Our Idiot Brother

If you like lots of laughs with gross humour – this is not for you. If you like a fast passed comedy – this is not for you. If you like a sweet, charming and slower paced movie with some really good work by Paul Rudd & a solid supporting cast – this is the film for you. Our Idiot Brother is a 2011¬†comedy-drama¬†film directed by¬†Jesse Peretz¬†and starring Rudd,¬†Elizabeth Banks,¬†Zooey Deschanel, and¬†Emily Mortimer. The script was written by Evgenia Peretz and David Schisgall based on Jesse and Evgenia Peretz’s story, and tells the story of an idealistic man who intrudes and wreaks havoc in each of his three sisters’ lives.

Well Paul Rudd plays Ned who isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. He gets into trouble, meaning jail time, for selling weed to a cop (who really goaded him) at the organic market where he sells his wares. When he gets out of jail, he finds that his girlfriend Janet is now living in their farm house with another guy, Billy (T. J. Miller) and refuses to give Ned his golden retriever, named Willie Nelson, back. Ned is distraught over this as he really loves his dog a lot. Without a house to stay he, he moves back in with his mother for a bit.

Ned has three sisters – Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) is a journalist for Vanity Fair and is ambitious. Though she has trouble finding a man to keep her interest, she and a neighbor, Jeremy (Adam Scott) have hidden feelings for each other, but would rather be good friends (Jeremy is even willing to interrupt sex with another girl just to give Miranda a hand with a maintenance problem). Natalie (Zooey Deschanel) is a young, independent, bisexual hipster living with her girlfriend, Cindy (Rashida Jones) and 5 other roommates, suggesting a very communal type apartment. Her love for Cindy conflicts with her fear of commitment, which she hides even around Cindy. Liz (Emily Mortimer), the oldest, is married to Dylan, a documentary filmmaker. Their marriage is failing as Dylan shows no sexual interest in Liz. They also have strict control over their son River, which leaves him unhappy and unable to express himself.

Well Ned stays with each of his sisters for a little while, causing some kind of havoc or the other. His intentions are good but he just doesn’t know how to handle situations – like catching Dylan cheating on Liz, causing Miranda her job, telling intimate stories about¬†Lady Arabella, a reclusive celeb who opened up to Ned charmed by his friendliness, to Miranda and contributing a bit to Natalie having a sexual encounter with her male friend and getting pregnant, cheating on Cindy! However River opens up and comes alive whenever uncle Ned is around and people normally like him. He gets in trouble again when he tries to steal back Willie Nelson from his ex. Finally Ned gets angry and shouts at his sisters when they won’t join in and play charades properly.¬†Ned finally loses his temper and yells at them for their selfishness and for bringing everyone else down. The outburst scares the girls who immediately regret their actions. Ned is arrested and taken to jail when he admits that he smoked weed with a neighbour but refuses to leave his jail cell even when his family pays the bail amount.

His family goes to his ex-house and asks for the dog back. Janet refuses, saying she loves the dog. Miranda yells and says that no one could love anything as unconditionally as Ned loves everything and that he deserves the dog. Despite her refusal, Billy comes out of the house carrying Willie Nelson, tired of Janet refusing to give Ned his dog. They take Willie Nelson to the prison where he is reunited with Ned. A few weeks later things start getting better for the girls; Miranda starts a relationship with Jeremy, Cindy & Natalie start talking again, Liz starts dating and River enrolls in karate classes. Ned decides it is time for him to go back to his life the way he likes it, out of the city and in a quiet area. The girls are sad to see him go, but wish him the best. Later on, Ned and Billy have opened up a small homemade candle shop together and seem to do well enough. One day Ned cannot find Willie Nelson, and begins running through town looking for him. He finds Willie playing with another dog in a park area who has also run away from her owner. The owner comes up and Ned finds he has a lot in common with the woman. When he asks her dog’s name, the owner replies “Dolly Parton” to which Ned says his dog is “Willie Nelson” and smiles.

The movie premiered at the 2011¬†Sundance Film Festival[4]¬†and was given wide release on 26 August 2011. I suggest you watch this and let the movie charm you. On a meager budget of $5 mil, the movie has only made $24 mil at the box office but it’s something all of you should see. Give it a chance. 8 outta 10!

Here And Now – Nickelback

Band of the decade for 2000-2010. Not bad. Even as their detractor create a lot of hate and vitriol at the 4some from Vancouver, Nickelback themselves are laughing all the way to the bank. They remain classy in not responding in kind to all the nonsense that the haters put out in the internet. Does it make one difference to them or their fans? No! And hats off to you guys! Nickelback has received large amounts of criticism for their repetition of the same sound, same themes and nearly identical albums. But it is this no-selling out and not changing their sound to what is new & trendy, much like previously similarly maligned band AC/DC, is what makes a lot of their fans stay loyal.

Released on November 21, 2011,¬† Here And Now is the seventh¬†studio album¬†by the band, their first since 2008’s Dark Horse. The artwork for the album is the¬†Gastown Steam Clock¬†in Vancouver and the clock is set at 11:21, the date the album was released. he album debuted at number two on the US¬† Billboard 200¬† selling approximately 227,000 copies in its first week,¬† just 0.18% below the number one spot. Marching out with the groovy This Means War, which encourages us to headband long from the start to the finish. Booming drums from drummer extraordinaire Daniel Adair herald Bottom Ups, a drinkers anthem inviting everyone to have fun, party and drink up. The track also has a nice solo from Chad Kroeger.

The next track & first single is the global awareness, call for peace and cooperation When We Stand Together, the kind of track that the band always seem to slip in amongst the songs about drinking, women, strippers & partying hard. Yet with this track, catchy bouncy feel-good rhythmic and singable song, it’s time to admit – their hearts are always in the right place. Having said that and as the wonderful lyrics of that track fade away, we do get a sex-themed song next :D Midnight Queen has lyrics like¬† “She’s got the bottle of Tequila and’a lime for her lips / Laid her body on the bar and put the salt on her hips, / I was lyin’ when I told her that I’m only gunna’ lick her tonight!” which doesn’t leave much to the imagination. And Gotta Get Me Some is similar – drinking with a chick and then getting it on! About the perfect hottie, dance & rock star.

Lullaby comes out from left field, a ballad that’s about suicide and a message of hope to someone who is about to contemplate killing themselves. Chad has always been fascinated with Hollywood and it’s lifestyle and in the next song, Kiss It Goodbye, he adds New York City and it’s excesses compared to the ones in LA along with it. This seems like a criticism of the tv culture that is present in the West. We have another semi-ballad in Trying Not To Love You in which the protagonist wants out of a relationship but the harder he tries, he falls deeper & deeper into the relationship. Holding On To Heavenis a similar styled semi-ballad professing love. We get another sex laden lyrics rocker in Everything I Wanna Do (You and me, sitting in a tree F-U-C-K-I-N-G sung in a distorted whisper) – probably one of the songs that a stripper could shake her things as she writhes onstage.

As the last song Don’t Ever Let It End, a nostalgic love song which makes us look back at the feelings that we had in our life, you get a typical Nickelback album – rockers, semi-ballads & ballads. The themes are the same and it doesn’t ask too much of you other than clear your schedule for 40 minutes and rock on. Ryan Peake & Mike Kroeger add their contributions very well in making this a great album to have. Another success for the Canadian quartet, more world tours and gold / platinum records and a few awards. Life’s good for Nickelback and they always have the last laugh. I leave you with the fabulous first single.