Grandma’s Boy — Movie Review

Grandma's Boy photophoto courtesy Twentieth Century Fox

This movie straight sucked… now go and see it! Considering all the critics bashing it after it came out, its no wonder that the films production company decided against sending it to reviewers before it was released. The film carries nothing more than a sloppy pile of jokes, drug references, and some nudity. The film is almost a parody on the down-and-out-guy-gets-girl genre except that it’s geared to pot smoking gamers and it’s riotously funny!

Match Point poster
Grandma’s Boy
(Twentieth Century Fox)
Rated: R
starstar (out of 4)
Official Site
Trailer
Metacritic
IMDb

Alex (Allen Covert) is a 36 year old pot smoking video game tester who has to move in with his grandmother. He gets evicted from his apartment because his roommate spent the last six months rent on massage parlor prostitutes. Alex ends up moving in with his Grandma (Doris Roberts) and her two elderly roommates (Shirley Jones and Shirley Knight).

Alex’s weed-laden-ultra-smile in this film is only outdone by cuts of hilarious silence. In one of the basement scenes all you hear is the pitter-patter of Playstation controllers and all you see are Alex, Dante (Peter Dante), and a monkey, baked out of their minds, on a couch, playing video games on a blank television screen.

Alex’s work buddy, Jeff (Nick Swardson), is a riot but has a weird character transition through the film. At first, you are introduced to Jeff as an over sheltered nerd who lives with his parents, never had sex, wears lime green pajamas with the feet sewn on them, and sleeps in a pre-teen’s bedroom, full of action figures. Jeff goes from a freakish momma’s boy to a seasoned party god in two scenes. Despite the weird transition Swardson’s sharp timing, physical antics, and convincing facial expressions highlight the best scenes in the movie.

The pinnacle of nerd references comes in the form of a game geek prodigy named J.P. (Joel David Moore). The goth-meets-Matrix outfits and the weird high pitch voice that mimics bouts of Tourettes, that is futilely compensated with a hyper-inflated ego, makes this bad guy a really funny bad guy! Throughout the movie, J.P. is ridiculed by everyone, even the breakroom geeks at the game testing lab. He’s the hot shot no one thinks is hot!

The party scene at Grandma’s house was classic. Barry (Jonah Hill), one of the game testers, sucks on his first female breast and keeps sucking for thirteen straight hours. Jeff finally has sex… with Shirley Jones’ character… yeah, it was pretty creepy… actually it made me ill… but it was still funny. All the while, Grandma and roommates get stoned on “Frankenstein weed”.

This was a film I’ll have to see again, but not just for the funny. Unfortunately, some of the delivery put laugh time on top of joke time making it impossible to hear every joke. The dialogue between characters still needed some shaking out as well. The quality of the picture in the beginning also seemed a little rough. I’m not sure if the theater was to blame there or not.

Overall, Grandma’s Boy might get chewed up by critics for its bathroom humor but for pot head gamers who’ve spent way too much time with the folks this year, it might be that perfect bong hit to end off the holidays and start off the new year.

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STARRING: Linda Cardellini, Peter Dante, Shirley Jones, Shirley Knight, Joel Moore, Kevin Nealon, Doris Roberts, and Nick Swardson
GENRE(S): Comedy
WRITTEN BY: Barry Wernick, Allen Covert, Nick Swardson
DIRECTED BY: Nicholaus Goossen
RELEASE DATE: Theatrical: January 6, 2006
RATING: R
RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes, Color
ORIGIN: USA

Xbox 360: a wee bit crashy?

Xbox 360 photo
The New Xbox 360

It has been just over one week since the release of Microsoft’s “next generation” game system Xbox 360, and customers are already reporting problems. Forums on the Xbox website show post after post of customers complaining that the Xbox 360 has a problem with overheating and crashing within minutes of playing.

The most recent posts in Xbox.com’s forums, under the subtitles General Discussions and Technical Issues, contain mostly stories from customers complaining of overheating and crashing as well as issues with the hard drive and glitches with the system reading certain games as DVD’s. Incidentally, most of these posts have suspiciously disappeared since Tuesday night.

In a recent telephone interview with Reuters, Molly O’Donnell, spokeswoman for Microsoft, said, “We have received a few isolated reports of consoles not working as expected.” After declining to state a specific number of reports O’Donnell went on to indicate that it’s a “very, very small fraction” of units sold. Meanwhile, other game sites have logged even more complaints of overheating and crashing such as Xbox-scene where one consumer reports the system crashing before finishing the first lap of Project Gotham Racing 3. Team Xbox published a poll asking its registered users if their new Xbox 360 works fine or if it’s defective. Of the 913 responses at this time, 133, or 14.57%, report that their Xbox 360 is defective. The results of a similar poll on the gaming site Kotaku indicated that 861 voters had no problems, while 332, or close to 29%, stated that their Xbox 360 is “a wee bit crashy.”

Some critics have stated that these defects are part of an evolutionary step for XBOX 360. However, it’s more likely that, as David Carnoy and John P. Falcone of CNET reported, “Microsoft was pushing it out the door quickly to get the jump on Sony’s PlayStation 3.”

Machuca at Avalon Theatre

Machuca photophoto courtesy of Menemsha Films

Machuca, a common surname in Chile, meaning “One who is beaten but perseveres,” is also the fitting title of the new film by Chilean-born and NYU schooled filmmaker Andr?©s Woods.

Andr?©s Wood tells a story of class distinction, rift, and social upheaval in this tale of friendship during Chile’s brief socialist period culminating in the events that took place during the military coup in 1973 Santiago, Chile.

Pedro Machuca, played by Ariel Mateluna, is a poor boy who was brought into an upper-class private school in 1973 Santiago, Chile and befriends well-to-do classmate Gonzalo, played by Matias Quer. The characters become immersed in each others lives and view the others personal tragedies and obstacles as well as finding escape through their own friendship.

Pedro’s neighbor Silvana, played by Manuella Martelli, both taunts and fondly follows both boys in their young adventures.

As all the friendships grow the political climate, as well the events that are taking place in their personal lives, worsen. The bridge between both of their worlds crumbles and the events of the day produce a powerful moral challenge for all three children.

Wood explains, in reflection to the perspective of his story that, “Children experience events, but they do not judge. They simply live, and bear witness.”

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In conjunction with the release of this film the Avalon Theatre is hosting a weekend of opening events listed below:

Friday, November 18, 8:00 PM: John Dinges, Professor of Journalism at Columbia University and author of The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Continents. Dinges will discuss MACHUCA’s portrayal of the political environment in Chile during the 1970’s.

Sunday, November 20, 3:00 PM: Alex Foxley, Economic counselor at Embassy of Chile and graduate of St. George’s College in Chile (1974-1981), will join Reverend Joe Eldridge, chaplain at American University and co-founder of Washington Office of Latin America, to discuss the role of religion in Chile’s social development during Allende’s democratic rule and then under military dictatorship.