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25th
AUG

Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle

Posted by Player under Comedy

Harold and Kumar Go To White CastleFrom the same director of Dude, Where’s My Car? comes this latest stoner comedy about two friends in search of the ultimate satisfaction: White Castle.

For those of you who have never eaten or had White Castle, let me just say as a former employee of White Castle, that their menu is not exactly something that you crave for every day. Unlike McDonalds or Burger King, White Castle is a family owned company where all the restaurants are owned by the same family. The classic WC burger is a square piece of meat that is about 2 inches wide. The squares have holes too. The burgers are cooked over grills that are first covered with onions and water. As the onions and water steam the burgers are placed on top, along with the buns. Together everything is steam cooked and in less than three minutes you have about 30 burgers per grill cooked. Most people purchase White Castle burgers in packs of 20 or 30, for large groups, 50, 100, and even 200 are pretty normal. White Castles are also open 24 hours a day, so in most locations there is an after hours rush right around 1 and 2 in the morning. Many customers at those hours of the night would tell me that they never eat White Castle unless they are totally drunk, high, or both. This is so common that everyone in Chicago knows this. However from personal experience, I can tell you that the reason people crave White Castle at late hours of the night, is that they really have strong coffee and the taste of onions does wake you up.

Anyway, back to our movie review….

In the movie, Harold (John Cho) is a pushover in his job and so he gets stepped on by his jerk coworkers, who leave him to do some reports, so they can go drinking. His roommate Kumar (Kal Penn) is a brilliant guy who is suppose to follow in his family’s footsteps of being a doctor, but his slacker attitude tells him he just wants to have fun. When Harold gets home, the plan is to start smoking some MJ, and relax. In the film Harold’s biggest problem is that he doesn’t stand up for himself and he has yet to tell his hot latin neighbor how much he likes her. For Kumar it’s all about MJ. After the initial smoking, they both decide that they have to make it a special night and end it with some White Castles and this is where their quest begins.

They eventually end up in an Ivy League college, get their car stolen, asked to participate in a four-way, and meet up with Doogie Houser, or at least the real actor that played him. Plus their is a cheetah that they ride through the forest too.

Essentially this film is all about funny situations and while the Harold and Kumar characters could have been a lot less likeable, they actually end up being pretty cool and interesting, so the film ends up being a little better than the sum of its parts.

Some reviews have compared the film to a newer version of Cheech and Chong, and there certainly are some good reasons why to draw this conclusion. The obvious one is that both pairs of actors are not your average pairing of a couple of white guys or one white guy and one black guy.

Overall this movie is a lot better than Dude, Where’s My Car?, while not exactly being a great film, it certainly is entertaining in some parts.

My favorite scene is the dream sequence where Kumar marries a giant bag of weed and has sex with it. There is something ridiculous about this, yet the actual metaphor works on so many levels that you can’t help laughing.

3 out 5 stars

25th

The Girl Next Door

Posted by Player under Comedy

The Girl Next DoorBack in the 80’s I rented the movie Weird Science and fell in love with it’s female lead. Sure as the character Jay from Dogma and Clerks saids, it was a PG 13 movie and so you could not see any real nudity, but when you’re young you tend to have a lot of imagination. Lately, movies like American Pie have tried to bring back the teen movie and female nudity, and while I’ve appreciated their efforts, I’ve also noticed the abundant failures as well. The Girl Next Door is closer to Weird Science, than it is to American Pie, and perhaps it is a better film because of it.

The story is pretty simple, a smart guy in high school (Matthew) finds himself bored at the end of his high school career, when a hot chick (Danielle) moves in next door who just happens to be a couple of years older than him. She catches him spying on her when she is undressing and goes next door to teach him a lesson. This leads to a romance and the two find themselves flirting around town for the next few days, that is until of course he learns the truth about the girl next door, and that’s when the story starts getting interesting.

Matthew has two friends, Eli who is your typical friend in high school who was a chronic masterbator and consumer of adult material, and Kluttz, who is a bit nerdy looking but who is probably the coolest guy you know once you get out of high school. It is Eli who shows Matthew a tape of Danielle’s actual adult star performance. This leads to Matthew messing things up badly with Danielle, and from there the romance ends, and the love story begins.

The most interesting character though is Kelly. A cool and hip guy who makes cheap adult films and who is for all purposes, Danielle’s agent in the world of adult entertainment. He enters at the right time to persuade Danielle to come back to the life of video starlet and it is up to Matthew to help deter this from happening. Everything about Kelly is the opposite of Matthew. Kelly is confident, he is smooth with people in general and never hesitates to get what he wants out of them. It is Kelly who helps Matthew get his first lap dance, and into loads of trouble. But it is also Kelly who shows Matthew what being a man is all about, because unlike Matthew who tries to avoid conflict, like with the cool jocks at his school, Kelly meets the situation head on and even looks for it.

Eventually Matthew’s life is totally ruined by Danielle and Kelly, but he manages to get inspiration and resolve the problems by making a film with Eli, Kluttz, and two of Danielle’s girl-friends.

Along the way there are some funny moments, but nothing like American Pie. Eli’s lines brought me back to my high school days, when boys often say things like: “Jesus, I wanna bone hot chicks!” and then there is Kelly’s classic advice: “You have to know if the juice is worth the squeeze”.

As for Elisha Cuthbert who plays Danielle, well let me just say that she is the new Weird Science girl, but without the accent. She totally made me forget about Kirsten Dunst! Although there is no nudity, there are plenty of wet t-shirt scenes and other nuances to keep you entertained. Like I said, this movie is for teenager’s imagination.

I have to also mention the soundtrack for this movie is phenominal! Unlike the crappy 90’s boy rock/pop that you hear in other teen movies today, this soundtrack devotes itself entirely to classic and memorable music. You’ll catch hints of great 70’s and 80’s music, most of which is not gay, meaning this is rock music from the time when bands only made one ballet on their albums, and yes they were really albums! The soundtrack hits perfectly, never sounding silly or stupidly over the top, just right and just enough to highlight the mood and make you get into the story even more. Now that’s what a soundtrack is suppose to do!

There are currently two versions of this film on DVD. An unrated version has more footage but does not include any nudity either, but if you are going to choose one DVD, the unrated version will probably be the best buy.

Overall The Girl Next Door is an unexpectedly good film. If you remember high school at all or perhaps are in it now, then you should enjoy this film.

4 out 5 stars

23rd
AUG

Mr. 3000

Posted by Player under Comedy

Mr. 3000I grew up on the south side of Chicago, and like most kids, we would play baseball in the parking lot of our neighboring hot dog place. We would often lose a lot of baseballs by hitting them up into the Chicago Skyway, where we can only hope we did not cause too many accidents, but this was back in the 80’s and now I have no foundness for the game of baseball, or so I thought…

In Mr. 3000, a subtle and interesting Bernie Mac plays Stan Ross. A self-centered baseball player who quits the game immediately after making his 3000 hit, only to find out nine years later that he actually fell short of 3000 by 3 hits. Hoping to reclaim his glory and finally get accepted into the Hall of Fame, he signs back with his former team, The Brewers, and learns along the way why he loved baseball in the first place, and exactly where he went wrong in his youthful days.

In the locker room and on the field, he finds an unwelcomed reception by his fellow Brewers, who see him as a joke, and a loser. Off the field, Ross rekindles his off and on again relationship with ESPN reporter Mo (played by Angela Basset).

This film is really a movie for adults, it’s not a kids movie or even a movie for baseball fans. Bernie Mac’s comedy is always a bit more sophisticated than what most audiences are use to, so there is not rage out loud comedic moments, instead what you get is a very grown-up movie about learning to grow up. Ross is likeable, not because he starts out that way, but because he learns to love life for what it is, and not what we want it to be. Things, like trying to get along with people, doing the right thing, and making love instead of humping the one you’re with, are all things that one learns with time.

Angela Basset also plays a perfect counterpart to Mac’s Ross, with her impecable acting, she lends credibility to what an older, more mature woman can be, namely sexy as hell and as independant as she wants to be.

In the end, Bernie Mac’s lines, reminded me of why I use to play baseball on the south side of Chicago and why I miss playing a simple game that I was not that very good at. Maybe there was something good about growing up with baseball that I had forgotten until just now.

4 out 5 stars

23rd

Meet The Feebles

Posted by Player under Comedy

Meet the FeeblesBefore Peter Jackson got huge applause for his Lord of the Rings Trilogy, he directed what is still considered one of the most demented and crued films of all time!

Meet the Feebles is perhaps one of the strangest films you can ever sit through. The film is actually about puppets much like the Muppets, but these puppets are not cute and child oriented. They are sick, disgusting, and in some scenes, you really need to have a strong stomach.

The story revolves around a broadway type show, which the Feebles are the main attraction. There is a horny Rabbit that plays the main host and who is featured in many puppet sex scenes that border on too sexually explicit for most audiences. Then there is the has been Hippo actress who is in the decline of her career. Then there are the really shady characters, like a Rat who tries to corrupt new starlets to be in his adult films, a fly that eats excrement and reports on the cast’s failing relationships off the stage.

Meet The Feebles is the cult classic of puppet movies, in what other film would you see a Walrus getting oral sex from a cat? So if you feel like grossing out your friends, then Peter Jackson’s got a film for you and it doesn’t have hobbits!

3.5 out 5 stars