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.
Closed Circuit is a movie I for some reason put on a list of movies to check out, but subsequently forgot even ever having seen a trailer or knowing anything about. It stars Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall as lawyers who defend the main suspect in a London terrorist attack. And as is pretty much obvious from that basic premise, they uncover a conspiracy blah blah blah. It’s about like surveilance and big brother and coverups and stuff, so I guess I can see why I might have thought it might be my kind of thing. It’s not bad or anything, but not worth recommending at all.
The Lego Movie is pretty good, but… exactly what you’d expect really. Sometimes clever, sometimes dumb, celebrity voices, lego jokes.
I probably should have watched The Master some other time, since recent rumors about Joaquin Phoenix had me paying more attention to his performance and if he could pull off Doctor Strange* than the actual movie.
The story shows Phoenix’s character suffering what I assume is PTSD after World War II, becoming an aimless drunk, and stumbling into a cult (more or less early Scientology) run by Philip Seymour Hoffman (more or less L. Ron Hubbard). Amy Adams is Hoffman’s wife, Landry from FNL is his son, and Ambyr Childers is his hot daughter.
I think this is one of those movies I’m too much of a philistine to appreciate, because nothing about it seemed particularly interesting. Also, the title The Master will always make me think of the 80s TV show about the old white guy ninja, and not this movie.
* – I don’t see it. Doctor Strange is an egotistical materialistic surgeon, full of swagger. Then he gets in a car wreck and can’t operate anymore and he’s just broken and desperate to find some way to fix his hands. Then he’s a centered and confident Sorcerer Supreme. Nothing about any Joaquin Phoenix in this or any other movie I’ve seen him in says he’d be any good at any of that, other than broken and desperate. I think he’s a fine actor, but totally inappropriate for Doctor Strange.
Pain & Gain is that movie with Marky Mark, The Rock, and Anthony Mackie, which is surprisingly not that bad for a Michael Bay movie (there’s maybe one explosion in the whole thing), and a semi-entertaining dark comedy bumbling criminals movie, but when you read the true story the movie was based on, you wonder what how they hell they decided to make the main characters somewhat sympathetic.
The movie portrays Marky Mark’s character as a naive but somewhat well-intentioned idiot bodybuilder who takes bullshit motivational advice and The American Dream too literally, and then convinces his two similarly naive bodybuilder friends to embark on a scheme to rob a rich douchebag (Tony Shalhoub), which goes horribly wrong. The real story is about a larger group of sadists and psychopaths who terrorize a rich guy (who still might be a little bit of a douchebag, but not nearly as bad as in the movie, and not even close to the real life bodybuilders).
A Game About Squares is a pretty neat minimalist logic/puzzle game. It’s pretty easy early on but some of the later levels are challenging. The jokes between levels can get a little annoying, though.
It does a pretty good job of slowly teaching you the concepts you’ll use later on. The only problem I found was that right off the bat, it wasn’t completely clear. You click on the square to move it in the direction of its arrow, and you want each square to get to its color’s circle.
Satisfaction is USA’s other new show that premiered last night (why would USA and FX begin a combined four new shows on the same night?) and the least likely one for me to like, since I gathered from the commercials that it’s about a male prostitute. And it sorta is, but that was slightly misleading.
The beginning is a more cliched version of American Beauty. White wealthy married couple, disaffected teenage daughter, despite the nice job and house and family the guy is completely miserable and flips out, and quits his job. Meanwhile, the wife is miserable too, because her husband works all the time and doesn’t pay her enough attention.
Then the dude finds out his wife is banging a male prostitute, tries to fight the guy, ends up accidentally stealing his phone, and starts taking his clients (and extremely conveniently, they’re all new clients, no one is like “who the fuck are you? where’s my normal hooker?”). This is supposed to be some big life changing thing, because he learns to appreciate his wife and his kid more by going out and banging other guy’s miserable unappreciated wives.
I also didn’t like this, so 0 for 4 on last night’s new shows. And now I will once again complain that USA used to make fun and light shows, but now they’re trying to copy AMC and FX and Showtime and HBO by making edgy dark dramas, but theirs aren’t as good, so I just wish they’d go back to making stuff like Psych and Monk.
Rush is USA’s new show that looked like halfway between Royal Pains and that David Duchovny movie where he’s a disgraced doctor working for criminals. And it sort of is, with maybe a little Californication thrown in, since the protagonist is a piece of shit who gets laid a lot and there’s one woman he really cares about but he’s screwed it up.
The cast has a bunch of random actors who I haven’t seen in a while but like, like Erica Cerra, Black Shawn from Rescue Me, that guy from Reaper that was neither the main guy nor Sock, and the really hot Odette Annable.
I could maybe have enjoyed this show, but I found the main character unlikable in a bad way. On Californication, Hank looks tired, he’s basically never clean shaven, his car is a wreck, and he looks pretty disheveled. That makes me like him more, or at least hate him less. This guy is Handsome McCoolGuy, impeccably dressed with the fancy car and… fuck that guy. As much as I want to watch a show with Odette Annable, I just don’t want to watch a show about a guy I hate unless he’s fun to hate. Which this guy isn’t, I just want to punch him in the face.
You’re the Worst is FX’s other new comedy, this about two terrible people who hate-bang each other, but like eventually of course they will fall in love because it’s that kind of premise. It’s a tiny bit funnier than Married, but I similarly don’t particularly identify with miserable people who get laid all the time.
Married is one of FX’s new comedies. Oscar-winning writer Nat Faxon and Judy Greer play a couple with kids who don’t bang enough for his tastes. Which I can understand, because Judy Greer is very hot. Unfortunately, it’s not all that funny. It probably doesn’t help that I’m not married and have no kids, so I don’t really get what these people are going through.