comedy, movie, movie review, romance

June 27th, 2018 Movie – Zack And Miri Make A Porno

zack and miri make a porno

Z. The last letter of the alphabet. Which means that I am reaching the tail end of things, sort of. Well, let’s get started with these last couple of movies . Today’s movie is one that I received during a white elephant gift exchange several years ago. I admit that I never saw this movie in theaters but I figured that it would be pretty good as it was directed by Kevin Smith, and he can make some good comedies. So let’s have some laughs with today’s movie, Zack And Miri Make A Porno.

The plot: Zack Brown and Miriam “Miri” Linky are roommates in Monroeville, PA but despite both of them working, Miri at the mall and Zack at a coffee shop, they have a stack of unpaid bills. While at the coffee shop Zack is talking with his coworker Delaney, who is only working there until his settlement from the post office come in, about Miri making him go to the reunion, which is on Thanksgiving, and Delaney comments about his relationship with Miri. When he asks why he doesn’t try dating her Zack tells him that he’s known her since the 1st grade and it would be weird to date someone you’ve known that long. Later that night, Miri shows up after her shift is over and is trying on outfits in the back of Zack’s store. As she is changing, two kids notice and start filming her, catching her in her granny panties, but Zack notices and interrupts them before chasing them out. As she asks Zack his opinions on her outfits, they argue about money and that night, the water gets shut off. The next day, they head to the reunion and Miri flirts with her high school crush, Bobby Long, while Zack goes around talking to some of the other guests. As he grabs a drink at the bar, he meets Brandon St. Randy, a gay porn star that also happens to be Bobby’s boyfriend. Zack goes over and introduces Bobby to Miri and when he sees her, he says he recognizes her from the “grannie panties” viral video, shocking Miri when she sees it. When they return home, Zack wants to see how many views the video has received when their electricity gets cut off. The two head to a bar and lament about their financial difficulties and try to figure out what to do for money when Zack suggests that they make a porno. Miri is reluctant at first but is eventually won over by Zack’s enthusiasm for doing and jokes with him that he is just doing this to have sex with her. Zack talks with Delaney and convinces him to help finance the movie and they start holding auditions for actors to be in it, while Zack talks with his friend Deacon from his hockey league to film it. When Zack says they need to do a spoof for their movie, he and Miri try to come up with a good name for the movie and decide to do a Star Wars parody called Star Whores. As they tell their cast the idea for the movie and go through the script, Miri notices that she is only having sex with Zack while he is having sex with the two other girls, Bubbles and Stacey, and she gets jealous and says that she will have sex with Lester, causing Zack to get jealous. They rent out a warehouse and get some costumes for their movie and start shooting some promo shots for the movie. When they return the next day to start shooting, they find the place being demolished and learn the building had been sold a month ago and the owner took their money and ran to Florida. As they all sit around the coffee shop and lament about their misfortune, Zack suddenly gets an idea. Grabbing the camera that his boss setup to watch him during his shift, Zack says they can shoot the movie at the coffee shop. The others agree to change the movie and show up after the shop closes and Miri finds herself looking at Zack in a new light. They start shooting their new movie and as they leave for the night, Miri and Zack discuss their upcoming scene for the next day and Miri says they need to promise that it won’t get weird between them afterwards. The next night, Zack and Miri shoot their scene but instead of the rough sex that some of the other actors had done, they end up having more romantic and tender sex. The next night, they start to talk about what happened when they discover the lights and power have been turned back on. Delaney and the rest of the cast show up and tell them they pooled their money to pay off some of their debt in order to get their utilities back on and Delaney, acting as producer, says they should have an early wrap party. As the party goes on, Stacey talks with Miri about Zack and says she is nervous about having sex with him in their scene and asks if it would be ok to have sex with him tonight. Miri, having started to have feelings for Zack, says it’s ok for her to ask but looks hurt when Zack goes into his room with Stacey. The next day, Zack had changed the scene so that Stacey has sex with Lester instead of Miri but is surprised to find that Miri has shown up to shoot the scene. Zack takes Miri into the back room and they start arguing about her being there, as Zack feels like she is doing this to get back at him for sleeping with Stacey. When he says that Stacey said she was ok with it, and Miri responds that she was only ok with her asking, Zack feels like that was some kind of test. Zack then admits that he is in love with Miri and that when they had sex they shared a romantic and emotional connection but Miri doesn’t share his feelings. Zack leaves the shop, telling Delaney he is quitting the film, and when Miri gets home, she finds that Zack has moved out of their apartment. Three months later, Zack has taken a job working outside the Pittsburgh Penguins stadium during their home games, allowing people to shoot at him with a paintball gun. Delaney shows up and as they catch up, he tells Zack that he got his settlement money from the post office and asks Zack to stop by his house so they can finish editing their movie. When he gets there, he finds Deacon in Delaney’s basement ready to edit and they show him the footage they shot of Lester and Stacey, Bubbles and Barry, and then Zack and Miri. When Zack asks about the footage of Lester and Miri, Deacon tells him they don’t have any because Miri said she couldn’t do the scene after Zack left. Zack leaves and heads back to Miri’s apartment to talk to her and while she is in the bathroom, he talks to her through the door and tells her he never slept with Stacey as they spent the whole night talking about Miri. When a naked Lester walks out of Miri’s room, Zack tells ehr he doesn’t care if she is sleeping with him as he will wait for her but Lester tells him that they aren’t sleeping with each other. He explains that after Zack moved out, he moved in to help her pay the rent and they switched rooms, as his old room still smelled like him. Miri comes out of the bathroom and says she missed him and as they hug and kiss, she tells him that she loves him and they head into her room. Some time later, it is shown that Zack and Miri got married and started a production company with Delaney called Zack And Miri Make Your Porno, where they make videos for couples who want to film their lovemaking.

Zack And Miri Make A Porno met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 63% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Zack and Miri Make a Porno is a modest success for Kevin Smith, due in large part to the charm of Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks.” During one of his sex scenes, Jason Mewes (Lester) is wearing a tie and flips it around so it is hanging down his back. This was because he has a tattoo of friend and director Kevin Smith’s daughter’s name down his back and the tie was used to hide it. The movie was a modest hit at the box office, earning $42.8 million off of a $24 million budget.

This is really dirty, but a pretty funny movie. The acting was good, with Seth Rogen (Zack) and Elizabeth Banks (Miri) doing good jobs in their roles and showing some good chemistry with each other. I honestly felt like Craig Robinson (Delaney) kind of stole the show in his scenes as he was really funny. The story was pretty good and had a great plot set up in the fact that two friends are desperate to come up with the money to pay their bills and decide to make a porno in the hopes that it will make money. While it was mainly meant for some raunchy humor, it did have it’s tender side with how the dealt with Zack and Miri’s blossoming romance. The comedy was definitely of the adult variety as there was a lot of swear words and jokes about sex. It’s some raunchy fun and if you are not easily offended, then it is good for a laugh.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

comedy, horror, movie, movie review

March 30th, 2018 Movie – Tucker & Dale Vs Evil

tucker and dale vs evil

Every now and then, an absolute gem of a movie will appear out of nowhere that you absolutely fall in love with. That is definitely the case with today’s movie. A few years ago, I was bored and suffering from a bout of insomnia so I decided to do what I normally do when I find myself in that situation; read something or watch Netflix. This particular night, Netflix won and I was going through my choices when I came across this movie. My mistake was definitely in watching this thinking it might put me to sleep because I wound up laughing so hard, I ended up staying up the entire night. So let’s end this work week with some laughs as I watch today’s movie, Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil.

The plot: A news reporter and her cameraman are at a crime scene hoping to find something the police missed when they are attacked by a man with a badly damaged face. 3 days earlier, a group of college kids (Allison, Chad, Chloe, Chuck, Jason, Naomi, Mike, Mitch, and Todd) are going camping in the West Virginia mountains but are disturbed by a pair of hillbillies, Tucker and Dale, who pass them on the road. When the kids stop at a gas station to buy some beer, Dale becomes infatuated with Allison and Tucker tries to get him to go talk to them. Trying to take Tucker’s advise, Dale heads over to try and talk to Allison and the other women but ends up creeping them out before Chad warns him to stay away. As Tucker and Dale head up to the vacation home that Tucker bought and plan on renovating and when a cop pulls them over for a busted turn signal, he tells them that only death and suffering are up in that area. When they arrive at the cabin, Tucker and Dale head inside and are amazed at what they find, paying no attention to the newspaper clippings of a massacre that happened. Meanwhile, Allison and the others are sitting by their campfire when Chad starts telling them a story about the Memorial Day Massacre that took place in the area, where some hillbillies attack and kill some college kids, leaving only one survivor. When they discover a lake close by, they decide to go skinny dipping and Chad attempts to get close to Allison but she rebuffs his advances. Meanwhile, Tucker and Dale are doing some night fishing when they see Allison taking her clothes off on a rock. Dale covers his eyes and yells at Tucker for continuing to stare, which startles Allison and causes her to fall off the rock. When she doesn’t surface, Dale dives in to rescue her and Tucker helps him put her into the boat. Chloe and Chuck see them and, misunderstanding what is happening, think that Tucker and Dale are kidnapping Allison and go running back to their camp, despite Tucker yelling for them to come back. Tucker and Dale take Allison to their cabin and in the morning, Dale explains what happened and how her friends left her. Meanwhile, Chad is leading the search for Allison while Chuck goes to get the sheriff. When they find the cabin, they decide to send Mitch in to see if she is there. As Mitch approaches the cabin, Tucker is around back using a chainsaw to cut through a log when he cuts into a bees nest inside. Tucker goes running around, swinging the chainsaw wildly, and Mitch thinks he is psychotic and yells for the others to run as Tucker heads towards them. As Tucker goes running through the woods after Mitch, Mitch ends up impaling himself on a tree branch, while Tucker continues to run off. Back at the cabin, Dale and Allison have started talking and are playing trivial pursuit when Tucker returns, complaining about Dale not helping him. When Tucker says he saw one of Allison’s friends and she wants to go looking for them but Dale says she needs to rest and says that he and Tucker will go looking for them. Meanwhile, Chad and the others find Mitch’s body and Chad says that they left it there as a warning. When they hear Tucker and Dale approaching, they all quickly hide as they call out for the “college kids”. When they find no sign of them, and not noticing Mitch’s body behind them, they use Chad’s hatchet, which he left in the side of a tree, to carve a note for the college kids, saying that they have their friend. Returning to the cabin, Tucker is using a wood chipper to deal with some underbrush while Dale is working on digging a hole for the outhouse. Allison offers to help Dale and when Chad and the others see her, they think that Dale is making her dig her own grave and decide to attack Tucker and Dale to rescue Allison. As they move into position, Dale sees some of them and tells Allison her friends are here, then calls out to them. Allison sees Todd running at Dale with a handmade spear and yells out a warning, causing Dale to accidentally hit her with a shovel and knock her into the hole, with him falling into it as well and Todd ends up tripping and impaling himself on his spear in the hole next to Dale. Meanwhile, Mike attempts to attack Tucker but ends up falling into the wood chipper and Tucker tries to pull him out but Chloe and Naomi thinks that he is killing him. Dale takes Allison back into the cabin and he and Tucker tell what happens to each other and they think that the kids are involved in some sort of death/suicide cult and are trying to get Allison back to kill her. Meanwhile, Chad wants to kill Tucker and Dale but the others want to get help and see Chuck returning with the sheriff and go to them, leaving Chad in the woods. Tucker and Dale are trying to get Mike’s body out of the wood chipper when the sheriff arrives and they try to explain what has been going on. When he learns that Allison is inside, he follows them inside and checks on Allison but afterwards, accidentally knocks a beam loose and is impaled by some nails on the end of it. The sheriff stumbles back to his car and tries to call for help before he dies. Chuck gets out of the car and grabs the sheriff’s gun and tries to shoot them but when Dale tells him he has to take the safety off, Chuck ends up shooting himself. Chad was watching everything and runs out and grabs the gun and begins shooting at Tucker and Dale, who duck back inside the cabin. When Chad holds Dale’s dog hostage, Tucker hands Dale a nail gun to use as a distraction while he sneaks out the back door and goes to free Dale’s dog. Tucker ends up captured himself and Chad and the others tie him up, then Chad proceeds to cut off two of his fingers. Back at the cabin, Allison wakes up and Dale tries to explain what all has happened to her. Allison feels like this is a misunderstanding between everyone when a package is tossed at the cabin and Allison opens it to reveal Tucker’s severed fingers and a note from Chad and the others. Dale tells Allison to stay at the cabin while he goes to rescue Tucker, almost getting killed by a trap Chad and the others set. Meanwhile, Chad and Naomi enter the cabin to rescue Allison and Chad begins throwing gasoline on everywhere, planning on burning the cabin down. When Allison tries to get him to stop and explain it is a misunderstanding, Naomi thinks she is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, which enrages Chad and he accuses her of being in love with Dale. Just then, Dale and Tucker arrive and Allison convinces everyone to stop and try to talk things out. Chad explains that his parents were part of the Memorial Day Massacre and while his father died, his mother was the sole survivor but went insane over what happened. He was told the story by his grandmother, which resulted in his irrational hatred for hillbillies. Meanwhile, Jason and Chloe show up at the cabin, having seen no sign of Chad or Naomi in a while, and Jason barges in with a weed whacker and attempts to kill Tucker but Tucker ducks and Jason ends up attacking Naomi in the face. Chad attempts to attack Dale and when Tucker stops him, Chad throws a lantern at them, accidentally setting Jason on fire. Chloe attempts to put out the fire but accidentally uses moonshine, causing the blaze to spread and head towards the cans of gasoline. Tucker, Dale, and Allison manage to get out of the cabin before it explodes, killing Jason, Chloe, and Naomi. Chad survives, though part of his face is badly burned, and they quickly get in Tucker’s truck and try to get away but they end up crashing. When Dale comes too, he finds Allison missing and sees Tucker lying outside. Tucker tells Dale that Chad took Allison and convinces him to go after her so Dale takes his dog and goes after them. Tracking them to an abandoned saw mill, where Chad ties Allison to a log  and proceeds to kiss and lick her. When Dale shows up, he goes to free Allison but Chad activats the buzz saw and then attacks Dale. Dale manages to throw an axe at the ropes and cut Allison free and she helps him fend off Chad before the run into an upstairs office. As they look for something to defend themselves with, Allison finds a newspaper about the massacre and they discover that Chad’s father was the hillbilly murderer, who had tortured and raped his mother. When Chad shows up and goes to kill them, they tell him that he is half hillbilly, causing him to slip further into madness. When he moves to kill them, Dale throws some chamomile tea at him, causing him to suffer an asthma attack and fall out the window, apparently falling to his death. Later, Tucker is recovering in a hospital and watching a news report on the events when Dales pays him a visit. After sneaking him in a beer and asking how he is doing, Tucker shows Dale that the doctors found his fingers and sewed them back on, though they don’t look like his. Tucker then asks if Dale asked out Allison and Dale says no at first before admitting that they are going bowling. At the bowling alley, Dale gives Allison a helmet as a gift, suggesting that she wear it as she keeps getting knocked out, and they end up sharing a kiss, choosing to ignore when one of Dale’s friends knocks out a woman and starts dragging her away.

Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil met with mostly positive reviews from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Like the best horror/comedies, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil mines its central crazy joke for some incredible scares, laughs, and — believe it or not — heart.” In 2014, it was announced that a sequel was being worked on and both Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine confirmed that they were actively developing the project despite being busy with other commitments. The movie would only receive a limited release in theaters but almost broke even, earning $4.7 million off a $5 million budget

This is without a doubt one of the best horror/comedies to come out in a long time; possibly since Shaun Of The Dead. The acting was great, with Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine doing great jobs as Tucker and Dale respectively while Katrina Bowden (Allison) and Jesse Moss (Chad) were also good. The story was great, with the whole confusion mixed with freak accidents making for a ridiculously entertaining batch of deaths. The whole “Memorial Day Massacre” backstory didn’t really feel necessary as a means to explain Chad’s hatred for Tucker and Dale (and hillbillies in general) but it did set up for a nice bit of karmic irony at the end, as he ended up being the very thing he despised and most likely would have killed himself in a fit of self loathing had he succeeded in killing Dale and Allison. I also liked that they tried to instill a bit of a moral in the movie, with the whole don’t judge a book by it’s cover motive playing a big role in the events that took place. The effects involving the deaths were pretty good and I loved the pure random bad luck that played a part in them, as it was somewhat over the top but very effective. It can be a little gory at times, but this is definitely a movie worth watching.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5