Good Time Max

 Posted by at 3:52 pm  Comments Off on Good Time Max
Apr 102010

James Franco, I want to like you, I don’t know why, but I do. You were alright as Daniel Desario on “Freaks and Geeks.” You were no Bill Haverchuck, but you held your own. I couldn’t of cared less for your role in “Spiderman,” but you really pulled your shit together and knocked one out of the park as the lovably dopey stoner, Saul Silver, in “Pineapple Express.” Even though you haven’t dazzled me, for some reason I’ve been keeping my fingers crossed. But after watching “Good Time Max,” the movie that you co-wrote and directed, I’m throwing in the towel.

“Good Time Max” is a movie about two brothers. Older brother Adam works really hard in school and gets good grades, while younger brother Max prefers to smoke cigarettes and dance on rooftops… and still gets good grades. Alright, skip ahead about 20 years. Max is hard at work dealing drugs until he pisses of the wrong huge black dude by selling him a bogus kilo of cocaine (and also sleeping with his girlfriend). After Max becomes an accessory to murder, he hightails it to California, hitching a ride with his brother Adam who is bound for med school. It doesn’t take a genius to see where this movie’s going. There’s a lot of built up resentment on the part of Adam, because all of his life he’s had to bail out his dickhead brother, and there’s just as much resentment on the part of Max, who just wants to be loved. The two fight inner demons, fight with each other, and eventually learn a thing or two about life and the importance of brotherhood.

If i didn’t know any better, I would have assumed the part of Max was written by a nine-year old. Max is handsome, liked by everybody, and is always the life of the party, but to top it all off he’s also a certified genius. Franco really drives this point home too as he solves moderately difficult math equations (like 36 times 24), lands himself a cushy job writing computer code, and constantly states, “I am a genius.” This would all be fine if it ever went anywhere, but it doesn’t. The genius aspect is completely irrelevant, and though we’re all supposed to connect or relate with Max, I couldn’t feel anything but contempt and annoyance with him, from beginning to end. I think James Franco tried his best, but like swimming against a rip tide, the harder he tried, the worse the situation got.

The cover of “Good Time Max” shows that it was an official selection at the Tribeca, Hollywood, Vancouver, and Austin film festivals, as if having those emblems on the cover will convince you that it is worth watching. I honestly feel that James Franco made this movie in an attempt to grasp hold of some lost indie credit that he never had in the first place. It’s like he pulled a indie movie all-nighter and woke up the next morning thinking to himself, “I could do that.” But he wasn’t going to undertake this challenge alone, so he called up indie darling Merriwether Williams (of Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants and Camp Lazlo fame) to crank out an indie film to end all indie films. It’s not surprising that Merriwether’s only writing experience has been in cartoons, because “Good Time Max” ends up feeling like one big, long, boring live action cartoon.

Don’t waste your time with “Good Time Max.”

I give Good Time Max: an F+ (way to go, genius)

Escape From Darwin

 Posted by at 1:00 pm  3 Responses »
Mar 302010

Two things you should know about my mom to understand my review of Escape From Darwin:

1.) She’s a classy dame.
Being polite is very important to my mom and as a result, became very important to me. As a weakling that will do almost anything to avoid confrontation, I became exceptionally skilled in politeness over the years by referring to a few simple rules my mom laid down – the most often used being “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  Ergo, I’m a pretty quiet dude.

2.) She’s a decent cook.
She’s no Julia Child, that’s for sure, but my mom is a master of midwestern white trash comfort food. But she doesn’t stop at simply putting cut-up hotdogs in your mac and cheese. She pushes the envelope and finds new and inventive ways to make total crap taste goodish. We went through a lot of ketchup. (It was the Reagan years.)

She also plays the accordion, is super good at suppressing rage, and gives totally bad-ass hugs. She’s a class act, that mom of mine. Anyway, keeping in mind my upbringing, let’s get to my review of a movie called Escape From Darwin.

I watched a movie called Escape From Darwin. It is a movie.

Here is my mom’s recipe for Taco Puffs:

1 lb. ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 envelope taco seasoning

2 17.3 oz. tubes large refrigerated biscuits

8 oz. cheddar cheese, cut into 16 slices or 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese

On a skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until beef is browned an onion is tender. Drain. Add the taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions. Cool slightly. Flatten half of the biscuits into 4″ circles, place in greased 15″x10″x1″ baking pans. Spoon 1/4 cup meat mixture onto each; top with 2 cheese slices or 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Flatten remaining biscuits; place on top and pinch edges to seal tightly. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 8 puffs.

These things are so delicious it’s ridiculous. For added awesomeness, you can melt some cheese on top of the puffs and add some Tapatio and Escape From Darwin is a boring convoluted fucking unwatchable waste of time and I AM SORRY MOM.