Tag Archives: Ohio

The Watch: Richard Ayoade Needs to be Talked Up

As much as I’m sure some people wanted to see this movie for Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, and Jonah Hill, there is one man I wanted to see this movie for in particular. And that man was Richard Ayoade. From over the pond, Richard was brought to us as a gift, and should be treated as one. It’s not that often that a truly talented and gifted British

The true star of the film.

comedian graces us with his presence in an American typical absurdist comedy. It’s not to say that the rest of it wasn’t great, but one person stood out. IT Crowd’s lovable Moss. Let’s get it on.

What makes this movie great for me? The fact that it takes place in a fictitious town in my home state of Ohio. In a typical suburban neighborhood like the one I grew up in, Glenview, Ohio gives a true sense of how mundane and fake people can be in a well off town like this one. Where does a character like Evan Trautwig (Ben Stiller) find excitement from? Creating neighborhood groups and organizations and running. Just as well he would create the local Neighborhood Watch.

Classic slo-mo roll seen with every group of slick bricks.

After a horrendous Predator skinning of his recently hired Latino night guard, Trautwig takes it upon himself to keep the streets safe and find his employee’s murderer. Inspiring justice-like feelings in three men, Trautwig creates a badass group of rollers with great hangout basements. You got Bob Finnerty (Vince Vaughn). He’s the lovable dad and sports fan who wants nothing more than utilize the man cave he created years ago but his wife won’t let him even touch. Franklin (Jonah Hill) is the off the walls juvenile who will do and say anything, at any moment. This movie is where it all started with me. I decided to give Jonah Hill a second chance with all his movies from the past. I love him now.

And last and never least is Richard Ayoade. Everything he’s done for the British comedy circuit on television and otherwise is golden. His

Lookin’ fly with that egg in yo eye, Stiller.

geeky attitude and intelligently witty characters may go unappreciated by the masses, but he hits true to home with me. The I.T. Crowd, his work with The Mighty Boosh, this, and anything else he’s ever made an appearance in. He leaves a memorable place in my heart.

It’s about to get heavy up in this biatch.

The movie got its criticisms for vulgarity and poor plot, but I feel the movie delivered when it had to. The plot wasn’t too complicated so it could focus on the humor, and I got that from the start. Take one part Aliens, and one part small American town dynamic, and you have The Watch. Vince Vaughn almost stole the show (in combination with Jonah Hill) and the vulgarity added to all the angst that someone like me feels in a town where there’s nothing to do and everyone is just too nice. You gotta have the right experiences or this movie doesn’t hold the same amount of weight. Keep that in mind, critics.

Billy Crudup makes the greatest appearance as one of the creepiest neighbors I can think of, and Will Forte is classic

You guys are #1 in my book.

dumbass failure as the cop who didn’t hire Jonah Hill’s character. The movie moves along at the perfect pace but sadly doesn’t give enough funny lines to Richard. Seth Rogen better get off the bong and beer and learn to revise that shizz. But I do hope this movie gives Richard Ayoade other opportunities to shine in American cinema, but he’s just fine where he is in the U.K. So I tip my hat to this film for trying and succeeding to tickle my funny bone. And look forward to a lot of reviews on Jonah Hill films. That dude is gold.

7.8 out of 10.

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Dance Moms: My Only Reality T.V. Obsession

I have to admit here at the very beginning that I, for some strange reason that has sucked me into it, love Dance Moms. I can’t get enough of the fighting, the drama, and all the strange and delirious opinions that Abby Lee holds inside of her enormously inflated head. I’ve watched every episode, enjoyed the dance segments (as small as they are) and analyzed them with my long time dancing girlfriend and before mentioned, Kim. We had caught an episode or two in the past and I had tuned in and out with my mom and sister to see what all the fuss was about.

At first, I hated the crap out of it. I found it to be degrading, conflict infested, and just downright train wreck level television. I thought there could be no way this would ever catch on. Something I still don’t understand is why any of those upset women wouldn’t just stage a walkout and tell everyone not to go to

The wonderful children of Dance Moms:
Nia, Paige, Chloe, Maddie, and Kendall. (There are more)

Abby Lee’s Dance Company. If they all did, she loses business and gains a reputation as a terrible woman. That’s something this show has done for her, but that’s besides the point. She should realize even she’s replaceable. Three girls on the show have shown that so far. But this show has caught on, and its won my heart.

The beast rears its ugly head!

Should I even divulge any of the premise of this show to those of you who unfortunately happen to come across this blog in my post? Let’s see…. Well, the show starts off with the degrading pyramid. Although most of the girls at some point made it to the top, Maddie erroneously held the top for far too long. I don’t want to degrade any of the girls because they are all wonderful little people. But Maddie (the “star” of the show) has to realize that saying arrogant things on camera and crying when you don’t win are things you learn when your mother tells you not to cry in the meanest tone and you always win. Anyways, this whole post is gonna be one long rant.

Next comes a confrontation between one of the moms and Abby Lee or another mom. They train, for 5 days it always seems, and then comes the competition. In between that comes some of the most

The guns, one of Abby’s questionable decisions.

incredulous backstabbing, loud and obnoxious drinking, and one of the most refined, well spoken, and intelligent women I’ve seen on T.V. Nia’s mother, Holly. For that show, Holly is a godsend. She is a rock among the turbulent tides that is the other Dance Moms. And her daughter, although not treated as well as the other girls because she struggles to keep up, still wins when she is given the chance and helps the group win. She wouldn’t be included if she didn’t have the potential and the talent.

All too common in Dance Moms…

Then the competition comes. Maddie (or Chloe) wins and the group comes in 3rd to 1st. And if they don’t, it’s the girls’ faults, not Abby Lee’s. Watch some of these episodes. Marvel and wonder at how she never blames herself, knowing we are all humans and people make mistakes. Every episode, this woman makes mistakes. She is just such a ridiculous woman, I am awestruck at every turn and utter from her croaky voice (what speech problem does this woman have? Or does she just yell all the time because she’s so unhappy with everything?) and the morbidly obese body that at one point performed dances. She has her extreme faults and her struggles with her “nemesis” Cathy from Candy Apples in my home state of Ohio, which is somehow stupidly depicted as farm country. She lives in Canton, a suburban/city town next to Akron. Get your stuff right Lifetime.

There’s a final confrontation, sometimes between moms and who should have won, and then the show ends with the best cliff hangers I’ve ever seen provided from a show. That’s where I’d give the Bravo! Bravo! Encore! Encore! in this. And that’s it. Take that formula and repeat 13 times each season. And then what?!?!? Abby Lee gets put in her place and leaves on hiatus? This is perfect. If I, at any point in this show, could have sat Abby Lee down and shown her every time she was wrong or a Hitler himself in this show, she probably wouldn’t change, but I’d feel better. That woman needs to learn.

And she will never learn. These wonderful children will never know a more enjoyable dance experience. These moms (the few who just don’t understand) will

The best episode of all time. This is all that needs be shown.

never learn. And the cycle will continue. And I will continue to watch. I can’t get enough of this car accident dance television. And it’s not that the show, from a filmmaking standpoint is any good. Who knows if it’s scripted. But, in the end, the show is only good for human’s sick addiction to reality crap television. As much as I’ll fight it, this will be around for a while. God save us all. Overall, this show gets a 3.5 out of 10. May good things always be on these girls, and karma prepare a slap for everyone else. Me as well.


Super 8: Goonies Meets Close Encounters

Strangely enough about the “golden child” (I’m sarcastically giving him this name.) J.J. Abrams, I’ve only seen two of his films. (Star Trek and now Super 8) And I’ve seen absolutely none of his produced work. I’m a big opponent of Lost. Any show that ends with a dream-like plot in which all the characters are dead… Wow. Nice little steal from The Sixth Sense, you jerk. But I laughed because people were let down. Back to J.J. Star Trek was great, and Abrams only other sci-fi genre film. It was full of action and great dialogue, and, coming from someone who has never watched Star Trek (movies or otherwise) it was a worthwhile watch. True fans didn’t like it, did they? Oh well…

I’m just gonna say, examining J.J. Abrams sci-fi films, I am impressed. Especially with Super 8. This film had a great children’s main cast. Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) was a fantastic find for this film. Getting into acting through his struggling acting brother, it must suck to be his brother and lacking the opportunity Joel was given. Elle Fanning delivered as the spunky tomboy, Alice Dainard. Gaining a bit of a better reputation than her sister, Dakota, I hope that she goes far with this film. Other notables are Riley Griffiths as that fat boy director, Charles Kaznyk. If only he had stopped using the phrase “mint”, I would’ve liked him better. Ryan Lee was a great element of comic relief as Cary, the pyrotechnics expert. And, surprisingly, the most experienced out of the bunch was the least important of the characters, Zach Mills as Preston. His whiney pansy character fell into the background when the heat turned on.

And what was great about these children was the chemistry between them. Just like in The Goonies, these kids really felt like they were friends before they

A rag tag bunch of kids witness a violent track crash.

started filming. And the back and forth banter between these kids was something to behold. Some good solid character casting. This might be due more to the executive producing of Steven Spielburg, but who really knows? Also, what’s great about this film is that in takes place in Ohio. It needs to be said, being an Ohioan myself, that if you don’t know where to set a story or movie, set it in Ohio. To filmmakers, it appears to be someplace nondescript that anything can take place in. Word.

My big find for this film? Good old Simon from 7th Heaven, David Gallagher. Since then, he’s been doing a bit of work (most notably for me, Riku’s voice actor for the outrageously amazing Kingdom Hearts series) and he was in this movie. Didn’t seem him at first? Look again. David plays Donny, the burnt out, long haired druggie who helps out in the clinch for the rag tag bunch of hoodlums. And I spotted him 6 years later in this film. I’ll put that in the win column for myself.

A love interest. With a zombie film.

Should I talk about the plot of this film? Sure. In this movie, Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) is the son of a policeman (Kyle Chandler. See? I told you I’d mention him again after that Premonition mention.) and something tragic just recently happened. In a terrible accident at her mother’s factory job, Joe finds himself in a spiral of depression and separation from his father after what happened. Blaming it on a drunken man and his daughter (Elle Fanning), a love between Joe and Alice becomes a Romeo and Juliet situation. Meanwhile, helping Charlie with his zombie film, the friends get together to film a scene one night at a train stop. In a flash, a truck mounts the tracks and head on collides with the train, sending everything into chaos. In the confusion, a specter of an alien is released, causing havoc on the small town outside of Cincinnati. With the help of some locals, this group of filmmakers must find some way to figure out what’s going on and stop the devastation as a strange group of covert army men roll in hard.

For some reason, I wish I had seen this movie in theaters. Watching in on a smaller screen makes me wish I had seen the special effects on a bigger screen. Heck, I was even impressed with the amateur film the group of kids was making. With some big, booming speakers and some darkness to watch it in, my movie watching experience would have multiplied dramatically. But I made do with what I had. I enjoyed the story and characters immensely, but found the sci-fi aspect of the story to lack a bit of originality. The alien was hard to discern and its purpose and history left something to be desired. For me, it was about the kids. With all this in mind, I would give this movie an 8.5 out of 10.

Kyle Chandler does kick some ass in this film.