This Is 40, Admission & Bad Grandpa Movie Reviews

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Time to start getting more movies off my “Reviews To Do” list! Since starting this blog, I feel like I must review absolutely every single movie I watch. I’ve put off reviewing some because I just don’t have much to say about them (especially things like throwaway comedies & the occasional chick flick) so I’ll start reviewing movies like these together every now & then. Most movies like these are ones I watched in 2014 so I’m a little behind. But they’re on my list! I gotta do them!!! 😉

So here are three quickies! One was boring, one was okay, and one I really enjoyed.

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This Is 40 (2012)

Directed by Judd Apatow

Starring: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, John Lithgow, Megan Fox, Chris O’Dowd, Jason Segel, Melissa McCarthy, Graham Parker, Albert Brooks

My Opinion: This is the one that was okay. I watched This Is 40 at least a year ago & remember thinking something along the lines of “I enjoyed that but I better review it quick because I won’t remember much of it in a year”. Ha! It’s true. For example: That annoying Melissa McCarthy was in this? Really?? And I forgot that the even more annoying Megan Fox was in this. Well, I watched this for Paul Rudd. If it had been a different male star, I doubt I’d have bothered.

I have yet to love anything from Judd Apatow. I feel like I should as I suppose I’m the sort of target age range for his stuff? I don’t know… Who here is a huge Apatow fan? What am I missing? Looking at what he’s written and/or directed, I did like The 40 Year-Old Virgin and remember that pretty well even though it’s much older and I only saw it once. This Is 40 is probably my second favorite but considering I only remember certain parts of it a year later doesn’t say much for it, I guess.

I liked Rudd, as always, but this wasn’t exactly my favorite ever character of his. He & Leslie Mann were fine but there was maybe a little too much of the “Oh god! I’m 40 & having a midlife crisis!” thing going on. I liked the family as a whole & they felt like a real-life family. Of course, it probably helps that the kids are the real-life daughters of Apatow & Mann but the Hollywood nepotism thing and Apatow’s insistence on always casting his borderline-annoying wife is, like the characters in This Is 40, getting a little old.

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I do remember laughing a few times throughout this movie. It’s not a laugh-out-loud comedy but an observation on our relationships in life and, of course, growing old. It’s much more grown-up than some of Apatow’s other films and I can’t see as many people enjoying it unless they’re approaching or past the big Four-Oh. For the most part, I think this was a pretty well-written film and I liked the different sorts of relationships between the three generations of both Rudd’s & Mann’s families. It’s just a “watch it once and you have no need to watch it again” type of film. I’d only recommend it if you’re a fan of any of the stars or the director AND you’re at least 35.

My Rating: 6.5/10

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Admission (2013)

Directed by Paul Weitz

Starring: Tina Fey, Paul Rudd, Nat Wolff, Michael Sheen, Wallace Shawn, Lily Tomlin

My Opinion: This is the boring one of these three movies. As you can see, it’s Paul Rudd again and I only watched it because he’s in it. This is one of those damn “dramedy” romance movies. Dramedies sometimes work but this one didn’t have much comedy and I didn’t care enough about Tina Fey’s character to give a shit about her drama. Like This Is 40, this is a more grown-up movie for a slightly older audience but the forced quirkiness of some of the characters and Tina Fey’s uptight Princeton admissions officer just didn’t work for me.

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Paul Rudd was his usual adorable, likeable self but I’ll admit he always plays the same character (which is fine if you like him like I do). I’ve never really been a fan of Tina Fey, who also plays her usual self, so I can’t say I liked her character (which isn’t good as she’s the main star & the film centers on her career & relationship struggles). Nat Wolff was in this, who played the slightly annoying friend in The Fault In Our Stars and has the lead role in the next John Green adaptation coming out (Paper Towns, a book I really didn’t like so it’ll be interesting to see if the movie is any better). I did like Lily Tomlin as Fey’s mother and Wallace Shawn had a small role as Fey’s boss. It always gives me warm fuzzies just hearing his distinctive voice… “Inconceivable“! This is one of those movies that just tries too hard to be intelligent & serious and ends up feeling fake & forced. To be fair, romantic dramedy isn’t my favorite genre in the first place but this one just didn’t work for me at all.

My Rating: 5/10

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Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013)

Directed by Jeff Tremaine

Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Jackson Nicoll, A bunch of unsuspecting victims

My Opinion: Well, damn – I thought this was hilarious. Why am I ashamed to admit that?! I’ve thought all the Jackass movies were a riot. They’re not the sort of movies I’ve ever felt the need to watch more than once but they’re entertaining as hell on a first watch when you don’t know what kind of outrageous stuff to expect. I don’t really get why I like them as, in real life, I hate dumbass guys who do childish, idiotic things. I guess you have to give Johnny Knoxville credit for making a career out of it – he earns way more money than I do!

It was kind of weird at first how they acted out this fictional story of “grandpa & grandson” but I think it worked and, in the end, it was actually sort of sweet in a weird, f*%ked up kind of way. Johnny Knoxville was also in the movie Fun Size with the kid (Jackson Nicoll) and the kid was the best thing about that strange but somewhat enjoyable Nickelodeon movie. This kid cracks me up but I can’t say I’d ever let my kid hang out with any of the Jackass guys… Ha! Talk about bad role models!

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Anyway, I never thought I’d find explosive diarrhoea (UK spelling, FYI) or an old man’s testicles funny but what really works in this movie, I guess, is the shocked reactions from the poor bastards they play their pranks on. Looking at photos for this post I was reminded again of the pageant bit… Hahaha! Why do I like these juvenile Jackass movies?!? I should be ashamed. But I’m not!

My Rating: 7/10

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Fun Size (2012) Review

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Fun Size (2012) (aka Half Pint)

Directed by Josh Schwartz

Starring:
Victoria Justice
Jane Levy
Thomas Mann
Chelsea Handler
Thomas McDonell
Osric Chau
Johnny Knoxville

Running time: 86 minutes

Plot Synopsis:
Wren is made to babysit her little brother on Halloween, ruining her plans to go to a Halloween party. When he goes missing while trick-or-treating, Wren and her friends must find him before her mom finds out.

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My Opinion:

Wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this one. It has a very low IMDB rating (5.3), which it doesn’t really deserve. I looked into this a bit & apparently a lot of the hatred comes from angry parents as this is a Nickelodeon movie & it’s a bit too racy for their liking. Okay, fine – I can see that. But I don’t have some pre-teen kid so I don’t care about that. I’ll review this based only on what I thought of it myself. Hell, the Disney Channel gave us all Miley Cyrus – I’d let a kid watch Fun Size every day for the rest of his/her life before I’d let them see two seconds of Miley Cyrus doing whatever that is she does now. Chill, parents. I saw movies far racier than Fun Size when I was a pre-teen.

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Basically, Fun Size is like a really wholesome version of Project X (which I wasn’t crazy about as that was a bad Weird Science rip-off – review HERE). I actually had a bit of fun with Fun Size. If you go into it knowing it’s the Nickelodeon version of a classic “teen movie” but aimed at a younger age than my beloved John Hughes teen movies, you might find you enjoy it as a lazy weekend afternoon sort of movie. Or at Halloweentime as it’s set at Halloween.

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The main girl (above) is cute & sweet and a perfectly fine role model for any pre-teen girls watching. She has decent storylines going on with a boy she likes and of course another boy who likes her, her messed-up mother, her crazy (and really funny) little brother, and her father who has died before this film takes place (with something revealed about him at the end which I quite liked). Her best friend is a bit of a Miley, though. But, hey – we all had a slut friend in school! Here she is, dressed as a slutty cat looking for some action at the Halloween party. She was the most annoying character:

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The brother is nuts & doesn’t speak & is funny as hell – he provides us with the most entertaining bits of the film, probably. I found some of the humor actually not too bad for a modern pre-teen (and Nickelodeon!) type of film – I think those who made this may have another very funny movie in them without the restrictions that were probably placed on them to not go TOO far with any slightly naughty humor. Yes, that big chicken does hump the car like was shown in the trailer if you’ve seen it:

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Lol. Saucy! So immature. But kind of funny.

The story is predictable as hell but… Who cares? What movie isn’t, especially ones for this age group? Chelsea Handler as the mother is, believe it or not, right for this role. She can be annoying as hell and was awful in This Means War but this role was perfect for her (and she’s even likeable by the end). The romance(s)? So predictable! Who cares? It’s a bit of fun. It’s a movie for pre-teens who like to see big chickens humping cars.

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Summary:

A perfectly fine little “teen” comedy aimed more at the pre-teen crowd than actual teenagers. It’s a little confused as to what it wants to be: slightly racy teen comedy or wholesome Nickelodeon film. But it’s just a bit of fun and really not deserving of all the hatred it received from parents who thought it stepped over the line with its ever-so-slightly racy humor. These parents should maybe take a step back & think about the movies THEY watched when they were 11/12. Fun Size is far more tame than the teen films of my youth. And the little brother cracked me up!

My Rating: 6.5/10

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