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IndianGiver - Understudies

There’s a difference between being derivative and being inspired by something, a line a lot of artists can’t seem to find — or at least don’t care to.
04/22/2014 | Comments 0

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0
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Jonah Hill and Russell Brand join forces for a near-perfect comedy in 'Get Him to the Greek'


Mike Robertson June 10th, 2010

Sequels usually maintain a certain consistency from their source material. Even if it isn't a direct continuation of the original story, the characters and their places within the fictional universe a...

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Sequels usually maintain a certain consistency from their source material. Even if it isn't a direct continuation of the original story, the characters and their places within the fictional universe are more or less set in stone.

With "Get Him to the Greek," director Nicholas Stoller creates an interesting deviation from the normal sequel template by recycling a character from his earlier movie, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," and recycling two actors from the same, but having one play a different character altogether. While it's a decision that could have been confusing, Stoller manages to keep what he wants from "Marshall" without being weighed down by the attendant baggage that usually comes with creating a follow-up.

The returning character is Aldous Snow (Russell Brand, "Bedtime Stories"), an aging, late-'90s Brit-rock star whose career has diminished after the release of an indulgent "political statement" album called "African Child." Snow has retreated from the world and sobriety, holing up in his London apartment with his mum, assorted lackeys and substances.

Jonah Hill ("How to Train Your Dragon"), who played a waiter in "Marshall," is now cast as Aaron Green, a low-level Los Angeles record company employee. When his boss, Sergio (rapper Sean "P. Diddy" Combs) demands moneymaking ideas from the staff, Aaron suggests staging a 10th-anniversary concert of Snow's famous performance at L.A.'s Greek Theater. Sergio sends Aaron off to jolly old London town to pick up the notoriously spaced-out Snow and bring him back to the States for a TV appearance in New York, then to the West Coast for the concert.

With this fertile premise set up and in motion, it's up to Brand and Hill to play off each other as the wild man and straight man, respectively.

As with any road movie, "Get Him to the Greek"'s success rests on the strength of the gags and the overall energy. The chemistry between Brand and Hill is perfect, which is probably why Stoller broke the sequel rules and brought Hill back in a different role. But the show-stealer is Combs, whose straight-faced madness actually rivals and counterpoints Brand's wide-eyed zaniness. It isn't too much to say that without him, especially in the Las Vegas sequence, "Greek" would have lost about 20 percent of its charm.

That energy begins to flag toward the end as Aldous and Aaron both have to learn lessons about who they are, who they want to be and blah blah blah. While the absurdist closing song somewhat manages to tie the insanity of the film's hedonistic framework to its moral center, there's a certain sentimentality that doesn't quite square.

One gets the impression Stoller shot more story than he had room for, and the end's crowded feeling may indicate difficulty in deciding what to cut and keep. It doesn't ruin the movie by any means, but as the only weakness in an otherwise near-perfect comedy, the mushy psychological stuff is a bit disappointing. "Mike Robertson
 
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