Archive

Tag Archives: Chicken Dance

Arrested Development Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Ron Howard, Charlize Theron

Arrested Development (Season 3): Michael Bluth is still trying to keep his dysfunctional family together – and they’re doing their best to screw everything up. This series coasts a little more on the established gags like the Bluth lessons (why you should always leave a note!), rather than creating new ones; some old plot-lines and characters are also written back in to beef up the story. Because it was the last scheduled season, the final few episodes felt obligated to tie-up the loose ends like the Iraq “light treason” court case, cousin love etc – which was good to see, but feels more forced than the usual completely unrelated antics. Once again the two stars of the show are the cast and the writers – you just don’t get it this good on both sides very often. As you’d expect, Season 3 is still great TV, but it doesn’t feel as fresh or funny as the first two series – the episodes aren’t quite as tight, or packed with jokes, and some of the bigger laughs stoop down to things like rude language (pussy/fags) and retards; which previous seasons didn’t need to fall back on. However, those niggles are minor, and Season 3 ensures that the show remains one of the greatest comedies of all time.

Score: 7.5/10

Arrested Development Season 1 Review

Arrested Development Season 2 Review

Arrested Development Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Ron Howard, Charlize TheronJason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Ron Howard, Charlize Theron, Scott Baio

Arrested Development Season 2, Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Ron HowardArrested Development (Season 2): with George Bluth on the run, the family must march on without him, and Michael must keep the Bluth Company – and his family – under control. This is my third time watching through AD and in reflection it’s so obvious why a show like this was destined to fail on TV. The biggest problem is that the running gags are subtle, and would be easy to miss if there were 7 days (let alone weeks) between the episodes. With the DVDs however, you can bash through a season in a few nights and really appreciate the fine writing. In saying that, S2 tries to address this by having clusters of jokes that are confined to an episode; like the ‘Charlie Brown’ slow walking, Gene Parmesan, etc. The biggest step up for me is lot more brilliantly timed physical comedy: chicken dances, face pulling, slipping, and Mrs Featherbottom’s spectacular Mary Poppins moment. Once again the brilliant ensemble cast of comedic actors does great things with well-written characters. This should be mandatory viewing for anyone that enjoys comedy TV – almost a decade later and it still puts most shows to shame.

Score: 8.5/10

Arrested Development Season 2, Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Ron Howard 2

“I just blue myself”

The Room Lisa Johnny Denny Mark Oh Hi Mark, You're tearing me apart lise, Tommy Wiseau

The Room: 10 years after it was released, this has become the greatest cult film of our time. In the UK there are currently two (very well-worn) 35mm prints that endlessly tour the country, hopping from one independent cinema to the next. These screenings however are like no cinematic experience you could ever imagine. Remember the established Cinema Code of Conduct that us hardened movie goers live by… bin it.

Aberdeen’s Belmont Cinema showed this for the first time in over a year, late last Friday night. Upon entering this screening, there was a very unusual atmosphere. Dozens of people were grasping handfuls of white plastic spoons, which rattled throughout the movie like background chatter, people dressed in over sized suits / tuxedos with shaggy black wigs and shades (inside a darkened theater), American footballs being thrown around – crashing against the odd unsuspecting head, and a whole lot of shouting, heckles and laughter. The cinema was absolutely buzzing and the lights hadn’t even gone down yet.

Tommy Wiseau As Johnny in The RoomThe origins of the movie are equally unique. It started off as a failed play, then an unpublishable book, before Tommy Wiseau (above) decided to turn it in to a film that he would star in, write, produce, direct, cast and distribute himself – to keep artistic control, of what is easily one of the worst vanity projects in human history. Initially flopping on its small release, it quickly built up momentum on the midnight movie circuit in America and has been screened all over the globe for the past ten years.

The film itself is absolutely god-awful: I’ve seen movies made from editing several separate films together to try to make a single narrative that have worked better (and made more sense) than this. The acting is absolutely tragic. The script feels like it was written by a nursery class. Characters just walk into a scene, spit some melodramatic lines, then walk off, often to never re-appear. There’s next to no continuity in any of the scenes. I genuinely don’t think anyone could make a film this bad, no matter how hard they tried. It’s a crashing car that flips for 99 minutes.

The Room Johnny Tommy Wiseau You're Tearing Me Apart LisaYet it’s this level of previously uncharted terribility that makes the experience of seeing the room like no other. Nobody’s there to watch it, they’re all there to enjoy it. I’ve seen 1-2 films a week for the past fifteen years and can only remember a handful of standout cinema visits: James Bond opening nights, birthday trips, first-dates etc… All of these pale in comparison to the thrill of watching The Room in a sold-out theater with die-hard fans and wide-eyed first-timers.

As a movie-going experience The Room is fascinating, electrifying, unique, but above all else – stunningly entertaining. Everybody was grinning ear to ear for the duration. It got a King’s Speech style standing ovation at the end, more laughs than Anchorman, more whoops than Rocky and more audience participation than a sing-a-long Broadway show. To watch a download on your laptop, or a DVD in your front room would kill the very essence of the film. If you ever get the chance to see this in a cinema you have to cancel any weddings, funerals, graduations, anniversaries and buy yourself a ticket.

Film score: UNRATABLE

Experience: UNMISSABLE

Audience participation checklist for a screening of The Room.

The room spoons aftermathSpoons: the main room in the movie has far too many framed pictures of spoons. Every time one of them hits the screen the audience loses their shit, yells “SPOOONS!!!” and a torrent of white plastic cutlery is thrown towards the screen. It’s like the arrow scenes from The 300… hundreds of white streaks flying overhead. Happens around a dozen times and never gets boring. Fact: it took 3 people +90 minutes to pick all the spoons up after the screening (remnants pictured left)

Hi / Bye!! when any central character enters of leaves a scene everyone hollers “Hi Denny / Bye Denny” in an eerily sincere manner, whilst waving at the screen. The exception being that when Lisa appears she’s greeted with Boooos, hissses and quick-fire bursts of the word ‘SLUT!’.

Golden Gate BridgeSan Francisco: between most scenes there are establishing shots of San Francisco. Alcatraz, steep hills, trams, iconic houses and the Golden Gate bridge. Any time these appeared the audience yells “Meanwhile, in San Francisco”.

Go! Go! Go!: in any above mentioned establishing shots that are slow-pans the audience claps, stamps, and yells “go, go, go’ for the duration.

Chicken dance: there’s at least three times when a character is called out for being a chicken, and the people in the room burst in to an Arrested Development style ‘CHEEP CHEEP CHEEP’ with flappy arms. Naturally, everyone in the cinema does this too.

The Room Tommy Wiseau's Ass Buttocks Disgusting Can't unseeSex Scenes: for a 99 minute movie, there’s at about five lengthy sex scenes – two of which are the exact same footage. Cue lighters in the air, yells of “bewbs!!!!”, and synchronised hand-clapping to the awful romance music. Of all the Men and Motors, Bravo and Babestation nudity you’ll have ever seen in your life, nothing compares to the cold, awkward, physically impossible, ass-bearing, petal-blowing ‘sex scenes’ of The Room.

American Football: about every 20 minutes, for no reason, characters start tossin’ a pig skin around. Guess what everyone in the theater starts doing…

General, infamous, dialogue:  You know when these are coming because the die-hard fans will hush the screen in to silence in the run up to some of the best and worst delivered lines in cinematic history. “Oh hi Mark!“,  “YOU’RE TEARING ME APART LISA!!!”, “I got the results of the test back – I definitely have breast cancer“, “anyway, how’s your sex life?“, “She’s showing everybody me underwears“, “Leave your stupid comments in your pocket”, “Well we’ll Seeee, Denny, don’t plan too much, it may not come out right”… Every line was followed by an uproar of laughter, yelling and cheering.

There’s nothing else left to say other than seek this out and see it as soon as you can.

Arrested Development – Season 3: Poorly received comedy series that’s all about the family, and family values. Sounds like the ultimate cliché but this has to be one of the funniest, wittiest and smartest TV show’s I’ve seen. It’s absolutely bursting with comedy, one-liners, slapstick & adult jokes, and gags that run through an episode, season, or even the entire show: mixed between in your face, subtle or even just hinted at. The downside of this is that it’s a little too clever/fast for some, and a lot of the ‘contemporary’ quips aren’t as relevant as they were several years ago. There’s no dumb laugh-track, so you can pick up everything. The cast has too much talent – both young and old – to list: David Cross, Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Tony Hale… not to mention the stunning Portia De Rossi. As a show, it’s also smart in that it’s very aware of itself and similar shows, episode 9 in particular is screaming with self-reference and irony. The characters, who drive the plot, are all great, consistent and well-acted; in particular the promiscuous Tobias, whose every line is innuendo-tastic. Gob is also a treat to watch. It looks great, is well-written (with an amazing attention to detail*), very neat, and the show does well to handle constant incest references – which would put many people off. As great as it is this season starts to wear a little thin by the end – so it’s probably for the best that they’ve stopped it there. Like the show says “Tell your friends” as all three season are 100% worth watching.

Score: 8.5/10

*so much of which would be lost between aired episodes a week apart, which is probably the main reason it wasn’t a successful broadcast show. Definitely one for DVD sessions.