A Jersey Christmas Review

PhotobucketRemember those family gatherings when someone at the dinner table would caution everyone not to discuss politics and religion? Well the 2008 film A Jersey Christmas obviously didn’t heed that warning because its abundant racial and moral commentary spoils this festivus for the rest of us.

My intention is always to give credit to indie filmmakers, not to needlessly rip them like some a-hole critics who know nothing about films anyway. Making an actual film that doesn’t look like it was slapped together accidentally by a 3 year old on his parents iPhone is a huge undertaking, and even if the movie sucks, most young directors and cast deserve an A for effort at the very least. If I was only judging it on effort, A Jersey Christmas would receive and A+ with a possible induction to the National Honor Society. Unfortunately, it boils down to one question for me: Will I ever want to watch it again? The answer is no, although, if some tweaks were made I’d make it part of my annual Christmas viewing tradition.

Clerks influence on indie filmmakers based in New Jersey is apparent since the story centers around a group of Christmas store employees. Kevin Smith would have a field day writing a film about this place because it’s way more diverse than the local Quick Stop. Coincidentally, mostly all of The Xmas-O-Rama employees don’t celebrate Christmas because of their various religious backgrounds. There’s a Jewish guy, a reformed Jewish girl, an Indian girl, an Arab, and a former Christian gay male who graduated from Rutgers with a masters in American Literature because he “likes to read.” The gist of the story focuses on how Christmas is viewed in the eyes of non-Christian twentysomethings. The group discovers that even though they express jealousy and frustration about the holiday, they are all brought together by the Christmas spirit.

As described on IMDB, “degenerate gambler” Mike Malcolm (James Villemaire) is in deep debt (or shit as we say here in Jersey) and owes a couple of thugs a lot of money. He runs a Christmas store to try to recoup some cash to pay his debts, but winds up screwing his employees out of several weeks pay. The action takes place on Christmas Eve when he demands that the store stay open until midnight to intercept last minute shoppers. Malcolm escapes to a poker game to try to win back some of his losses while the diverse crew at the Christmas store works late and hashes out their differences in religion, thoughts on Christmas, and even share some romantic moments.

I guess I was expecting something with a little more wacky hijinks. Often, the film teetered on the verge of being fun, but never officially made the jump. Sadly, the dialogue is so dumbed down and the characters refer to being Jewish and Arabic excessively. A Jersey Christmas would’ve benefited from making the racial/religious differences a minor theme instead of the main attraction. Regardless of these flaws, the cast is surprisingly natural and talented for a bunch of predominantly unknown actors. Anitha Gandhi and James Villemaire’s performances resonated with me.

Villemaire, who seems to be attempting to channel a young Mickey Rourke or Bruce Willis in this film, also co-directs with Eric Weber. Weber wrote the film, but I think it should’ve stayed on paper rather than been brought to life as a movie. This is the type of film that could be shown in college classes studying religious or racial tolerance; not so much the light hearted Christmas movie based in Jersey that I was hoping for. Ultimately, there really aren’t any similarities to Kevin Smith’s Clerks, but there should’ve been. I for one wouldn’t mind seeing a Christmas styled knockoff of Clerks. In that case the racial and religious references would be welcome. Snoogans.

What keeps me from ripping A Jersey Christmas is the fact that the film isn’t necessarily funny, but it’s not heart wrenching or dramatic either. Being middle of the road is it’s best attribute, since it would’ve totally lost my attention if it got bogged down in too much drama. This is one film you should only sink your time into if you just dig indie movies, or you have a serious obsession for all things Jersey like The Sexy Armpit does.

Since the production company, Tenafly Films, is named after a city in New Jersey, they not only filmed  on location in Bergen County, NJ but they also infused plenty of Jersey shout-outs into the movie. Among others there were mentions of Garden State Plaza Mall, Kearny, Hackensack, and the Elmwood Park Diner.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-irEXVALD8]

Jersey Justice Film Review


Squeezing my way through the legions of people at this year’s Monster Mania Con wasn’t fun. Getting stuck behind attendees who stopped at every table to drool over the goods made for a really obnoxious trek around the dealer room. By the time I finished checking out everything of interest to me I was pretty fed up with the crowds and was about to call it a day when my attention was magically summoned to a poster on the wall in front of me. The poster was for an independent film called Jersey Justice, and sitting beneath the poster was it’s writer, producer, and director, John Charles Hunt, who was greeting people at his table. Naturally, I launched into curious mode and started rattling him off questions about his film. Without hesitation I picked up a copy after confirming that the film did indeed involve New Jersey. I popped it in and watched it as soon as I got home and it turned out to be the best purchase I made at the convention. 
John Charles Hunt’s company, Browntown Films, is named after the section of Old Bridge, NJ where he was raised. With Jersey Justice, the company has produced a film that expands on the genre of pulp drive in flicks by infusing a modern edge. For instance, the main character is a woman out for revenge, and while a “final girl” may be the norm in a horror movie, it’s a change of pace for this type of film. The story is also timely and deals with relevant issues since it involves the war in the middle east, references to rape, and well as gay/lesbian themes.

Remember Molly Ringwald’s sister in Sixteen Candles? The blonde, prim, proper, and perfect-haired bride who pops muscle relaxers? That was actress Blanche Baker and her role in Jersey Justice as middle aged suburban mom Polly O’Bannon is quite a departure from her snotty turn in Sixteen Candles. Polly’s son in the armed forces is being held in captivity in Baghdad, and several months after they get word of their sons death, her husband is killed right in front of her. She’s now bent on avenging his murder and stops at a gun shop expressing her intent to “hunt wild boar” and needs a gun with “that fast pump action thing…” Together, the gun store scene mingles with jazzy background music to create a fine bit of dark comedy. Later, Polly forces a biker gang to dance to music being played by a bar band. It was priceless.
The humor doesn’t end there, but the film also gets serious and balances itself out with tense, dramatic moments. As a fan of comedy, I appreciated the jokes and sharp dialogue. The film’s humor is certainly more prominent than the it’s poster and ads lead you to believe. There were some outright funny and shlocky moments, like after witnessing Polly’s husband get shot, a bystander calls the authorities and says “Yeah, I want to report a dead guy in an alley.” The deadpan delivery of lines like that may go over some people’s head’s, but not most.
The cast was gathered with help from the The Greater Philadelphia Film Office. Bo Svenson and Christopher Mann star along with several actors I haven’t seen before, but a few stood out in my mind. As Robbo, Eoin O’Shea reminded me of a sadistic version of Kevin Dillon’s Johnny Drama on Entourage, and I definitely would’ve liked to have seen more of the cute Natalia Jablokov.
As the detective threatening to give his rookie officer an enema with his boot, Jerry Lyden seemed to channel elements of Lt. Harris in Police Academy. The fact that coffee plays such an integral part of the cops job was hysterical, and his obliviousness to DVR was funny, but sadly realistic. Maria Soccor played the spunky bartender Felix Romeo, and when asked where she discovered the hot sauce on the hand trick, she replies “Nature Boy Ric Flair!” And finally, as the bad dude Carlo, T.J Glenn has one of the best lines in the movie: “You have got to be the dumbest bitch in New Jersey!”

The film begins in Pennsylvania but the mood of the film changes when Polly gets into New Jersey. Hunt elaborated to me that “it’s like Dorothy leaving Kansas for Oz.” Organized crime and biker gangs were instrumental in the plot, so Pennsylvania and Jersey served as perfect backdrops. Unlike the typical Jersey based stuff you’ve seen like The Sopranos, and The Toxic Avenger, this is a film that features the southern part of Jersey which, aside from Atlantic City, rarely gets much play in movies and TV. Although the majority of the movie was filmed in Doylestown in Bucks County PA, there were several towns in South Jersey that were either filmed in or just mentioned: Atlantic City, Tabernacle, Ocean City, Upper Township, Baptistown, and Woodbury. 
Jersey Justice is unabashedly packed with action, revenge, and it also had me laughing my ass off. For example some guys announce outside a bar that “dikes are in there with a shotgun!” while another replied “…are they naked?” But like I mentioned before, the film isn’t an all out comedy, and it did a excellent job maintaining it’s social criticisms of the justice system and the treatment of our troops and their families without bogging the film down in drama. Jersey Justice was definitely a fun throwback and kept my eyes glued to the TV. It reminded me of a movie I would’ve watched on WPIX 11 on Saturday afternoon when I was a kid. So get the DVD, pop some popcorn, grab yourself a cold one, and find out what good ol’ fashioned Jersey Justice is all about!
*John Charles Hunt is an awesome guy and was happy to answer my questions. His production company has more projects on the way such as a crime drama called “Pure Life,” and a holiday movie called “Christmas Heart,” so log on to browntownfilms.net for the latest and support independent filmmaking! 

The Day the Earth Stood Still on the NJ Turnpike

In his review in the N.Y Times of the remake of The Day the Earth Still starring Keanu Reeves, A.O Scott fills in on the New Jersey aspect of the film:

“A metastasizing swarm of metal bugs — the best special effects in a movie
that often looks cheap and bedraggled — is dispatched to eat us and everything
we’ve made, or at least everything on the New Jersey Turnpike.

he goes on to say:

“Its scenario and many of its scenes feel ripped off rather than freshly
imagined — why do aliens always seem to end up in New Jersey?…”

Normally I don’t heed the majority of movie critic’s warnings but in this case I will. I can’t imagine this being mind blowing in any capacity. Even though Tom Cruise’s War of the World’s was filmed in NJ, I would personally still like to see some more alien action here. We’ve already seen Los Angeles and New York City have prominent roles in sci-fi and action films, so let NJ have a go at it for a while!

Jersey Boy Makes Good…Porn!


And now…get lubed up for The Sexy Armpit’s “long” and amusing Interview with Mike Zute!

ARMPIT: You’ve heard of the old cliché “Jack of all trades” right? Well meet the “Jackhammer of all trades” Mike Zute. (www.MikeZute.com) He’s a music writer, producer, and performer who also somehow has time to make adult films and run a XXX site. So Mike, you head up a successful N.J band, you write songs, you photograph women, and produce your own porn films for sale at (www.NaughtyZuteGirls.com). How the hell do you juggle all those jugs…uhh..I mean jobs?

ZUTE: Jugs, Grapefruits, Melons, Knockers… I don’t even know what the hell I’m doing half the time! Seriously, It’s a true test of organization. And my theory of “If I want to do something then I will do it”… Instead of sitting around wondering what it would be like to have a rock band and a porn site; I spend every spare minute planning and executing my next actions in those said endeavors… Working a day job adds some stress, but the added income eases the stress in the finances needed for these ZUTE projects.

ARMPIT: Mike, are you a lifelong New Jersey native? Some visitors to this site think that my blog is called The Sexy Armpit because I’m into some wacky fetish, but that’s not the case. It’s all about defending the Garden State from all it’s detractors. Quick… off the top of your head…(not that head!) tell us 3 things you love about Jersey. OK, I know it’s hard since there’s so much negative crap so I’ll cut you slack. Give me 2 and then if you can think of 3 I’ll give you an extra website plug lol.

ZUTE: Yes, I was born, raised, and dropped on my head a few times in Jersey! 3 things: #1- The Jersey Shore. I go there a few times every summer. I love to body surf the waves, check out the hot chicks on the beach, and try not to get sunburn. #2- The New York Giants, who play in E. Rutherford, NJ. #3- Great Italian Restaurants and Pizzerias, even though I can’t eat too much cheese because it’s bad for my singing voice!

ARMPIT: Ding Ding Ding…We have a WINNER! www.naughtyzutegirls.com. An erotic convention was supposed to take place in Secaucus NJ recently but the town voted to keep it out of the Meadowlands convention center. Now, it’s slated to take place in Edison NJ. Can you elaborate to the readers of The Sexy Armpit about how ridiculous this is especially because 25 miles away over in Manhattan it wouldn’t be a problem.

ZUTE: An unfortunate failure with Jersey is that a lot of our state’s people are socially retarded and behind the times. Some people still think criminals and child molesters run the porn industry. It’s so the opposite. I basically self taught myself the legalese in this biz, and it was like I put myself through a Law School class. The adult biz is so regulated now, that if you are not an honest, intelligent producer with organized records, the Feds will close down your site / business in no time. Back to the question, The expo can’t offend anyone because it is closed to the general public. You have to pay an admission and “want to be offended” in order to enter. The City of Secaucus loses out on the income they would have made.

ARMPIT: You recently were hanging with Ron Jeremy at an “adult film” convention. Do you feel like you really made it after experiencing that?

ZUTE: I don’t feel as if I’ve “made it” big in the Porn world. I’m just glad I’m good enough (at producing, acting, editing, and promoting) to still be involved in it. A similar feeling drives me to keep it up with my rock band. Ha ha ha, I said “keep it up”!

ARMPIT: Did you always want to get into making porn films or is this something that you just stumbled onto?

ZUTE: Wow, I could go on forever w/ this one. Somewhere around the middle 90’s I started considering it. After the Tommy Lee / Pam Anderson film came out in the later 90’s, I became seriously interested. Seeing how a popular musician and actress boosted their publicity (& income) with a simple amateur sex tape was very inspiring. By the time I had enough funds saved, learned the legal biz factors, and researched potential models, it was 2003. I started making films that year. This was before I even knew how to edit films or how to design a website… (I do have an engineering degree from NJIT, so when I kick myself in the ass, I can really learn and accomplish things.) Anyhow, I also was busy preparing the first lineup of the ZUTE band to play out, so I was stressed to the max. My guitarist at the time kept asking me to let him see some of my porn films… I planned to eventually release this stuff, and I unfortunately trusted him with a copy. He quit the band soon afterward in Summer 2004. He owned the band website domain, so he wanted me to pay him $3000 for the domain name… When I said no way, he published a clip of me getting a blow job (from Isabel) on that site, and he posted all these ridiculous defamatory lies on the screen. Word gets around quick that I’m in an adult film. When I threatened to get the Feds after him for U.S.C. 2257 violations he took the site down. Seeing the hits the site got, I was more upset that I got no income from this! Instead of suing him, I put all my efforts into getting my ZuteGirl Models plan in action. (With the web design help of my new guitarist, Cory) I posted the semi nude Strip down pics of the ZuteGirls on the new band website (MikeZute.com) in early 2005. The goal was to keep the semi nude pics on the ZUTE band site and then put a link to the adult site once I finished designing it. But, too many female fans of the band complained about semi nude pics of chicks on the band’s website. I even put comical semi nude pics of myself on there to draw more attention. The focus was taken away from the music, so I agreed w/ my band members to remove the semi nude pictures, and just keep the “nice” (clothed) Zute Girl pictures on the Band website. I immediately posted some of the semi nude chicks on myspace.com/mikezute… Finally, a few months later in 2005 www.NaughtyZuteGirls.com went live. I put a link to it from the “Nice” ZuteGirls pics page on the band website, which also has its own domain http://www.zutegirls.com/. Simple answer, eh?

ARMPIT: I’ve seen some of your work and I appreciate the unorthodox way you direct your films. You put the girls in little sketches and talk to them in a laid back interview atmosphere. I dig it. Have all the girls said “your command is my wish” or has there been instances where they gave you a hard time about not wanting to do something you asked?

ZUTE: Good Questions. A lot of girls were surprised by the respectful laid back interview. More than once a girl has said to me: “Ok, is this an interview where I’m supposed to say I’m 18, I’ve never been filmed before, I’m a whore and all I ever want to do is suck cock?” Once I tell a girl “No, it’s a real interview and you can say whatever the hell you want,” then she is usually more into the rest of the session because I treated her like a human being. She is now at ease. Once we get to the sex, she is more comfortable with me and performs much more naturally… In terms of the skits, some girls have added input on changing their lines… I am open minded, so if I like her idea, then I let her roll with it…. As far as sex, I’ve had complete cooperation thus far. I haven’t made any girls do any painful positions. So, I’m not sure how they’d react if I was very adamant about an uncomfortable position…

ARMPIT: Before her death last year you featured Haley Paige in one of your films, can you tell us a little about your experience working with her, and how did you feel after hearing of her death?

ZUTE: The stories about her personality are no lie. She really was a sweetheart. She actually showed up late to the session for “Lost Cell Phones Ep #5,” but was very apologetic. She was very easy to work with, and didn’t give me any attitude problems whatsoever. She was calm and collective with a positive attitude throughout the shoot. She liked working the camera on Harmony & I, and she looked forward to directing films in the future. I was very shocked upon hearing about her death. Mostly because she seemed like a girl who was in control of her life. She did not show signs of someone with a drug problem…. How did she end up with that loser who ultimately ended up killing her? (Or if he didn’t directly kill her, he influenced her to get involved with the junk… Wang Dang Dong or whatever the fuck his name is?) I don’t understand…

ARMPIT: You feature some really hot chicks on your site www.NaughtyZuteGirls.com. My favorite happens to be Pamela. Have you ever caught feelings for any of the actresses your working with?

ZUTE: Yeah, Madison Bijou James stands out a lot… She was just so down to earth and took great interest in my original concept, which was to combine modeling and porn in a fun atmosphere… She even sent me a “Thank you for the fuck film” card a few days after that shoot in 11/2004. She has since stopped doing porn and recently had her 2nd kid. She lives in Colorado. Naudia Rio, was really sweet also. Most girls were really cool. Pamela was a little stuck up, because she knew her popularity was growing. There was a different Canadian Chick named Ocean who was a real bitch… Other than her, all the ZuteGirls are really cool.

ARMPIT: Are all your friends and bandmates jealous of you that you get to be with all these hot chicks?

ZUTE: Well first off, I will say that the ex guitarist (who hijacked the first Zute Band website) thought he would destroy both my music and porn careers by posting slanderous crap. He probably did that out of jealousy: The ZUTE band was doing much better without him, and he is way too unattractive to do porn. My success is the best form of revenge against him and other various detractors. Otherwise, my current band mates and male friends have been very cool about my Zute Girl endeavors. If anything, they just joke around about it. I try not to talk about my porn experiences, unless someone specifically asks… On another tangent of this question, I am dating a girl who is very jealous of the ZuteGirl models and wants me to stop doing porn. (Even though she knew I did this before we got sexually involved.)… So, I don’t know what else to say!

ARMPIT: JAY + LACIE HEART = Can you make it happen? Christmas is coming up you know!

ZUTE: If it were only that easy! And she is smokin’ hot! Seriously, I’m only making about 4 films / year, so I’m not consistently working with any one model or modeling agent… Only the huge porn companies have that kind of wealth and power… I’m still the “little guy”, right now. When I get aroused it becomes a slightly bigger little guy…

ARMPIT: If one decides against purchasing the Video On Demand through the site and opts for an old school DVD, Are there Easter eggs on the DVDs? Any cool mysterious hidden crap on there?

ZUTE: I put Original ZUTE band demos in the first few I sold… But then it became tedious and time consuming with the whole process… But now I’ve seen less of DVD sales and much more VOD / (pay per minute) sales… That is definitely the future of the industry.

ARMPIT: Have you developed a trademark sex move or saying? Any crazy upside down shit or anything (i.e. the zute shuffle or the zutinator?)

ZUTE: No trademark move yet, but you’ve got the ideas flowing! In terms of sayings, I’ve been over using the word “indeed” for years… Also, I think at some point in the sex scene of every film I end up saying “You’re such a Naughty Zute Girl.” It seems cliché, but it does fit at the time…. (Of course in my upper head, during sex, I’m often calculating batting averages, trying to remember song lyrics, and mentally reciting the Greek alphabet. Those are my favorite ways to prevent cumming too early!)

ARMPIT: I’ll have to keep those in mind. Or I’ll think of Man-At-Arms banging Oprah Winfrey. The following definitions are taken directly from Urban Dictionary. com. Just as they ask visitors to give a thumbs up and thumbs down to rate the accuracy of each definition can you provide your expert opinion as to the accuracy of these?

1) Another name for a marijuana joint. When its contents are purely cannabis (without any tobacco to pad it out)
ZUTE: maybe

2) marijuana which is grinded so it is thinner so it is easier to smoke. orr half or that zute mate! ZUTE: maybe

3) To be beyond retarded while intoxicated or high
ZUTE: the closest indeed!

ZUTE: I always felt the slang definition of “Zuted” was to be high in good style. Number 3 is a bit extreme on the definition, but hey, if it works for the general public, then fine. Also, I’ve heard that a marijuana joint laced w/ PCP in the 1970’s was referred to as a “Zootie.” Actually, there are other factors that go into why I use the name ZUTE. It sounds a little bit like my last name… Also, in Monty Python, there was a funny scene with the “bad Zute girl.”

ARMPIT: And finally, can you give us any insight to what’s in store for the future of your films? Any spoilers you could give us?

ZUTE: The first anal penetration I’ve performed on film was on Trina Michaels in a threesome film along with Mindy Main. That will be released by late this year or early next year. Also, I’ve produced films of girls doing solo masturbation w/ dildo. I might eventually add another person to work the camera, aside from the girls, the tripod, and me… As far as plots, I already have a different story line from “Lost Cell Phones”, but I won’t count out new Episodes of that series from “popping up” once in while.
Thanks for talking to The Sexy Armpit, Mike! Go check out Mike’s various endeavors, they’re Zutarific! Be sure to visit the adult site at: http://www.naughtyzutegirls.com/ . See Zute the Band playing gigs all over New Jersey! Head over to http://www.mikezute.com/ and
www.Myspace.com/mikezute for more info!

A Few of my Favorite Movie Scenes

An excellent horror movie blogger, Final Girl, has inspired many of us bloggers to write a positive piece about films rather than being negative and ripping a film apart. So as part of the Hey, Internet, Stop Being Such Cynical Effing Douchbags Blog-A-Thon I’ve decided to concentrate on certain movie scenes that I always wish I was in. Some arouse feelings of nostalgia, fantasy, or they just look so damn cool. I’ve always wanted to actually experience these scenes first hand rather than just passively watch them.

In 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Kirk Douglas thinks the Nautilus is a sea creature and is about to throw a harpoon at it. The Nautilus was mysterious and it evoked intensity and suspense. The sub, even though it was an extension of Captain Nemo, seemed to have a life of it’s own. Later on we get to see the lush decor on board and I never thought the inside of a submarine could be this cool.
In the 1966 Batman movie, I was seduced by the idea of having poles to slide down into the bat cave. To have an “instant costume change lever” that was actually labelled with its title would be even more awesome. Shit I just used my basement as a low rent bat cave.

Obviously, Labyrinth has a ton of classic scenes and shots. This one really captured the first moment where we see a full view of the Labyrinth and what’s in store for Sarah. When I saw this movie for the first time I don’t think I was old enough to even define the word labyrinth so seeing that Sarah was about to head into a whole adventurous world of mazes and creatures made me want to jump into the screen and join her in the search for her brother Toby.
What I would’ve gave to ride my big wheel around the deserted Overlook hotel while horrifying spectacles are haunting every corner just like Danny Torrance in The Shining.
I take a lot of flak for always referencing Sleeping Beauty as one of my favorite films. The exciting finale featuring Maleficent’s fire breathing dragon (GREEN fire by the way) vividly sticks out in my mind.
The documentary within the movie Boogie Nights is classic. Dirk Diggler’s speech touches on subjects like Napoleon, jealousy, and how he’s “gonna keep rockin’ on.” It’s some of the most eloquent stuff I’ve ever heard! DIRK: “Like my shoes? They’re like this patchwork reptilian pattern design.” I can’t leave out the recording session where they record “Feel My Heat” and “You’ve Got the Touch” which frequently come up in my iPod shuffles.
This scene in Love Actually perfectly captures how every guy feels about a girl at one time or another. You know when there’s a girl you like and she’s with someone else and you desperately want to show her that you could make her happier than the guy she’s with? This guy goes into Bob Dylan mode and knocks on aptly named Juliet’s door. He shows her notes he wrote on poster board expressing romantic sentiments while her boyfriend is sitting on the couch inside. Even though it’s apparent he’s got zero chance, he gave it his best shot. He settled for letting her know truly how he feels. She gave him a consolation kiss. It doesn’t hurt that Keira Knightley looks hot as hell either.

Return to Oz depicts a very different, more realistic Oz than the glistening green skyline we’re used to seeing in the 1939 version. As a kid it was pretty scary after realizing that the whole sparkling city was turned to stone and the wheelers vandalized it. If you’re an adult and you still haven’t experienced Return to Oz, then GET ON IT!
The finale of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, shows Jack Sparrow once again taking the helm as Captain of the Black Pearl: “drink up me hardy’s Yo Ho!” Then Klaus Badelt’s “He’s a Pirate” kicks in to pump you up.After the kick ass water slide scene, The Goonies kids discover the cou de gras…The Inferno, (One Eyed Willie’s Pirate Ship)…with TONS of rich stuff aboard.
I must have a million more, but for now…what are some of your favorite movie scenes?

Film Review: Superbad 4 stars

Superbad is exactly what I was hoping for. It’s a movie where the nerds get the girls, drink beer out of laundry detergent containers, and get to shoot at a police car that’s engulfed in flames. I missed out on Knocked Up when it was in theaters so I made sure I saw Superbad and I was not disappointed.

The film is probably semi-autobiographical because the main characters/best friends Seth and Evan could be a young Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the writers of the film. Gee, you think? Their counterpart Fogell starts out as the annoying third friend but ends up so badass that he’s getting hauled away by the cops.

Just when you think Evan is actually going to get some action, he proves that he’s too nice of a guy to take advantage of a drunk Becca. Becca (Martha Maclsaac) is dead on with her portrayal of a drunken teenage girl looking to bed down the most innocent Evan. Seth, the fat kid friend of Evan’s clearly has some subconscious gay issues but I won’t give too much away. He tries to get with Jules (Emma Stone) but it doesn’t really work out as he planned. There’s even a platonic love scene between Seth and Evan which actually feels more poignant than icky.

The storyline featuring Rogen and Bill Hader as bumbling, intoxicated police officers Michaels and Slater is the highlight of the movie. They take in Fogell (aka McLovin) who is underage trying to buy some adult beverages at the liquor store. The success with scoring with the girls they like rests on if they can swindle some liquor and bring it to a party. As he’s about to check out and actually score the alcohol McLovin’s punched out by a robber who steals money from the cash register and bails. The rest of the movie the friends frantically try to get to the party with drinks for all.

There’s no doubt in my mind that this is going to be one of those movies we constantly quote from. The film’s pace slows down a bit toward the end but it flows nicely into the resolution. Superbad’s genius mess of action and vulgarity makes for a lot of hysterical laughing which is what I did throughout. Oh yeah, listen for an awesome Zack Morris reference and that Real Ghostbusters lunchbox to name a few.

Film Review: The Last Kiss 2 1/2 stars

Have you ever wanted to hammer a few nails into your eyelids so they would stop opening? I figured if I did that I wouldn’t have to watch the rest of the The Last Kiss starring Zach Braff. It was Saturday night and my girlfriend and I just wanted to relax and see what was On Demand. We came to The Last Kiss, and we both said we wanted to see it when it was in the theaters. The minute I clicked “watch” I was having second thoughts.

Upon seeing the trailer for this a month or so before it opened, I actually thought it looked pretty good. I didn’t really like Garden State, but I thought Braff turned in a good performance. The trailer was Rachel Bilson heavy, unlike the movie. The trailer also seemed like it might have been a romantic comedy, which is more tolerable than just a romance. What the movie turned out to be was completely different.

The Last Kiss was a film that explored Michael’s (Braff) feelings of apprehension about spending the rest of his life with the same woman. In the film, he described marriage as being “final.” His girlfriend Jenna (Jacinda Barrett) was pregnant with his child but they weren’t married yet. All of Michael’s friends were having issues with their girlfriends also. One of them, Kenny had a romp with a new girl he met and then bounced when she was about to introduce him to her parents. Naturally that’s the knee jerk reaction. Chris (Casey Affleck) couldn’t deal with the pressure of fighting with his girlfriend and taking care of their baby so he decided to leave her. I couldn’t stop thinking “what a downer this is!”

Michael needed to explore life away from his girlfriend and Kim (Rachel Bilson) was very cute, in college, and ready to slip her panties off. They meet at a wedding and they hit it off. Michael visits her at college and they eventually wind up having sex. (*To make matters worse Bilson doesn’t even get naked) Of course, Kim gets clingy for a moment. Michael claims he needed to be with someone else to realize how much he loved his girlfriend who caught him in a lie. After Jenna found out Michael was banging Bilson, she wouldn’t let him in the house as he pleaded her forgiveness. What a pansy. The End.

Who wants to watch a movie about a guy who gets caught cheating and gives up on life to sleep at her doorstop until she lets him back in? That’s the suckiest idea for a movie ever! The subplot was even worse. You have Jenna’s mom Anna played by Blythe Danner who is depressed about something. We find out that it’s because she thinks her husband is cold and uncaring. She’s also wrestling with the fact that she cheated on him with Egon Spengler a few years prior.

I can’t stand this trend of people cheating on each other in movies. There’s so much divorce and infidelity in real life I don’t care to watch it on screen. Movies are supposed to be escapism! It’s pretty sad. With all the negative stuff in life, wouldn’t you think people would want to watch a strong relationship depicted rather than have the burden of watching a couple with problems? The Last Kiss isn’t about infidelity, it’s about Michael’s struggle dealing with the status quo. Michael was scared of the long haul, but sleeping with another girl isn’t going to make Michael figure out what he really wants in life. Even if he marries Jenna he’ll still have those random urges to sleep with that piece of ass college girl who’s flirting with him.