In A World: Where Demetri Martin is Awkward and Hilarious

Hello everybody! For today’s movie club we have the hilarious voice actor comedy, In A World…

IN A WORLD…

in-a-world...-(2013)

DIRECTOR: Lake Bell

STARRING: Lake Bell, Demetri Martin,Fred Melamed,Rob Corddry,Michaela Watkins,Ken Marino,Nick Offerman, Tig Notaro

GENRE: Comedy

YEAR: 2013

COUNTRY: United States

Don LaFontaine “The Voice” of trailers dies age 68. In the voice over world 5 voices make all the money, recording 60 trailers a week, sometimes 35 a day. Don is labelled as the voice of God in archival interview footage. TV interviews with Sam Sotto (Fred Melamed) and Gustav Warren (Ken Marino) about their memories of the late Don reveal the enormous ego and self promotion of Sam Sotto who sees himself as equal to Don and mentor to new voice Gustav, young heir to a fortune. The late Don intoned “In a world . . .” the first iconic trailer. Film producer Katherine Huling (Geena Davis) is making a quadrilogy female mutant Amazons tween chick flick. Competition for the trailer voice over is fierce.

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Better news still, Bell wrote and directed this gem. The actress proves to have a deeply funny, finely observed sense of subcultures. She’s admitted to being obsessed since she was a kid with the world of voice-over. She also displays a tartly compassionate feel for the human condition — be it achy or loopy, needy or arrogant.

Bell plays Carol Solomon, a vocal instructor and the younger daughter of Sam Sotto, one of Tinseltown’s legendary voice-over artists. Michaela Watkins is Carol’s older sis, Dani. She’s married to Moe (Rob Corddry) and works as a concierge at a lux L.A. hotel. A flirtation with a guest gives the comedy an affecting subplot.

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Despite the preponderance of jokes and gags and shtick-dependent characters, In a World… never becomes cloying or too cute. Nearly all the actors pop with well-defined personalities. After a long career as a character actor (seven Woody Allen films), Melamed broke out as a quasi-lead in the Coen brothers’ A Serious Man four years ago and formidably dominates here. The fast-talking Martin and Marino nab their share of laughs, while stand-up stalwart Tig Notaro is hilarious as a butch staffer at the recording studio.

PROS:

  • Main cast performance.
  • Subplot.
  • Strong direction.

CONS:

  • Some jokes fall flat.

SCORE: 9.0 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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The Grand Budapest Hotel: Cameos Galore!

Hello everybody, Today for our New Movie Show we have The Grand Budapest Hotel.

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

The_Grand_Budapest_Hotel_Poster

DIRECTED BY: Wes Anderson

STARRING: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Edward Norton, Mathieu Amalric, Saoirse Ronan, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Léa Seydoux, Jeff Goldblum, Jason Schwartzman, Jude Law, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Tony Revolori

GENRE: Comedy

YEAR: 2014

COUNTRY: Germany, United Kingdom

A teenage girl visits the monument of the writer who penned the book, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. In 1968, that author was inspired to write the book when he visited that hotel, located in the European mountainous country formerly known as Zubrowka. Once a luxurious hotel, it, in 1968, has fallen on hard times. The author meets the then current owner, M. Zero Moustafa, who recounts the story of how he became the hotel’s owner and why he holds onto it and keeps it open despite it obviously making him no money. Zero’s story begins in 1932, when the hotel was in its golden era. Zero was the novice immigrant lobby boy, who, like all the other hotel staff, was under the guidance of M. Gustave H., the devoted concierge. Gustave aimed to please, he giving the guests whatever they wanted, especially the wealthy blonde women. The story largely revolves around one of those women, the wealthy Madame Céline Villeneuve Desgoffe-und-Taxis – better known as Mme. D. – her opportunistic son Dimitri, the bequeathing of a valuable painting called “Boy with Apple” to Gustave, the mysterious circumstances surrounding her death which is initially pinned on Gustave, and the attempts of Zero, his girlfriend – a baker’s assistant named Agatha – and others to clear Gustave’s name while Dimitri does whatever he needs to get what he believes is rightfully his, namely the painting.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

 The Grand Budapest Hotel came to me well praised, even though I actually had no idea what it was about or even what kind of film it was. To my surprise it is a hilarious comedy film filled to the brim with cameos from hilariously great actors. I do have to give Adrien Brody a real shout out as I normally will not see any film that he is in. Although he actually makes quite an awesome villain. Add Willem Dafoe to the mix and they are an easily stoppable but a hilarious pair of antagonists.

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 I do have to point out that I did not find much wrong with The Grand Budapest Hotel. The film is a comedic masterpiece with an ensemble cast for the ages. If I had to gripe, which I guess I have to, it would have to be how little they touch on the The Author and Zero in later years. I know they used it as a framing tool but still.

PROS:

  • Ensemble cast.
  • Main cast performance s.
  • Dialogue.
  • Hilarious.

CONS:

  • Framing Tool.

SCORE: 9 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels: Complicated Heists

Hello everybody! For this week’s movie club we have an interesting gangster comedy Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS

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DIRECTOR: Guy Ritchie

STARRING: Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Moran, Jason Statham,
Steven Mackintosh, Vinnie Jones, Sting

GENRE: Crime, Comedy, Thriller

YEAR: 1998

COUNTRY: United Kingdom

Eddy has been known as a cardsharp since he was young. So he and his three friends Soap, Tom and Bacon all decide to chip in £25,000 each to allow him to play in an illegal high-roller game run by one of the local villains, Hatchet Harry. However, Eddy didn’t realize the game was crooked and he ends up owing Harry £500,000 with dire threats about losing his fingers one at a time if he doesn’t pay within a week! Eddy and his friends discuss various completely illegal schemes to obtain the money and eventually decide to rip-off the gang of thieves next door who themselves are planning to raid a clandestine drug growing operation which keeps all of its money in shoe boxes where they grow the cannabis plants. The scheme is simple enough but the best laid plans of mice and men always seems to go awry as does this one. As extreme chaos breaks loose the violence and associated body count spiral out of control, Eddy and his friends realize that they are out of their depth and desperately try to find a way out before they too find themselves among the casualties!

lock-stockA myriad of colourful characters quickly and often unwittingly become embroiled in an ever-escalating, increasingly intricate, always irreverent series of events. Drug dealers, hired goons, thieves and more than enough hard guys than would usually be required to change a lightbulb all descend upon the four in ways that are circuitous, coincidental and convenient.

The body count grows steadily, though for a long while most of the violence occurs offscreen, but as the stakes are raised and the number of participants grows it is inevitable that so many guys waving guns about will eventually bring casualties, many of which fall in quick succession.

ls-stathamDespite this Lock, Stock is hardly a ‘video nasty’ akin to Hostel and the Saw films, but a wildly entertaining and creative Cops n Robbers tale sans the Cops that shows good plotting and well crafted dialogue can elevate a film above the pack.

With so many characters, you can imagine how complex the plot could get—and it gets even more complex than that. I considered trying to summarize it, but really it’s something you have to see to believe. Part of the experience of watching the movie is trying to follow how much each character knows of what’s going on, and whether they’re walking straight into a terrible situation. I recommend turning on the English subtitles if you’re not used to British accents so you can more easily follow the plot and appreciate the expertly written dialogue.

PROS:

  • Wildly entertaining.
  • Cops and Robbers with no Cops
  • Main cast performances.
  • Supporting cast performances

CONS:

  • Too many characters!
  • Overly complex plot

SCORE: 7.9 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.