Posts Tagged ‘Jesse Eisenberg’
Thursday, January 23rd, 2020
THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE is an odd little indie comedy about karate. I wondered if it would be too similar to THE FOOT FIST WAY, the early Danny McBride movie that jibed so well with my sense of humor that when I first rented it I watched it two times in a row. Come to think of it, this movie’s sensei (Alessandro Nivola, AMERICAN HUSTLE) has a philosophy of punching like a kick and kicking like a punch, whatever that means, and that could be called a “foot fist way.” But this is a very different movie. The humor is very dry, the dialogue seems precise as opposed to improvised, and the protagonist is a timid nerd who transforms rather than a blowhard who is just a total asshole from the beginning.
The timid nerd is Casey Davies (Jesse Eisenberg, CURSED), an awkward accountant for an unnamed company. The bros in the break room don’t appreciate him trying to join their conversations, his best friend is his dachshund, and he gets stomped by random motorcyclists while trying to buy dog food. I love the slightly surreal touches that convey his loneliness: the news report that describes him as “a 35 year old dog owner,” the robotic answering machine voice that says “you have only 1 message.” (Though not obviously tied to a specific time period, it’s one with audio cassettes, fat-ass analog TVs and large camcorders with carrying bags.) (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Alessandro Nivola, Imogen Poots, Jesse Eisenberg, karate, Riley Stearns
Posted in Comedy/Laffs | 8 Comments »
Tuesday, March 29th, 2016
AMERICAN ULTRA is an action… I want to say comedy?… about what would happen if a totally unlikable stoner who works at a Cash ‘n Carry turned out to unknowingly be a brainwashed government super killer who has been missing and the CIA tries to take him out so he finds himself killing a bunch of dudes in self defense and doesn’t know why. THE BOURNE IDENTITY meets some dude you know’s unproductive early 20s.
But it’s not jokey like a Cheech and Chong picture or THE PINEAPPLE EXPRESS. Mike, the horrible loser protagonist, is played by Jesse Eisenberg (CURSED) with his usual cold distance, minus the intelligence. He’s not the funny or huggable type of stoner either, he’s just the kind that you’re supposed to like because he has a dream of creating a generic “underground comic” about a monkey (it could be this generation’s MONKEYBONE in my opinion) and mumbles quasi-deep philosophical bullshit comparing his life to that of a tree. In narration he humblebrags about being “a fucked up couple” with his long-suffering, oh-that-poor-woman, someone-really-needs-to-have-an-intervention-with-her-about-that-terrible-boyfriend-that-is-sucking-away-her-life-essence-every-second-of-the-day girlfriend Phoebe (Kristen Stewart, JUMPER). But, sorry bud, these two aren’t even Sid and Nancy, they’re just a guy who disappoints his girlfriend by saying they’re going to Hawaii and then instead having a panic attack and bringing her home to make her an omelette and then burning it. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Connie Britton, Jesse Eisenberg, John Leguizamo, Kristen Stewart, Max Landis, Nima Nourizadeh, Topher Grace, Walton Goggins
Posted in Action, Reviews | 37 Comments »
Monday, March 28th, 2016
(HEAVY SPOILER REVIEW)
Here’s a weird thing about gigantic blockbuster movies based on popular licensed characters: you can end up making a sequel aimed less at the fans of the first movie than at the people who saw it once and have still not stopped complaining about it. At least that’s the fool’s errand that director Zack Snyder and writer David S. Goyer (this time rewritten by Academy Award winner Chris Terrio) chose for themselves on BATMAN von SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, which selects as its primary theme the criticisms that people had of part 1.
To this day I don’t feel like I understand the widespread outrage at MAN OF STEEL for having a comic book style battle between super beings where buildings were destroyed in the process. I still haven’t noticed this standard applied to any other movie or comic book (including the cover of the very first issue of Superman!) and I stand by everything I said in this essay about how wild misinterpretations of MAN OF STEEL have become conventional wisdom. Still, I gotta thank all of you for doing that because I suspect it inspired the most intense and cinematic section of BATMAN vehemently opposed to SUPERMAN, in which we see the Superman v Zod battle from an even more human perspective than before. Specifically, from Bruce Wayne’s point-of-view as he runs fearlessly into the destruction and tries to help.
We only see the Kryptonians in tiny glimpses, far away, high in the sky. Mostly we see raining glass and brick and glowing energy beams in their wake. They truly are gods. And now we specifically see that rubble landed on one guy and are told that a woman is missing. And Bruce Wayne doesn’t like it.
(SPOILER: Bruce Wayne is Batman.) (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Amy Adams, Ben Affleck, Chris Terrio, Davis S. Goyer, DC Comics, Henry Cavill, Jesse Eisenberg, Zack Snyder
Posted in Comic strips/Super heroes, Reviews | 446 Comments »
Saturday, February 1st, 2014
This morning I was surprised to read on The ol’ Ain’t It Cool News that Lex Luthor and Alfred had been officially cast for SUPERMAN V. BATMAN. When I opened the story I glanced the name Jeremy Irons and assumed he was playing Luthor. It seemed like an okay but boring choice. It’s hard to imagine him caring about playing another fucking bad guy. When I realized that he was playing Alfred and Jesse Eisenberg was Luthor I coulda done a spit take.
And my instinct was sympathy for the vocal hateful nerd community of the internet. Like “Maybe you guys were right.” As you know, the default internet stance on everything is negative. The nerd community in particular tend to be against most things that exist other than the TV shows Community and Sherlock, most of the Marvel movies (for now, but there will be a vicious backlash in a few years guaranteed) and… bacon I guess. According to the products on the websights, bacon is one of the main things they respect. I’m old fashioned, I don’t think of bacon as something a man puts on his shirt, so alot of times I feel like I’m on the other side from these guys. But for a second when I read this I thought “shit, I know how they feel.” (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Jesse Eisenberg, Nerd News, Nerd Shit, Superman, The Nerdening of Vern
Posted in Blog Post (short for weblog) | 149 Comments »
Sunday, October 3rd, 2010
THE SOCIAL NETWORK is the new Dave Fincher picture about the founding of the “Facebook” company, which has had alot of success creating a type of “social networking,” so that’s why it’s called that. You may be thinking Vern, I’ve heard the words before in buzz and in word-of-the-mouth, but what in shit’s name is social networking? Well, let me explain. Social networking is a type of computer thing, or “facebook”, that goes in the lower right hand corner of the page. When people sign in they click “like,” and then some of their pictures show up on there sometimes. It tells them when I have a new review, either because Chris posts it on there, or he programmed it to do it, nobody really knows. This is a way to make new friends or promote your thing, or whatever. That’s why social networking is the future of, you know, computer things. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Aaron Sorkin, Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer, David Fincher, Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake
Posted in Drama, Reviews | 91 Comments »
Friday, October 9th, 2009
Man, ZOMBIELAND was just begging for me to hate it. You know how picky I am about the balance between horror and comedy. And who the fuck makes a zombie comedy now? It feels exactly like that moment when somebody’s dad makes a reference to their favorite band from three grades ago, like he’s just catching on but he thinks he’s on the cutting edge. I was already sick of people talking about zombie movies back when SHAUN OF THE DEAD came out, and to be frankly honest even that one I didn’t really see what all the fuss was about.
I would’ve been even more skeptical if I had read up on it before seeing it, because I would’ve known it was written originally as a TV show by reality show producers trying to cash in on the “fast zombie” love during that couple weeks after the DAWN OF THE DEAD remake came out. It’s two writers and one of them says he’d only seen a couple zombie movies before (didn’t specify which ones), the other one had only seen SHAUN OF THE DEAD. And the director isn’t big on them either and had only done commercials before. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Emma Stone, horror comedies, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, zombies
Posted in Comedy/Laffs, Horror, Reviews | 72 Comments »
Monday, November 7th, 2005
THE SQUID AND THE WHALE meets THE WEATHER MAN
Okay first of all I gotta ask, why does every movie lately gotta be about a nasty divorce, somebody’s dad dying, or both? I guess that’s just what happens when the sky turns grey and the leaves start falling off the trees, all the sudden you get all these depressing movies about how either you or your dad is a novelist and you fucked up everything with your wife and kids and you want to fix your marriage but that’s completely delusional, your wife has a new guy and she hates you because you’re an asshole and she can do better. (that’s what both of these are about.)
Which brings me to my second comment, you better look up what these movies are about before you see them because the titles are misleading. I know, how could you go wrong with a movie called SQUID VS. WHALE, but unfortunately it turns out that title is some kind of a metaphor or something. Which answers my question of how this got a theatrical release. There is no squid vs. whale fight, at least not a living squid and whale. And the dead ones that fight is only in a museum and only in the very end. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Anna Paquin, Gore Verbinski, Hope Davis, Jeff Daniels, Jesse Eisenberg, Laura Linney, Michael Caine, Nicolas Cage, Noah Baumbach, Steve Conrad, William Baldwin
Posted in Drama, Reviews | No Comments »
Friday, February 25th, 2005
SPOILER ALERT !!
Hey folks, Harry here to bestow upon you the glory and the greatness that is the mighty Vern. He wades through films and text like the Grim Reaper in a Corn Field…. shitting out the husks of material that dreams of better days. Now he turns his excellence at Wes Craven’s troubled latest. A film left hemorraging from the Dimension process, but with a pedigree of cool otherwise. Let’s see what Vern says…
Don’t know if you’re sick of me yet this week but I just saw CURSED one day early, so what the fuck man you know what happens next. A review, some belligerent talkbacks, etc.
This is the new one from Wes Craven, who in my eyes at least still has some small amount of credibility. I know he tries his damndest to piss it away on executive produced projects like DRACULA 2000, WISHMASTER, WES CRAVEN’S SO-CALLED CARNIVAL OF SOULS, etc. And he’s done some bad ones all throughout his career. Like DEADLY FRIEND and DEADLY BLESSING. I forget which one is which. One of them involves a robot. And VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN. And THE HILLS HAVE EYES 2. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Christina Ricci, Jesse Eisenberg, Joshua Jackson, Kevin Williamson, werewolves, Wes Craven
Posted in AICN, Comedy/Laffs, Horror, Reviews, Thriller | 11 Comments »