Tag: Paul Rudd


Clueless

August 7th, 2015 — 12:25am

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Clueless

For this Netflix viewing experience, we decided to go back 20 years to the classic 1995 Clueless which we had never seen before. The film was the brainchild of Amy Heckerling who directed the film and wrote the screenplay loosely based on Jane Austen’s 1815 novel Emma. Heckerling, who grew up in the Bronx, set the movie in Los Angeles where she introduces the viewers to the crowd at Beverly Hills High School. The star of the film is 19-year-old Alicia Silverstone who plays 16-year-old Cher Horowitz, a wealthy Los Angeles girl whose mother died of liposuction complications and whose father is a 500-dollar an hour attorney played by Dan Hedaya. Her best friend is Dionne (Stacy Dash) and Tai (Brittany Murphy) is a new girl at the high school. There is also an important role for a young Paul Rudd as Josh, step brother. The cast also includes veteran actor, Wallace Shawn as one of the teachers.

The movie is supposed to be a satiric look at rich kids who are living a superficial lifestyle at this wealthy high school. Underneath it all, we see the emergence of admirable caring feelings. We are reminded of the days gone by 20 years ago, not only by the 1990s cars with no GPS and people actually using map books but by the presence of portable phones that have an antenna sticking out from them and nobody is texting.

It may seem that the slang used in the movie such as, “Whatever”…”as if”…”you are the bomb”…”audi”, captured the speech of the day. However, it turns out that much of this language was created by Miss Heckerling, the writer, and then subsequently was incorporated into young people’s speech in the mid-1990s because of the success of the movie.

This film which was produced by Scott Rudin grossed more than $50 million dollars and stands as one of the iconic films of the 1990s. In its 20th anniversary, it should still have great appeal to the young people of today as well as those who came of age at the time of the movie. Even those of us movie buffs from an earlier generation appreciate how well this film was put together and enjoy the entire package as well as the behind-the-scenes bonus DVD, which was originally offered in cassette format (1995)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Comedy

Anchorman 2

December 25th, 2013 — 1:16am

 ***rl-rF1gfu1pP7doSJN1xCaFPSCJmcBNk2gTeMqj49s-eXivW2XOC3aaT0ykujIS_wMZW=s85 Anchorman 2 : The Legend Continues –rm  Nobody should be surprised by this movie. Either you have seen the first version of Anchorman or you have seen the massive publicity and the trailers about this movie. If you haven’t, feel free to take a moment and watch one of them which has a good many of the film’s “funny” lines and bits: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Elczv0ghqw0 The jokes are juvenile, slapstick with a lot of screaming along with racial, antigay, sexist jokes and even makes fun of people who are blind. Of course the characters are also making fun of themselves and they will make you gasp and /or laugh, sometimes. Adam McKay, who co-wrote it with Will Ferrell, directs it. MacKay also co-wrote the first Anchorman. The movie opens with Ron Burgundy (Will Farrell) being fired by the retiring veteran anchorman (Harrison Ford) who at the same time names his own replacement to be Ron’s co-anchor and wife (Christine Applegate). A new 24-hour/day-television news station subsequently hires Ron and he rounds up some of his previous colleagues from the old days who are played by Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner. They have lots of interactions with the television station people especially one tough, sexy boss played by Linda Jackson. The storyline is thin, disjointed and flows in order to allow the jokes and comic routines. There are bit to middling roles by Kristen Wiig, Sacha Baron Cohen, Steve Coulter, Kanye West, Tina Fey, Greg Kinnear, Liam Neeson and Amy Poehler to name a few. They really don’t change the level of the comedy, which comes mainly from Ferrell. With so many great films out at this time of the season, if you don’t see a large number, we don’t know why you would choose this one. But on the other hand, we realize that there are a lot of folks who go for this type of comedy so after some discussion we decided that it might fit our criteria for three stars. (2013) 

Comment » | 3 Stars, Comedy

The Perks of Being A Wallflower

April 13th, 2013 — 7:53pm

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - review****

The Perks of Being a Wallflower-nf.  Stephen  Chobosky wrote  the book in 1999 and it became #1 New York Times Best Seller for Children’s Paperback Books. 3 years later in September 2012 this PG- 13 movie was released with Chobsky as Director and Screenwriter with ensemble of young actors including Logan Lerman, Emma Watson (fresh out of Harry Potter ), Mae Whitman (from the TV hit Parenthood), Ezra Miller, Johnny Simmons along with some veteran grownups such as Paul Rudd, Dylan McDermott and Joan Cussick. They all seem to hit it out of the ballpark and come through with a very successful movie. It certainly is a film that appeals to teens and beyond. In fact, anyone who can remember his or her high school life or even more important appreciates the serious struggles, and at times traumas that young people may go through, will relate to this film on many levels. It would  be over simplifying to describe this as a coming of age film which of course it is . However, it captures the ability of young people to connect with each other, understand, empathize and help each other through the  normal traumas of life as well as the some real bad ones that nobody should have to experience. The storyline on one hand is not typical. Charlie (Logan Lerman), a high school freshman with more baggage than most, is dreading the four years in front of him. He befriends  two high school seniors  Pat and Sam ( Ezra Miller and Emma Watson, who completely loses her British accent for this movie) and hangs around mostly with them and their friends. The setting is a high school in Pittsburgh (the author, screenwriter and Director’s town) and the time would seem to be early or mid 1980s as judged by the music, type of telephone and cars and even the typewriter on which the main character writes his story. There is the requisite lonely time in the lunch room, going to your first party, getting high on a marijuana brownie, truth or dare game, first kiss, the struggle of a gay friend, a lunchroom fight, applications to college etc,. But at the same time these milestones of high school are shown, there is a painful plot and character development with meaningful relationships, which you know, are never forgotten no matter how and where we grow up. Chobosky is writing and directing a film about the 1980s and the music will help bring those of that generation back to their high school days. However, the themes are universal enough to attract today’s youth ( as indicated by the success of the book and movie today) Even us old timers give it a “thumbs up” (with a nod to the movie critic Roger Ebert who died last week.) It would not surprise us if the movie moves towards a cult status and as these young actors make names for themselves, it will be especially interesting to look back at these youthful performances. Any such retrospective should include the Netflix commentary special feature where the actors comment on how it felt making this film about typical teenagers when they admit their teenage life was far from typical. (2012)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Drama, Romance

Admission

March 21st, 2013 — 5:02pm

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Admission –sp   When a movie starts with Tina Fey playing an Assistant Dean of Admissions at Princeton  and Paul Rudd as a teacher bent on getting one of his students accepted who has poor grades but near perfect scores on all the tests, you might imagine we are going to see a great comedy and satire of the whole admissions process. And that it was. Who among you is not familiar with dance of students, their parents and their counselors as they try to present the applicant in his or her best light whether it be some special kindergarten class, school or class for “ the gifted”, most private schools and “ the best college” possible.  When it is a Princeton multiply the frenzy by at least ten. Add to this mix the unforgettable character actor Wallace Shawn as the Dean of Admissions and Lily Tomlin playing the feminist mother of Tina Fey’s character with a tattoo on her arm saying “ Bella” (Abzug we presume). But actually the film was much more than a satiric comedy. It very poignantly dealt with issues of children out of wedlock , wanted and unwanted. It examined how people establish relationships, fall in and out of love and how parents sometimes have to choose a path which may be best for themselves or their child.

One of us writes a blog on psychiatry and mental health topics. The most popular piece by far in regard to readership in the past three years was one on the topic of unknown family members. It discussed the need to find a biological parent and how people respond when they meet a previously unknown parent or child. This topic has been the subject of other films in the recent past and was one of the central themes of this movie. Director and Producer Paul Weitz who is an  unlisted script contributor, along with Karen Croner who  wrote the screen play,  very skillfully and successfully weaved comedy and satire at the same time that they presented a very sensitive study of these real human conflicts.(2013)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Comedy, Romance

This is 40

January 5th, 2013 — 9:16pm

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215px-This_is_40This is Forty-rm.No doubt you have to be just on the other side of 40 or know some people who are there to fully appreciate this movie. We obviously fit the later category. This is vintage Judd Apatow who wrote the screen play, directed and co- produced the movie. It is a sequel to his 2007 hit “Knocked Up” which introduced us to Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie ( Leslie Mann) also known as Judd Apatow’s wife ) We see them now several years later in the house that they can’t quite afford with two kids ( who happened to be the Apatow’s real kids Maude & Iris who play the bickering siblings perfectly because they are real sibs or perhaps because they are two excellent budding actresses  ). The setting is west-coast suburban but the story is the conflict, anger and yet wonderful familiarity that characterizes this marital relationship. It zings and satirizes  modern sexual relationships, the challenges of raising kids  and even visits to the doctor. Only the father’s of Peter and Debbie are shown. Pete’s father (Albert Brooks)  remarried with three young sons who needs to constantly borrow money from Pete is not a stereotype that we know but the duo captures the warmth of their relationship. Debbie’s father (John Lithgow) is also remarried with children and visits his daughter only once  every several years. The pain that she feels in this neglect is communicated quite well. Both of these relationships may play out in somewhat extreme manner but there will be something in them with which most of the audience will be able to identify. In the midst of the exploration of how school impacts the modern preteen there is a great performance by Melissa McCarthy as a mother of one of the kid’s friends who has occasion to sound off and really does quite a job of doing so. Lest you think that this is a serious drama, let me allay your concerns as it is mostly a comedy even if you are laughing at yourself or someone you have been or someone  who you know quite well. (2012).

Comment » | 3 Stars, Comedy, Drama

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