Our Idiot Brother: All of Our Friends Made a Movie Together

by Rachel Stein August 26, 2011 6:00 am
<i>Our Idiot Brother</i>: All of Our Friends Made a Movie Together

Do you ever get sick of films that obviously have a large amount of improv? I'm fine with a few riffs here or there, but sometimes I long for tighter editing and, you know, actual writing. A line that I loved in The AV Club's excellent "Michael Schur walks us through Parks And Recreation" article series was when showrunner Schur was discussing the use of improvisation on his series and noted, "[W]e have many, many times thrown away jokes that we thought were way funnier than the stuff we wrote because, completely unintentionally, in the moment, they alter the scene. They change the motivation of the character or they indicate that the character doesn't care about something that he or she cares about or something. And I will always cut those jokes out because it's never worth sacrificing the scene or the story or the character for one joke."

Zach and Mimi Make an (R-rated) Porno

by Odie Henderson August 6, 2008 9:46 am
Zach and Mimi Make an (R-rated) Porno Since its inception in 1990, the MPAA has slapped the NC-17 on several undeserving movies. It has also withheld said application on more deserving films, either due to public fear or corporate pressure. Both cases yield ridiculous results. For example, Martin Lawrence's comedy concert film, You So Crazy, is rated NC-17, yet Mel Gibson's The Passion is rated R. One film spends 90 minutes talking about crap, Prince and getting a piece, the other spends over two hours beating the crap out of the Prince of Peace. Actions speak louder than words, and should be rated as such. If I go on a date, and we spend the evening talking, that's R (for profanity and sex-related begging). If I'm invited upstairs "for coffee" at the end of the date, that's NC-17 (for graphic sexu--oh, who am I kidding--for brief sexuality and extreme charity). Kevin Smith probably used a similar example when the MPAA rated his actionless film Clerks NC-17. He had more 'splainin' to do than Lucy Ricardo, however, when they slapped the dreaded rating on his latest, Zach and Mimi Make A Porno.

I Want My VOD: November 2012

by Ethan Alter November 8, 2012 11:30 am
I Want My VOD: November 2012

The multiplex isn't the only place that's crowded with movies this fall movie season. Deadfall, starring Olivia Wilde and Charlie Hunnam, is one of many titles available right now on most video-on-demand service.

<i>What To Expect When You’re Expecting</i>: Exactly What You’d Expect

Based on the best-selling life manual, What to Expect What You're Expecting is exactly what you'd expect it to be... provided what you're expecting is a glossy, obnoxious and thoroughly underwhelming ensemble comedy about the joys and terrors of impending parenthood. For a subtle, nuanced and genuinely funny depiction of this major life change, give the movie a miss and spend your time catching up on NBC's Parenthood instead, especially since the show has been renewed for another year of Braverman hijinks. But if you do decide to test your tolerance for cheesy sitcom-level writing, slumming stars and extremely forced heart-tugging moments, here are the ten most annoying things you can expect to see onscreen.

The Hunger Games: Katniss Deserves Better

by Ethan Alter March 22, 2012 11:30 am
<i>The Hunger Games</i>: Katniss Deserves Better

If there's a single takeaway from The Hunger Games, the first of four planned movies based on the omnipresent YA book franchise by Suzanne Collins, it's that Jennifer Lawrence is a genuine, true blue, big time movie star. Coming off a deservedly acclaimed breakout performance in the indie drama Winter's Bone and a strong supporting turn in last summer's comic book blockbuster X-Men: First Class, the actress picks up the archer's bow wielded by Katniss Everdeen, the girl revolutionary at the center of the novels. On the page, Katniss functions as a kind of wish-fulfillment character for every teen reader -- girls and boys alike -- that has ever felt alienated and aggrieved by an unjust society. (And that's pretty much every teenager from the dawn of time.) The great accomplishment of Lawrence's performance is that she takes a person that every fan of the book has imagined themselves being and makes her completely her own. From the opening scenes, she's completely locked in to Katniss's headspace and vividly portrays her transformation from amateur hunter to battle-tested fighter. So yes, Lawrence is terrific. The movie itself, unfortunately, is a disappointment.

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