The High Countries

because it’s all paperweight…

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Matthew (Jonah Hill) looks on with Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) in one of the film’s rare clothed moments.

I Can Forget Soon Enough

By Bryce VanKooten

The night was quiet. The bold spring sunset had faded from existence and most of us were freshly done with our final papers, save one man. Andy, one of my dorm-mates — brilliant, lazy, looks exactly like you think he would — had yet to start his paper. In that moment of steady disregard for anything related to planning, an infamous quote was born. “The key to writing a great paper is hiding poor ideas behind great structure.” It was not until now that I fully realized the truth of his words. Today, after a long viewing of a bellowing, sub par film, I’m amazed that others (even a team of professionals) have yet to figure it out.

Last night I lost just under two hours of my life. Not to sleep (which I would have traded ten times over), but to the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall. As I entered the theater, I was convinced that sitting in the front row would not ruin my experience. Despite my carnal intuition, this movie could not have more needless sex than Jud Apatow’s previous films (40 Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Superbad, etc). I had been invited for free, how super-bad could it get? Ah, who doesn’t love famous last words…

For my sanity (I couldn’t be more serious), I’m going to skip over the first half. I’ll summarize by saying I vaguely enjoyed it. There are not words to express the angst and pain I felt for the final 4,500 minutes of this nightmare, though ‘angst’ and ‘pain’ seem to work nicely, for now. If the first half were an intriguing magazine cover, the second half would be the naked guy on page one, and page two, and three and so on, and so on, and so on, etc.

For pity’s sake, I’ll give you the high points … okay, that’s about it. Let’s recap.

Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) is busted up pretty bad after his girlfriend and budding TV star Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) breaks up with him (he’s naked and I can’t emphasize enough how not funny this is… every time). To reboot, he takes a trip to Hawaii where he meets a fresh-and-fun-brunette-hotel-clerk Rachael (Mila Kunis aka; Family Guy’s Meg Griffith), but finds out that his newly departed girlfriend has arrived with her new 60’s-inspired, rock star boyfriend, Aldous Snow (Russel Brand). Got it? Shenanigans ensue and much ‘awkwerdity’ is had, mostly thanks to the seemingly fail-safe-for-a-laugh waiter/hotel helper/Aldous stalker, Jonah Hill.

After Peter becomes jealous of Sarah and Sarah turns out to be jealous of Peter (what a twist!), the movie ventures onto a path the most clearly resembles an un-funny porno. Coincidentally, Aldous (who doubles as the funniest onscreen and the most crazed) got less time on screen than the blankets they all retreat to. The movie continues with a terrible script, an even worse storyline and one of the most distasteful and incredibly unfunny movies I’ve seen in the past decade.

I’m guessing, by the end of the film, we’re supposed to like Peter Bretter (or at least feel sorry for him––which I didn’t). But in a comedic sense, how can you like, or give any emotion to someone that doesn’t entertain you? I suppose he entertained me when he took the lengthy banana out of his Margarita Smoothie and muttered, “Whoa, look at this guy.” But outside of the few moments when he was perfectly drunk, he was plain torturous. This movie hinged on blatant, insanely awkward (re: not awkward-funny, just really dumb) male nudity. I lost track the 4th or 5th time, but there had to be a good half dozen shots of the same guy on the big screen. And what’s the most ironic part of all of this? Jason Segel, the man’s who wore his birthday suit once already in Knocked Up, decided to write his own story this time. I’ll lay it out for you simply: It’s his script. He was likely naked when he wrote it.

All horribly raunchy, 40 Year-Old Virgin had a story, Anchorman remains a recent classic and Superbad was, well … funny. My apologies for not being able to grab Andy three years ago, given him a Flux Capacitor and a megaphone and told him to scream his line at the top of his lungs all the way to 2008. I hope Forgetting Sarah Marshall will be soon forgotten (oh, that was too easy). And judging by the way The Forbidden Kingdom preformed this weekend, Forgetting Sarah Marshall may not be all it was knocked up to be.

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April 21, 2008 Posted by | Entertainment, Film Reviews | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tourney Time: Only a Flip Away!

Many Shining Moments…

North Carolina Duke

Tourney time has arrived and my food intake has now officially gone on sabbatical in hopes of breaking that hiatus with chips and salsa for the next two weeks.

First things first, we all know its a crying shame that Jon Brockman rolled his ankle in the University of Washington’s ‘basketball Apple Cup’, thus severely weakening UW’s hopes for a championship. But we must face facts: the Dawgs are not in the tourney. I know, I know its ridiculous and the world won’t be the same without them but — OJ ain’t in jail neither — so I suppose this world still upholds various, mind-blowing atrocities.

The sports world is wrought with the woes of a poorly-filled bracket. Each piece of advice claiming supremacy above the rest. Then it dawned on me: what if I threw my proverbial bracket into the hands of George Washington? No, not the team (they didn’t make it to this year’s tournament), I mean the President. More precisely, the President on the quarter. Yes, let’s do it. That is my stance. That is my advice. Before you fill, before you scribble and scratch and rant and rave; flip a coin.  Flip two coins. Flip till there’s a victor –– this is the President of the United States speaking.

Round 1:

The flips began much more smoothly than I had imagined the first round going with all my #1’s and #3’s squeaking by with wins. I noticed that I had suffered devastating loses by two #4’s, three #5’s and…all my #2’s. Who would have thought in round one Austin Peay could present itself as a clear favorite?! With my #1’s still in tact, the next toss rose high…

Round 2:

Soon I found that this game didn’t allow for as much control as I thought it would. Each flip causing new emotion as if the coin was speaking fact and no longer rose as a game. Surprisingly, all my #1’s made it through round two sprinting headlong towards round three.  I’m sweating…

Sweet Sixteen:

UNC faced off against a blazing Winthrop team who had just taken down Washington St (my father’s Alma Mater) in the first round only to slip by George Mason in the second. Kansas would have to defeat Villanova for their chances for National Title to stay alive. Memphis would face off with Michigan St and UCLA will play the LDS boys from BYU, respectively. As the Coin was flipped, in true Presidential form, our Elite Eight held three of the four #1’s (what?!), with the only loss coming to our Midwest buddies, Kansas.

Who has the stamina  to overcome President George? Up until this point, it seemed nearly feasible. Outside of UMBC, San Diego and my boys over at Austin Peay, this could happen…maybe. My Elite Eight was as follows:

Louisville over UNC
UMBC over Villanova
Austin Peay over Michigan St.
Purdue over San Diego

Sometime between the Michigan St.––Austin Peay game, I drop my quarter in toilet. I was sitting there doing flips and — bloop! — there it went. I’m finishing this out with a Penny.  Generally, rules are rules and I would have to go after George, but this is flippin’ basketball folks, and Lincoln knew better anyway.

The Final Four:

Apparently Lincoln didn’t know squat either because Austin Peay pulled out the upset…again.  Lucky-to-be-there Purdue didn’t show up and got smashed, whereas Louiville came to play — simple as that.

My Championship: Austin Peay vs. Louisville.

As I sit here thinking of the implications of this flip, nothing is going through my brain except, “Come on Louisville, come on Louisville.” If Louisville wins, there’s still hope for this to come true. Without thinking, my thumb released. As it turns over in air, my eyes read its high looping arc, all fate resting on its descend.

Louisville wins!

If I were a gambler, I would be out a lot of cash right now. I’m not, I’m a blogger. I’m a blogger that takes back everything he said about flipping a coin. Don’t do it. Never do it. To be forced to watch your teams fall to the wayside and get played like black/red Roulett is far too painful. I feel like the guilty middleman, forced to deliver the news. As I sit there in their locker-room, I look into the player’s eyes and slowly begin. “I’m sorry guys, it wasn’t your day. That terrible, under-performing UMBC team brought a lot of talent into this gym tonight.” Devastated, they look at me, hoping for answers. I open my mouth and say the only thing one could. “I know, its like, I mean, what are the chances…”

March 20, 2008 Posted by | Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment