Reviews for Normal People

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The 5 Most Depressing Upcoming Sequels — February 27, 2014

The 5 Most Depressing Upcoming Sequels

There are a lot of reboots, remakes, and sequels these days. About half of them suck. The other half, on the other hand, are pretty good. As you can see, I’m pretty indifferent about this sort of thing. I was born in the late ’90s, and I’ve never really known a time when this wasn’t the norm. But this is getting ridiculous. Here are the worst of the upcoming remakes.

#5: SPACE JAM 2

Dick Ebersol’s kids, who have their own Saturday morning cartoon wherein they solve mysteries, decided for whatever reason that there was enough demand for a sequel to Space Jam to warrant its creation. Seriously? Is Dan O’Brien working for Warner Brothers now? Way back when I reviewed The LEGO Movie last week, I mentioned that I had some degree of faith in Warner Animation Group. All that faith has deteriorated with the news of this unnecessary, unwanted, and unfathomable sequel, as well as the fact that LEGO Movie 2 is being written by Jared Stern.

#4: PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2

Hey, remember Paul Blart: Mall Cop? Wasn’t that funny? No? Well, too bad. Seriously, why the fuck would someone make a sequel to Mall Cop? It wasn’t even that successful. In terms of all-time domestic gross, it ranks snugly in between X-Men First Class and True Lies. That may seem pretty good, but it puts the movie at #266 with a domestic gross of less than $150 million. One could argue that that’s actually still really good, because its budget was only $26 million. Shut up. Worst of all, the movie doesn’t even have the same director. They got someone even worse. They replaced Steve Carr, director of Daddy Day Care and all those terrible sequels to decent comedies with predominantly African-American casts (Are We Done Yet, Next Friday, Dr. Dolittle 2, it’s actually kind of weird how many of his movies are like that), with Andy Fickman, director of Race to With Mountain, The Game Plan, She’s the Man, and every episode of the godawful new Disney Channel show Liv and Maddie. Now, I’m not saying Andy Fickman’s movies are worse than those of Steve Carr, I’m just saying he’s a worse director.

#3: JINGLE ALL THE WAY 2

No, seriously. The movie that has only managed to stay in our memories because of the line “Put that cookie down” is getting a sequel. And guess who’s starring in it? Not Phil Hartman, because he died. Not the kid, because why would the kid be in it? Not even Arnold, who even at this point is far too dignified to appear in a direct-to-DVD sequel to Jingle All the Fucking Way. Guess who is starring in it? Larry the Cable Guy. The guy that only Pixar could make even remotely likable is starring in a direct-to-DVD sequel to the movie the Nostalgia Critic affectionately called “a holly jolly dose of bullshit.” The director is a man known as Alex Zamm, and let me read you every single other movie he’s directed: Chairman of the Board, My Date With the President’s Daughter, The Pooch and the Pauper, Inspector Gadget 2, Snow, RL Stine’s the Haunting Hour, Dr. Dolittle 5, Woodie’s Kitchen, Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2, Tooth Fairy 2, and an upcoming Little Rascals reboot. THAT’S IT. He also holds the honor of having directed one episode of Dog with a Blog. WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY?

#2: GHOSTBUSTERS 3

Ok, this one you all knew about, and some of you may be questioning my putting it on this list. This movie is depressing simply because they keep trying to make it despite NOT BEING ABLE TO MAKE IT and NO ONE WANTING THEM TO MAKE IT. Sure, it would be nice to see the old gang back together, and especially nice to see Rick Moranis because WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU, RICK? But it’s just not in the cards. We hear a new piece of news about this movie about every two weeks and it rarely involves the film advancing. The movie has five writers: Dan Aykroyd, who as far as I can tell, has had no part in the writing of this movie and just gets a credit because he came up with the characters, Etan Cohen, whose previous credits include three “meh”s and a “fuck yeah,” Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, the writing team behind Bad Teacher and Year One, and finally Harold Ramis, who is dead. Seriously, guys, why do you even try?

#1: IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE 2

I’ll just let that sink in for a minute. A full 68 years after the original It’s A Wonderful Life, two companies with little to no experience decided on a whim that there was potential for a sequel. The movie will follow Jimmy Stewart’s granddaughter, and the actress who played Zuzu will be appearing, because she is the only living member of the original cast. You’ll note that I’m withholding my rage, because I feel that all I need to do to make you feel my pain is simply state the facts. The movie is a joint venture between Hummingbird Productions and Star Partners. Hummingbird specializes in commercial jingles, while Star Partners is a group started by Allen Schwalb that most notably funded A Fish Called Wanda and Poltergeist 3. To reiterate, their 2nd-most notable movie is Poltergeist 3. The script has been written (yes, it’s already been written) by Bob Farnsworth, whose most notable IMDb credit is Deliverance, for which he was a grip best boy… uncredited. He was an uncredited best boy on Deliverance, as well as Martha Bolton, who seems to be most notable for her unhealthy obsession with Bob Hope.

What are Yellow Ribbon Party and Super Bowl Party about? The answer may surprise you.
What are Yellow Ribbon Party and Super Bowl Party about? The answer may surprise you.

Oh, I forgot to mention, there are actually two other guys from the first movie that are alive. And guess what? There’s a good chance they’ll be appearing in the sequel. People involved in the film seem pretty adamant about the fact that it retains the spirit/feeling of the original. Alright, now that I’ve stated the facts, I can let my anger out. HOLY SHIT. Who thought this was a good idea? Where is Schwalb getting the money to fund this project in its entirety? Where did Schwalb get the money to fund the Superman sequels, or Rocky V, or The Color Purple? HOW DO PEOPLE LIKE THIS GET MOVIES MADE?! This is like if the guy who produced Mortal Kombat just suddenly decided he wanted to make a Toy Story rip-off, and then actually got it made. Wouldn’t that be a hoot and a half?

Preposterous!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BreakingPOORLY. Like if you like, favorite if you favorite, follow if you follow, and as always…

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LONG AND BOTHERSOME UPDATE — February 26, 2014

LONG AND BOTHERSOME UPDATE

Here’s a list of things I’ll be putting out in the next month:

MARCH 2: Anchorman 2 Supersized R-Rated Edition review

SOME OTHER TIME THAT WEEK: GIRL by Pharrell review

MARCH 9: Mr. Peabody and Sherman review

MARCH 16: Bad Words review

MARCH 23: Muppets Most Wanted review

MARCH 30: Grand Budapest Hotel review

IN THE MIDDLE: Maybe some other stuff

That’s all I can say for now, but if you’re a regular on the site, you probably know what I’m reviewing next.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BreakingPOORLY. Like if you like. Favorite if you favorite. Follow if you follow. And as always…

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MUSIC NEWS-IC: The Top Ten Top Ten Singles of the ’10s, So Far — February 21, 2014

MUSIC NEWS-IC: The Top Ten Top Ten Singles of the ’10s, So Far

I’ll probably end up updating this list every year, leading up to the definitive list at the end of 2019. Anyway, this has been a mediocre decade for popular music so far, but there have been a few standouts. Here are my picks for the top ten Billboard Hot 100 top ten singles so far this decade. Entries are accompanied by photos of the lead singers with annoying faces.

#10: THE SHOW GOES ON by Lupe Fiasco

Lupe Fiasco trying to look at something over your shoulder

Non-hip-hop fans may think Lupe Fiasco is some one-and-a-half-hit wonder who managed to get a single released because some record executive thought he was pretty neat. In fact, Fiasco released his first album back in 2006, and is still pretty famous in the rap community. Fans of his will tell you that “The Show Goes On” is far from his best work, and while this is true, it’s still a great, uplifting song with some very interesting lyrics. If you haven’t already, you should really listen to some of Lupe’s other stuff.

#9: BERZERK by Eminem

This face isn’t THAT stupid, but it’s the only face Eminem ever makes. Look it up.

This song reminds me of the Beastie Boys. This is probably because of its great, guitar-driven, metalish beat, fun lyrics, and weird smell. That’s probably just the smell of Rick Rubin, who does an excellent job producing this song, sure to be remembered for years to come.

#8: NIGGAS IN PARIS by the Throne (Kanye West and Jay-Z)

Kanye West waiting for you to finish so he can say something

A lot of people don’t like Kanye West. They say he’s arrogant and annoying. But some people go as far as to say they don’t like Kanye’s music because he’s arrogant and annoying. And that’s just taking it too far. Kanye is an excellent beatmaker and a pretty good lyricist, and this song is a great example of that. With some help from DJ Jazzy Sean, Kanye made what could be the most Kanye song imaginable, with its catchy beat, braggy lyrics, unique style, and Will Ferrell quotes. Just keep doing what you’re doing, Kanye.

#7: SOME NIGHTS by Fun.

Nate Reuss doing his best Prince impression. (I had trouble choosing a photo for this one, because Reuss has a stupid face in general.)

These guys must be big fans of Queen. And if Fun. is the new Queen, then “Some Nights” is their “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The song is epic, changes its tone a lot, and is pretty hard to make sense of. The song follows no structure, outside of a repeated phrase or two, and it’s really hard to listen to the song without getting jazzed up. It’s a really interesting, really cool, really memorable song, and I hope to hear more from them in the future. (“I Wanna Get Better,” the debut single from a band called Bleachers that contains Fun.’s Jack Antonoff, is fantastic.)

#6: SUIT AND TIE by Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z

Justin Timberlake having just seen bubbles for the first time

Jay-Z, having made 13 of the best Top 10 singles of the last decade, decided to go ahead and just keep doing that. And while he did have a few less-than-perfect songs this year (“Drunk In Love,” “Holy Grail”), this was not one of them. Everything about this song is just so cool. It’s truly the Jack Donaghy of ’10s pop music. What is the Liz Lemon of ’10s pop music, you may ask? “The Fox.” Wow, I just realized I haven’t mentioned Timberlake this whole time. Timberlake’s a really cool guy.

#5: RAP GOD by Eminem

THE SAME GODDAMN FACE

I’ve talked about this song a few times before, so I’ll leave you with this: I am less sick of this song than any of Eminem’s other three singles this year. It might be my favorite song on MMLP2, with a couple exceptions (“Love Game”). And I’ve memorized it. Really. Swear to doge.

#4: SIX FOOT SEVEN FOOT by Lil Wayne featuring Cory Gunz

Lil Wayne on the poster for the new wacky rom-com, “Take It Weezy.” Rated PG-13

This is one of maybe three good songs in Lil Wayne’s entire library. And of those three songs, this is definitely the best. It makes you wonder why Lil Wayne doesn’t make another song like this. The only credited writers are Lil Wayne and Cory Gunz, so obviously this song was just them. It’s really amazing, this song. Every line is either funny, clever, interesting, or all three, with a few name-drops added in for no reason. “I think you stand under me if you don’t understand me.” I guess I stand under you then, Mr. Swagmore, because I can’t understand you at all.

#3: FUCK YOU by Cee Lo Green

“Dat ass tho!” -Cee Lo Green

Any arguments?

#2: HAPPY by Pharrell Williams

Pharrell discreetly telling his mom to get out because she is embarrassing him.

This one is probably the most recent song on the list, having been released on the soundtrack for Despicable Me 2 last summer, and not released as a single until November, but what can I say? It has made me happier every time I heard it than any other song since 2010 (I’m looking at you, “Good Life”), and possibly ever. There’s a reason it’s number one right now in practically all of Europe. It’s a song that really makes you feel like a room without a roof.

Before unveiling my #1, here are a few honorable mentions:

ROLLING IN THE DEEP: Four-hit wonder Adele sings her ass off in this simple, heartfelt song that gets stuck in your head for days, starting… NOW.

THE EDGE OF GLORY: Easily the best song in Lady Gaga’s career, “Edge of Glory” is a Springsteen reminiscent techno-pop smash that features quite possibly the best saxophone solo in the history of ever. It’s pretty cool.

GOOD LIFE: Like “Happy,” “Good Life” is a song that just makes you feel good every time you hear it. From the start, OneRepublic was always almost something. It seemed like with each song, they got a step closer to goodness. “Apologize” was pretty bad, “All the Right Moves” was a little better, but still pretty bad, “Secrets” had a lot of potential, but the lyrics and lack of energy in Ryan Tedder’s voice weighed it down, “Good Life” is pretty good, but doesn’t quite forgive their previous songs, and finally…

COUNTING STARS: This is likely the peak for OneRepublic. I can’t foresee them being any better than this, especially since Tedder still has very little emotion in his voice. This song is interesting, catchy, and all-around good, the first OneRepublic song that can truly claim to possess all of those traits.

WE ARE NEVER EVER GETTING BACK TOGETHER: As you may have noticed, this was the only Taylor Swift song to get a mention. And that’s because… It’s truly my favorite Taylor Swift song. It’s fun, catchy, and realistic. And that’s the big one; it’s realistic. I can totally imagine the guy Taylor is talking about. This is one that I 100% agree with Todd in the Shadows about. Except I might like it a little more than Todd does.

GANGNAM STYLE: Some of you might really disagree with this one. And I see where you’re coming from. On the surface, it seems like a vapid, LMFAO-style dance song that tries and usually fails to be funny. But have you actually looked at the lyrics? Or better yet, an analysis of the lyrics? “Gangnam Style” is a song passive-aggressively criticizing the wealthy Gangnam district of Seoul. It’s kind of like the Korean version of “Beverly Hills” by Weezer. I think you see where I’m going with this.

THRIFT SHOP: Put bluntly, “Thrift Shop” is a hilarious, catchy, and honest. It’s a great song, and so is this one.

CAN’T HOLD US: This might be the best beat Ryan Lewis will ever be able to come up with. It’s simple, yet powerful. And the lyrics aren’t half bad, either.

THE WAY: This song might have made it onto the list if it weren’t for one thing: Mac Miller. I’m not saying Mac Miller’s always terrible… but he’s usually pretty bad. He just puts absolutely no effort into his lyrics. And the forced ebonics, selfish lyrics, and all-around lack of anything interesting in his two verses, each of which is less than ten lines, are the main reasons this song didn’t make it onto the list.

TREASURE: I don’t even know why I love this song so much. I just do. Case closed.

BEST SONG EVER: Some of you may be like, “Why on earth would you put a song by a band that has had mainly bad singles on a list of good singles? They’re a boy band that made a boy band song! It’s inexcusable!” But I ask you this: why not? This song is catchy, has interesting, realistic lyrics, and tells an honest-to-god story, something I can’t say for a lot of the songs that did make it into the top ten.

SAFE AND SOUND: Sure, it’s pretty repetitive, but have you ever heard a better use of trumpet in a pop song?

POMPEII: This is a song about Pompeii. They thought the story of Pompeii was really poetic and interesting, and so they wrote a song about it. They were right. This song is a very bouncy, energetic song, despite being about an entire civilization being destroyed by a volcano. And it’s a very unique, interesting song. So there.

#1: GET LUCKY by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers

Daft Punk wearing those weird see-through masks that Tech N9ne wears. And no helmets.

Yeah, “Get Lucky” is pretty hard to beat. It’s like the Dark Knight of pop music. Even when you realize its flaws, you keep calling it one of the greatest, because everything that’s good about it lets you overlook everything that’s bad about it. It’s impossible to make this song any less awesome. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost did a rendition of it in the most ridiculous voices they could think of, and it was still just as good. Just like how Christian Bale did The Dark Knight in the most ridiculous voice he could think of and it was still good. Huh.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BreakingPOORLY. Like the article if you like it, favorite it if it’s your favorite, follow if you want to make love to it. Coming up: MOAR MOVIE REVIEWS!!!!1! And also, more stuff like this? Hm? Tell me what you think of that. And as always…

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Late Entry: Holy Shit — February 18, 2014

Late Entry: Holy Shit

When we first heard about the LEGO Movie, I think everyone’s first thought was, “Well, that’s going to suck.” But then, it seemed as though every piece of news about this movie made it seem better. First, it was to be directed and written by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the people behind Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street, two of the best, most original movies of the past five years. Next came the cast and characters. The hero was Chris Pratt, the villain was Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Will Forte, Keegan Michael-Key, Liam Neeson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Nick Offerman all in the supporting cast, C-3PO and Lando Calrissian PLAYED BY ANTHONY DANIELS AND BILLY DEE WILLIAMS, and to top it all off, 4 members of the Justice League (Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, and Green Lantern), played by Cobie Smulders, Will Arnett, Channing Tatum, and Jonah Hill. The main song in the movie, “Everything Is Awesome,” is performed by Tegan and Sara featuring the Lonely Island. YOU HEARD ME.

It seems as though everyone I love is involved with this movie. It could only be better if Timberlake and David Tennant made it in there somehow. Coincidentally, Timberlake and Tennant are rumored to be playing the Riddler and Plastic Man, respectively, in the upcoming Justice League movie. Yes please.

Then the reviews started coming in. One critic (Christy Lemire over at ChristyLemire.com) pondered whether it was the greatest movie ever made. Even a negative review called it “the greatest commercial ever made.” It seemed as if Warner Brothers had struck gold with this movie, and it has already won an award, with more surely on the way, especially since Pixar doesn’t have anything coming out this year.

But nothing can truly prepare you for this movie. The movie drops you right in the middle of the kind of insanity that could only come from a child’s imagination (and that is the only vague spoiler I’m giving, because this ending is really something you need to see for yourself), and then continues with its unrelenting nonsense for an hour and a half, before finishing off by saying, “Would you like some Lonely Island with that?” It is spectacular.

But like I said, it’s a bit much. It really is non-stop action the entire time. The confusing and fast animation style adds to this, as does the 3D, and it really makes you question the writers’ sanity. Until the ending, that is. Sorry. No more spoilies. The movie really gets better and better, and deeper and deeper, the more you think about it. It’s sort of like the opposite of The Dark Knight Rises, a movie it is tied with on the IMDb top 250, because the general public is stupid.

Anyway, back to the movie, I really do think this movie might be the next Toy Story. I think it will have all the imitators that Toy Story had, I think people will start using its blend of CG and stop-motion more often, I think Looney Tunes physics are back, and above all (dramatic pause)

I think Warner Animation Group could be the next Pixar. You heard me. I think, if Warner continues on this path, they could be the next big thing in kids’ movies. Of course, this isn’t the first time the brothers Warner have tried to emulate the artists Pixel. They’ve been showing those Looney Tunes shorts before their terrible movies for four years now.

However, there are a lot of interesting parallels between Warner Brothers’ new animation division and Pixar. First of all, LEGO Movie is probably the most unique movie I’ve seen since Toy Story. Second, no one really expected either of the movies to be that good. They kinda seemed like shameless product placement opportunities more than actual respectable movies. Both had talks of a sequel less than a month after the original’s release. Also, look at WAG’s upcoming projects. First up is Storks, which is about animals (A Bug’s Life), followed by Smallfoot, which going just by the title, is about mythical beasts (Monsters Inc.). Of course, Pixar got Toy Story 2 out before Monsters, but based on how eager these guys are to make the LEGO Movie sequel, this could turn out the same way.

One problem: A different guy is writing LEGO Movie 2. And it’s the guy who wrote The Internship and The Watch. So yeah, this sequel could really suck. But for now, let’s focus on the original. LEGO Movie is amazing. It’s probably one of my top 50 favorite movies of all time, and I give it an A+. See it as soon as you can, even if you already have.

I’ll have RoboCop and Monuments Men reviews coming in the coming weeks, followed by a bunch of other stuff. Like this article if you like it. Favorite it if it’s your favorite. Follow if you want to make love to it. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BreakingPOORLY, and as always…

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ANOTHER Update? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa — February 17, 2014
Quick Update — February 16, 2014
Quick Update — February 9, 2014
2THANX2FURIOUS — February 7, 2014

2THANX2FURIOUS

Hey guys. Once again, I want to thank all my readers for sticking by me all this time. We hit the big 471 today, which means I’ve officially won the Hunger Deans. Anyway, I’ll probably have a LEGO Movie review out on Sunday, followed by reviews of Monuments Men and Robocop coming the next week. From there, no spoilies. Thank you all, and as always…

Like dis if u cry everytim,