Sunday, March 15, 2009

Time Machine Review: "50 First Dates"

Sometimes here at Jester Central we like to revisit old favorite movies.  Mind you the Jester hasn't written a review of this, so I figured it was overdue.  Therefore, starting now, the Jester will pick an old favorite off the shelf, or perhaps, if he's in a feisty mood, a piece of junk movie and provide it the Jester of Reel treatment!  Note that you'd normally have to pay for this kind of happiness, but the Jester is here providing it free.  Enough with the yapping, let's get to the review!!!!



200px-50FirstDates Many people I know are not Adam Sandler fans, but that's not true for the Jester.  Well, at least most Sandler films.  The Jester could use the time watching "Little Nickie" for better things, but alas, that time is long gone.  Anyhoo, Sandler plays "Henry Roth", a marine-life veterinarian living in Hawaii, where he meets Lucy Whitmore....<warning, "hottie alert"....played by Drew Barrymore.  Lucy is an art teacher in the community.  Henry first sees Lucy while eating breakfast in a cafe one morning.   We know there's something unique about Lucy by the way everyone around her is acting, everyone that is, but Henry.  After some interesting exchanges Henry and Lucy hit it off and they agree to meet for breakfast at the same spot the next day.  Fast forward twenty-four hours and we see a confused Lucy who claims she doesn't know Henry.   Finally, Henry is alerted by the cafe owner about the accident that Lucy was in a year ago and that she suffers from an amnesia called "Golfield Syndrome".   Two things have resulted from this; one Lucy can't remember anything from the time of the accident to the present day and two, she can't retain long-term memories.  Therefore, everyday is a new day of re-learning people's names, meeting the same people over and over, repainting a wall (which her brother and father whitewash each evening), and so on.

Henry meet's Lucy's father and brother (a muscle-head played by Sean Astin aka Sam Gange from Lord of the Rings) and learns that Lucy thinks everyday is October 13, 2002.  That's because this is her father's birthday and let's everyone recreate good memories, so they don't have to let Lucy know the truth.

Henry goes along with this, while trying to win Lucy's heart each day over and over.  There are fun scenes throughout and yet you feel a sense of sorrow for both Henry and Lucy.   The characters played do a fabulous job with their parts and we feel happy, sad, joyful and sad as they do what they think is best for Lucy, despite the suffering it causes themselves.

The story is funny, but teaches us lessons about life and enabling others to feel sorrow and live, rather than keeping them in denial.  Rob Schneider has a role, as he always does in Adam Sandler movies; this time as a Ula, a Hawaiian father of numerous children and a funny relationship with his off-screen wife.

The Jester lists "50 First Dates" in his "must watch" collection and keeps it handy for rainy days, vacations, or just when he needs a good hearty laugh.  This comes highly recommended and the Jester suggests you rent this for the first time or just to revisit an "old film friend".  Make sure to make some popcorn, snuggle up and enjoy this fantastically done comedy.

jester5 (1) out of jester5 (1)    (A "MUST PURCHASE")

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Review: Run Fatboy Run

Okay, when the Jester saw this film he thought, "Hmmmm, do I want to go there?".  I finally broke down and rented it, since it had Simon Pegg as the main star and second, well it had Simon Pegg as the star.  I figured it was only 99cents, so I'd just have to give up an item off the dollar menu the next visit to Wendys or wherever.

Okay, so on with the review.

Simon Pegg plays Dennis Doyles, who it seems was going to marry his pregnant girlfriend Libby, played by Thandie Newton, before getting cold feet and running away during the preparation for the wedding. We see Dennis running furiously while watching Libby yelling for him to return, while being surrounded by attendants and such.  We fast forward to five years later where Dennis discovers that Libby has started seeing high-flying highly successful Whit.  Dennis' son, Jake has grown attached to Whit and Dennis knows he has little time to win back Libby, if he can at all.

Dennis attends a party where he runs into Whit and in a moment after finding out Whit is running in a marathon soon in London, states he will too. Libby is a doubter especially after her experiences of seeing Dennis run away from a lot of things, including her.  As Dennis trains, despite wanting to run away from this challenge too, he finds that he could help his son along the way.  It seems that Jake, has formed a crush on a girl in his class, but runs away angry when he finds out she prefers another boy. Dennis, who is frantically called by Libby, tracks Jake down and explains to him that he will find many things he does not like in his life and he should just stand up to them and face them, rather than running away, having made that mistake himself.

The movie follows Dennis through the journey of "following through" on the race as a metaphor of the past he's trying to change.  What we find is that much like own lives, Dennis needs help, which he receives from his best friend Gordon and his landlord.  Of course, most of us, unlike Dennis, don't have coaches hitting us with spatula's as motivation.

On the day of the race we, along with Libby, find that things aren't necessarily what they seem, the unforgivable can be forgiven and mistakes of the past can be healed.

I really enjoyed this movie all the way through.  It's especially pertinent as we think of our own "walls".  Simon Pegg again does a great job with his role and the supporting job of his "coaches" along the way is spot-on.  I think most people will really enjoy this movie and the lessons one learns about life.

Jester gives this

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

REVIEW: Forgetting Sarah Marshall

The latest rage has been for studios to release "Unrated" versions of movies, which most of the time include what the censors wouldn't let go for the theater versions.  This is almost always gratuitous violence or sexual stuff.  You can group this into; violent movies include more graphic violence, while comedies include more graphic sexual scenes.

I'd understood that "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" was an instant classic in waiting, so I waited for it to come out on video.  I figured that I'd skip the extra features, etc to avoid the stuff unnecessary for the story.  I popped in the disc, sat down with the Jester popcorn and big glass of Arnold Palmer tea (1/2 iced tea & 1/2 lemonade).

A synopsis of the storyline is that Peter Bretter (played by Jason Segal and also the movies writer) writes/performs the musical score to a successful TV drama in which his girlfriend, Sarah Marshall, is the lead actress.  Peter spends his time working from home, dressed in usually whatever he wears to bed, while maintaining an unkept presence.  Sarah's success leads her to seek out other "successful" people and away from Peter.  While Peter believes things are going fine, Sarah is building-up to to leave him.  The DVD's first shocking scene scene occurs within the first fifteen minutes or so and can be dubbed the "Full Frontal Male Nudity Breakup Scene".  Sarah is going to breakup with Peter, but he is prepared to surprise her with a full-frontal shot of himself when she walks in the door to their loft.  The breakup scene is like a car wreck, since it's uncomfortable to watch, but as much as you want to turn away, you can only stare at it with an open mouth.

Sarah leaves Peter and he's inconsolable, despite the best efforts of his friends and family.  We've all been there after a difficult breakup, that is, the place where you're in denial, then hurt, then anger, while still in a state of confusion.  What we get is a journey of outsiders trying to get a person to forget their previous love and realize that their life isn't over and actually is much better off.

There are interesting roles throughout, including Peter's half-brother, Brian Bretter (played by Bill Hader) who reflects what Peter is reluctant to pursue, namely a relationship with responsibilities to a partner that goes beyond physical presence.
Kristen Bell as "Sarah Marshall" is mult-dimensional playing both the villain and the victim, which will become evident throughout the movie. We watch as Sarah leaves Peter only to fall in the arms of Aldous Snow, a famous rock star (played by Brit Russell Brand)  Brand is fantastically lovably-hatable.  We despise him "stealing" Sarah, yet we see he simple was himself.  It turns out that his unwillingness to "grow-up" turns the tables in an interesting way.

"Forgetting Sarah Marshall" is a movie that will touch nerves with most of us, since we want to root for the seeming underdog (Peter), while seeing the hurt and hurting in each character.  Mila Kunis (Jackie from "That 70s Show" is a person who is vulnerable in being interested in Peter and helps him "forget Sarah".  The key is whether Peter can and wants to truly forget Sarah  himself.  Again, we've all been in situations where a love who leaves us wants to return and how do we respond, especially when there's another interested party.

The story is good and you just to be aware of the initial frontal nudity and also a graphic sex scene about halfway through that likely wasn't this graphic in the theater.  Nonetheless there are lessons that each character experiences that we will all relate to.  I enjoyed the movie, despite the shocks and think that watched with the right people will make it a fun experience for you too.  Find out if Peter "Forget's Sarah Marshall" if I can forget that breakup scene.

Jester gives it  **** out of ***** for the movie

Jester gives it * out of ****** for the uncut portions.