Daniel Sloss: Really …?! (Special Guest: Kai Humphries)

I want to do something new today and talk about Daniel Sloss and “Really …?!”, his latest program together with his opening act and roommate Kai Humphries. I was lucky enough to be able to go to his sold out live performance in Vienna with a group of friends last Monday night. I laughed so much, I thought I would share my experience with you guys!

standup

Now, I wasn’t sure how to start this. On the one hand, I don’t want to give anything away, because duh! Where would be the fun in that? You need to experience this live if possible, because that is just the best way to see a stand up program. But on the other hand, I have to tell you something or this whole post is pointless. So, prepare for a lot of fangirling! One thing is for sure, they both did an amazing job at keeping everyone laughing through more than 2 hours and I will make sure to see their next performance when they return in the upcoming year.

Kai Humphries

Whereas I had seen a couple a lot of Daniel Sloss videos online, Kai Humphries was rather new to me. I didn’t know what to expect, but whatever I had imagined, Kai topped it! He definitely did more than just warm up the crowd for Daniel, since I was sorry to see him leave the stage. I wouldn’t have minded if his act had lasted a little longer (but only if it didn’t take anything away from Daniel either). As a former ginger with a Geordie accent, he becomes instantly likable by joking about himself. After that he followed up with adorable talk about his girlfriend and a brilliant closing punchline.

Daniel Sloss

Daniel Sloss’ comedy is a bit controversial and he proves that right in the beginning of his act. But I didn’t feel offended. I don’t know who would feel offended (except for Allen Harper, which is a joke you will only get if you were there)? It’s a joy to listen to him ramble on as he often goes on a tangent just to randomly return to the previous point he wanted to make. It very much reminded me of how my brain sometimes works, but he is better at striking the balance between hilarity and making you feel like you also leave with an actual thoughtful message.
As much as we all laughed that night, there was this one moment where he shocked us all. I swear you could have heard a pin drop, that’s how quiet the room had suddenly become. Not many people can come back from something like that and make the audience feel comfortable again, but Daniel Sloss can! He is the kind of person that makes you laugh about things that you normally wouldn’t even consider laughing about, but he made an excellent point by saying the following:

“Laughter is not the opposite of sadness, happiness is. Laughter can be in both and that’s the wonderful thing about it.”

The End

After all that greatness, you sort of don’t expect there to be more, but there was! Daniel and Kai returned to the stage together and told hilarious and embarrassing anecdotes about each other. Then they waited outside the venue area and hugged everyone! Who does that? It was really cool of them. They also took pictures with us and I got a signed poster. Conclusion = awesome night that made my face hurt from laughing so much!

Have you ever seen Daniel Sloss or Kai Humphries perform? What did you think about them?

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Movie Review)

Once again Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a movie where I have actually read the book beforehand, but can’t remember it in much detail. Maybe I should really start reading them closer to the movie release date …

me-and-earl-and-the-dying-girl

Genre: Drama/Comedy
Length: 105 min
Cast: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke, Nick Offerman, Connie Britton, Molly Shannon, Jon Bernthal …
DirectorAlfonso Gomez-Rejon
Writer: Jesse Andrews (for both, the novel and the screenplay)

Greg Gaines tries to survive High School by being on good terms with everyone but friends with no one. He usually spends his time making parody-like remakes of classic movies with his co-worker Earl. That is until his mother forces him to hang out with Rachel, a girl who just got diagnosed with cancer and who will profoundly change his life.

Me and Earl was originally a YA novel and reeked quite some havoc at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, igniting a bidding war for the movie. I have to say it is definitely one of the the better Indie movies out there and after the whole The Fault In Our Stars hype an original and refreshing take on the cancer-topic. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon puts his own spin on the story and makes every scene feel either beautiful, comical or deeply relevant.

I remember not liking Greg very much in the book and maybe he still isn’t the most likable character out there. Greg is just such a freaking liar, most of all to himself I think and that broke my heart. However, this time around I just felt so much more with him. And with Rachel as well. And also with Earl. I really have to say that all three (Mann, Cyler and Cooke) did a brilliant job with their respective characters. The adults were also cast very well, but they are just not the focus of the story.

I like that Me and Earl wasn’t pretentious or over the top. It had a beautiful cinematography, but often in the most simple ways. I can tell you that I was just crying by the end – the final message was just brilliant. I hope that this movie will get a bigger audience over time and won’t get stuck in the art-house or indie sector, because it does have commercial potential.

Fazit: I am glad that I’ve watched the movie. It made me feel so much more than the book.

What’s your take on Me and Earl and the Dying Girl? Do you prefer the book or the movie or like them both equally?

Man Up (Movie Review)

As a little surprise I won’t be talking about the new show Rosewood today (which just really isn’t worth talking about, everything interesting got revealed in the first episode). Instead I want to talk about Man Up!

As always some facts up first:

Genre: Romance/Comedy
Length: 88 min
Cast: Lake Bell, Simon Pegg, Olivia Williams, Ophelia Lovibond, Rory Kinnear, Stephen Campbell Moore, …
Director: Ben Palmer
Writer: Tess Morris

Nancy (Lake Bell) is a cynic and despite her sister’s encouragement just doesn’t really put herself out there into the dating world. However, fate intervenes and she gets mistaken for someone’s blind date. Instantly hitting it off with Jack (Simon Pegg), she decides to play along. Obviously this can’t go on forever.

I just love everything that has Simon Pegg in it, because I can’t help but smile every time I see him, so he was also the reason I checked out this movie. I do not regret it! Lake Bell and Simon Pegg play off each other perfectly. A lot of the time it comes down to the leads and their chemistry and this time it was fizzy and weird yet so delightfully good. Unlike in many other Romantic Comedies these days the romance doesn’t feel thrown into your face or unrealistic – it develops and therefore feels a lot more genuine. Also, it’s just really funny and clever – not simply a cheesy flick. In addition to that the story seems original, because I definitely haven’t heard of stealing someone’s blind date before.

There maybe were a few elements I could have done without, like Sean – Rory Kinnear‘s character. The ending looses a bit of the smart wittiness, but remains cute. Who wouldn’t want a happy ending after all? Ultimately, this was so much fun to watch and it is truly a feel-good movie.

Fazit: Honestly one of the best British Rom-Com’s of the year!

This was rather short and sweet. What do you think? Would you watch Man Up?

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Movie Review

I’ve never seen the TV series from back in the day, but I can tell you I thoroughly enjoyed the movie The Man from U.N.C.L.E.! The review is spoiler-free, but I can’t promise the same about the comments!

Genre: Action/Adventure/Comedy

Length: 116  minutes

Cast: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, Hugh Grant, Luca Calvani, Jared Harris, …

Director: Guy Ritchie

So, the movie is placed in the year 1963 and is about an American agent, Solo, and a Russian agent, Illya, who have to work together to protect a German mechanic who’s father is on the brink of developing a nuclear bomb. Sounds confusing, but isn’t really if you watch it. Loyalties will be tested and there may be some unforeseen twists (although they are not completely surprising if you watch closely).

I should probably start by saying that I like Guy Ritchie‘s movies. His style, although it may be a bit too much at times (I am looking at you shaky-camera-scenes!), is just so fitting for the setting and cool to watch. It includes a lot of split-screens, genius angles and shots seen through mirrors, perfect costumes and a very fun soundtrack. Nonetheless, I went in to The Man from U.N.C.L.E. with fairly low expectations, being pleasantly surprised within the first couple of minutes of the movie.

At the beginning my friend and I were the only ones laughing, but we honestly didn’t care – to us the movie was hilarious. Then after a while, and I don’t know if it was because of our loud giggles or really just because of the movie, the rest of the audience joined in and by the end everyone was laughing together. I seriously did not expect the movie to be so hilarious, but the main trio consisting of Cavill, Hammer and Vikander is just too good. Those three really made the movie what it was and I would be more than happy to see them working together in several sequels (which this movie definitely set up) or a continuation of the story in TV format (although that is more than just unlikely and not planned whatsoever – just my dream …). It is no secret that I am a huge Alicia Vikander fan and love her in everything she does from Ex_Machina to Testament of Youth, but seeing her in a more playful and lighter role made me love her even more. Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill really did a great job with their accents and were genius as a duo (but I still like them better with Vikander in the mix as well)!

If there was one thing I had to complain about, it’s the German in the movie. There were a couple of actors who were actually German (like Gaby’s father and uncle) and they were of course fine, but Cavill butchered the language and Vikander was difficult to understand as well. Also, Vikander did not have a German accent when she was speaking English, I don’t know what kind of accent it was, but definitely not German. But that is beside the point. Even if they had no idea what they were saying, couldn’t they at least have had a vocal coach teach them how to pronounce it? I guess I am being too demanding here, but it would have been even cooler (but maybe less funny) if they did it the right way.

Fazit: If you want to watch something fun and entertaining, yet still action-packed, I’d recommend it!!!

Lust for Love Review

I feel like writing today, so here’s my recommendation #2 for Valentine’s Day: Lust for Love! Again, beware of Spoilers ahead!

Here the basic facts:

Genre: Romance/Comedy

Length: 85  minutes

Cast: Fran Kranz, Dichen Lachman, Beau Garrett, Caitlin Stasey, Enver Gjokaj, Karim Saleh, Miracle Laurie, Felicia Day, Jonathan Oldham, Maurissa Tancheroen …

Director/Writer: Anton King

Astor has dreamed to be with Mila his whole life. So, when they finally get together, he’s the happiest man on the planet. Too bad Mila doesn’t feel the same way and breaks up with him before the relationship really started. To win her back, Astor seeks the help of Cali, Mila’s former best friend, who’s supposed to make him a real player with women. Things get complicated when feelings don’t just evolve for Mila but Cali as well and Astor has to choose who he really wants to be with.

Let me start by saying that I adore this movie – there is literally nothing I don’t love about it! (Except maybe for the fact that it was too short and I could have watched it all day long!)

  • I love the cast, because it feels like a long overdue reunion of one of my favourite shows on the planet: Dollhouse. For everyone who knows the show, you’ll understand this: It’s like Topher got a day off to play with the dolls and he decided to let everyone fall in love with him. That alone should get you to want to watch it! But everyone on the movie is just amazing – I mean the minor characters were casted with real stars like Felicia Day or Caitlin Stasey (Reign) to name just a few.
  • It is one of the rare cases where the music from the Trailer was actually used during the movie and I love that as well.
  • The story is sweet and hilarious and cool at the same time and just strikes the right balance for me. You root for Astor the entire time, because he’s just so relatable that you ship him with everyone he meets. I personally would have even liked to see him with Miracle Laurie‘s character Jenny, just because she seemed to be genuinely interested in him and that even though she wasn’t even part of the main cast.
  • Last but not least, it’s just one of those movies that’s really beautiful to watch.

So, after Not Another Happy Ending this is my other go-to-movie for Valentine’s Day! Enjoy it and tell me what you think!

Not Another Happy Ending Review

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! To celebrate this day of love, I am going to review the Scottish romantic comedy Not Another Happy Ending! I am afraid I can’t do this entirely without Spoilers, so beware!

Let’s start with the facts (as always):

Genre: Romance/Comedy

Length: 102  minutes

Cast: Karen Gillan, Stanley Weber, Iain De Caestecker, Henry Ian Cusick, Gary Lewis, Freya Mavor, Amy Manson, Kate Dickie …

Director: John McKay

Writer: David Solomons

Jane Lockhart is Tom’s only bestselling author and he can’t wait for her new book to be ready for publishing. But there’s one problem: Jane is blocked. Distracted by her successful screenwriter-boyfriend, who is currently adapting her first story for the big screen, and the pressure to write another hit-novel she rather bakes instead of write. Yet Tom knows exactly what to do. There’s one thing he’s sure of and that’s the fact that Jane can only write when she’s miserable, so he tries to ruin her life in order to help her. Of course that’s a plan destined to fail and it only gets worse after he starts developing real feelings for her. Emotional chaos on both sides is the result.

There were several reasons I wanted to see this movie. First, I am a sucker for RomCom’s (big news there, I know), but the even more prominent reason was the cast. I love Karen Gillan because of Doctor Who, Iain De Caestecker because of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Henry Ian Cusick because of more than just the 100 – that movie was like a feast for the TV show-loving side of my brain with several worlds colliding. I hadn’t heard much about Stanley Weber before the movie (probably because he’s in a lot of French movies and I haven’t seen any them except for French Women/Sous les jupes des filles), but he also proved to be a good choice for the role of Tom and worth looking out for.

Generally, I really enjoyed the movie. It offered exactly what it advertised and that is light entertainment. Granted sometimes the humour was a tad too silly for me, but it was quirky and hilarious nonetheless. The music is great as well and I really can’t say much more. Of course it’s predictable, but who watches a RomCom for their plot twists? The main cast knows how to hold themselves and is supported by great side characters. If you are looking for a nice movie for Valentine’s Day this is my recommendation!

What do you think?

Let’s Be Cops! Review

A couple of days ago, I had the chance to watch an early screening for “Let’s Be Cops“. I know that it’s already out in the USA, but it probably won’t get released until January or so where I live, therefore I was extremely happy to get a chance to see it this early on. Nonetheless, I thought I’d make this a spoiler-free review, just in case you haven’t watched it yet.

The trailer should make it pretty obvious what this movie is about: Two guys dress up as cops for a costume party, but then get mistaken for real police men. But those guys take impersonating a cop to a whole new level – they buy a police car from ebay and they start their own investigative work. There’s actually a lot that you don’t see in the trailer, for example the fact that they get into a lot of trouble with a dangerous criminal early on in the story. Nina Dobrev‘s character is involved in that as well, but still can’t be upgraded to an essential character for the storyline in my opinion. The entire time I was watching the movie, I was just thinking of how illegal all of it is and that they simply can’t get out of this without some sort of serious consequences … but they did. I mentioned this would be spoiler-free, so I’m not going to say more, but I felt like it was essential for the review to clarify that not everything or in fact very little makes sense in this movie.

I’ve already seen the trailer a while back and thought the movie looked pretty funny, but I was a little concerned that they might have used all the laugh-worthy stuff for the promo already and that the movie wouldn’t be as great or funny. But that was definitely not the case – it’s like they took Nick and Coach from New Girl and just gave them their own bro-movie, which was hilarious to witness. Sometimes they’ve tried a little too hard to be funny, but all in all I sat there laughing – a lot! It’s just one of those movies where you cannot expect some sort of high-end humour, you have to realise that it’s going to be pretty stupid a lot of the time and then just roll with it. In my opinion it’s a less successful version of 21 and 22 Jump Street.

In the end, it very much depends on your sort of humour if you like the movie or not. I enjoyed it, but I watch about every movie or show that Jake Johnson stars in (if you like Indie Movies, I can only recommend Safety Not Guaranteed and The Pretty One!). The music was chosen brilliantly a lot of the time and the action scenes didn’t come short either.

Finally, just some hard facts about the movie to close this review:

Genre: Comedy/ Cop-Buddy Movie

Length: 104  minutes

Cast: Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr., Rob Riggle, Nina Dobrev, James D’Arcy, Andy Garcia, Keegan-Michael Key, Jonathan Lajoie, …

Director: Luke Greenfield

Do you think you’ll watch the movie? Or is it just another useless American comedy?