The End of the Tour (2015)

The End of the Tour
Director: James Ponsoldt
Writer: Donald Margulies
Based on: David Lipsky‘s memor Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Segel, Anna Chlumsky, Mamie Gummer, Joan Cusack, Ron Livingston
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 1.11.2015
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) is a writer. He just published his first novel, more or less at the same time that David Foster Wallace‘s (Jason Segel) Infinite Jest came out, against the backdrop of which Lipsky’s own novel disappears. Jealous he reads it and finds that the critics were right with their praise of Wallace’s novel. So Lipsky arranges for an interview with Wallace for Rolling Stone magazine. Wallace, notoriously publicity shy, agrees to have Lipsky trail him for a few days during the end of his book tour.

The End of the Tour may have occasional lengths, but for a film that is basically just an extended conversation between two people, it is incredibly engaging and well-made.

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This Is the End (2013)

This Is the End
Director: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Writer: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Based on: the short film “Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse
Cast: Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Mindy Kaling, David Krumholtz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Rihanna, Martin Starr, Paul Rudd, Channing Tatum, Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari, Jason Segel, Brandon Trost, Jason Trost

Plot:
Jay Baruchel comes to LA to visit Seth Rogen. He had planned to have a weekend full of movies, video games and weed at Seth’s place, but Seth gets him to go to James Franco’s housewarming party. While they’re there, the apocalypse happens – literally. None of them ascends into heaven, but at least Jay, Seth, James, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride also don’t fall into the hell pit that opened just outside the door. But what should they do now?

I was afraid that I wouldn’t like This Is the End and I was right. Apart from a few moments of actual fun, there was nothing that I could enjoy about it.

thisistheend

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Re-Watch: Despicable Me (2010)

Despicable Me
Director: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
Writer: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio
Cast: Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig, Jemaine Clement, Jack McBrayer, Danny McBride, Mindy Kaling, Ken Jeong
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Gru (Steve Carell) is a super-villain whose best days are past. When he hatches a plan to steal the moon with the help of a shrink ray, all that’s missing is the necessary cash for the operation. So he goes down to the Bank of Evil – and is denied credit. When Gru tries to follow through with his plan on his own, he is bested by Vector (Jason Segel), the nerdy new kid on the supervillain block. Since Gru is unable to recover the shrink ray, he makes a new plan: Vector has a weakness: cookies. So Gru adopts three little girls and sends them to his house to sell him some. But what Gru didn’t expect was that he’d start to like the little girls.

When I saw Despicable Me for the first time, I wasn’t very excited about it. Now that I re-watched it, I’m still not. Yes, it’s sweet and the minions are awesome, but it just feels so run of the mill that it doesn’t really get anywhere.despicable_me Continue reading

The Five-Year Engagement (2012)

The Five-Year Engagement
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Writer: Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller
Cast: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Rhys Ifans, Lauren Weedman, Mimi Kennedy, David Paymer, Jacki Weaver, Jim Piddock, Brian Posehn

Plot:
Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) are a very happy couple. Especially when Tom proposes, everything seems perfect. But before they can actually get married, life pretty much gets in the way of things. So they postpone the wedding and move to Detroit, where Violet got a job. And then they keep on postponing the wedding. But will there ever be the perfect time to get married?

I didn’t expect very much from this film – just a nice, shallow RomCom. But the movie was so incredibly funny, it not only had me laughing out loud, it actually had me in stitches on several occasions. Respect.

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The Muppets (2011)

The Muppets
Director: James Bobin
Writer: Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller
Based on: Jim Henson‘s characters
Cast: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones
Cameos by [put in camouflage so you can still be surprised by the people who show up, if you don’t know already. If you wanna be surprised, don’t read the tags, either]: Jack Black, Alan Arkin, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong, Jim Parsons, Kristen Schaal, Sarah Silverman, Donald Glover, Emily Blunt, Leslie Feist, Whoopi Goldberg, Selena Gomez, Dave Grohl, Neil Patrick Harris, Judd Hirsch, John Krasinski, Rico Rodriguez, Mickey Rooney

Plot:
Walter and Gary (Jason Segel) are brothers, but Walter is pretty different from the rest of the world. It is only when he finds the Muppets that he feels he has somewhere he belongs. So he jumps at the chance, of course, to go to Los Angeles with Gary and his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) to visit the Muppet Studios. But the studio is decrepit and threatened by Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) who wants to drill for oil there. The only chance to save it all would be to get Kermit and the rest of the Muppets together to raise 10 million dollars. So Walter takes it on himself to make just that happen.

I never watched The Muppets when I was a kid and apart from their Christmas Carol and a few choice youtube videos, I never really had much contact with them. So I felt like I was missing some ingredient in the whole thing (nostalgia? character background?), but nevertheless, I enjoyed the film. I just think you would get more out of it if you were more of a Muppets fan.

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Bad Teacher (2011)

Bad Teacher
Director: Jake Kasdan
Writer: Gene Stupnitsky, Lee Eisenberg
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Lucy Punch, Justin Timberlake, Jason Segel

Plot:
Elizabeth (Cameron Diaz) dreams only of one thing: marrying rich and never having to work as a teacher again. She seems to have achieved her goal, but then her fiancé dumps her. So Elizabeth takes up teaching again and sets her mind on a new pair of boobs – that is sure to bring her the success she seeks. And when she meets Scott (Justin Timberlake), heir and new teacher at her school, she seems to have found her next target. But that puts her directly in competition with Amy (Lucy Punch), who is basically the exact opposite of Elizabeth.

I didn’t expect much of this film and therefore wasn’t really disappointed. It’s okay, it even made me really laugh a couple of times, but other than that it was pretty meh.

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Despicable Me (2010)

Despicable Me is Universal’s first animated feature. It was directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud and stars the voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews, Will Arnett, Jemaine Clement and Jack McBrayer.

Plot:
Gru (Steve Carell) is a super-villain whose best days are past. When he hatches a plan to steal the moon with the help of a shrink ray, all that’s missing is the necessary cash for the operation. So he goes down to the Bank of Evil – and is denied credit. When Gru tries to follow through with his plan on his own, he is bested by Vector (Jason Segel), the nerdy new kid on the supervillain block. Since Gru is unable to recover the shrink ray, he makes a new plan: Vector has a weakness: cookies. So Gru adopts three little girls and sends them to his house to sell him some. But what Gru didn’t expect was that he’d start to like the little girls.

Despicable Me is sweet, but it’s nothing if not shallow. The characters are stock characters without any addition, the story is predictable and generally it lacks a bit of a spark of originality. Nevertheless, it’s nice.

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Better than I thought is not necessarily really good

I saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall this weekend.

I think the title of this post sums it up pretty well – it was better than I thought it would be, but I thought it would be really, really bad. I didn’t know if I wanted to see it, because it sounded so bad, from everything I had seen of it. On the other hand, I very much enjoyed Jason Segel‘s performance in Freaks and Geeks, even though his character Nick got terribly on my nerves.

Anyway, I ended up seeing it and I laughed a lot. About the dracula puppet musical. [If you want to watch the video, be warned, it’s pretty much the end, and will spoil!]

About Sarah’s TV shows.

[Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime]

About Aldous’ music videos.

[Infant Sorrow – We’ve Got To Do Something]

I loved the cameos and known faces that kept on popping up [Jason Bateman, Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd (who I almost didn’t recognise – I thought he looked more like his own brother) and, of course, William Baldwin].

Unfortunately, the characters and the story left me really cold. I just didn’t care what happened with them. (Partly, surely, because I knew what would happen after about 5 minutes into the movie.)

The biggest problem I had with it was that I had the same problem with Peter (Jason Segel’s character) that I had with Nick (Jason Segel’s character). Maybe it was a case of transference, but I suspect it was my allergy to clinginess: I just thought all the time: “Get over yourself, you wussy! And stop getting on my nerves! I MEAN IT!” And that can really ruin the cinematic experience for me.