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Monday, February 28, 2011

Live Tweeting the 83rd Annual Academy Awards

The baffling ordeal of watching the Oscars this year was made tolerable by three important factors: 1) alcohol, in my case a half a bottle of Crown Royal whiskey 2) Live Tweeting the show 3) Norm MacDonald live Tweeting the show.  Norm came out of Twitter exile on fire and ripped into the Oscars the way only Norm can. It seemed like everyone else's live Tweeting paled in comparison to what Norm was doing.  Certainly, I felt I was toiling in Norm's mighty shadow.  Here's my obnoxious, occasionally funny (I hope) Twitter take on the Oscars:

My party tonight will consist of myself and Jameson's Irish Whiskey. My apologies in advance for the impending live Tweeting.

I know how @ feels about T. Reznor's score for TSN, but I hope he realizes that Hans Zimmer wins at the tonight. 

I won't complain if wins anything or everything. @

Still bitter about @'s unforgivable snub of @ as the 11th Best Picture nominee. @ @

Damn, Out of Jameson's. This is my substitute. watching underway.

Whoa. Warren Beatty's so old! What's old, pussycat?

Tonight will the be the first time I've masturbated to an Academy Awards host (Anne Hathaway) since Hugh Jackman.

If I find myself with a bag on my head later on, I'm not mimicking @, I'm just really drunk.  

The best possible conclusion to the winners of Best Art Direction would have been if that guy vomited from nervousness on stage.

Best cinematographer Wally Pfister stole my line! "My master Christopher Nolan." I've been saying "My Master Alex Merkin" for years.

Kirk Douglas coming onto Anne Hathaway is as inspiring as Kirk Douglas still being alive.

Anyone not following @ and his live Tweeting is committing a cardinal sin against their own enjoyment.

That stagehand is carting Kirk Douglas offstage because the horny old man is literally seconds away from whipping his cock out.

You know, I bet Hailee Steinfeld had a much sweeter, less rambling and obnoxious, and non-profanity-laced speech prepared.

All I want to know from Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem is, is my table ready?

Aaron Sorkin wins deservedly Best Screenplay for @. Surprisingly he did not walk and talk on his way to the stage.

Christopher Nolan's face said it, but I'll Tweet what he was thinking: doesn't win Best Adapted Screenplay? B-b-bullshit!  

well so far so awful.

Nice to see Reese Witherspoon had her chin sharpened for this big night.

Christian Bale's beard is a different color from his hair. I hate to ask whether the carpet matches either of the drapes.

Christian Bale is the winner we deserve, but not the Oscar winner we need right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can take it.

So many superheroes @ the . Catwoman hosting, Batman just won an Oscar, and now Wolverine and the Joker are presenting onstage.

Academy Award winners @ and Atticus Ross! I'm too happy to tell a terrible joke. Congratulations, sirs!

What's that sound? It's the sound of the douchebag orchestra playing off the winners of Best Sound Design.

Marisa Tomei is so brave to show her face @ the after never returning the one she accidentally won for My Cousin Vinny.

As of 10pm, winning films include Alice in Wonderland and The Wolfman. Non-Oscar winning films include True Grit and 127 Hours.

that was very insulting saying oprah was coming up and then showing a giant elephant. shame on you academy 

I can't compete with @.

What a pop for Amy Adams name dropping George Lucas.

If Christian Bale,Melissa Leo and Aaron Sorkin look under their Oscar statues, they'll find Oprah just gave them a new car.

Jack Palance on the floor doing pushups would still be taller than Billy Crystal.

Oh, the jokes on @, that Asian woman who won for Best Documentary was actually Banksy in disguise. @ was robbed.

Damn right wins for Best Visual Effects. These mofos flipped Paris upside down! Who's ever seen shit like that before?

Liked the shot of David Fincher's daughter stone faced while everyone else laughed at Randy Newman. He doesn't have a friend in her.  

alright the dead guys are coming up. how come theyre always so much more talented than the live guys?

Geez, Matt Damon lost a shit load of weight.

I thought The King's Speech was a wonderful film and all that, but fuck this. Fincher, Aranofsky, Nolan, and the Coens were robbed.

I wonder if Annette Bening looks at Warren Beatty and thinks, "Warren, you got so old." What's old, pussycat?

After leaving the stage both Kirk Douglas & Eli Wallach chased @ around backstage demanding he paint their chicken coop.

No one saw Rabbit Hole so we're all taking Nicole Kidman's nomination this year purely on blind faith.

Impressed @ actually chose Jennifer Lawrence's best moment in the Winter's Bone clip they aired.

Just like the rat at the end of The Departed, the Black Swan symbolizes obviousness. Congratulations Best Actress Natalie Portman!

Ironically Colin Firth is currently inspiring lonely young men hunched over their keyboards to complain about his winning Best Actor  

Again: Academy Award winners Alice in Wonderland and The Wolfman. Not Academy Award Winners: True Grit and 127 Hours.

Senor Spielbergo has arrived to welcome us all to Jurassic Park.  


Everyone in @ deserves to find their Facebook accounts canceled by the morning. @ got robbed.

If we ever win an Oscar @ and I promise @ that we will thank the computer.

Norm sticks the landing! RT @ you guys were the 83rd best hosts ever.

I bet David Fincher's glad he stopped filming The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and flew all the way from Sweden to LA for nothing.
And that was the Oscars. I definitely would like to thank the computer. Same time next year, Norm?

Sunday, February 27, 2011




Finally, The Rock has come back to action movies! Faster is a stripped down, violent, pulpy revenge picture struggling with its own conscience. Dwayne Johnson stars as a former wheel man sprung out of a ten year sentence in the clink on an unholy quest for vengeance against the men who murdered his crew and his beloved brother. Billy Bob Thornton and the fetching Carla Gugino are the detectives hunting down this one man crime spree systematically blowing thugs, goons, sex offenders, and telemarketers away in the dusty towns of Bakersfield, California and Henderson, Nevada.  Johnson is in fine form; he's a formidable physical presence on screen very much akin to Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator. Unlike Arnold, Johnson does a powerful amount of emoting as Faster blazes ahead. The Rock sheds his impenetrable action hero veneer and effectively conveys the inner torment driving him into this quest for murderous revenge.  Several famous character actors pop up as Johnson's targets. The most stunning is an almost unrecognizable Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko from Lost) as a reformed criminal turned preacher who pleads startlingly for Johnson's soul. Faster really ups the ante by introducing an intriguing third element into the scenario: Oliver Jackson-Cohen as an overachieving master assassin hired to take down Johnson. Jackson-Cohen is in love with Maggie Grace and struggles with his desire to pursue his career or surrender it for a chance at happiness with the woman he loves. The fact that Johnson is not only an evasive target who foils him at every turn but, much like The Rock's wrestling persona, hardly acknowledges his existence, drives Jackson-Cohen up the proverbial wall. The relationship between the supermodel-beautiful Grace and Jackson-Cohen is a pleasing divergence as Faster cuts between Johnson's manhunt and Thornton's unsavory home life. Faster really pushes past the point of believability in how Johnson can go on a five day killing spree and the police make no effort to catch him when he is hardly careful about his movements. Nor is he subtle, blazing across the deserts in an extremely conspicuous striped black Chevrolet Chevelle SS. The ultimate reveal of the conspiracy behind how and why Johnson's brother was killed and why Johnson went to prison was easy to determine using the Law of Economy of Characters.  Still, despite its preposterous elements, Faster is a grim, satisfying action yarn; a welcome throwback to 1970's grindhouse revenge pictures that inspired the similarly violent Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino films of the early 1990's.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Smallville 10x15 - "Fortune"


Special DC Universe Guest Stars:
With Special Mentions of:
And possibly:

The bachelor/bachelorette parties of soon-to-be newlyweds Clark Kent and Lois Lane gave Smallville a prime excuse to crib from The Hangover this week. The result was an utterly bizarre What The Hell Did I Just Watch? episode peppered with a few comedic moments and a big surprise at the end.  

I barely understood the bulk of the plot. The Smallville crew were hungover from a zany night caused by Zatanna's enchanted champagne (unfortunately, no Zatanna appearance as Serinda Swan is off making Breakout Kings) and ended up in a zany caper at Amos Fortune's casino involving Lois' missing engagement ring, an armored car that ended up at the Kent Barn, Emil Hamilton dressed as Elvis singing (and banging!) Tess, Chloe and Clark thinking they got married, and Oliver Queen in drag as a showgirl. (Amos Fortune didn't realize he was a man and hit on him.)  There was also a monkey.

However, interspersed in that nonsense was a hilarious gag of hungover Clark Superspeeding right into a wall.  The scene towards the end of everyone watching Emil's video of the drunken night in question was also pretty funny, and also borrowed from the ending of The Hangover when they all watched the pics taken of their forgotten, drugged out night in Vegas. The moments between Oliver and Lois where Lois fretted about losing her engagement ring and they commiserated about the pressures of living up to Clark's perfection were well done.  I also enjoyed the homage to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where Lois was crawling on the floor chasing after her ring in the middle of a brawl in the Fortune showroom.

The romantic coupling between Tess and Emil Hamilton came out of nowhere, but the video doesn't lie: Emil scored! He got right in there. High five to Emil!  He got his ass kicked and tortured during the episode, but well done, my man!  Amos Fortune was bizarre: He looked like an evil doppelganger of Terry O'Quinn from Lost.  He wasn't an evil scientist but an evil casino owner.  And did he really not know that showgirl was Oliver Queen, a man?  Or did he?  Weird. So weird.  Also, what the hell was with the monkey?

Even though, as Clark said, she just got back, Chloe is gone once more, perhaps permanently.  Allison Mack may not be returning for the rest of the season, though a two hour series finale without Chloe seems like a strange proposition.  Regardless, Chloe and Clark, the last Smallville Originals standing, had a sweet, sunlit farewell scene in the Kent Barn where Chloe announced she has taken a job as a reporter in Star City and will also spend her time mentoring other superheroes.  Because, in her few months away with the Suicide Squad, she's met others like Clark.  Including "a billionaire with high tech toys" and "a wondrous woman who'll throw you for a loop." Whaa-?!

Finally, the big surprise: Chloe and Clark didn't get married - Chloe and Oliver did. They're actually married. And apparently, they're both off to Star City together as man and wife.  Wait, so Green Arrow is leaving the show too?  Justin Hartley is gone too?! How does Smallville work without Green Arrow? (And how weird is it that the thought of Smallville, a show about young Superman, without Green Arrow seems unfathomable?) He can't be gone. Oliver still has that Omega symbol on his skull, even though he showed absolutely no effects of it this week.

I'm so confused. I feel like I also drank enchanted Zatanna booze. Did any of that really happen?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

V 2x7 - "Birth Pangs"

As a public service, I thought I'd get everyone caught up a bit on V. This is an admittance that I am still watching V.

No one's more surprised than me that I was generally pleased with the last couple of episodes. Oh, the show is still dumber than a pair of snakeskin boots, but seven episodes into their second (and final?) season, business has picked up. Might be too little too late; I mean, these major events should have actually started unraveling in season one, but better late than never.

Okay, so, here's where we are in V:

1) The Fifth Column is now an army, and Erica Evans is the leader. The V miniseries took about an hour for Julie, their blonde heroine, to become leader of the Resistance. In the 11th hour (literally) of the new V, Erica has finally become the leader of the global army fighting the Vs. The former leader was a man named Eli Cohn (Oded Fehr), who handpicked Erica to succeed him and was killed in a siege last week (titled "Siege").

In that very same seige, Erica's ex-husband and Tyler's father was killed. Erica is currently on bereavement leave from the FBI, which conveniently allows her time to travel the world and assert control over the Fifth Column. The good news is loss and command have turned Erica into a snarling, violent bad ass all eager to skin lizards and blow motherships out of the sky. It's sexay.

Father Jack was defrocked and is no longer a priest.

Chad is now working for The Fifth Column and is routinely surprised by things the audience has known for months, like Lisa working against her mother Anna.

2) Betrayals. Ryan betrayed the Fifth Column to Anna to protect his baby in Anna's thrall, but for some reason he's still trying to make nice with his former Fifth Column buddies, and for some, even harder to explain reason, Erica and friends haven't skinned him yet for betraying them.

Meanwhile, Hobbes has also secretly betrayed the Fifth Column because of a sudden backstory involving his wife-he-believed-dead-but-isn't. The Vs know where she is. Unlike Ryan, no one yet suspects Hobbes has been compromised even as he saddles up next to Erica as her second in command.

Speaking of betrayals, Anna is onto Lisa's wavering loyalty and ties to the Fifth Column.

3) Diana. So far, Diana has done nothing, just flitting about the bowels of the New York mothership. Anna goes down there to taunt her. Lisa also now visits for advice on how to betray Anna. But otherwise, there's been no point to Jane Badler being on the show. If neither Anna nor Lisa ever visited Diana to tell her what they're up to, Diana would have no impact on anything. In fact, it makes no sense Anna visits her at all; each time she does, she only shoots herself in the foot.

4) Red Sky, Phosphorous, Concordia, and The Soul. This is why the Vs are on Earth - try to follow along: Okay, so the Vs are a race that travels the universe with the primary purpose of leapfrogging their own genetic evolution. Decades ago, Vs were sent to Earth to infiltrate humanity and begin the process of getting humans ready for "cross breeding", so that the Vs can absorb humanity's best traits (like our hotness because we're not lizards) for the Vs evolutionary benefit. This involved selectively injecting pregnant women with high levels of phosphorous so that their children will have the capacity to breed with Vs. Erica Evans was one of those pregnant women and Tyler is one of those children.

There are 28 other children, however. We've been told by Anna in every episode that Tyler is "special" and thus was hand picked to mate with her daughter Lisa, but no, he isn't. There's a Tyler in 28 other cities, and the reason there are 29 V ships on Earth is each ship is docked over a city with one of the special children like Tyler. Does that make any sense?

When Anna unleashed Red Sky and Red Rain, the purpose of that was to condition humanity around the world to the higher phosphorous levels. We are to believe everyone in the world was red rained on. Plus, if you recall (or maybe you don't), when Anna unleashed Red Sky, she did it ahead of schedule. But that plot point doesn't matter one bit. In fact, nothing involving Red Sky-Red Rain makes any sense. But hey if you want not making sense, look no further than...

The Vs hate the human soul. Actually, not all Vs do; many, like Lisa, appreciate having human emotions. Anna hates it because the soul and human emotions counter acts her Bliss and ability to control the Vs. (Although Anna also secretly feels human emotions and hides it.) So Anna wants to destroy the soul and she thinks V science can isolate it and destroy it. In this belief and plot point, Anna - the smartest character on the show - is retarded. None of that makes any sense whatsoever.

But there's also Concordia. Concordia is the first of the V Cities Anna wants to build on Earth where humans and Vs can live together in perfect harmony. Except Concordia's real purpose is to be a docking station for the cloaked V ships in our solar system. I shit you not, Anna basically explained that the V Master Plan is for humans to populate Concordia while V ships secretly dock, then the Vs will come up, grab humans, and make with the sweet, sweet lizard on human sex.

This is the slapdash hodgepodge of inanity of V in a nutshell. Though again, the last couple of episodes actually stepped up the action and moved these ridiculous plot points forward, as opposed to the previous episodes involving Anna twirling her supervillain mustache plotting on her ship while the Fifth Column hem and haw in a basement.

Now that I've attempted to summarize V's story, I'm not sure what the V writers have been on since the series began, but I suspect it ain't phosphorous.

Saturday, February 19, 2011




Unknown could have used a better title. I have one idea: Nothing Good Comes From Being Married to Betty Draper. In Unknown, Liam Neeson is Bourne again, after a random accident where his taxi drove off a bridge into a river, placing him in a coma for four days. Neeson had arrived in wintry, photogenic Berlin with his wife January Jones for a biotechnology conference.  After the accident, Jones claims she has no idea who Neeson is, and Aidan Quinn has taken his identity, his place in the conference, and his wife. Is Neeson crazy? Is he who he believes he is? No and yes. And no. A desperate Neeson eventually finds Diane Kruger, the woman who drove the cab that went off the bridge and saved his life, and together they blaze a bloody trail across Berlin, bashing skulls in bloody brawls and smashing cars in chaotic car chases, seeking answers for Neeson. Kruger, a veteran of running across the United States with Nicolas Cage hunting for National Treasures, is quite at ease on the run for her life with a guy who could be crazy. Bruno Ganz is terrific as an elderly former agent of the German secret police whom Neeson enlists to help him. When Frank Langella appears towards the end of the picture, Ganz and Langella have themselves a crackerjack scene that ends with cyanide.  (Like Sir Ben Kingsley, I no longer recall a time when Langella can appear on camera and one didn't automatically suspect him as the villain.) Unknown takes the elements of The Bourne Identity - an American amnesiac in Western Europe, shadowy agents trying to kill him, a conspiracy he must unravel his role in, and a down-on-her-luck ex-pat German girl who becomes his ally - and jumbles them around in a preposterous but entertaining fashion.  Neeson is no Jason Bourne; he's not a deadly weapon questioning his existence, he's just an ordinary man trying to make sense of an impossible situation. Or is he?  Unknown has its cake and eats it too.

I Am Number Four



In I Am Number Four, aliens walk among us - aliens who look like they were torn from an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog. In an ill-defined backstory, sexy blonde alien teenagers with superpowers are hidden away on Earth. Their planet was conquered by a race of bald, tattooed, grotesques with gills on their faces, and now they're on Earth killing the sexy blonde teenagers - in numerical order, for some reason. For it was foretold that only the sexy blonde teenagers have the necessary superpowers to stop the gill-faced grotesques. The sexy blonde teenagers' superpowers are called Legacies; their legacies involve having super strength, super agility, and high-powered flashlights in their hands. (If I had those powers, I'd draw a bat symbol on my palm and flash it up into the night sky. Maybe Batman would show up.)  Our sexy blonde square-jawed, monosyllabic hero is Alex Pettyfer. He is Number Four. He is also a big bore. Like all of the sexy blonde alien teenagers, Pettyfer has a guardian, Timothy Olyphant, who's constantly sneering and as impatient as I was for the movie to be over. (At least he got to leave early.)  Olyphant's job is to watch over Pettyfer and drag him around America to keep him hidden from the gill-faces, but apparently, it didn't mean he likes or even has to talk to the kid. Olyphant withholds vital information about Pettyfer's origins and powers from him, and also us, the audience. We have to watch Pettyfer learn the potential of having flashlights in his hands as he romances the hottest photographer girl in his high school, Dianna Agron of Glee, while dealing with the school bully and keeping his true sexy alien nature from being discovered.  He blows the last part royally. Agron and Pettyfer have a chaste, by the numbers teen romance - complete with the notion that the aliens from Pettyfer's race only love one person their whole lives - cue calculated swooning from the Twilight audience. Meanwhile, there's an even sexier blonde teenage alien out there, Teresa Palmer. She is Number Six, the sexiest of the sexy. She is also from the Australian continent of their homeworld, judging from her accent. Palmer is already fully trained in her powers, a motorcycle-riding, seasoned ass-kicker, and has mastered the art of walking away slow-motion from an explosion. Palmer only has two brief scenes in the first 90 minutes then shows up at the end for the big showdown between the sexy blondes and the gill-faces, complete with giant CGI alien lizards and dogs slugging it out.  How much more interesting would this movie have been if it were I Am Number Six, following Palmer around instead of Pettyfer?  Perhaps the sequel they rather confidently set up will answer that question. What will they call the sequel, anyway - I Am Number Four 2?

Smallville 10x14 - "Masquerade"


SUPERMAN! LOIS LANE! TESS MERCER! (Absent this week) THE GREEN ARROW! CHLOE SULLIVAN! (Who Has No Name and No Identity)
Special DC Universe Guest Star:
With several mentions of:

Set against the backdrop of DeSaad, the master torturer of the evil New God Darkseid in classic DC comic books, re-imagined Smallville-style as a serial killer stamping Omega symbols on the skulls of the people of Metropolis, "Masquerade" is primarily concerned with the question of identity.  Clark deals directly with the dueling identities of how to present "Clark Kent" and "The Blur" to the public, after blurry images of his face make worldwide news when he was hanging out on the Big Ben clock tower in London for some reason.  For Chloe, the question of who she is now is even more confounding for her.

Continuing their tradition of haunting the aisles of their local Blockbuster for episode plot ideas, this week, Smallville decided to do a riff on the recent Steve Carell and Tina Fey movie Date Night. Oliver and Chloe, both out incognito, as it were, engage in some sexy romantic role playing at the Ace of Clubs. They pretend to be "Mr. and Mrs. Jones" so they can glom a dinner reservation (I was hoping a certain Martian Manhunter would show up), and wouldn't you know it, a desperate phone call and a kidnapping later, they're in deep, deep trouble.  Turns out their kidnappers are FBI agents tracking a serial killer, who's been leaving a trail of bodies around Metropolis.  Chloe and Oliver beat up the feds then blunder around a bit trying to figure out what's going on, and when Oliver goes all Spider-Man on Chloe and leaves her in an alley while he parkours up a building, Chloe is captured by DeSaad.

Meanwhile, Clark is tracking DeSaad as an investigative reporter and we find out that Clark Kent carries a lot of weight in this town.  Police officers practically genuflect at the sight of Clark's Daily Planet press pass and he even has a sycophantic Jonah Hill in Forgetting Sarah Marshall-like photographer following him around. Clark even nearly blows his cover, showing off his Super strength by saving his life. At the morgue, Clark runs right into DeSaad without realizing it. Clark's more interested in his new found power of "Micro Vision".  (Doesn't he mean "Microscopic Vision"? Even Lois thinks "Micro Vision" doesn't sound quite right. Clark: "It's my power, I can call it what I want!") Prior to all this, Lois takes a break from planning their wedding to chide Clark about his handsome headshot appearing under his bylines in his news articles; hardly the low-key approach for someone who wants to run around without a mask as the Blur.

Captured by DeSaad, the Date Night references stop entirely and Smallville shifts to riffing on the 1995 Brad Pitt-Morgan Freeman serial killer classic Se7en. Chloe is tempted by specters of Clark (coming onto her), Oliver (asking her to run away with him), Lois (accusing her of jealousy), and herself (here's a Marcellus Wallace Pulp Fiction reference - "That's pride fuckin' wit' ya. Fuck pride!"), and DeSaad preying on Chloe's vulnerabilities Seven Deadly Sins-style. This is DeSaad's M.O.; you either succumb and get Darkseid's Omega symbol in your skull, or DeSaad just kills you and moves on. (It seems like a pretty inefficient method, one guy doing all this recruiting/killing solo, but no one thinks to ask DeSaad about the logistics of his evil mission.)  

Clark saves Chloe and Blurs her away, then confronts DeSaad. We learn that whatever darkness that was in Clark earlier this season is gone. Clark is now "incorruptible".  So DeSaad traps him in a swirling mass of black whatever-that-was, and nonchalantly strolls to his luxury vehicle for his getaway, only to find a green arrow in the tire and Oliver Queen waiting to pound the crap out of him.  Clark escapes from the black swirlies and stops Oliver from beating DeSaad to death, which I guess is what DeSaad wanted?  I'm not sure.  It gets even more confusing when Clark tells Lois later on he "buried DeSaad under Blackgate Prison". Say what? 

The important thing is Chloe's okay, and to Smallville's credit, as Chloe looks through her Smallville High yearbook, the show directly addresses how unrecognizable the Chloe character has become since she was "Chloe 1.0" a decade ago. Chloe's had almost as many jobs as Homer Simpson - she's been a long-suffering sidekick, intrepid reporter, Watchtower, leader of the Suicide Squad, and now she has no identity.  In defining her character yet again, Chloe decides to start by calling herself Oliver's girlfriend. Little does she know, she's the girlfriend to a Disciple of Darkseid as we see the Omega symbol glowing on Oliver Queen's forehead! 

As for Clark, he makes a pivotal decision and decides that from now on, Clark Kent can no longer be seen as a swaggering, handsome, macho ex-football star-turned-reporter.  Since he doesn't want to wear a mask as the Blur and accepts that people should see the Blur's face, "Clark Kent" has to be the mask.  And thus, Tom Welling dons the famous glasses, and does his best (poorly) to be the bumbling buffoon version Clark Kent Christopher Reeve mastered when he was Superman.  We must now accept unfailingly that Everyone In Metropolis Who Has Seen Clark Kent Over The Past Decade Is Now Fooled Instantly By The Glasses And Won't Recognize Him As The Blur.  See?  It's just that easy. Just do it.

Hey, whatever happened to Tess and Alexander? No mention at all of them, no follow through on the whole, "nothing less than a bursting shell can penetrate his skin" moment.  Is Tess still shacked up in the Kent Barn?  I guess we'll find out next week during the Kent-Lane engagement party.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

All-Star Superman



Adapted from Grant Morrison's acclaimed graphic novel, All-Star Superman adapts a handful of Morrison's tales into a choppy theatrical narrative, but ultimately delivers a particularly profound Superman story by its conclusion. All-Star Superman is a modern day continuation of the "Silver Age" version of the Man of Steel, complete with all of its hokey 1950s comic book trappings like Superman robots guarding the Fortress of Solitude, Superman's menagerie of alien pets (a "sun eater") and weaponry (a "gravity gun" and a "Phantom Zone projector"), and pseudo-science where normal humans can drink a serum to give them Superman's powers for 24 hours. (Note that Smallville more or less subscribes to Superman's Silver Age concepts.) The Super serum in question plays a pivotal role in the story, with both Lois Lane and Lex Luthor drinking it to gain Superman's powers, with decidedly different results. This is Superman at his most wholesome and square-jawed; in terms of his abilities, Superman is at his most god-like. Already nigh-almighty, Superman begins the story by being tricked by Lex Luthor into absorbing more solar radiation from the sun than his cells can handle, causing him to manifest even more power while he slowly dies from solar poisoning. Nonsensically slapped-together interludes with Lois Lane, the mythical troublemakers Samson and Atlas, two fellow Kryptonians looking to squat on Earth, a battle against a grotesquely mutated Parasite, and a final showdown with Lex Luthor comprise All-Star Superman's haphazard narrative. Grant Morrison's whizziest sci-fi concepts are saved for the end, where Luthor, using Superman's Super Vision, is stunned to see the building blocks that comprise our physical universe, and is so humbled, he finally reforms. Superman, his body transmuting into pure solar energy, goes on a final mission to destroy Solaris the Sun Tyrant and restore our sun from red to blue to normal. (Missing, perhaps for the best, are Morrison's confounding stories about Superman trapped on Bizarro World.)  The animation aims to replicate the artwork of Frank Quitely with reasonable success, while the voice acting - starring James Denton, Christina Hendricks, and Anthony LaPaglia as Superman, Lois Lane, and Lex Luthor - sounds a bit sleepy but is satisfactory. All-Star Superman doesn't quite succeed in capturing all of the heady, pulpy thrills of Morrison's comics, which have been heralded as the best Superman stories in decades, but it does the Man of Tomorrow justice.

Cedar Rapids



Cedar Rapids is a quirky, oddball comedy mash up about insurance salesmen; juxtaposing a strong core of Christian morality with ribald sex and dick jokes. Cedar Rapids is reminiscent of Up in the Air and the episode of The Simpsons where Homer took Ned Flanders to Las Vegas to loosen him up and they ended up marrying floozies in a drunken night of debauchery.  Ed Helms plays Ned Flanders, or a character with a lot of similarities - an innocent, well-meaning, straight-arrow, man child. Helms carries on a sexual relationship with Sigourney Weaver, who was his schoolteacher when he was 12, but is still so innocent he can't grasp his recently deceased co-worker whom he hero worshiped was a sexual deviant who died the way Michael Hutchence of INXS and David Carradine died (naked with a belt around his neck). Leaving his small Wisconsin town on an airplane for the first time, Helms travels to the big city - Cedar Rapids, Iowa - for a pivotal insurance convention that will decide the fate of his firm and the direction the rest of his life will take. In Cedar Rapids, Helms tears through a bucket list of things he never thought he'd do, be it rock climbing, doing drugs, having sex in a pool, or getting totally blotto and then selling his soul for $1500 in travelers checks. There are funny moments in Cedar Rapids, but for a 90 minute comedy, it also feels like there's a lot of padding, like an entire sequence where Helms and a hooker, a miscast Alia Shawkat from Arrested Development, party in the boondocks and Helms does cocaine, gets beaten up, and needs to be rescued.  Helms' comedic support comes from John C. Reilly as Homer Simpson, a drunken boorish salesman he has to room with, Anne Heche, convincingly playing a fetching heterosexual, and Isiah Whitlock, Jr., playing completely the opposite of the character he played on "the HBO program The Wire". The likability of the actors carries the movie when it feels slight or inessential.  Cedar Rapids even works in wink-winks regarding its cast: Heche reacts knowingly when Helms and company drunkenly crash a lesbian wedding, and Whitlock, Jr. makes two blatant references to being a connoisseur of "the HBO program The Wire."  Heche's relationship with Helms is pretty much identical to George Clooney and Vera Farmiga in Up in the Air, and Cedar Rapids also tries to pull off a similar trick by making a city like Cedar Rapids seem like a vacation shangri-la for everyday working people trying to get away from the monotony of their daily reality.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Smallville 10x13 - "Beacon"


Special Guest Stars:

"Beacon" accomplished a couple of important transitions for Smallville as it heads into the back end of its final season: It ended the Vigilante Registration Act storyline and, more importantly, it made the leap in a single bound of Clark deciding to publicly reveal himself as The Blur and adopt "Clark Kent" as his public disguise. The details of the latter will continue in the next several episodes, but Clark is now gonna start wearing glasses, though he's still gonna get a lot of passes.

"Months" have passed since Clark used the Mirrorbox and journeyed to Earth-2, with the Lionel Luthor of Earth-2 following him back to our Earth.  In those "months", Lionel-2's been super busy convincing people that he faked his own death and quickly reacquiring controlling interest in Luthorcorp. (At the very least he's probably grateful Oliver Queen never changed the name of the company. Made stealing it back a lot easier.)  Lionel-2 also finally paid a visit to his daughter Lutessa, whom he exclusively called Lutessa, and spooked her quite a bit.  Not content with the daughter he never wanted, Lionel-2 also tracked down the clone of the son he never liked and tried to bring him back to the family business.

Alexander is all grown up, into a confused, angry teen who's still aging rapidly and dying, plus experiencing memory loss.  It's funny how Tess and Clark couldn't find him all these "months", when everywhere he went he scrawled S shields and crossed them out on any flat surface he could find.  He practically made a Family Circle track line of his movements all over Metropolis.  Alexander shot Senator Martha Kent while she was in Metropolis leading a Pro-Heroes rally in support of abolishing the VRA.  Alexander used Kryptonite bullets since his real target was Clark, whom he assumed would blur in to protect his mom.  Hah, little did he know Clark was busy watching it all on TV. Why, Clark was so slow, even though he Supersped out of the Kent Farm right when the shooting happened, he didn't even make it to the hospital until well after Martha was all patched up and on the phone with Lois.

Lionel-2's attempts to woo his son really backfired in record time.  Lionel-2 was aghast that Alexander shot Martha Kent, because she's really a lovely person. No matter what universe, Lionel Luthor always has the hots for Martha Kent. Lionel-2 even found Martha waiting in Luthor Mansion for him, and he didn't pass up the chance to make a pass at her: "I find you very attractive!"  Instead, Alexander pistol whipped them both and left them to die in flames, setting fire to the Luthor Mansion.  Clark saved them both in time, hilariously dumping Lionel's body on the ground.  But like the Talon set a few episodes ago, they really burned down the Luthor Mansion set.  Smallville really is ending, and they're not shy about saying goodbye to a lot of the old standbys.

Meanwhile, Lois can't get a Pro-Heroes story published in any newspaper. She naively still thinks newspapers are the highest form of communication in 2011. After getting Martha's blessing as the love of Clark's life and her future daughter-in-law, Martha told Lois about how back in the 60's, Perry White couldn't get published either and eschewed traditional media to get his stories across.  (It's funny to hear Martha suddenly start talking about Perry White out of the blue; Annette O'Toole being married to Michael McKean and all.)  Prior to this, Martha had a heart-to-heart with Chloe, not just about Chloe leading the Suicide Squad, but re-affirming her importance as Clark's oldest friend. Smallville Originals gotta stick together.

Inspired by Martha's Tales of Perry White, Lois dug up Perry's files and recruited Chloe to hack into "all" of the major news websites.  What they cousins came up with was a site called Beacon of Hope, where ordinary people (who watched Smallville and uploaded videos of themselves on gave testimonials on what a hero like the Blur means to them. Clark was totally moved by it.  They like him! They really like him!

In the end, despite riots on the streets pro and anti-VRA, the people's voices were heard in a nationwide vote repealing the VRA.  No more attacking Oliver Queen on the street. The heroes are free to operate in their colored leather underpants and fight all the crime their hearts desire.  Clark was totally moved again by this public attaboy that he told Martha he'd traveled into the future and saw the hero he would become. He also saw "Clark Kent" "hiding behind glasses and a bad haircut."  But Clark thinks it's time for him to step into the light. (He also mentioned The Suit Martha made for him.)  Martha replies that Clark is the light.  And because Smallville must put too fine a point on things (just like how Hawkman was "Icarus"), Clark, Chloe and Lois triumphantly re-enter Watchtower, pull the sheets off the equipment, and open the eye of the tower, letting sunlight wash over Clark.  (At least by the time they got to Watchtower, Chloe and Oliver had put away the mattress they used when they turned Watchtower into their F-shack. Though there was a funny line, post-coital, when Chloe said orange wasn't Oliver's color. Ha ha. Justin Hartley was supposed to be Aquaman before he became Green Arrow.)

Lastly, there's Tess and Alexander.  When Lionel-2 got his mitts on Alexander, Clark decided to visit the Fortress of Solitude to ask Jor-El what to do about them, since he'd destroyed the Mirrorbox.  Tess asked aloud if Clark had "other means" of dealing with the Luthor boys.  Thus we learned that even though Clark banished Slade Wilson to the Phantom Zone, he plans to bring him back to Earth to stand trial once the VRA is abolished.  (Though Clark didn't set a time frame for when he'd actually do so.)  Once she learned the Luthors had taken back what's theirs, i.e. the Mansion, Tess basically shacked up in the Kent Barn, where Alexander tried to shoot Clark with the K-bullet but got talked out of it by Tess's tenderness.  And yet, it was all a ruse, as Tess planned to stick Alexander with a cyanide needle and murderize him.  Except when she did, the needle bent against Alexander's skin.  Aw crap, what kind of clone is this kid?

And more importantly, how will Smallville transition this Alexander into Lex Luthor when Michael Rosenbaum returns for the finale?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

It's Kind of a Funny Story



It's Kind of a Funny Story is a soft, warm, fuzzy, consciously quirky movie about clinical depression. Keir Gilchrist plays a bright, affluent teenage boy with a loving family who wants to kill himself, and thus checks himself into an adult psychiatric ward populated by quirky insane people with various degrees of mental illness. Though Gilchrist's fellow patients are schizophrenics and suicidals, none of them are a danger to themselves or others. To It's Kind of a Funny Story, they're all just a perfectly friendly collection of endearing oddballs. Even their doctor, Viola Davis, is perpetually bemused, just short of constantly chuckling like Dr. Hibbert on The Simpsons. Oh, aren't the mentally ill such a delight to be around? (Missing from the hospital is the poster from the first issue of The Tick when The Tick was trapped in an insane asylum: "Cheer Up! It's All In Your Mind!"). As Gilchrist spends five days in the psych ward, we learn through his conversations and interactions with others that he doesn't really have any real problems. Zach Galifinakis, who's basically the Obi-Wan Kenobi of the psych ward, susses this out pretty much from the get-go. Gilchrist has all the advantages in the world, plus he's talented in art, and, despite his random puking episodes, the ladies seem to like him, especially the hot girl his age conveniently in the psych ward with him, Emma Roberts. Roberts does well with what little she has to play; the movie is more interested in framing how pretty she is than delving into what issues got her locked up in the psych ward for 21 days (she's a cutter, but you know what? It's fine). Galifianakis digs the deepest with his character, finding nuance, complexity, and personal tragedy that the movie touches on but isn't too interested in dealing with either. Whatever genuine mental and emotional issues these people have are treated in a flighty, surface-y manner, because it's more important to jump to the next cheerful animated sequence or freewheeling jaunt around the hospital. Meanwhile, Gilchrist's main problem is he gets stressed out and depressed by his good life. When his successful best friend on the outside confesses that he also gets stressed out and depressed, Gilchrist is floored by this major revelation he never seemed to consider. In the end, Gilchrist gets out of the ward right on schedule, with a quirky montage providing all the relief the audience needs that he and his new girlfriend Roberts are gonna be just fine if they take it day by day. Perhaps while Gilchrist was still in the loony bin, his doctors could have looked into his fantasy of he and his fellow patients dressed up as members of Queen and David Bowie performing "Under Pressure" in a gay fantasia. Cuckoo. That'd be Frank Sinatra's diagnosis of these chickadees.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Kelly Kelly's Finest Hour

On the February 4, 2011 episode of WWE Friday Night Smackdown, the main event saw World Heavyweight Champion Edge and Kelly Kelly defeat Dolph Ziggler and LayCool in a two on three handicap mixed tag team match where if either Edge or Kelly were pinned, Edge would lose the World Title to Dolph Ziggler.

I loved this. No, really, I did. Kelly Kelly defending the World Heavyweight Championship on Smackdown against LayCool and winning with Edge's Spear against impossible odds? Then getting fired for it by Vickie Guerrero? It's so thoroughly ridiculous a scenario I ate it up. Do I want something like that to happen every week? No, of course not. But as a one-off bizarro spectacle I thought it was great.

For the first time in her WWE career, Kelly Kelly was the star, not just of the match, but of the entire show. And she delivered. She really stepped it up. Did we understand what the hell she was talking about, re: Vickie going through her stuff and messing with "her character"? No. Did she even shove Vickie down correctly? No. What did Kelly mean when she blew up on Edge backstage that Edge and Drew McIntyre are all the same? Who knows?

This is Kelly Kelly Farrah Fawcett Hair Holla Oooh I'm Feeling Sexy Points to Sky and Points To The Crowd we're talking about. This is the same girl who in her very first appearance on ECW as the Exhibitionist five years ago couldn't figure out how to unbuckle her bra during her striptease. Kelly Kelly hardly ever wins and has never held the Divas Championship. What could we reasonably expect from Kelly Kelly?

Well, what Smackdown gave us last night was the best Kelly Kelly performance there ever was. I cheered for her to survive LayCool. She looked like she was dying and barely hanging on as she was pummeled two-on-one but kept fighting back.  When Kelly overcame LayCool, I popped not just for her Spear Spear Spear but the exhausted, "I've got nothing left, please God let this be the end" cover on Layla

Last night on Smackdown was Kelly Kelly's finest hour. And final hour, because she got fired. But what a way to go out, as the first and only Diva in WWE history to successfully defend the World Heavyweight Championship. Plus, K2 got to be a worldwide trending topic on Twitter for her efforts.

The only thing better on the show was Hornswoggle caning Alberto Del Rio in the groin and then getting kicked in the face. But if Kelly did it instead of Hornswoggle, this would have ranked as perhaps the Greatest Smackdown Ever.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Smallville 10x12 - "Collateral"

SUPERMAN! LOIS LANE! TESS MERCER! (Absent this week) THE GREEN ARROW! CHLOE SULLIVAN! (She's back, and back in the opening credits)
Special DC Universe Guest Stars:
Also Mentioned:

At the behest of their lawyers, Smallville is legally obligated to state for the record that no one who works for Smallville in any capacity has ever heard of the motion picture The Matrix or any its related properties. Any similarities found in this episode are purely coincidental. Also, Inception. They've never heard of that either. They have, however, heard of The Truman Show for some reason.

When last we saw our Super Friends they were all knocked unconscious by a flash of light while in Egypt funeralizing their late winged wonder Hawkman. Three weeks have passed, with each member of the Justice League and Lois Lane all trapped in a virtual world created by the government group responsible for the Vigilante Registration Act. Their diabolical plan: To imprison the superheroes in a computer generated fantasy while creating a method to turn their superpowers on and off (and skills, in Green Arrow's case - how do you turn archery on and off? No matter.) at will and force them to work for the VRA.  

Chloe Sullivan triumphantly returns to the series, like a white leathered Trinity and/or Morpheus, to guide each member of the League out of the virtual world and back into the real world.  (At one point, after freeing Oliver, Chloe said "one down, five to go". So let's count: 1) Black Canary 2) Lois 3) Clark 4) ? 5) ?? Chloe mentioned AC (Aquaman) by name, and we know Stargirl was at the funeral, but they're not on the guest star list so we never see them. Presume they were rescued. But wasn't the entire The Team at the funeral? Or were they? Aw, who cares.)

Oliver was an easy sell to Chloe; he wasted no time in trusting his girlfriend's word that they were living in a virtual world, but to be fair, the Chloe Avatar materialized out of the wall like the T-1000 before his very eyes and then shot two prison guards "dead" Morpheus-style, so Oliver had something to hang his faith on.  On the other hand, Black Canary was totally convinced Chloe was the enemy. Her fight scene with the Chloe Avatar ended with Chloe stopping a knife in mid-air. Black Canary has been kind of a waste on this show. Since she's not Green Arrow's lover like in the comics, she seems to serve no purpose when she shows up besides being hostile and belligerent, then seeing the error of her ways, then going away again. 

However, the biggest problem in Chloe's rescue op was Clark. Isn't it always Clark?  Clark couldn't believe what the Chloe Avatar was saying about the world not being real.  Because Chloe left and never told him why. Clark "didn't know her anymore". Never mind all the times Clark flipped out on and abandoned Chloe for various reasons over nine years, yet Chloe never gave up on him. Clark just couldn't get over Chloe abandoning him just that once. Thus, it was easier for Clark to accept the VRA took away his super powers and he was suffering from post-traumatic stress.  It took a pretty heartfelt talkin'-to by Lois to get Clark to free his mind.

In the real world, Oliver is shocked to discover Chloe now runs the Suicide Squad. She had Rick Flagg and Deadshot doing her dirty work and complying as she calls the shots. Chloe's explanation for this flew over my head like Lois and Clark soaring over the Daily Planet and "the spires of Metropolis."

That's right, Clark flew. Only in the virtual world, but he launched himself and Lois up, up and away, bowling over all of the Chloe Avatars corrupted by the VRA like Neo fighting all those Agent Smiths in that sequel to that movie Smallville has never heard of.  The last scene of the episode was Clark thanking Lois for helping him believe he could "defy the rules of the virtual world".  And who knows, Clark says, maybe he'll fly again.  Smallville, we are holding you to this promise.

The episode was really an hour-long Chloe Sullivan love fest, firmly re-establishing her back in the Smallville family, but not without some shoehorning, as the series had moved on quite admirably in her absence.  In the end, the Team is back, Watchtower is presumably going back online, Chloe promised to stick around, Chloe and Oliver are back together, and Chloe agreed to be Maid of Honor at the Lane-Kent nuptials. (Maiden of Might was already taken.) 

I think my favorite bit was near the end when Clark and Chloe reminisced about their graduation from Smallville High only five years ago, and discussing the nature of trust. Who would have ever guessed that a mere five years after graduation, Clark Kent would be a mild-manned reporter for the Daily Planet, engaged to Lois Lane, and on the cusp of becoming the Man of Tomorrow?  Well, everyone. But who would have guessed Chloe Sullivan would be a fugitive from the government, the former brain of Watchtower, former information nexus of the Justice League, and now the commander of the Suicide Squad? No one. Because that's ridiculous. Yet here we are.

The Roommate



The Roommate is a college-age thriller of startling banality and incompetence. Cheap-looking and insipid, The Roommate seems to hate college, college students, women, men, thrillers, movies in general, and the audience, without the dimmest understanding of any of those subjects. The cinematography lacks even the slightest regard for proper lighting and some two-shots don't even match in reverse angle. Narrative is threadbare, logic is nonexistent, and scenes end with a thud - The Roommate seems to have been edited by a hostile ape swinging a fire axe.  Other than all that, the movie's a mess.  

Minka Kelly, late of NBC's Friday Night Lights, has come to Los Angeles from Dillon, Texas by way of Des Moines with dreams of making it as a fashion designer. She enrolls in The CW University. At The CW University, the only curriculum offered is fashion and figure drawing. The CW-U gives their students IKEA's trendiest dorm room furniture but every building in the campus is plunged in darkness, as if the college lacks the funds to pay their electricity bills.

Once matriculated at The CW University, Kelly's roommate - The Roommate - is Leighton Meester from Gossip Girl. Their dorm mate is Aly Michalka of Hellcats. Kelly's ex-boyfriend is one of the dudes from 90210 and Meester has an undefined past issue with Nina Dobrev of The Vampire Diaries. The CW has invested heavily in The Roommate for some reason. Despite the nubile young cast of hotties, the aforementioned cinematography is so murky, none of them come off looking good. The Roommate is neither sexy, nor provocative, nor titillating.

Kelly may be beautiful but she's also a robot; emotionless but excruciatingly slow on the uptake. However, she's also easy, as her boyfriend Cam Gigandet quickly discovers, when he bags her on their first date. The smarmy Gigandet is no charmer or hero, but he's the best The Roommate offers as a male character. Every other dude in the movie is some sort of rapist, including Kelly's "fashion professor" Billy Zane. (Important: If the villain in Titanic teaches at your college, you transfer!)

Meester is a complete psychopath. This is evident upon her introduction and Meester adds no depth or shades of nuance - she starts off crazy, gets crazier, then crazier, then crazier, then finally crazier. Maybe not in that order.  In Meester's first instance of deranged assault, she stalks Michalka in the shower, shutting off the lights. Despite being terrified, Michalka nakedly opens every shower curtain expecting to find Meester (who apparently can move around a small, enclosed girl's shower room like a wraith). When Meester turns the lights back on, Michalka defiantly decides to continue with that shower. Big mistake, and the Hellcat paid for it with her belly ring. Meester's the oddball kind of psycho who punches herself in the face and stabs herself in the gut just to make Kelly think she was mugged. When Kelly is brought home for Thanksgiving, Meester's father says he's "fond" of her.

Devoid of any sort of through-line of action - what I'm saying is nothing happens and there's no point to anything - The Roommate's plot, per se, basically follows Kelly's dull freshman college life of going to frat parties, going to class, working in a cafe, and going running. Meester takes issue with anyone other than her entering Kelly's general vicinity - even a kitten, which she shoves in a coin-op dryer in The Roommate's dunder headed nod to the boiling the bunny scene in Fatal Attraction (there's no payoff of Kelly finding the kitten, either.) Meester systematically eliminates everyone from Kelly's life, except her boyfriend Gigandet, whom she curiously avoids. (Meester doesn't even dispatch anyone lethally, just by creeping them out, blackmail, or simple assault.) Kelly takes weeks to notice and months to get irritated by Meester's behavior. 

When Kelly finally has enough of Meester, she finally moves out of their dorm room, prompting Meester to really step it up... by pretending to be a lesbian, tying up Kelly's mentor Daneel Harris in her home for days, and incompetently trying to kill her in front of Kelly. What, pray tell, does Meester ultimately want from Kelly?  "I want to be your friend!", she hysterically screeches during the violent finale, netting the biggest laugh from the audience.  

Curiously absent from The Roommate, despite all of Meester's antics, are campus security, the police, hospital visits, or anything resembling common sense human behavior. The one time the dorm adviser appears, it's to ask them to get rid of the kitten. In their fatal final throwdown, when Kelly finally kills Meester (by stabbing her in the back with a box cutter. Meester's coup de grace: the Undertaker's dead eyeroll), The Roommate ignores any of the messy legal issues killing your psychotic roommate in an apartment building would entail in real life. In the end, Kelly gets what she deserves most for overcoming all that trouble, annoyance, and mild terror: the dorm room all to herself for the spring semester.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Due Date



In between The Hangover movies, director Todd Phillips made Due Date. Due Date is no Hangover, though it stars Zach Galifianakis, who has quickly become the Robert De Niro to Phillips' Martin Scorsese. The Leonardo DiCaprio to his Scorsese. The Russell Crowe to his Sir Ridley Scott. And so forth. Galifianakis pushes the borderline insane slob character he played in The Hangover - actually, in all of his performances - to the limits of tolerability. And then over the limit. A would-be actor on his way from Atlanta to Hollywood hoping to make it onti his favorite sitcom Two and a Half Men, Galifianakis essentially ruins the life of tightly wound architect Robert Downey, Jr., who is desperate to fly home to LA to witness his wife Michelle Monaghan give birth to their first child. The first half of Due Date is very funny. Galifianakis gets Downey thrown off their flight and placed on the No Fly list, forcing them to road trip together. At first, the odd couple and gross-out humor works. Downey plays the smartest-guy-in-the-car and grows more and more frustrated with Galifianakis' eccentric man-child slob, though Downey is no angel and has (understandably) violent outbreaks. There's a really good meta-runner of Downey giving Galifianakis lessons in method acting and claiming he's never done drugs. As the road trip continues, though, the number of incidents that would be 'deal-breakers' for their arrangement exceeds the number of fingers on one hand. One starts to feel the obvious manipulations of the screenplay overriding any logic. Halfway through, Galifianakis falls asleep at the wheel, causing their rental car to fly off a freeway. This is Due Date's jump the shark moment. Any believability went out the window after that. In the end, Due Date is best summarized by what Mr. Burns said to Homer Simpson when they survived being trapped by an avalanche together: "Once you've been through something like that with someone, you never want to see that person again."