Category Archives: Movies

Scream 4

I saw Scream 4 this week, and I am only a little afraid to admit it. Having only seen the first Scream movie, I was drawn to this film partially because there is NOTHING out right now (Hop or Thor–no thank you) but partially because of the pretty stellar young cast they put together. I mean, you’ve got Emma Roberts, Rory Culkin, Hayden Panettiere, Alison Brie, Shenae Grimes, Kristen Bell, Adam Brody and Anna Paquin.

Unfortunately, fresh faces did not make for a fresh film. The jokes seemed old, and recycled. The whole film is hinged on the self-awareness, and self-awareness of that self-awareness. The word ‘meta’ was actually uttered in the movie a total of 4 times. Which is funny, I mean the opening sequence worked great, it was fun, campy and over the top. But an hour into the film, the formula grows tired fast. I was sighing and looking at my watch by the top of the second act.

I think a big reason the film loses steam so quickly is that the kills are so boring. Each one happens in the same way (with a knife) and it happens quickly. I wasn’t sad, or happy, to see any of the teenagers go, and that was a real problem as about 60% of the movie is kids dying.

The poster reads “New Decade. New Rules.” But this isn’t true at all, the “new rules” are no rules. Virgins can die, gay kids can die, etc. Everyone it seems, except the original, aging cast. Which is a shame because I was really hoping Neve Campbell would be put out of her squinting misery by the end of the thing. Anyway, the lack of rules made things really boring, there was no structure, and no fun playfulness.

Kudos should be given to Alison Brie for being delightfully bitchy, and by far the most fun person to watch in the whole movie, if only they’d let her share the screen with Courtney Cox it could have been explosive. Alas, she was taken from us too soon.

Finally, there was that whole business with the end of the movie. I’m not going to spoil it here, but I will say, it was trying SO hard to be current and just fell all around flat.

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Will ‘What’s Your Number’ Prove That Women Can Be Funny?

With the new Anna Faris vehicle “What’s Your Number” on the horizon the world has been buzzing about the position of women in comedy. People are wondering whether America (and it’s men) are brave enough to embrace a movie with a sloppy “Type D” (as opposed to the Type A women were used to seeing played by Katherine Heigl) lady in the leading role.

In “What’s Your Number” Faris has slept with 20 men, and is worried that if her ‘number’ gets any higher she will never find a husband because she won’t be the marrying type. To keep her number at 20 Faris revisits all the men in her past (Chris Evans, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer, Ari Graynor, Andy Samberg, Joel McHale, Chris Pratt) to find one fit to marry. Faris plays a character who is kind of a mess, she’s embodying someone in the state of arrested development that we’re used to seeing only from men in comedies.

Here lies the risk in “What’s Your Number”, women aren’t allowed to be childish, messy or even particularly funny in movies. Even in movies with women in comedic roles the comedy is derived from them being bitchy shrews (Knocked Up, The Ugly Truth, Mean Girls), rather than being loveable goofballs. Where are the female equivalents of Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Seth Rogen, Vince Vaughn, the list goes on. Many people lift up Faris, and her House Bunny co-star Emma Stone as potential funny females, but the movies these women star in are written off as chick flicks. This year’s ‘Easy A’ starring Stone was a movie that should have appealed to both genders, there were sex jokes, a great script, and a hilarious young cast. Unfortunately, since the story focused on a woman’s perspective on sex, many males dismissed the movie as female fare. In contrast, females are supposed to relate to male centric movies like American Pie, 40 Year Old Virgin, and The Hangover, all movies that are built to appeal to both genders.

So what’s the difference? The humor in “What’s Your Number” is derived from the same character flaws and crazy situations that made The Hangover a huge success, but will it be as readily embraced when these flaws are in a woman. Gawker poses the question “will people be willing to pay $11 to see her drink and fart and fuck up, even though she has breasts and a vagina?”

That is yet to be seen, but let’s hope so because Anna Faris is too talented to have her acting career remembered by a guest role on Entourage as E’s girlfriend.

Seriously though, Faris should be commended for hitting the pavement time and time again to sell her unique brand of humor (best demonstrated in Observe and Report and Smileyface in my opinion). She may be the only person actually moving women forward by making date rape jokes. Keep at it Anna, I’ll turn out opening weekend for ya.

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