TV Review: The Last Man On Earth (2015-2018)

Release Date: March 1st, 2015 – May 6th, 2018 (original run)
Directed by: various
Written by: Will Forte, various
Music by: Mark Mothersbaugh
Cast: Will Forte, Kristen Schaal, January Jones, Mel Rodriguez, Cleopatra Coleman, Mary Steenburgen, Jason Sudeikis, Boris Kodjoe, Mark Boone Junior, Kenneth Choi, Kristen Wiig, Keith L. Williams, Chris Elliot, Fred Armisen, Will Ferrell (cameo), Alexandra Daddario (cameo), Jon Hamm (cameo), Laura Dern (cameo), Jack Black (cameo), Martin Short (cameo)

The Si Fi Company, Lord Miller Productions, 20th Television, Fox, 67 Episodes, 22 Minutes (per episode)

Review:

“Oh, farts.” – Phil Tandy Miller

*Written in 2015.

Now that the first season is over, I can give a proper review to Fox’s The Last Man On Earth.

In short, I really like this show.

Will Forte is great as the lead character Phil Miller. Kristen Schaal is fantastic as the fairly neurotic yet very lovable Carol Pilbasian. Add in January Jones, Mel Rodriguez and as the show progresses further, Mary Steenburgen, Cleopatra Coleman and Boris Kodjoe, and you’ve got a pretty diverse and enjoyable cast.

The show starts with Phil traveling the country in search of other human beings. He paints “Alive In Tucson” on billboards throughout the United States and as the show progresses, characters start to show up every few episodes.

Due to the title, I was wondering how Fox would make an ongoing show out of a single character but I’m glad it has expanded. While it isn’t a post-apocalyptic world per se, it has similar themes as The Walking Dead. Sure, there aren’t zombies and the feeling of danger around every corner but it shows human beings trying to govern themselves and reestablish their place in the world.

Forte’s Phil Miller is mostly unlikable but there is a quality to him that has you siding with him and pulling for him, even though his dastardly deeds cause him to continually lose favor with other members of his tiny community despite the fact that he is the reason everyone has come to Tucson. Miller’s faults are easy to understand and relate to and even though he gives into them, he ultimately just wants to find his place and has a need to feel useful and loved – understandable for someone who was alone in the world without human contact for so long.

The show is entertaining, the cast is amazing and without spoiling anything, it looks like the show isn’t afraid to reinvent itself along the way. Based off of some things that happened in the finale, it will be interesting to see how things pan out in season two.

Rating: 8.5/10
Pairs well with: Well, it’s pretty unique. If you have any ideas, post them in the comments.

Film Review: We’re The Millers (2013)

Release Date: August 3rd, 2013 (Traverse City Film Festival)
Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Written by: Bob Fisher, Steve Faber, Sean Anders, John Morris
Music by: Ludwig Goransson, Theodore Shapiro
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Will Poulter, Ed Helms, Luis Guzman, Thomas Lennon, Ken Marino

New Line Cinema, Newman/Tooley Films, Slap Happy Productions, Heyday Films, Benderspink, Warner Bros., 110 Minutes

Review:

“We are all now officially international drug smugglers. Add it to the resume.” – David Clark

I didn’t have much urge to see this film even though I like a few of the people in it: mostly Sudeikis and Offerman. However, Aniston can be fun and Emma Roberts has been growing on me, even if I can’t stand her show Scream Queens. Ed Helms is awful in every way though but he is only in this sparingly. Plus, I’ve liked Kathryn Hahn since her time on Parks and Recreation.

I’m glad I ended up giving this film a chance though, even though most modern mainstream comedies are lowest common denominator schlock. We’re The Millers was pleasantly surprising. That’s not to say it was great but it had my attention throughout the picture and I laughed at some of the gags. Plus, the cast worked really well together.

In this film, we see Sudeikis’ David rope in stripper Rose (Aniston), runaway criminal Casey (Roberts) and his virginal neighbor Kenny (Will Poulter) into a scheme where they pose as a family on a RV trip to Mexico. On the trip, they are to acquire some drugs and bring them back to the States for Ed Helms’ character. Along the way, they run into trouble at every turn and while they bicker and fight, they find a real family unit with each other.

The picture is pretty straight forward from a stylistic approach. It’s an American comedy made for the general public, so there isn’t much in the way of cinematic artistry. The cinematography is fine but average, the directing isn’t notable for being either good or bad and the acting is exactly what one would expect. But then again, these films aren’t made to even compete for Oscars.

I’ve grown to like Jason Sudeikis a lot in the last few years. This just solidifies my appreciation for him. Offerman was also awesome, as a sexually freaky bad ass DEA agent. This is probably the best comedic role Offerman has had outside of Parks and Recreation.

We’re The Millers is not a movie that anyone will probably fall in love with but it is a better than average comedy film when compared to what’s come out of Hollywood in the last decade. It is not a classic by any means and will probably be forgotten in a few years but then they are supposedly working on a sequel to keep this thing living. It’s probably not a good idea though, as sequels to these sort of pictures tend to fall flat and cheapen the original.

Film Review: Colossal (2016)

Release Date: September 9th, 2016 (TIFF)
Directed by: Nacho Vigalondo
Written by: Nacho Vigalondo
Music by: Bear McCreary
Cast: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Dan Stevens, Austin Stowell, Tim Blake Nelson

Voltage Pictures, Brightlight Pictures, Sayaka Producciones, Neon, 110 Minutes

Review:

I have been waiting for this film to come out for quite some time after hearing the buzz after the Toronto International Film Festival and seeing the first trailer. It’s no secret I am a big kaiju fan, as well as a fan of movies that crossover genres that aren’t usually put together.

Colossal is incredibly unique and that could go one of two ways. It could really work and be fantastic or it could crash and burn and be a mess of a movie. Thankfully, Colossal, in my opinion, is an instant classic.

Now it isn’t a perfect or a flawless movie but when has something featuring a kaiju been a flawless picture? Well maybe the original 1954 Gojira (the Japanese language version, not the Raymond Burr Godzilla: King of Monsters version).

Colossal is so much more than a kaiju flick however, as the bulk of its story is about Gloria (Anne Hathaway) coming to grips with her mess of a life and the awful men she seems to attract. And to be honest, almost every man in this film is awful in some way. One is overly judgmental, one is pure evil and one is a total pussy – all awful qualities. The cokehead, of all people, is the only seemingly decent man in the story.

When Gloria returns home, after a big breakup, she soon discovers that she has some sort of psychic connection to a massive kaiju that is destroying Seoul, South Korea. Her friend and confidant Oscar (Jason Sudeikis) finds out that he is then linked to a massive robot that also appears in Seoul. As their friendship falls apart, due to Oscar having serious mental health issues (he’s the pure evil one), Gloria is emotionally held hostage by Oscar, who threatens to destroy Seoul every morning – killing thousands at a time. It is hard to watch, as Oscar starts out as sweet and nice and evolves into being completely psychotic by the end. However, the finale of the film is absolute perfection.

Anne Hathaway gets a really bad rap. I’m not really sure why, but this film and her performance in it are top notch. Sudeikis is absolutely stellar and this is my first experience seeing him playing a really dramatic character. Dude has chops. The supporting cast is good too but the weight of the picture rests solely on the shoulders of Hathaway and Sudeikis. They carry this kaiju drama well.

The film has good effects, good cinematography and a nice score. The tone throughout the picture is great.

Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect going into this as I tried to avoid spoilers. I wanted to be surprised and taken on an interesting ride and I was.

Colossal, so far, is my favorite picture of 2017, even though it debuted on the festival circuit late last year.