A Very Specific “SNL” Theory

I still watch SNL every week, and while some episodes are more miss than hit, there is usually enough good material to make it worth my while. Over the last few years, some of my favorite sketches have been the Woodbridge High School theater productions, as seen here:

I love it – the kids are so self-indulgent, and think that their show is a seed that will sprout into a plant that will change the world.

A few weeks ago, SNL aired this genius commercial for a political musical:

(“”Jesus Christ.” – The NY Times” gets me every time.) It’s clear the show was “definitely written by the actors,” and, this is where my specific theory comes in: the actors in the musical are the alumni of Woodbridge High. You’ll note that a lot of the same cast is used. Moreover, their complete lack of self-awareness over how bad their high school productions went would totally translate into unearned confidence on the Broadway stage.

So, for the few of you who both read this blog and are devoted SNL fans like me, what do you think?

“Rocky” movies, ranked

Sylvester-Stallone-as-Rocky-Balboa-In-Creed.jpgInspired by a discussion with co-workers after having seen “Creed II,” I felt it was only right to properly rank the “Rocky” movies.  As I explained to them, there are three criteria upon which “Rocky” movies should be evaluated: training montage, music, and boxing matches.  Here, then, is the infallible list of “Rocky” films, rated worst to first by those three categories. Continue reading

Pixar Movies, Ranked

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Because everyone seems to be ranking the Pixar movies, in advance of the release of Pixar’s 20th (“Incredibles 2”), I thought I’d give my two cents. Here are the official, take-them-to-the-bank, 100% correct rankings of every Pixar film so far:

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Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the 10-Year Anniversary

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I’ve seen a lot of movies. While this may not seem revelatory for those reading a pop culture and entertainment blog, suffice it to say I’ve seen thousands. Comedies. Dramas. Good movies. Bad movies. “Gone with the Wind.” All three “Harold and Kumar” films. Ten different “Star Wars” movies. Westerns. Crime films. Film noirs. I’ve seen movies that have nearly frozen me in my seat after watching them due to their power and message (“Sophie’s Choice,” “Spotlight,” “Schindler’s List”); there were movies that I’ve walked out of (“Antz,” “You, Me, and Dupree,” “Epic Movie,” “Fred Claus”). I’ve seen a lot of funny movies (“The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up,” “Old School,” “Zoolander,” “There’s Something About Mary”) and movies that tried to be funny but missed the mark (“Eurotrip,” “Funny People,” “Drillbit Taylor”). I’ve seen movies opening night in a crowded theater, opening night in an empty theater (“Scooby-Doo 2”), and movies by myself at 11 am on a weekday. I’ve seen Marvel movies, DC movies, indie movies, Tarantino movies, movies that tried to emulate Tarantino movies, and basically every Natalie Portman film under the sun. Some of these movies stick with me. Some are forgettable. Some were perfectly fine to watch on an airplane, or on Starz on some random Sunday. But ten years ago? Ten years ago I saw a movie that has stuck with me, that feels fresh every time I rewatch it. Because ten years ago, on its opening day in the theater, I saw “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” Continue reading

Happy Sugar Ray/Visor Day 2018!

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Well, it’s the fifteenth anniversary of Sugar Ray/Visor Day, and you know what that means: Time to break out the crystal. Thankfully, I got my blog back after last year’s shenanigans. I can’t believe SRVD is 15 – that means it would be a freshman in high school! So, to honor the holiday, I thought I’d take a look back at some of my favorite high school-related movies. And for those who are gluttons for punishment or just need a refresher on the origins of the holiday, you’ll find that after the list.

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Things that still bother me…Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead edition

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I love almost everything about Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead. “The dishes are done, man!” “I’m right on top of that, Rose!” Everything that happens at General Apparel West. The movie is so much better than it has any right to be. Hilarious, poignant, and a great star turn for Christina Applegate. Just a solid, entertaining flick all around. But is it perfect? No. Here are some lingering questions I have after having recently watched it for the umpteenth time. The lack of answers to these questions still bother me. Continue reading

Can I Be Natalie’s Agent, Or: Wait, Does Natalie Portman Choose Bad Movies?

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As my friend Tessa can attest, I’m not someone who easily changes his opinion. Or regularly changes his opinion. Or, like, ever changes his opinion. And one of my bedrock principles has always been “Natalie Portman = amazing.” I mean, ever since I saw her in The Professional I was hooked. I have seen every major release of hers in the theater with one glaring exception: Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. And that continued through this past Monday, when I saw Annihilation. Which made me yawn and left me angry and confused:

I told co-workers yesterday that I was disappointed in Annihilation, despite its cast (Portman, Tessa Thompson, Oscar Isaac) and pedigree (written and directed by Alex Garland, who wrote The Beach [the book], 28 Days Later, and wrote and directed Ex Machina). They acted surprised – what did I expect? And, what did I expect from a Natalie Portman movie anyway? They are never any good. And while my instinct was to rise to her defense, I realized something: they were right. Her movies, on the whole, are actually pretty bad. And while this may be an obvious statement to those reading this, that is akin to me realizing the sky is blue after thinking (knowing?) it was red all these years. How did I come to this game-changing realization? More after the jump… Continue reading