Tag Archives: Simon Helberg

The Set of 400: #225 – My Favorite Quad Streaking

Today! Because the Godfather himself has decided to grace us with his presence. This is his damn house, he sleeps twenty feet away –

Old School (2003)

Directed by Todd Phillips (x2)

Starring Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell, Jeremy Piven, Leah Remini, Seann William Scott (x4), Ellen Pompeo, Juliette Lewis (x2), Craig Kilborn, Perrey Reeves, Elisha Cuthbert, Artie Lange, Matt Walsh (x4), Sara Tanaka, Sarah Shahi, Bryan Callen, Patrick Cranshaw, Jerod Mixon (x2), Simon Helberg (x3), Eddie Pepitone, Rob Corddry (x2), Andy Dick (x2), Terry O’Quinn (x2), Snoop Dogg, Warren G

Okay, so I was out of college at this point – well, between college would be a better way of framing it – but I was hardly the stable, mature grown-up my Twitter account would currently indicate I’ve evolved into. But I was also never particularly one for big raging parties – it’s pretty hard to throw epic, Animal House style shindigs when you live at home and commute to college – so my continued affinity of these sort of movies probably stems from a vicariously longing for lost times. I mean, I still hung out and drank my face off periodically, but I didn’t feel like I really had the true college experience, pretty much ever.

Sure, I’m fairly well hammered in these pictures (featuring sister-in-law Onion and American hero Mike Walsh), but I’m also fully 30 years old

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The Set of 400: #367 – My Favorite Chalkboard Headbutt

Today! Because the rabbi didn’t look busy!

A Serious Man (2009)

Directed by Ethan Coen & Joel Coen

Starring Michael Stuhlbarg, Fred Melamed, Richard Kind, Sari Lennick, Aaron Wolff, Jessica McManus, George Wyner, Fyvush Finkel, Simon Helberg (x2), Adam Arkin, Michael Lerner, Amy Landecker

The quality of Coen brothers’ films may have gotten more than a little uneven as the years have gone on, but they’ve never been uninteresting. They’ll pop up a bunch over the next year – they squarely fit my earlier definition of directors whose films I will run out and see no matter what – but their first is this darkly comic family struggle that gave us the fantastic Michael Stuhlbarg as the long suffering Larry Gopnik. His marriage falls apart, his kid is a bit of a mess, and the rabbis are no practical assistance, while Larry continually melts down. It’s a tremendous performance in a largely enjoyable film, mostly ignored on its initial release.

It did manage a Best Picture nomination – they’d just expanded the number of nominees up to ten for the 2009 awards, and a small, mostly overlooked film like this was a main beneficiary – in a year I clearly like more than I thought. This is already the fourth ’09 film, joining #377’s I Love You, Man, #383’s Sherlock Holmes, and #387’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. At a quick glance, it looks like the next film doesn’t come until #329, so if you’ve only come here for 2009 movies, see you again on May 31st! Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #372 – My Favorite Temptations

Today! Because I done a bad thing/cut my brother in half –

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007)

Directed by Jake Kasdan

Starring John C. Reilly, Kristen Wiig, Jenna Fischer, Craig Robinson, Harold Ramis, Ed Helms, Jack White, Raymond J. Barry, Margo Martindale, Tim Meadows, Honeyboy Edwards, Jack Black, Jonah Hill (x2), Justin Long, Paul Rudd (x2), Jason Schwartzman, Martin Starr, Rance Howard, Chris Parnell, Matt Besser, Jack McBrayer, Frankie Muniz, Ian Roberts, David Krumholtz, Jane Lynch, Simon Helberg, Jackson Browne, Jewel, Lyle Lovett, Ghostface Killah, Eddie Vedder

This totally wacky send-up of mid ’00s musical biopics really hit the spot for me in ’07. It borders on Airplane! style lunacy at times, hurling jokes as fast as it can, and many manage to stick thanks to the all-in performance the great John C. Reilly gives at all ages of Dewey’s life from 14 onward. He’s supported by an utterly astounding number of comedians willing to throw a few minutes into the film. Sure, it rambles all over the place in search of jokes – while I enjoy the Jack White Elvis and the Black/Rudd/Long/Schwartzman Beatles, they do feel a bit like overkill. I particularly love Tim Meadows bits as Dewey’s drummer, continually trying to dissuade him from whatever vice currently being enjoyed. But I think the thief of the film is X-Files great Raymond J. Barry as Dewey’s father, constantly bemoaning “Wrong kid died!” It’s silly madness, replete with equally goofy original songs, and was still almost completely ignored in its day at the box office. Totally deserving of an audience! Continue reading

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