Review: Hot Tub Time Machine

Director: Steve Pink (Accepted)
Screenplay: Josh Heald, Sean Anders
Starring: John Cusack, Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, Clark Duke
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 100 min.


When one heads to the theater to see an R-rated dude-centered comedy called Hot Tub Time Machine about a group of guys at a ski resort who travel backwards in time to the 1980s, there are going to be certain expectations. It’s going to be raunchy. It’s going to have beer and boobs. Most importantly, there will be plenty of fluorescent and Culture Club. Hot Tub Time Machine delivers on all of these expectations.

The movie opens up by introducing us to the four characters who will find themselves displaced in time. There is Adam (Cusack) a self-absorbed and discontent workaholic who comes home from his job one day to find that his girlfriend has moved out. Jacob (Duke), Adam’s socially awkward nephew, lives in his basement playing video games online all day with no ambition to get a job or go to college. There is Nick (Robinson) who once had dreams of being a rock star, but now works unhappily grooming animals. Then there is Lou (Corddry), the alcoholic party-animal childhood friend who is estranged from the others due to his unwavering asshole ways.

When Lou is hospitalized in an apparent suicide attempt, Adam and Nick decide to take Lou (and drag along nephew Jacob) to their old ski resort vacation town stomping grounds, where they had what they all believe to be the best times of their lives. When they find the once popular destination deserted, they try to make the best of it and proceed to get extremely drunk in their resort room’s hot tub. Waking up the next day and finding the slopes packed, they soon discover that they have somehow traveled back to the 1980s. This is where the story really begins.

Would you like to know more…?

SOLD OUT: Fantastic Fox Poster

For a recent screening of Fantastic Mr. Fox at the Red Vic Movie House in San Fran, the design company, Zoltron, put together this awesome looking print screen for the showing. If you’ve seen the movie, some of the details in here will make a lot of sense and amaze. Take a look below and if you’re so inclined, they’ve constructed some pretty great posters for other events, including concerts and CD releases as well to take a look if you wish. Below, check out the talking fox.

 

Review: Greenberg

Greenberg"

Director: Noah Baumbach
Screenplay: Noah Baumbach
Story: Noah Baumbach & Jennifer Jason Leigh
Starring: Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rhys Ifans
Year: 2010
Rating: R
Duration: 107 min

More than just a known commodity, the films of Noah Baumbach (Kicking and Screaming, The Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding, and now, Greenberg) are an acquired taste. They capture with startling candor life unrehearsed without the benefit of selective memory. There is no safety net for these characters by a merciful writer, their struggles for dignity are lonely (though inevitably comical) affairs. Firmly planted in the theater of the absurd, the Baumbach universe is made to agitate.

Roger Greenberg’s life is a one act play: the not-quite Jew, the bundle of neuroses who refuses to be identified with his stint in a mental hospital, who breaks even the Larry David/Woody Allen mold of comedic curmudgeon, as someone not quite of either coastal city, but of both and back, and of course, my favorite, the lone pedestrian in a city of cars. The stage is set for complexity, but it is ultimately in the minutiae of Roger’s strained attempts to belong, the performance of Ben Stiller and the gracelessness of the dialogue that supersede the premise.

After a nervous breakdown in New York, Roger comes to housesit his brother’s home in Los Angeles. This is the real Los Angeles, not the beach or the modernist cliff mansion, but the sprawling, smog-ridden kitsch wasteland that strips away the mystique and becomes a suitable adversary to Roger’s want of sincerity. Shortly upon his arrival he encounters his brother’s assistant, Florence Marr, and the two kick-off one of the strangest romantic courtships ever captured on celluloid. Unlike Garden State, where love interests of relative quirkiness are paired together in ways that solely accentuate said quirks, the relationship that develops between Roger and Florence is something like a mating dance of the life-incapable, it is actually in its own way kind of beautiful in its start-stop aimlessness. Florence (played magnificently by Greta Gerwig) is more than a romantic foil, her self-proclaimed geekiness bodes an unflappable counter-balance to the Roger’s flawed ego; neither a feminist icon nor an object of desire, Florence walks her own walk as a similarly vulnerable co-conspirator of this unspecified relationship. Lesser films habitually build characters from plot and thematic needs downwards, here characters seem to act first, without fine definitions of what their actions mean even to each other. An apt comparison is the romance of Punch-Drunk Love; however, as with all of Baumbach’s stories, the character studies of Greenberg are given ample time to stew in their own juices, unburdened by conceits of plot. Would you like to know more…?

Win a Copy of Black on DVD


T
he good folks over at Evokative Films have provided us with three copies of Pierre Laffargue’s Black (Kurt’s Review) to give away. Instead of just giving this away to random readers I have decided that it is the perfect chance to pimp the Dark Bridges Film Festival. In order to pass the time until the festival (September 24-26, 2010) we have been doing some midnight screenings. One of these screenings is happening tonight (March 26th). If you want a chance to win one of these DVDs you just have to email me by clicking the link (john@rowthree.com) and let me know the name of the short film or the feature film that we are screening at The Roxy Theatre in Saskatoon.

The contest is open to Canadian Residents. The winners will be selected randomly from the emails on April 2nd at 12pm Central. Black arrives on DVD on April 6th which you can purchase from the Evokative store.

 

Trailer for “Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno”

Enfer1

If you are at all familiar with French cinema, you’ll know the name Henri-Georges Clouzot. If you aren’t, hopefully this new documentary about the director’s dream project will tweak your curiosity. Typically referred to as the French Hitchcock due to masterpieces of suspense like Les Diaboliques and Wages Of Fear, in 1964 Clouzot was trying to take film in a completely different direction with L’Enfer. It didn’t quite work out that way though…

Serge Bromberg’s new documentary L’Enfer D’Henri-Georges Clouzot (reviewed by us previously during TIFF and re-titled Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno for English speaking audiences) takes us behind the scenes, conducts current day interviews and even stages sections of Clouzot’s screenplay to tell us the story of how a dream project with an unlimited budget disastrously spiraled out of control into reels of never-to-be-finished footage and screen tests like you’ve never seen before.

Here’s the new English subtitled trailer. It’s a thing of beauty.

 

 

Thanks to Twitch as always.

Shorts Program: Plastic Bag [Werner Herzog]

Not quite sure how we missed this one, but in an episode of Future States one Werner Herzog is this voice of a plastic bag. The short is by director Ramin Bahrani (Man Push Cart, Chop Shop, Goodbye Solo) and actually is an official selection at this year’s SXSW Festival. As an added bonus, the film features an original score from Kjartan Sveinsson of Sigur Rós. Nice.

Struggling with its immortality, a discarded plastic bag (voiced by Werner Herzog) ventures on an epic journey through the environmentally barren remains of America where it encounters strange creatures, brief love in the sky, a colony of prophetic torn bags on a fence and more as it searches for its maker.

It’s strange how just a little voice work by a legend and a gust of wind at the right moment is able to put touching life into something as mundane as a plastic bag. To feel manipulated, as a viewer, into feeling emotionally attached to an inanimate object is actually kind of thrilling in a surreal way. Luckily for us, this beautiful hidden gem is on the UTube…

 

Scott Pilgrim Trailer is Fun (and Epic)

Scott vs. World

Living up to the one-sheets promise to be an epic of epic epicness, comes the trailer for Edgar Wright’s (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) third film. Comic panel framing, overlayed “Ka-Pows,” flaming swords and bittersweet puppy-love all wrapped up with a solid cast and great visual design. Toronto locals will get a serious kick out of the city playing itself quite prominently in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. Bring it.

Apple.com has it in all shapes and size including glorious HD.