Chasing Amy

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:51 Long
A Review by:
Stu Gotz

Chasing Amy
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Lee, Dwight Ewell, Jason Mewes
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Miramax Films
Release Date: 1997
Kiddie Movie: Way over the heads of anyone not at least in high school and even then it could be a stretch.
Date Movie: Not if there are romantic or sexual complications in your relationship. Trust me on this one!
Gratuitous Sex: Just some heavy smooching between girls.
Gratuitous Violence: Nope.
Action: Not really.
Laughs: I almost pissed myself.
Memorable Scene: I really liked it when Banky was asking a ton of questions about the whole lesbian love thing between Alyssa and her lover. The guy has no shame and a huge set of balls to be posing the questions how he does. Very funny!
Memorable Quote: Too many to list.
Directed By: Kevin Smith

The movie’s premise was simply put to me “it’s a romantic comedy where a geeky cartoonist falls in love with a lesbian.” “Hmmm. . .” I thought, “A romantic comedy with lesbians. Has potential.” Then when I found out who wrote it, well, “Chasing Amy” rose to the top of my “must see” list.

“Chasing Amy” was written a directed by Kevin Smith of “Clerks” fame and “Mallrats” flame (as in disaster). I loved the dime budgeted “Clerks” and actually was one of the few people who didn’t demand an apology from Kevin for “Mallrats.” I think Kevin learned a lot from his poorly received second movie and it shows in this, the third installment of his “Jersey” trilogy. What I think he learned is that he is best at writing witty and sharp dialog between characters and that he doesn’t need big sets, stunts, or good acting to get his point across. Basically, in “Chasing Amy,” Kevin concentrated on what his characters would say and how they would react. When his characters do speak and react it doesn’t come off as being contrived or “Hollywood Cookbook” dialog mishmash. What I’m trying to say is that the movie feels real.

So we know the movie is about a dork falling in love with a dyke and we can all assume there will be turmoil there from, right? Right. But the movie is so much more. I don’t want to over analyze this thing, however, the movie really does do a great job of bringing out romantic and friendship emotional issues in a way that’s not dull and often funny.

Here’s how it breaks down. Holden (Ben Affleck) and Banky (Jason Lee) are life long friends that have found success together as the comic artist team for “Bluntman and Chronic” (which is a loose spoof and interpretation of their old friends Jay and Silent Bob from Jersey). All is going well for the artistic duo until Holden falls for a cartoon artist he meets at a trade show. Alyssa Jones (Joey Adams) is a talented blonde knock-out with a thing for girls. Banky realizes this is a love that cannot be, and tries to save his buddy from heartache, but Holden won’t accept that. He pursues Alyssa nonetheless under the false pretense of friendship. As you might expect things come to a head, Holden bares his soul, Alyssa freaks out, and the two fall in love. HUH?!? I thought she was gay. I guess she, and the movie so quaintly puts it, “just needed some dick.” All is going well until Banky tries to bridge the gap created by Alyssa by digging up some dirt on her, and boy does he find some ugly shit! This shit he finds is so ugly that Holden foolishly thinks he can’t live with it. Remember in “Clerks” how Dante couldn’t deal with the fact that his girlfriend had sucked 36 cocks before his? Well Holden takes that feeling to the 10th power, and there ends the romance and the artistic duo’s friendship too in somewhat of an unexpected confrontational ending (I won’t give it away). So sad.

So what is the lesson we are supposed to learn? Well, aside from the fact that females are evil I think Kevin wants to say that the past is just that and in a relationship look to the future. Ohhh, how sweet. “Chasing Amy” is not a hugely romantic comedy and has some mixed acting, but nonetheless it is a movie I would recommend seeing for its dialog and creative character scenarios. In my mind “Clerks” is still an edgier movie, but “Chasing Amy” is a close second. I liked “Chasing Amy” and I give it 4 out of 5 stars and I’m Stu Gotz. ’nuff said.

Alvin and the Chipmunks

MPAA Rated – PG
It’s 1:31 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Alvin and the Chipmunks
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Jason Lee, David Dross, Cameron Richardson
MPAA Rated: PG
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Kiddie Movie: It’s really for them.
Date Movie: Only if you’re bringing the kids.
Gratuitous Sex: Nope, but some skimpy outfits on the back-up dancers.
Gratuitous Violence: Cartoonish.
Action: Not really.
Laughs: Mostly for the kids.
Memorable Scene: Nothing really.
Memorable Quote: Nothing comes to mind.
Directed By: Tim Hill
Produced By: Ross Bagdasarian Jr., Janice Karman

Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it’s because I’m old, but you would think that with the advances in technology that our beloved Chipmunks, namely Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, would still have the chipmunk voice but you would be able to understand them a little better. Not so. And you would also think that they could write a story a little more creative than the Chipmunks being seduced by a dirty record company executive. Not so. Even so, I didn’t think “Alvin and the Chipmunks” was all that bad.

As I eluded, the story for “Alvin and the Chipmunks” is pretty simple. Alvin, Simon, and Theodore are living in the woods when their pine tree gets chopped down for an office Christmas tree, and the boys come along for the ride. Seeking a life of ease, the boys then stowaway with Dave (Jason Lee), a struggling songwriter who is friends with the evil record dude, Ian (David Cross). Sure, Dave quickly accepts the fact that he has talking Chipmunks, especially when he finds out they can sing, but they are rambunctious creatures, messing up Dave’s pad, but all seems well when the boys have Ian record “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t be Late), and Dave does his best to keep the boys grounded as they enter the rock star world.

But Ian sees an opportunity to exploit the Chipmunks for financial gain, he splits them up from Dave as sleazy record company people do, gives them a life of excess, and works them until they become tabloid fodder.

Can Dave save the heroes from a life of booze, drugs, and cheap women? Of course he can, this is a children’s movie, and he does so just in the nick of time.

And, oh yea, of course the movie has a love story built in for no real reason, namely Dave trying to woo his ex-girlfriend, Claire (Cameron Richardson).

For the kiddies they will probably really like “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” and most of the kids in the theater when I saw it seemed entertained, although they did start to become distracted during the romantic dinner scene. For the adults, it’s not horrible. Jason Lee does a nice job as Dave, keeping him friendly enough in a quirky sort of way, and David Cross is good as the sleazy record dude. The CGI of the Chipmunks themselves is done fairly well, giving each of the boys their own character, but I still can’t believe they are so hard to understand.

There’s nothing special about “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” but it seems okay in a kids kind of way, and of course what would a kid’s movie be without a fart joke. It’s 2 ½ stars out of 5 for “Alvin and the Chipmunks.”

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!