Tuesday, August 28, 2007

134 &135

134. Closing Escrow(2007) *

Sorry, no poster for this one....good sign, no?

135. Superbad(2007) ****

It's been a while since I saw these two movies, but I wanted to see Superbad a second time before I wrote about it. First though, briefly about Closing Escrow; it sucked. It had some funny bits, the funniest of which I will now relate, because I know nobody will see this movie: they show a backyard pet cemetery, there are crosses and a tombstone with a star of David (get it? some of their pets were Christian, some were Jewish. Ha ha.). It gets a better score than Reno 911! because, while it was pretty boring, it was not aggressively unfunny. What was weird about it was that it spent a lot of time actually featuring aspects of homes that characters in the film were looking at. What's the point of that? It is neither funny nor does it advance the action.

Enough about that boring movie. Now I will try to be equally as brief about Superbad, because I'm sure everyone has heard enough about it. I want to start by saying that this is the movie that put me off Entertainment Weekly forever (not meaning that I will stop reading EW, it just means that I now officially do not respect it). Lisa Schwarzbaum has written her last terrible review that I will read. Lisa Schwarzbaum is dead to me now. She closes her B rated review with this line: "Superbad is cute if you like guys who aren't even remotely bad, in a coming-of-age tale so old-fashioned the girls might just as well be wearing bloomers." Cute? I'm not sure where she gets that adjective from. And maybe the film does retread a story that has been told before but, first, it puts an interesting twist on it by having such an intense relationship between two teenage boys and putting the emphasis on that friendship, and second, I'm pretty sure that hasn't bothered Ms. Schwarzbaum in the past. In another part of the review she wants to know why the underage and really looks like it actress who plays Becca doesn't take her bra off. Then she says the lack of development of female characters is "the movie's limitation." Uh, is it just me or is are those two viewpoints slightly contradictory? And why would it be necessary to elaborate on the two girls, Becca and Jules? Again, the boy/girl thing is not really the focus of the story, and isn't it pretty normal for teenagers to be totally infatuated with people they know little to nothing about? Is that misogynistic, as Ms. Schwarzbaum seems to be inferring, or is it just part of being in high school? Also, Ms. Schwarzbaum basically calls the movie puritanical; the raging party, with drugs, booze and sex is not wild enough for her, and she pokes fun at the fact that the two main characters do not have sex(saying she is "fascinated" by the movie's "righteousness" and "chastity"). So, again, the movie and its ilk are too mysogynistic, and, in her next breath, Lisa Schwarzbaum would like a drunk teenage boy to engage in what some would consider to be date rape. Hm.

Well, I think I've gone on long enough about that. For my part I really liked this movie. I thought it was extremely well done, and not just for a "raunchy" (a word I am really starting to hate) teen comedy, but for any movie. I thought it was nearly perfect. I felt there was no point where the movie lagged. As Steve said, it has a very high LPM; laughs per minute. I can't help comparing it to the Judd Apatow movies of the last two summers, Knocked Up and The 40-Year Old Virgin (and neither could Lisa Schwarzbaum, but her reasoning was to further perpetuate her misogyny line); I loved both of those movies, but I definitely noted that there were several scenes that fell flat. Those seemed to be scenes that were heavily improvised; perhaps they were funny at the time, maybe you had to be there? I was glad to see there were no such scenes in Superbad. Even though I am really into Michael Cera right now, I think I enjoyed the scenes with McLovin and the cops the most. I also appreciated the parallel theme of friendship, LISA SCHWARZBAUM, you dummy. Well, I didn't really mean for this to turn into a diatribe against Lisa Schwarzbaum, even though I HATE HER, I meant to have a more well thought out summary of the movie from my own point of view, but after I started, I just couldn't stop, and now I just feel lost. Next time will be better, promise.

PS - I also wanted to relate this; one of my coworkers said she didn't like Superbad because she felt it was "too vulgar," and I've been thinking about this a lot lately, what with the rise of the R-rated comedy, reading everywhere all these actors talking about how liberating the R is, how you can be funnier and more real with the R...then I heard Bob Saget. I heard him twice; a few days ago I watched the beginning of his HBO stand up special, then today I heard him on Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! on NPR. On HBO he was unbearable to watch, again, I'll use the term "aggressively unfunny," and not just that, but he was unintelligible and INSANE. On Wait Wait he was about ten billion gazillion times funnier. In fact, he was so much funnier, that he was actually mildly funny (yeah, that's how bad the stand up was). So....I just thought that was kind of interesting.


No comments: