The Fault in Our Stars

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Today was supposed to be my day with Tom. I was going to eat popcorn. He was going to die. I planned on getting blasted by 3-D. He was going to die. I was, finally, going to appear in public wearing my Cocktail shirt. And he. Was going. To die. Alas, it was not meant to be. The movie theater didn’t have a 3-D Edge of Tomorrow (crazy, I know). And I only see movies before noon. That left only two options. See DOFP for the fourth time — worth it just for the feels when Jean and Scott pop in — or watch The Fault in Our Stars with an estimated sixty female high school students. One thing’s for sure, tears were going to be shed.

Based on John Green’s best selling novel, The Fault in Our Stars centers around two teenagers who have the all too common misfortune of living with cancer. It’s a story we’ve all heard before, but one no less potent. I was intent on not crying during any point of the film. It was a bold task, this I know, but one I deemed possible. Let’s be honest here. If I can sit through A Walk to Remember without sobbing, this should be amateur hour. Oh yeah, that’s right. I cried uncontrollably at the end of the Mandy Moore classic.

There’s no excuse for letting my guard down back in 2002. I will, however, defend my emotions getting the best of me earlier today. You get the feeling right from the start that there won’t be a happy ending. Terminal cancer is terminal. The film’s acting could have been shoddy, the dialogue stiff, music grating. As it happened none of this was the case. But it wouldn’t have mattered. When you’re dealing with cancer, something every one is or will be affected by, you are going to strike a chord.

At the head of that chord is Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and Gus (Ansel Elgort). I usually cringe when people use the term “chemistry” between two actors. But in this case, there was something there. It piques my curiosity. Why were these two so good together? Did they hang out on the set all day? Before shooting even began? Are they dating in real life like Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone? Or maybe they’re just really good at what they do. I’ll be the first to admit how tacky the relationship between Jamie and Landon is in A Walk to Remember. Don’t get me wrong. I watch it every time it’s on TBS. Yet I won’t deny rolling my eyes at more than a few scenes. And honestly, not once during the two hours did I guffaw during this. Believe me, there were opportunities. But Woodley and Elgort were fantastic. I’ve yet to read the book, so I’m unaware of the accuracy of the casting, but man did I buy every second of what those two were selling.

Willem Dafoe pops up for a bit as Hazel’s favorite author. The character happens to be a huge asshole and Dafoe plays it well. Nat Wolff appears as Isaac, a friend of Gus’s who’s losing his sight to cancer. Much of the comedy comes from Isaac, despite all the laughs Gus received from the teenagers in my audience.

Some of the hardest scenes to watch included Laura Dern and Sam Trammell. They were Hazel’s parents in the film. As good as I believe Woodley and Elgort’s acting was, they weren’t the reason for my watery eyes. They just legitimized it when all the girls in my theater went “awwwwww” every fifteen minutes. No, it wasn’t them or their characters. The parents were what killed me.

The only thing worse than dying of cancer at 16 is being the parent of a kid who dies of cancer.

Hazel says this, or something of the sort, in the film. Maybe my feelings about the quote will change if, I should say when , I get cancer, but until then I’m in full support. Credit to Dern and Trammell. If it weren’t for them I’d be saying how I didn’t hate Hazel and Gus all that much and Willem Dafoe is awesome. With them I’m saying it’s a film worth watching.

This is a solid movie and a sad tale, but not as sad as it’ll be made out to be in the coming weeks. There’s hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands who die of cancer without meeting the love of their life. Most will die alone. There won’t be trips of a lifetime to Sweden. No losing virginities. Just the constant reminder of death slowly upon them. That, to me, is the ultimate sadness. That’s the story I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Because that’s sorrow and despair. And life. The Fault in Our Stars is a fine movie and I’ll be the first to admit I shed tears. But I’ve also cried during Sarah McLachlan’s SPCA commercial. They resonate with me no longer than someone saying “okay”. Okay.

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Silicon Valley – “Signaling Risk”

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Where last week was about moving the story and characters along, this episode punched us in the gut with laughter. There wasn’t one scene that didn’t make me audibly laugh. At this point, the only disappointment about “Silicon Valley” is the length of each episode.

The gang has to deal with a couple of things this week. Erlich, it seems, is in charge of the Pied Piper logo. Leave it to Erlich to pay ten thousand dollars to a street artist to design a logo. Richard entered Pied Piper into the TechCrunch Disrupt. Peter Gregory and Monica are none too thrilled with this, and now Richard and friends need to present a live demo in eight weeks. Oh, and Jared is trying to make every one involved more productive. It’s been a joy to watch.

What it comes down to is this. Each person involved (other than Jared) has no idea what they’re doing. There is no guideline to becoming a successful corporation. But you DO need guidelines. You need structure. You need…stories? It cannot just be a free for all, do what you want, when you want system. You want to think outside the box, but also be cognizant of what works. Case in point the logo. Erlich doesn’t want to all out mimic other companies, but maybe they have something there with keeping it simple.

Apparently this was the last episode for Christopher Evan Welch and I’m sad to hear it. Clearly the show was setting up for a showdown between Peter Gregory and Gavin Belson. Old friends turned bitter enemies. Their interaction was great, especially on Gregory’s part, and I’m solemnly awaiting how they write him out.

Random Thoughts

  • Was any one surprised by the romance budding between Richard and Monica? Nobody? Yeah, same here.
  • The show is at a comedic high when Dinesh and Gilfoyle are interacting with each other. This episode had plenty of that. The car scene fight was the perfect way to start the episode.
  • Diplo at Facebook Event This is a real life event at Facebook. Apparently Diplo is playing and let’s just say people aren’t too wild for the music…
  • Who recognized Chuy from the episode? He was the Secretary of Defense in Idiocracy. A Mike Judge alum.

Funny Quotes

“I’ve got a story, why don’t you choke on my balls.” – Gilfoyle

“Granted it’s not ideal but we’re just gonna have t…what the good fuck” – Erlich

“Here’s the headline: there’s a lot right with it” – Erlich

“Can we please both go?” – Dinesh in response to seeing the logo


Guess what guys? This was my favorite episode yet! Actually, they’ve all been equally great. Thanks to Erlich and Dinesh, this might have been the hardest I’ve laughed in a while. See ya next week.

 

 

The Funniest Movie That Never Made You Laugh

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It’s Saturday afternoon. You’re hungover from the rotation of cheap beer and Bankers vodka shots the night before. The roommates went to get Arbys to settle the stomachs for round two tonight. That leaves the most important job of the day up to you. Finding that gem of a movie to day drink the…day away. Well look no further my good man. Let me introduce you to the funniest movie that never made you laugh.

It was a similar situation I found myself in during sophomore year, finals week ’09.  My buddy “Feels” (college is the last time it’s acceptable to have friends with douchey nicknames) and I happened upon a movie called “Loaded Weapon 1”. Unbeknownst to us, it would change our lives forever.

National Lampoons Loaded Weapon 1 was released in 1993 as a spoof comedy. “Spaceballs” did Star Wars, “Young Frankenstein” did Frankenstein, and Loaded Weapon 1 was our glorious mock Lethal Weapon. It had a story they probably stole straight from any cop movie from the 80s. An LA detective is killed for having a microfilm on how to make cocaine cookies. Two odd couple style cops team up to find the killer. Playing the Mel Gibson role is Emilio Estevez as Jack Colt. I’m not exaggerating when I say this is the best role of Emilio’s career. I’m in my twenties, I grew up with the Mighty Ducks. I don’t make these claims lightly. He is unstoppable in this film. If I had to give out Olympic medals for the best all time spoof actors it would go something like this:

Gold Medal – Leslie Nielsen

Silver Medal – Gene Wilder

Bronze Medal – Emilio Estevez

emilio-estevez-as-sgt-jack-colt-in-loaded

His sole performance in this film vaulted him past Mel Brooks and Anna Faris. The level of commitment he has to every line of dialogue is astounding. It truly reminded me of Leslie Nielsen. Perhaps there’s an alternate universe where Emilio’s career didn’t die after D3 in ’96. It was definitely in the cards for him to own the spoof world for the next 10-15 years akin to Nielsen. Honestly, who was dominating that market? You had virtually no one during the late nineties. Anna Faris and the Wayans brothers put out some respectable material in the early part of the new decade. Instead we were left with “Date Movie” and the chunks of puke that came after (Is “chunks of puke” a saying? I’m attempting to make it one). Allow me to hop off his dick real quick so I can also praise his co-star.

The great Samuel L. Jackson takes the reigns as Wes Luger (lolz at their last names). Not surprisingly (at least not now) Jackson is laugh out loud funny throughout the full 90 minutes. Who back in 1993 knew how funny this guy was? I glanced at IMDB and could only find a small role in “Coming to America”.

Honestly, I’m surprised he didn’t stick to a career solely in comedy. A little flick called “Pulp Fiction” might have had something to do with that. There are a couple key scenes where Jackson has some one at gunpoint. Both might be the funniest scenes in the film. His dedication to physical comedy brings tears to my eyes. If this were Madden his stats would look something like this:

Physical Comedy – 97

One Liners – 94

Balding Haircut – 99

Agility – 63

He’s an all time great and I’m grateful for all the iconic performances he’s given us, but man do I wish he’d of taken more comedic roles. Together with Emilio, they form my favorite comedy duo ever. I’ve watched this film more times than I care to admit and not once do these two become bland. I guarantee you’ll never see them on any of the Buzzfeed lists, but these two deserve respect.

Normally I would stop there. Estevez and Jackson DO make this a classic spoof comedy. What puts “Loaded Weapon 1” into untouchable territory is the massive amount of comedic talent in the film other than the two leads. From the villains to the smallest of cameos, this movie doesn’t disappoint. Let’s break ’em down!


Jon Lovitz – hqdefault
Lovitz plays the “Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapon” role. He’s the loud mouthed (more whiney) guy that helps out our two heroes. Or tries to help them out. He usually gets shot at or taken hostage without either Estevez or Jackson caring much. Probably not as funny as his character in “Rat Race” but it’s a delight to watch his misfortunes seemingly never end.

William Shatner – photo_lrgAnd here we have the main baddie in our comical cop story. Shatner plays a hilarious version of the Colonel from the Rambo trilogy. Now that I think of it, he’s probably not much different than the Priceline Negotiator but, it’s still gold. Another actor who you wouldn’t think could pull off comedy back then. He’s masterful with the dialogue he’s given throughout, never blinking at how cheesy each line is. I can’t stress how important that is in spoof movies. He’s dedicated for every minute on screen. General Mortars you are one of a kind.

Tim Curry – tim-curry-as-mr-jigsaw-in-loaded-weapon-1Tim Curry plays the right hand man to Shatners evil genius. As you can see from the picture, he has no qualms about going under cover. There are few voices more recognizable than Curry’s, but he puts a whole new twist on his golden pipes for this role. The way he emphasizes the “w” in “weapon” gets me every time. Watch “Loaded Weapon 1” for Tim Curry if anything. Pure brilliance.

Whoopi – National_Lampoons_Loaded_Weapon_1_41824_MediumShe doesn’t have many scenes (two or three), but she does have my favorite scene in the film. In the beginning of the movie, Tim Currys character visits Whoopi to get information out of her. Spoiler alert: she doesn’t survive the questioning. But the sequence between the two is comedic gold. It makes me miss pre-View Whoopi Goldberg. I mean come on…she went scene for scene with Swayze in “Ghost”!!! The lady can do it all. I look forward to her brief appearance every time I watch this.

Bruce Willis – 2514252Yup. Watch this movie.


I’d also like to list Phil Hartman, Dennis Leary, Cory Feldman, Kathy Ireland, Denise Richards, F Murray Abraham, Scotty from Star Trek, the two dudes from CHIPS, the principal from Breakfast Club, the TMNT, and Charlie fucking Sheen. Too much gold.

So now you’re wondering, why the hell haven’t I heard of it? It can’t be that great. It’s clearly not successful. So what happened? The sad answer….I don’t know. For one, I was only five when this baby came out. Unfortunately I didn’t have the income to support it. Originally it was set to have a sequel. They even signed a deal for one before the first was released ( the tagline was “Oh come ON, you knew it was coming!”) but the poor performance squashed that. My theory? Look at what else came out in the spoof market in 1993. This and…THIS.

Look. I understand I maaaay be exaggerating with how good it is. If it was as good as I made it out to be you’d have heard of it by now. All I’m saying is that you’d be hard pressed to find a better movie to watch while recovering from the night before. And that’s not the hangover talking.

Be True, Unbeliever

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Take me away from reality. That’s all I ask of a book. Send me to a city plagued by vampires.Dump me into an argument between a wife and husband. Or my favorite, transport me to a mythical world. A land. The Land.

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant do just that. Not long after meeting Covenant himself, we (along with Covenant of course) are taken to a new world called The Land. It’s full of mystical creatures and creations I’ve never heard of (Ranyhyn, Fire-Lions, Ur-Viles, Wraiths of Andelain), combined with the familiar (Giants, High Lords). During most of the books you travel throughout The Land. At times you surpass its bounds. The Land is one of my favorite parts of Stephen R Donaldsons masterpiece, but it isn’t what separates it from other fantasy greats. Tolkien gave us Middle Earth, Frank Herbert has Arrakis, and even George R. R. Martin created a large setting in ASOIAF. No, Donaldson goes deeper than just the world he creates.

I’m not going to do a whole summary (mostly because it would sound horrible), but I’ll give you a little introduction. Thomas Covenant is a leper in the real world. The condition became so bad he lost his two fingers on his one hand. His wife and son have left his life because of his disease and he is utterly alone. The towns folk hate that he lives among them. His day to day life is filled with self-loathing. As he walks into town one day, he is suddenly hit by a police car. Covenant is mysteriously transported to the mysterious world previously described as The Land. In this reality(or unreality), he is believed to be the second coming of Berek Halfhand. A messiah.

Believe me when I tell you, Thomas Covenant is not a likeable character. In fact, most people hate him. And this is the main character! Donaldson’s version of Frodo is as despised as Joffrey from ASOIAF. It’s not entirely without merit. He commits a deplorable act in the beginning of the first book. Most readers refuse to continue after that. Yet that single act, above all others, has consequences that span throughout the rest of the series. It’s a slow burn, but my GOD is it worth it. I love Thomas Covenant. I love what he becomes. I love what he IS. Because simply put, I see a lot of myself in him. And I’d bet many others do too. It’s just the qualities we share are the ones nobody likes to acknowledge. There are times when I’m totally self loathing and pitiful. I’ve been caught in a web of despair. Thomas Covenant finds his own leprosy revolting. I don’t have leprosy myself, but I carry with me that same feeling. Whether it’s how I look (short, balding, hairy), where I am in life (single, alone, minimum wage job), letting people down (family, friends, significant others), or my own qualities (greedy, spiteful, cynical). I’m disgusted by myself. I see why certain people are out of my life and I wallow in the self hate.

Listen, I’m not on suicide watch here. I just openly acknowledge these things about me. And they drew me to the character of Covenant. So where others found him whiny and immature, I found him incredibly relate able. See,  I want a character with flaws. I’m not just talking about a character who sometimes bends the law to get the job done. I mean real, up close and personal flaws. Thomas Covenant is as bleak as they come. In his mind there is no hope, for him or this world. He attempts to push any and all help away from him. I’ve been there. Repeatedly. And I’d bet I’m not the only one.

The characters in this series aren’t all like Covenant. As I said, Covenant has plenty of people trying to help. I don’t think many readers continue long enough to see this. The Giants are a people full of hope. I personally wish I had a Saltheart Foamfollwer as a life long friend. All my troubled times wouldn’t seem so dark. Allow me to post one of my favorite quotes from the series, courtesy of Foamfollower and Covenant:

“Are you a storyteller, Thomas Covenant?”
Absently he replied, “I was, once.”
“And you gave it up? Ah, that is as sad a tale in three words as any you might have told me. But a life without a tale is like a sea without salt. How do you live?”
… Unconsciously, he clenched his fist over his ring. “I live.”
“Another?” Foamfollower returned. “In two words, a story sadder than the first. Say no more — with one word you will make me weep.”

Saltheart_Foamfollower2

This quote makes me reflect every time I read it. Because despite what Covenant (and myself) think, there is hope in this world. And love. And friendship.

A critique that does have some justification to it: Donaldsons writing. It isn’t bad. I think he writes prose wonderfully. He just has a taste for ten cent words. I guarantee you know what “succor” and “roynish” mean after reading the books. Personally I enjoyed the challenge. Did I stop and look up what every word I didn’t recognize meant? No. Mostly because I used a Kindle. Even still, you can pick up the meaning. It’s just frustrating when you know a lesser word would work just as well. The author also tends to be a bit descriptive. This leads to the books being a bit of a chore to get through. But for me, the story and the character of Thomas Covenant were too appealing. When it comes to plot, Stephen R Donaldson is one of the best.

This is also not the series to read if you are looking for battles and fighting. There are, however, some bad ass characters. The Haruchai (such as Bannor, Brinn, Ceer), the aforementioned Giants (they take no pleasure in killing but when they must, look out), and of course the wild magic that comes from White Gold. I don’t want to spoil much, but White Gold has had such an effect on me that I’ve contemplated getting a tattoo of it somehow (and immediately regretting it of course. But still). I know someone who was a kid when this series began and he said ” when my friends were playing with The Force, I was wielding wild magic with my White Gold ring”. Well come friend, well come.

Favorite Quote

“Impotence is freedom. When you’re incapable of anything, no one can expect anything from you. Power has its own limits—even ultimate power. Only the impotent are free.”

For whatever reason, this rang especially true to me. It’s a trap many fall into. If people have low expectations for you, you never end up letting them down. The same goes for having low expectations for yourself. I’ve told myself ” If I went blind, my parents would never expect anything from me”. Not that I would ever blind myself, but I really connect with this quote. In my life, I’m always trying to make myself “impotent”. Trying to put myself in situations that are no win. For when I lose, I can go “well look at what I was up against!”. In reality I have as much opportunity than anyone else (and probably more so than most). I could be way off base. It’s dialogue that’s stuck with me. And that’s why I love reading.

This isn’t meant to be a book review. Not even a plead to read the series. I don’t know what I meant to do. I just wanted to write about books that changed me. It’s not for everyone. Yet it sold over six million copies when it was first released. I guess I just want people to know it’s out there (And that one person in Alaska who reads this blog will know). And that I believe. Not in much. But in this author. In these books. In Thomas Covenant.

Silicon Valley Review – Episode 1 “Pilot”

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Does anyone do mundane 9-5 work day comedy better than Mike Judge? To be fair, I’m just basing it off of Office Space. But let’s be honest, Office Space is a god damn classic. Anyone who has worked a crappy office job immediately relates to that movie. And now Judge (and HBO) are giving us “Silicon Valley”. It’s “Office Space” meets “Entourage”.

Richard and his friends are a bunch of young tech types who are trying to strike gold by making their own apps. They also work at a knockoff Google called Hooli. Admittedly most of us don’t work at Google. But we’ve all had those jobs with corny inspirational posters everywhere. I loathed having to pretend to be enthusiastic to my bosses. We can relate to mocking our work the same way that most of the jokes here are at the expense of Hooli.

When Richards app is found to be worth quite the amount of money, the bidding war begins. Does he go with his boss (who is hilarious but if this was real life I would hate him) or the hip entrepreneur (okay not really hip but he seems like the good guy in this scenario). And let me tell you, my friends and I have asked ourselves this question over and over again. Take the large amount of money up front or a smaller amount but you get royalties, or in this case are in charge of your baby (and could possibly make BILLIONS). Almost every time we bring it up we choose the opposite of what Richard did. I’m glad he made the decision because it has me unbelievably excited for this show.

Silicon Valley is the show that The Big Bang Theory should be. True, they are both sitcoms. But this show just feels different. It’s for us nerds (and I personally think a broader audience than that) without a god awful laugh track. The scene at the end with Richard confessing to Erlich that he’s made the decision to take the $200,000 is heartwarming. It gives this show weight that I wasn’t expecting. Mike Judge, perfect cast, right time, HBO. I’m pumped.

Other thoughts:

Familiar Faces

combine_imagesThere are quite a few of our favorites in this show. I noticed a few right off the bat. Obviously T.J. Miller has to be brought up first. The man is a star waiting to blow up. I’ll always remember him for making “She’s Out Of Your League” a funny movie. Really funny. Next we have Martin Starr playing the exact same character from “Party Down”. And I have absolutely no problem with that. He’s also been seen in various Apatow projects (Knocked Up, Freaks and Geeks, etc.). Gabe from The Office seems to play a big role on this show. I don’t know his name and don’t care. Lastly, Kumail Nanjiani is part of Richards entourage. I suspect this to be a fan favorite for those that are watching. Kumail is one of the brightest up and comers in the stand up comedy world. Highly suggest watching/listening to some of his stuff. Also, Andy Daly makes a hilarious cameo as a doctor in this episode. I’m praying he has a larger role (if you haven’t checked it out yet, Review with Forrest MacNeil is on Comedy Central and laugh out loud funny. Please watch).

Funniest Line

I probably should just pick any line that came out of T.J. Millers mouth but I’ll go in a different direction. It’s not actually a line, but the little monologue that Gavin Belson went on about how nerds form their group of five had me holding my stomach. Is “holding my stomach” a phrase? I don’t know. But his observation was great none the less.

Random Thought From Episode

Peter Gregory’s assistant Monica vaulted into my Top 3 celebrity crushes. She’s going on Instagram the next WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday for those unaware. Oh, everyone is aware). She’s been on my radar since “Sex Drive” but you put her as a love interest for a not so good looking dude? She vaults to the top. Plus she has those big teeth which make her less physically attractive, but makes her seem more attainable which in turn makes her even more attractive. I’m tiring myself out by thinking about it. Glad to have her in my life though.

I think we can all agree that this was a promising first episode. And if you don’t agree, you’re either a jock or not a Kid Rock fan. Lose, lose situation. This show however, is in a great situation. Thank you HBO (please,please,please,please, PLEASE don’t cancel this)!!!!!

 

Elijah in the Phonebooth

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10 years from now, some studio exec will come up with the bright idea to remake the 2002 smash hit “Phone Booth”. I guarantee it. And I’d like to tell future Hollywood Exec, pump the brakes. “Grand Piano”, starring Elijah Wood and John Cusack, already stole your mediocre idea. I’m not joking. “Grand Piano” is “Phone Booth” for the upper class. Allow me to show off my uncharacteristically bad summarizing skills.

Elijah Wood plays a pupil to the recently deceased “best piano player in the world”. He was some old guy who was up there with Bach and Beethoven in skill. And apparently, he left a huge sum of money after he died. Elijah ( I don’t recall his characters name. Or any characters name for that matter) comes out of retirement to play one last concert in his teacher’s honor. Oh yeah, Elijah has MAJOR stage fright. During his performance he suddenly learns Cusack has a sniper pointed at him. One wrong note and boom! See you later Elijah. Also, Elijah’s wife is in the crowd. She will succumb to a bullet in the head if he dares cry for help. Very Phone Booth-ish. I didn’t dislike this movie, yet I probably should have. Instead it brought three distinct things to my attention. I’m not sure how distinct they are, but here we go.

    1. First I’ll address why I liked this movie. It’s simple. I will always support Elijah Wood. And for the most part, really enjoy what I watch him in. Lord of the Rings, Green Street, Wilfred, Eternal, Happy Feet, etc. We all have THOSE actors we fully support. No matter what. It can be for a variety of reasons. The actors who were in a role you will hold on to forever (Elijah Wood and Sean Astin as Frodo and Samwise respectively), the actor who attended your high school ( Mike Vogel ), the hidden gem you knew about before anybody (Paul Rudd because you knew about him in Wet Hot American Summer. What’s that? He was on your radar since Clueless? I meant Wild Oats…), and of course the actor that stops you from completely hating a family name (Dave Franco for saving the Franco legacy after James desperately tried to tarnish it).

2.  Bill S. Preston is back! I couldn’t take my eyes off him throughout the entire film. He plays Cusacks evil right hand man. And guess what? He nails it! Totally pulls off the charming yet creepy killer. Not surprisingly, he brought the funny in a couple of scenes too. This really got me pumped for a new Bill and Ted. I wasn’t sure if he had been working and I just haven’t noticed it, so I took it upon myself to peruse his IMDB page. Spoiler alert, he hasn’t been up to much. In the last ten years, one Robot Chicken episode, a couple TV movies, some show called “Saul of the Mole Men” (I won’t lie, this intrigues me), and an episode of Bones. There is legit reason to get excited. If you don’t see this movie out of dedication to Frodo, see it for Alex Winter

3.  Hey John Cusack. What the fuck is going on? From the late nineties on, it’s as if he doesn’t know what kind of market he wants to be in. He was red hot at first (I’m not going to include Anastasia, but I should. Criminally underrated). It looks like he’s going to produce critical darlings with High Fidelity and Being John Malkovich. Then he takes a sudden turn to chick flick and thrillers (Serendipity, Identity, Runaway Jury). All pretty crumby in my opinion. A few years later he jumps into the horror genre with 1408. I actually found that film rather enjoyable. But Johnny M is done with horror. He smells the green over at “Apocalyptic Movie Headquarters” and stars in 2012. Generally considered a pretty bad movie. One year later we get the glorious Hot Tub Time Machine. Cusack really does well in this raunchy comedy setting and I’m surprised he didn’t try another one. Or at least a sequel ( which is apparently in the works. Four years too late?). Instead of sticking with comedy, he decides to go back into horror. And oh MY god was that a mistake. The Raven was an abomination. We finally come to a stop at Grand Piano. He now is the villain in the Bourgeoisie Phone Booth. What I’m saying is John Cusack doesn’t know what the hell he wants. And I’m concerned.

But not concerned about you enjoying Grand Piano. If you like Phone Booth you will enjoy this. If you hated Phone Booth, well, this is a bit better so there’s still a chance you will enjoy it. Here is their website where you can download it from iTunes.