Tag Archives: Aubrey Plaza

The Set of 400: #64 – My Favorite Hole Punched in the Moon

Today! Because we are Sex Bob-Omb and we are here to make you think about death and get sad and stuff –

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

Directed by Edgar Wright

Starring Michael Cera (x2), Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jason Schwartzman (x5), Kieran Culkin, Ellen Wong, Anna Kendrick, Brie Larson, Chris Evans (x2), Brandon Routh, Alison Pill (x2), Aubrey Plaza (x2), Johnny Simmons, Mark Webber, Satya Bhabha, Mae Whitman (x2), Thomas Jane (x3)

When I first saw Scott Pilgrim, I thought it was plenty funny but was just a little turned off by how adorably in love with itself it was. I had never read the comics, so I had nothing much to go on except Edgar Wright’s name and the solid big cast of funny folks, but it left me a little hollow. The video-game-ness of the whole thing was kinda distracting, and while there were tons of cool visuals, it didn’t seem to amount to much. I kind of enjoyed it, but pretty much wrote it off.

But then – like Blue Chips, Idiocracy, and Soapdish before it – I caught bits of it on TV all the time, which was quickly followed by watching it straight through to the end any time I ran across it, followed by talking it up to anyone who would listen. Somehow, once the plot machinations were no longer new, I could focus on the details that I had such a problem with before, and see what they added to the overall. And I found that the little touches didn’t bother me anymore – I still think them a bit much here and there, but all in all the whole thing works. The coins and the battle of the bands and punching the color out of Knives’ hair and the vegan powers and even the extra life – it all fits together pretty great.

Matthew Patel!

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The Set of 400: #212 – My Favorite Tom from MySpace Cameo

Today! Because you’re my best friend, and I don’t even like you –

Funny People (2009)

Directed by Judd Apatow

Starring Adam Sandler (x3), Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Jonah Hill (x4), Eric Bana (x2), Aziz Ansari (x2), Jason Schwartzman (x3), Aubrey Plaza, RZA, Torsten Voges, Eminem, George Coe, Maude Apatow, Iris Apatow, Wayne Federman, James Taylor, Andy Dick (x3), Nicole Parker, Nydia McFadden, Charles Fleischer (x3), Carol Leifer (x2), Paul Reiser (x2), George Wallace, Norm MacDonald, Dave Attell, Sarah Silverman, Ray Romano, Justin Long (x3), Maggie Siff

This is forever my go-to example of a one-half amazing movie. There are certainly others – American Beauty jumps to mind, swerving into awesomeness halfway through, after that turgid opening hour – but this movie is an anomaly in that it appears separate film concepts were slammed together into a single piece, producing a movie that is at the same time insanely too long and way too brief in either of its disparate parts.

I guess this was supposed to be Judd Apatow’s masterpiece, and he almost got there. With 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up both terrific all-out comedies, he opted to laden this ostensible laugher with a grim, awards-baiting terminal illness subplot. That’s not so bad – all of that happens in the wonderful first half of the movie, which deals primarily with the world of stand-up comedy, and does it better than any other film in history. But then it goes really far afield into a locked-in family dramedy, losing most of the goodwill and momentum built up in the opening half.

The great Sandu

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