We Want Action: Hit & Run (2012)

hit-and-run-poster Sometimes it can take a while for my wife and I to decide on a Netflix offering to watch on a Friday or Saturday night. The main problem is the huge number of offerings and a less than clear idea of what kind of film we want to watch. Last weekend I was flipping around and finally just hit play on Hit & Run. We both watched Dax Shepard (who co-wrote and co-directed the film with David Palmer) on Parenthood and went through Veronica Mars together a few years ago. So, it seemed like a good choice and I’m glad to say my instincts were correct.

The film finds real life couple Shepard and Bell playing a couple in a small California town. Everything’s going smoothly for them until Bell’s character gets an interview opportunity for her dream job in LA. The problem? Dax is part of the witness protection program and isn’t supposed to leave the town. He decides to throw caution to the wind and take her on the trip which reveals more of his past than he intended after Bell’s ex informs Dax’s former partner in crime that his pal is heading back to the City of Angels. Things get progressively crazy from there.

A solid mix of car-based action and comedy, Hit & Run felt like a unique film. There’s just as much relationship talk between Bell and Shepard as there are cool car chases, which puts it in a fairly sparse group of films. In other words, Vanishing Point this aint. After reading a bit about the movie, I started liking it even more because it basically came about because Shepard and Palmer had a cool idea for a movie, got together with their friends and got to work. Shepard even used his own car collection in the film and did a lot of his own stunt driving. In that regard, it reminded me of RZA’s The Man With The Iron Fists because it’s just a person taking what they love and putting it on film and that’s always aces in my book.

Season Premiere: Parenthood Season 2

Parenthood was one of my surprise favorite new shows last season. I shouldn’t have been too surprised because I liked cast members Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls), Peter Krause (Sports Night, Dirty Sexy Money), Dax Shepard (hey, he was good on Punk’d), Craig T. Nelson (Coach), Mae Whitman (Arrested Development) and Erika Christensen (she had a great turn on That 70s Show as a girl who had a crush on Red instead of Eric). I also really like the movie the show is based on (and much of the first episode and ongoing story is based on). And, of course, there’s the fact that Brian Grazer and Ron Howard had a hand in creating the show and as many of you know, they helped create the greatest American comedy series, Arrested Development. What surprised me isn’t so much that I liked the product, but what kind of show it is. Thanks to AD, I expected something a little whackier but I found myself really getting absorbed in the complicated dynamics of the Braverman family.

So, the second season just premiered, earlier than most other shows on NBC (Tuesday’s at 10PM). The major plot points included the terrible-at-being-a-handyman patriarch of the family Zeek (Nelson) working with Julia’s husband Joel who was a contractor before the economy tanked. After watching while Zeek practically destroys the garage that Sarah (Graham) and her two kids (one of whom is Whitman, are you getting all this?) live in, Joel finally blows up on him, telling him to back off and treat him like a man. That’s not all the problems facing Joel and Julia though as their daughter’s questions about where babies come from lead to Julia wanting to have another kid. More on that in the next episode.

While Sarah’s roof is getting fixed, she deals with the fact that she gave Adam (Krause) an idea for a tracker that locates missing shoes. She’s understandably pissed because Adam’s boss loves the idea he swiped from her. In the end, Adam feels bad and arranges for her to have an internship at his company. I’m not sure how a company that seems to be struggling has the money to bring on an intern, but whatever.

All the while Crosby (Shepard) misses his girlfriend/mother-of his-child Jasmine, who is supposed to be bringing Jabbar for a visit which will include a sleepover between Jabbar and Adam’s autistic son Max. Jasmine has to cancel the visit because of an audition (she’s a dancer), but only after a hilarious scene where Jasmine tries to have Skype sex with Crosby and the tech gets in the way. Crosby then has to break the news to Max, who doesn’t take it so well. Oh, Adam’s wife Kristina is also trying to teach their daughter Haddie how to drive, but Kristina’s being a little crazy and overbearing. I love my mom, but we had the same problem when I was learning to drive. In fact, my dad had to pull her aside and tell her she needed to relax in the car with me or I’d never relax myself. There’s a scene where Haddie goes to Adam’s office and explains what her mom is doing and I was laughing HARD because it all felt very familiar.

So there you have a fairly detailed recap of what went on in the episode. There’s no way I even remembered all the characters’ names, but IMDb helped me out big time. I like the show because of its family-like feel. My family back home isn’t quite this interrelated (at least not my section), but my wife’s is a little bit moreso, so I know that families can be like this. I also like the chaotic nature of things, which really do capture family gatherings. There’s a scene in the beginning of the show where Crosby comes over to a very busy kitchen in Adam’s house with his entire family running around, getting ready for the day and talking over each other. It’s fun to watch the show for the main plot points, but I would imagine it’s also fun to watch a few times on DVD with an ear towards the background lines. I caught one today that I can’t remember, but it made me chuckle with Haddie doing a crossword puzzle.

I dig this show a lot and probably won’t write about it every week, but I wanted to let you guys know it started early and what happened in case you missed it yourself. There’s a  pretty crowded TV season about to hit us. The missus checked several sites and made up a TV schedule that looks pretty solid. I’m excited for some new shows like Hawaii Five-O and also returning faves like Big Bang Theory (though it’s move to Thursday is problematic).