Jane Lynch

Roles Models

Year: 2008
Directed By: David Wain
Written By: Several people

RYAN’S REVIEW

Sometimes you need nothing more than something that can make you laugh and that’s when a movie like this comes in handy. This movie has a funny concept and more than enough funny people to make it really fun. Not even going to lie, after seeing this movie I really felt an urge to go Larping, Laire, whatever the role playing thing they do in this movie is. The mature adult in me knows it’s pretty lame but I have a hard time denying that there is a medieval warrior inside of me screaming to be let out. That guy is still screaming as I have never participated in the activity but I’d consider it if the opportunity came up.

This is one of those movies that perplexes me because I have never been a fan of Paul Rudd; yet here is another movie he is in that I really like. Paul Rudd is funny enough but he seems to always play this same part to me. The pessimistic guy with a stick up his butt that has funny complaints and a really cool friend. In this movie that friend is Seann William Scott giving yet another rendition of his classic and hilarious character of Stifler. As a guy who came of age at the turn of the century I love Stifler and enjoy every opportunity to laugh at his antics.

You have a ton of fantastic people in smaller roles like Jane Lynch and Ken Jeong. In even smaller parts you got guys like Joe Lo Truglio and Matt Walsh. In the beginning of the movie you can see Louis C.K. as the police officer that nearly gets run over by the Minotaur truck. He most likely was part of some specific scenes that got deleted. That says it all about the cast really; there were so many funny people here that they were cutting the likes of Louis C.K.

I really like McLovin in this role of the LAIRE warrior from Zanthia. Christopher Mintz-Plasse is a really funny guy who I hope isn’t limited by his awkward physique going forward. He is great in this movie but hardly anybody in this entire film can even hold a candle to Bobb’e J. Thompson. As the aggressively profane Sturdy Wings kid he is hilarious. “You white, you Ben Affleck!” I don’t know where this kid went or what he has been doing for the last eight years but he was great in this movie.

When this movie went from being funny and immature to being sentimental and thoughtful it became “shelf worthy” for my collection. The LAIRE battle in the end of the film is so much fun. It’s touching as well how these guys come together to support Augie in a selfless manner. When they realize they want to spend their time with these kids not because they are being punished but because they can make a difference. It makes for a nice story peppered with profanity and popular comedians.

When you need a movie that can inspire laughter and lift your spirits you cannot go wrong with this one. I think this movie is more than funny because it is fun. If I ever do get weird and go all out in some live action fantasy role play it will be because I thought it looked so cool in this movie. I think this one is easily worth your time and I would recommend it to anyone.

NEXT MOVIE: Ronin (1998)

 

 

 

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Paul

Year: 2011
Directed By: Greg Motolla
Written By: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost

RYAN’S REVIEW

I don’t think I had even seen this movie when I bought it on the spot to add to our collection. Did I really need to see it to feel secure in the purchase? I am under the impression that if Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are going to collaborate on something that it will automatically be awesome and it belongs in our collection. I am happy to say that impression didn’t end with this film and I don’t expect it to change with anything these two do together in the future. This movie is a classic example of what happens when a group of funny people get together to do what they do best. This movie is fun and funny; I enjoy it every time I see it.

I first fell in love with these guys when I saw Shaun of the Dead for the third time. I consider it one of my favorite comedies of all time and I never tire of seeing it. It’s a movie I have found to get better with each viewing, the greats are always like that. I liked Hot Fuzz an awful lot too but felt it suffered in comparison. I have never been really interested in British comedy; choosing always to harness a true American mentality when it comes to film and entertainment. We are the greatest, anything anybody else does they are simply copying us (also, I’m from the South, it all plays into this mentality I had when I was young). Of course I have learned time and time again over the last fifteen years as a truly open minded adult that I was horribly mistaken with that line of thinking. My point being, there was a time when I would have turned my nose up to these guys simply because they were British. They, in fact, are part of the reason I am a more open minded and aware person today when it comes to film and entertainment. When this movie came out it was so exciting because it was like they were invading American film with it. They wrote a simple but really funny story and invited all the cool kids to the party.

To voice the alien namesake of the film they got Seth Rogen, such an unbelievably like able guy that when he went before a Congressional panel to talk about Alzheimers disease elected men of official office seemed to be gushing over him. They got some SNL headliners in Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig. They got a typical comedy go-to-guy Jason Bateman and brought in other regular comedy stars like Jane Lynch, Jeffrey Tambor, David Koechner, and Joe Lo Truglio. To put a cherry on top of this alien joy ride they throw in Ripley herself just for the fun of it. Sigourney Weaver’s mere presence in this film makes it all that much better given the content.

Two popular British stars who have succeeded in doing their own thing at home decided to head this way and try it out American style. I think they were very successful at it and I think that is the most significant thing about this movie. It’s a fun and funny movie but more than that it represents a significant accomplishment and testament to the talents of Pegg and Frost. Of course Pegg is becoming more and more of a star these days on his own. I like the variety of his work but I’d rather see him with Frost at his side any day of the week.

I was at work one day when I mentioned this movie coming up on the blog and was surprised to hear animosity about the film from a zealously religious friend and co-worker. It gave me pause for a moment but when I gave it some thought I understood. This movie does refute the existence of God by having an alien character that knows more about the universe than we do. I had never given the matter much thought but I understood why it would bother my friend. I think it’s a shame to let something like that rob you of enjoying something so funny but hey, to each his own right?

This movie certainly doesn’t bother me on any moral or religious pretexts and I am happy enough just to enjoy it for what it is. It is a remarkably funny comedy and it’s a lot of fun to watch. I love the ease with which everything regarding Paul seems to make sense. It’s clever writing on behalf of Pegg and Frost; who are great as the comic book guys touring the American nerd hot spots. They made a cool movie and there is no reason to take anything literally enough to blind you from something you could enjoy. You avoid this one and you are missing out on something that is good. It’s a mere step in careers that continue to climb the steps of stardom for Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. In the case of these two I’ve found that all steps on the way to the top have been worth our time so far. Good movie that I think any mature adult would enjoy.

NEXT MOVIE: The People Under the Stairs (1991)

As a footnote, I wanted to include video of Seth Rogen’s testimonial before Congress. Amber showed it to me one day and I was both taken with his story and impressed by how he handled himself in such an official setting. He comes in and is naturally funny before delving into a very serious topic. I admire what he stood up to do and I hope he has been able to make headway with his goals. When you watch this, pay note to how the Congressman is responding to him.

Julie & Julia

Year: 2009
Directed By: Nora Ephron
Written By: Nora Ephron (screenplay) based on books by Julie Powell and Julia Childs

RYAN’S REVIEW

A couple of years ago I begrudgingly bent to Amber’s will and watched this movie with her.  To my surprise I didn’t hate it.  I’m not what you would call a “Nora Ephron fan” so this was a movie that I tried to avoid just on principle.  This isn’t the kind of movie I typically like but it’s not a bad movie.  Given that I write on my own blog and enjoy doing so I think that part of the story is easy to relate to.

Meryl Streep is a great actress and is typically good in everything she does.  I don’t see many of her movies but I have seen enough to marvel at her talent.  I know absolutely nothing about Juila Child and had honestly somehow never heard the name before we watched this movie. Amy Adams is also a great actress who has shown significant versatility throughout her career. Jane Lynch also has a small part in this movie and I think she is awesome. I am a big fan of Jane Lynch, she brings a lot to every character she plays.

I don’t have much more to say about this movie because it really isn’t my speed.  It’s a chick flick all the way but as far as those go I see this one as tolerable.  It’s an interesting enough story and given that it’s based on one that really happened I think that makes it more significant.  Having said that I think I will say this movie is worth your time.  If you are going to sit through something to please your wife you could do a lot worse.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I liked this movie. I thought it was a cute chick flick that didn’t involve some insane love story. It was about a path of a woman, finding her way to write. I thoroughly liked it.

julieandjulia

There are few problems with this poster. First, it’s extremely boring. Obviously it’s about two different story lines, but I think the poster took an incredibly direct approach to that by separating them so starkly. It’s pretty basic what was done here. Also, why is Julia Child at the top and Julie on the bottom, when the movie title reads the opposite. It seems to me that Julie would be on the top and Julia on the bottom.

I do like the typography, but only because I am a sucker for a pretty ampersand. The poster may not be the “bee’s knees” but the movie is worth a try.

NEXT MOVIE: Junior (1994)

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Year: 2005
Directed By: Judd Apatow
Written By: Judd Apatow and Steve Carell

RYAN’S REVIEW:

Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen, and even Jonah Hill with his small role.  These guys started a journey together with this movie that has produced many great comedies over the years.  I have faith they will continue to be successful for some time.  However this is very much Steve Carell’s film, and he owns it.  I think he is hilarious as the 40 year old virgin, I also think he was successful in continuing to play that exact same character for 7 seasons of The Office.  I do like Steve Carell but I am not a fan.  I think he has his moments but by and large he overacts and takes things too far.  His leaving The Office has been categorized as a tragedy by some but I disagree.  I don’t know if the show will survive without him or not, but I know that far too often the character Michael Scott makes me feel uncomfortable. His character becomes not funny but ridiculous and awkward at those moments.  I do not like to feel uncomfortable and awkward while watching a comedy, it should be funny not stupid.  Neverthless, Steve Carell does have his moments of greatness and I can understand why people love him so much.

This film was a sure thing going in wasn’t it? When you decide to go there, when you decide to make a film about a 40 year old virgin the possibilities are just unlimited.  Those jokes go in a hundred different directions and they write themselves.  The Judd Apatow crew doesn’t disappoint with this either. The cast is fantastic, Seth Rogen and Jane Lynch both make the most of their opportunities with their roles. Everyone is funny and the laughs don’t stop.  The only problem is that there may have actually been too many jokes and funny scenarios crammed into the film.  It’s long, but the movie maintains it’s humor and in the end it was all worth it.  This is a great movie, but six years later I happen to think that it was the lesser film of some of the funnier people in the film.  Specifically the aforementioned Apatow crew of Apatow, Rogen, and Hill. This is the best it gets for Steve Carell and he deserves special recognition.

AMBER’S REVIEW:

I would like to start by saying, I love this movie.

I distinctly remember watching the trailer for this movie and literally asking myself, “what the hell, is this for real?” Well, yes they were for real and they succeeded. This is one of my favorite comedies. If I am remembering correctly, this is one of the first films I watched that starred Steve Carell. This movie keeps you entertained throughout with amazingly funny people including Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd and Apatow’s own wife, Leslie Mann. An interesting fact about this movie is that a lot of it was ad libbed. The scene where Steve Carell’s character had his chest waxed is a great example. I’m not sure what it was about the pain that made him scream out “Ahhh Kelly Clarkson” but I loved it and laughed my ass off. This movie also started a game that is still played by college guys everywhere…”You know how I know you’re gay?”

I also want to take a second to mention Leslie Mann. Her role was short in this film, but her scene is one of my favorites. To this day, I randomly say “I’m starvin’. Let’s get some fuckin’ french toast.” Timeless.