Tag Archives: Danny McBride

TAKE TWO: 30 Minutes or Less

19 Aug

30 Minutes or Less

Rated: R

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride, Nick Swardson

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Chris’ Take: Ruben Fleischer was the talk of the action-comedy town back in 2009, with his smash hit zombie comedy (or zomcom for short) Zombieland. The script was snappy, the action superb and it was enjoyable from start to finish. His latest comedy attempt, reuniting him with star Jesse Eisenberg, shows only a minute amount of the genius that he displayed.

Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) is a pizza delivery boy who spends his off time getting stoned and dating the sister of his best friend, Chet (Aziz Ansari). When Nick receives a pizza order that takes him out to an abandoned warehouse, he soon finds himself kidnapped by two redneck criminals, Dwayne and Travis (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson), who strap a bomb to him and tell him that he has 10 hours to rob a bank or he’ll blow up.

The film starts out fast enough, introducing us to two somewhat likeable idiots as protagonists and Danny McBride channeling his inner Kenny Powers, but we really didn’t get to know the Chet and Nick as well as I would hope. There is about one scene where they are together and we establish that they are “friends”, but immediately there is discord and you don’t feel like you know them enough yet to care. It seemed that Fleischer spent more time establishing who the criminals were, almost to the point of making them sympathetic, that I felt that the film was going to be more of a dark comedy about Dwayne and Travis trying to kill Dwayne’s Dad.

From there, we immediately moved into the second act of the film, which moved rather quickly as well. Chet and Nick try to figure out how to rob a bank and put together a terrible plan, which was sure to bring hilarity, and it did. However, the second act was far too short and a scene which could’ve easily been stretched out, or at least made more comically intense was squandered. Maybe it had something to do with budget, maybe it had something to do with the writers not knowing where to go with a potential hostage situation, but I just felt like it was wasted.

Or maybe the writers were...

Then, the third act was upon us and stayed for what seemed like forever. At this point, I cared very little about any of the characters involved since Nick and Chet could’ve easily found a way around the previous situations, so they are kind of too dumb to be concerned about. Dwayne and Travis were the funnier pair, but you knew things couldn’t end well for them so it was a waste to root for them too. Michael Pena makes an appearance as a hitman, and was probably the funniest character introduced to the plot, but he kind of brought the laughs a little too late and I was just hoping this would be over as quickly as it started, but it dragged out.

He a pimp!

I really felt that a good portion of the time allotted to the conclusion of the plot could’ve been given to the beginning, establishing the friendship between Chet and Nick, or in the middle, lengthening out the ridiculous bank robbing scheme they developed.

When all was said and done (I won’t be specific because I don’t want to spoil it for you if you still want to see it), the actions of the “protagonists” had me pondering whether they were the better people. I guess they didn’t really want to kill anyone, but they definitely weren’t on any moral high ground, which isn’t exactly necessary to establish in a dark comedy, but 30 Minutes or Less didn’t conform to that genre.

With all the talent involved with the project, I expected more, and while I think it was admirable that they tried to limit their time to 83 minutes, I don’t think it was paced well at all. I wouldn’t go as far to say that Ruben Fleischer is a bad director, he’s proven before that he has talent, it just seemed like he was getting lazy this time around. Maybe if he added some zombies this would’ve been right up his alley.

OVERALL: C

Pac’s Take: I couldn’t agree more.

OVERALL: C

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**Trailer Time** Fight for Your Right Revisited

14 Apr

Back in 1984, three white boys from New York transformed the landscape of hip hop music forever.  Formerly a hardcore punk band, The Beastie Boys broke on to the scene with their first album from Def Jam records “Licensed to Ill”.  Produced by legendary producer Rick Rubin, “Licensed to Ill” produced such hits as “Paul Revere”, “She’s on it”, and “Brass Monkey”.  However, the album’s biggest smash, and possibly the rap trios most popular song to date was “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right to Party”.  The video, directed by Ric Menello, is now an instant classic.  Almost 25 years after the videos release, Beastie Boys member Adam Yauch (MCA) has directed a short film entitled Fight for Your Right Revisited.  The film tells the story of what happened to the three boys after they left the party from the iconic music video.

The list of stars littered into this half hour short film is so ridiculous it deserves its own paragraph/run-on sentence: Rashida Jones, Amy Poehler, Mike Mills, Will Ferrell, Jody Hill, Clint Caluory, Jason Schwartzman, Stanley Tucci, Seth Rogen, Orlando Bloom, Steve Buscemi, Shannyn Sossamon, Arthur Scipio Africano, Danny McBride, Adam Horovitz, Losel Yauch, Nicole Randall, Martin Starr, Samantha Storr, Maya Rudolph, Chloë Sevigny, Adam Scott, Alfredo Ortiz, Ted Danson, Arabella Field, Kirsten Dunst, Rainn Wilson, Wyatt Troll, Silvia Suvadova, Mary Steenburgen, Gill Gayle, Will Arnett, Adam Yauch, Laura Dern, Mike D, David Cross, Alicia Silverstone, Jack Black, Roman Coppola, Susan Sarandon, Milo Ventimiglia, Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Neal Usatin.

The video premiered at Sundance to a lot of love from critics and fans alike, and now a trailer for the film is circulating the internet.  It’s a marvel to believe this film even exists considering the star power involved, Adam Yauch’s personal battle with throat cancer, and the Beastie Boy’s return to the studio (which is also plugged in this trailer).

You can check out both the trailer for Fight for Your Right Revisited as well as the original music video for “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right to Party” below (WARNING: The Fight for Your Right Revisited trailer is red band).

My 3 Favorite TV Shows This Fall (Beer Blog)

3 Dec

Now that I have sufficiently ranted about the TV shows that have forced me to the bottle:

Even if it has been a most delectable bottle.

I will now discuss some shows that have done their darndest to revive this lackadaisical Fall TV Season.

#3 The League (FX Thursdays @10:30 EST)

When I first saw previews for the first season of this show I said, “How the heck are they going to make a show about a Fantasy Football league?” I completely ignored it until I saw that it had been renewed for a second season and it made me curious how it had been popular enough for a renewal. I watched the first episode of Season Two and I hardly stopped laughing the whole time and I almost immediately went out and bought the first season on Blu-ray. Three hours and all six episodes later:

And after a couple of these...

I finished the first season and had a new show to add to my list of favorites.

The show is deceptive in its title because the actual Fantasy Football League only serves as the backdrop for these hilarious characters to interact. What is great, is that while the predicaments the characters get into are outlandish, the characters are very relatable. It also helps that I am part of a Fantasy League and can relate to those stories and jokes as well. The second season has been consistently funny and I can’t think of an episode that I thought was not up to the par of the first season. If you haven’t seen it, or were skeptical about it like I was, check it out, but just like It’s Always Sunny, if you are easily offended, you might want to avoid it.

#2 East Bound and Down (HBO Sundays @ 10:30pm EST)

Let me start off by saying that this season was nowhere near as funny as the first, but, that being said, it succeeded on a level that the first season wasn’t able to. It actually brought depth (as much as they could) to the character of Kenny Powers (Danny McBride) without losing his sharp (or dull depending on how you look at it) tongue and cocky attitude. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay were worried when they first started the show that they wouldn’t be able to get people to root for someone as shallow as Kenny or be able to make the character progress without losing what actually makes the show funny.

The second season brought Kenny to Mexico and back again which gave him some time to reflect on his actions in the States and also to pursue a life in the world of cock-fighting. While  a couple of episodes wandered a bit, and I thought that they over played the part of Stevie Janowski, overall I thought the season was very well done as we follow Kenny’s anti-hero journey of self discovery. There were some great cameos and I thought that even though the jokes were just a little more stale, it was still maintained a consistent level of humor that other shows weren’t able to provide.

I'm looking at you 30 Rock.

#1 Modern Family (ABC Wednesdays @9pm EST)

What can I say? I love this show. The delightful mix of characters and great performances make it clear why it won the Emmy Award for Best comedy. The way that the characters interact really is like watching a real family and they always find some way to hit home on relational issues at least once an episode without making it look contrived or forced. I really hope that they can secure another Emmy or Golden Globe this year because it remains one of the freshest shows on TV and provides a well needed mid-week laugh in its current time slot.

Modern Family: As refreshing as Terrapin Hop Karma

After I finished writing this list, I realized that there were no dramas currently listed on here. Maybe I don’t watch enough of them, but it really seems like a lot of dramas are floundering in clichés and struggling to find ideas, except for Mad Men (which I didn’t include because it starts mid-summer). My favorite Fall drama on TV, House, while it has never really disappointed me, isn’t really up to the level that it used to be. Plus, the show has been invaded by a 12 year old girl who always looks like she is about to cry.

Psst...get off my show!!!

Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, and The Walking Dead have all struggled from either poor writing or lack of direction. So, yes, this season the comedies are reigning supreme and I propose a challenge to dramatic television….STEP UP YOUR GAME!!!

My 5 Most Anticipated Fall TV Shows

14 Sep
There has been an incredible increase in quality TV in the last decade.

 

Even though there have been some incredible efforts to decrease its quality.

 

A lot of that can be attributed to HBO and Showtime having a little bit more freedom with what they can do, but it can also be attributed to shows like “Lost” and “Mad Men“, that proved that shows that require patience for a bigger payoff can build a large fan base as well. As a result, the amount of shows that I watch consistently has also greatly increased, which can also be attributed to the great inventions of DVR and Netflix (and the not so great deployments where I had nothing to do but watch tv). That being said, there is a long list of TV Shows that I am looking forward to, but here are the Top 5.

#5 “Modern Family”

Premieres at 9pm 22 September on ABC

This is arguably the freshest comedy on TV right now and rightfully deserved the Emmy for best comedy series this year. I am interested to see where it goes from here. I put it no higher than #5 because I am worried that it will be trying too hard this season instead of having the nice flow that the first season had.

#4 “Boardwalk Empire

Premieres at 8pm 19 September on HBO

Martin Scorcese produces this new series on HBO about the beginning of the Prohibition Era in Atlantic City. Steve Buscemi stars as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, the Atlantic City Treasurer who is equal parts politician and gangster. He runs the city through backdoor deals and rum-running money. This show has a lot of promise with a lot of talent attached to it. While I love Steve Buscemi, I am not sure if he can pull off the tough gangster that the show plays him up to be. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

#3 “Eastbound and Down”

Premieres at 1030pm 26 September on HBO

Kenny Powers is back for a second season that has been a long time in the making. The foul-mouthed, washed up major league pitcher takes his antics to Mexico after being too embarassed to return to his hometown. He ends up playing on a Mexican baseball team owned by Michael Pena and apparently has a new love interest. Hopefully, with as long as they have had to write only seven episodes that Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, and Danny McBride can deliver another hubris-filled humor romp.

#2 “The Office

Premieres at 9pm on 23 September on NBC

The seventh season of “The Office” will be Michael Scott‘s swan song (probably an ungraceful one). Rumors about who will replace him have been flying all around and have not landed yet. Either the producers and writers want to keep the audience guessing or they really don’t know. Either way they have done a great job creating a mystery that will surround the entire season and will keep me watching.

#1 “Dexter”

Premieres at 9pm on 26 September on Showtime

After last season’s shocking cliffhanger (which I will not mention here for anyone who hasn’t watched it), I cannot wait to see where they go with this show. Dexter is unpredictable and just when I think they are starting to get cheesy, they completely flip the show upside-down. With Dexter at what will probably be his most unstable this show has the most potential out of any this Fall.

What are some shows you are most looking forward to this fall?