Universal via Everett Collection
Jason Bateman's feature directorial debut Bad Words was a hit at the Toronto International Film Festival and opens wide in theaters on March 28. The man who brought us good son Michael Bluth took to Reddit yesterday to respond to fan questions about the new film, his banjo prowess, and hairless werewolves, plus a constant stream of Arrested Development quotes. Read on for highlights and check out all of Bateman's answers here.
On the tactile pleasures of Michael Cera's hair:"Curly, yet manageable. The hair on his head is pretty soft too."
On his biggest fear:"Bees." (Not beads)
On whether or not he was really playing the banjo in that Mumford & Sons video:"All lies, and I was surprised by how much those metal strings hurt my fat little fingers."
On his dream boyfriend, if he were gay:"I'd like to continue dating Will Arnett."
On lying about the status of the Arrested Development movie:"I know exactly the same as you do. Zip."
On if he's "that former child star that's now a nut-case fundamentalist":"Yes, and I'll see you in hell."
On feeling guilty for corrupting his young Bad Words costar, Rohan Chand:"No, I figured his parents were cool with it since they read the script and drove him to the audition. Plus we erased his memory with the Men in Black gun."
On returning to his werewolf roots on MTV's Teen Wolf:"Sure, only if I can play one with alopecia."
On being annoyingly meta:"This reminds me of my worst Halloween costume ever. I wore a hockey goalie mask and a fish net with lures attached to it over my shoulders and went as Jason Bateman. What an a-hole."
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
If you're like me, you love going to the movies. You are thankful for the accessibility digital streaming affords, but you can never replace the experience of the darkened movie theater. So let's get one thing straight: too many people simply don't know proper moviegoing etiquette. Not only are there rules of moviegoing, but there are also different rules that apply to different kinds of movies. Below is an in-depth explanation of these rules and why you should follow them.
Don't eat real food, everPopcorn and candy is one thing, but KFC is something entirely different. Chances are if I can smell your food from three rows back, you've gone too far.
Know what kinds of movies you can handleWhen I saw Blue is the Warmest Color recently, a group of teenage boys were laughing uncontrollably during the sex scenes. Everyone else in the theater began to hate them. Don't ever be in that group.
You can only show up late to a children's movieShowing up late to a movie is the most obnoxious thing you can do. If you're going to do it, make sure it's during an animated film that no one really wants to watch but children who are stimulated by anything. The children won't notice and the adults won't care.
Don't ask questionsOne of the actors in The Grand Budapest Hotel looks familiar, and you want to know who he is. It's tempting to ask your friend sitting next to you, but doing so disrupts everyone else in the theater. Just wait until the credits, or when you're back home at your computer. Hollywood.com exists for a reason, after all.
Don't judge a movie by its titleI remember when a mother brought her two young children to a 7 PM showing of Hot Tub Time Machine. She judged the movie by the title. It was the worst decision of her life.
You must always clap when Meryl Streep is on screenDo I really need to explain this one?
First dates are limited to bad moviesYou just met someone you're enamored of and want to take him or her out on a date. Dinner and a movie sounds tempting, but if it's your first date, please don't take this special someone to the latest Oscar contender. No one in the audience wants to watch you try to build a relationship in two hours. Instead, check out Son of God. This way, your attempt at courtship will be the audience's entertainment when the movie sucks.
None of these rules apply to midnight moviesIf you're at a midnight showing of The Room, you can pretty much do whatever you want.
Universal via Everett Collection
Lone Survivor isn't a film for the faint of heart. It's a film that beats you down and only lets you up for a few precious moments before the credits roll, but that emotional throttling is what helps make the film such a powerful experience.
Peter Berg's Lone Survivor tells the story of Operation Red Wings, primarily focusing on a group of four Navy SEALs who are sent to the mountains of Afganistan to capture or kill a member of the Taliban. The plan goes wrong, and the team has to fight for their lives to escape the enemy-infested area. The film does a marvelous job of ratcheting up the tension before collapsing into its main action sequence, one that is as thrilling as it is unsettling. The long sequence brings forth memories of the infamous D-Day opening of Saving Private Ryan, except this film's fire-fight stretches out the violence like a medieval torture device. The langourous scene is, at times, hard to sit through. Each moment slips by in coiled tension. It's undoubtedly uncomfortable, and the film makes a point to never make the violence fun or enticing. The action isn't consequence-free, and every bullet fired carries weight, making the scenes brutal and unrelenting because of it. The film takes on the aura of a horror movie that wants you to feel every second that ticks by, and director Berg makes sure that a pressing hopelessness starts to weigh on the viewer just as it does on the soldiers.
Mark Wahlberg is plenty capable as Marcus Lutrell, a member of the SEAL unit that is sent on the mission. The supporting cast plays its parts admirably by believably infusing a diverse set of personalities and values into the soldiers, while still keeping them in tune with the same military culture that governs much of their thoughts and actions. There's a great scene where a difficult decision has to be made, and the viewer gets to see the different directions to which some of the character's moral compasses are tuned. Sometimes the right thing can mean different things to different people when the risk of death is on the table. The real standout in the cast is Ben Foster, whose SO2 Matthew Alexson swirls with barely contained fury. He is darkly intense and has electric screen presence that really starts to manifest when the bullets star flying and things become dire.
Universal via Everett Collection
For all the good will that the film builds up in its first and second act, the final third of the film hits some snags as history demands that the story take itself to a different location, sacrificing some of the tension that it has built up. In the last 30 minutes of the film, there are some odd tonal choices that don't gel with the tension brimming in the first half. A comedic scene involving a language barrier stands out in particular.
The movie makes a point to steer clear of any political judgment, and it doesn't try to lay blame for the botched mission on any one head. And while the film never outwardly states and opinion on the conflicts that America found itself embroiled in during this time period, the searing brutality depicted in the movie highlight that no one should be subjected to the pain that these men were faced with. Made abundantly clear is the soldiers' willingness to drop everything and serve their country the best way they know how. Lone Survivor tries to honor the soldier, but not glorify war.
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Lone Survivor is at its best when it makes you feel the worst. It gives soldiers their due reverence by showcasing the true terror of the battlefield, and while the film does start to sag a bit in its third act, it's still more than worth the experience in order understand the consequences of war, and its toll on the people in the trenches.
In the opening scenes of the new "comedy" Jack and Jill commercial director Jack Sadelstein (Adam Sandler) and his business partners take a break from the set of their Regis Philbin-starring Pepto Bismol commercial to discuss the prospect of landing Al Pacino for a new Dunkin' Donuts spot. Even with the pressure mounting the idea of landing the A-Lister is the least of Jack's worries—his real stress stemming from his heinous twin sister Jill (also played by Sandler) who is scheduled to visit for Thanksgiving. We don't know much about Jill at that point but even the prospect of spending a few days with his sibling prompts the cankerous Jack to chug an entire bottle of the commercial's pink antidiarrheal product.
Turns out the medical cocktail was quite appropriate. By the end of Jack and Jill kicking back an entire bottle of Pepto Bismol may be the first logical step to curing the gut-wrenching feeling induced by the movie's painfully lazy antics. To call the latest from Sandler's Happy Madison Productions (Paul Blart: Mall Cop Grown Ups Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star) a bad movie isn't strong enough. Nor is describing it as a complete void of comedy. And the movie doesn't even come close to a so-stupid-its-funny scenario. No Jack and Jill is honest to goodness mental destruction—a collision of half-baked comedy sketches violent potty humor shrouded racism shotgun celebrity cameos and unapologetic product placement. There is more coherency care and consideration poured in to a child's spin art painting than any moment Sandler or director Dennis Dugan whip up for this film.
From the movie's very first moments to its obvious ham-fisted conclusion the mere presence of Jill sends Jack into a temper meltdown—and it's not hard to see why. Sandler's lady from the Bronx is a loud abhorrent self-loathing woman an obtuse fish-out-of-water who sees no issue with stereotyping Jack's adopted Indian son or using phrases like "make chocolate squirties" after a night of chimichangas (may I recommend Pepto Bismol?). The script would like us to feel sympathetic for Jill as she's turned down by every man she meets adding to her existing physical appearance woes ("I'm too fat!" she declares before hopping up on a horse and crushing it under her own weight). Unfortunately it's obvious that no one behind-the-camera actually gives a damn about her or any of the other characters to help realize that struggle honestly or humorously.
Knowing the movie can't entirely rely on Jill's flatulence to baffle its audience Jack and Jill employs a number of shameless drive-by appearances from across the Hollywood spectrum to replace actual entertainment. Johnny Depp Jared the Subway Guy Shaq Bruce Jenner the Sham-Wow Guy and Drew Carey (who Jill meets while embarrassing herself on The Price Is Right) all stop by for a cheap laugh. Maybe that's a good thing—the cameos are nonsensical enough to distract from Jack and Jill's plot one that trudges along at a glacial pace as Jill finds ways to stay at Jack's house and ruin her brother's life.
Sandler recruited Katie Holmes and Al Pacino to fill the film's two non-twin roles and to the benefit of their careers he gives them little to do. Holmes isn't given a single scene in which she does anything more than rag on Jack for hating his sister or detach objects her son perpetually tapes to his body (a pepper shaker a hamster a bird a lobster). Pacino has a meatier role one that you may even expect to garner a few laughs spoofing his thunderous thespian self who melts at the sight of Jill. But the material director Dennis Dugan bestows on the legendary actor is scraped from the bottom of the barrel. Not even Pacino can make passing off gibberish as a foreign language funny. The saving grace for the movie is watching Pacino go method and pursue Jill as Don Quixote from The Man of La Mancha. At that point the reference is a reminder that out there somewhere beyond the movie theater/black hole playing Jack and Jill is a world full of culture and class.
Jack and Jill isn't really a movie but more of an extended Royal Caribbean Cruises commercial with a Dunkin Donuts dance number set to an extended fart exploding from a dragged-out Adam Sandler's buttocks. The bar for entertainment value has never been set lower than this film an experience so toxic to the mind that along with its PG-rating should carry a warning label from Surgeon General.
Better make it two Pepto-Bismols.