Inside Pulse » chelsea handler A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:00:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse no A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse » chelsea handler Blu-ray Review: Fun Size Wed, 03 Apr 2013 12:00:01 +0000 I was really not excited to sit down and review Fun Size. I mean what would director Josh Schwartz (creator of The OC and Gossip Girl) have to offer me? Well, it didn’t take too long for the charm of star Victoria Justice and the film as a whole to make me realize I wasn’t in for the worst hour and a half of my life.

The story of Fun Size is by no means original. Many elements harken back to ’80s films such as Adventures in Babysitting and many of the early John Hughes films. There is also an important plot point that revolves around the Beastie Boys which makes it feel even more ’80s, but I won’t go into that for fear of spoilers.

Victoria Justice stars as Wren, a girl who’s dad has recently died and her family are all dealing with it differently. Her mom, Joy (Chelsea Handler), has started dating a guy in his twenties, and her little brother Albert (Jackson Nicoll) refuses to speak and wrecks unholy annoyance on everyone around him.

It’s Halloween and Wren and her best friend April (Jane Levy) are super stoked to be excited to the cool kids Halloween party. Rumor has it the cool kid is going to sing her a song. Meanwhile, two token nerds, Roosevelt (Thomas Mann) and Peng (Osric Chau) are hoping to spend their Halloween with Wren and April. This dream comes true when Albert disappears and Wren enlists the nerds help to find him, cause they have a car.

What follows is a series of ever crazier misadventures as Wren and her gang look for Albert and Albert has adventures all his own, including making friends with Fuzzy (Thomas Middleditch), who is one of the funniest parts of the film.

Yes the film is super unoriginal. We’ve seen the cute girl torn between the hot rocker and the “adorable” nerd before. We all know how it’s going to end. But writer Max Werner (The Colbert Report) not only has a great eye for comedy, but a great voice for teens. His script really makes all these kids seem real. This is also helped by some really solid acting across the board. The most memorable easily being Nicoll who plays the sufferable Albert. It’s a lot of fun to see all the monkey shines he gets up to.

What also helps this film is the adult comedy power they bring in. First you have Handler as Wren’s mom, then you have Kerri Kenney-Silver and Ana Gasteyer as Roosevelt’s two hippy lesbian moms, who are both really funny. Then you have Johnny Knoxville show up in the last third of the film as a big jerk who provides the final drama for Albert and Wren.

With a great script and a great cast it’s no wonder that this doesn’t feel like Schwartz’s first time in the director’s chair. This is a very competently made film that proved to be much more entertaining than I originally thought.


This film is presented in 2.35:1 widescreen and 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. This is a very polished and good looking film. The sound is great too.

Unwrapped: The Making of Fun Size (9 min.) is your typical making of with some fun interviews with cast and crew. Jackson Nicoll – Trouble Sized!! (5 min.) focuses on everyone’s experiences with Jackson on the set, who apparently is just as much a handful in real life as he is as Albert. You also get a Gag Reel (4 min.) and Deleted Scenes (5 min.) that are okay. Lastly there is the Carly Rae Jepsen video for “This Kiss” (4 min.) followed by a lackluster making of for the video.

When I got this in the mail to review and saw Nickelodeon in big letters on the box I groaned and expected the worst. But I was pleasantly surprised to find Fun Size to actually be a fairly entertaining teen film. I’m sure tweens and teens would enjoy this film way more than I did. And there is enough going on in there that parents won’t hate it when they watch it with their kids.

Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies present Fun Size. Written by: Max Werner. Directed by: Josh Schwartz. Starring: Victoria Justice, Chelsea Handler, Jane Levy, Thomas Mann and Osric Chau. Running time: 86 minutes. Rating: PG-13 for crude and suggestive material, partying and language. Released: February 19, 2013. Available at×120.jpg

]]> 0
Fun Size – Review Sun, 28 Oct 2012 21:00:45 +0000
A Halloween comedy that is short on fun.

Halloween-themed comedies are mostly reserved to the small screen format. In their heyday shows like Roseanne and Home Improvement would try to one-up themselves by having the best Halloween-themed episode of the year. You also have The Simpsons’ famed “Treehouse of Horror” installments. Lately, Community and Modern Family have taken the mantle of current television comedies that embrace the shenanigans of Halloween.

Movie-wise, however, Halloween comedies are about as prevalent as seeing the Loch Ness Monster or Sasquatch. While humorous horror comedies do happen, having the story set at Halloween is an all too rare occurrence.

So the arrival of Fun Size presents an opportunity to become the Home Alone of All Hallow’s Eve. Unfortunately, this PG-13 comedy lacks edge and the jokes are far from the laughing kind (yeah, it’s not creepy at all that a convenience store clerk would take a parentless eight-year-old trick-or-treater for a joy ride to go toilet paper an ex’s apartment).

Victoria Justice, star of Nickelodeon’s Victorious, jumps from the small screen to the big screen in Fun Size. Not much of a leap, really; it’s a Nickelodeon movie that would have been better off as a TV episode. She plays Wren, a Cleveland high school senior who has dreams of attending NYU, the same university her dear departed father attended. He was her inspiration, teaching her that college is where you find out who you really are. The problem with this is making people believe that Wren is unpopular. Her beauty alone would vault her up the popularity totem pole. Though, she does give off a hot nerd vibe, like a present day Winnie Cooper. Wren’s idea of a cool Halloween costume is Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Avert your eyes from the screen when she suggests “Sexy Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”)

Wren may be oblivious to most in her peers, but it turns out the hunky heartbreaker, Aaron (Thomas McDonell), fancies her and invites Wren to his Halloween costume bash. Things are starting to go right for the young lass that is until her oblivious mother (Chelsea Handler without her fangs or snarkiness) leaves Wren in charge of her little brother Albert (Jackson Nicoll), a portly, uncommunicative eight-year-old who has a fondness for instigating epic pranks and the comic “Galaxy Scout.” This is so mom can go to her own Halloween bash with 26-year-old boyfriend Keevin. Yes, his name is Keevin. Poor Handler – defanged and wearing a Brittany Spears costume to get her groove back.

As Wren and her BFF April (Suburgatory’s Jane Levy in sexy kitty attire) take little Albert door to door, the pint-sized, Spider-Man costume wearing hellraiser vanishes. The comedy switches to Adventures in Babysitting mode with a series of misadventures that fail to elicit laughs. The situations lack cleverness and credibility. Most of Albert’s misadventures are with Thomas Middleditch’s Fuzzy – the convenience store clerk mentioned earlier – who seems to have missed the Scooby-Doo movie by like a decade. This mop-top would have fit right in as Shaggy.

More characters get involved with the search for Albert, including Wren’s school pal, Roosevelt (Thomas Mann), his lesbian moms (Ana Gasteyer and Kerri Kenney-Silver) and his best friend Peng (Osric Chau). A certain “Jackass” also makes an unbilled cameo appearance and of course meets his match in Albert.

Josh Schwartz, who made a name for himself being one of the youngest TV showrunners in history when he created The O.C. at age 26, makes his feature film debut with Fun Size. In a recent Entertainment Weekly he talked about his comedy inspirations. They include the already identified Home Alone and Adventures in Babysitting, as well as John Hughes movies and The Goonies.

Inspirations are well and good, but it’s one thing to aspire be like those comedies and it’s another to make something that’s as good. So I look at the screenplay and see it was written by one of the writers of The Colbert Report. Apparently, his inspirations weren’t simpatico with Schwartz. Either that or kids in the ‘80s and early ‘90s were much cooler than they are nowadays.

Fun Size is a comedy misfire of missed opportunities. Sure it may have made for stunt casting, but if you are going to have a Babysitting adventure, why not have Elisabeth Shue play the oblivious mom character. Granted me and other charter members of the I Love the ‘80s Club would have gotten the joke, but at least it would be trying. Actually, the comedy only works on an observational level that’s not at all humor related. Like when Aaron dresses up as Capt. Jack Sparrow for Halloween. Turns out that Thomas McDonell played young Barnabus Collins in Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows. (Johnny Depp was adult size Barnabus.) Or being able to spot the character actor that played Manumana in the football comedy Necessary Roughness, back when Sinbad was popular and Jason Bateman was better known as David Hogan.

Sure it may be sad that this is the stuff I find most memorable about this Nickelodeon comedy. Would it have been too much to ask for Big Pete and Little Pete Wrigley to have cameos? Okay, my nerdism is showing. I’ll stop now.

Director: Josh Schwartz
Writer: Max Werner
Notable Cast: Victoria Justice, Jane Levy, Chelsea Handler, Thomas Mann, Jackson Nicoll , Osric Chau, Thomas McDonell, Thomas Middleditch×120.jpg

]]> 1
Victorious Star Victoria Justice Gets Cinematic Trailer In Fun Size Fri, 29 Jun 2012 10:00:48 +0000 Victoria Justice, known to the tween set for her role in Victorious, has a film out in Fun Size. You can view it below.

]]> 0
This Means War – Review Fri, 17 Feb 2012 22:10:52 +0000
A waste of talent, intelligence and time.

This Means War is more than a stupid action romantic comedy. It’s totally ineffectual. It doesn’t strike the right balance of action and laughs – there’s not nearly enough of the former and it is devoid of the latter – and the story is an exercise in patience. The plot device of a woman having to pick between two suitors is a well established one, but the romantic triangle presented here, even with three talented leads, becomes more tiresome as the movie moves along.

There are movies where their badness becomes endearing. Then there are those like This Means War. Its badness offers no solace, except for the viewer to question how could a movie go so wrong so fast. The answer may lie in its development. The screenplay is about a decade old and originally about two guys vying for the affections of the same female. Only instead of them being suave CIA agents, they were a pair of Joe Sixpacks (insert Seth Rogen and another member of the Judd Apatow acting camp as examples). And their destructive behavior would lead to each other’s downfall and perhaps the world as a whole. Rewrites and polishes would happen over the years as the screenplay fell into the hands of Bradley Cooper, Sam Worthington, Seth Rogen, and even the likes of Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence. Eventually, the movie was made with Reese Witherspoon, once again in a love triangle (after How Do You Know and Water for Elephants), and Chris Pine and Tom Hardy as her two suitors.

Witherspoon plays Lauren, a perky professional that solicits information for quality control about housewares and toys. Recently dumped, she desires a man in her life but is unsure the best way to present herself. Never mind that she’s blonde, single and available, which almost sounds like a crime against nature on how can she not have her Prince Charming, or shows signs that Witherspoon was approached with the script before Katherine Heigl (maybe casting decided to go in reverse alphabetical order when calling actress agents). So when it comes to needing help with picking up men Lauren’s best friend, Trish (the acerbic but sad to admit highlight of TMW Chelsea Handler), becomes proactive and sets her up with a profile on an online dating service.

After spies FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) fail in capturing international terrorist Heinrich (Inglourious Basterds’ Til Schweiger), they are assigned desk duty, grounded from participating in field operations until further notice. Meanwhile, Heinrich is plotting his revenge since the spy duo killed his brother. Like the Groundhog Day version of The Breakfast Club, where the two spend their days surfing the web at work and getting paid for it (your tax dollars at work!), they maintain normal working conditions until Tuck decides to try his luck with dating. He goes the online route like Lauren and lo and behold they make a connection. Their first date goes well but runs short – more like speed dating dominated by Q&A instead of drinks and finger foods. When the date ends, Lauren mistakenly bumps into FDR at a video store. FDR with his brazenly cocky attitude towards women doesn’t impress Lauren all that much as she tries to block his advances. His suggestion of renting Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes impresses her, but she finds it to be one of Hitchcock’s “second-tier titles.” He should have gone with a McG film.

We interrupt this review for a quick gripe – the use of a video rental store as a scene location. It’s 2012, people. Though they are still in existence, video stores as a whole are an afterthought in our day of online streaming, Redbox and Netflix. While it does function as FDR’s and Lauren’s first encounter it purposefully pushes the films of 20th Century Fox (the same studio that produced TMW). If only the store had been a Mondo Video managed by Timothy Stack. Okay, back to our regular programming.

It’s not long after Lauren meets Tuck and FDR that she begins dating the both of them. Neither is oblivious to the fact that they are dating the same woman, but they make a pact to maintain their close-as-brothers relationship and not let her come between them. This, of course, does not happen.

From sabotaging each other’s dates to utilizing high-tech surveillance equipment to monitor Lauren’s home life – sometimes the two guys watch the videos together – to get a better idea of what she seeks in a man, it’s easy to mistake this romance as a bromance. Honestly, they are inseparable and do nearly everything together. Adding a woman to the mix is like adding a match to a stick of dynamite. The problem with this lies in chemistry. Tom Hardy and Chris Pine are good together. Not so much with either Hardy or Pine and Witherspoon. How is this possible in a romantic comedy? I can understand Witherspoon not being able to have chemistry with one beau but with two?

Considering that McG was at the helm, the bookend action sequences have plenty of gunshots, explosions and dead bodies. But they are poorly designed, and even the action sprinkled in between isn’t much better. One sequence in particular at a strip joint stands out where our heroes are trying to discover Heinrich’s whereabouts. The action spills out from a backroom poker game to the dance stage. When the suspect’s face comes in contact with the brass pole it appears to bend ever so slightly.

This Means War is a full-frontal assault of blandness if not outright badness. Tom Hardy feels soft after appearing badass in films like Inception and Warrior. Chris Pine tries too hard to look cool, and Reese Witherspoon, a sweetheart, makes me ache for her Legal Blonde days. The only redeeming feature about TMW regrettably is Chelsea Handler as Lauren’s BFF. She has all the best jokes, if you want to call them that, and is the only character that is happy, though she would admit otherwise.

This post Valentine’s Day release fails at delivering comedy and it lacks the spark that romance requires. As for action, there’s not nearly enough to have it succeed in the genre. Its high-energy makes for cutting good trailers and it has enough music (Beastie Boys, Sade) to make a good mix tape, but that’s about it. Avoid at all costs.

Thumbs up if you got the Parker Lewis Can’t Lose reference.

Director: McG
Notable Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, Chelsea Handler, Til Schweiger, Angela Bassett
Writer(s): Timothy Dowling and Simon Kinberg×120.jpg

]]> 0
Nine Minute This Means War Trailer Debuts Online Thu, 02 Feb 2012 21:00:59 +0000 In the tradition of David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trailer which was of considerable length, This Means War has released a nine minute trailer about the film which you can view below.

Plot Summary: This Means War follows the world’s deadliest CIA operatives; inseparable partners and best friends until they fall for the same woman. Having once helped bring down entire enemy nations, they are now employing their incomparable skills and an endless array of high-tech gadgetry against their greatest nemesis ever – each other.×120.jpg

]]> 0
First Clip From This Means War With Chris Pine, Tom Hardy and Reese Witherspoon Mon, 30 Jan 2012 10:00:29 +0000 Yahoo! has gotten their hands on the first clip from This Means War, which you can view below.

Plot Summary: Two of the world’s deadliest CIA operatives are inseparable partners and best friends – until they discover that they’ve fallen in love with the same woman. Deciding to keep their friendship a secret from her, they pull out their full arsenal of fighting skills and high-tech gadgetry to defeat their greatest enemy – each other.×120.jpg

]]> 0
No Laughing Matter: It’s Splitsville For Chelsea Handler & Andre Balazs As They Break-Up Wed, 09 Nov 2011 18:58:21 +0000 Chelsea Handler and her hotelier boyfriend, Andre Balazs, have broken up after less than a year together.

While no official reason was given for the break-up, the news was confirmed by Handler’s rep to US Weekly.

Handler has previously been linked to a variety of men, including rapper 50 Cent, Animal Planet’s Dave Salmoni and Comcast Chairman Ted Harbert.×120.jpg

]]> 0
Vincent D’Onofrio, Chelsea Handler Joining Mall Fri, 06 May 2011 19:00:32 +0000 Law & Order: CI star to headline film directed by member of nu-metal band]]> With Law & Order: Criminal Intent wrapping up its tenth and final season, Vincent D’Onofrio is going to be unemployed soon. But not for long as he’s joining Mall with Chelsea Handler, being helmed by Linkin Park’s Joe Hahn, per Deadline Hollywood.

Hahn, a music video director on the side who has directed videos for his own band as well as Static-X and Story of the Year, will be making his feature film debut with Mall after more than a dozen videos for Linkin Park (amongst others).

The film follows the intersecting paths of five disaffected suburbanites: a stoner teen, a restless housewife (Handler), a voyeuristic businessman (D’Onofrio), a mall security guard and a trigger-happy crystal meth addict who heads to the mall looking for trouble.×120.jpg

]]> 0
Perez Hilton and Chelsea Handler Engage in War of Words Tue, 14 Sep 2010 15:30:04 +0000

It’s not often that I’ll side with the human parasite known as Perez Hilton, but even I have his back in this one. “Chelsea Handler has addressed Perez Hilton’s criticism of her hosting at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.

Celebrity blogger Hilton earlier blasted the star’s presenting at last night’s ceremony.

“He wrote that Handler ‘really didn’t pull it off… For the most part, we were bored and just hoping she would shut the hell up so we could hear more music’.

“In response, Handler tweeted: “Oh, f**k off. I had a blast and the show awesome last night. Bomb? Your life is a bomb. (sic)’.

“Hilton then answered the Chelsea Lately host, tweeting: ‘I’m more happy with my bomb life’.

Meanwhile, The New York Times referred to Handler as the ‘worst [host] in the show’s history,’ and The Washington Post described her opening monologue as ‘a string of flat punch lines that felt a few degrees below crass’.”

That’s right Chelsea, it only matters if you had fun being unfunny.×120.jpg

]]> 0
Chelsea Handler Talks VMA Plans, Tries to Be Funny Fri, 10 Sep 2010 23:47:05 +0000 Whether I like it or not, Chelsea Handler is hosting the upcoming MTV Video Music Awards. Actually I don’t care, I haven’t watched them in years and I’m shocked that people (I’m looking at you Kanye West) consider them relevant. At any rate, E! Online reports that “she probably won’t sing, wants to stay far away from Justin Bieber, but could end up making out with 50 Cent.”

Handler also promised that she’s “going to show some leg. In my show, I can’t really show my legs off because I have to sit down and a skirt kind of rides up, so I’m going to show off my legs.”×120.jpg

]]> 1