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Discuss this week's Joe Loves Crappy Movies here!

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Love crappy movies but are too ashamed to admit it? Are you a big Rob Schneider fan but you're tired of being burned? Not sure if you want to waste your money on the same old movie? That's why you have Joe.

Joe Loves Crappy Movies is by Joseph Dunn. Joe willingly goes to see the very worst that Hollywood has to offer. Whenever a crappy movie comes out Joe will be there to see it, make fun of it, and actually review it. Nothing is safe, and nothing is sacred. From the big budget action disasters to the low brow fart based comedies, to anything starring Martin Lawrence? Joe will tear it apart.

With each entry you'll get not only a comic poking fun at the movie, but also a detailed review. Joe's not educated in film or cinematography or acting, he's just a guy that draws comics and likes movies. So if you're looking for the everyman perspective and a little joke in comic form... you're in the right place.

Knocked Up

Starring: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Martin Starr, Joanna Kerns, Harold Ramis, Ken Jeong

Directed by: Judd Apatow

Universal Pictures - Official Site of the Movie

Discuss Knocked Up on the boards!

With a set-up straight out of a bad 80’s sitcom, a male lead that the average moviegoer has never heard of and a running time of just over 2 hours, Knocked Up came out of the gate with a few handicaps. But a writer/director with a passionate and personal story to tell and an unending cast list of improving masters that you just don’t know the names of yet, managed to put together one of the sweetest, genuine, endearing movies of the year.

Ben (Seth Rogen) is a slacker with no job, no prospects and 5 other roommates in the same exact position. They spend their days getting high and watching movies looking for nudity. Theses efforts are all part of their would-be, Internet cash cow - a website where people just like them can find their favorite actress’ most naughty moments on film. (I won’t ruin how their big idea turns out, but a few of my more perverted readers have already found a flaw in their plan).

Allison (Katherine Heigl) is a young professional working at the E! Network who is a Barbie Doll in every sense of the word, from her polished demeanour, perfect proportions, sparkling smile and Business Barbie briefcase. She’s just received a huge promotion and has decided to hit the town to celebrate.

Since Ben is perpetually “hitting the town”, their paths were bound to cross, and when a socially awkward guy and a woman out of his league but too polite to point it out, pound down a couple of beers, a drunken one night stand is inevitable. 8 weeks after their magic moment Alison calls Ben with news that she’s pregnant and together they realize that the partying, the porno, the success at work, and the collecting of Ninja weapons are all severely at risk. We get to follow them as they prepare for the baby and try to get to know each other. Through Alison’s sister and brother-in-law (Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd) and their wild brood of children (Director Judd Apatow’s real life kiddies) we get to see the contrast of life before and after kids enter the picture. It’s an excellent back and forth that develops the story far beyond that “before a live studio audience” set-up.

Rogen and Heigl are terrific together. There’s a great chemistry and mutual respect that makes their beauty and the beast (sorry Seth) romance very believable. As a pair they deftly navigate, with the oddest combination of wit and vulgarity, through a slew of baby clichés that with the wrong tone would have come off as old hat. But taking the ride through baby prep with these two was a complete joy.

As much as I like the two as a couple and even separately in their previous work, my attention wasn’t completely with them. I found myself wondering what Ben’s stoner friends were up to. This group, all veterans performers of Aptow’s expanding resume of awesome, are a collection of people that are about to be household names. Well, household names in buildings located around a quad and student affairs office. Jonah Hill (Accepted Superbad), Jason Segel (Freaks and Geeks, How I Met Your Mother), Jay Baruchel (Undeclared, Fanboys) and the rest, have all proven themselves to be dangerously powerful improve comedians. And as much as I know it would have detracted form the A story, I couldn’t help but want more of that verbal chaos. Alas, their moment in the sun will be on the DVD.

Alison’s end of the story features two seasoned improve talents in Mann and Rudd who are given slightly more time to run off at the mouth. Probably because arguing over who is going to take the kids to school has more to do with the bigger picture than a contest about not shaving your beard. To me, Mann is the saving grace of the film. She’s the corner piece of the puzzle. Even as the buzz-kill voice of reason and stereotypical nagging wife she’s consistently poised, classic, and funny. She proved to be a welcome sight every time she pops up. Rudd plays her husband and acts as Ben’s transition friend into the world of fatherhood, and through their camaraderie we get some of the funnier scenes of the film. I firmly believe that this one conversation about Doc Brown from Back to the Future will go down as one of the funniest organically evolving sequences of the year.

Where most critics are calling Knocked Up the funniest movie of the year, I’m hesitant to agree. It’s charming, natural, and wonderfully told with a healthy amount of humor, but there are too few really big laughs to warrant calling it “the funniest movie of the year”. Before you send me an angry e-mail, I loved the pregnant sex scene as well as the bouncer scene, trip to Vegas, and Ben’s lashing out on Alison’s hormones, but so what? Compare that to a movie like Blades of Glory that has you laughing heartily at even the most random occurrence and Knocked Up is simply not the funniest movie of the year.

It’s an unfair comparison because of how thematically different the two movies are. Blades of Glory is silly, borderline slapstick while Knocked Up is a real movie that just happens to have a lot of humor in it. When the award season comes around Knocked Up will at least be given a second thought while the only thing Blades will do is Norbit Will Ferrell right out of receiving attention for his serious work.

I think some critics are translating their admiration for a fantastic movie that’s supposed to be funny as accolades for it being exceptionally funny. There was plenty of laughing going on, but my sides are not split, my pants are not peed, and my floor was not rolled upon in laughter nor is there an ass on it. It’s an incredible film but it made me think more than laugh. In the long run – that’s better.

Ok, now you can send me your angry e-mails.

Rating: 8 out of 10 - As a beast who managed to marry a beauty I can say that if this movie does anything it gives all of us shlubs in the world the tiniest bit of hope. Women that are out of our league actually do respond to a good sense of humor and a great personality. And if that doesn’t work just get her pregnant. That’s the message of the movie right?

There’s actually a much deeper message involved and even if the broader scope of parenthood might not apply to you, there’s a lot that can be taken away from this extraordinary film.

Knocked Up is DVD worthy based on two reasons, both of which are closely related to the fact that this is a Judd Apatow project. Apatow is an improve director, encouraging his actors to make stuff up on the fly even if it eventually leads to a rewrite of the rest of the script. (That’s according to an interview with Rudd at JoBlo.com) As a result there’s going to be tons of cutting-room footage, including deleted scenes and outtakes, to be featured on the DVD. According to Apatow in his own interview at JoBlo.com, he’s been given 6 hours of footage to cut down for the bonus features of the release, so what we’ve seen is only just the beginning of what Knocked Up has to offer.

The second reason this is DVD worthy is that Apatow and the people he associates with have a unique sense of humor that only gets funnier the more you’re exposed to it. Movies like Anchorman and 40-Year-Old Virgin are funny the first time through, but classic on the third and fourth. They disease your brain and become part of the way you think, part of the way you speak. Before you know it you’re putting up your fist and calling them Jack Johnson and Tom O’Leary. So yeah… it’s DVD worthy.

For me Knocked up hit a little too close to home in some of its themes. Specifically “change”. We get to see two couples – one before, and one after children, and while the contrast is played for laughs here, it brought to light one of my greatest fears. Whether I like it or not, once kids come along, things are going to be different.

Mostly for the better, I mean… I know a miracle when it’s looking at me, even if it is pissing all over my hand. But life changing after a baby arrives is something that haunts me. I won’t be able to spend my time at movie theaters or making as many comics as I am now (if any at all) because my priorities will have changed. And I consciously understand that when the baby is here I will willing make those sacrifices because of how amazing being a father is, but am I ready for that? Am I ready to give up the movies and the comic strips? When did I suddenly grow up?

I make a vow to you now though. Even if there is a baby in my life I will always… ALWAYS… do my Judi Dench impression.

Superbad - I first saw the trailer for Superbad (written by and co-starring Rogen) back with Grindhouse and was instantly excited about this movie that celebrates the honored high school tradition of trying to score some beer. Can you imagine if that’s all Teen Wolf was? I wonder if anyone has actually tried the Teen Wolf method in real life, you know with the glowing eyes and the growl and all that? Honestly, I hope they try that in Superbad because if they do then I’ll know these are people that understand what I think is funny, and I’ll feel a lot more comfortable worshiping them.

The Movie features Jonah Hill and Michael Cera from (Arrested Development) who are playing guys just like the kind of guy I was in high school. I nervously talked to the girl of my dreams, trying to impress her by embellishing my mundane life. So as one of them I feel a fond obligation to go see this movie and root them on in their pursuit of beer and boobs.

Bollywood, here I come! It’s a complete surprise to me but apparently I advertise for crappy Bollywood pictures in my spare time. Except I don’t get paid for it.

Ryan Estrada (the creator currently working on these two beautiful comics: Aki Alliance and Frank) gave me the heads up that some of my artwork was being used in advertisements over in India where he’s currently living. Follow this link for the pictures.

There’s also art lifted from DJ Coffman’s strip Yirmumah. The work from me is from one of the Coffee Achievers comics. For those of you new to the site, CA is a comic I drew for a while with Mirch Clem scripting.

I’m not even sure what my reaction is. At first I was angry, then I thought it was kind of funny, and now I’m considering trying to track down an e-mail address that I can contact. Plagiarism and copywrite infringement is never cool and unless I want this to become a regular thing I need to make it know that I’m not ok with it. You want to use my art - you contact me. I’m a reasonable person. Pretty crazy though…

In lighter news I’ve got a guest strip going up at Ninja Bunny, a great strip that features a deadly little bunny in a new adventure every day. While digging through the archives I found one strip that reminded me a lot of the Obi Wan joke I did for New Hope, and I thought it would be funny to revist that with Ninja Bunny. The strips a lot of fun, check it out.

Lastly, later this evening I’ll be putting up my review for my favorite new movie of the weekend which was NOT Knocked Up!. I’m as shocked as you are. See you then.

Live Journal/Myspace/Rotten Tomatoes/Buzz Comix/Top Web Comics/Comics on the Ipod/The Webcomics List/Online Comics/Wikipedia/Comixpedia/JLCM Map!

Joe – The creator of the strip who has embraced giving crappy movies the chance they deserve. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.

First Appearance - The Introduction

Yeo – Yeo is Joe’s wife and often the voice of reason in the strip. Having her act rational allows the rest of the cast to embrace being in a comic strip which primarily involves randomly punching people, interacting with fictional characters and talking about boobs. Yeo is smart, beautiful and way too good for Joe. Don’t tip her off.

First Appearance - Fever Pitch

Irv – Joe’s movie-going sidekick who’s always down for watching Jason Statham crescent moon kick some thug through a plate glass window and getting some drinks before after and during a Vin Diesel movie. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.

First Appearance - Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior

Agent 337 George Jones – A government Agent that took over for Joe after he was bad-mouthing President Bush in the V for Vendetta strip. George ran the show for over a month bring a much needed sense of patriotism and justice to both the strips and reviews. He eventually got too attached to his work, empathizing with Joe’s plight to give crappy movies a fair shake. In a way he came to love crappy movies as well and was pushed out of the position. He spiraled out of control and ended up in prison. His adventures will be told in the limited series JLCM Presents: 337 Locked Up which is set to début Christmas of 09.

First Appearance - V for Vendetta

Other Notable Appearances: Stay Alive, Ice age 2, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, Slither, Here Comes Guest week, Let’s Go To Prison

Leonidas – The former king of Sparta who has traveled into the future and is having trouble coping with the modern times. Yelling loudly and kicking people into giant holes doesn’t really work the same way it did in the olden days. As time as gone by he’s adjusted but it’s a safe bet that he’s always one bad message away from throwing a spear through someone.

First Appearance - 300

Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Strip# 300, The Golden Compass, Rambo, Untraceable, The Ladies of Max Paybe

Palpatine – Former Senator, Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Sith Lord... He shows up in the Joe Loves Crappy movies galaxy on occasion to let people know that they’re being stupid. No one’s really sure how he shows up in this universe but chances are it breaks all kinds of copywrite laws.

First Appearance - Episode III: The Dark Side

Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Night Watch, Saw 3, Are We Done Yet

Slow Billy – Billy is a sweet kid but he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. If you’re watching him for the day be prepared to explain to him the plot of the movie or how popcorn works or, not so much where babies come from, but what babies are. He’s a complete moron.

First Appearance - Four Brothers

Other Notable Appearances: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Da Vinci Code, Vantage Point, Journey to the Center of the Earth

Kyle the Movie Snob – Be careful what fun facts about movies you tell your friends at a friendly gathering or in line for the latest blockbuster, because if you’re even slightly wrong, Kyle will be more than happy to let you know. He usually gets what’s coming to him though. Poor guy has cracked three ribs since joining the JLCM cast.

First Appearance - Ultraviolet

Other Notable Appearances: 16 Blocks, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Transformers, Journey to the Center of the Earth

Jean-Luc Picard – Another lawsuit waiting to happen is Jean Luc Picard who, towards the end of the strip’s first year, became the go-to background character. If there was ever a seat to fill or a random person to place wandering around in the background, nine times out of ten it was Picard. While Picard has crossed paths with Irv he and Joe have never met. Perhaps they will some day but for now just can an eye on the background.

First Appearance - The Producers

Other Notable Appearances: I’m not telling you, that’s no fun. It’ like Where’s Waldo – go find him!

Ice Cream Sandwich – Delicious and… deadly? Usually when you see someone eating an Ice Cream sandwich, someone else is experiencing a substantial amount of pain. Still, how nice is an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer day?

First Appearance - Saw IV

Other Notable Appearances: Bee Movie, Run Fatboy Run, Saw V

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