Tag Archives: Chris Rock

The Set of 400: #98 – My Favorite Spinach Eating Robot

Today! Because they made us too smart, too quick and too many. We are suffering for the mistakes they made because when the end comes, all that will be left is us –

A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

Directed by Steven Spielberg (x6)

Starring Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law (x3), William Hurt, Frances O’Connor, Sam Robards, Jake Thomas, Brendan Gleeson (x2), Robin Williams (x6), Meryl Streep, Chris Rock (x4), Ben Kingsley (x4), Jack Angel, Ken Leung (x2), Clark Gregg (x4), Kevin Sussman, Ashley Scott, Enrico Colantoni (x2), Paula Malcomson (x3), Adrian Grenier, Michael Fishman

Not often mentioned in the same breath as Spielberg’s best, most iconic films, A.I. Artificial Intelligence holds a weird distinction for me, as the hybrid Frankenstein of a movie that it is. When Stanley Kubrick died in 1999, he left unfinished a number of projects, including his proposed epic biography of Napoleon, some (i.e. me) would argue the final edit of Eyes Wide Shut, and his debatably in pre-production sci-fi epic A.I. Now, Kubrick was taking a helluva long time between movies at this point, so “pre-production” is a pretty relative term, but by all indications this was next up, having started and stopped a number of times, including doing some casting and allegedly recording Robin Williams voice role as it exists in the film. Rumors also persist that Kubrick had discussed with Spielberg the possibility of him directing the film instead. So, when Kubrick died, Spielberg was able to pick up and run with what was largely in place already, cranking the whole film out in just over two years.

Oh those Spielberg silhouettes!

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The Set of 400: #208 – My Favorite Internet Troll Comeuppance

Today! Because Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms 

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)

Directed by Kevin Smith (x2)

Starring Jason Mewes (x2), Kevin Smith (x2), Ben Affleck (x2), Jason Lee, Matt Damon (x2), Chris Rock (x3), Will Ferrell (x2), Shannon Elizabeth (x2), Eliza Dushku, Jon Stewart, Judd Nelson (x2), Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher (x2), Jamie Kennedy (x2), Wes Craven, Gus Van Sant, Shannen Doherty, James Van Der Beek, Jason Biggs (x2), Jeff Anderson (x2), Brian O’Halloran (x2), Ali Larter, Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, George Carlin, Seann William Scott (x5), Tracy Morgan, Diedrich Bader, Joey Lauren Adams, Alanis Morissette, Morris Day and the Time, William B. Davis

Okay, if you are ready to jump down my throat at the inclusion of this film, take a gander at these two list facts: 1) This is the second and final Kevin Smith to make appearance, meaning 2) This is my favorite Kevin Smith movie. SHUT UP! I fully recognize that virtually all of his movies are better than this – Clerks, Mallrats, maybe Chasing Amy, maybe Dogma, Clerks II, Zach and Miri Make a Porno – and like most people I haven’t seen anything he’s made in the last ten years. But none of his movies are funnier than Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. I don’t care what you say.

It’s funny, right?

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The Set of 400: #308 – My Favorite New American Dream

Today! Because money talks, and bullshit runs a marathon –

New Jack City (1991)

Directed by Mario Van Peebles

Starring Wesley Snipes (x2), Ice-T, Chris Rock (x2), Mario Van Peebles, Judd Nelson, Bill Nunn (x2), Allen Payne, Bill Cobbs, Michael Michele, Russell Wong, Vanessa Williams, Tracy Camilla Johns, Phyllis Yvonne Stickney, John Aprea, Flava Flav, Fab 5 Freddy

Like every Catholic school attending twelve-year-old white kid in small town America, I was big into Mario Van Peebles inner city drug dealing crime epic circa the fall of 1991 (when it hit HBO). Another triumph of cable television in my youth! Look, I don’t have a good explanation why I watched New Jack City as much as I did in my formative years. It’s a movie that manages to effectively glamorize the super violent crime lord lifestyle while also digging into the gritty, crushing reality of addiction at the same time. And sure, it was fun that, like, Ice-T and Judd Nelson’s characters are partners and hate each other, and Chris Rock is way strung out as crackhead Pookie, but the only thing I can come up with for sure as a draw when I was a kid was that Wesley Snipes was the coolest motherfucker ever.

Yes, even rocking that fifteen pound necklace

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The Set of 400: #385 – My Favorite Tournament of Roses

Today! Because he’s not a goodfella, he’s a badfella!

Bee Movie (2007)

Directed by Simon J. Smith, Steve Hickner

Starring Jerry Seinfeld, Renee Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, Patrick Warburton, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, Barry Levinson, Larry King, Ray Liotta, Sting, Oprah Winfrey, Larry Miller, Rip Torn, Michael Richards, Megan Mullally, Tom Papa, Carol Leifer, Tress MacNeille, John DiMaggio, Carl Kasell, David Herman

Are you as worried as I am that this list could devolve into late ’00s animated comedies? For the second time in three days, here we are! But for an old Seinfeld fan like me, this one had to make the list. Figure, outside of Curb Your Enthusiasm across that decade, there wasn’t much to throw us ’90s fans back into that Seinfeldian vein of yuks, and then came this to scratch that itch. Thanks, Dreamworks! Sure, the actual driving plot is kinda nothing, and the ending works hard to break the reality they’ve built up, but the premise was solid enough to facilitate a ton of Seinfeld-style jokes, and isn’t that really what we were there for in the first place? I mean, what else did we have, American Express commercials? “That was a wicked googly!” is still a great catchphrase, though. Continue reading

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