jong un is crazy and has exceeded his father in gaining attention for threatening the world. Long before he rose to power his crazy sire was calling the shots and this movie serves as a great reminder of those times. I actually like this portrayal of Kim Jong il better even than Saddam in South Park. I love the scene when Hans Blix comes to inspect. “Ah no not fucking Hans Brix.” Blix’s threat that the UN will write them an angry letter is hilarious. Kim Jong il is a villain I always feel a bit bad for because..

I think special mention has to go to the people that brought this movie to life. The people behind the scenes that made the puppets and the work of the actual puppeteers who did such fantastic work. I don’t know who any of these people are but they are exceptional talents. I hope there is still work out there somewhere worthy of their skill. My disgust aside, what they were able to accomplish during the sex scene was pretty impressive. I love when things come to fisticuffs as well. The fighting that ultimately looks like dancing around is just hilarious. They are puppets after all and these puppeteers could only do so much to make the magic happen.

Love it or hate it you can’t help but laugh if you give this movie your attention. While there is plenty of truth said in jest you can’t take this movie too seriously or it is wasted on you. Trey Parker and Matt Stone create a lot of controversy, but they are two of the most talented comedians I have ever had the privilege of laughing at. If you somehow miss the boat on these two then you should catch up on your South Park, and give this movie a chance because you will rarely see anything funnier. This movie isn’t for the faint of heart, and I wouldn’t let my kids see it, but for any mature adult that doesn’t have a stick up their butt this is a must see.

NEXT MOVIE: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

 

 

Superbad

Year: 2007
Directed By: Greg Mottola
Written By: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg

RYAN’S REVIEW

This is a really funny movie and I enjoy it every time I sit down to it. This recounting of the good old days for Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg is hilarious. We all have those memories from our youth that have formed into legend and hats off to these guys for making a movie out of theirs.

This is just a great group of funny people brought together to be funny. I think the pairing of Jonah Hill and Michael Cera is great and they have terrific chemistry together. Rogen and Bill Hader are hilarious as the two cops. Last but not least is Christopher Mintz-Plasse making his film debut. I don’t think there are tons of roles out there waiting for this guy but he was awesome as McLovin. This is also Emma Stone’s film debut and how high her star has risen since. There are plenty of great performances in the background of this movie as well.

I’ve watched this movie a dozen times or more and I still find it funny. However I have little to nothing to say about it. Not inspiring lengthy commentary aside this movie is still worth your time. It’s a very funny movie and I don’t usually recommend it because everybody I know has usually already seen it. It’s immature and over the top but it’s a lot of fun.

NEXT MOVIE: Superman (1978)

 

 

Stripes

Year: 1981
Directed By: Ivan Reitman
Written By: Len Blum, Daniel Goldberg, and Harold Ramis

RYAN’S REVIEW

When you got this core of Ivan Reitman, Bill Murray, and Harold Ramis together in the 80s they were going to make some magic. The men behind Ghostbusters had a specific quality that transitioned onto the screen and you can see it in this movie. Originally written to be Cheech and Chong join the army this movie worked far better than it ever had any business doing so. These guys took a bombed idea and turned it into a comedy classic.

This is one of my favorite examples of how funny Bill Murray is. I think the thing for Bill Murray is that he has to be paired with a director who will just let him do his thing. Bill Murray is notoriously weird and can be hard for some to work with. Harold Ramis had a great ability to work with Bill Murray that lasted for a long time. Up until their last collaboration, Groundhog Day, they had a fruitful relationship. Don’t know what happened to dissolve that relationship but it’s really unfortunate.

I think this movie runs a bit too long. I think if they had stretched out boot camp a little bit more and not been deployed into their protection detail it would have been better. There are plenty of scenes in this movie that look like hold overs from the Cheech and Chong intended script. With a deep cast of funny people including John Candy and Judge Reinhold they managed to make it there own.

This is a movie that speaks for itself. It’s a classic comedy like Caddyshack and it simply doesn’t need my stamp of approval. For me it takes me back to middle school when I was first introduced to it. I thought it was a really funny movie then and I still enjoy watching it today. It’s easily worth your time but like most people you have long since discovered that on your own.

NEXT MOVIE: Suicide Kings (1997)

 

The Stepford Wives

Year: 2004
Directed By: Frank Oz
Written By: Ira Levin (book), Paul Rudnick (screenplay)

RYAN’S REVIEW

This film has sat on our shelf for over ten years and I don’t think I have watched it since we were in college. The film made it into the collection as a gift for Amber on some anniversary or holiday along the way. We’re only minutes into the movie now and I’m already wondering what I was thinking. We own so many movies that there’s bound to be a dud here and there and we’ve stumbled across one it seems. I’m sure there is a perfectly good explanation for why it’s part of our collection but that memory has been lost along the way.

In one of the very first scenes the dialogue was clearly changed because it doesn’t match up with the lips of the actors. That’s frustrating but it was the plight of this movie. It’s one that’s been disowned by everybody involved including several actors and even the director. Not only did things not go well during filming but it suffered greatly in post production as several things were changed and some even re shot altogether. I have never seen the original film but perhaps I should seek it out now because I do like the idea behind this movie. It won’t be the first mistake I have made watching a remake of something that was much better before.

I’m thinking specifically of The Manchurian Candidate. Coincidentally that very film was advertised on this DVD. I learned a lesson when I watched the original and the very same thing could happen here. I’d really like to test that out but I don’t think it’s going to happen. A quick search shows the original film must be out of print because the DVD cost almost $70. That’s outrageous and I don’t want to see it that bad just to test out a theory. I can settle for the book but I’d have to invest too much time and I’m not really that interested.

Glenn Close is a gem and it’s sad to see her talent wasted in a movie like this. She so exaggerated in the scene where they are “working out” that you can’t help but laugh. She’s just so deftly delightful and her hand motions are fantastic. She shines in this film where everyone else is cloudy.

I have never been a big fan of Nicole Kidman but I do respect her talent. I can’t say that it’s on display in this movie though, her heart clearly wasn’t in it. I like Ferris Bueller as much as everyone else but there is rarely ever a role when I think ‘Matthew Broderick would have been great for this.’ On the other hand I can’t imagine a performance given by Christopher Walken that isn’t awesome but he’s just going through the motions in this movie and that’s a shame.

This movie was directed by Frank Oz and he has never really been a favorite of mine. He hasn’t gotten behind camera in ten years but still serves as the voice of Yoda when called upon. I don’t generally like his movies, however his final film Death at a Funeral was hilarious and needs to be added to the collection now that I think about it. Amber and I watched both the white and the black version of it years ago and enjoyed both.

Aside from Glenn Close, and that one awesome joke about Connecticut, there really isn’t much going on with this movie. It’s a really cool story but it wasn’t delivered properly at all. I wish I could watch the original to see how it measures up and maybe I’ll get that chance at some point. If anybody who has read the book is reading this let me know if it’s worth it and I’ll probably check it out. I can’t say this movie is actually worth your time to see though. It’s short and that’s a plus but even with a short running time it’s just not worth it.

NEXT MOVIE: Stir of Echoes (1999)