Tag Archives: comedy

Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh, No Really

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Bygone days of the Opera-Man and Lunch Lady Land we remember with a fondness for simpler, lighter times. Though fame, movie deals and questionable scripts have perhaps tainted our perception of Adam Sandler, Stan and Judy’s kid still has some of the old, stupid magic in him.

‘100% Fresh’, a title tipping the middle finger to the abundance of terrible reviews his most recent film ventures have garnered on the infamous Rotten Tomatoes, is truly a delight throughout, by design.

Directed in part by Steve Brill, with Paul Thomas Anderson (Yes, that one) as Director of Photography for an evening of shooting on film and segments directed by Nicholaus Goosen. ‘Fresh’ is a constructed pastiche of Sandler back out on the road. Sometimes in a cramped New York club, sometimes in huge sold out arenas, the footage collected gives us a taste of the Adam Sandler that captured our filthy little hearts and minds, leaving us gasping in the aisles.

In between anecdotes and short jokes that bank on either a strange image or something to cringe over, we are privy to similarly constructed tunes that take on the minutiae of life (Slow, old folks crossing the street, an unhygienic Uber driver, the dangers of candy) and colors them with familiar apt silliness.

The structure of the hour plus is one made to remain consistent and there is rarely a moment where the joke doesn’t quite work. It appears as though hours upon hours of footage was rifled through for the best takes and with those in tow, a solid (100% fresh) special was crafted to be all killer no filler. This is a neat (and sneaky) trick, but the sentiment is the same. Despite inflated movie premises that bank on weirdly heavy product placement, the Sandman (a name he drops several times in self reference), is back, or rather, never left.

The hysterics wind down in the last 20 minutes or so for some reflection on the past, culminating in a tear-jerking tune dedicated to the departed Chris Farley.

Without giving it all away right here, it’s easy to see the ease at which Sandler can craft jokes, tell stories and sing songs remains. Let’s hope to see more from this side of the Sandman in the future.

You can watch ‘100% Fresh’ on Netflix right now.

’12 oz. Mouse: Invictus’ Opens a New Chapter

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Back in June of aught five, Adult Swim opened up the world of 12 oz. Mouse, a low budget high concept show from the mind of Matt Maiellaro.

Poorly drawn on its own scripts and simply animated, with dialogue so fast and seemingly meaningless you might think this another anti-comedy venture rife with quotable lines and not much else. You might think wrong.

12oz Mouse, while on the surface is dumb and brash, there is far more below the surface.

Following Mouse “Fitz” Fitzgerald, an alcoholic, shape-shifting mouse taking on various odd jobs to acquire alcohol, we find a through-line of deception, simulations and family life lost.

The show, while full of intrigue and curiosity moved at a snail’s pace. Bits of plot sussed out over time reveal a clearer picture for anyone invested enough to draw anything from this anomaly of late night cartoons.

AND NOW IT’S BACK.

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On the night of October 14th, Adult Swim revived 12 oz. Mouse with a 22 minute special entitled ‘Invictus’.

Upon his return, we find Fitz demonstrating some newly learned Yo-yo tricks, which come in handy when squaring off with the Rectangular Businessman and Shark (no, I’m not being vague) who have a hand in possibly suppressing his memories of a different and better life.

Old favorites like Peanut Cop, Golden Joe, The New Guy, Man/Woman and more all appear in some capacity adding to the chaos of this new chapter in Fitz’ effort to figure out just what, if anything, is going on.

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As to not bog you down with more specifics, I leave you with great news:

12 oz. Mouse is returning to Adult Swim with 10 new episodes in 2020.

Get outta my way, I’m drunk as hell…

‘Eighth Grade’ About as Bad as You Remember

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Comedian, and now writer/director Bo Burnham has released his first feature Eighth Grade, starring Elsie Fisher as awkward, in-between Kayla Day.

Kayla is trying like almost anyone her age to be cool and fit in in the fast paced, technology-laden world of teens today. We watch, many times, as Kayla creates videos for her YouTube channel: advice on things like being yourself and fitting in. These videos highlight the ways in which Kayla makes an effort to find these things in life and within herself.

Throughout, we are privy to awkward conversations with Dad (Josh Hamilton), the muted sharp glares to and from ‘popular’ girl Kennedy and a handful of awesomely socially tragic clashes with equally awkward and removed teen boys. Everyone in their own world amid a sea of extremely thick atmosphere that feels all too familiar, compressed and leaves you gasping.

A note here on the score: It comes far too often, too loud. The chosen songs sound hastily made and are in such jarring contrast with the film itself, it further warps whatever is left to be gleaned from on screen. There is no matching of emotion or intention, merely blaring beats better used elsewhere.

The direction style doesn’t favor glamour shots, opting instead for a well lived-in feel. The costumes and scenery are muted, everyday colorful: very grounded in reality, glittered with iPhones and punctuated by so many uhms and ahs.

Burnham clearly has an adept feel for the material, but this is also his downfall. The strangest bit comes during an active shooter drill (yes, of course) followed almost immediately by an earthquake preparedness drill. This evasion tactic practice leads to some reaching attempts at innocent flirting tinged with a hint of the salacious, terrifying trouble it could bring. On many occasions we are set up with something that pushes beyond the grainy film of the movie into interesting and gripping territory, only for it to be deflated moments after; this uneven rise and fall gives the movie a meandering feel that never quite reaches the apex of understanding it needs to drive home just what is important here.

To say this movie has merit is to say a lot, outside of style and deadly accurate tone, the structure crumbles in on itself and the message, if there is one, is lost. Moments of reflection and success are muddled through and perhaps that is the point, however, this makes for a trying and very painful watch that doesn’t seem to know which audience it wants to pull in.

Is this meant to be a burdened nostalgia cringefest for those that have grown through the struggles of young adulthood? Or is there a message amid the noise for the ones coming up in the now? This film is rated ‘R’, so the latter seems a stretch at best. Presenting the dredge of middle school without resolve is certainly bold, but this film stumbles more than it strides.

If the idea of a mostly accurate depiction of the slow ache of growing pains sounds intriguing, give this one a watch when it comes to DVD or the streaming service of your choice.

A24, highly regarded production company, and noted comedian Bo Burnham have taken us to school, and it isn’t pretty.

 

Justin Roiland (Rick & Morty) Recieves Half-Gallon of Szechuan Sauce

It happened, Morty! We got the sauce! That delicious Mulan Szechuan chicken sauce!

You're seeing this right. McDonald's sent Rick and Morty co-creator, Justin Roiland, a half a gallon of their Szechuan sauce. It came in a very hazardous looking container with the label "Dimension C-1998M".

The label on the bottle says:

"For use only in McDonald's restaurants (C-1998M) during limited promotional window, and then maybe again twenty years later. DO NOT SERVE to mad scientists traveling with their teenage grandson; potential non-scientist versions of mad scientists from alternate dimensions; and/or Jerry."

McDonald's also included this letter address to Roiland himself:

Rick & Morty season 3 premieres at 11:30PM ET on July 30th 2017.

Going Sane in a World Gone Crazy

The Tick is back, finally. After a stint as a mascot, spanning comics, different television iterations, both live action and animated, we have a new take on a perhaps forgotten favorite hero. Amazon Prime has graciously given us a taste of what could become a brilliant new addition to the current trend of superhero-centric television. Peter Serafinowicz (Shaun of the Dead, Star Wars: Episode 1) is The Tick made flesh and rubber. Peppering his performance with touches of Adam West as well as his own brand of slick delivery of dry wit and obtuse similes. Found through the eyes of Arthur Everest,  as played by Griffin Newman (Vinyl, Cop Show), we join our new Tick as he scopes out shady dealings and the possible return of an old nemesis. 

This pilot really captures the feeling of what makes The Tick a stellar choice for a revival. 

Have you seen Amazon’s The Tick? Let us know if you’re as excited as we are to see more of this version? Do you also feel warm like the inside of bread? Get into bread with us.

More importantly, if you have seen it, please take the survey found at amazon.com/pilotseason to let them know you want more Tick in your life. We certainly do.

Stick to Nerd Hall for all things Tick, as well as the usual pop culture, comics, movies and music news you’re used to.