Category Archives: mike white

HBO Digitals

I love HBO Go, absolutely love it. Since I installed it in my iPhone, I have watched the entire runs of “Big Love,” “Deadwood,” and “Oz,” all awesome television in their own right. Recently, while exploring HBO Go, I found a section hidden off in the Comedy category called HBO Digitals. These are mini-shows, could-have-beens I guess. There are four, and they are really something special. I would almost want to watch these mini-series than some of the real stuff that does make it to ‘real’ TV.

“Garfunkel and Oates”

If you’ve seen this terrific musical comedy duo, you know what to expect. I love them. They are sly and funny, and even better in their own three to five minute mini-episodes. The episodes are more or less frameworks for their songs, but still, damn funny. Oh, and sooo not work or family safe.


“The Boring Life of Jacqueline”

The opening episode is a test in cringe – how long will you hold out? Yes, when they say boring, they mean boooring. It is almost like a dare gone too far, or a staring contest. If you get past the first episode, it’s worth it. The show does kick in eventually and becomes a rather disturbing picture of a lonely but pitiful, and suicidal sociopath. Jaclyn Jonet plays an out of work actress obsessed with the building maintenance man. Don’t let the description or first episode scare you off, this is wonderful and subtle brilliance from Mike White, and deserves a spot on HBO’s regular line-up.

“Brody Stevens: Enjoy It”

This one is about BS, a comedian, manic depressive, compulsive Twitterer, performance artist, stalker, baseball player, and god knows what else. You might know him from “Chelsea Lately,” or the Hangover movies. I don’t really know what this program is about, besides Brody Stevens wrecking his life, even after a half-dozen episodes, and I like that about it. He’s abrasive, specializes again in cringe humor, has animation, and always surprises. Co-produced, co-written, and co-starring Zach Galifianakis. It’s fun, not for everyone, but fun.

“Single Long”

At first this seemed like a failed hipster/slacker sitcom about a dating site, but eventually it turns into a sweet love story between two reluctant friends. Like “Jacqueline,” it takes a while to kick in, but it’s well worth it. The show is fully saved by the charisma of spunky Sarra Jahedi. I just can’t get enough of her. All great finds on the iPhone with HBO Go.

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One for the Dogs

Year of the Dog ~ Writer/director Mike White runs hot and cold for me. While I kinda liked his School of Rock (probably more for Jack Black who was in his prime at the time), I absolutely hated his The Good Girl. The latter even put me off of Jennifer Aniston for a while. Even when White was on “The Amazing Race” with his dad I was rooting more for his dad than him. Hmmm, I guess I don’t even like him as a person. I guess that’s why I approached his Year of the Dog with trepidation.

We’re not starting off a good foot at all this time as I also dislike Molly Shannon, the film’s star. I thought her armpit-sniffing Superstar girl was one of the lowlights in SNL history, and she’s done little since to change my mind about her talent, or lack thereof. This flick does little to change my mind about Shannon or White.

What begins as a quirky drama about a socially inept woman coping with the loss of a pet becomes a long boring study of a mentally unstable woman obsessed with helping animals. If White wanted to give the SPCA and PETA a bad name, he succeeds. What could be heartwarming light comedy is ultimately more Good Girl than School of Rock. Don’t waste your time, Marley and Me this is sooo not.

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The Good Girl

MIKE WHITE IS A GENIUS

A Film Review of The Good Girl

Copyright 2002 Glenn Walker

Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly says “A comedy of winning delicacy and heart.” Andrew Johnston of Us Weekly says “A fantastic performance from Jennifer Anniston with range and depth.” Peter Travers of Rolling Stone says “Sly, comic and touching.” All I want to know is… WHAT MOVIE DID THEY SEE????

All I have to say is screenwriter Mike White is a genius. He managed to screw me out of eight dollars, get me into a theatre playing a Jennifer Anniston movie and make me sit there for 93 agonizing minutes. This is easily the worst movie I have seen this year. It almost makes Star Wars: Episode One: The Phantom Menace palatable. Ten minutes in I was screaming “Good God, will it ever end?!”

The multi-talented (Can you smell what the Rock is cooking? Yes! That’s right, it’s sarcasm!) Jennifer Anniston plays a white trash retail cashier who cheats on her no good pothead husband (John C. Reilly of Gangs of New York and The Perfect Storm) with a sociopathic young writer (Jake Gyllenhaal of Donnie Darko and the equally brilliant Bubble Boy) who also works with her.

Jennifer Anniston’s idea of depth is staring off into space for moments at a time. Who said being married to Brad Pitt hasn’t taught her anything about acting. I would say Jake Gyllenhaal was good if he didn’t play the same character in every movie he’s in. The one or two actual funny lines that Zooey Deschanel utters over the store loudspeakers are not worth the hell of sitting through this piece of crap but she has the charisma to maybe make something of herself.

Toward the end of this merciless marathon I prayed for someone to come out of the darkness with an axe a la Catherine Breillat’s Fat Girl and kill them all. Probably the only good thing about this experience was that I didn’t have to sit through previews of Blue Crush and Swimfan. Now, wait a minute… that might have been an improvement. Rating: *

***** Must see

**** Worth seeing

*** So you have eight dollars you want to throw away…

** Is Adam Sandler in this mess?

* A bullet would be quicker.

The above previously published at Project: Popcorn
http://www.whitevioletpictures.com/popcorn