March 23, 2009

Weekend in Reviews

Role Models - I practically worship Paul Rudd and Ken Marino. I think they're hilarious and fantastic actors and not at all bad to look at. That said, I thought their Role Models could have been funnier. It wasn't a bad movie but it was a bit heavy on the schmaltz for the sort of movie it was. Though I have to give them mad props for making Seann William Scott so likable all of a sudden. I never thought I'd see him as anything other than the grievously aggravating Stiffler but here, he was equal to the material and totally dialed down the "one to grow on" nature of some of the schmaltziest moments. So Rudd and Scott are co-workers. They wind up in a little legal trouble after the unhappy and excessively caffeinated Rudd takes Scott along with him on a rage rampage. They can avoid jail time by completing 100 hours of community service with the judge's favorite charity - Sturdy Wings. Sturdy Wings is a "big brother" type program run by a former coke whore. Scott is paired with a foul-mouthed 10-year-old who's already driven away a half dozen other bigs. Rudd is paired with a geeky kid heavy into role playing games whose mother and step-father don't even try to hide their disdain and humiliation over his existence. Hilarity and life lessons about love, acceptance and friendship ensue. It's worth renting, just don't set your expectations too high.

The List - I rented The List entirely because Mary Beth "Grams" Peil was in it with Hilarie Burton. I knew absolutely nothing about it going in and thank God for that because I would have been furious if I'd read the lie-filled plot summary blurb before I watched it. Here's the story: Renny Jacobsen's (Chuck Carrington) dad dies and though he's worth millions, he leaves his son and only living relative nothing but an invitation to a dinner with strangers. At the same time Jo Johnston's (Hilarie Burton) long-absent father dies and leaves her an identical invitation despite having abandoned her as a child. The two meet and attend dinner together where it turns out that both fathers were part of a secret "corporation" (The List) created during the final days of the Civil War to ensure the wealth of all of it's members and their families for all eternity. They give Jo the boot because they don't like the idea of giving money to the women folk. They include Renny but they string him along and refuse to actually give him his money. Malcolm McDowell is the creepy head of this ridiculous group. So there is a lot of plotting and back stabbing and deceit and then Malcolm works some voodoo through Renny that causes Jo to fall mysteriously ill while she's staying at the boarding house of one Ms. Daisy Stokes (Mary Beth "Grams" Peil) as Renny's guest. A bunch of stuff that makes no sense happens and then Jo suddenly recovers and Renny is nearly struck dead by the voodoo but Daisy, a former nun I believe, fights back the black magic with some serious prayer and then she dies. Then nothing gets resolved and Renny and Jo fall in love and someone voice overs something about faith or spirituality or something and we never find out what the hell happened to any of the jerks on The List and it's incredibly unsatisfying. Unless you have the sort of deep affection for Grams that I do, do NOT see this movie. It'll only confuse and annoy you.

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