The Interview

Director: Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen

Lead Actors: Seth Rogen, Jams Franco

Producer: Kyle Hunter

Plot Synopsis: Dave Skylark is a popular talk-show host who is constantly in search of approval. He gets this approval from his millions of fans but not from the East Coast intellectuals who ridicule his show for being, basically, a bit of a fusion between Jerry Springer and Montel Williams.

This doesn't eat at the ever jolly Skylark as much as it does his producer, Aaron Rapaport, played by Seth Rogen.


There is a scene in which Rapaport runs into an old acquaintance from college who is working at 60 Minutes and he ridicules the poppy work that he and Skylark are doing. 

This drives Rappaport to seek out a big fish interview. Hey, it helped Nick Frost get some respect when he landed Nixon, didn't it?

But the big fish Skylark and Rapaport end up getting is arguably a much bigger fish than Nixon after he resigned from the oval office.

Skylark and Rapaport find out that Kim Jong Un, the Supreme Leader of North Korea, is one of Skylark's biggest fans. Rapaport makes some calls, badda bing, badda boom - suddenly these two clowns are on their way to North Korea to bag the interview of the century.

The only catch is that the CIA wants some of the action, and they 
want Skylark to kill Jim Jong Un. 

This is where we meet the ever beautiful and entertaining Lizzy Caplan, in her role as Agent Lacey. Lacey must have banked her whole career on Skylark and Rapaport being able to assassinate Kim Jong Un, because she sticks to the project with unrealistic conviction

If at one point she doesn't proclaim "You guys are idiots" with her words, she does so even more effectively with her beautiful eyes.

She and her deadpan sidekick go over, and over, and over what's supposed to happen, all the while having to know that the stoner duo from Pineapple Express are going to royally screw things up!






Who Would Like it
Anyone in touch with the news will know the drama that went along with getting this movie to be released on Christmas Day. 

They are familiar with how Sony Studios mishandled terrorist threats. They are also familiar, probably, with some of the extremely juicy bits of insider information spilled from a massive hack on their e-mails, perpetrated, allegedly, by North Korea, in retaliation for this rich satire.

So, if you haven't seen this movie yet, and you know the story, there is the reward of seeing what all the hubbub is about.

But when you finally actually watch the movie pound-for-pound, you realize that it is political satire laced with "the most powerful ecstasy you've ever had" - to borrow a line from Franco's Skylark. 

This being said, it is basically burp, pee, poo poo and fart jokes set amidst the possibility of assassinating the annoying and dangerous Kim Jong Un.

Under capitalism, South Korea has prospered and risen to the number 10 economy of the world, while North Korea struggles with country-wide famine, among other things.

The writers of this movie: Dan Sterling along with Rogen and Goldberg do touch on some of the political drama. They also let the outside world into their frat party. . . in one scene Bill Maher watches the actual interview with disgust and perhaps a bit of envy.


Who Might not Like it and Why
Well, Kim Jong Un of course! But I think the actor they chose did a good job all the same. His name is Randall Park.

I think people who are not a fan of stoner humor might struggle with this as well. The first half of this movie is nothing but crude jokes revolving around nothing more than the human anatomy. But, if you invest in the ride, it pays off. 

There are beautiful women, gun fights, tank chase scenes and the most boring Oscar award ceremony host in the world actually proving he is funny.



Highlights/Top Scenes
There was a montage where Un and Skylark are falling in love and bonding on fathers who don't understand and a public that just doesn't get them. It starts with a game of basketball and ends with an orgy with westernized Korean girls. That was funny and well done.

There is also a sequence wherein Rapaport has to intercept a small package that a drone drops off in North Korea. That too is funny.

Three Mike and Ikes.





Modern Family

Director: Michael Spiller (21 episodes 2010-2012), Jason Winer (20 episodes 2009-2014)

Lead Actors: Ed O'Neil, Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen

Producer: 
Jeffrey Morton...co-executive producer / executive producer / producer (130 episodes, 2009-2014)

Plot Synopsis:
In which we meet the Pritchett/Dunphy family - a dysfunctional unit in the Los Angeles area who care very deeply about one another. They have managed to clump their houses together in an upper middle class neighborhood. This is made possible, most likely, by the father of the whole pride, Jay Pritchett, played beautifully by Married With Children's Ed O'Neil. 

Pritchett is a much more successful salesman than Bundy. While Bundy was a disgruntled shoe salesman, Pritchett does very well for himself by selling closets. He is really winning in life, though, because he convinced Gloria Delgado to marry him and become Gloria Delgado Pritchett. Sofia Vergara plays Delgado, and in so doing is one of the sexiest women to ever be on television. 

Gloria had Manny Delgado from a previous marriage. He ages from about eight years old on in the show. He is smart and sophisticated and sees Jake as his real father.

With all of Jay Pritchett's knowledge of closets, he couldn't stop his son Mitchell Pritchett from coming out of the closet. Mitchell is as gay as his dad is a beer swigging football-watching male.  Comedy ensues.

Mitchell Pritchett is played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson. With his shock of red hair and orange ruffy beard, Mitchell holds down a job as an environmental lawyer and is married to Cameron Tucker. Tucker is played by Eric Stonestreet. It would be a crime to designate ANYONE in this entire cast as the star or star, but if you did, these two would be in the running. 

They adopt a daughter from birth, and we get to watch her grow up. Her name is Lilly Tucker-Pritchett and she is absolutely adorable. As she grows she learns to match her snarky parent's sarcasm with a biting wit of her own. When she does it is poetry in motion.  
Perhaps the busiest household is that of the Dunphy clan. Claire Dunphy is married to Phil Dunphy, and they have three beautiful kids - Alex, Haley and Luke. 

If Jay Pritchett is the senior father figure of this pride, Claire is a lioness who runs the Dunphy household with loving growls and calculating menace. Her lighter half, Phil, played by Ty Burrell is quick with a joke and even quicker to let Claire wear the pants in this family. In fact, he prefers to not wear any pants at all when Claire's not home. 

Haley is the oldest Dunphy child, attractive, social and already into boys.

She is more social and has matured much quicker than her younger sister Alex, who is smart as a whip and wears glasses. They are close enough in age to be fierce rivals even though for now Alex always gets the boy, but Haley is always messing with Alex's somewhat vacant head.

Luke inherited his father's affability and good-natured humor. He is also very smart and he and his father form a sort of duo which is touching. 

Who Would Like it and Why
One thing is for sure - it's impossible to watch more than two episodes and not fall in love with this family.

Who Might not Like it and Why 
It would make me nervous to be around them because they are constantly lying to one another and scrambling to cover up their lies.  They are also constantly insulting one another.

Highlights/Top Scenes
The never-ending one-upmanship and the long-lasting insultathon is like watching a Shakespeare comedy. 

Sofia Vergara oozes sex appeal while still maintaining her ability to be funny and mix in with this nutty family experiment. 

Also, the overall acting is amazing. I now know why they have won so many accolades over the last few years. 

Three Mike and Ikes.