Weekender: February 10, 2012
It’s time to get something off our chests: Ryan Reynolds, we’ve been hard on you. You’ve been doing a damn good job as an action star, but it takes a while for guys to get past the “shouldn’t you be in my girlfriend’s romantic comedy?” trust barrier. We’ll call it The Se7en Barrier, after Brad Pitt’s first movie that made most guys think, “Alright, I’ll watch this guy….hell, I’d have a beer with him”. Reynolds has made some strong strides into serious acting, including the one-man show of Buried. And there was that whole bit with Green Lantern, but….yeah. Much like Pitt in Se7en, Safe House finds Reynolds under the wing of an older, wiser action star – except instead of the infinite calm and wisdom of Morgan “Official Voice of God” Freeman, Reynolds gets paired with Denzel “Try To Swoon More Ladies Than Me, Kid – I Dare You” Washington. Watching young CIA agent Reynolds getting the piss taken out of him by Washington’s rogue superspy is a little fun for those guys in the audience still on the fence about Ryan – but by the end of the movie, you’ll have to give him props for taking his buddy action flick role and running with it (at least as much as Denzel lets anyone else run away with a movie).
Naysayers might have declared The Simpsons dead sometime after Season 11. I mean, YOU try writing a new storyline for characters after they’ve been around longer than some of your audience has been alive. Nevertheless, reports of The Simpsons‘ demise at this stage have been greatly exaggerated. While later seasons might have fallen full-on into show parodies and guest stars, the worst sin of season 14 is Mick and Keith stopping by in “How I Spent My Strummer Vacation” to basically rehash “Homerpalooza” from season seven. Let’s look at the good parts: One of the strongest “Treehouse of Horror” episodes in years, particularly the Homer-tastic “Send In The Clones,” a cameo from Weird Al, and the semi-annual Sideshow Bob goodness. The Simpsons might not be in their golden era anymore, but they’re in the same club as sex and pizza: even when they’re bad, they’re still pretty good.
Album: Patrice O’Neal – Mr. P
The unfortunate untimely death of Patrice O’Neal last year was a blow to the comedy world. A stand-up vet, O’Neal also had small but stellar cameos in shows like Chappelle’s Show, The Office, and Arrested Development. While he never quite made it big with movies, Patrice at least got to record one album before he died, sadly released only after he passed. Mr. P gathers up Patrice’s bits on airport security, white women, and generally anything that can get his audience completely riled up. The man might be in Heaven, but don’t call him a saint – his standup was as offensive as he could get away with, and if you’re going to miss the man, miss him for being one of the best comedians to push the boundaries offensive humor.
Video Game: Gotham City Impostors
Not since the days of Time Splitters has a first-person-shooter looked this polished, this fun, and had a ridiculous sense of humor about itself. Taking a page from Kick-Ass (and a hundred other stories about wanting to be your own superhero), Gotham City Impostors finds you in control of any number of wannabes looking to play a deadly game of dressup. With rollerskates, bear traps, and even hang gliders, the characters you create in GCI will have incredible amounts of versatility and look very credibly goofy most of the time. With cute cut-scenes, great character customization options, and above all a smooth game engine, this title should mark the only time anyone feels comfortable laughing hysterically at a Batman game (exceptions are clown-faced homicidal maniacs and anyone who got duped into buying this).