Sunday, April 29, 2012

Jim Gaffigan's Mr. Universe

I know Mr. Universe is not a movie, but since it was my entertainment this weekend, I have decided to review it. I've always enjoyed Jim Gaffigan's material. He is one of my favorite comedians and I appreciate the fact that he keeps his routine pretty clean which is quite rare for stand up comedians. I paid $5 to download his Mr. Universe special and I really enjoyed it.

Gaffigan is true to form with his self depreciating jokes, but there was also quite a bit of new material I had not heard before. He briefly talks about having kids before he addresses other topics like gyms, personal trainers, whales, above-ground swimming pools, and of course eating. He has also incorporated several new voices into his routine besides his usual alter-ego with the whiny voice.

He was pretty tough on some big businesses as he made fun of Disneyland, McDonalds, and Subway Sandwiches. I love Disney, and I enjoy Subway, but I found myself laughing and agreeing with some of his insights rather than getting offended. I also found it interesting that even though he bashed McDonalds throughout his routine, he was also their biggest defender.

Gaffigan has followed the lead of Louis C.K. by marketing his special directly to the public online. Some people might worry about pirating, but I think he has so many loyal fans that it is a win-win situation. You can download or watch Mr. Universe at Jim for just $5. That's a great deal when you consider how much it costs to go to a live performance. I give Mr. Universe 8 out of 10 stars.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Most Typecast Actors

I've always felt sorry for actors who make it big with a particular movie and then find themselves remembered almost exclusively by that role. Mark Hammil will always be known as Luke Skywalker and Leonard Nemoy will always be Spock. Despite Alan Alda's acting accomplishments he is known as Hawkeye and Roger Moore as James Bond. I've made a list of actors who have been typecast and are known for a particular character or genre.

The Hero/Good Guy- Bruce Willis and Harrison Ford. It's rare to see them in the role of a bad guy. When I saw What Lies Beneath I couldn't handle Harrison Ford being the bad guy so my subconscious mind took over and he became William Shattner for the last part of the movie.

The Villains- Christopher Lee, Sean Bean, Malcolm McDowell, Alfred Molina, and Boris Carloff.

The Weird/Crazy Guy- Steve Buscemi, Christopher Walken, John Malkovich, Christopher Lloyd, Peter Lorre.

The Mafia Member- Al Pacino, Robert Dinero, Joe Pesci, and Vincent Pastore.

The Nerdy Scientist- Jeff Goldblum owns this category.

The Romantic Comedy Stars- Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Drew Barrymore, Hugh Grant, and Sandra Bullock.

The Tough Action Movie Guy - Vin Diesel, Arnold Schwarzennegar, Steven Segal, Sylvester Stalone, The Rock, and Jason Stratham.

The Loud Mouth- Chris Tucker, Chris Rock, and Martin Lawrence.

The Tough Chick- Mila Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, and Sigourney Weaver.

The Spoof Movie Star-Leslie Nielsen.

The Crazy Comedian- Jim Carey, Will Ferrell, and Steve Carell. (Although I appreciate Tom Hanks, Robin Williams and Jim Carey taking on more serious roles or different genres during their careers.)

Many of those listed above have an extensive repertoire of films and have taken on a variety of genres, but they are still best known for their bread and butter roles they keep reappearing in. I applaud some of the more versatile actors who have shown their talent in a variety of roles like Russell Crowe, Will Smith, Johnny Depp, and Gary Oldman.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Man On A Ledge

I just got back from watching Man On A Ledge. I decided to give it a shot despite previously hearing poor reviews. Let me just say that the movie lived up to it's title. I've heard some people criticize the name of the movie, but at least it wasn't called "Boyfriend and girlfriend steal diamond back from criminal businessman while their framed ex cop brother stages potential suicide as a distraction to expose crooked cops and prove his innocence."

I enjoyed the cast. Binks and Worthington were alright in their roles, but I have been distracted by Worthington going back and forth with his accent in every movie I've seen him in since Avatar. I really liked the the bad guys in this movie. I thought Ed Harris was an incredibly nasty villain. I struggled trying to accept Jamie Bell and his girlfriend played by Genesis Rodriguez as a couple in this movie. I had an even harder time believing they had the skills and knowledge needed to pull off a heist.

As much as I liked the idea behind this movie, there were only about 27 totally fake things or unanswered questions. Some of the things I learned from watching Man On A Ledge are:

* If you get hit by a train while running away from the cops, it will not hurt you as long as you played the Terminator in a prior movie.

* Two amateurs with a couple of duffel bags full of tools can break into a high security building and vault all while serving as comic relief for the movie.

* If you are an attractive woman, there is always time for you to strip down to your underwear and change outfits during a time sensitive heist.

* A father can be an incredibly valuable asset during a heist. He can fill the role of bellhop, front desk man, server in the kitchen, and bar tender and miraculously show up at the most convenient times and places to help you accomplish your goal.

As much as I tried not to let the details bother me, I couldn't dismiss things like how the lead character just happened to know the schematics, security codes, and electronic wiring of the security system they were breaking into if he had been in prison for years and his former occupation was a policeman as opposed to a security expert..

On a positive note, this movie features the obligatory chase scene through a hotel kitchen which is becoming a staple for most movies.

I give Man On A Ledge 6.8 generous stars.I know it wasn't that good and is filled with plot holes, but I really wanted to see a movie and I found it entertaining and still kind of liked it.

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