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The End Of The Tour (2015)
The End Of The Tour (2015)
2015 | Drama
8
7.0 (2 Ratings)
Movie Rating
The End of the Tour tells the story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter and novelist David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel), which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace’s groundbreaking epic novel, Infinite Jest. The film is based on Lipsky’s critically acclaimed memoir about this unforgettable encounter, written following Wallace’s 2008 suicide.

So there is the summary. And it tells you what this movie is about. However what that summary does not tell you is the depth of emotion to which both Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg deliver in their performances.

Jesse Eisenberg gives a performance that we come to expect from the Oscar nominated actor. Not only can you feel, but you can also and understand his curiosity and jealousy towards Segel’s success. A less successful writer, he wants the notoriety that Segel has. So much so, that he is constantly trying to find the holes in Segel’s persona under the guise of an interview and yet is forced to ponder the things that Segel is saying to him.

Jason Segel’s portrayal of David Foster Wallace is not understated by the word phenomenal. I was skeptical that Segel would not be able to deliver a dramatic performance of this caliber, but I am glad to say I was wrong. He steals every scene he is in and his performance is so deep and thoughtful that Jason Segel himself disappears and we are instead left with a performance of what I will always believe David Foster Wallace was like in real life. This performance is one of the best I have seen this year and I believe he will receive an Oscar nomination for this role. I was fascinated with Segel’s performance that I actually downloaded David Foster Wallace’s book Infinite Jest on my drive home.

Performances aside, this movie is not for everyone. If you are looking for an inactive cinematic experience then this film is not for you. This film makes you think. It is like being a part of a deep conversation with friends trying to make sense of the world. It brings perspective to the society we live in and the loneliness we find ourselves trying to avoid while clinging to meaningless things that bring us simple pleasure. A simple way of living where we go from A to B to C to find meaning, only to obtain those things and then not knowing what we do next. But for those who are looking to escape the mundane summer blockbusters and want to see stellar performances, be sure to check this one out.
  
Otherworld (Otherworld, #1)
Otherworld (Otherworld, #1)
Jason Segel | 2017 | Science Fiction/Fantasy, Young Adult (YA)
8
8.4 (5 Ratings)
Book Rating
I was quite surprised by the book! I had no idea that the author was the "Jason Segel" from tv and movies, until midway through the book when I needed to know more about the author. I was pleasantly surprised the characters were well fleshed out and were not two dimensional as most sci-fi can do. I was a bit hesitant at the start of the book as I had seen some hype saying that this was the next "Ready Player One". I really dislike when people compare things like that. Especially when they are compared with my favorite book. Don't even get me started on the movie for that book.

This had a great world, and I'm really excited to get to go back for the second book, currently it's on hold at the library once I'm off the waitlist will definitely dive in. I'm glad that the characters were flawed and real. The worlds were developed and thought out. The plot was fully considered. I'm rather impressed with Jason Segel's writing ability.
  
The Five-Year Engagement (2012)
The Five-Year Engagement (2012)
2012 | Comedy
8
7.3 (4 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Based upon my past experiences with Judd Apatow movies, I knew what I was in for: witty banter, great “one-liners”, and lots of “oh dear god” moments. And, as with all of Apatow’s movies, I wasn’t disappointed.

The movie follows the love story of Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt). Tom is your typical Jewish geeky guy while Violet is your educated British ideal. Both meet at a New Year’s Eve party dressed as their respective made-up superheros and an unlikely romance blossoms forth. Where the movie set forth with the sweet set up of their engagement, from there it follows an utterly unique and random path. For one reason or another, their wedding is postponed and delayed. Family deaths ensue, hunting escapes and knitted sweaters happen, toes are lost, but, as with all romantic-comedies, the happy ending prevails.

Segel and Chris Pratt provide for excellent witty banter and dramatics while Blunt and Alison Brie make for a fantastic sisterly pair. Regardless if you cry from the cheesy sweetness of it all or from the hilarity of Segel’s antics, this movie provides for great entertainment all around.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars and yes, I will be using many of the movie’s quotes as part of my daily repertoire.
  
Despicable Me (2010)
Despicable Me (2010)
2010 | Animation, Comedy, Family
6
8.0 (63 Ratings)
Movie Rating
I've never really gone in for animation much, some people might find that hard to believe given the calibre of films that have been made over the years. So after everyone raved over this it was the glimpse of the army of yellow minions that first drew me in.

There are enough voice talents on show here to make this a must see film, Steve Carell, Jason Segel and Russell Brand all do a brilliant job of taking the two biggest villains in the world and putting them on a collision course with each other.

Gru (Carell) regards himself as the world’s greatest supervillain, but when he meets his match in the form of the overly exuberant Vector (Segel), Gru needs a new plan that will put him back on top of the baddie elite. The plan being to steal the moon, with the help of his band of very funny, and at times show stealing minions he also needs to enlist the help of three small orphans whom he dislikes the minute he sets eyes on them.

However, as with most animation the film has heart warming moments that will leave you feeling soft inside, and its a feeling that only this genre can muster up. The stand out oddly for me was Gru’s aging side kick Dr. Nefario (Brand) whose dry wit was right up my street, and made for a few decent laughs. It’s predictable but then what animated film isn’t, this one is yet again for adults and kids a like and both will enjoy it in their own special way.
  
Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2012)
Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2012)
2012 | Comedy
7
7.8 (4 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Everyone knows a guy like Jeff (Jason Segel). Someone who never really left home, opting instead to sit around waiting for a sign. Jeff’s family is not much better. His daft, unaware brother, Pat (Ed Helms), has his life centered on a marriage that is devoid of connection or even much conversation. Jeff’s mother, Sharon (Susan Sarandon), spends her days de-stressing by staring at a waterfall picture in a drab office environment. But today a change is going to come in a big way to the people in Jeff’s life.

In “Jeff, Who Lives at Home” both Segel and Helms have taken on roles that are slightly more serious than the comedic standards that these actors are known for. Still the film is not so far removed as to alienate the fans who diligently follow these two actors to the theater time and time again.

The film’s plot is full of unexpected yet mildly realistic twists and turns. There are no big explosions or giant leaps of faith. This serpentine story is much more subtle. Many of the standout moments are realistically bizarre yet prove relevant, sweeping the audience into lives that have hit the final dregs of acceptability.
Visually the film is lack-luster. More than once viewers experience uncomfortable close-up shots of the less than attractively decorated characters. Still the script is well composed and crafted with such care that every word seems to naturally flow from the actors’ mouths. The story delves into so many facets of the human experience, from marriage to the building of a brotherly bond, that the tale itself is engrossing.

The characters are nervous, inexperienced, and closed off but the tale that defines “Jeff, Who Lives at Home” is entirely relatable. The film is not exactly enchanting but it was significantly better than I had originally anticipated.
  
The Discovery (2017)
The Discovery (2017)
2017 | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
Sci Fi With Feelings
143. The Discovery. Good pick on my part I really must say! Its a drama with a bit of sci fi thrown in. And I'll admit, its a little on the sad side, but... So Robert Redford is Thomas a scientist who discovers proof of an afterlife, well actually he calls it another plane of existence, but ya know the media...lol... But unfortunately upon hearing this, 1 million people commit suicide... freaky right... but now quite some time later he's called his son Will, Jason Segel, and tells him that he's created something even greater... on the journey to see his dad Will meets Isla, Rooney Mara, looking like the Mother of Dragons, on a ferry to the very island where his dad has his new, umm, compound, saves her from a horrible mistake and forms a pretty tight bond, but... It was really cool flick, filmed in... The Biggest Little State in the Union. Like I said its on the sadder side, but I thought it was pretty cool concept and well executed, so there... filmbufftim on FB
  
The Muppets (2011)
The Muppets (2011)
2011 | Comedy, Family
8
7.3 (11 Ratings)
Movie Rating
As a child, I have fond memories of watching The Muppet Show and enjoying the mix of comedy, music, and dance with my family and recapping the show with my friends the following day. Kermit, Ms. Piggy, Fozzie the Bear, and the whole gang were my childhood icons and provided countless hours of entertainment with their brilliant and inspired variety show as well as the three movies that followed. It is hard to believe that 1989 was the last time the gang graced the big screen with “The Muppets in Space”. Thankfully they are back in a big way to delight fans, old and new, this holiday season.

The new films stars Jason Segel as Gary, a mild-mannered guy who has a swell life in his small community. He has been dating the lovely Mary (Amy Adams) for ten years and they are excited to plan their first visit to Los Angeles. Gary has a younger brother named Walter who is a huge fan of the Muppets, having grown up watching the beloved show with Gary. The fact that Walter actually is a Muppet might explain his utter devotion to the show and characters. So when Gary invites Walter to accompany Mary and him on their trip, Walter is ecstatic. At long last, he can visit The Muppet Studios.

Upon their arrival in L.A., Walter is shocked to find the studio in shambles and disrepair. Undaunted, Walter sneaks into Kermit’s old office and accidentally overhears a businessman named Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) plotting to steal the property from the Muppets. Determined to thwart Richman, Walter and Gary look up Kermit the Frog who, despite his reluctance, agrees to reunite the gang to put on a tele-thon to raise the needed money to save the theater.

Along the way there are some great and touching segments where we see what many of the characters have been up to in the recent years, and more than a few laughs and musical numbers also follow. In a race against time, and despite the lack of confidence the network has in their relevance, Kermit must whip the cast and theater into shape for an epic performance.

The movie was an absolute joy. It was so refreshing to see how Segel and director James Bobin have brought the Muppets to a new generation without losing the previous ones and staying very faithful to the characters and to Jim Henson’s vision. Segel, who came up with the story and co-wrote the script, seems to be having the time of his life as he sings and dances his way through several production numbers and gives a very funny, and in turns, tender performance.

Adams is a joy as the sweet, yet determined Mary, and the addition of the new Muppet Walter was a treat. Sure the plot may have been fairly formulaic but there were more than enough moments to keep the adults happy. At our screener, the adults were laughing even lauder than the kids in attendance, especially at the numerous pop culture reference, celebrity cameos, and nostalgic nods to the show.

I do not want to spoil the film but from Beaker doing his take on the Nirvana classic “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, to the Swedish Chef channeling Tony Montana from “Scarface” I was thoroughly entertained. I can honestly say this is not only one of the best of the Muppet movies but it is a perfect film to take the family. Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself enjoying the magic as much, if not more, than the kids.
  
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
2008 | Comedy, Romance
Classic
A man goes to Hawaii to forget about his celebrity ex-girlfriend…only to find that she’s staying at the same resort with her new dude.

Acting: 10
Jason Segel plays the perfect broken man in his role as Peter. He carries a pitifulness that’s endearing, a guy easy to root for. From a comedic standpoint, his timing is always right there and it feels extremely natural as if we’re being introduced to a real person. I can only think of a handful of actors that could pull off the role as successfully as Segel. A number of other roles solidified the acting in the movie as well, but Segel carried the movie in my opinion.

Beginning: 10
Forgetting Sarah Marshall grabs your funny bone from jump and sets the tone. The first ten minutes introduces us to Peter as we watch him go about his boring, but hilarious day. Everytime I think about the breakup scene between him and Sarah (Kristen Bell), it still cracks me up. You knew right away the rest of the film was going to be classic.

Characters: 10
The movie sports a solid cast of characters with just enough originality to keep things interesting without going overboard. You’ve got Rachel (Mila Kunis), the badass front desk attendant who gives Peter a reason to enjoy life again. Then there’s the British rockstar and the hotel attendant who is obsessed with him. I could go on as these are just a handful of the crew that make this movie shine.

Cinematography/Visuals: 10

Conflict: 10

Genre: 10
Others won’t agree, but this is the funniest movie I’ve ever seen. It has everything we want in a comedy. It’s funny without having to go over the top to try. It succeeds with a comical real-life premise that has the right characters surrounding it. Not only does it make you laugh, but it makes you feel as well. But, most importantly, it makes you laugh…A LOT. It hits you with several different types of funny from the characters themselves to the subtle jabs.

Memorability: 10
A classic movie has scenes that stick out in your head for years to come. Forgetting Sarah Marshall has a number of those scenes. When the towel drops. Peter crying naked on the floor then having to defend himself. Dracula musical. The surf scene. I could go on…These are scenes that, by themselves, could make a movie memorable. Together, they made Forgetting Sarah Marshall a classic.

Pace: 10

Plot: 10
I know what you’re thinking. What are the chances he goes on vacation and ends up at the exact same resort as his ex at the same exact time? I thought about this a lot and concluded that it could have been completely conceivable that Peter and Sarah had talked about that resort in the past. Alternatively they could have even had plans to go to that resort together during that week and the breakup changed that. Ultimately I decided it didn’t need to completely make sense. It’s a comedy and it’s unique enough for me to not have gotten bogged down in the “how”.

Resolution: 10
Starts just like it ends: Perfectly. It fits both for Peter and Rachel, definitely putting a smile on my face. It works on a lot of levels, touching but still maintaining the level of humor that carried the film to this point.

Overall: 100
A film is always the sum of its parts. Forgetting Sarah Marshall does everything right and then some. From its beautiful cinematics (thank you, Hawaii) to downright perfect pacing, it succeeds on every level. Classic.
  
Bad Teacher (2011)
Bad Teacher (2011)
2011 | Comedy
6
6.2 (9 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Recently jilted by the sugar daddy of her dreams apathetic schoolteacher Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) must return to her day job. Just as Elizabeth has settled in to her listless career reality, a single and wealthy substitute teacher (Scott Delacorte played by Justin Timberlake) appears. Elizabeth must now prove that she is the best teacher in the school to win Delecorte’s attention and wallet. However her nemesis the overachieving and oddly bubbly educator, Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch) also has eyes for the new faculty member.

Rounding out the eccentric cast of characters is the shy teacher Lynn Davies (Phyllis Smith), the lazy yet funny gym teacher Russell Gettis (Jason Segel), and the dolphin obsessed principal Wally Snur (John Michael Higgins). Further supporting the leads are a number of up and coming child-actors such as Kaitlyn Dever who plays know-it-all student Shasha Abernathy to crush obsessed sad sack Garrett Tiara (Matthew J. Evans).
Despite the strong cast, “Bad Teacher” will likely become associated with Cameron Diaz who uses her intense and direct comedic strength to shine in the nefarious role. Portrayed by Diaz, the character of Elizabeth comes across as wickedly manipulative yet manages to remain likeable.

But, “Bad Teacher” will not have you gasping for air between fits of laughter. The film has slow moments and a number of letdowns. Among the worst is the lackluster comical styling of Justin Timberlake as Scott Delacorte. While the role is critical to the film’s plot, the character is underdeveloped. Moreover Justin Timberlake does nothing for the part which is an unwelcome shock to audiences who associate his name with some of the funniest moments in recent “Saturday Night Live” history as well as his impressive performance in “The Social Network”.

Brimming with vulgar language and shockingly bold comedic scene choices “Bad Teacher” will surely offend bashful audiences. Still, the film is funnier than “There’s Something About Mary” and the recently disappointing “The Hangover: Part II”.

It is not a slam-dunk but “Bad Teacher” will give audiences some unexpected summer laughs, if they are prepared for the onslaught of vulgarity that this film hinges upon.
  
The Muppets  - Season 1
The Muppets - Season 1
2015 | Comedy, Family
Intelligently funny
The Muppets is a 2015 mockumentary style series that aired for only one season, and is currently available on Disney+ . It follows the personal and professional lives of the Muppets behind the scenes of Miss Piggy's late night talk show.

The Muppets are an institution. There won’t be many people that don’t know of the Muppets, and most will have grown up with them in some form whether it be the original tv show, the earlier films or the most recent film reincarnations with Jason Segel. For me, my fondest memories of the Muppets come from the films (The Muppet Christmas Carol is by far the best Christmas film) and from the Muppet Vision 3D show in Disney World, so I had no preconceptions over what this show would be. And it’s an absolute hoot.

This is a wonderfully funny and smart show, and the mockumentary style similar to The Office and Parks and Recereation works very well. It manages to bring clever adult humour without reducing itself to crudeness. It’s whip smart, witty and full of relevant pop culture references that are often laugh out loud funny. There are so many instances in these 16 episodes where I couldn’t stop laughing, although a particularly highlight involved Bobo the bear and The Revenant. And not only is this funny, it’s also full of heart. It features some fairly meaningful and important topics and for the most part it deals with these well with an appropriate amount of humour.

The great thing about this show is that it isn’t just the Kermit and Piggy show. All of the other Muppets are featured in equal measure and for me personally I loved this as some of my favourite moments were with the likes of Rizzo, Pepe and Chip the IT guy. I also now have a new found love for Uncle Deadly, I never realised how brilliant a character he was before! This show also brings in some fantastic guest stars, from the likes of Reese Witherspoon and Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Liam Hemsworth, Ru Paul and Josh Groban, all of whom have no problem in sending themselves up and being the butt of the jokes.

It’s a shame then that this show falters two thirds of the way through due to the storyline and relationship between Kermit and Piggy. I’ve never been a fan of Piggy as I find her very irksome, but she’s bearable in small doses. However the show seems to do a complete u-turn on their storyline midway through and suffers because of it, as it becomes dull and predictable and nothing we haven’t seen before for Kermit and Piggy. The rest of the show and characters are still hilarious, but Kermit and Piggy really bring down the tone.

If you’re an adult and a fan of the Muppets and are looking for some adult, intelligent laugh out loud humour, you can’t really go wrong with this. Just try not to concentrate on the storyline too much.