Quick Movie Review: Date Night (2010)

The missus and I had Date Night sitting around from Netflix for a while. It’s not that we weren’t excited about watching it, but with her going back to work and us having a newborn, there just wasn’t a lot of time for movie-watching. Then came the glorious weekend! After hanging out poolside for most of the day on Sunday, we came back to the house and watched this as well as You Again? which I didn’t see enough of to review, but would call it a not-bad romantic comedy in the vein of Meet The Parents. It’s not really the kind of movie for me, but there you go.

Date Night starts Steve Carell and Tina Fey as a tired and busy husband and wife who decide to kick things up a notch and go out on a legit date in New York City one night from their home base of New Jersey. When they can’t get their way into a hot new restaurant, they wind up snaking somebody else’s reservation and wind up in trouble with some crooked cops. Since they’re being chased by cops, they can’t go to the police and wind up spending the rest of the movie figuring out how to save their asses with the help of a former PI of sorts in the form of an always shirtless Mark Wahlberg. As these things go, it’s an over the top romp that goes from bad to worse.

If you’re a fan of Carell or Fey’s humor then this flick should be right up your alley as he plays a slightly smoother and less awkward version of The Office‘s Michael Scott and she plays a less emotionally damaged version of Liz Lemon from 30 Rock. That might sound boring or repetitive, but their senses of humor really play well off of each other. The story kind of reminded me of a crazy 80s teen movie like License To Drive or Adventures In Babysitting, but starring really good comedians who know how to deliver their lines like nobody else. Add in the fact that the cast also includes James Franco, Mila Kunis, Taraji P. Henson, Common, Jimmi Simpson from Breakout Kings, Ray Liotta, William Fichtner, Leighton Meester (as a babysitter no less), Kristen Wiig, Mark Ruffalo, Bill Burr, Olivia Munn and you’ve got a recipe for success. My two favorite scenes from the movie were the car chase and the dance scene, the latter of which had me ROLLING.

Digging Double Oh Seven: Threat Level Midnight

In my zeal to enjoy my re-found health and the nice weather, I lost track of time and will not have enough time to watch a James Bond flick tonight (also because of NBC comedies and Jersey Shore, of course). I thought that meant there’d be no Bondy goodness today, but then I remembered that we were finally getting the chance to see Michael Scott’s Threat Level: Midnight starring Michael Scarn on tonight’s episode of The Office (funny I forgot about it after calling the show out on my Maxim TV column). The episode featured a secret agent whose nemesis has a gold face and killed his wife. Doesn’t sound too far off from a Bond movie, right? Well, he’s also got a robot butler, a mystical hockey teacher and his own signature dance which you can check out here. I was thinking about this earlier today, but I love it when movies or parodies of movies don’t just go with the genre they’ve chosen to tackle but also add in a few others. In this case, Michael Scott didn’t just want to make a secret agent movie, but also one with a robot AND a sports mentor/training montage. Fun stuff. I know this is a bit of a cop out entry, but at this point, I’m thinking the DDOS posts will be going on past the end of the month unless I can watch a bunch of movies back to back next week (we’re heading to Ohio this weekend). Don’t worry though, you’ve got a weekend full of James Bond Jr. posts!

Quick Movie Review: Dinner For Schmucks (2010)

If you’re the kind of Office fan who watches and says to themselves “Man, this is great, but I wish Michael was MORE awkward,’ then Dinner For Schmucks is the movie for you. If not? Well, it will probably wind up being an okay, sometimes funny movie that you won’t remember much of the next day. I really wanted to like this flick because I’m a fan of Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and Zach Galifianakis but the film just didn’t do it for me. Here’s the deal, Rudd’s trying to get a promotion in his company, he’s gotten the attention of the boss (played perfectly by Bruce Greenwood, that guy’s great) which garnered an invitation to a dinner he holds where everyone has to bring an idiot. Whoever brings the biggest idiot wins a prize. Rudd’s a little conflicted about going mostly because of his girlfriend, but then he literally runs into Carell who has a penchant taking dead mice and putting them into dioramas as you can see in the above poster. You’d assume with that kind of set-up that you’re going to spend most of your time at the dinner enjoying the weirdness of everyone’s guests, but instead, Carell shows up for the dinner at Rudd’s place a night early and starts causing trouble for him.

If you listen to the Mallrats commentary with Kevin Smith like I have (lots of times), you’ll hear him talk about early versions of the movie that took half an hour to get the guys to the mall. The lesson being, if you’re going to call the movie Mallrats get to the mall pretty quickly. I kept thinking about this while watching Schmucks because it takes FOREVER to get to the actual dinner. In the meantime, you see Rudd’s problems with his girlfriend, trouble with a former one night stand, worry that his girlfriend’s cheating on him with a douchey artist and the introduction of Carell’s nemesis Galifianakis who is really weird, even for one of his usual characters. In addition to all that, the movie never really grabbed me and I just didn’t care about anything going on. There were a few good laughs here and there, but overall the movie was kind of boring, didn’t live up to its titular promise and wound up being too long at 114 minutes (I’m a strong believer that comedy should be a tight 90 minutes). Really glad I didn’t spend money on seeing this one in the theater.

Conan’s Last Episode Of The Tonight Show

I’ll let Jimmy Fallon and The Roots explain how I feel about Conan leaving the air for seven months.

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I’m sure like a lot of other people my age who remember Conan from way back when he first took over for Letterman on the late Show like myself, some of you feel kind of bad that you didn’t watch Conan’s Tonight Show more often. Maybe it would have helped. But the reality of the situation is that it doesn’t really matter. The way that TV ratings work is a mess that needs to be updated like whoa. Don’t have a Nielsen box? Then it doesn’t matter what you watch.

Anyway, mini-rant aside, the missus and I sat down to watch Conan’s last episode tonight and he killed it. After the monologue Steve Carrel came out as an NBC employee doing Conan’s exit interview, then Tom Hanks came out, Neil Young played (if you hadn’t told me it was him, I would not have recognized the man until he started singing), then Conan gave an impassioned speech to the audience about how much he’s enjoyed working with NBC (for about 20 years) and how he hates cynicism and then, the show ended with Conan playing “Freebird” on guitar with Will Ferrell singing, The Max Weinberg Seven, Ben Harper, Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top and Beck, who did not seem to know how to play “Freebird” and looked generally confused. Unfortunately he got cut off at the very end and couldn’t give his final goodbye and they didn’t post this clip on Hulu which is a bummer. Anyway, hit the jump for all the clips that did get posted. Continue reading Conan’s Last Episode Of The Tonight Show