The Muppets (2011) Film Review


Gary (Jason Segel) and Walter (Peter Linz) are brothers. Well, kind of; Walter is a puppet. Though this is not really directly acknowledged, a strange part of this film that I really kind of loved. Anyhow, they do everything together with a song, but as Gary becomes a man, in love with Mary (Amy Adams), Walter is just a puppet obsessed with The Muppets. So when Gary and Mary and Walter go to Hollywood to The Muppets studio and discover it is about to be sold, they know they need to work together to fix it. Will they get The Muppets back together for one last show? Will Mary and Gary live happily ever after? Will they do a heap of fun times song and dances?

I loved it so much. Yes, I grew up with The Muppets, and have fond memories from the show. But there was always the risk that a reboot would be a disaster – and instead, it was fabulous. All the cheese and schmaltz that it needed to have, but with a truly Muppetty storyline and great humour.

Freaks and Geeks – TV Review

This cult television series, produced by Judd Apatow (This is 40, Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old-Virgin) created by Paul Feig (The Heat and Bridesmaids) based on his life as a geek in high school in the eighties.

There’s Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini), a student who is strong academically, but just not happy with the life being a Mathlete and a geek, and tries to fit in with the freaks – Daniel Desario (James Franco), Ken Miller (Seth Rogen), Nick Andopolis (Jason Segel) and Kim Kelly (Busy Phillips). Meanwhile, Lindsay’s younger brother Sam (John Francis Daley) is a mega geek, with his mates Bill Haverchuck (Martin Starr) and Neal Schweiber (Samm Levine). They deal with a lot of the typical issues of these coming of age shows –but in a unique and often quite hilarious way.

This show has been just out of reach for me for some time, mentioned in interviews, with so many people in the cast who have gone on to success both in film and on television. Finally, I got to it and I got through the whole lot in a couple of massive binge sessions. If you haven’t seen it, get to it.


Knocked Up (2007) Film Review


Alison (Katherine Heigl) takes her sister Debbie (Leslie Mann) out partying to celebrate her new onscreen role on a television entertainment show. He meets Ben (Seth Rogan) who is out partying with his stoner friends. They spend the night together and then, a few weeks later, she discovers that she is pregnant. The film takes them through the discovery and up to the birth with them trying to form a relationship with each other and prepare for a baby.

It’s pretty average. There are certainly fun moments, but there seemed to be no reason for it to go on the way it did. I could not figure out why on earth they would pursue a relationship given how much they really didn’t get along. But luckily, it seemed that having the baby meant they will have a happy life. Whatever.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)


Peter (Jason Segel) and Sarah (Kristen Bell) are a dream couple – she is a gorgeous actor who stars in a TV cop drama and he is the affable composer boyfriend who creates the soundtrack for the show. Peter does not see it coming when Sarah breaks it off with him. In an attempt to get over her he throws himself into the arms of other women, but when this doesn’t work, he takes a holiday to Hawaii. On arrival, he discovers that Sarah is staying there with her new boyfriend, British rocker Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). Luckily for Peter, he gains the sympathy of the hotel employees, notably Rachel (Mila Kunis).

This is my kind of humour. Well, there are a lot of things that I find funny. But this, with hilarious pathos, a fair whack of slapstick, a certain amount of filth and more than a little sentimental claptrap – love it. I’m a big fan of most of the cast, and I just really liked the way this was all put together.

The Five-Year Engagement (2012) Film Review


I was completely convinced that this was an awful film. When will I allow myself to recognise that I quite like romantic comedies and that I like pretty much everything that Jason Segel does. It should not have been a surprise to me that I enjoyed this film. Yet it was.

Tom (Jason Segel) proposes to his girlfriend Violet (Emily Blunt) a year after they meet. But her academic career and opportunities take him away from his work as a chef. Life is passing them by and gradually, their resentment for each other grows.

Romantic comedies are changing; or at least, there is now this other branch of romantic comedy. A branch where the characters are extremely flawed. Where affairs or break ups are bigger. And where you really question why characters are doing any of the stuff they are doing. But, for me, I like the messiness of these films. Especially when they have lots of ridiculous slapstick. I really like slapstick when it’s done well.

Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2011) Film Review


There’s a guy called Jeff and he lives at home. That much is clear. Jeff (Jason Segel) is in his late-twenties and spends his time watching Signs (the 2002 M. Night Shyamalan film) and smoking dope. He is convinced that he is on the earth for some greater purpose, much to the despair of his mother (Susan Sarandon) and his brother, Pat (Ed Helms).

It’s fairly ridiculous, really. However, the last ten minutes or so blew me away – I guess I’d been lulled into such a state of boredom that when something actually happened, I got a bit too excited. For most of the film, I couldn’t really see the point of the Susan Sarandon sub-plot.  In fact, even looking back, it’s not really necessary. Plus, Ed Helms really annoyed me. He’s fantastic in The Office; an over-the-top character blends in there. This film seemed to generally be pretty realistic, and his portrayal of Pat for much of the film didn’t blend well. It was only in the final sequence that I really believed that Pat could have been a real character, and not simply comic relief.

Jeff, Who Lives at Home is a great title, but not a great film. Worth watching, but not really worth going out of your way for.