Spared or Spoiled Reviews: The Intern

The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.

The Intern (Warner Bros. Pictures)

The Intern poster

Written & Directed by Nancy Meyers

Starring Robert De NiroAnne Hathaway & Rene Russo

The Intern is a funny and cute and fairly enjoyable movie with two of my favorite actors. I thoroughly enjoyed the first ninety minutes or so. I laughed a lot. I smiled through most of it and laughed more than I thought I would. The Intern was so good for an hour and a half. I kept asking myself why this movie didn’t do better at the box office. This is a fun movie. And then something happened. I don’t know what happened. It just lost all sense of joy. The last thirty minutes of The Intern is like a completely different film. It’s so bad. I can’t tell you how bad the movie gets without spoiling it. So… Here we go.

Verdict: SPOILED

The Intern Anne Hathaway Robert DeNiro

“I think he likes it. He calls us whimsical. That’s good.” “Keep reading.”

SPOILER ALERT

The Intern is the whimsical little story of retired widower Robert DeNiro who takes a job as an intern at an online start-up. A clothing company run by Anne Hathaway. Well not Anne Hathaway but a character she’s playing. And the intern isn’t actually Robert DeNiro. You know what, I’m just going to assume from here on that you know how movies work.

The Intern Robert DeNiro

“Dear Mel, That was a whimsical little joke.” “Oh my god. You’re so bad, Bobby.” “Not so funny when the shoe’s on the other foot is it, Mel ?” “You’re a wild man.” “Signed, not Robert DeNiro.”

I really liked the story. I really liked the rest of the young cast and of course Robert DeNiro is extremely likable and cute as the retiree. Anne Hathaway, who I seem to like more than most people, is great here too as the overworked CEO. Everything was going well. The movie was fun and funny and all the characters were evolving nicely. Minor characters. Major characters. All good. It was like watching a full season of an award-winning workplace sitcom. (this story would make a great sitcom)

“Where are you going, Anne?” “I don’t like the way this review is developing. I’m gonna give Mel a piece of my mind.” “There is no Mel. He’s a made-up internet persona.” “That can’t be right.”

Then depression sets in. It’s like Nancy Meyers didn’t know what hurdle to put in her heroes way. And what she decides comes way out of left field. All of sudden Anne Hathaway is crying (I have no problem with tears). Her husband is cheating (I have no problem with cheating). DeNiro and her are in a hotel in their robes on a bed. (That kind of bothered me). It’s a really awkward scene. What the hell is Nancy doing?

The Intern Adam Devine

“That’s an honest question.”

The movie feels like a Romantic Comedy except that the two romantic leads are not compatible or destined or even attracted to each other. And they aren’t going to fall in love and we all know it. They’re falling in friendship. And I thought that was amazing. A beautiful twist on the RomCom genre. Loved the cast. Loved the plot. So enjoyable… for a while.

the-intern Robert DeNiro Rene Russo

“I just want to commend you on your joke from earlier. It was really funny.” “Thank you. I worked hard on that.” “Who’s sending me dick pics?”

It feels like Nancy Meyers used a RomCom template to write The Intern. She’s written enough really good Romantic Comedies that she probably has a formula. But this felt like she was writing blind. It’s like she needed to have the two main characters end up in bed together even though it made no sense. So she created this stupid trip to California and a straight out of left field infidelity story and all of a sudden this wasn’t the movie we were just watching. And why are Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway in bed?

The Intern Anne Hathaway

“Find out what movie Mel was watching. Pick up my dry cleaning. Send Mel a thank you letter for all the times he said I was hot. And look up the world record for balancing on a bike.” “Got it.”

The Intern is straight up bait and switch. And at the end, after all the weirdness, it feels like the writer just runs out of steam and ends the movie in a huff. In a sort of – I don’t know. Whatever – the end. Leaving the audience with nothing changed since the San Francisco melt down. The CEO stays with her husband. She stays with her job. The Intern stays an intern even though he should be running the place. Nothing happens. Nothing changes. Nobody learns anything. The End. Roll the credits. Thank you for your money.

The Intern

“Thank you for your money.” “No. Thank you for your money.” “Say thank you for your money, Marcy.” “No. Because I don’t make nearly as much as the two of you. And my name’s not Marcy.”

The Intern is a good idea for a movie that didn’t have an ending so writer and director Nancy Meyers just decided to annoy the audience for the final half hour with a conflict that came out of nowhere and went nowhere.

But man the first ninety minutes were pretty damn good.

– Mel

Spared or Spoiled Film Reviews: Interstellar

The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.

Interstellar (Paramount Pictures [North America],  Warner Bros. Pictures [International])

Interstellar Poster

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Written by Jonathan Nolan & Christopher Nolan

Starring Matthew McConaugheyAnne HathawayJessica Chastain & Michael Caine

Swing and a miss. Too long did not like. Too ambitious. Interstellar gets trapped in the singularity up its own ass. Wow what a promising start but Christopher Nolan turns into M. Night Shyamalan somewhere near Gargantua and it doesn’t just get bad. It gets really bad. Hopelessly and unapologetically bad.

Verdict: SPOILED

Matthew McConaughey

“Don’t worry kids. NASA will save us. Go play with your lunar module until Mel’s done ranting.”

SPOILER ALERT

First, I think Matthew McConaughey is solid as usual. I loved Anne Hathaway in this and also Jessica Chastain, Ellen Burstyn. Honestly all the actors that played Murphy were very good. I liked but did not love the start of the movie back on Earth. The explanations of what happened to the Earth were rushed. It felt like they were glossed-over on purpose as to not get too earthbound. But it all comes back to haunt the narrative when they try desperately to find an upbeat ending. Where’d they get the soil? The seeds? If you can grow and live inside on a spaceship you can live inside on the planet.

The Coopers

“Stop him, daddy. He’s insulting our movie.”

I usually love the paradox of us saving our past selves from the future. I have a little something like that in what I’m working on now but it’s a lot more complex than this crap and it doesn’t get all inter-dimensional. That should have been the title of this thing. Not Interstellar but inter-dimensional. But then I guess that would have ruined the Shymalanity of it all. As it is, Interstellar left me cold and I hate it for that.

Anne Hathaway Handshake

“When you ask me what that was, I’m gonna say a handshake. Don’t ask me any follow up questions okay? It’ll make absolutely no sense later.”

Because, in the end all of its kumbaya ending crap felt so disingenuous that I would have been more satisfied had Matthew McConaughey died and not been found conveniently floating in space. What is the overall area that a human adult takes up in the vastness of space again? Don’t answer that. Well then you might as well have made it aliens and had those aliens transport him back to his stupid corn farm or bring everybody back to life. Roll credits. Oh this movie made me so mad.

Cooper, Brand and Romilly

“Put me in here until the review is over. Because I can’t take much more of this.”

Because once it goes into space it gets so freaking good. I mean positively stellar. Matt Damon and the robot and the planets and the ships and the stuff with the thing and the lights and the sci-fi. “We’re gonna make it!” “I can do this.” “Don’t open that airlock.” I loved every minute of the second act. Every last fucking minute. From the effects to the science to the suspense and the emotion it was fantastic. So, it starts off weak but necessarily so. “All is forgiven.” I thought to myself because this movie rocks when it turns into one of the best movie space adventures I’ve seen since Europa Report.

Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar

“Europa Report? What’s a Europa Report? This movie has three Oscar winners and the guy who directed Batman. What does your precious Europa Report have? Believability? Psshh”

But for a third act, Interstellar shits all over itself. And not solid and easy to clean up. It sprays diarrhea all over the screen and then the credits roll. I’m sorry for the imagery. It really annoyed me. It literally felt to me like M. Night Shyamalan directed the third act. From the grown up Murphy suddenly realizing that her childhood “ghost” was her father, to Cooper explaining quantum time mechanics or something equally mind-boggling-ly complex in Morse code, to the Starblazers and Battlestar Galactica style convoy leaving the Earth behind with no destination and suddenly being able to grow food. Swing and a miss, Nolans. I still love you both madly but… swing… and… a… miss.

Arrrgh! (I usually put a conclusion here but I just felt like screaming this time) Arrrgh!

– Mel

End of Year Review: The Good The Bad The Ugly & The Movies from 2012 MEGAPOST

Goodbye 2012. I am happy to see it go.

Goodbye to the fiscal cliff. Goodbye to the most negative presidential election I have ever seen in my life.

Goodbye to end of the world prophecies. Goodbye to the bloodiest year for domestic gun violence since the civil war.

Goodbye to the shittiest year of the 21st century so far.

Goodbye.

Let’s get to it…

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and The Movies of 2012.

THE GOOD of 2012:

Television got even better in 2012. People had less money in 2012. Stayed at home and watched TV more in 2012. So TV producers stepped up their games and brought the goods in 2012. Television was awesome in 2012

Best Television Moments in 2012

In 2012 some of my favorite shows had their best seasons. Here are ten of my favorite things.

Doctor Who: The Snowmen Christmas Special

Doctor Who: The Snowmen

The episode was very good. I love the new companion. She’s as pretty as Rose Tyler, as brilliant as Martha Jones. She’s as fearless as Amy Pond, as cute & funny as Donna Noble. But most of all she’s about as mysterious as River Song. The one word lie detector test scene was amazing.

The Doctor Who Gang

I can’t wait until April. I WANT MORE DOCTOR WHO NOW.

The Walking Dead’s Michonne

Michonne from The Walking Dead

She really made this season of the show for me. She is a badass. A badass, dread-locked, lesbian w/ a samurai sword. Where do I sign? I loved this season. Best one so far.

Rachel Maddow’s Last Show Before Election Day & Her First Show After The Election

Rachel Maddow

I would put both of these shows in the time capsule. Pure Perfection. Rachel really worked overtime this election season. Before he leaves office, President Obama really should reward her in some way. (Exclusive Interview, Medal of Honor, Blanket Pardon for Future Crimes… something nice)

Fringe: The Final Season

Fringe Final Season

The show is fantastic. Still one of the best shows in TV history. Some of their best performances are from this season. And some of their best writing.

Game of Thrones: The Battle of Blackwater

Game of Thrones Blackwater

The episode was one of the best hours of TV in 2012.

Game of Thrones Tyrion

“Those are brave men knocking on our door… Let’s go kill them.”

Peter Dinklage was robbed at the Emmy’s. I can’t wait until March.

Elementary & Vegas

Elementary & Vegas

These are two entertaining & well-written new mystery shows on CBS. With all-star casts. And neither is your run-of-the-mill procedural. Both are great shows renewed for second seasons. Watch them.

Girls:  Welcome to Bushwick a.k.a. The Crackcident

Girls HBO

The Bushwick Episode was the best episode of the season of a thoroughly enjoyable and immensely entertaining show. Lena Dunham did great work last year. I hope the second season is as good as the first.

Breaking Bad’s Evolution of Walter White

Breaking Bad Walter White

This show gets better and better every year. It was already good. It’s criminally good now. (“Say My Name” “Heisenberg.” “You damn right.”) I’m looking forward to an intense finale.

Best Performer in 2012

Anne Hathaway

2012 was most definitely her year. Anne Hathaway has been good for a while but finally everyone else is beginning to recognize her talent.

"You Look Hungry Anne. Could I Tempt You With A Bite?"

“You Look Hungry Anne. Could I Tempt You With A Bite?”

She is incredibly good in Les Miserables. Made me weep my eyes out. I was soaked. Great voice. Great acting. She dropped the weight for the necessary realism. And then proceeded to blow the roof off of every theater in the country.

And the Oscar goes to…

"Don't Play. You Know I Could Eat You Up Little Girl."

“Don’t Play. You Know I Could Eat You Up Little Girl.”

And earlier in the year she kicked ass as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises. She took an iconic character that has been played to death by Oscar winners and icons in movies and television for decades and she made it her own. Anne Hathaway was my favorite thing in an excellent film (one of my top films of the year…wink).

"Keep Laughing Amanda. I May Not Be Able To Outsing You But I Will Swallow You Whole."

“Watch It, Hathaway. You Know You Can’t Hit Those High Notes Like Me.”
“Keep Laughing Amanda. I May Not Be Able To Out-sing You But I Will Swallow You Whole.”

Anne Hathaway has officially become my favorite actress. She is insanely talented, funny, has a fantastic voice and is gorgeous. The girl is smokin’ hot.

"Okay, I'm Going To Eat You Know."

“Ha Ha. You Wish.”
“Okay, I’m Going To Eat You Know.”

And even when she hosted SNL (a show that has seen better days but looks to be getting back to form) it was their best show of the year.

"All Gone."

“All Gone… Thank You. Thank You.”

And now to bummer town…

THE BAD of 2012

or more accurately

The problems we need to address in 2013

First and foremost…

Movie Ticket Prices

Yep That Looks About Right

Yep That Looks About Right

Come on man, $23.00 for IMAX? And even more for IMAX 3D.  That’s crazy pants. Although I did like the reserved seating for The Hobbit. No line, already knowing where your seats are. (I got cheated out of the Star Trek sneak peek that they promised, however. Still angry about that one)

But guys, seriously, the movie going experience is no longer better than viewing at home. It just isn’t. You have to either make it more special. Maybe a restaurant & movie situation or beer & wine at the movies. Perhaps optional headphones. I don’t know. But it ain’t worth the money as it is, except for maybe when there’s a major event movie coming out, where seeing it the first weekend is important.

Other than that I’ll be waiting for the DVD.

Terrorism

It's A Madhouse! A Madhouse!

It’s A Madhouse! A Madhouse!

It’s the escalation of the mass shootings that troubles me & how the pattern seems to suggest that they are designed in a way to make us feel unsafe in the places that have been our safe havens.

Of course that suggests that there is an intelligence behind them. Not just wacko after wacko trying to outdo, out-evil, out horrify, and one-up the last, instantly famous mass murderer that came before them before they off themselves.

(By the way, fellas, skip right to the last shooting, the one where you shoot yourself. That way you die a hero. You die having killed a probable & future mass murderer. “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” – Half of a great man said that)

But these trends do not have to have intelligence behind them. The next killer, having seen the way the news vilifies but also enshrines and bathes in the spotlight the previous super villain (these guys think they’re in a comic book or something), then comes up with a new, more heinous way to make us all cringe.

The depths of darkness that someone can dive to when they believe that they are dark to their very core is only limited by imagination.

Universal Mental Health Care (and Health Care in general, for that matter) can do so much to reduce this escalating trend. You need to find these troubled souls when they are too small to make these plans, to hold a gun, to do these things. For our safety, for their family & friends and for the victims.

Race

There Is No Such Thing As Mixed Race To A Racist

There Is No Such Thing As Mixed Race To A Racist

Not just racism, mind you, but race. Because there is no racism without the misguided idea of race.

So why can’t different humans from different regions and different backgrounds just look different: Skin, Hair, Eyes, Height, Weight. Be different: Sex, Personality, Creativity, Intellect, Language. And/Or believe different: Politics, Spirituality, Religion. Be Human without then having to form groups and perpetuate the illusion of a competition.

That’s what sports are for. (And frankly I’d rather be in a soccer riot than a race riot any day)

Fear

False Evidence Appearing Real

False Evidence Appearing Real

The misguided fear that believes if homosexuality is universally accepted that they will have no choice but to be gay. Because the only thing stopping them at this point, I suppose, is that people LIKE THEM would attack them. (or other equally stupid reasons to deny Marriage Equality)

And the annoying fear that seems to believe that by accepting a man’s role in human reproduction, as almost nil, somehow makes men more useless than they already are. Leading to this need to legislate reproduction so that they still feel important and involved. Aw, fellas. You feel left out? By how you’re acting, I’m guessing there’s a reason. Uterine envy is ugly business, gentlemen. Stop it. Stop it now.

And the idiotic fear of Science, fear of evolution or climate change FACTS. A fear so great that you deny the validity of scientific discovery, basic Biology & Physics & Math. Fear that somehow science wants to replace god. We are meant to understand… everything. Your willful ignorance would make any deity weep. If your god had wanted us to remain dumb he wouldn’t have made us so curious.

So those are the problems that I believe reached critical mass in 2012. And if we begin to address them, to solve them, we can save the world.

Fear, Race, Terrorism… & Movie Ticket Prices.

Get on that, planet.

And lastly…

THE MOVIES of 2012

There are 3 major films from 2012 that I haven’t seen yet they are Lincoln, Argo & Zero Dark Thirty but I don’t like to see political propaganda films until a few years after their release. And I know they are all amazing. I’m weird, okay?

To the list

My Top Ten Movies of 2012 (and links to where I blog about them)

1. Les Miserables – Anne Hathaway!! (you have to picture me singing that and not just saying it)

Les Miserables (pronounced lay-miz by theater geeks) is easily the best film of the year. It is the best movie musical of all-time. (Yes, better than West Side Story & The Wizard of Oz. Better than Chicago & The Sound of Music. It’s that good)

Les Miserables

It’s the story of Jean Valjean. Imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread to feed a starving child & how that crime changes his life. It is the story of the police officer, Javert, haunted by his own past and his twisted sense of justice as he tracks down the fugitive. It is the story of Fantine, a woman pushed to her limits in order to keep her daughter safe and fed. It is the story of France in the early 19th century & the class struggles that followed the French Revolution. It is a love story. It is a story of redemption. But most of all, it is a story with some incredible music.

Les Miserables 2

What the filmmakers added to Victor Hugo’s story and Claude Michel-Schonberg’s beautiful music was an insanely talented cast: the aforementioned Anne Hathaway, the insanely versatile Hugh Jackman, the golden throat-ed Amanda Seyfried & the much hated Russell Crowe (He’s a lot better than he is given credit). They sing every line. There is no speaking. And they sing on camera. On set. Every take.

Les Miserables 3

I loved this film. It is perfect. Some complain about the sound stages and the look of the film but having the actors sing on set creates the need to shoot on a sound stage. There are musicians off camera, playing along with the scene, with the actors. You can’t get that realism on location. because you can’t get that sound on location. So I forgive the sets because the MUSIC is the whole movie.

Go See It or at least Rent It (I’m going to buy it)

2. Prometheus – Ridley Scott (Back where he belongs. Making kick ass Sci Fi Horror)

3. Dark Knight Rises – Christopher Nolan & Hathaway as Catwoman (Fantastic end to an amazing trilogy)

4. The Avengers – Joss!!! (Joss Whedon can do no wrong. Honestly)

5. The Hunger Games – Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss (I used to call Lucy, Catness but now I call her Kitty Katniss) This was a surprisingly good movie.

6. Skyfall – Casting Casting Casting (New M, New Q [all the letters are back and better than ever] and Javier Bardem is deliciously villainous)

Skyfall is a return to form for the Bond franchise. The reboot of the series, and the first two films (The first one about how he becomes a superspy, the second about how he deals with becoming a broken man) left out many of the iconic symbols James Bond fans have been used to seeing. This movie brings them all back with a vengeance.

Skyfall

James Bond is back in the saddle. But this time he’s joined by Q branch, M and Miss Moneypenny and the Ashton Martin & the Walther PPK also his favorite drink (shaken, not stirred)

Personally I didn’t like Skyfall as much as the first two Daniel Craig installments in the series (The amazing Casino Royale & the under-rated Quantum of Solace) but I was happy to see all the old favorites back.

Ralph Fiennes as M

However the absolute gem of Skyfall is the performance by Javier Bardem (Hollywood’s creepy bad guy) as the villainous Silva. He is creepy, evil, funny and heartbreaking all at the same time.

Skyfall Javier Bardem

I’m looking forward to, now that the franchise is back up to speed, seeing where Daniel Craig can go with the character. I believe he is the best James Bond since Sean Connery.

7. The Hobbit – I want to go to there. Where? New Zealand (The landscapes and scenery in this film have a starring role. It is gorgeous)

The first installment of The Hobbit Trilogy (I know it’s just one book but somebody should tell Peter Jackson) is a thrill ride. He brings us back to Middle Earth and introduces us to a new group of adventurers. This time: The Dwarves.

The Hobbit Dwarves 1

The party scene, where the Dwarves take over poor Bilbo’s home, to me, is the highlight of the movie. I like how the Dwarves all work as one well-oiled machine. It’s fun to watch.

The Hobbit Dwarves 2

Martin Freeman as the young  Bilbo is expert casting. He fits the role like a glove. He is not the hero (well not on purpose), he is just along for the ride.

Martin Freeman as Bilbo

It remains to be seen how good the last two films will be but this was a great way to start.

Gollum

And much like in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Gollum steals the movie from the moment he slithers on-screen. Not the best film of the year but in my top ten.

8. Looper – Joseph Gordon-Prosthetic Nose-Levitt (Fantastic film if a bit Timey Wimey)

9. Ted – Seth MacFarlane (Love him. So Funny… & Mila Kunis)

10. Snow White & The Huntsman – Rupert Sanders (For his first feature he did pretty damn good and I don’t mean sleeping with the lead actress)

And Now..

The Bottom Five Movies of 2012 or (how Hollywood spends millions to shit on audiences)

In reverse order

5. John Carter – Mindless Martian Crap

4. Battleship – Loud Abrasive Crap

3. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – Presidential Seal of Crap

2. The Amazing Spider-Man – Comic Book Killing Beautifully Dressed Up Crap

And the worst movie of 2012:

1. Men in Black 3 – A Big ol’ Steaming Pile of Crap

"Why You Be Hatin' On Men In Black 3?"

“Why You Be Hatin’ On Men In Black 3?”

YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID.

And that, my friends, was my 2012. I did not like this year at all. A lot more bad than good if you ask me. From the election, starting with those hate-filled republican debates, really casting a dark shadow over the year. And the massacres at a movie theater, a temple, a college, an army base & a school along with rampant racism on the internet and talk radio & it was like everybody was in such a bad mood all year.

Breathe.

I’m here to tell you, (I’ve been to the future so listen to me)

2013 was… I mean… will be AWESOME.

Trust me, I’m a Doctor.

"No. I'm the Doctor"

“No. I’m the Doctor”

Doctor who?

Happy New Year Everybody

– Mel

Catwoman vs. Black Widow (Poll Results)

Catwoman Wins

In my most successful poll to date, (33 people voted) pitting this summer’s babes-in-black head to head, based I suppose on popularity& hotness, Catwoman wins 61% to 39%.

Congratulations to Catwoman on her glorious victory.

What does she win?

I’m thinking a spin-off prequel starring Anne Hathaway.

But maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, If you need me, I’ll be consoling Black Widow in the Batcave.

(what’s that you say? You can’t have Black Widow in the Batcave because she’s Marvel & the Cave is DC? Shut Up. It’s my fantasy)

– Mel

Related articles