Commentary

February 1, 2013

Fly Over: ‘Movie 43’, ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’

In theaters:

Movie-43-poster

‘Movie 43′

I’ve always been a little wary of movies with a big ensemble cast, and recently I’ve begun to hold the same feelings toward anthology films (thanks in part to the horrible V/H/S). “Movie 43,” however, looked to be a pretty decent comedy at the least, with all these famous actors getting together to have a good time. But while it certainly looks like they had a blast making it, there was very little to make me change my opinion of these types of films.
While attempting to get a production company to buy his first script, Charlie (Dennis Quaid) all but holds film executive Griffin (Greg Kinnear) hostage as he pitches each of his horrendous ideas.
These pitches include a woman on a blind date with a man who has a pair of testicles on his neck, the superhero sidekick Robin at a speed dating get-together, and a couple who want to make sure their son’s homeschooling is every bit as traumatizing as they remember high school to be. Between these segments there are also advertisements for the iBabe (A life-sized, naked woman through whom you can listen to music) and a public service announcement for children who work inside vending machines and copiers.
Note that I have not mentioned much in the way of plot development. That’s because there’s really nothing about which to speak. The overarching story with the movie pitch is the closest to having a real story to it, but even that ends in an insultingly abrupt fashion.
All of the other segments get a bit of a break from this, of course, but the majority of them are still based solely around one vulgar joke recycled over and over. The blind date segment, for example, consists primarily of the woman being disgusted by the man’s weird deformity while he acts oblivious to it. Some segments like the superhero speed dating, had some potential, but in the end they all fall flat.
There are some very, very talented people in this movie, including Justin Long, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Warburton, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Emma Stone, just to name a few. Unfortunately, the majority of them were severely underused; how is it possible to have Warburton and Moretz be in the same segment together, and yet still be boring? Another example being Sean William Scott and Johnny Knoxville, who together should involve some hilarious physical humor, and yet their skit seems to be over in the blink of an eye. Justin Long and Jason Sudeikis in the superhero segment shine the brightest, though.
“Movie 43,” as a whole, just seems pasted together at the last minute. At first there’s some promise with the movie pitch idea, but by the end the excuses to show the different segments start to stumble. I also do not understand the order in which the skits were placed; the one the movie ends on really would’ve worked better somewhere in the middle, and those who walk out after the first minute or so of credits will miss out on another, full skit (though it’s far from being a gem). Plus, there were some very noticeable flaws in the editing and the effects, particularly in how fake Gerard Butler looks as a leprechaun.
Anyone who just loves their comedies to be vulgar for the sake of being vulgar will definitely find something to take out of Movie 43, but those expecting anything more than that will be disappointed.
This movie is rated R for strong pervasive crude and sexual content including dialogue, graphic nudity, language, some violence and drug use.

 
…..and in stores

Flyover-good-kid-mAAd-city-photo

‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’

Hip hop is still a teen-oriented musical movement, but it’s also a genre driven by old souls, packed with coming-of-age stories from kids to kids.
Kendrick Lamar’s “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City” (stylized as “good kid, m.A.A.d city”) is a record that tells a coming-of-age story, but is not your typical “live happily ever after” story. It tells a story about Kendrick trying to survive the streets of Compton, Calif. It might just seem like an ordinary story, but the way he delivers it makes the album even more enjoyable.
It deserves the attention, and the likely sales which will follow, because it’s a truly original rap record. No party records or one-hit wonders on this album. Kendrick Lamar’s “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City” features mesmerizing music that gains its power not from its difficulty or any formal innovation but from Kendrick’s understanding of all the ways music can convey truth.
This album is not an easy listen. There are some songs that are radio hits, but the rest of the album is filled with dark vibes and very suggestive themes. This makes the album great because Kendrick Lamar is taking us on a journey through his teenage years, which, in my opinion, only a few rappers have done in their careers.
I’m not going to go over every track because that would spoil the fun. But there is one that that I would like to discuss. It’s called “The Art of Peer Pressure.”
The song explains how Kendrick hangs out with friends, and he is peer pressured to do illegal things such as drinking underage and robbing homes. But at the end of the song, there’s a skit with his parents leaving a voicemail telling him not to hang around with those friends. It’s the song that sets up the mood for the remainder of the album which gets pretty deep into his life.
If you get the deluxe version of the album, it comes with four bonus tracks; one of which highlights the legendary artist Dr. Dre titled “The Recipe.” It’s a chill-type of song that you listen to when you want to take a random drive somewhere. Excellent production, great delivery and with Dr. Dre on the track, it reminds me of his old songs from his album “2001.”
Overall, Good Kid M.A.A.D. City is an excellent album. I don’t want to cause controversy, but this album is a classic. Excellent choice of features and delivery makes this album a contender for the top ten albums of 2013. If you’re a real fan of hip hop and want to listen to real music, Good Kid M.A.A.D. City is the album for you.




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