A Good Old Fashioned Orgy (2011)

This is another movie I watched a couple weeks back, and reviewing it here for posterity’s sake now.

Long ago, probably close to a decade now, I watched Wet Hot American Summer and was shocked that it was viewed by anyone as funny.  I think I might have been broken back then, because looking at the amazing cast that populates that movie, I have no idea how I could have not seen the humour in it.  Maybe I just missed what it was about, maybe I didn’t “get it”, I don’t know.  Looking at the poster for AGOFO I was struck by how much it reminded me of Summer and I wondered if it was going to be the same type of movie for me.

Yes and no.  The cast is populated with actors that I find altogether enjoyable in many movies that they’ve worked on, namely Jason Sudeikis and Tyler Labine, but also introduced me to a few talents that I had only heard smatterings about by this point.  The most disconcerting thing for me during the entire run of the movie was how freakishly similar Nick Kroll looks to Joshua Malina in every scene.  It was haunting me by the end.

The story is not as much of an “in-joke” as Summer seemed to be, just pretty straightforward.  Eric (Sudeikis) uses his father’s (Don Johnson) house every month to hold some ridiculous theme party and when Eric’s dad decides that he needs to sell the house, Eric needs to come up with One Last Party idea.  Along with his best friend Mike (Labine), they come up with the idea of having a good old fashioned orgy that will just be a small, intimate (literally) gathering.  At first, not everyone’s on board with it, but clearly from the film’s title, you know that it happens.

It’s an alright coming-of-age, coming to grips with the person you are story, and how immature us adults can still be.  There’s some sexy romping and decent acting throughout, but it’s nothing I’d really recommend off the top of my head.  Enjoyable, but not a laugh riot or anything.

3 / 5

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Iron Man 2 (2010)

Alright, so I did a whole nice write-up yesterday for the first Iron Man movie, and well, this one is more of the same.  It’s not The Dark Knight sequel to Batman Begins, it’s more like what Batman Forever was to Batman, if that makes sense.  It probably doesn’t since I just casually omitted Batman Returns, but Forever had sooo much Batcrap shoved into it that the movie actually shat out a sequel.

I just wanna sit back and appreciate that thing that I just wrote.  Man, I hope I didn’t subconsciously steal it from someone, because it is such a perfect description of Batman & Robin.  You can LIKE this review or G+ it or RT it or whatever.  I don’t even want to write anymore.

Alright, fine.  So Iron Man 2 brings back almost the exact same cast and creative team as the original movie, minus the unlikable Terrence Howard (replaced with the awesome Don Cheadle) and bringing in Justin Theroux as the screenplay writer.  At this point The Avengers movie release date was (I think) set in stone and there were preparations and things shoved into the story that seemed to be less about just Iron Man, and more about pumping up the Avengers plotline.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but it gives the whole movie more of an episodic feel.  Like, you can’t have “The Body” episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” without “I Was Made to Love You” which I had to research (and I actually dug that episode too) to remember it took place directly before “The Body”.

I feel like I’m getting all Pitchfork-y with this review, making allusions to other things that seem quite brilliant in my head and maybe seems assholeish when someone else reads it.  Anyways, the film also brings in Mickey Rourke as the main villain Whiplash, Sam Rockwell as Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey, Jr.) main business rival, Justin Hammer, and Scarlett Johansson as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent – and future Avenger- Natalya Romanov or y’know, Black Widow.  There’s also a lovely little appearance by John Slattery as Tony’s dad in archival footage, and the whole Stark family thing reminds me so much of “The Venture Bros.”

So there are parts I like about Iron Man 2 because they remind me of other things, and it’s a competently enough made movie, but not nearly as great as the first movie.

3.5 / 5

Iron Man (2008)

Okay, so this is the movie that kicked off the whole Avengers Initiative thing that ultimately led to The Avengers being made and probably becoming one of the Top Five highest grossing movies ever (pure speculation at this point).  If this movie had ended up being a box office bomb, well, it would have bankrupted the newly made Marvel Studios, Robert Downey, Jr. would probably have had a relapse and the entire world would be a different place now.  Probably.  But it didn’t, so yay!

I’m a DC Comics fan, so most of the characters in Marvel’s comic universe I have only a smattering of knowledge about, though I do tend to pick up little tidbits of info here and there.  Iron Man probably wasn’t what Marvel would consider a first-tier marketable character, but they didn’t have 100% control over their most recognisable movie characters – Spider-Man and Wolverine/X-Men – so the film for Iron Man became the launch pad of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  It was directed by Jon Favreau in an apparently less than 100%-scripted environment, which leads to some scenes of dialogue which feel much more natural because of Downey’s nature of neverstoptalkingwhenotherpeoplearetalking.

Downey was probably no one’s first choice for Tony Stark/Iron Man, but the actor took that ball and fucking repulsor rayed it to the moon.  The rest of the cast is 95% perfect as well, but only because I find it hard to buy Terrence Howard in anything.  This film also marks the first fun appearance of Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) of S.H.I.E.L.D. and boy I hate typing acronyms like that.  Iron Man also pretty much laid out the formula for all the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, with Coulson appearances, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) appearances, post-credit scenes and numerous nods to the future films in the Universe.  Like Pixar, only more fanboy serverish.

Anyways, solid fucking movie.  Great launchpad for the Avengers franchise, and I wish DC would be able to replicate the same formula for a future Justice League movie, but oh well.

4.5 / 5

Zookeeper (2011)

The opening two minutes of Zookeeper establishes Leslie Bibb’s character as a cunt.  I don’t just throw that word around, but she rejects Kevin James’ character, Griffin, because he’s merely a zookeeper.  Then later on, the talking animals that Griffin looks after teach him that to be a success and to get that cunty woman back, he has to act like a cunt to people.  So he does, and I die inside a little more and people keep paying money to see shit like this.  $150 million at the box office for something that is essentially Single Dr. Doolittle’s New Groove.

Seriously, there are a load of talented people involved in this movie.  Hell, even Kevin James is a likable enough actor, but he continues to go with the easy, lowest common denominator making piles of money route.  I don’t even know if he’s looking for his own Punch-Drunk Love.  Maybe someone should make a meta movie about him called Finding Kevin James or some shit, I don’t know.  Currently, I’m watching him talk to what appears to be a CGI or animatronic gorilla (voiced by Nick Nolte) and taking Donnie Wahlberg down a peg.  Also, all these animals talk but there’s a Toy Story-esque “code” where they cannot expose this secret to humans.

I wanted to Live-Tweet how terrible this movie is, but it’s an overall terrible, not an in pieces terrible.  Unless of course you like watching Kevin James falling down.  Then it’s five stars, easy, like omg it is the bomb.  I fucking hate this movie, though I thought it would have been funnier if they called it Paul Blart: Zookeeper, then I might have actually laughed once.

0 / 5

Another thought that occurred to me during my research, well not a thought, just y’know a gripe.  Ebert had actually been getting better the past few years in my opinion.  Then I see that he gave this movie 3 / 4 and said that it wasn’t a great movie in the review, and damned it with even more faint praise saying that at least the animals had the good taste to be in 2D, like that was a choice that the animals made.  That is my gripe.  Ebert, get back to being sensible.