Friday, July 31, 2009

Funny People: Reviewed (The Time Traveler is in it!!)


Allow me to introduce you to Funny People. A not-so-little movie about life. In Funny People, Adam Sandler plays George Simmons, a famous comedic actor who has just been diagnosed with a form of leukemia that leaves him with only an 8% chance of survival. George meets Ira Wright (Seth Rogen) at a comedy club, and gets him to write jokes for him and serve as his personal assistant. After being told that his disease is in remission, George begins to reexamine his life and the choices he's made.

Now that we all know each other, let's talk about if this movie was good or not. I saw Funny People at the midnight showing, which I highly recommend. Seeing movies at midnight makes me feel oddly important. Almost as though I'm seeing the movie before everyone else, just to make sure that it's good. As if to say, "Don't worry world, Dan has seen this movie already. He approves." However, that being said, I hold no power to stop the movies that make me upset in the stomach. (*cough* Year One *cough*)

To get the initial suspense out of the way, Funny People was most definitely worth seeing. The movie paints a great picture of a man with everything and yet nothing in Adam Sandler's character, and following him through his life, near death, and rediscovery of life is not only entertaining, but endearing, showing that Sandler is quite capable of playing roles with some depth. Sandler's character also provided what was, in my opinion, the most entertaining part of the movie, in his brief cameos in fake clips of comedies his character had made. These clips of about 10-15 seconds managed to get me laughing every time; for instance, one shows Sandler taking part in a hotdog eating contest as his son proclaims, "This won't bring mom back!!" Along with these fake film clips are hilarious clips of Ira's roommate Mark's (Jason Schwartzman) fake NBC sitcom called simply, "Yo, Teach!" These clips capture the essence of a bad sitcom so perfectly that I almost feel like it's a show I would watch on a tuesday night. However, this leads me to one of my bigger complaints in the movie, and that was the complete under utilization of Rogen's roomates, Mark, played by Schwartzman and Leo, played perfectly by Jonah Hill. These two characters compliment Rogen's so well that it seemed criminal to make so little use of their relationship. However, relationships involving Rogen's character seemed to take an overall backseat, especially in the romantic department, making his love affair with Daisy, played by the extremely attractive Audrey Plaza, seem somewhat rushed and underplayed. Ira is a very interesting character, and I wish that there had been more focus on his personal journey throughout this story, because Rogen played him perfectly in all his quirky and awkward glory.

In the end, what this movie lacked wasn't drama, but moreso the right kind of drama. The movie focused plenty on Sandler's character's mistakes in life, and his attempts to right them, but failed to hit the overall point I was hoping to see in this movie, but then again maybe that's selfish.

Allow me to explain myself. I'm going to level with you readers, because you guys are all so cool, so buckle up. If for some bizarre reason you read my blog and you aren't a personal friend of some kind, an important fact about me is that I'm a standup comedian. As a comedian, when I saw the previews for this movie, I freaked. Finally! A movie I can hold up as my banner, saying with modest pretention, "Hey! Look at this! This is vaguely what my life is like! You don't understand this movie like I understand this movie!!" However, Funny People wasn't about stand-up comedy, and really wasn't about comedy at all. One of my greatest personal philosophies, and probably the reason I love comedy so much (Oh here he goes....) is the belief that laughter is one of the only ways that you can truly stand life. Life isn't terribly fair, and often isn't a whole lot of fun, but something that life is, is funny. You can always laugh at yourself, even if you think you're too cool, and it makes life just that much better to be able to, which I guess was the philosophy I was hoping this movie would convey. Through George's disease, and surrounding disaster of a life, maybe George would use the power of comedy and laughter to find his own bright sides and begin making changes. Instead the movie went with more of the typical, "life is precious, enjoy it while you can," moral, which I found a little dissapointing.

The movie is most certainly not a gut busting comedy, but it keeps the laughs coming, even if every now and then they're reduced to chuckles. However, despite the fact that this movie's philosophy didn't match my own, and despite the fact that it didn't even give me a chance to be pretentious, and despite the fact that it was 2 and a half hours, I still was glad that I saw it, as the ending leaves you feeling unexpectadly satisfied, and full of laughs. Funny People is not the Apatow-Opus that I was hoping for, but it's definitely better than Knocked Up and The 40 Year Old Virgin, so that's something the director can really hang his hat on. However, good luck making a better movie than Heavyweights, Mr. Apatow. Good Luck, indeed.

The Awesometer:

[--------------7------]

A 7 you say?

Why that's about as awesome as....

Being sent a delicious christmas ham, free of charge.
Seeing a Grizzly Bear battle a baby sasquatch.
Telling my friends I want to see The Time Traveler's Wife and NOT having them call me gay."But guys, their love can't even be contained by TIME."

Monday, July 27, 2009

Here's to You, Nipple Guy!

So I was at a baseball game this past weekend, and I was reminded of one of summer's most obnoxiously annoying people. Nipple Guy. Nipple Guy is everywhere where the weather is warm. He's that guy who has decided, "Hey. My personal comfort/fulfillment of my ego is much more important than your general experience for the day."

Here's the deal nipple guy. No one wants to see your nipples. No one. But the sad thing is, Nipple Guy isn't listening. He's too busy showing the world his bod. But there isn't just one nipple guy, there's actually quite the variety. Let's break it down.

Nipple Guy (Skinny White Guy):

Alright buddy, when you walk around with clothes on, you look like the majority of America, which is sweet. However, when you remove that shirt, you just start to look sad. Like a puppy wandering around looking for food, with your pale white boy arms facing the elements in what will surely end as the world's worst sunburn due to your blatantly irish or german descent. Do your skin and yourself a favor and wear a tshirt, you're far too weak to be left exposed like that. Trust me, I'm doing this for you.

Nipple Guy (Fatty McFatty Fat Fat):

Holy shit. Stop. You're out of control! Fat people can go where they want and not face ridicule seeing as they have such abundant numbers now, but christ man, you need to robe up! Fat Nipple Guy typically isn't tan, and usually has some nice back-ne. You look like a walrus in the midst of it's awkward teen years. I'd say lose some weight and work out but that doesn't excuse being a nipple guy.

Nipple Guy (Well Built):

HEY. STOP IT. YOU'RE MAKING ME FEEL INADEQUATE.

Nipple Guy (Tattoo'd):

Okay, I would never say this to your face because chances are you're an unstable douchebag, but you are a huge tool. Accompanying your tattoos are usually some large number of piercings, sometimes even in your nipples, and that shit's offensive. You're usually pretty drunk, and looking for a fight, and for that, among so many other things, I dislike you. Since telling you to put on a shirt seems pointless, maybe you should just stay home and watch UFC.

So there it is, Nipple Guy. Right out on the table. Go home and put on a shirt like a normal person. No baseball team or otherwise cares about your nips. You're just making the crowd sad and giving something for me to blame losses on.

Next time, watch me tear a new one for all those people who clap after movies. Seriously, what the shit is that?

(Worst part of this post? Googling "Shirtless dudes" and having to pick out those pictures.)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dan Sheehan's Top 100 Songs of All Time!


This list of 100 songs is derived purely from my personal opinion and doesn't take into account influence over other music, popularity, or anything else like that. Feel free to post any agreements, disagreements, or questions. Basically just made this because I'm bored and wanted to give people a chance to see my top 100, and maybe inspire them to make their own.

1. Wake Up - Arcade Fire
2. First Day of My Life - Bright Eyes
3. Kryptonite - 3 Doors Down
4. Sleeping Lessons - The Shins
5. Stuck Between Stations - The Hold Steady
6. Rag And Bone - The White Stripes
7. Baba O'Riley - The Who
8. Fake Palindromes - Andrew Bird
9. Konstantine - Something Corporate
10. Eileen - The Hush Sound
11. Skinny Love -Bon Iver
12. This Time Tomorrow - The Kinks
13. How I Go - Yellowcard
14. Take It Easy - Eagles
15. Army -Ben Folds Five
16. Say It Ain't So - Weezer
17. Do You Realize?? - The Flaming Lips
18. Fake Empire - The National
19. I Will Follow You Into The Dark -Death Cab for Cutie
20. Sunday Bloody Sunday - U2
21. Steady, As She Goes - The Raconteurs
22. Hey Ya - Obadiah Parker
23. Paranoid Android - Radiohead
24. American Pie - Don McLean
25. Lisztomania - Phoenix
26. Blood Bank - Bon Iver
27. Citrus - The Hold Steady
28. Tables and Chairs - Andrew Bird
29. Momentum - The Hush Sound So Sudden
30. I've Just Seen A Face - The Beatles
31. Poison Oak - Bright Eyes
32. Constructive Summer - The Hold Steady
33. Rich Kid Blues - The Raconteurs
34. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) - Arcade Fire
35. Piano Man - Billy Joel
36. Hurricane - Bob Dylan
37. Rebellion (Lies) - Arcade Fire
38. Hey Jude - The Beatles
39. Falling Slowly - Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
40. Rockin' The Suburbs - Ben Folds
41. Subterranean Homesick Blues - Bob Dylan
42. The Deaf Girl's Song - Cloud Cult
43. The Scientist - Coldplay
44. Go Your Own Way - Fleetwood Mac
45. Wonderwall - Oasis
46. Powerman - The Kinks
47. Daylight - Matt & Kim
48. You're Gonna Go Far, Kid - The Offspring
49. My Name Is Jonas - Weezer
50. Life In Technicolor II - Coldplay

51. Carolina Drama - The Raconteurs
52. Hotel Yorba - The White Stripes
53. The Luckiest - Ben Folds
54. Road to Joy - Bright Eyes
55. Antichrist Television Blues - Arcade Fire
56. The Way We Get By - Spoon
57. All These Things That I've Done - The Killers
58. Casimir Pulaski Day - Sufjan Stevens
59. Boston - Augustana
60. The Seeker - The Who
61. I Summon You - Spoon
62. The Modern Leper - Frightened Rabbit
63. The Kids Aren't Alright - The Offspring
64. Don't Panic - Coldplay
65. Fix You - Coldplay
66. Float On - Modest Mouse
67. Blackbird - The Beatles
68. Passing Afternoon - Iron & Wine
69. Now We Can See - The Thermals
70. 3rd Planet - Modest Mouse
71. 2 Atoms In A Molecule - Noah And The Whale
72. Electioneering - Radiohead
73. What'd I Say Parts I & II - Ray Charles
74. Here's Your Future - The Thermal
75. Otherside - Red Hot Chili Peppers
76. Yeah Yeah Yeah Song - The Flaming Lips
77. Sabotage - Beastie Boys
78. The Denial Twist - The White Stripes
79. Con te partiro - Andrea Bocelli
80. Still Fighting It - Ben Folds
81. May Your Hearts Stay Strong - Cloud Cult
82. C'mon C'mon - The Von Bondies
83. Runaround Sue - Dion
84. Mr. Brightside - The Killers
85. Everything Is Alright - Motion City Soundtrack
86. Bodysnatchers - Radiohead
87. Only To Haunt You - The Von Bondies
88. Mess - Ben Folds Five
89. Take Me Home, Country Roads - John Denver
90. Just a Dream - Griffin House
91. Spilt Needles - The Shins
92. I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
93. Disarm - Smashing Pumpkins
94. Feeling This - Blink-182
95. Minority - Green Day
96. Homecoming [feat. Chris Martin] - Kanye West
97. Starlight - Muse
98. Alive With the Glory of Love - Say Anything
99. No Taylor, No Scar - Norwegian Recycling
100. Summertime Clothes - Animal Collective

Friday, July 3, 2009

Up: Reviewed Also Known As, Up: Shit Gets Real


Alright guys, it's been out for a while, but it's never too late to talk about Up. (Spoiler Alert. Whole thing. Fuck you?)

Wow.

I'm not even going to add tension to this review, Up was incredible. Without a doubt, this was the best thing pixar has ever done. That's right Wall-E fanboys. You heard me. You wanna debate this fact? Count up the number of times Jeff Garlin (Who is quite possibly John Goodman's less evil twin) appears in both movies. Whichever movie has the lower score, is superior.

Boom.

Just kidding, he's a funny guy.

But in all seriousness, Up exceeded my expectations, and yes, was better than Wall-E. Notice how I didn't say, in my opinion, was better than Wall-E. It just was better than Wall-E.

Up was beautiful because it simultaneously allowed you to suspend your belief in the laws of physics, the physical ability of the elderly, and the concept of geography, all while easily sharing the emotions of the characters in the movie. Within the first 5 minutes of Up, I was as close as I get to crying at movies. (see how I preserved my masculinity right there?) Up doesn't beat around the bush. Facts like the reality of death and age aren't hidden or made light of. Carl has lost his wife, and is now alone in a world that is rapidly changing, and leaving him behind. Carl's lonliness is palpable from the first scene, and in making his sadness real, Pixar made Carl the most real character they've ever created. The movie deals with the topics of lonlieness and inner childhood all throughout its entirety, yet it manages to keep a light tone, with the delightful supporting character of a young boy scout named Russel, whose interactions with talking dog Dug and exotic bird Kevin kept the movie from being defined as a "downer," and as a matter of fact, I challenge anyone seeing this movie to leave the theatre without a smile on their face, seeing as despite the problems encountered along the way, all the characters manage to find something within themselves that gives them a new outlook on life, which is fantastic to see in a children's movie. Themes like these are, at least in my experience, the ones that are important in life. Sharing your shit with the other kids, and learning how important family is are great values and all, but I personally am terrified of getting old, and I'm not even close to alone in that sentiment. Up manages to leave you with the impression that, although most elderly people don't get to go on journeys through the sky in homeade dirigibles, there is something to be said for the journey from young to old, and beyond.


Amazing plot aside, some other high points of the movies are old strengths of Pixar's, namely, the stunning visuals. We've all heard this before, and know the score pretty much by heart now, Pixar is amazing at making things look beautiful. They always have been. However, Up had some added zing with the use of this new 3D trend that's been in vogue these past few months. Now, I always hated 3D. I saw it as an eye straining excuse for anything and everything to be overdramatically tossed at the audience. (That being said, I fully intend to see Final Destination 4 in 3D. Stop judging me.) But Up in 3D was very subtle and added to the experience without seeming gimmick-y. Also, the score, done by Michael Giacchino was brilliant and really added to the movie's overall feel, merging an old sounding melody with light hearted overtones that give it a more childish feeling.

Another thing about this movie that I liked was that it really reminded me of my favorite book of all time, The Little Prince. That probably seems like a crazy comparison, but both deal heavily with the idea of inner youth and adventure, as well as loneliness. Also, the whole balloon-house concept in combination with the score give the movie an overtone that feels oddly french to me. Just some food for thought, feedback on that would be much appreciated.

So on the Awesometer?

1[-------------------9-] 10

Up's a fucking 9. That's cool as hell, bro.

A 9 eh? That's about as awesome as say....

Driving the WeinerMobile
Driving the WeinerMobile into the Dave Matthews Band's Tour bus
or
MY FUCKING NEW WALLET HOLY SHIT ITS A BACON WALLET

nom nom