Posts Tagged ‘review

11
Oct
12

Here Comes The Bleh

Here Comes The Boom, the school teacher turned MMA fighter flick starring Kevin James, hits theaters tomorrow. After reading reviews and starring blankly at the trailer for 2 and a half minutes, I realized the question here is not if America is ready for such a movie, but if America even needs such a movie?

The answer is no, definitely not.

Sure, Here Comes The Boom looks like a pleasant little film. Director Frank Coraci looks to take on the serious issue of under funding in American public schools in a light-hearted manner. But if there is one thing I know, it’s what makes a movie suck. And I don’t have to see this movie to know it’s packed full of it.

Boom’s title is vaguely similar to “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” which is one strike against it already.

The first thing I noticed about Boom’s trailer was how incredibly toned and muscular star Kevin James has become. The lead-actor-undergoing-a-huge-physical-transformation-for-their-role tactic is an old Hollywood trick used to garner buzz (Charlize Theron in Monster, Christian Bale in The Machinist, etc.). Perhaps the filmmakers wanted viewers to be amazed by James’ transformation from portly actor to ripped UFC fighter (when, in reality, James was an avid wrestler in college and has practiced karate since he was young).

Then there’s the problem with Boom’s plot. This is certainly not the first let’s hatch a zany plot to save and inspire our school movie ever made, and not even the first to come out in the past month. Won’t Back Down, a film portraying two mothers’ attempts at rescuing a failing inner city school, itself failed spectacularly at the box office. So spectacularly, in fact, that it had the worst opening weekend for any film playing on over 2,500 theaters. Basically, if Won’t Back Down’s creators tried to do in reality what their fictional characters did, children across America would be standing naked and hungry in the street, with horse flies nibbling at their faces.

Here’s a visual depiction of that previous sentence, minus the nudity and horse flies.

But perhaps Boom will fare better. It does, of course, feature Kevin James getting injured in all sorts of whacky situations. But none of this can save the movie because James’ career is already over. Judging by his latest string of films, the actor is officially suffering from Rob Schneider Syndrome, the endless Hollywood mire of being typecast as a whacky, prat-falling actor. Look at what South Park’s legendary “Derp de derp” video did to Schneider’s career. And South Park’s season 15 jab at Zookeeper likely served as the death knell for James’ career as well.

Kevin James, this is what you have to look forward to.

01
Oct
12

Seinfeld and Friends Go for Coffee

It’s fascinating for ordinary folk like me to see celebrities just being celebrities. But that’s exactly what you get with Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld’s new web series that’s not so much about his vast collection of vintage cars or afternoon trips to big city diners, but more in the vein of what made his namesake series, Seinfeld, famous: anything and everything.

Moments of stubbornness involving Larry David were inevitable.

With Comedians, we get a personal look at Hollywood’s most revered comedic figures doing what they do best –  talking, thinking, dissecting, worrying, ranting, complaining, laughing. Seinfeld achieves with this web series what him and former collaborator Larry David originally had in mind for their massively successful 90’s sitcom. We see comedians outside the limelight and in real life. We witness them ponder and construct life into a joke, and we get to marvel at how incredibly quick witted these minds are.

I enjoy Comedians for exactly that reason.  It lacks the rehearsed scriptedness of an ordinary TV interview.  It’s loose, fast and unrestrained, the very atmosphere a comedian thrives in.  We get a glimpse at famous funny people doing something we rarely see: simply bullshitting.  And as much as we’d like to believe that a standup routine is a glimpse into a comedian’s soul (think Richard Pryor, Louis C.K.), Comedians presents something even more honest – living life and figuring out how to make it funny.

The only show I can compare Seinfeld’s new series to in terms of realness is Fishing with John, the long, lost “fishing” show hosted by actor John Lurie.  In each episode, John takes a celebrity friend fishing in an exotic location.  Devoid of any knowledge of how to fish (or host a television show), the episodes typically digressed into what Comedians aims to achieve – unique, honest conversations between talented people.  So honest, in fact, that awkward silences and ridiculous moments were not uncommon (see Tom Waits put a fish down his pants or Matt Dillon and Lurie dance for a good 5 minutes).

Interestingly, this is an ordinary occurrence on Fishing with John.

Overall, I think that Comedians gives it’s viewers a fresh and rare look that only someone of Jerry Seinfeld’s stature could provide.  With loads cash and Hollywood connections, Seinfeld is surely not doing this for the next great hit.  He is revisiting the idea that served as the genesis of his sitcom more than 20 years ago – that a comedian doesn’t stop working when they leave the stage.  Rather, their job has just begun.




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