Happening Sh*t – May 24, 2013 – Anchorman 2, Dazed and Confused 2, and Dexter’s Final Showdown

Posted in Happening Sh*t on May 24th, 2013 by Nick

Anchorman 2 Trailer Brings the Funny

If there is anything as hyped up as that new Arrested Development season, it’s quite possibly Anchorman 2. Do we have any reason to believe that Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay will let us down? Not really. And Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, and Rob Corddry make a fantastic team of sidekicks. I was leery at first when they announced this, but new footage of the Channel 4 News Team leaves me yearning for another bottle of Sex Panther.

 

Please, God No: A Dazed and Confused Sequel!?

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Director Richard Linklater hopes to shoot a college-set Dazed and Confused sequel this fall. WHY WOULD ANYONE EVER DO THIS? Because sequels to cult-classics rake in Blockbuster numbers? (Tell that to Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day) Linklater has the financing mostly on lock, but he’s still searching for a distributor. With a now-college-aged group of slackers, will high school girls still be the same age? I shudder to think.

(Paste Magazine)

 

Dexter‘s End Teased in New Trailer

Huge spoiler warning: If you haven’t seen Season 7 of Dexter – do not watch this trailer! What happens in the aftermath (and bloodbath) from last season’s shocking finale is discussed and teased in this trailer, and holy shit – it looks epic. Overall, Dexter has been a great ride. Sure, Julia Stiles tried to ruin it once (Season 5), and yes, Season 6 wasn’t so strong either. But Season 7 really brought the show back as the end game started getting fleshed out and Deb started getting more involved in the game-changing plot. There’s no question – this show will go out with a bang. Or a stab wound. Or a dead guy. I don’t know – think of something punchy. Pretend I wrote it.

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See This Now: ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’

Posted in Movies on February 27th, 2013 by Nick

51LBDmqQr8L._SY300_Every now and then, contemporary popular culture yields a work that proves coming of age tales can be done without agonizing clichés and melodramatic urgencies; that maybe…just maybe, a “teen movie” doesn’t have to be so juvenile after all. Last year’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a shining example of a story brave enough to break the mold.

Charlie (Logan Lerman) is an isolated introvert who’s had a rough year. His friend committed suicide and he’s about to start his first day of high school. Guarded and wary, Charlie is afraid to open up to his parents about how he’s really feeling for fear of reliving his darkest days. While at school, he meets two seniors – Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller) – a step-bro-and-sis duo who help Charlie land on his feet as they all learn to live and grow despite their imperfect surroundings and pasts.

Perks navigates heavy terrain, but doesn’t get bogged down by it. Suicide, drugs, alcohol, first loves, sexual abuse, and mental illness are all touched upon with sensitivity and subtlety, showing that everyone has his or her baggage (and vice) to bare. Yet like in life, how these characters react and move forward through their struggles speaks volumes.

Written and directed by Stephen Chbosky, and adapted from Chbosky’s 1999 novel of the same name, Perks is full of heart and never uproots its characters from the harsh realities of life. The voice of its characters carries well and feels like the early 90’s teen it’s supposed to be. Though Watson and Lerman are beyond endearing and lovable, a special shoutout goes to the versatile Mae Whitman for her supporting role of Mary Elizabeth. Crossing over from her day job at Parenthood, Whitman conveys all facets of a female teen punk as Charlie’s friend and later, girlfriend. She’s delightful, as always. Paul Rudd pops in as Charlie’s English teacher, and Special Effects/Make-up/Horror extraordinaire Tom Savini plays shop teacher Mr. Callahan. And a Joan Cusack cameo? I can go on and on.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a modern day Breakfast Club that completely understands its characters and the world they live in (which is accentuated by the stellar soundtrack – isn’t music crucial to the journey?). It transcends the “teen movie” genre by forcing its characters to face life head on and accept that sometimes, life can suck. But the movie is about what we learn after jumping over the hurdles of our growing pains and personal demons. It’s about those fleeting moments of introspective clarity and self-discovery that really make life worthwhile.

Grade: A

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Revisiting the Boogey Man: A ‘Halloween’ Series Countdown

Posted in Horror on October 31st, 2012 by Nick

Last year, I counted down the Friday the 13th series, starting from the worst and getting down to the nitty gritty – my fave – Friday the 13th Part 3. This year, I’m taking on the Boogey Man himself: Mr. Michael Myers. This time around, I’m excluding remakes (Sorry, Zombie) while also tossing that third edition, Season of the Witch, by the wayside. Seven spots open. Which film will conquer the rest? Let’s do this.

Remember the time Tyra Banks and Busta Rhymes ruined Halloween? I do. That’s why Halloween: Resurrection, the eight film in the series, gets the #7 position. Halloween H20 didn’t need a follow-up, dammit! I’d much rather live in a state of blissful ignorance, pretending that Rob Zombie’s brutal follow-ups were the only “resurrection” of Michael Myers. And I can’t even talk about that opening death. Tear. Sad face. To everyone involved: You ruined a perfect ending to a nearly perfect series. Damn you all.

6. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. Unlike the Friday series, Halloween movies are all pretty solid in my book. Even though Numero 5 is my next pick for the 6 spot, it’s still a pretty decent film. Continuing the story of Laurie Strode’s daughter Jamie (Danielle Harris) from the fourth film, number 5 proves to be slightly lackluster. It’s chock-full of some good suspense, but minus points for the character Tina being a snooze and also, for the lack of a better ending. Number four is really the best of the Jamie Lloyd saga.

5. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. Yes, this movie is kind of a mess. Yes, there are a shitton of various cuts. And no, I haven’t seen them all. But what I like best about The Curse is its dramatic change in tone. It’s darker, cruder, and…oh, hey, Paul Rudd! Though re-watching this movie post-Rudd’s mainstream success kind of distracts from the story, it’s still pretty awesome that they revived the character of Tommy from the original film. I also like the attempt at explaining Michael’s madness – an A for effort, even if it’s choppy. This also marks Donald Pleasance’s last appearance in the series before his real-life death. Second sad face.

4. Halloween H20. This one is a very polarizing entry to the series, but dammit, I’m a full-on supporter. Jamie Leigh Curtis is back as Laurie Strode…err…Keri Tate (she faked her death and went into hiding), a now-headmistress at a posh, secluded private school in the woods somewhere. Though this one has a pretty slow start, look at all the goodies it delivers: Nancy Chambers returns as Dr. Loomis’s colleague from the original, Curtis’s mother, Janet Leigh, co-stars and drives the same car her character did in Psycho (Nerd Alert!), and uh, LL Cool J….no wait – forget that last one. The last 30 minutes are a rollercoaster ride of suspense, and then it ends with a decapitation. Awesome! Pause to reflect once again on how badly Halloween: Resurrection ruined a perfect ending. Go ahead. Think it over. I’ll wait.

Moving on!

3. Halloween 2. A direct sequel to the events of the original, Halloween 2 takes place on the very same night of October 31, 1978, and Michael is still in pursuit of his sister, Laurie Strode. Laurie is relocated to a hospital, where there are plenty of other bodies for Michael to take down. A super strong sequel to an iconic film, I love that it takes place on the same night, and I also love the different setting. Plus, there’s a ton of fire at the end, and as we’ve learned from Beavis and Butt-head, fire is always cool, especially if paired with an explosion. I love this film dearly, but it doesn’t quite make my Top 2.

2. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. If any Halloween fan out there has a bone to pick with my countdown, it’s probably the fact that I’m placing 4 above 2. And I get it. But here’s what I love about 4. Not only did it introduce us to the Scream-Queen-in-the-Making, Danielle Harris, but shit always gets crazy when a small child is involved. Watching a masked serial killer chase down an eight year old just adds an extra layer of terror and suspense. Ellie Cornell, who played Rachel Carruthers, is a huge plus, as is the fast pace of the movie and the changing settings. You get the sense that Rachel and Jamie are actually being chased through the entire movie – through the streets, at the sheriff’s house, in the school. It feels like a lot is happening in this one, and it’s a great ride throughout.

1. Halloween. In this case, the original really takes the cake. Does such an iconic movie even need a reason? Halloween mainstreamed the slasher film and was a true inspiration to so many movies after it. John Carpenter’s chilling score…Michael’s terrifying debut…it’s all so very perfect. Fans of Leatherface or Norman Bates can leave their complaints in the comments section – Halloween is the true Granddaddy of the slasher film and brought the Horror genre in an entirely different direction. It even introduced us to Jamie Leigh Curtis, who went on to star in plenty of other excellent 70′s/80′s horror movies such as Terror Train and Prom Night. For these reasons and so many more, number 1 easily earns top spot on The Littlest Winslow’s Halloween countdown!

So that’s it, kids. There you have it. Agree? Disagree? Holler back and let me know your standings.

Happy Halloween!

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Perfection at its Best: Why we should all enjoy many more ‘Wet Hot American Summers’

Posted in Check It Out! on June 24th, 2011 by Nick

To insinuate that there are varying degrees of perfection doesn’t make any sense at all (Welcome to The Littlest Winslow!), but dammit, Wet Hot American Summer is the best degree of perfect there ever could be. Ever.

Yesterday, EW reported that multiple WHAS alumni would be willing to return for another summer at Camp Firewood, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni and Elizabeth Banks included. Director David Wain and co-writer Michael Showalter have even said that they are seriously considering writing a sequel to the campy (HA!) spoof later this year, confirming, in fact, that there is a God.

Have you seen this doozy? If you haven’t, your life will forever be unfulfilled. The cast! The quotables! The comedic timing and delivery! It encompasses everything you have ever loved about 80s movies and camp movies and seamlessly combines and ridicules them in one fell swoop of glory!

My love for this film runs deep. Upon first viewing, it may be hard to get the tone or completely understand why this movie is so amazing. Alas, by conducting multiple viewings, the viewer is peeling off layer after layer of deliciousness, digging into the core subtleties that lie scattered throughout. The funny gets funnier and the little things begin to demand attention. Every ride on this magic carpet is one to write home about!

Wain and Showalter – SEQUEL ME. I’m ready and exploding with feverish delight (gross). Maybe you can pick up the story 10 years later…the gang did agree to meet back up, after all  (remember – they have to make it their BEESWAX to be there by 9:30!).

The characters can all be a little bit older, but hopefully, fingers crossed, none the wiser.

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I feel an obsession coming on…

Posted in Check It Out!, Dog and Pony Show on July 1st, 2009 by Nick

When I first saw “Wet Hot American Summer,” I didn’t really like it! There, I said it.

Over a year (and 4 additional viewings later), I find myself becoming totally enthralled. Everything about it is perfect and if you haven’t seen it yet, you MUST.

Check out some clips:

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'A bromance for the ages…'

Posted in Movies on December 17th, 2008 by Nick

Saw a preview on TV last night about a movie with Jason Segal and Paul Rudd: “I Love You, Man”. Rudd’s character is getting married, and instead of having pre-wedding drama, it turns out he doesn’t have a best man, or a best friend for that matter. The movie is his voyage to find a friend/best man before the wedding approaches.

I think it looks funny.

And, oh! Andy Samberg and the Juno-dad (J.K. Simmons) are in it too!

Segal. So hot right now.

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Ode to Jane Lynch

Posted in Check It Out!, Movies on November 18th, 2008 by Nick

Why is it that every time I mention how much I love Jane Lynch I always have to explain who she is. “You know…the funny blonde woman from ___________”. She’s everyone’s favorite comedienne that seemingly nobody in the Tri-State area knows. Here she is, in all her glory:

Jane Lynch is, in short, the shit. We checked out “Role Models” over the weekend and once again, Lynch proved that she makes everything she’s in that much better. She plays Gayle Sweeny, the director of the mentorship center that the main characters are forced to work at. The movie, starring Sean William Scott and Paul Rudd, was indeed funny to a degree, but Lynch gave it that extra push to send it over the top. Example? See the clip below:

Lynch just has this comedic deadpan that destroys me every time. Even in Christopher Guest’s ginormous ensembles, Lynch always manages to outshine other extreme talent. Perhaps my favorite role of Lynch’s was her bout as Laurie Bohner in A Mighty Wind (“I learned to play the ukulele in one of my last films, “Not-So-Tiny Tim”.) Oh, Bohner and her “adult films.”

So check out Jane in some of these films. It doesn’t matter if she’s in it for 2 minutes or 2 hours; she’s comedic gold everytime.

Perhaps one day, I’ll finally write my Ode to Fred Willard.

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