Monday Morning Critic – KISS, Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott & Role Models

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This week wasn’t much for film news, nor did the past weekend’s films give me inspiration to write. What did get me thinking, and inspired a long texting spree between myself and my best friend, was KISS. KISS officially bought an Arena Football League team, the L.A KISS, and my buddy Boston John was there in Florida when they announced it. He works at a studio that was doing prep work for it and got pictures with Paul Stanley; as a long time KISS fan that made me jealous.

This week’s DVD also contains something with KISS, as well, thus this week it’ll be just about a DVD.

This Week’s DVD – Role Models

There comes a point in every person’s life where you look around and go “what the hell happened to me?” Mainly it’s in your 30s, after the innocence and vigor of your 20s disappears and the slow onset of jadedness that marks 40 plus starts creeping in. It hits you more if you don’t get married, etc, because you don’t have the distractions of family to let you avoid thinking about it.

That’s where Danny (Paul Rudd) finds himself. He’s 35 and is the spokesman for Minotaur Energy Drink alongside his best friend Wheeler (Seann William Scott), who dresses up as the Minotaur properly. And he hates his job … and it affects everything around him to the point where his girlfriend (Elizabeth Banks) leaves him.

Some comic shenanigans later and the duo find themselves stuck doing community service for a Big Brothers/Big Sisters kind of program. Stuck with a pair of kids (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bobb’e J. Thompson) no one else wanted, the duo goes on a journey of self discovery of sorts.

Back when Judd Apatow seemingly ruled the comedy landscape it was interesting to see Rudd and the man most famous as Stiffler team up for a comedy. It’s an interesting pair but one I’m surprised hasn’t happened since; Rudd is perfect as the straight man with Wheeler as the comedic half of the duo. Rudd’s ability to dead pan and Wheeler’s overgrown man child are a perfect fit, especially with David Wain’s timing behind the camera.

I was excited for this film back in 2008, especially since it marked the all-important third film for David Wain’s directorial career. Wet Hot American Summer and The Ten were both hilarious; Mike Noyes had recommended the latter after it had a “blink and you miss it” run in theatres and it made Role Models that much more of a must see for me. Throw in Rudd, who’s probably my favorite comic actor, and this was a no brainer to check out. Plus it turned out … well … KISS opted to become a big part of this film. Especially in one of the film’s big moments.

Plus it has the best explanation of KISS, and their music, ever. Wheeler is a huge fan of the band, of course, and it plays a huge part in the film’s awesome finale. Including one of the greatest entrances to a LARP fight on film, ever

As a film it’s absolutely hilarious; I saw it in theatres three times and probably half a dozen more on DVD and it’s still hilarious. In an era where a lot of comedies don’t age well this is one that is still fresh; it’s about two friends trying to figure out who they are with a couple of children much more mature than them. It’s a well structured comedy, which doesn’t happen as often as it should. This is a film that would work without the comedy; that’s the hallmark of a great comedy, I think.

It just happens to be gut-wrenching hilarious, as well. Strongest recommendation possible.

What Looks Good This Weekend, and I Don’t Mean the $2 Pints of Bass Ale and community college co-eds with low standards at Emil’s

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones – Another young adult novel adaptation. Demons have invaded and it’s up to one girl, and the handsome demon hunter only she can see, to stop them or something.

Skip it – It looks like Twilight but with demons. Meh. Color me unimpressed so far.

The World’s End – Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and their buddies recreate a pub crawl they never completed in their home town. But aliens have invaded in the meantime.

See it – So far the buzz is strong and the trailer looks pretty solid. Throw in a good cast and it should be pretty funny. Hopefully.

You’re Next – A family reunion is crashed by guys with crossbows. Time to fight back, yo.

Skip it – This film looks dreadful, so far, and horror films usually mirror their trailer quality in my experience.

Scott “Kubryk” Sawitz brings his trademarked irreverence and offensive hilarity to Twitter in 140 characters or less. Follow him @ScottSawitz .

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