Little Movies, Big Casts: Spring Breakdown (2009) & The Air I Breathe (2007)

The combination of Amy Poehler and Rachel Dratch sold me on watching Spring Breakdows as I’m not much of Parker Posey fan. It seems fairly obvious from watching the movie, though, that Posey wasn’t the first choice to play Beck St. Germaine as she basically plays a Tina Fey character. I would like to think that if Fey was in this movie it would be a lot better, but then again I was pretty disappointed and I find Poehler and Dratch to be great comediennes. The story follows three friends as they head to spring break to keep Posey’s boss’s daughter out of trouble, but as it turns out, the daughter is just a big nerd. There’s a current of lameness that seems to run under this movie at all times that seeps into the performances, dampening all of them except for Seth Meyers’ which is solid throughout his few scenes as Dratch’s gay fiance. But even his performance can’t elevate this very been-there-done-that movie. And again, this cast is crazy stacked with talent. Aside from the three leads, you’ve got Amber Tamblyn, Mae Whitman (Anne from Arrested Development), Sarah Hagan (Buffy, Freaks & Geeks), Jane Lynch, Will Arnett and even a brief cameo by Jack McBrayer (Kenneth from 30 Rock). And it still falls flat. Laguna Beach fans might want to take note that Kristen Cavaleri’s in the movie, but I’m guessing the director wasn’t too pleased with her performance as I, a recovering¬† LB fan, didn’t even notice her until about 3/4 of the way through the movie where she finally says something. There’s even a sexy talent show dance where she barely appears because, I’m guessing, she can’t dance.

Anyway, avoid this one. It’s played way too goofy and not in an ironic way, though it is nice to see Poehler playing a smarter character than Leslie Knope. I guess there’s a reason that some movies go straight to video.

While still not a great movie, The Air I Breathe was much better than Spring Breakdown, though comparing a goofy and boring spring break movie with a drama about emotions and people and how those people and emotions are connected probably isn’t an even one to make. Before getting into the plot, which I probably don’t completely understand, I want to give you a cast list. Ahem. Kevin Bacon, Brendan Fraser, Andy Garcia, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Emile Hirsch (completely didn’t recognize him, but knew he looked familiar), Forest Whitaker, Kelly Hu and John Cho are all in this movie. Okay, so here’s the deal as far as I can tell. Brendan Fraser can see the future. He works as muscle for Garcia’s mobster. Fraser kind of convinces Whitaker to try and rob a bank which goes wrong. Fraser then has to show Hirsch, playing Garcia’s visiting nephew, how not to get killed while being a mobster. Fraser sees Hirsch getting killed in a vision but somehow prevents it. Then, in exchange for not killing a guy, Garcia gets SMG’s pop star managing contract and puts Fraser in charge of her safety. They fall in love. It gets weird from there and a little circular, but I don’t think the way the movie ends makes sense compared to what you just saw a little while before. Basically, I’m not sure what happened to Fraser because I was working while watching.

Did anyone else watch this movie? I’m kind of surprised it didn’t make it to theaters with such an impressive cast and it’s not a bad movie by any means, but just more confusing that it should be. Fraser also plays his roll a bit too over dramatically for my taste, but everyone else seemed on point.

Zone-ing Out

2008-08-28
3:25:34 am

Okay, so there’s a channel we get called My 9 that shows basically all syndicated shows. It’s not usually a channel I watch, but I happened upon a King of Queens rerun which had both comic convention staple Lou Ferrigno and comedian Patton Oswald (plus, remember when Leah Remini played Alyssa Milano’s friend on Who’s the Boss?). Anyway, during KoQ I saw a commercial for an upcoming episode of Twilight Zone which I SWORE had Heroes’ Adrian Pasdar and Shannon Elizabeth. So was I right?

 

Yup. I stuck around for the next hour as Forrest Whitaker introduced me two different episodes from the 2002 TZ relaunch. I’m a big fan of these kinds of shows (the original TZ of course, both the old and new Outer Limits and, my favorite, Tales from the Crypt) so I would have watched anyway (it also helped that Em was out running errands and visiting a friend).

So anyway, yeah the first episode of TZ I saw was called “Dream Lover.” In it, Adrian Pasdar plays a graphic novelist (that’s a comic book writer AND artist for the less pretentious). He was super successful with his first graphic novel and is trying to work on his second so he starts drawing this sexy woman in a towel who comes to life. He assumes she’s his muse and only he can see her, but it turns out to be a big twist (duh) and that SPOILER SHE actually created HIM! Oh snap!

I’ll be honest, I didn’t see that twist coming so it was a pretty welcome treat. Overall the episode was great. I couldn’t place the artist who drew all the comic book drawings (and IMDB wasn’t much help), but it looked like pretty solid art. Shannon Elizabeth’s character even drops (or tries to) a comic book in-joke with the line “Alan Moore couldn’t do better.” Now, this is funny for two reasons. The first is that Alan Moore’s name got said on TV (it’s still weird for me to see comic creators mentioned in the “real” media). But the REAL reason it’s funny is because Adrian Pasdar is DRAWING at the moment.

It’s a great episode to check out for comic fans, it even reminded me of a Tales from the Crypt episode where Harry Anderson plays a comic book artists whose creations keep coming to life (though I think they kill him or something, it’s been awhile).

Oh, one last thing, when Shannon Elizabeth first appears and Adrian Pasdar disappears at the end of the episode the effect is straight out of A-Ha’s video for take on me.

The second episode was a standard bad-guy-getting-haunted-by-kids-he-accidentally-had-killed story. The only thing that really elevated it was that Jason Bateman played the guy. Also, they made him agoraphobic, so he’s actually too scared to leave his house and once he really tries to the kids have locked him in with creepy kid magic. And by that I mean these kids are super creepy. Not, twins-from-The-Shining creepy, but close.

One day I hope to get the Tales from the Crypt DVDs or even the original Twilight Zone DVDs and do disc-by-disc or season-by-season reviews. Any PR people out there listening?