Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Watch Instantly Sunday: A Review Part II

     Yesterday's post was a bit of a misnomer, because none of those were actually viewed on Watch Instantly.  This post picks up where yesterday's left off: me in my room in front of the computer.  Some time between Meet The Press and Prelude To A Kiss, I decided I wanted the fun again; I was cured.  Bring it on, Netflix.

Spring Breakdown.  I didn't know this movie existed, and I don't know how I've gone so long without it in my life.  It stars Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, and Parker Posey.  Also, Amber Tamblyn, Mae Whitman, Sarah Hagan, Seth Meyers, (a wee bit of Will Arnett), Missi Pyle, and Jane Lynch.  A little bit of research tells me that this film missed a theatrical release all together.  That's a shame- I would have watched this three times in the theaters.  It's a female centric comedy, and maybe stupid studio politics had something to do with it not getting a break.  I hate that I even wrote that sentence.  The sentence to follow that will quickly lead my into a downward spiral of feminist theory and comedy.  I'll save that for a Master's class.
     This is a very funny movie.  The gist is that there are three "friends forever" who may just be life long dorks.  They get the opportunity to go to a traditional Spring Break hot spot, and even though they're way beyond the appropriate age to do so, they go.  They have a sort of assignment to befriend a group of teenagers who are dorks in their own right.  It's a fish out of water story, times six.
      It won me over with the opening sequence- the three leads at a talent show, singing Cyndi Lauper's True Colors with full earnest, and singing it pretty well.  The song ends and we reverse to the audience- the silent, bored, audience.  The tone is set.  We fast forward fifteen years and the story takes off.
     The official reviews of this movie were not too great, but I suppose if you're looking for reasons not to like it, maybe you would come to some of the same conclusions.  The most oft quoted statement is about a fine group of comediennes not used to their full potential.  This is actually the kind of review that I believe to be covered in bullshit.  Amy Poehler is hilarious.  Rachel Dratch is hilarious.  Parker Posey  is hilarious.  Put them together, and they're hilarious cubed.
     They stick together, and there are a lot of great group scenes with the three of them.  But they each also take a personal journey, coming into their own, learning about who they really are, and discovering that who they are is better than who they think they want to be.  Yes, the journey is a little farcical.  But Amy Poehler is both hot and hilarious in dreds- I hope "see you lader hosen"  becomes something people really say.  I plan to spearhead the movement.
     You know what, perhaps I have already said too much.  Just watch this movie.  I'm going to go watch it again.  Right now.

25 Years of Improv.  The 25th Anniversary of the Improv Olympic in Chicago.  A whole bunch of Improv Olympic alum got together to celebrate the anniversary of this awesome, funny place.  This was good Sunday afternoon viewing- it offers good insight into the process of improv and comedy in general.  And you get the idea that improv isn't really about comedy at first, it's about creation.  But eventually, creation is pretty funny.  And yes, Amy Phoehler was there.  It was a theme for the day.

Upright Citizens Brigade Season Two.  While watching the Improv Olympic Anniversary show, I was reminded of the short lived Comedy Central show put on by the UCB founders Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, and Ian Roberts.  Season one wasn't available on watch instantly, so I delved in with season two.  I was hesitant, but then figured plot probably wasn't a huge player for the show.   I watched two full episodes, and was pretty sure I understood the show.  It was funny, but not always laugh out loud funny.  It may have been a bit dated, I'm not quite sure.  I remember when it was actually on Comedy Central, and I probably watched it a little bit, but didn't get it back then.  It was my fault I didn't get it.  The Wu Tang Clang finding your underground lair is funny.  Go with it.

Saturday Night Live: Season 27.  I'm pretty pumped that most older seasons of SNL are available on Watch Instantly now.  I started with season 27 because it was Amy Poehler's first season.  She started as a featured player, and by episode 11 she was in the full cast.  I made it through the first 11 episodes, and it's easy to see why she so quickly gained the attention.  I think it's something called commitment.  She consistently gave great performances and great characters- the porn star on a date, the trashy woman who shuts herself in an oven, Loose Bear, bratty teenager.  Well, the list goes on and on.  This was also the season with Will Ferrel, Tracy Morgan, Chris Katan,  Darell Hammond, Maya Rudolf, Ana Gasteyer, Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, and Jimmy Fallon (and one or two other people.  Dean something maybe?).  I also really really love watching the old Weekend Updates.  That's consistently been my favorite segment.  Season 27 was the second year of Tina Fey & Jimmy Fallon.  There are some episodes that get pretty hacked up, based on lack of music rights and other such things that we don't really need to understand.  But Weekend Update is always there, and always awesome.  Tina Fey offered to throw a pizza party for the airport security guard who could find a terrorist.  "So, if you love pizza, and you hate terrorism, pull your head out of your ass and get all up in Makmoud's carry-on."

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