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Day # 56 -- New Movie Reviews

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hall Pass -- 1 out of 7 Golden Slacks

Synopsis (from A married man is granted the opportunity to have an affair by his wife. Joined in the fun by his best pal, things get a little out of control when both wives start engaging in extramarital activities as well.

Free Pants' Take: Like its sister movie, The Dilemma, this does not seem like a premise that lends itself to belly laughs.  This sounds like a compromise that's struck between two damaged adults looking for an easy way out of their marriage.  Plus, Owen Wilson!  I've said it before: any movie made with Owen post-suicide attempt is really a gift from God.  The movie will basically teach the men that they love and need their wives. 

Unexpected Scene: Owen Wilson successfully commits suicide on camera. 

I am Number Four
-- 0 out of 7 Golden Slacks

Synopsis (from John is an extraordinary teen, masking his true identity and passing as a typical high school student to elude a deadly enemy seeking to destroy him. Three like him have already been killed ... he is Number Four.

Joe's Take: People (I'm looking at you, Stephen Hawking) always talk of the intelligence of aliens and yet it seems that whenever they attempt to hide out on our planet, they choose the form of an athletic and attractive teenager.  That will draw unwanted attention.  Instead, they should come down to earth as Michael Sabie (see picture). 

I went to 7th grade with this kid and no one, not even the teachers (or God), acknowledged his existence.  Except for the time I put earth worms down his shirt and pushed him down a slide -- then everyone thought he was hysterical (even God).

The alien falls in love with an Earth girl and that probably creates some conflict for their parents -- think Montagues and Capulets only with alien DNA -- while intense battle scenes take place in between bake sales and band marches.  Think Drumline meets Men in Black

Unexpected Scene: The alien takes a break from intergalactic warfare to study for the SATs. 

Take Me Home Tonight -- -78 out of 7 Golden Slacks

Synopsis (from Follow an aimless college grad who pursues his dream girl at a wild Labor Day weekend party. He, his twin sister and their best friend struggle with their burgeoning adulthood over the course of the night.

Joe's Take: Movies and books always depict a romantic view of emotional disconnection and misspent youth -- people always end up "finding themselves" at a party in a great location like the Hamptons or atop the Statue of Liberty with a beautiful woman who somehow pieces together the fragmented parts of their iives.  Where are the movies that depict people in sweat pants huddled in the corner of their parents basement drinking rum out of a Slushee cup while The Break-Up plays in perpetuity in the background?  This is another Hollywood scribe's wish-fulfillment fantasy movie.  The reality is that most people don't "find themselves" and if they do, they're probably too old or trapped to do anything about it. 

Unexpected Scene: After turning down his dream girl, the main character leaves the party, buys a ticket to Hall Pass, and then commits suicide with Owen Wilson afterwards. 


Behind the Scenes with Pete

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Blog post by Pete Jackson

I remember a few months ago when Joe and I were imagining the timeline for this trip. It was exciting to map out the locations we would hit, the amount of time we would be in each city and the fun things we would do. We even went so far as to make sure we had a full day of rest once a week so that we could sleep a little and maybe even have some time to enjoy ourselves in any given city. But again, we were imagining.

It may seem unfortunate that we’re on the first (and probably last) cross-country road trip we’ll ever take in our lives and we haven’t had time to really experience the places we’ve been. But this was a conscious decision. This trip was never about sightseeing or lollygagging. It was always about working our asses off for something we believed in.

But on a drive through Texas the other day we accidentally stumbled over a gap in time. I had to take a restroom break but there were no rest stops for miles, so we pulled onto a side road and stopped at an abandoned gas station that looked like it was at one point in time the only place to stop for gas in this part of the country. After we got back into the car, we missed the entrance to the freeway and had to drive on the side road for a few miles. Suddenly, we stopped.

We were in the middle of nowhere - nothing but an empty highway and a barren side road. There was silence. It was magnificent. We may have only been there for a half-hour, but it seemed an eternity. Time stopped, and so did we.

It’s moments like these that make this whole crazy endeavor feel right. We were able to get into the car and continue working feverishly, but this time with the hint of a smile on our faces. You might say, “Well, the best moments come along when you least expect them.” That’s probably true, but sometimes it’s nice to believe that the best moments come along because you really need them.

-- Pete

                 Joe and I threw a baseball around during a break in Texas



Day # 54 by Joe Piccirillo

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Oh good. Finally, people are using robots for their intended purpose: to terrify humans. According to the article, a Japansese company has created a robotic piggy bank that will "explode" if the owner deposits money infrequently.

"The battery-powered toy -- designed as a cartoon-style, ball-shaped black bomb with a skull and crossbones logo -- lights up, makes a noise, shakes violently and scatters coins if it is not topped up for a long time."

The guy on line ahead of me at Dunkin Donuts had the same reaction when the lady told him they were out of munchkins - maybe he's just imitating the Savings Bomb. For an additional $50, the robot will repeatedly whisper the phrase, "Your children won't be able to go to college," while you sleep.

"'Users must pick up and collect the scattered coins and reflect on their laziness,' the Japanese company said."

It's sort of amazing that the company has employed shame as its primary marketing tool; it must have spent years cataloguing those immutably sad conversations at the roller rink between me and my parents in which they covered their eyes and handed me pairs of pants. In America, we don't use shame - we sell products with catchy jingles, talking diapered babies, and fat husbands who can't seem to grasp the basic principles of financial planning, doorbell repair or gravity.

This makes me root for "The Savings Bomb" and some of its sister products listed below:

#1. Fridge Raider:
This fridge will dispose of its contents if it notices that you haven't eaten fruits or vegetables in one week. It will also invite your mother-in-law for a weekend visit if it recognizes more than one chinese takeout container. For an extra $50, the fridge will "dispose" of food by sending it directly to Kirstie Alley's house.

#2. Open House:
When placed in your crawl space, this device will send signals out to drifters and out-of-work musicians that your house is available for squatting if you don't regularly repair and clean it.

#3. Wonder Wall:
This will erect an actual brick wall around you. It is designed to mirror to the cold, emotional wall you've placed between you and your gay son.

The Savings Bomb costs $50 which begs the question: Is this purchase really part of a sound financial plan?

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