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Holiday Break DVD Marathon

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Mike Cohen
Holiday Break DVD Marathon
on Jan 4, 2012 at 1:23:59 am

Some repetition with some other threads, but here's what we accomplished between Christmas Eve and New Year's Day:

Another Earth

This movie was promoted as if it was a big Hollywood blockbuster, and it turned out to be pleasantly, not that. Shot around New Haven, nearly in my backyard, on film on a shoestring budget, this movie was really well made and it was nice to see you don't need big time actors, crane shots or explosions to have a satisfying science themed story. As some reviews have noted, you could have taken the science out of the movie and it would still be a decent story, but a few moments of awe are a nice addition to a potentially manipulative plot (I mean that in a good way - somewhat predictable in parts - but overall you get to care about the characters).

Unfortunately, the RedBox movies now exclude extras so we didn't get to see the cut scenes or any making-of clips. As if anyone is going to purchase this DVD just to get the extras...shame on the distributors for penalizing the home video customer.

The Art of Getting By

We saw this advertised on Another Earth DVD. Starring a grown-up Freddie Highmore last seen in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this coming of age story set in NY was another satisfying tale. A few years ago this movie would have starred Michael Cera or Jesse Eisenberg. Highmore, for an English lad, did a good job playing an underachieving high school senior. The love triangle was somewhat predictable but high school was all about having a crush on someone unobtainable, jealousy and having a hard time thinking of the future or the benefit of knowing calculus.

Horrible Bosses

I had my doubts about this but it was pretty funny. Basically a really long SNL skit. Jennifer Aniston had perhaps her best role yet in which she did NOT play Rachel from Friends.

Bridesmaids

Not as funny as The Hangover nor as funny as the preview made it look. Aside from the potty jokes it was just a long SNL skit.

Green Lantern

I watched this by myself - thought it would be too Sci-Fi for the missus. The origin story was pretty good. I like that the villain was not some egomaniacal Earthling but an actual alien beasty. I never knew anything about the Lantern backstory so that aspect was pretty good. Some of the visualizations or contrivances or whatever they called the green energy gadgets seemed to break the suspension of disbelief, although perhaps if you know the lore it was awesome. Was nice to see Temeura Morrison playing another sci-fi character.

Big Love final 2 seasons

In my opinion, this was a show that went on for about 3 seasons too many, and the series finale was appropriate. Honestly I slept through half the episodes and feel I did not miss anything. Sorry Bill Paxton.

Tree of Life

I'm going to have to watch this on a plane or in a hotel room sometime - my wife made me kill this one after a half hour - just too artsty and nonlinear for many tastes. Very Terrance Mallick - if you are a fan of his which I am it is more of what you would expect, on steroids. If not a fan of his visual poetry it looks like a mistake.

Ok, that's dinner - more later.

Mike Cohen

PS - Poltergeist was on rotation on Encore. I had forgotten what an enjoyable one that is. You only moved the headstones!!!


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Scott Roberts
Re: Holiday Break DVD Marathon
on Jan 5, 2012 at 3:25:10 pm

[Mike Cohen] "Tree of Life

I'm going to have to watch this on a plane or in a hotel room sometime - my wife made me kill this one after a half hour - just too artsty and nonlinear for many tastes. Very Terrance Mallick - if you are a fan of his which I am it is more of what you would expect, on steroids. If not a fan of his visual poetry it looks like a mistake."


Don't bother finishing it in my opinion. It didn't look like a mistake so much as it did an incoherent babble by a pretentious artist.


[Mike Cohen] "Some of the visualizations or contrivances or whatever they called the green energy gadgets seemed to break the suspension of disbelief, although perhaps if you know the lore it was awesome."

I don't think anyone found it awesome. Green race cars? Green catapult?



[Mike Cohen] "Horrible Bosses

I had my doubts about this but it was pretty funny. Basically a really long SNL skit. Jennifer Aniston had perhaps her best role yet in which she did NOT play Rachel from Friends.

Bridesmaids

Not as funny as The Hangover nor as funny as the preview made it look. Aside from the potty jokes it was just a long SNL skit."


I found them both funny, but I definitely found Horrible Bosses to be more solid in its comedy, and Bridesmaids to be drastically overrated in its reception. Horrible Bosses > Bridesmaids for sure.

On a related note, I dare anyone to sit through this entire 5 minute SNL sketch and tell me straight faced that Kristen Wiig is some sort of comedic genius. This is one of the most MADtv-esk SNL sketches I've ever seen (and what a waste of Steve Buscemi that episode, he was a side character in almost every sketch!).

<object width="512" height="288"><param name="movie" value="http://www.hulu.com/embed/0Ps9B919JbKWWa_Y5d0RuQ"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.hulu.com/embed/0Ps9B919JbKWWa_Y5d0RuQ" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="512" height="288"></embed></object>


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Mike Cohen
Re: Holiday Break DVD Marathon
on Jan 5, 2012 at 9:12:52 pm

The whole SNL cast as of December 2011 has become kind of boring and repetitive. The fact that they made a feature length movie out of Magruber should tell us that this cast is done.

SNL success stories

Will SNL ever produce another Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, Adam Sandler, Tina Fey, Mike Meyers, Chevy Chase, Dan Akroyd, etc?

I can tell you Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudekis and Andy Samberg are not in the running - they are funny in the right situation. That being said, the world is better for having John Lovitz, Dennis Miller, Dana Carvey, Kevin Nealon, Jimmy Fallon etc 2nd tier SNL alums that they are.

Talk amongst yourselves.

MC


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Scott Roberts
Re: Holiday Break DVD Marathon
on Jan 5, 2012 at 10:08:07 pm

I'm gonna say that the biggest modern era star SNL has produced is Will Ferrell. It would be hard to deny his star power, even if he has become washed up in some people's eyes (not mine, I'm looking forward to his 100% Spanish language comedy coming out next year).

Will Ferrell and Tina Fey are the only modern era superstars to come from SNL. You could argue Amy Poehler is up there, but I'd say that 1) she's not THAT huge a star, and 2) I'll always know her for getting her big start with the Upright Citizen's Brigade, not SNL.

Kristen Wiig had potential to be a HUGE star in her first couple years at SNL, when she was arguably one of the only funny people on the show at the time. Then she become known for (annoying) repeat characters, most of which I fast forward through on my DVR. By the way, I've noticed that after fast forwarding through the commercials, the musical guest, most of Weekend Update, and the painfully bad sketches, it usually takes me about 25-30 minutes to get through an entire 90 minute episode of Saturday Night Live.

Out of this current cast, there's only one person I've always been curious as to why he hasn't become a huge star already, as he's my favorite cast member and a brilliant comedian: Bill Hader.


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