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Movie Review Monday: The Change-Up



Mike Finkelstein woke up one morning in the body of his best friend.  Really confused, and not remembering anything that happened the night before, he decided to go see a movie that seemed to mirror his situation.  He may have not gotten any good advice to fix his issues, but here is his review for “The Change-Up”.

PLOT: Dave (Jason Bateman) and Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) are best friends with very different lives.  Dave is a prestigious lawyer and family man, and Mitch is a womanizer, slacker, and wannabe actor, who has never finished anything in his life.  After drunkenly peeing in a magical fountain (yup, that’s what happens) and wishing for each other’s lives, the two switch bodies, and have to figure out how to survive until they could find their way back.

Check out the trailer:

MIKE’S REVIEW: I’m sorry, but THE CHANGE-UP is not a good movie.  Yes, it has Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman, two of the funniest comic actors today.  Yes, it has Leslie Mann and Olivia Wilde, two beautiful and funny actresses.  Yes, it has a raunchy R-rating when most studios are trying to turn their R films to PG-13 for a wider audience (Weinstein Company, I’m talking to you).  But all these factors, sadly, do NOT make a good movie.

Two people with completely opposite personalities magically switch bodies, and in the process, learn something about each other and themselves.  We’ve seen it countless times before.  When you have such a familiar plot, you need to have an aspect that makes your film stand out among the rest.  THE CHANGE-UP’s aspect is raunchy humor, but it turns the dial up ad nauseum.

Everywhere you turn, you feel like you’re being slapped in the face with a sex or bathroom joke.  Mitch alone is like a walking Bob Saget DVD.  Every line out of his mouth would get him a restraining order.  He has no clue how to filter himself, and after a while, we wonder how not even Dave, but anybody could stand being around him.  How are they even friends?  This man is not an adult.  This character cannot be real.  He is a caricature of idiocy that doesn’t know how to behave in society.  When you can’t even pretend to treat your best friend’s job or wife right, and just want to “ruin” her, I don’t care if you’re the lead.  I just lost all connection to you.  Not a good way to start the film.

To add to that, there is the bonus of all the penis jokes (Mitch shaves Dave in Mitch’s body, the confusion of whose penis is whose, etc), an entire Leslie Mann scene that can only be applauded for the ridiculous range of bowel movement sounds, a nine-month pregnant woman in a trench coat, and two babies with major issues.  If you have a movie with twins, there should be a lot of funny and cute moments.  It’s the opposite, here…it’s all just wrong.  First, one kid is constantly banging his head against the side of his crib.  I mean unnaturally hard…like in a possessed-by-a-demon way.  Then, in a scene with some projectile feces (you’ve seen it in the trailer), we get an obviously fake close up of everything down there that we just don’t need.  Finally, in a kitchen scene that’s supposed to show how crazy babies could be, we go back to the possession factor as one kid yields and throws steak knives as the other messes with a blender and licks electrical outlets.  Where is all this coming from?!

Oh, and speaking of the pregnant woman, I don’t care if shock equals funny.  I don’t want to see a woman naked, nine months pregnant, and wearing stilettos while the baby is kicking.  It’s not funny.  Ever.

Forgetting the raunchiness for a second, we STILL don’t have a decent movie.  We have a recycled one.  I felt like the writers were taking the basic plot outline and filling in the blanks with the craziest and dumbest things they could think of.  Dave’s assistant suddenly going from legal assistant to a fling-ready tomboy?  Acting like Mitch does and no one fires or kills him?  Lorno? And then, after all the crassness and poop jokes, you try to get serious and shove in a daddy issue for Mitch and a career issue for Dave?  Too late!  No one stays consistent.  Everyone is all over the place and out of character.  Stop trying so damn hard, don’t waste Alan Arkin’s time, and keep it simple!  And cut a half hour out of your two-hour running time!  After about twenty minutes, it got old…

The only thing that redeems this movie a fraction is the actors.  Despite me not liking the film, Reynolds and Bateman did a decent job in their roles.  It was great to see Reynolds back in VAN WILDER and WAITING form, even if he did play the straight guy for 80% of the movie.  Bateman played completely against Michael Bluth type here and does an excellent job showing us his asshole side.  Also, in one specific moment, after Mitch (in Dave’s body) meets his dad, Bateman was able to bring the emotion when he realizes he can’t be a quitter anymore.  Beautiful.  But again, with all the crap coming out of each of their mouths, it was like every time we started to like them, we got beaten back down with a Teddy Roosevelt big-stick.  Leslie Mann, a staple in all of husband Judd Apatow’s films, was amusing and heartfelt, although, I have to say, her nudity wasn’t necessary.  Yes, I’m a guy, but I thought more of her than to just have a useless topless shot.  Olivia Wilde was also a lot of fun, and showed off a sexy, funny side, something we don’t usually get to see from her dramatic work.  Too bad with all these great actors, we get absolutely no help from the script.

Overall, THE CHANGE-UP is a mess.  It is lazy, rehashed, and cliché, and filled to the brim with unnecessary sex and poop jokes that could have been written by a five-year-old and a monkey.  All the actors are better than this script, and it’s disappointing, because I feel like if the writers just gave a little more effort into some realism, we could have had something of much better quality.


Mike’s LIKES:

1) ALWAYS SOLVE YOUR PROBLEMS WITH VIOLENCE: The one remotely amusing/touching storyline in this entire movie came on behalf of Cara Lockwood.  She was small and innocent, and seeing her take down her bully and the happiness on her face after was just plain adorable.

2) OLIVIA WILDE: The girl is gorgeous, and a great actress.  Here, she is just as unbelievably crass as the rest of the cast, but seeing as how this is her first showing of some ridiculous comedy in contrast to all her drama work, I have to give her a shout out.

3) NOT A QUITTER: The one time that Mitch (as Jason Bateman) snaps and says out of frustration that he’s not a quitter was a great little real moment.  I actually felt something for him.  Too bad the rest of the movie didn’t make me feel the same.


1) CRASS HUMOR OVERLOAD: Wow.  There are sex jokes, poop jokes, double entendres, gratuitous nudity, more sex jokes, and a naked pregnant woman  in a trench coat.  The lines are crosses multiple times over to the point that it just got nauseating.

2) VERY BAD, VERY WRONG SFX: Seriously?  In a movie like this, you have areas that look like they were done by a crappy After Effects editor?  And the things that they used the effects for were even more disturbing!  Making a baby smash his head into the side of his crib, the same baby throwing knives like he’s trained in weaponry, a baby “kicking” in the stomach of it’s mother, and another baby’s butt twitching before it poops are all not very funny options for me.

3) OVERDONE, BY THE BOOKS, AND CLICHÉ: The only thing trying to make this film stand out from BIG, 17 AGAIN, FREAKY FRIDAY, and the slew of other body switch movies is its ridiculously dirty and overblown humor, and even that didn’t work.  So in the end, you’re left with a basic, clichéd waste of two hours.

4) WASTED STORYLINES—ALAN ARKIN AND THE BOARD: I don’t even know why Alan Arkin was in this movie.  The character was completely wasted, and you know the man was there to collect a paycheck.  Also, Dave’s board seemed like it would be a big plot point to be in on, but there was really no risk, and after all the ‘work’ Mitch put in, it all came down to a decision that a fifth grader could have made.

5) HOW THE HELL ARE THEY FRIENDS?  With such completely different lives, I don’t see these two as best friends at all. I see them as ex-best friends when Dave dumps Mitch because he realizes he needs better friends, but besides that, I see no reason why these two would even interact.


1) Leslie Mann also played the wife of a man who switches bodies (Matthew Perry) in 17 AGAIN.  That movie was just a little more tame with the humor…

2) Jason Bateman was in TEEN WOLF TOO.  And with that, I give you this:

Editor's Pick

VIDEO:Rolled Ice Cream, Cheetos Bagels And Grasshoppers Are Just Some Of The Unusual Things Brian Balthazar Has Eaten On ‘The Wendy Williams Show’



You’ve seen pop culture expert, Brian Balthazar, appear on The Wendy Williams Show quite a bit over the last few years. He even co-hosted the show on three separate occasions. It wasn’t until his last visit where he and Jason Biggs chowed down on a KFC Cheetos Chicken Sandwich that it hit me: Being on the daytime talk show makes Brian Balthazar hungry!

The proof is in the pudding…pun definitely intended. Carla Hall made sure to bring some snacks for Brian when they cohosted together.

Sure, Wendy is known for telling us to “grab a snack and come on back”…

But you’d have to be absolutely famished to want to eat fish sliders at 10am.

He’s gotten so hungry he resorted to eating GRASSHOPPER TACOS on the show!

Could it be that Brian isn’t actually hungry though? Could he just be a brave soul willing to be the taste tester so we don’t have to? Could my theory be flawed?!

I suddenly feel like maybe we owe Brian a big thanks…

Either way, it’s fun to watch! Click below to take a look at a compilation of all the fun stuff Brian Balthazar has eaten on The Wendy Williams Show!

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Get The Look! A Buyer’s Guide To Brian Balthazar’s Philadelphia Home Redesign



As the world was forced to spend more time at home, Brian Balthazar found himself in a position where he had sold a house before the lockdown and had to find a new one.

“We sold our home with all the furniture in it, so not only did we find ourselves struggling to find a new place, once we found one we didn’t have any furniture to put in it.”

And so, Brian and partner Dennis got resourceful, turning to refurbishing and buying store floor models. They were inspired to make bold, fun choices in color and style when they started shopping around for wallpaper.

Below is the segment as it appeared on the Today Show, and further down, a rundown of where you can find the pieces or ones with a similar look!


Let’s start with the Dining Room!

Move the slider dividing the image to see all of the before or all of the after!

Brian saysThe dining room was the first space we wanted to do. I haven’t had a true dining room since I was a kid, and I’ve always wanted a big table for dinner parties! There were no tables within the price range we wanted, so we found a floor model at one of our favorite go-to stores, Arhaus. We easily saved 75 percent on this table by getting the one that they weren’t going to carry anymore. The chairs are from Wayfair.  On each side of the fireplace (not seen in the photo, but visible in the Today Show video) are two black tall lanterns flanking the fireplace. I got them at Target. I can’t currently find them on their app, but similar versions pop up every year. Get thee to Homegoods! Homegoods and Homesense (same parent company) are my go-to spots for home accessories for virtually every room in the house. You never know what you’re going to find, which is part of the fun.

But let’s focus on the real WOW element to this room – the wallpaper! This pattern is called Bellewood, by RebelWalls.   As you will soon see, I’m sort of obsessed with their patterns. To me, this room is magical with the added whimsy of this forest pattern. (They also have a more muted version with grays and even one with blues.) I also love that by hanging the paper from the chair rail up, you almost get the feeling that you’re standing on a balcony overlooking the forest. I surrounded the whole room with this paper, which I love, but you could easily add the same magical feeling by just doing one feature wall. Their website shows how it can translate to a bedroom or office. You might be intimidated by hanging wallpaper but don’t be! This pattern has so much going on that it really looks perfect when it goes up!



Brian says: The guest bedroom is on the top floor of the house, so it’s got roof lines on two sides that make it a tricky space to navigate if you’re not careful. The planning of this space alone resulted in a few bonked heads. On the upside, the wall where the bed goes is tall, so it was an obvious place to create some visual pop. Again, the wallpaper takes the spotlight.  Called “Nude Roses,” also by RebelWalls, I love this design. Floral wallpaper was ‘big’ in popularity back in the 1920s when this house was built, but the patterns at that time were smaller, repeated more often, and were often really bold in color. This interpretation is so fun to me! Gone are the small roses in favor of oversized blooms, and the bold colors are more subdued pink and gray hues, with touches of dark green and creamy whites.

While roses can inherently feel feminine, the plaid bedding (30 dollars for a queen set from Target) are a surprising complement that keeps everything from feeling a little stereotypical. The side tables are mismatched – partly because we didn’t want to go too “matchy=matchy” – but also to save some money – the one on the left side (hard to catch here) was from West Elm. Normally $199, we got it for half off as the floor model. The one on the right we found in the trash. It was perfectly fine, clearly someone had just gotten tired of it! Nothing some disinfectant can’t fix. That gave us some extra money to spend – To reduce the softeness we went with industrial lamps and edison bulbs. The lamps  are called “Ginyard,” from Wayfair. The headboard was on sale at Arhaus. The dark gray takes balances out the pink hues well. The pillows are from Target and Homegoods.

For the 360 degree view of this room, watch the Instagram reel below!  You’ll see the dresser, on sale for $599 from Arhaus, a lamp from Homegoods, and mobiles from Amazon which we fashioned into a ‘piece of art’ that keeps you from hitting your head on the angled wall opposite the bed. Watch the video to check it out!


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A post shared by Brian Balthazar (@brianbalthazar)



Brian says: The idea for the basement game room was to create a space that feels like a lounge you might find if you went out with friends. When you go into this basement it definitely feels like you’ve gone someplace unique! Believe it or not, I found out the Today Show had invited me to to record my house tour just a few days in advance, and so we turned around this spot in just THREE days! There was literally no pool table at the time, (although it had already been scheduled to come on Friday, the wallpaper came on Saturday, (as well as the floor tiles!) and by Sunday we were covered in paint and glue and drinking wine to celebrate it’s completion! I recorded the final video that Monday.

Some people might not think to take a bright basement and make it dark, but that was our first instinct. Clubs are dark and moody, and we wanted this to feel like that. We painted the walls Wrought Iron by Benjamin Moore, which is a very dark gray that seems to take on different hues based on where you paint it and the light that shines on it. We painted the ceiling black. This was Thursday night! Then Friday the pool table came. The floor tiles (“Tweed Indeed” in black by Flor) hadn’t arrived until the next day, so when they did arrive I meticulously trimmed four tiles to fit around the pool table legs so it looks like they were there the whole time. I had ordered the pool table online weeks before from and by sheer coincidence it was scheduled to arrive in time for me to shoot the redesign. This was the second time I have ordered a pool table from them (which was initially scary because you’re not even seeing it beforehand!) but it always arrives in perfect condition to your specific selections. I love that the felt jet black and keeps things dark and moody. In the time that has passed since this photo was taken, I’ve added more of the carpet tiles to make the carpeted floor area darker and bigger.

But once again, the wall mural steals the show in a marvelous way! This mural is called “A Priori” from Rebelwalls, and is inspired by The Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini Power, a famous fresco by Italian artist Pietro da Cortona. Fitting, because this house is Italian in style on the outside. You can’t see it from this photo but the wallpaper runs up part of the ceiling as well. It truly gives the room a wow factor when you enter it. The lamps are from Homegoods, (we’ve since added some industrial floor lamps for extra mood lighting) and the piano was something we brought with us. The bar tables are from Amazon ($72 each) and the stools we brought with us – they were discards from someone who didn’t like their original bright colors and thought they were dated! We covered them ourselves with gray plaid fabric and they’re better than they were new!


So there you have it! Hope you enjoyed the rooms and find something you like!

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The Pentagon Has Released Official UFO Videos Because 2020 Is The Absolute Worst



Aren’t swarms of locusts supposed to be the next installment of this plague?!

Can we finally declare 2020 as the worst year ever? In January there were fears of a third World War. In February the coronavirus began its rapid spread. In March the world essentially shut down due to social distancing and quarantining. And now in April…with only two days left in the month…we have official government footage of unidentified flying objects. I’m sorry but Milton Bradley’s game of “Life” never prepared me for any of this!

The Pentagon has confirmed the authenticity of three videos that have been circulating the web but didn’t really answer what is visible in them. In the videos, now declassified by the Department of Defense, navy pilots capture “unidentified aerial phenomena” aka unidentified flying objects aka UFOs! Pentagon officials were sure to state that the videos do not show “any sensitive capabilities or systems,” meaning we probably won’t be seeing any little green men any time soon.

The first video dates back to November 2004 and the other two from January 2015. Of the Pentagon’s confirmation of authenticity, Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough said the videos were released “in order to clear up any misconceptions by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulating was real, or whether or not there is more to the videos.”

So great. We now know that these strange videos are real but what exactly are we looking at? Well, the Department of Defense says it has no concrete answer as to what might be floating around the skies and has classified the phenomena as “unidentified.” And…just like that I suddenly feel less defended.

Social media is having a field day with this revelation of course. The #AliensAreReal has been trending high on Twitter since the news broke. One user referenced Independence Day and said the aliens are “getting ready for July 4th.” Of the bad timing, another wrote “Et tu aliens?” And finally one user couldn’t help avoid sarcasm and wrote”Where’s the space force when you need it?”

Well 2020, you have worked your awful black magic once again. What’s next, cat videos get banned from the internet?! You’ve taken everything else from us!

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