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Movie Review: The Five Year Engagement

Mike Finkelstein is madly in love with his fiance. But then, she got offered a job across the country, and now the two are trying to figure out how to make things work. For some advice, Mike went to the movies. That probably wasn’t the smartest idea. Here is his review of The Five Year Engagement

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Mike Finkelstein is madly in love with his fiancée.  But suddenly, she got offered a job across the country, and now the two are trying to figure out how to make things work.  For some advice, Mike went to the movies.  That probably wasn’t the smartest idea…Here is his review of “The Five Year Engagement”.

PLOT: Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) are a newly engaged couple living in San Francisco.  When Violet gets accepted to a post-doctorate in psychology program at the University of Michigan, Tom decides to leave everything, including a new head chef job, behind to move across country with her for two years.  As time keeps ticking away and more obstacles keep getting piled on, will their ever extended engagement last to see a wedding day?

Check out the trailer:

MIKE’S REVIEW: Judd Apatow and Co have a gift for making comedies out of obscure concepts.  It’s a trademark that, when mixed with some ridiculous improv, has spawned some of the best comedies of the past decade.  But there comes a time when all the craziness and eccentric behavior can become overwhelming and even downright distracting. Case in point: THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT – a movie with a funny, heartwarming romance at its core that never gets a chance to really take off, all due to the overpowering eccentricities piled on.

THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT follows Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt), a San Francisco couple who just got engaged (congrats!).  But when Violet gets accepted to a post-doctorate program at the University of Michigan, the two decide to postpone the wedding and move out there so Violet can focus on her career.  While Violet’s career soon takes off, Tom falls victim to a lax lifestyle, boredom, and depression.  Hilarity ensues.

Before anything, I will say there are a few great things about THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT.  The story is promising, and whenever Segel and Blunt share the screen together, I couldn’t help but smile.  (Kudos to Blunt for fitting so perfectly into the Apatow universe, and to Segel for creating one of the cutest nervous-boyfriend-about-to-propose ever.)  The two have a natural chemistry, and it’s absolutely adorable to watch them play and banter back and forth about things like getting “super laid” and being an old man.  Besides the two gorgeous leads, Rhys Ifans shows up as Violet’s suave, aggressive boss, and runs away with every scene he is in (literally at one point), and be prepared for a battle between Cookie Monster and Elmo that will be quoted for a long, long time.

But then, it all goes off track from there.  The second Tom and Violet get to Michigan, they are surrounded by peculiar characters, including a husband obsessed with knitting, a pickle connoisseur, students obsessed with masturbating and murder experiments, and one girl who looks and acts a lot like Kelly Kapoor. (Oh wait, it was her…)  With such a charming couple at the base and some real organic laughs throughout, I was getting more annoyed than amused every time I had to listen to the obvious improvisations among these “friends” that just went on too damn long.  The same goes for the group back home in San Francisco, including Violet’s weepy sister (Alison Brie) and Tom’s best friend, Alex (Chris Pratt), who are just too ridiculous for their own good.

Now, I understand all these supporting characters are supposed to be funny and memorable with how over the top they are, but it just doesn’t work this time.  Yes, it is the norm nowadays to let actors go off and just let the camera roll, but it was all so ridiculous that none of it was ringing true!  Maybe it was because I’m growing tired of the practice overall, but either way, I just wanted everyone to shut up so I could get back to the main focus at hand: Tom and Violet (a backhanded compliment about a movie if there ever was one).

While the improv did create most of the film’s problems, the writing caused another.  Within two years of moving to Michigan, Tom went from an up-and-coming chef to a venison-obsessed, handle-bar mustache wearing shell of himself.  In short, he turned into a character instead of a real person.  My favorite moment of Tom’s is when he slips and goes flying to the pavement while trying to clean ice off his windshield.  Something as simple as that is all you need.  When you go from there to the extremes of drinking honey and having three deer hanging in your garage (not to mention doing some of the dumbest things any human being could do, drunk or not), I feel every ounce of my being calling bull.

At its core, THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT has a promising storyline with two charming leads that we want to stay together.  Sadly, though, that beautiful core is let down, buried under mounds of excessive improvisation and exaggeration.  I know in my gut that this movie could have been one to remember.  (Hell, maybe it could have happened with only a few extra snips in the editing room!)  But as of now, Tom and Violet are the only real stand out factors that will stick in audiences’ heads.

And they deserve better…

GRADE: B

Mike’s LIKES:

1) JASON SEGEL AND EMILY BLUNT: These two make the cutest couple on screen I’ve seen in a while.  Perfectly natural and playful together, all we want is things to work out.

2) RHYS IFANS: A friend and I were talking about the range of characters Ifans has played in his career, from the likes of Spike in NOTTING HILL to the mature, seductive professor here.  He is one supporting actor that I feel can do no wrong, something he proves by being one of the best parts of this film.

3) PROPOSALS: Absolutely adorable on all sides.  Trust me, you’ll want your proposals to be like this!

4) COOKIE MONSTER VS ELMO: I don’t think I’ve ever heard these two say such horrible things.  Just goes to show you that every conversation is better when it comes out of Elmo and Cookie’s mouths.

Mike’s DISLIKES:

1) ECCENTRIC SUPPORTING CAST: With strange quirks and unforgiving, pushy improv (see #2), not one of the supporting characters around Tom and Violet seemed anywhere near real.

2) IMPROV: It is the norm in comedy these days (especially in Judd Apatow movies) to let the camera roll and let the actors improv.  Here, however, it just doesn’t help.  It doesn’t move the story along, it gets boring, and I was usually just waiting to get back to Tom and Violet.

3) TOM’S EXTREMES: To go from a nice, head-chef-in-waiting to a fat, hairy lumberjack and back again just didn’t sit right with me.  Mix that with a naked snow run, some stale donuts and a crossbow, and all I can think is “really?”

4) THE FIVE YEAR STIGMA: Something tells me if the specific stipulation of five years was scratched and the same story was told under different conditions (maybe a few months time with anger growing between the two, and minus so much venison…), we would have been able to get to the heart of the story better.

EXTRA FACTS:

1) In order to work on her character’s British accent, Alison Brie listened to recordings of readings provided by co-star Emily Blunt.

2) Emily Blunt also appeared in THE MUPPETS, which Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller both wrote.

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

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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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Priest Accidentally Forgets To Turn Off Filters Before Live Streaming Mass

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The internet is having a field day with the innocent mistake of biblical proportions.

With new social distancing guidelines, many churches have closed to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And while that doesn’t justify all the wine you’ve been chugging during your self quarantine, it does have many people practicing their faith from their homes. One Italian priest was just trying to recite a little prayer for his followers when he accidentally left a filter feature on during the broadcast! In the clip the priest is digitally adorned with a space helmet, workout gear, a fedora and sunglasses and more.

Social media went nuts for the video, which has now gone viral. One comment reads “He just doubled his holy power.” Another reads “Father, Son and Holy Influencer.” One commenter couldn’t resist a good pun and said the video is having a “Mass effect.”

Enjoy your daily blessing and take a look at the funny video below!

 

Priest in Italy live streams mass, activates filters by mistake from r/funny

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Danny DeVito Passionately Urges New Yorkers To Stay Home…And Twitter Agrees!

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For the love of Danny DeVito, stay home!

The world is in a dark place right now and I am not sure how much more bad news we can handle. That’s why when I saw Danny DeVito’s name trending on Twitter I froze. Our great nation could very well crumble if anything bad was to happen to such an icon right now. With extreme trepidation I clicked on the social media link and was relieved to see that good ol’ Danny boy is just strumming up hype because he is passionately urging New Yorkers to stay home.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, Governor Andrew Cuomo has been driving New Yorkers to stay home and has taken every precaution short of shutting the state down completely to help prevent the virus from spreading. Because New Yorkers can be hard headed, it doesn’t hurt to have some famous friends reiterate your message. Big names like Lala Anthony, Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller have all made appearances on Cuomo’s social media pleading with New Yorker’s to heed the governors warning. Only one celebrity was able to make it to Twitter’s trending page however and that was none other than Danny DeVito. DeVito’s message is simple…stay home! In the two minute video, DeVito reminds fans that it’s not just up to the elderly to isolate themselves. “Young people can get it and they can transmit it to old people and the next thing you know – I’m out of there” says the actor. We must save him!

Twitter went into a frenzy with many users agreeing that we need to stay home for Danny. One user wrote “When Danny speaks, I listen.” Another passionately wrote “If you idiots kill Danny DeVito I SWEAR TO GOD.” One promoted DeVito from the icon status I previously awarded him and said “WE GOTTA PROTECT WORLD TREASURE DANNY DeVITO.” 

Take a look at the video below and for the love of the newly minted national treasure, stay home!

 

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