: Vince Vaughn, like his colleague in the slide to CBS-sitcom laziness Adam Sandler, loves the 80s—that much seems clear from the slobs-versus-snobs aesthetic of movies like Dodgeball
and the monologue he rattles off about Flashdance
in the trailer for The Internship
. So I guess it's appropriate that while The Internship
appears, if anything, too far into the future—eight years removed from the Vaughn/Wilson team-up Wedding Crashers
—its trailer feels like it's gone backward, like it's the 80s-style slobs-versus-snobs version of that previous hit. It also looks like a PG-13 knockoff of an R-rated romp, which I guess it technically is. I don't consider Wedding Crashers
a sacred text by any means; Vaughn and Wilson are very funny in it, as is Isla Fisher, as is Will Ferrell in that mordant funeral-crashing cameo, but the movie's actual screenplay gets mired in a lot of bad dude stuff: scenes where an old lady is supposed to be hilarious because she says something vulgar, or a young man is supposed to be hilarious because he's gay. Encapsulating that movie's star-driven success: the gay guy, Todd, is obsessed with Vaughn's character and does a massive panting of him that's supposed to be creepy… not that funny. But Vaughn's eventual reaction to the demand that he return the painting (Nonchalantly: "The painting was a gift, Todd. I'm taking it with me.") is very funny.
There's no reason The Internship couldn't traffic in some of that personality-driven inspiration beneath its rote-looking tale of "old school" salesmen who compete for an internship at Google to revitalize their careers. But it's hard to hope for the best when I keep getting distracted by what I see in the trailer. Like: are Vaughn and Wilson affecting some Billy Crystal thing regarding their Internet-ignorance? I mean, they're only in their 40s. It's been around for half their lifetimes at this point. And plus: does that gag about the Google manager disapproving of grabbing a beer with your boss ring false to anyone else? Don't Google bosses seem totally likely to grab a beer with employees? I've been to the Google offices; they don't seem like a company that discourages socialization with your supervisors. Is he objecting because he only wants his employees drinking the beer provided in the office? Confusing!
: Ethan Hawke continues his genre side-career with this home-invasion horror picture (following last fall's Sinister
and preceding late summer's thriller Getaway
) with the ludicrous but appealingly Twilight Zone
-y premise that America has made all crime legal for one night each year, with which to purge our basest instincts. It's the worst night, in other words, to let strangers into your house and drawing the wrath of other, more marauding strangers. Writer-director James DeMonaco wrote the not-bad remake of Assault on Precinct 13
that brought Hawke into the occasional action-thriller-horror fold; he also wrote the Francis Ford Coppola/Robin Williams collabo Jack
, so there's some more horror experience. Horror movies never seem to do big business in the summer, but they can't all come out in January and October, can they?
Much Ado About Nothing
: My full review
of Joss Whedon's Avengers
timeout goes into this further, but it's not unlike one of those Buffy
episodes where much of the running time would include no talking ("Hush") or lots of singing ("Once More, with Feeling") or long, intense scenes ("The Body"). This time, the challenge is: Joss Whedon writing and directing something he doesn't really get to write, and can't even really rewrite, because it's Shakespeare, and Joss Whedon would never do Shakespeare like that. The project evolved from a series of for-fun Shakespeare readings at the Whedon residence, which is why this movie was shot at the Whedon residence, starring some of the least-famous members of his unofficial acting troupe (no Eliza Dushku, Alyson Hannigan, or Chris Evans here). But all of that works out well—even the no-new-dialogue thing!