Daily Archives: May 1, 2010

Glee

 

The television show du jour is Glee.  Fox’s weekly series has completely smitten the media, and said media will not rest until the rest of us embrace this show.  The hell with Glee.  I am against it on principle, partly because I am being told to love it and partly because I am an obstinate cuss.

In the 1990s, I was the only person in America who never saw Seinfeld, never saw Friends, never saw Cheers.  NBC made the mistake of labeling its Thursday-night lineup “must see TV,” and this rankled me.  I decided that Thursday night on NBC was must-not-see TV.

Turns out those long-ago sitcoms were actually pretty good, so I suppose I was only punishing myself by boycotting them.  But Glee?  A show about a high-school glee club, punctuated with Madonna songs?  No, thanks.

 

*****

 

Alien

 

Stephen Hawking has everyone in a tizzy because he believes that if there are little green men out there, they are probably hostile to humans.  If they visit us, Hawking says, we should not be surprised if the outcome is similar to what befell Native Americans when Columbus came to visit.

This leaves me with a dilemma.  When it comes to aliens, to whom do I turn for advice, Hawking or Dan Aykroyd?

 

*****

 

Bum    Gates

 

Obama’s in hot water for his YouTube appeal to young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women — but not white men — to help Democrats in November’s election.

What a lot of people seem to forget, or ignore, is that for every Bill Gates, there are millions of white males without millions of dollars.  Some of us even eat lunch out of dumpsters.

 

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Cyrus1

 

Cyrus is a movie you want to like, if only because it dares to be different.  Here we have corpulent Jonah Hill (Superbad) in a comedy, only this time it’s not produced by Judd Apatow, and Hill’s character actually has some depth.  And the star is John C. Reilly, whose major attribute is that he doesn’t look like a movie star.  This hangdog actor could be your mechanic, or veterinarian.  In other words, Reilly’s characters are instantly relatable.

Reilly plays John, a sad sack who’s been divorced for seven years yet can’t seem to let go of his ex (Catherine Keener), who is soon to remarry.  At a party, John gets drunk and somehow winds up with vivacious Molly (Marisa Tomei), who finds him charming.  Things are looking up for our hero.  But then he meets Cyrus (Hill).  Cyrus is Molly’s 21-year-old son and he has  …  issues.  Cyrus initiates a passive-aggressive campaign to get John out of his mother’s life, because in his mind, there is only room for Cyrus and Molly.  It’s at this point that the film falls apart.

I envisioned the story going in one of two directions:  It could have morphed into Neighbors, in which a seemingly normal mother and son reveal their true psychotic selves.  Or it could have become like The War of the Roses, with the battle between John and Cyrus escalating to epic proportions.

Alas, Cyrus does neither.  It’s not funny enough to succeed as pure comedy, and its attempts at sensitive male bonding are shallow.  Directors Jay and Mark Duplass don’t help matters with their filming style.  They shoot the action as though Cyrus were the latest Bourne adventure, with hand-held, herky-jerky zooms that are completely out of place in a movie like this.          Grade:  C

 

Directors:  Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass  Cast:  John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, Jonah Hill, Catherine Keener, Tim Guinee, Matt Walsh, Katie Aselton  Release:  2010

 

Cyrus2       Cyrus3

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