I like TV, I like movies. It’s no mystery, I like books, comics, video games and more! Regardless of medium, I’m generally taking in some form of mindless entertainment or another at any given time!
Sometimes, I get ahead of myself. I take part in a few things with full intentions of writing up a long and rambling blog post to go along with it, but I get ahead of myself. Sometimes, despite good intentions…there just isn’t time or motivation for said blog posts to happen. That’s not to say I don’t want to talk about it at least a little bit!
“Pop Culture Wanderer” seemed like a pretty catchy title for this type of post. I’ll call it #1 because if I’m feeling froggy, maybe I’ll keep doing them!
Last Man Standing
My enjoyment of a good Mafia movie started about the time Elliot Ness took out the trash in “The Untouchables”. I’ve enjoyed Bruce Willis movies for long time too! As for “Last Man Standing”, I’ve heard about it for years, but never got around to watching it. Thanks to Netflix Instant Watch, I was able to take care of that.
As Mafia movies go, it’s not bad. It’s a little slow from time to time, but it has a great cast. The gun play is well thought out and it has some good brutality to go with it. Story wise, the movie isn’t exactly deep but then again…the old school Gangs were kind of direct and to the point anyways!
I enjoyed “The Hangover” quite a bit, so I had pretty high expectations for “Due Date”. The movie seemed like a similar story, the same type of comedy and hell…it even looked to be using the same types of filters on the cameras!
Robert Downey Jr. is the comeback kid and it’s pretty well deserved. He’s been batting 1000 since his ‘dark period’! He has good comic timing and they seemed to cater well to his personal traits with his character’s quirks and anger issues. Zack Galifinakis I enjoy and his annoying hipster/actor character is good, though again…playing to his strong suits here.
Story wise, “Due Date” had a lot of good laughs but as a whole, it wasn’t quite as solid as “The Hangover” before it. “The Hangover” had a good road trip quality to it where as this one feels like a decent remake of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”. Enjoyable, yes. Groundbreaking, not really.
Bo Burnham Words, Words, Words
To say I’ve followed Bo Burnham since he started would be an overstatement, but I do remember his early youtube videos from a few years back. I remember getting a good laugh out of them too!
Stumbling across his Comedy Central special “Words, Words, Words”, my first reaction was to be impressed. Here’s a kid that started posting random videos of goofy songs, and now here is with his own cable special and a world tour! As a wanna-be writer trying to make his way, by way of the internet? Gotta give the guy props for that! The fact that I got a really good laugh out of his act was a nice bonus. Turns out, he’s not just a one trick pony!
Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time
I remember Nick from the excellent “Grandma’s Boy”, but I hadn’t really kept up with his stand-up career or his skit show, “Pretend Time”. I also took in Swardson’s Comedy Central special which was okay, but I really enjoyed “Pretend Time”. He has some good comedians working with him on these skits, so the quality is decent. The humor is juvenile at times, but sometimes that’s the kind of laugh you need.
For standouts, look for Office Mike Gaga, Lady Gaga’s brother. Good stuff.
I’ve got mad props for Ed Helms. He’s great on “The Office”, he was good in “The Hangover”. I’ve got even more respect for him after hearing him on The Nerdist Podcast and his love and dedication to Bluegrass Music! “Cedar Rapids” pairs Helms with John C. Reilly who I happen to think is one of the funniest guys working these days!
What I found after watching this one was that the trailers for “Cedar Rapids” are totally misleading. The commercials would leave us to believe that this was a zany mad cap comedy with Reilly acting nutty and all. What I actually found was more of touching dramedy that was fairly dark in tone! Helm’s character “Tim Lippe” was a guy with a fair number of problems deep down inside and we get to watch as he works past those issues without realizing it. This movie covers some touchy areas…smoking crack, philandering, mommy issues and other things.
Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean I think it was a bad movie. In fact, I think it was actually a pretty good flick! It was just marketed poorly, which I think lead to bad word of mouth after people came out of the theater having not seen the movie they thought they would. It’s not a sad movie or heavy handed and it is pretty funny! Just have realistic expectations!