Archive for August, 2009

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There and Back Again: A Blogger’s Tale

August 8, 2009

Alright, everyone, I’m back. I’m sure those of you who check this blog regularly have wondered where I’ve been for the past month. Well, wait no more. I’ve spent the past three weekends on the road, and it interfered with my movie watching.  The first weekend I was absent was spent in Nashville, TN visiting friends and listening to some friends’ band play.  The second weekend was spent as the videographer for a friend’s wedding in Corbin, KY.  Last weekend I found myself unexpectedly making a trip to Louisville, KY to shoot a Cool Hand Luke show.  Despite being busy last weekend, I did manage to make it to the theater to watch Funny People, however.  But before I get to that, I feel it wouldn’t be fair to completely ignore the movie I watched just before leaving for Nashville.  And I do apologize for not giving Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince the full review it deserves, but the past month has been quite busy.

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So, yeah, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince…I watched this one the day before I left for Nashville and I enjoyed it.  Keep in mind that I’ve never read a single Harry Potter book and I don’t intend to.  Sorry to all of you fans out there, but it’s just not my type of reading.  However, even though I’ve never read a Harry Potter book, I did get the distinct impression that a lot of information was left out of this movie.  The most notable instance for me was when Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) reveals that he is the Half-Blood Prince.  It just happened kind of out of nowhere and what relevance that has is never explained, despite being the title of the film.  I can only hope that it gets explained for us non-readers in the final two films.  Overall, though, I found the movie entertaining, and even went to all the trouble of watching the other Harry Potter movies before going to see this one so that I’d at least have some clue as to what I was talking about for the blog.  Too bad that unseen forces conspired to prevent me from doing a full review.  It’s definately worth watching in the theater, and I’d even suggest seeing it in IMAX if you have the chance.

funny-people-posterNow…on to Funny People.

Let me start by saying that I was thrilled to see Adam Sandler doing a funny movie again.  While I enjoyed some of his serious films such as Spanglish and Reign Over Me (I never watched Punch Drunk Love), comedy is definately his element and I think he should stick with it.

This film is about a stand-up comedian named George Simmons (Adam Sandler) who learns that he has an untreatable blood disorder and is put on an experimental drug treatment.  At one of his performances, he meets aspiring comedian Ira Wright (Seth Rogen).  George offers Ira a job writing for him as well as a chance to become his opening act.  The two form a genuine friendship and Ira is the first to learn about George’s illness.  Ira convinces George to tell someone else, and in doing so, he attempts to rekindle his relationship with his now-married ex-girlfriend Laura (Leslie Mann).

I’ve read mixed reviews about this film.  But I honestly thought it was good, if not ridiculously long for a comedy with a runtime of 2 hours 26 minutes.  Most comedies tend to average at about 1 hour 30 minutes. Funny People is Judd Apatow’s (40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up) third film as director.  It’s a little different than his previous two films in the sense that it tries to be serious and funny simultaneously.  I’d phrase it as being “a serious story about a funny guy.”

The humor is pretty much what we’ve all come to expect from Adam Sandler.  I also appreciated how they even worked some video footage of Sandler’s old comedy routines and prank phone calls into the movie.  Good use of old material.  Seth Rogen is pretty good in this film as well.  His character comes off as a guy who’s not really as funny as he thinks he is but finally ends up finding something that works and getting a break when he meets George.

Overall, it’s a good movie. I laughed. I felt bad for George at times, and was happy for him at times.  It’s a film where two people find humor even in the worst of situations.  The worst part is that it was a little long, but it had a lot of material to cover. I know it’s been out for a week already, but if you haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, go check it out.

I know this isn’t as in-depth as some of my other posts, but I’m having to condense and get caught up this time around.  Expect my review of G.I. Joe soon…