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.
Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist
Starring: Michael Cera, Kat Dennings, Aaron Yoo, Rafi Gavron, Ari Graynor, Alexis Dziena, Jonathan B. Wright, Jay Baruchel
Directed by: Peter Sollett
The Official Site of Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist
Discuss Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist on the boards!
Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist terrifies me. On the surface anyway. With its hip young cast, indie soundtrack of bands I’ve never heard before and promises of first love and that one perfect night, Nick and Nora is a bitter reminder of a time and place long since past. It’s a drunken call from an ex-girlfriend, a Facebook friend request from a kid that beat me up in 4th grade (what’s up Jason?), the sharp sting of fear and anger when I see a group of undesirable youths loitering next to my car at all hours of the night. It terrifies me because it reminds me that I’m old and my days of first kisses, wild young adventures and loitering outside next to some old dude’s car are long gone.
That’s just on the surface though. Nick and Nora may make us older folk miss our youthful exploits but the way it’s presented feels more like comfortable nostalgia then wistful yearning. I think that’s what sets this movie apart from the typical teen fluff these days. Nick and Nora touches upon universal themes we can all relate to. It may do so with music we’ve never heard or stars that were in 5th grade when we graduated high school, but it’s still the same. We’ve all had that perfect night getting lost, looking for trouble and falling in love and I think Nick and Nora will put you right back there in that moment.
Nick and Nora’s one perfect night has them searching New York City for Where’s Fluffy, a fictional band that everyone loves even though their douchey enough not to properly announce a tour schedule. (Fucking hipsters and their secrets. U2 prints their tour dates on T-shirts and that seems to be working just fine.) Nick (Michael Cera) is dodging his ex and Nora (Kat Denings) is trying to deal with her new found crush on a guy who’s… well, who’s Nick, a guy pinning for the other girl. They decide to search together and sparks fly.
It works because the two are so good. More importantly - good together. Cera is recycling the awkward cool that will be getting him laid for the next decade, and that’s great. If he can land two or three more roles like this in movies this sound – he’s going to be huge. What was such a great surprise is that Dennings is also playing it awkward cool. Pining after Nick in secrecy felt unnatural at first, no one with boobs that huge should have to work that hard to get any guy’s attention, but she really owned the character and made us hope she would eventually win over the love struck lump.
The film’s rounded out by an equally impressive supporting cast that will make you wish you had gay best friends that sang you dirty songs, finished your fights and made sure your potential bedfellows were properly on display. (Don’t try and figure that last bit out, just go see the movie to see what I’m talking about.)
Among them all stands out Ari Graynor, propped up by her leads in this picture here. As the persistent party girl, drunk too soon and for the rest of the night, Graynor walks away with this movie stumbling on scene every time a good laugh is needed. She does unimaginably disgusting things but wins your heart effortlessly. You want to protect her. You want her to be okay. You want her to have half of your turkey sandwich. It’s a fantastic performance.
The film’s faults are hard to find in the middle of a bouncy soundtrack, constant venue shift and regular doses of heart and humor. If I had to point to anything it would be an oddly timed hook-up and a head-scratching ending. Both are huge spoilers so I won’t get into it other than to say each works but left me with questions. Maybe it’s better that way.
I may be too old for this movie but I don’t care. It’s sweet and adorable and infectiously fun. Sure I’d love to be 19 again, an art student in New York City with no money wondering if tonight would be the night that the beautiful Asian girl who’s name I could barely pronounce would finally look my way. But my life ain’t so bad these days. And at least I’ll always have the memories.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10 - My apologies for approaching this movie from the perspective of someone too old for it. I recognize that a lot of you are well with in the age range to rock and roll all night and party every day. I try to review a movie objectively while still having my presence felt, but I realize I left a lot of you out in the cold on this one. See it. It’s a sweet little movie.
I would also say this much: Make sure you see Nick and Nora with someone you love. I can’t express enough how much having a hand to squeeze during the sweeter moments really amplified the enjoyment of this film for me.
For what it’s worth, a guy from 4th grade DID friend me on Facebook recently, and he also absolutely SLAUGHTERED me in his front yard one day way back when. We got into some kind of ridiculous fight about something or the other and he was a much better fighter than I anticipated. He and I were great friends before and after the incident though I haven’t spoken with him in years. Probably since 6th grade. We had some good times though hanging out in his basement listening to the Stones and playing with action figures. See how nostalgic this damn movie has me? All the best to Jason and his family who were always very nice to me in my formidable years.
While my smarter and wiser wife would probably tell me I could get by without it, I suspect that Nick and Nora will wiggle its way into our DVD collection eventually. Yeo would say something to the effect of, “the one perfect magical evening won’t be as perfect or magical once you know what’s going to happen.” And that’s true. Nick and Nora will more than likely pale to the memory I have of it in my head now. What’s scary is that you could say the same thing for those perfect magical evenings in your own life.
We tend to gloss over the minor imperfections. “The girls boobs weren’t that big, the guy’s car stank, the hangover the next morning was unbearable, my god I punched a homeless person.” All of this begs the question, “will we be ruining Nick and Nora’s perfect evening by reliving it? By watching it again?” I say it’s worth the risk. Even if it sucks we’ll always have Adventures in Babysitting.
It is true that I was sent an e-mail saying as much as, “the art is too complex and it’s ruining the strip.” The sender was less “matter of fact” about it and overall pretty nice, but it was one of those things that really haunted me. I had e-mailed him back thanking him but explaining that I’m always trying to grow artistically. This is where I’m at right now and I think some of the work is pretty good… still I’m haunted.
I decided this would be a fun way to address the issue. I certainly mean no offense to the good fellow that e-mailed me originally. Every opinion is valid after all. In the end though the joke is on me. This thing took FOREVER. I became obsessed with making sure it was perfect. And those extra panels didn’t really speed things along either.
Here’s something I wrote a couple days before the movie’s release regarding its soundtrack:
I was walking into work this morning thinking about something Tom had said on the podcast last night about how at the very least we'll get a great set of young new bands to listen to from from Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist. I'd had a less than enthusiastic reaction to the music they'd been playing in the previews. Not that the repeated "All right!" followed by the twangy guitars of Bishop Weekend isn't infectious, but does anything else really stand out? To be fair - it's a trailer. How many songs can really capture you in a 2-minute hodge podge of plot, dialogue, flashing images and… oh right… music?
Not every song can be "Paper Plains" by M.I.A., a song so instantly catchy that it made the Pineapple Express trailer look better and had people asking just as many questions about who sang that song as what the movie was about. The problem when it comes to Nick and Nora is that it looks like the kind of movie that SHOULD be filled with catchy songs as memorable and epic as this magical night is supposed to be. And right now I'm not hearing it.
I'd thought, "They really missed the boat on this one. They could have set this in the 80s or 90s, played up the nostalgia factor and really sold some records." But it occurred to me quickly that that's the movie I want. That's the movie I can understand and I'm trying to force my need to "get it" on a movie that's reaching out beyond my age range. This is a movie for the young, filled with music they understand and themes that we should all be able to appreciate, regardless of the background music.
To a degree this is still true though I did find the soundtrack much more appealing in the film then in the trailer. I’m not convinced this is the next Garden State soundtrack like some people are saying, but what do I know? I’ve been listening to the song bellow on repeate for the last 20 minutes.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop - As much as I’d like to think the comedy of Joe Loves Crappy Movies is on the cutting edge of cool I know my true place. The dick and fart jokes I tell aren’t trendy, clever or hip. If JLCM were a movie it wouldn’t be Nick and Nora, it would probably be a lot closer to something like Paul Blart: Mall Cop. As much as I’d like to think I’m above this sort of thing, I understand it and… I do like it.
Kevin James is a funny guy and is only beginning to dip his toe into big screen features. I don’t think that this Happy Madison Production is going to be the one to catapult him to the A-list, but fans of his comedy should be able to find some solid laughs in this action laugher about a mall cop protecting his turf (think - Die Hard if John McClain LOVED pizza.)
Whew - I’m cooked! I hope you guys enjoyed this lengthy comic and lengthy review. I would love to hear your thoughts on the movie over thisaway on the boards. So many people contact me regarding my review for Religulous which was awesome, and I encourage you guys to speak up anytime you have something to say, good or bad.
Most people were very supportive about my views on Religulous though I did get a few people saying I didn’t get it because I’m a believer. It’s sparked an interesting debate about the rights of non-believers over in the forums. Before you head over there I’d like to reiterate – I disliked Religulous not because it was offensive as a Christian but because it was offensive as a humorist. Furthermore I support non-believers’ rights not to believe and in their quest to fully separate church and state. That stuff is messed up.
Contact I’ve gotten from non-believers has been very defensive, and I get why. You guys are definitely pre-judged and looked down upon in some circles. Not this one though. No one should be persecuted for what they do or do not believe in. Feel free to speak freely but please do so respectfully.
It’s always nice to end on equal rights isn’t it? Thanks for reading everyone.
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