Tag Archives: Richard Jenkins

The Set of 400: #180 – My Favorite Freedonia Shout-Out

Today! Because what if there is no God and you only go around once and that’s it. Well, don’t you wanna be part of the experience?

Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

Directed by Woody Allen (x5)

Starring Mia Farrow (x4), Michael Caine (x3), Barbara Hershey, Woody Allen (x4), Diane Wiest (x2), Max Von Sydow (x2), Carrie Fisher (x3), Maureen O’Sullivan, Lloyd Nolan, Daniel Stern (x2), Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lewis Black, Julie Kavner (x2), J.T. Walsh (x5), John Turturro (x2), Richard Jenkins (x3), Fred Melamed (x2), Joanna Gleason, Sam Waterston (x2), Tony Roberts (x2)

With one of the best casts ever assembled, Hannah and Her Sisters in a lot of ways is the perfect Woody Allen movie. He made better ones, and he made funnier ones, but this is the rare hybrid between family drama and neurotic comedy, neatly packaged together as one film. Really, there are two plots running alongside each other, knitted together by featuring the extended family of sisters Hannah (Farrow), Holly (Wiest), and Lee (Hershey). Being a Woody Allen film, the B plot is entirely him – as Hannah’s writer ex-husband Mickey, going through a mid-life crisis where he may be dying of a brain tumor (this is the funny half!). The A plot features Hannah’s current husband – Michael Caine’s Elliot – in his escalating disenchantment with their marriage and his lust for sister-in-law Lee. Even this breakdown isn’t entirely fair, as they split time on these stories pretty evenly, plus a good amount of time spent on Wiest’s hilarious Holly, but the Elliot/Lee/Hannah portion does occupy with the emotional center of things.

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The Set of 400: #286 – My Favorite Dropped Milkshake

Today! He may have advanced delusionary schizophrenia with involuntary narcissistic rage, but he’s a very gentle person –

Me, Myself, and Irene (2000)

Directed by the Farrelly Brothers

Starring Jim Carrey (x2), Renee Zellweger (x2), Robert Forster, Chris Cooper, Anthony Anderson, Jerod Mixon, Tony Cox, Richard Jenkins (x2), Mongo Brownlee, Traylor Howard, Anna Kournikova, Shannon Whirry, Cam Neely, Lenny Clarke (x2), Googy Gress

The second and last of the all-out comedies of Jim Carrey to appear on this list, Me, Myself, and Irene came along mid-college for me, and solidly connected, with its brand of hyper-aggressive vulgarity and over-the-top absurdism. Carrey is never better than in his rampant split personality portrayal of good-guy cop Charlie Baileygates and his psychotic alter ego Hank. And yes, Hank is a lot, but the movie manages to parcel him out well, so as not to overwhelm the audience with that intensity – it would almost certainly have led to weariness, and jokes not really landing.

But my favorite part of this movie has always been his sons – at the beginning of the movie, we see his wife run off with a black genius dwarf limo driver, Shonte (played by the always great Tony Cox), but not before leaving Charlie with the triplets he fully convinces himself are his, biologically: Jamal, Lee Harvey, and Shonte Jr. And as grown men, his kids have the best lines in the movie – with genius inherited from their father, they spout “Enrico Fermi’d roll over in his motherfucking grave if he heard that stupid shit,” “I can’t figure out the atomic mass of this motherfuckin’ deuteron!” and “You think polypeptide’s a motherfuckin’ toothpaste!” Anthony Anderson, Jamal Mixon, and Mongo Brownlee – my MVPs of this movie.

Terrific!

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The Set of 400: #292 – My Favorite Merman

Today! Because this is Zombie Redneck Torture Family, see? They’re entirely separate species. Like the difference between an elephant and an elephant seal –

The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Directed by Drew Goddard

Starring Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Anna Hutchison, Sigourney Weaver, Brian White

Not really being a horror guy myself, it’s probably fitting that this not-really-a-horror-movie is my favorite horror movie of recent years. I mean, it has a lot of basic horror elements – kids partying at the desolate cabin in the woods, maniacal killers, spooky atmosphere. But right from the beginning, right from the opening credits, something is obviously wrong in this film. What follows is a frankly amazing subverting of the entire genre, a parody inside of a science fiction/fantasy/mythology that is as funny as any horror movie ever made, which I know is a pretty weird endorsement. I saw this based almost entirely on reviews – the studio clearly had no idea how to market it without giving the entire film away – and audiences were clearly conflicted. While it did okay at the box office, it got savaged by Cinemascore (if you give any credit to that outfit). Rotten Tomatoes places the movie at a robust 91% with critics, yet Cinemascore gave it a C, with female audience goers (usually a very supportive demographic to horror) handing out a D+! Clearly, few were prepared for the non-horror horror movie from Goddard and co-screenwriting god Joss Whedon. Continue reading

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