Spurlock Makes Another Film About Spurlock

Metro film critic Daniel Holloway offers his take on new movies debuting this weekend, including Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and 88 Minutes.

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RACHEL MARTIN, host:

So, do we like movies, because new movies means it's Friday, and Friday means we don't have to get up early tomorrow? Or do we like Friday, because it means we get to talk about new movies with Daniel Holloway? This is unknowable.

ALISON STEWART, host:

I say both.

MARTIN: I would say it's the latter.

STEWART: I think it's both.

MARTIN: Or both. Yeah, OK.

STEWART: I like the whole thing.

MARTIN: Dan Holloway is the film critic for Metro. He's here, as always, to talk about new stuff, new offerings this week. Veronica Mars in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", good old "Scarface" in "88 Minutes"...

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTIN: Plus, "The Life Before Her Eyes" and the documentary "Where in the World is Osama bin Laden." Now, let's start with what seems to be the only movie out of this week's offerings that you don't hate, a comedy, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall."

Mr. DANIEL HOLLOWAY: "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" yes.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Start with the good....

MARTIN: Yeah, let's start with the good and go...

Mr. HOLLOWAY: And let's go on a steep decline afterwards.

MARTIN: So, we've been hearing about this one for a while now. I mean, in New York you see ads for this all over the place. These like graffiti kind of looking advertisements.

STEWART: Posters.

MARTIN: Posters. Big viral marketing campaign. Is that - I mean, sometimes that kind of marketing can out shine - over hype the final product. What do you think about that.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Yeah, it actually doesn't jibe real well with the final product, because all that fake graffiti marketing is all like, you do look fat in those jeans, Sarah Marshall. And it's...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. HOLLOWAY: It's just really, really vindictive sort of ex-boyfriend stuff, whereas the character here, which is played by Jason Segel, is - you know - if you watch "How I Met Your Mother" or if you remember him from "Freaks and Geeks", which is his Judd Apatow connection. Jason Segel is just like Seth Rogen, but likable.

STEWART: Oh.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: And he's an incredibly likable character in this movie, and he's not the type of guy who would tell Sarah Marshall that she looked fat in those jeans.

STEWART: He's been jilted by his girlfriend, and he's just broken up.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Yeah.

MARTIN: I think the trailer looks funny.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Yeah. It's - the movie is really, really funny. It gets funnier as it goes, which we were just talking outside the studio, is kind of rare for a comedy. But to hit the plot real quick, yeah, he breaks up with his girlfriend, who is played by Kristen Bell. She plays Sarah Marshall, who is an actress on a CSI-type cop show.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. HOLLOWAY: And he's the composer who does the music for the show. She leaves him for a rock star, he follows her to Hawaii.

MARTIN: But he doesn't know she's going to be there, right? It's not.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: No. Yeah, he...

MARTIN: Oh, he doesn't.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: He knows that she's going, but he ends up accidentally at the same resort that she and her rock star boyfriend are staying at.

MARTIN: OK. Oops. We've got a little clip. Let's listen. This - Segel, that girl from "That '70s Show," Sarah Marshall, and her new beau are talking about Sarah's last movie, which was a bomb.

(Soundbite of movie "Forgetting Sarah Marshall")

Ms. MILA KUNIS: (As Rachel Jansen) Wait, so when's the movie coming out?

Ms. KRISTEN BELL: (As Sarah Marshall) Mm, it came out.

Ms. KUNIS: (As Rachel Jansen) Did you like it?

Ms. BELL: (As Sarah Marshall) The movie?

Ms. KUNIS: (As Rachel Jansen) Yeah.

Ms. BELL: (As Sarah Marshall) It was...

Mr. JASON SEGEL: (As Peter Bretter) Awful bloody film. I say it's just ridiculous premise. Oh, what would happen if your mobile phone killed you?

Mr. RUSSEL BRAND: (As Aldous Snow) Russell Brand Why would a mobile phone kill anyone? It doesn't make sense. How can a mobile phone have an agenda and kill people?

Mr. SEGEL: (As Peter Bretter) I told her that when she read the script.

Mr. BRAND: (As Aldous Snow) Yeah. You're the voice of reason, mate.

Mr. SEGEL: (As Peter Bretter) I try to be, but she didn't listen.

Mr. BRAND: (As Aldous Snow) Kind of (unintelligible), mobile phone like during murder.

STEWART: OK. So, the rock star is like this long-haired, gnarly, self-involved guy, right?

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Yeah. Sleazy, British, rock star guy. And he's really awesome because everyone in this movie somehow manages to not have his heart in edge as you would think they do. Like, even the guy who's the skeezy British rock star, like, he's kind of nice.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. HOLLOWAY: At one point, him and Segel have this scene on surfboards, where Segel's, like, yelling at him. He's like, stop being nice to me! I want to punch you!

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: OK. Let's move along to "Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden." This is a Morgan Spurlock movie.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: If we have to.

STEWART: I mean, what's the plot line here? He and his wife are apparently having a baby, which then triggers in him some deep-seated need to find Osama?

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Yeah. That's about it.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTIN: Awesome.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: A friend of mine saw it. I actually didn't see this until yesterday. And a friend of mine saw this at Sundance, who writes for the New York Sun. And I remember her talking to me about it. And now, I can't describe the movie without using the voice that she used to describe the movie, which was like, "I'm Morgan Spurlock! And I'm having a baby. And the world's really crazy and weird, and I gotta make it safe for my baby. What am I going to do? I'm going to go find Osama Bin Laden!" And that's basically the premise of the movie, right there. Yeah. He's going off, you know, if opens with three animated sequences. The first is that, I'm going to go find Osama Bin Laden. The second is Osama Bin Laden dancing to "U Can't Touch This", which is not funny. And the third is Osama Bin Lagen - Bin Lager.

(Soundbite of laughter) ..TEXT: Mr. HOLLOWAY: Bin Laden, and Morgan Spurlock fighting in a video game.

MARTIN: Uh huh.

STEWART: All right, there. You painted the picture well.

MARTIN: We have a little scene. We might as well play it. Let's listen to this.

(Soundbite of movie "Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden")

Mr. MORGAN SPURLOCK: Osama Bin Laden says that one of the top reasons for the creation of al-Qaeda and attacks against the West is the existence of Israel, America's support of her, and the treatment of Palestinian people. Osama cares about the Palestinians so much, I wanted to see if the feeling was mutual. And if it is, I'm sure someone here can help me narrow in on him.

I was wondering if maybe you could help me out. I'm looking for Osama Bin Laden.

Unidentified Man: (Arabic spoken)

Mr. SPURLOCK: Not here in Ramallah?

Unidentified Man: No.

Mr. SPURLOCK: No.

Unidentified Man: They hate Osama Bin Laden here.

Mr. SPURLOCK: Palestinians?

Unidentified Man: Palestinians. Yeah. And, you know...

Mr. SPURLOCK: Why do they hate him?

Unidentified Man: Because he likes a blood.

MARTIN: Let's just fade that right down.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Yeah.

STEWART: Now I know, Daniel, we were at Sundance. And you could not swing a dead cat without hitting Morgan Spurlock. He was hanging out on every street corner, waiting for an interview opportunity. And maybe now we know why.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Yeah. I - it's - man, it's pretty rough.

MARTIN: OK. Let's just move beyond that. Let's move to my friend, Al Pacino. Well, not really my friend, but I just like him. And I'm so sad that you hate this movie. It's called "88 Minutes".

STEWART: At least it's short!

MARTIN: Yeah. My favorite line from your write-up about this movie is, you can see everything coming from a mile away, and what you see ain't pretty.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTIN: Let's get to the big question, though. How long is the movie?

Mr. HOLLOWAY: A 105 minutes long.

STEWART: It's not 88 minutes?

Mr. HOLLOWAY: No. Seventeen excruciating minutes that we don't need.

(Soundbite of laughter) ..TEXT: Mr. HOLLOWAY: They don't need to be there. If you tell me the movie is called "88 Minutes," I want it to be 88 minutes long.

STEWART: Oh my gosh. I've never seen Daniel get this wild.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: How - like, after you're five minutes in the movie, you're like, I wish the movie was called "43 Minutes," because I can't handle this.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: OK. What is so bad?

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Well, OK. Well, first of all, Al Pacino.

STEWART: He doesn't know where to start.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: I don't know where to start. Al Pacino's been phoning it in since, like, 1997. I - you know, he's just not.

MARTIN: He's playing caricatures of himself.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Yeah. He's playing a caricature of himself. He stopped trying. You know, he used to be a really great actor. In this movie, he's doing - you know, he gets a phone call that tells him he has 88 minutes to live. And he's surrounded by a bunch of hot, 23-year-old men and women. And they're all suspects. They all could be the ones who call him, and, you know, eventually you find out who calls him. And that's the end of the movie.

MARTIN: Just for the heck of it, let's play a little of the trailer.

(Soundbite of movie "?? Minutes")

Mr. AL PACINO: (As Dr. John Gramm) What's going on here?

Mr. CHRISTOPHER REDMAN: (As Jeremy Guber) Do you know a woman named Dale Morris?

Mr. PACINO: (As Dr. John Gramm) Yes.

Mr. REDMAN: (As Jeremy Guber) How?

Mr. PACINO: (As Dr. John Gramm) She's a student of mine.

Mr. REDMAN: (As Jeremy Guber) She's just a student of yours?

Mr. PACINO: (As Dr. John Gramm) About a year ago, her father died. She was very troubled. I treated her as a psychiatrist. I don't sleep with my students, Mr. Guber. Nor do I sleep with my patients.

Mr. REDMAN: (As Jeremy Guber) Jack, Dale Morris was murdered last night.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Dum, dum dum dum.

STEWART: So, so x-nay on that one, apparently. Let's move on to the Uma Thurman movie, "The Life Before Her Eyes." This is starring Uma Thurman. It's coming out a week - the week of the one-year anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings. It's about how this woman is affected by witnessing some violence in a school. Right?

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Yeah.

STEWART: Does it work in, kind of, sensitively addressing that issue?

Mr. HOLLOWAY: No. I think it sanitizes it in a very strange way. While there is certainly blood in the film, the screen blood - you need a little more than screen blood to make violence feel real in a movie. And what this movie lacks is any sense of time or place that makes these characters feel real. Also, the dialogue is kind of pat and just altogether bad. So...

MARTIN: Rachel Evan Wood, isn't she - doesn't she do anything interesting?

Mr. HOLLOWAY: She's cute. She's - the director has a creepy fetish with shooting her in a red bikini diving into a pool, over and over again, which is weird. And you're supposed to believe that she grows up to be Uma Thurman, which doesn't really work when Uma Thurman's like a foot taller than she is.

MARTIN: What out of these should I go see this weekend?

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Definitely go see "Sarah Marshall."

MARTIN: OK.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: And don't go see anything else, for God's sake. Just, you know, send me your 10 dollars, and I'll call you and talk to you on the phone and tell you jokes and stuff.

MARTIN: And that'll be a better use for the money. It is. You're a funny guy, Daniel.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Thanks, guys.

MARTIN: Thanks for coming in. Daniel Holloway, film critic for Metro papers.

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