Monday, April 21, 2008

The Ruins and Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Well, I got to see a couple films recently, so I thought I'd let you know what I thought.


If you're a long time reader of the blog, you are aware that I'm not a fan of the new genre parading itself as horror.  The Saws and the Hostels and the numerous rip offs.  Last year began to see a resurgence of a more classic type of horror movie, and there were three very good ones, (Bug, The Mist, and Sunshine).  This film continues that tradition.

Sure, there is some gross blood and gore type moments, but not in the fashion of Saw.  It has a few genuinely scary jump type moments, and the pace is outstandingly frenetic.

I did have a couple of problems with the film, but those are based solely on the fact that I read the book before seeing the movie.  If you haven't read the book, I think you'll find the film truly enjoyable.

That being said, the book is amazing.  One of the best horror books in a long, long time.  (Another is Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill, don't tell, but he's the son of Stephen King).


Judd Apatow strikes again.  If you loved 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Superbad, then you'll love this one.  (In fact, I think it might be the best of the bunch.)

Jason Segal (better known as Marshall on How I Met Your Mother) writes and stars in this film about a music composer who breaks up with his television star girlfriend (played by former television star Kristen Bell, better known as Veronica Mars) and does his best to get over her with no luck.

Ultimately he decides to take a vacation to Hawaii where he discovers that she is also vacationing with her new boyfriend, rock star Aldous Snow (played to perfection by Russell Brand).

Every one of the main characters (including the help desk girl played by Mila Kunis, known as Jackie on That 70's Show and the voice of Meg in Family Guy) are amazingly well written, and the actors portraying them all do a fantastic job.  They take characters that would be so easy to become caricatures and make them fully functional and fully believable (and even fully likable) people, which is rare in a romantic comedy (even in the R rated ones produced by Judd Apatow).  This means that you aren't exactly sure how it's going to end. 

You've got an idea, sure, but there are definite moments of doubt.

Plus, it is hilarious.  Highly quotable and just laugh out loud funny.  Jonah Hill (who played Seth in Superbad) is hilarious in every scene he's in as a waiter who really wants Aldous Snow to listen to his demo.  Jack McBrayer (Kenneth from 30 Rock) gives you an idea of what would happen if Kenneth from 30 Rock got married and took the honeymoon to Hawaii despite being uncomfortable with the idea of sex.  Paul Rudd (David in The 40 Year Old Virgin and Pete, Katherine Heigl's brother in law, in Knocked Up) played Chuck (or Kunu, his Hawaiian name) the nearly brain dead from pot surf instructor.  And De'Vone McDonald played Dwaine the bartender, who got the best line in the entire movie (actually probably the best two).

Great cameos for Billy Baldwin and Jason Bateman as well.

Until Next Time, fair warning, you'll want to be careful, if you have a vision in your head of Jason Segal as Marshall from How I Met Your Mother and have no desire to see the "Full Marshall."  Go in warned, Jason Segal does show off everything briefly (a few times).

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