Tag Archives: Hollywood

Ten for Ten: Old School

What is 10 for 10? On the tenth of every month I take something really cool, underrated, badass, or worth remembering from ten years ago and tell you about it here, a decade past its prime. You may even notice similar posts pop up on the 20th and 30th of each month. Because as a child I was always told to recycle, and they never said that concept doesn’t apply to gimmicks, too. Check out previous Ten for Ten posts from March and February.

“We’re all going streaking!”

“You’re my boy, Blue!”

“He’ll do one!”

“Earmuffs.”

Just a scant ten years ago, those quotes were only glimmers in Will Ferrell, Luke Wilson, and Vince Vaughn’s eyes. A decade later the movie Old School is, itself, becoming old school, but still holds up alongside the R-Rated blockbuster-comedies of today. Hits like The Hangover, Knocked Up, Superbad, Bridesmaids, The 40-Year Old Virgin, etc. all exist because Old School showed that comedies for grown-ups can be funny and (more importantly to Hollywood), profitable.

old school

In addition to giving us a new movie genre, a far superior (and F-word-laden) version of “Total Eclipse of the Heart”, and the legendary “tranq gun” scene, Old School also gave us arguably the most important comedy element of the 2000s: Will Ferrell. In 2003, Will Ferrell was on the uncertain precipice of a comic actor trying to transition from TV to film…so what kept Big Willie Style from succumbing to the same fate of obscurity as his fellow SNL alum Cheri Oteri, Chris Kattan, Tim Meadows and the like? Old School (combined with Elf’s success) gave Ferrell enough street cred to make Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Blades of Glory, Semi-Pro, Step Brothers, and a half dozen other movies that redefined the modern day comedy movie.

When you see Hangover III this summer and complain that it wasn’t funny as the first one (even though it will have just made 300 million dollars at the box office), remember that if it wasn’t for Old School, the only funny movies they’d be making for grown ups would be Grown Ups…and nobody in the mood for a funny movie wants to see an Adam Sandler film (speaking of washed up SNL alum, Grown Ups 2 comes out this July).

So grab some buddies, a case of the cheapest light beer you can get your hands on, pop this ’03 comic masterpiece into your DVD player and get ready to laugh. And bring your green hat.

Play on,
Dustin

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The Friday Five: Five Rules for Choosing Your Karaoke Song

“For this I will lament and wail; I will go stripped and naked; I will make lamentation like the jackals, and cry out like the ostriches.”

…That verse from Micah (chapter one, verse eight) probably marks one of the earliest references to karaoke in the Old Testament (that’s the first half of the Bible, to all you pagans out there). The simple fact of the matter is that at some point in your life, you are going to have to sing (or at least co-sing) a song in some sort of karaoke situation. Oh sure, I’ve heard all the excuses before “I’d never let myself sink that low” “I’m too careful to end up like that” “I’m a good person”, etc. but the fact of the matter is you can either prepare mentally and spiritually for this kind of thing, or you can just live in denial and be caught totally off guard when it happens to you (and trust me, it will). Bachelorette parties, housewarmings, cookouts, bar mitzvahs…technology has progressed in such a way that karaoke can strike anywhere, at any time, and even if you take every precaution available, karaoke will find you. And when it does, karaoke will show no mercy. Luckily, I’m here for you, and if you follow a few simple guidelines, you can survive karaoke as unscathed as possible…and heck, you might even come out of it with a good story to tell.

Five Karaoke Rules that will keep you from ending up like this guy. You're welcome.

Five Karaoke Rules that will keep you from ending up like this guy. You’re welcome.                                                     (Note: The National Anthem is not a great karaoke song choice)

Rule 1: Know your level of vocal ability.
I always think this one is a no-brainer, but then every year I see a new set of American Idol promos (I haven’t watched an actual episode of American Idol since the Clay Aiken/Ruben Studdard season, I was too hurt after watching Clay unjustly lose to ever go back…plus those types of shows are pretty played out) where an astoundingly high number of people can’t sing. It’s one thing to be blissfully unaware that you’re singing is off-pitch (shout out to whoever was standing behind me in church this week*, but you do you, homeslice), but there’s a special level of pain I feel for people that are terrible singers and have NO IDEA! Like whoever is the Paula these days will be like “sorry sweetie, you’re no good” and the contestant will be all like “Psh YOU DON’T KNOW MY WORLD SON, I’ma take my voice and go out and make a million dollars without your show! I voted green party!” and then we never hear or see them again, with the sort-of exception of William Hung, who is on national TV about as often as I am (AKA not very). The moral of the story is: it may be painful, but do whatever you have to in order to figure out how good of a singer you are BEFORE you find yourself in front of a group of people at a karaoke bar or a panel of Randy Jackson types.

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Twenty for Twenty: Heart and Souls

The world has changed a lot since 1993. On the 20th of each month, Twenty for Twenty takes us back to the best of 1993 and shares some gems that are gone, but shouldn’t be forgotten. If reminiscing is your thing, feel free to check out my Ten for Ten or Thirty for Thirty posts — which are literally the exact same gimmick cheaply repurposed for a combination of my own amusement and laziness.

What if I told you we could put Charles Grodin, Kyra Sedgwick, and Robert Downey Jr. into the same room and watch them perform onscreen for two hours? You’d probably have to google two of those three names like I did. But luckily 1993 beat you to the punch, and produced the heart and soul warming movie, Heart and Souls.

If Downey had made this movie ten years later it would've been called Heart and Souls and a Coke Problem.

If Downey had made this movie ten years later it would’ve been called Heart and Souls and a Coke Problem.

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Dustin’s Three to See: February

Don’t get out to the movies as often as, say, a single 29-year-old man-child with an escapism complex? Well don’t fret, I’ve taken all of Hollywood’s shoddy offerings and narrowed them down to the three that won’t make your $20 movie ticket feel like a total waste. I call it Dustin’s Three to See because I was raised to believe that rhyming things are better than non-rhyming things.

February is historically known for three things: Valentine’s Day, Black History Month, and $5-Footlongs at Subway. If I’m being honest, all three get me about equally excited. February is typically a pretty slow month for movies — and despite its romantic trappings, nary a single rom-com or rom-dram was released (rom-dram is an abbreviation I just invented for romantic drama). But I get it, even if there aren’t any good romance movies out, you’re still gonna need to find an hour and a half to kill between your romantic dinner and when you and your super hot girlfriend can go makeout in the car. With that in mind, here’s the three movies worth seeing from February:

Movie 1) — Warm Bodies
It’s a classic story of boy meets girl. The only snag is that the boy is dead, and sort of wants to eat the girl’s brains. It’s like Twilight, except for in this movie the lead’s acting is actually supposed to be stilted and lifeless (sorry K-Stew (not really)). I’m a little biased toward this movie because it’s essentially the same premise as a movie idea I had in college, and so the fact that it got made gives me some weird sort of validation (it doesn’t take much) despite the fact that I had nothing to do with it. The story is cute enough, the gore is calmer than trying to convince your girlfriend to watch The Walking Dead with you every week, that’s a win/win in my book.

AKA Drop Dead Fred

AKA Drop Dead Fred

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An Oscar Retrospective (aka #ManCrush Monday on Seth MacFarlane)

In what critics are calling “the first and most original idea of 2013 or ever” I’ve decided to post a few of my thoughts on last night’s 85th annual Academy Awards.

Soft-shoeing their way into the hearts of millions...

Soft-shoeing their way into the hearts of millions…

For starters, Seth MacFarlane absolutely crushed it with the hosting duties, which is no easy task given that the über-critical media is just waiting to pounce on any and all missteps, real or imaginary. Also, keep in mind that we haven’t had a decent host for the ceremony since 2009’s festivities; last year was a past-his-prime Billy Crystal (whom I adore, but wasn’t great that time around…probably due at least in part to the fact that he was a last-second replacement for Eddie Murphy) and the year before was the dreadful Franco/Hathaway duo — she’s as bad at being herself as she is good at being other people and Franco just bounced back and forth between “possibly stoned” and “definitely stoned” the whole night. I thought Seth MacEff struck a great balance between deprecation of self vs. deprecation of others, and while every joke can’t be a home run (rough crowd to drop a Chris Brown/Rihanna joke on, I liked the Mel Gibson line but it was a bit passé, etc….though like any seasoned funny-man he recovered impressively and instantaneously) I thought the vast majority of his material was gold. And like it or not, I’m your male 18-34 demographic, so my opinion literally matters more than yours (18 trillion dollars of targeted advertising can’t be wrong). MacFarlane devotees already know that he has a passion for classic Hollywood (thus the soft-shoe numbers and old school pageantry of the opening performances) and if you’re smart enough to see through the boob-jokes, you’ll see a love for tinsel-town’s glamorous golden era that most of this generation lacks. Which leads me nicely into…

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