Coffee Town stars Glenn Howerton as a guy who brings his laptop to a coffee shop every day… which is a weird premise for a movie. His friends, including Jean Ralphio from Parks and Rec, hang out with him at the coffee shop, Josh Groban is the douche that works there, and Adrianne Palicki is the girl who comes in who he wants to bang.
It was on some list someone made on reddit of independent movies worth checking out. I figured I like Glenn Howerton just fine, it’s written by some guy who wrote for Arrested Development, and it turned out to be on HBO Go, so why not? Turns out it’s not that bad, but I have no idea why anyone would go out of their way to recommend it. Fairly predictable, a few mildly funny parts but nothing all that special, and there’s a weird subplot about his former roommate who died (possibly of AIDS?) that seems to have no point to it.
Selfie is an upcoming ABC sitcom starring Karen Gillan and John Cho as Eliza and Henry in a social media-era update to My Fair Lady. The pilot is on Hulu. Sadly, Karen Gillan employs an American accent, and we’re kinda supposed to hate her. But she’s still super hot.
Never having seen My Fair Lady, I guess despite Rex Harrison seeming super gay to me, there’s supposed to be romantic tension between the two. Which is weird. I can’t say I care even a bit about that. But she’s hot, and there is one joke in the pilot that was really funny, so I can give it another episode or two.
Legends is the new TNT show with Sean Bean as an FBI undercover agent. It’s not very good at all.
They explain his English accent by saying he was a military brat whose father was stationed overseas, in a really clunky bit of exposition courtesy of Tina Majorino’s character. He adopts an American accent while undercover, though. With… marginal success.
A scene involves him undercover at a strip club while his asset is exposed, so his handler, Ali Larter, shows up as a stripper to give him a private dance to clue him in. Now, how the fuck does this work? Does she go to the owner, flash her badge, and say “FBI, I need to pretend to be a stripper here”? What if the owner is friends with the bad guys at the strip club with him? It’s obviously an excuse to show off Ali Larter’s body (which I’m not complaining about) and to force a pair of adversarial, opposite-gendered characters to create sexual tension. But it makes zero sense if you give it any thought.
I can see how it’s an interesting acting challenge for Sean Bean, because I gather he’ll have to create a new character for every episode. But aside from a decent cast, there’s not much to like. Cliched writing and a setup for a larger mystery that isn’t very interesting at all. So this will be a pass.
Oh, I also watched the pilot to Partners, the FX series about Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence as lawyers. It’s lame and no one should watch it.
Black Jesus is the new live action Adult Swim show from The Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder. It’s obviously meant to court controversy what with the black, pot-smoking, homeless Jesus in Compton who hangs out with characters that, though they seem generally good-hearted, would probably be regarded as “thugs” by most of middle america. But it’s not very funny, nor particularly poignant, so I don’t see any reason to watch it.
Garfunkel and Oates is the IFC series based on the comedy/folk singing duo of Kate Micucci and familiar-looking blonde who I still haven’t learned her name. It’s in the tradition of Flight of the Conchords and Tenacious D, where they frame a story around one or two comedy/music numbers per episode. I always wonder with shows like this how far the show can really go, since they need a song or two for every episode for the show to work, but can you really come up with like 10 new songs a year, and fit stories around them too? That seems hard.
Anyway, the show’s pretty amusing. And the blonde girl and Micucci are cute and oddly-cute, respectively.
Iron Man and Captain America: Heroes United just came out, which also clued me into the existence of Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United, which must not have been marketed very well when it came out last year. They’re both CGI using the voice cast from the Avengers Assemble cartoon. They’re not very good.
The Hulk one deals with Zzaxx, a Hulk enemy I don’t really know, but who is sentient electricity, with a little bit of Abomination thrown in there. There’s a pretty amusing sequence in the middle where Hulk is temporarily blinded and Tony’s armor is broken, so they do kind of a Master Blaster thing, with backpack Iron Man telling Hulk what direction to smash. But that’s about the only thing this has going for it.
In the Cap one, they take on the Red Skull, who has recruited Taskmaster to capture Cap, in the hopes of something something super soldier serum generic supervillain plan. They manage to continue Avengers Assemble’s practice of ignoring the existence of Rhodey by having Cap don the Iron Patriot armor with no mention of Rhodey at all. Or, I guess, Norman Osborn. I’m still baffled as to why they put Rhodey in that dumbass armor in Iron Man 3, only to spend the whole movie talking about how much better War Machine is. And then in the comics, they put him in the Iron Patriot armor so movie fans wouldn’t be confused. Meanwhile in the cartoons, Norman Osborn’s wearing it, and now Cap’s wearing it.
Guardians of the Galaxy is Marvel’s latest movie, based on a not-too-popular group of space-faring characters. I understand it’s doing great business, proving that they don’t need A-list heroes to do good business, which of course makes them especially cowardly for putting out 11 movies (with 4 more announced) and the main character in every single one is a white guy.
But it’s a good movie. Chris Pratt is great as Peter Quill, a good mix of a-hole and likable, I was impressed with Bradley Cooper’s voice work as Rocket, both Rocket and Groot were well-animated, Gamora (and Nebula) were hot and kicked some ass, Lee Pace was good as Ronan, and it was a nice surprise to see Peter Serafinowicz. Generally fun, good action, I didn’t really have any complaints.
Knuckleball is a documentary that mostly focuses on Tim Wakefield’s last season and R.A. Dickey’s first full season as a regular for the Mets (the season before his Cy Young year). For obvious Red Sox fan reasons, I was more interested in the Wakefield stuff than Dickey’s story, but it was interesting all around.
The one thing I didn’t like is that they glossed over the beginning of Wakefield’s career with the Sox. They told the obvious points of his story: washed out first baseman, converted to knuckleballer, had an amazing rookie year with the Pirates, total flop the next year and released, picked up by the Sox, trained with the Niekros, got his career back together, World Series rings. But they went straight from the training with the Niekros to the Aaron Boone homer in the 2003 ALCS, skipping over his first season with the Red Sox. He was so good that year, and actually threatened the all-time winning percentage record for a pitcher. In mid-August he was 14-1 with a 1.65 ERA. Kinda fell apart towards the end (he ended up 16-8, 2.95), but it was an amazing first year for a player recently cut by another team. And of course I and all my friends were trying to throw knuckleballs in our backyards. Unsuccessfully, but it was fun.
Batman: Assault on Arkham is DC’s latest direct-to-video animated movie. Batman is a minor character, though. This is without a doubt a Suicide Squad movie. His name in the title is just a marketing ploy.
It’s seemingly in continuity with the Task Force X episode of JLU, since Deadshot and Captain Boomerang reference having gone through the Suicide Squad bit before. Kevin Conroy, CCH Pounder, and some guy reprise their roles from JLU and other cartoons as Batman, Amanda Waller, and Captain Boomerang, respectively. Killer Frost is apparently the same voice actor (Jennifer Hale), but she sounded like she was doing a Lori Petty impression on JLU, but here it’s like… generic sexy bad girl voice. Maybe the other voice sounded a little too close to Harley? I dunno. Apparently they couldn’t get Michael Rosenbaum to do his Kevin Spacey impression for Deadshot, because they got Neal McDonough instead. He’s not terrible, but eh. King Shark, Harley Quinn, Black Spider, and KGBeast round out the squad.
Though it shares continuity with an all-ages TV series, this is not an all-ages movie. There’s a fair amount of sex (Harley apparently says “Yahtzee” when she climaxes, and there’s a scene that clearly implies a coroner is considering molesting a corpse), more blood than normal, and the Joker calls a group of people “bitches.”
It’s pretty ok though. A couple things I didn’t like, and I hated the Riddler’s voice, but it’s basically a string of action sequences, and they get to namedrop a lot of C-list Batman villains like Maxie Zeus.
Bad Words stars Jason Bateman as a 40 year old asshole participating in a kids’ spelling bee. I guess your potential enjoyment of the movie relies almost entirely on whether you find it funny to see an adult be a horrible jerk to kids. Which I do, apparently. The story’s not all that exciting, and the premise is obviously contrived, but the jokes were funny, and they did a good job of casting a kid who you can believe as a national spelling bee contestant, but not find him annoying or pitiable.