Movie Review: The To Do List

IMDB, The To Do ListComedy, 104 Minutes, 2013: “The To Do List” on IMDB

For some reason I’m finding it very difficult to write this review. My computer is ready to go (in other words, Minecraft isn’t running). I’ve got a cold beverage (water). I’ve got some good writing music playing (Queen’s “A Night at the Opera”). I’ve got my review pants on (which is to say, I’ve got no pants on).

And yet nothing comes to mind. The movie just didn’t really leave much of an impression one way or the other. It was good, not great. Funny, not hilarious.

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Movie Review: We’re the Millers

IMDB, We're the MillersAction, 131 Minutes, 2013: “We’re the Millers” on IMDB

Both Jason Sudeikis [IMDB] and Jennifer Aniston [IMDB] can be hit or miss. Aniston, particularly, is known for making many perfectly average – and perfectly bland – comedies. Harmless enough, true, but nothing special. Going in to this, therefore, I was hoping for nothing more than a decent time-waster and a few chuckles. Instead, I’ll happily admit, this ended up being pretty damn hilarious.

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Movie Review: American Reunion

IMDB, American ReunionComedy, 113 Minutes, 2012: American Reunion on IMDB

[This is the first selection in my irregular, “My Wife and Kids are Visiting Relatives and I’m Home Watching Movies” film festival.]

The “American Pie” movies will never be confused for great art, but they’re generally good for a laugh.  They’ve also successfully franchised [Wikipedia] into two distinct branches: one fairly high-quality theatrical series following the same set of characters and one low-budget direct-to-disc spin off series featuring common themes, third-tier characters, little known relatives and substantial gratuitous nudity.

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Movie Review: Blades of Glory

IMDB, Blades of GloryComedy, 93 Minutes, 2007: Blades of Glory on IMDB

I’m really surprised that this one slipped through the cracks for so long.  I do remember when it was being released and remember that “not good enough to pay theater prices for” feeling but then I completely lost track of it.

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Movie Review: Ted

Fantasy,  106 Minutes, 2012: Ted on IMDB

This is a funny movie.  Funny in that old “a teddy bear just said ‘fuck’ and mimed fellatio!” way.  There’s also some of that “a teddy bear just said ‘fuck’ and smoked some weed!” and a little “hey, a teddy bear just said ‘fuck’ and gave somebody the finger!” stuff.  So if you like any of those then you’ll probably like this.

Ted is a teddy bear come to life on the wings of a young boy’s wish.  While initially hailed as a miraculous phenomenon it’s been thirty years and people have better things to do.  Ted and the boy, John (Mark Wahlberg [IMDB]), have grown up and settled into impressively immature ruts.  When John’s girlfriend, Lori (Mila Kunis [IMDB]) pressures him for something more things have to change.  An amazing number of “fucks” later everybody learns something about themselves what really matters in life.

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Movie Review: The Babymakers

Comedy,  95 Minutes, 2012: The Babymakers on IMDB

The basic idea here is that this guy has been hit in the balls so much that his “sperm are bad” but he’d still like to impregnate his wife.  He remembers that he used to donate sperm all the time and tries to get retrieve some of that but he finds out his last batch has been sold and will be used soon!  So he collects his stereotypical group friends – the fat crazy one, the dumb one and black one – and plans a sperm heist.

The script is the worst kind of juvenile.  The jokes are all of the gross-out variety and none of them are actually funny (even the scene where the fat friend did prat-falls in puddles of semen, for some strange reason, failed to elicit a laugh.)  Everything in the movie is really contrived and stupid but I supposed that’s fine because all of the characters are tremendously unlikable.  Technically the movie is a loss as well.  Although supposedly made this year the washed out lighting and terrible audio work make it look more late-seventies or early eighties.

This really is the worst kind of comedy: utterly unoriginal and lacking any perceptible soul.  Watching it is a truly terrible way to spend 90 minutes of your brief time on earth.

Movie Review: Going the Distance

Comedy,  93 Minutes, 2004: Going the Distance on IMDB

Oh, “National Lampoon”, why have you let yourself go so much?  There was a time when seeing your name over a film title ensured a high-quality low-brow experience.  Granted those times where 1978 and 1983, but still, my point stands.

This isn’t a terrible movie – it’s just so completely by-the-numbers that it’s difficult to actually place any value on it.  It’s the movie equivalent of camouflage.  It blends into the background well enough that if you don’t look hard it looks just like a movie.  If you start to stare, however, it becomes more and more clear that something just isn’t right and that it’s really a special ops soldier ready to disembowel you with a bayonet.

I guess I’m not very good with metaphors, but some of that had a point.  I think.

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