Dan in Real Life

Dan In Real Life (6/10)

I had really wanted to see this in the theaters two years ago. It looked like it would be great. But it’s disappointingly mediocre. It gets most of its 6/10 mostly because I found the romantic leads Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche to be so appealing. I can overlook what I found aggravating about this film, because I didn’t mind spending 84 minutes (plots lots of TBS commercials for George Lopez) for the Steve Carell and Juiliette Binoche characters to get together.

My main point of discomfort was that I just don’t get these big families that get together at the holidays at mom and dad’s place. This felt like The Family Stone without the cancer. (Sorry for the spoiler. It’s not that great of a movie, if you haven’t seen it). Presumably, dad and mom have done very well for themselves, and they’re so beloved as to get all the kids and grandkids for frequent grand get-togethers.

Are there really these big families like this that all go to the parents’ enormous beach-house for the holidays? Where Dianne Wiest (who I like in anything she’s in) rings a cowbell to call the brood in for lunch to conclude a light-hearted touch-football game?

Dane Cook, playing one of the multiple siblings of Steve Carell’s lead, tried really hard not to be Dane Cook, but I kept seeing Dane Cook, and thinking, “A-HOLE”. (And by the very end, he is 100% Dane Cook.).

I should throw in some stars for appearances by the likes of Diane Weist, John Mahoney, and Alison Pill, who also, coincidentally, all starred in the great HBO series In Session. (I’m thinking it’s not a coincidence..there must be some common producer or something).

That said, Weist and Mahoney are relegated to making sandwiches in every other scene (and so I won’t add any stars for their appearances).

TBS followed this film with a showing of the crapfest Bewitched. A film starring Nicole Kidman, Michael Caine, and Shirley MacLaine should warrant 5 stars even if the script was a reading of Going Rouge, but the star, unfortunately, is Will Ferrell, and that combined with a horrible Ephron script makes it worthy of about a 2/10.


Religulous – 8/10

Perhaps not the best documentary ever, but it articulates my thoughts on religion in a way my mind is attuned to. Most of my friends would not agree with the points Bill Maher makes here, and I do not wish to highlight our differences now, so I’ll just keep my comments brief. While I am flummoxed by the beliefs of others, and I admire Bill Maher’s earnest stance against religious, I wish for people I know to find peace and joy in their lives however they might arrive at that.

Last Chance Toastie

I need to be let go from my stateside job while in London for someone’s wedding and have a chance encounter with an “Emma Thompson”, and then just stay there. Pets are welcome to join. Since Dustin Hoffman is around 70, let’s just say we’ll divide the characters’ ages by two.

I agree with the Ebert review. More dialogue between Hoffman and Thompson would have made more a better movie.

But it’s a charming film.

Last Change Harvey 7/10

Some movies

I’ve seen a few movies lately. I keep forgetting to put my ratings for them somewhere. I say that as if that’s something I feel I need to do. I don’t know. 20 years ago, I envisioned there’d be somewhere I’d be able to record my ratings for every movie I’d ever seen. A dozen years ago or so, there was IMDB, and that was one of the first websites I had an account on. Now there’s Flixster on Facebook. But then I get bugged about movie quizzes 18 times a day. I occasionally have blogged movie ratings just as I’d journal them 20 years ago, but ratings are made for databases, says the geek in me. And then there’s the matter of my lack of desire to offer any commentary beyond a number, since I think my film critique skills are not at all refined.

Anyway, so here’s some movies I’ve seen lately. I’m mostly looking forward to breaking out the toast GIF (that would look cooler with a transparent background, but I’m lazy)…

The Queen 9/10

Hey, it’s Farmer Hoggett as Prince Phillip! (And from Six Feet Under and 24, and he has played Presidents George H.W. Bush and LBJ).

Burn After Reading 7/10

Hey, it’s Richard Jenkins from Six Feet Under. “This is not acceptable at Hardbodies!”

Michael Clayton 8/10

Hey, it’s Merritt Wever from Nurse Jackie!

Breaking Away 7/10

Her, it’s Paul Dooley. He’s been in everything!

Toastchee #31: Let’s Go Get The Shit Kicked Out Of Us


(by love)

I was just watching my favorite DVD as background while I attend to more unpleasant business on the laptop. I generous watch the film in English. No English version on YouTube, and I’m not about to start pirating DVDs myself.

If anyone has even a fair opinion of this film, I highly recommend obtaining the DVD to take a look at the deleted scenes. Usually, it’s obvious why scenes have been deleted. In the case of these scenes, the director just had to cut stuff so as not to have a three-and-a-half hour romantic comedy. I’d love to see a three-and-a-half-hour director’s cut of this film.

the darkness of the music of the knight

t_dark_knight.jpgThis has been a staple of the Toastie Soundtrack for the past week or so. Good driving music. Good work music. Good pissed-at-the-world music. Good moving-to-wisconsin music. 😀


I had been working another angle for this post. Creatively speaking, it was a bit of a dud. You get the point…


dark knight

Toastie and Emma
(October 2001, wearing some Halloween costume that came in a bag called ‘Dark Knight’)

I finally saw the big movie of the summer. The Dark Knight is everything that everyone has said about it. It’s exquisite and bone-chilling and mesmerizing and quite the powerhouse of a film. And, yes, Heath Ledger is brilliant. The whole cast is outstanding, particularly Gary Oldman and Aaron Eckhart, who, along with Ledger, seem to dwarf Christian Bale’s low-key Bruce Wayne as presences in the film. For a film called “The Dark Knight,” it seems like Batman is reduced to a supporting player. Maggie Gyllenhaal is an improvement over Katie Holmes, although I wish there had been more of Maggie Gyllenhaal. I can only give it 8/10 because it’s a bit too much of a downer for me, with a little too much blade-threatening-to-slice-skin for my liking. It’s not that I reserve 9s and 10s for films I want to see over-and-over again. Schindler’s List is a 10, and I’ve only watched it once in my life. Eh, ok, The Dark Knight is a 9.
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