Movie Review: Date Night (2010)

July 19, 2010 in Movie Reviews by pacejmiller

I like both Steve Carrell and Tina Fey.  More correctly, I admire their talents, but I wouldn’t call myself a huge fan of either comedian.

That’s kind of the way I felt with their collaborative effort, Date Night.  It’s pretty good and I liked the jokes, but it’s not a film I’d really want to see again.  There was nothing wrong with it, but for some reason I just don’t like it as much as I thought I would.

Date Night is directed by Shawn Levy, who was at the helm of one my most hated movies of all time, Just Married, though he did do better with Night at the Museum.

It tells the story of the Fosters, a married couple (Carrell and Fey) with two kids who find their lives becoming too routine, predictable and boring.  But then, on a night out in an attempt to spice up their old romance, the couple become the victims of mistaken identity, which then spirals into a wild and ridiculous ride with hilarious consequences.

It’s one of those films with a decent premise that is more revealing about human nature and real life than we would like to think (with all the stuff about married couples becoming “roommates” over time), but at the same time so many of the jokes are just so outrageous and insane that it’s impossible to take the film seriously.  I won’t ruin the jokes by hinting at what they are, but there were more than a few sequences when I laughed hard and loud.

Date Night’s biggest strength is the comedic pairing of Carrell and Fey, who are both experienced and charismatic performers with the ability to improvise.  As evident from the credits scenes, these two ad-libbed a lot of their lines and a lot of them were probably better than the scripted dialogue.

The second biggest strength of Date Night is the awesome supporting cast.  I absolutely loved all the names in there, from James Franco and Mila Kunis to Leighton Meester, Mark Ruffalo, Ray Liotta, William Fichtner, JB Smoove, and of course Marky Mark Wahlberg.  Each added a different comedic element to the film and elevated the film several levels above what Carrell and Fey would have been able to do on their own.

Having said all of that, I don’t think Date Night will go down as a particularly memorable film in the annals of comedy cinema.  It is very funny at times, but there’s nothing about it that stands out as especially outstanding.  Maybe it’s because I simply don’t like Carrell and Fey enough, and I don’t know why.

3.5 stars out of 5

Update: Writing, Writing and More Writing

July 19, 2010 in Blogging, Novel, On Writing by pacejmiller

Image: knowabouthealth.com

It’s been brutal.

My parents and sister have left the country again and I have just returned from a short trip to the Hunter Valley in New South Wales.

Now, with a couple more weeks to go before the next semester in my writing course begins, I am determined to make the most of my time and write, write and write a bit more (with a bit of reading tossed in there).  I want to experience full-time writing and see how I like it.

Day one — so far, so good.  There are only two problems.  First, I lack the stamina and concentration to last all day.  After a couple of hours I may need to watch an episode of Seinfeld/Scrubs, or have a snack, or surf the net for 20 minutes.

Secondly, there is always more stuff to write.  It never ends!  I finally finished my Indian Journey series of posts (about my recent trip to India), but I still haven’t put up the posts on my culinary adventure in Hong Kong (which followed the trip), my even more recent trip to the Hunter Valley (which will be a series of posts for non-drinkers visiting the wine region), plus reviews of the books and films I’ve seen.  And did I mention a couple of weeks ago I visited the house of a published author who shared some of his insights with me?  I need to put all of that stuff up.

Which brought me to the realisation that I’m never going to get to work on my novels (yes, I have two now), enter into any writing competitions or accumulate writing credits if I keep working on my blog posts.  There’s just always more!

So as much as I love writing them, tomorrow is going to be the last day that I’m going to try and catch up on my back log of posts.  After that, one post a day (two tops), and I will dedicate the remainder of the day to real writing.

Let’s see how that experiment works out for me…

Indian Journey Finale: India in Pictures

July 19, 2010 in India, Travel by pacejmiller

The spectacular Taj Mahal

Well, my Indian journey finally came to a close after my last meal at Bukhara.  It was a relatively short trip with the wedding in Hyderabad and a brief stay in Delhi with a day-trip to Agra to see the Taj Mahal.

I wouldn’t say India is for everyone, that’s for sure, but it was certainly an eye-opening experience that I’ll remember for a very long time.  Here is the finale of my Indian journey — in pictures.

(to see the pictures click on ‘more…’)

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Looks like Pacquiao-Mayweather may never happen

July 19, 2010 in Boxing by pacejmiller

Here’s a quick update on those still wondering whether the megabout between pound-for-pound number 1 and 2 Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr will ever happen.

The answer: probably no.

The second round of negotiations has broken down, and with Mayweather being non-commital about fighting Pacquiao and Pacquiao being tied down by his commitments as a Filipino congressman, it appears unlikely that the two men will ever step into the same ring.

(click on ‘more…’ to read this post)

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New Miami Heat Roster Shaping Up

July 19, 2010 in Basketball, NBA by pacejmiller

We all know the Miami Heat now has the formidable trio of Dwyane Wade, Lebron James and Chris Bosh, but without much else, few experts predicted them to be genuine title contenders.  Now, as expected, the rest of the roster has just about filled up with plenty of solid players taking a pay cut for the chance at a championship.

Let’s take a look at how the brand new Heat roster stacks up.

(to read the rest of this post click on ‘more…’)

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