Sunday, December 09, 2007

Grandma's Boy (2006)

Grandma's Boy is funny and enjoyable. It's a dumb comedy that sticks to the core premise of dumb comedies: they can't be cynical.

Contrast this movie to Knocked Up and you'll see what I mean. Both movies have raunchy humor and a lot of f-bombs (though I'd say Knocked Up wins in both categories). They both rely on a random humor element, rather than the core plot being funny. However, Knocked Up has an undertone of bitterness and cynicism that makes it really unfunny and unenjoyable. Plus, Knocked Up is way too long, extending the pain if you cared to keep watching.

As a few of you know, my favorite comedy of the last few years is Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle. Other than that, I really haven't enjoyed many of the recent spat of comedies. 40 Year Old Virgin had a few moments of gold, but was otherwise overlong and forced. Wedding Crashers was another one of those movies with an undertone of bitterness. I did mostly like Old School and even liked some of You, Me and Depree.

Most comedies miss the mark when it comes to creating a classic like Caddyshack, Better Off Dead, or Animal House. Those comedies are what they are because they create funny characters and put them in environments that make them shine. Grandma's Boy is like that. I'm not saying it's a classic like those three I just mentioned, but it does have the same formula. It revolves around a 36 year old video game tester who moves in with his Grandma and her roommates. Like Caddyshack, a few funny characters are focused on and the rest end up being role players in the hilarity.

I don't really want to give away more than that, it really is a must see. The co-worker who loaned it to me told me that it was really offensive. Compared to Knocked Up, this movie seemed tame, funnier, and more enjoyable. And... it's not overly long! Finally, someone made a movie in the 2000s that isn't too long!

JSS RATING: It's a Good-Bad Movie. Meaning it's in the traditional film critic category of "bad movie" but is really good.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Done with 'Heroes'

This post has spoilers, but do you care? It's a TV show.

Last year, Heroes started off relatively slow. About 6 episodes in, I wasn't sure if I was going to keep watching. The show has always has a problem with characters that really aren't compelling. Like, for example, Nikki (Ali Larter). Nikki/Jessica, the dual personality chick whose power is to throw people up against walls really hard. Her character was, and is, really lame, and they dedicated way too much time to her all season long.

However, Season One was driven by the story of all the characters meeting up in New York to save the city from a huge explosion. This story made the show awesome. Each week had more suspense than the week before. And then.... they did save the city in the finale of the season. And it was boring.

Then comes the second season. It has essentially no correlation to the first season. It doesn't build on any of the suspense. The cliffhanger basically went away until 5 episodes in, where they decided to go back and explain it. The story has been extremely weak: the future tragedy that they were trying to prevent was a side story, rather than the main story. The directors have decided to try to make the show artsier by adding a shift tilt lens effect -- YEAH, LIKE THAT DIDN'T GO OUT OF STYLE 20 YEARS AGO.

Worst of all, they introduced more characters that no one cares about. These characters they added had the most boring side stories and were the whiniest characters on all of television.

So last night, one of those characters finally got shot. I was like, "YESSS! The writers get it!!!" 5 minutes later, they bring this character back to life.

At the end of the show, their cliffhanger for next season (i.e. half season, since of this stupid writers' strike), was to have Sylar get his powers back by injecting himself with this magical back-to-life serum. I said what line he would utter about 30 seconds before he did: "I'm BAAACK." How stupid is this show?

Anyway, deleted it from my season pass. Done. No more wasting time on that.

I just have to ask, did the writers go on strike because they were writing complete shit for this season? Basically nothing on TV is any good. House. That's another show I'm done with. Same with CSI. They're all just plain bad. They almost make movies look like a good alternative.