Tag Archives: Rashida Jones

Tag

Tag is a movie about grown men playing tag. They’ve played every month of May for the past 30 years, since they were kids. They’re crazy competitive about it, and it rankles that Jerry (Jeremy Renner) is the only one who’s never EVER been tagged. Not once. In 30 years. But this May Jerry’s getting married, and that seems to the rest of the gang (Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Hannibal Buress, Jon Hamm) like the perfect opportunity to finally make him IT.

This movie is based on a true story, which sounds absurd except I knew a couple of brothers who did something similar – they played a game they dubbed Touch You Last (you can probably extrapolate what it involves) throughout their adulthood. In MV5BMjNjYzVkNmMtY2VhNC00ZDg2LTlkNmItMzYzOTI4NzIwYTQ5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjMxMjkwMDg@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1333,1000_AL_the movie, the guys find it a good excuse to get together and stay close well past the time that most friendships fall to the way side. Wives and girlfriends (Rashida Jones, Leslie Bibb, Isla Fisher) are not allowed to play because they made the rules when they were 9 (no girls allowed) but over the years the game has been mythic and this year a reporter from The Wall Street Journal is following them around so the stakes are extra extra high and nothing, believe me NOTHING, is sacred.

The film is a mashup between comedy (hit or miss) and absurd and insane stunts that no grown, sane man should attempt in the name of a game of tag, or ever, unless a bear is chasing you AND you owe that bear money AND that bear has ties to organized crime AND your hair is on fire.

The script isn’t overly strong but there’s a lot of funny people in this (I might give the win to Hannibal Buress, who delivers a straight-faced one-liner like nobody’s business) so it does have its moments. It’s just not in danger for being mistaken for a classic, or, you know, an actual good movie. Which is not to say it’s bad. It’s just pretty content to be a medium-funny diversion which you may or may not wait to see as a rental rather than in theatres, where you damn well better make me laugh out loud.

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1976 in Film (Happy 40th Sean)

Sean and I are cruising around the Hawaiian islands to celebrate his milestone birthday, which is why you’ll find a common theme in the movie reviews here  for the next week and a half.

1976 was a noteworthy year in film. Rocky was the highest grossing movie, and it won the Oscar – for best picture AND best director (John G. Avildsen). It was p5214_p_v8_aaNetwork though that all but cleaned up in the acting categories – Peter Finch for best actor (he was the first actor to win posthumously); Faye Dunaway for best actress, and Beatrice Straight for best supporting actress. The fly in their soup was Jason Robards for All the President’s Men – poor Ned Beatty was shut out. In an upset, Barbra Streisand’s Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born) won best original song over Gonna Fly Now from the Rocky soundtrack but I don’t need to tell you which has had the more lasting impact culturally.

George Lucas began filming Star Wars in 1976, perhaps sensing that little Sean would definitely need to grow up playing light sabers. In a stroke of genius, Lucas waived the half-million-dollar director’s fee in order to maintain complete ownership on merchandising and sequels, which means that today he’s a mother fucking billionaire.

Carrie came out in 1976. So did Family Plot, Alfred Hitchcock’s final film taxi-driver-movie-1976starring Bruce Dern. And Freaky Friday with Jodie Foster. And Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. And To Fly!, a documentary about the history of flight produced by the National Air and Space Museum that was the second-highest grossing film the of the year and was the highest grossing documentary of all time until Fahrenheit 9/11 in 2004.

Kelly Macdonald, voice of Merida, the heroine from Disney’s Brave, known for roles in Trainspotting, Gosford Park, No Country for Old Men, and Boardwalk Empire was born in 1976 (the bitch. She’s married to my favourite bassist ever, Dougie Payne). So was fellow redhead Isla Fisher.

Rashida Jones turned 40 this year too. She’s currently working on the script to Toy Story 4. Reese Witherspoon turned 40. David Oyelowo turned 40. Cillian 3t0kxqbttyjlMurphy. Benedict Cumberbatch. Audrey Tautou. Colin Farrell. Happy 40th to all.

Ryan Reynolds has been making 40 look good for nearly 2 months now, paving the way for the likes of Sean to do the same.

Albert Brooks made his film debut in 1976 in a little movie called Taxi Driver. Jessica Lange made hers in King Kong and Brooke Shields first appeared in Alice, Sweet Alice.

1976 was kind of cool outside of film too: the Steelers won the Super Bowl. The first commercial Concorde flight took off. Innsbruck, Austria hosted with Winter Olympics (and Montreal the Summer). The Toronto Blue Jays were ramones-ramones1born. Apple was founded by a couple of punks you might have heard of, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. The Ramones released their first album and the Sex Pistols play their first shows, but it’s (Peter) Frampton Comes Alive! that tops the charts. The Boston Celtics defeated the Phoenix Suns in triple overtime in Game 5 of the NBA Finals – still considered the greatest game of the NBA’s first 50 years. The CN tower, then the world’s tallest free-standing structure on land, opened to the public. Jimmy Carter defeated Gerald Ford. Megamouth sharks are discovered off Oahu, Hawaii 4c33c725f6feaf2ce254254f6f1201fc(nothing to be concerned about Sean, I’m sure it’s just coincidence you’re both turning 40 in the same place). Bob Marley survived an assassination attempt. California repealed their sodomy law. Peyton Manning was born. And Ronaldo. And Mark Duplass, just a day after Sean. And as much as I love me some Duplass, Sean is still my favourite thing from 1976, and I’m so glad I get to spend the day looking for megamouth sharks on a submarine ride on the ocean’s floor with him.

 

 

 

 

Women in Hollywood

Russell Crowe is an ass. Everyone knows this. So when he recently went on a rant about how there are plenty of parts for women in movies so they should just shut their yaps and “act their age” no one was surprised by the medium or the message. As long as there’s been movies, there’s been sexism  and by god, where sexism goes so does ageism.

Looking at this year’s Oscar nominations it was pretty clear to me that meatier roles go to men, but I’m not going to sit here and lament the missed opportunities when instead I could be celebrating the success.ghostbusters

Earlier today, Paul Feig posted an untitled photo to Twitter featuring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones. Feig provided absolutely  no comment but fans were quick to speculate that this was the cast of his much-discussed reboot of The Ghostbusters franchise. McKinnon and Jones are both current members of SNL while Wiig and McCarthy are already Feig collaborators, having co-starred in Bridesmaids, the highest grossing domestic R-rated female comedy of all time, edging out Sex and the City (2008).

Meanwhile, at Sundance,  Emily Nussbaum, award-winning critic for the New Yorker, moderated a panel of “Serious Ladies” featuring the uber-talented Wiig, Jenji Kohan (who wrote for Sex and mindy-kaling-cover-ftrthe City and Gilmore Girls before creating Orange Is the New Black and Weeds), Lena Dunham (creator and star of Girls) and Mindy Kaling (writer\producer\star of The Mindy Project). Although they’re all at the top of their game, they all shared stories about how tough it was to break in. Kohan recalled male-dominated writers’ rooms where one cave-dweller told her  “If God had meant women to be in a writer’s room he wouldn’t have made breasts so distracting.” Kaling discussed the pressure to be a role-model versus the artist’s craving to push the envelope and maybe even offend. Sometimes feminism means creating a female character that isn’t necessarily “likeable.”

Dunham, who recently released a memoir, spoke about the difficulty women face in being dunham-lena-podcast-sl-hollywoodmistaken for the characters they play (and wondered why Woody Allen and Larry David don’t get pigeonholed in quite the same way). She hopes to one day see women outnumber men in their profession – “That would be my favourite, if guys some day were to say, ‘It’s impossible to get into Hollywood! It’s a women’s club!’ ”

Jenji Kohan pointed out that she was still expected to write material about weddings and uzomotherhood, a notion she challenges with the huge success of her show, Orange Is The New Black. That series, a Netflix original, won big at the Screen Actors Guild awards on Sunday. Uzo Aduba took home Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series that night (she plays “Crazy Eyes), and gave a heartfelt speech. But the best part was the love and support coming from the OITNBUZO ADUBA OF THE NETFLIX SERIES "ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK" ACCEPTS THE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE IN A COMEDY SERIES ALONG WITH HER FELLOW CAST MEMBERS AT THE 21ST ANNUAL SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS IN LOS ANGELES table – it’s always heartening to see women cheering each other on. Aduba was back on stage before long – the show also won Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, wrestling away the honour from Modern Family. What a great sight to see so many strong and talented ladies on the stage at once.

There are still mountains to climb for women in Hollywood, but if you look around (or follow our Twitter feed – @assholemovies ) you’ll find rashidajonestoystorybrave mountaineers everywhere. Just today it was announced that Toy Story 4 would be making its way to theatres in 2017 and that Rashida Jones and her writing partner Will McCormack would be tapped for the screenplay. Although they only have one previous credit to their names (Celeste and Jesse Forever), John Lasseter insists he “wanted to get a strong female voice in the writing of this.” This is a nice change from Pixar’s usually male-dominated animated lineup (Buzz, Woody, Nemo, Mike, Sully, Wall-E, etc) and a step in the right direction for us all.