Monday, February 28, 2011

"Hall Pass"

Hall Pass - Directed by Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly, written by Pete Jones, Kevin Barnett, & the Farrellys, starring Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate, and Stephen Merchant - Rated R

Hall Pass is a movie for dudes and in case you hadn't noticed, the Kurgan is a dude.

A little over a decade ago the brothers Farrelly were the kings of the man-child gross-out comedy with hits like Dumb & Dumber, Kingpin, and Me, Myself, & Irene. But they’ve been usurped by the likes of Judd Apatow and Will Ferrell. Not only have newer filmmakers and actors churned out Farrelly-type films, but these films have been much funnier than the efforts from the Farrellys lately (Stuck on You, Fever Pitch, The Heartbreak Kid). With Hall Pass, the brothers attempt to get back in the game and, for the most part, they succeed.

Hall Pass is a comedy about two married guys, Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis), who can’t keep their eyes (and minds) off other women. Eventually, their wives, Maggie (Jenna Fischer) and Grace (Christina Applegate), decide to give them the titular pass, which is a week off from marriage. In other words, they can attempt to hook up with all of these women they ogle. The concept is, of course, ridiculous, but the idea behind it has merit: the fact that many married men think that their wives are the only thing keeping them from getting with any woman they want. This isn’t to say that “Hall Pass” is a serious look at marriage or infidelity or anything. The film does have its few slightly serious moments, but it is first and foremost a comedy.

The movie starts off great because it is a bit of a low key comedy at first. It’s really just about married guys and all the guy talk that comes with the territory. If Hall Pass gets one thing right, it’s the guy talk. The script is realistic enough when it comes to this aspect that many women might hate this film while their male counterparts may absolutely love it. Hall Pass definitely has the propensity to be a wildly divisive movie. The movie does try to appeal to women, though it ends up being rather pointless and the scenes featuring the wives tend to drag and completely lack the comedic effort that scenes with the guys feature.

All of the scenes with Rick and Fred (and a few buddies) work great. It is truly funny to see grown men past their prime attempting to get back into a young man’s world. They are as hilarious as they are pathetic. Whether they’re crapping out at nine o’clock at an Applebee’s or unable to handle their high on a golf course, it’s always amusing.

Unfortunately, their friends abandon them a bit early and it’s left to Rick and Fred. This would have been fine if Jason Sudeikis had been cast as the lead. Owen Wilson lacks the comedic presence to carry the workload of this film. Sudeikis is the force that keeps the movie afloat in the second half. That’s saying something, because it’s in the latter half of the film that gross-out comedy comes to the forefront. Hall Pass succeeds in its dialogue alone, but the Farrellys seemed to want to inject some shock value into the film. Shock doesn’t equal laughs, though. All the big physical comedy (pun intended for those who have seen the film) falls a bit flat and just seems forced. Be warned though, there are attempts to shock you (just be sure to read why it’s rated R before you watch it if you’re worried).

Hall Pass is elevated by a strong supporting cast, though. Stephen Merchant (“The Ricky Gervais Show”) has a small role as one of the pals, but he has one of the funniest scenes in the film, just make sure you stick around for the credits to see it. Farrelly regular Richard Jenkins shows up as an amusing ladies man. And Derek Waters (of "Drunk History" fame) is funny as a spurned barista.

One thing that is kind of arbitrary but annoying nonetheless about Hall Pass is the use of the title. It’s usually a cheesy, but sometimes necessary movie trope to say the title in the film. That’s okay, but this film goes overboard with it. It got old hearing this exchange of dialogue: “I got a hall pass!” “A what?” Seriously, that exchange happens at least five times in the first half hour. It may be unavoidable, but it was still annoying.

Hall Pass has its weaknesses but it hits far more often than it misses and you’ll likely be laughing throughout…depending on your gender. It isn’t a true return to form for the Farrellys but it is certainly a step in the right direction. Here’s hoping they keep walking that way.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Academy vs. Rotten Tomatoes vs. Revisionist Reviews

I started researching this article in the hopes of finding a relatively recent Best Picture winner that was certified rotten (less than 60% positive reviews) on Rotten Tomatoes (RT). Unfortunately, no winners since 1970 (I wanted to keep this reasonable, so I started just forty years back) turned out rotten, though a few came close. So I had to move on to the next best concept: have the winners ever been the best reviewed films of the year? But that led to other topics, such as the practice of reviewing a movie years after it was released. All of this led me to ponder the purpose of the Academy in all this and if there is a through line for this article, then that is it.

Looking at the reviews of Best Picture winners compared to the losers is tough, if only because it would be too exhausting to search for nearly every movie’s rating from the past forty years. So yes, there are probably plenty of extra examples that I will be leaving out. But I felt that I did a decent enough job with the films I looked into. This is meant to be an article, not a list, so I’m not going to post a comprehensive list of my search results. Instead, I just want to mention some of my findings.

Let’s deal with perfection first. The Godfather is the only film of the past forty years to win Best Picture and get a 100% on RT. It is not, however, the only film to get a 100%. Aliens, Toy Story, and Toy Story 2 all received 100% but did not win Best Picture.

The idea that a movie can be “perfect,” though, is ridiculous in itself. Films are subjective and a fresh rating on RT doesn’t necessarily mean a movie is good. So why even write this? Well, I have noticed that some film journalists will refer to the RT score of a movie and decide they can probably skip it if it’s rotten. Many people see RT as a way of confirming how good a movie is. The very way critics turn in reviews to RT is too simplistic, though. As a “critic” myself (my reviews are not on RT…yet) I decided to develop my own rating system (see left sidebar) because I couldn’t just give a movie a letter grade or stars, much less just say it is good or bad (or fresh or rotten). I am not in the thumbs up or thumbs down school of film criticism.

All that acknowledged, I do tend to check out RT before any other site to see how a film is doing. I make a point to never read a review of a film before I write my own…but I will check its RT score before I write it. More often than not, my feelings mirror those of the RT contributors as a whole. That’s enough for me to view RT as a site worthy of comparing the Academy’s choices to. I suppose some people might argue that Metacritic would be the better choice for comparison, but I disagree for two reasons. First, I don’t use Metacritic. Second, someone already wrote that article and it was filled with graphs and mathematical equations which I don’t even want to begin to try to understand (the article, by Michael Wallace for, can be located here). So I’m sticking with RT.

During my research I discovered another problem: revisionist reviews. Looking over reviews for Blade Runner, I noticed that one critic found the film to be “overrated.” No way was that review written in 1982. There are plenty of examples of this. (I just hope I never come across a review of The Matrix that decries its clichéd use of bullet-time.) The worst reviewed Best Picture winner, Out of Africa sneaking by with a 63%, features reviews that ring of jaded critics who had seen plenty of epic romances over the years and couldn’t stomach this lengthy film from 1985. Times, and taste, change. This means it is a bit unfair to compare the Academy from forty years ago to today’s critics. But I’m going to do it, anyway, because I don’t want my hour or two of research to go to complete waste.

This idea of revisionist hate bothers me, though. I have read and heard plenty of people bash Braveheart, Gladiator, and American Beauty (among others) lately. Some critics treat it as a foregone conclusion that those films didn’t really deserve Best Picture that year. The Usual Suspects scored an 87%, which bests Braveheart’s 77%. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon had a 97% to Gladiator’s 78%. And The Insider is above American Beauty 96% to 89%. Does that mean any of these films deserved the Oscar more than the actual winners? It’s all up to personal taste, of course, but the point is that better reviews don’t guarantee Best Picture Oscars.

It could be that hindsight is 20/20 and the voters of the time just didn’t realize which films would have the most lasting effect. (For example, even if you didn’t care for Gangs of New York, it wouldn’t be ridiculous to claim that that film deserves a second look more than that year’s winner, Chicago.) The Academy doesn’t have hindsight, but its choices are made in the moment, for better or worse. It’s interesting to look back and see what types of films were winning in the 1990s (or any decade) and realize that they would have little or no chance of winning if released today. Epics like Gladiator and Braveheart are deemed too action heavy, or too long, or they are accused of “trying too hard” or some other critique the film wasn't receiving upon its original release. Does Rocky win today? How about Unforgiven? Who knows? All that is certain is that these films did win, no matter what we think of them now.

So what has been the point of this rambling discourse on RT and reviewing movies after the fact? I’m not even sure. I can think of a dozen points but none of them fit perfectly with the information I looked up. I could stress that revisionist reviews are just plain wrong and unfair in the grand scheme of things. I am a firm believer in the idea that a movie should be judged with almost no outside information influencing the critic’s opinion. That means ignoring other reviews and ignoring the feedback at large before writing the review. How is it fair to judge Blade Runner in 2011? I dabbled in reviewing older films my first year or so on this site and decided to stop. I just couldn’t write very much about them or even offer anything relevant about them, so I’ve stuck with new releases.

Obviously the Academy is sticking with new releases as well, but they aren’t really choosing the Best Picture of the year. They are choosing an idea of what the Best Picture of the moment is. Sometimes they are wrong (many would argue that they are often wrong), but their choice always says something about taste in movies for that time in history. It turns out that my research into all of the scores of the past forty Oscar winners was kind of pointless, but looking at other films’ reviews compared to past Oscar winners is kind of pointless anyway, especially when it turns out that Pixar films should have won each year because they are always the best reviewed. (For the record, Toy Story 3 is the best reviewed nominee this year at 99% and Inception is the worst reviewed at 86%.)

Film reviews in general will always be subjective no matter what theory or school of criticism is being applied. There are no right or wrong answers in movie reviews, only opinions. The Academy is no different (though one would argue that politics play a bigger factor in their opinions). You will either agree or disagree with the Academy this year, but you’ll look back on this year’s winner and remember that, “Yes, a movie like that could win back in 2011. But it wouldn’t stand a chance in 2021.”

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Unknown - Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, written by Oliver Butcher & Stephen Cornwell, based on the novel by Didier Van Cauwelaert, starring Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, and Bruno Ganz - Rated PG-13

This movie isn't isn't's just there.

is a completely average psychological thriller that is not likely to stick around in anyone’s memory, but it is passable entertainment for a matinee. The previews for the film try to sell Unknown as a Taken sequel, but fans of that film will be disappointed. (For the record, I’ve never understood the popularity of Taken, which I found to be an average action film at best.) Unknown does feature a lead performance from Liam Neeson, however, and that counts for something.

Neeson plays Martin Harris, a doctor visiting Berlin to take part in a symposium on plants and crop engineering. Before he can make it there he is involved in a car wreck that leaves him in a coma. When Martin wakes up, he finds that his wife (January Jones) doesn’t seem to remember him and another man is claiming to be Martin Harris. This sets up the central conflict of the film: who is Martin Harris? Needless to say, Neeson spends the entire movie trying to figure that out as he questions those around him and even himself.

The uncertainty of the lead character does allow Unknown it’s only bit of style. Director Jaume Collet-Serra is able to create a real sense of disorientation throughout. It makes the early portions of the film quite effective. Unfortunately, the film devolves into a Bourne Identity wannabe later on with a few frenetic car chases and fight scenes.

Unknown stays slightly afloat thanks to Neeson. He has always had great screen presence and while he’s not doing anything particularly impressive in this unlikely “aged action hero” phase, he is still fun to watch. Diane Kruger makes for a decent unlikely accomplice, but it is Bruno Ganz who enlivens the film with an eccentric performance as a relic of the Cold War. Frank Langella also makes an appearance later on, but is not given much to do. The weakest part of the cast is Jones. She may be perfectly suited in her role on “Mad Men” but she is completely out of place in a film like this. At no point is she truly believable and at times her acting is poor enough to be distracting.

This is mainly a film about the mystery and as far as that goes, it does keep you guessing. Well, maybe not guessing, but the film does remain interesting throughout. There may be a few things left slightly open, but a close viewing will show that everything does get tied up, even if there are some questions that would lead to some plot holes. Unknown isn’t meant to be closely inspected, though.

As an action film, however, Unknown fails quite miserably and it is even boring at times. Neeson’s investigation is a slow, uninteresting process for the most part and the stakes of the film are revealed a bit too late. Until you’re aware of what is going on, it’s hard to care about this mystery.

There’s not much else to say about Unknown, and that might be the most telling aspect of the film. Plus, it’s hard to discuss some of the film’s larger faults without spoiling it. There’s just not much here. It’ll pass a couple hours and you might enjoy a bit of that time, but you probably won’t remember it for very long.

Random Thoughts (SPOILERS)

This movie is similar to plenty of other thrillers about mistaken identity and/or memory loss, but what stuck out to me were the similarities to Total Recall. Except that film was left a bit more open to argument. This movie is problematic in that Neeson regains his memory, but doesn’t regain his personality. That didn’t make sense to me. So he remembers that he was once a cold-blooded assassin, but doesn’t remember why? He just decided to be good? That needed a bit more development, in my opinion. It would’ve been interesting to at least see a struggle within when he realized who he once was, rather than just an instant condemnation of his past actions and an immediate chance for salvation. Oh, and what a punishment, he trades in January Jones for Diane Kruger. And why is Kruger okay with running off with a killer? Sure, he’s fine now, but is it not crossing her mind that he might revert back or that maybe he’s actually lying about everything?

Jones may have been terrible, but at least she gets blown up.

Why didn’t the replacement Harris just pull Neeson to the side and explain what had happened? Why did they mess with him? Why wasn’t he taken out immediately? Why was such a bumbling assassin sent after him? I know, I know, if these issues were dealt with then the movie would have only been thirty minutes long, but some of these questions could have been addressed.

And Neeson is all about saving…corn? I didn’t care for Taken all that much, but “Give me back my daughter!” is a bit more compelling than “Give me back that genetically altered strain of super-corn!”

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Just Go with It"

Just Go with It - Directed by Dennis Dugan, written by Allan Loeb and Timothy Dowling, based on "Cactus Flower" by I.A.L. Diamond, starring Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Brooklyn Decker, Nick Swardson, and Nicole Kidman - Rated PG-13

Not bad, the Kurgan laughed enough to give it his blessing.

Just Go with It is Adam Sandler’s latest comedy about a lifelong bachelor, Danny, who wears a fake wedding ring to pick up young women (the film is a remake of 1969’s Cactus Flower). Things go smoothly for Danny until he makes a connection with Palmer (Brooklyn Decker). Danny has to make up a reason why he has a wedding ring if he wants to stay with Palmer, so he starts lying to her on a massive scale because all meaningful relationships are built on lies apparently. Danny, who is a very rich plastic surgeon, drags his receptionist/assistant Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) into the mix along with her two children. Of course, the lies get more and more complicated and hilarity ensues.

Well, some hilarity ensues. Just Go with It is harmless in its humor and it is a nice enough and forgettable comedy. The small touches of humor work well, like a note Sandler leaves a conquest thanking her for not beating him like his wife does. The more subdued humor that occurs in conversations in the film works best, while the bigger, louder attempts tend to fall flat. There are just too many crotch hits and Sandler’s goofy voice bit is wearing extremely thin.

The film is saved by its characters. Initially, it could be easy to hate Danny. He’s so well off he can just throw obscene amounts of money away without worry. He’s a habitual liar. He seems to mistreat people around him for his own amusement. But somehow Danny’s still likable. Perhaps it’s the people surrounding him, but by the end of the film it is very easy to root for all involved. If Just Go with It had been a heartless comedy it would have failed miserably. Thanks to the heart of the film, it survives as a passable, enjoyable comedy.

There are still problems with the film. First off, it’s about twenty minutes too long. At nearly two hours, the point was driven home far too many times. Not to spoil anything, but that point was a very obvious one. Just watch the trailer for this film then take a wild guess how it’s all going to work out; odds are you are correct. The plastic surgeon stuff was a bit weak as well. Botched plastic surgeries are not exactly fresh ground for comedy. The messed up boob jobs and ridiculous giant noses were just childish.

The above issues are only issues if you don’t dig the comedy of the film, so all of the gags might work for you. If you have liked Sandler’s most recent work, like Grown Ups, then you’ll probably like this one. But the other issue with the film isn’t comedy related, its character intelligence related. This may be a comedy about humorous lying, but the lies told in this film are just too stupid and ridiculous for anyone, even a character in a comedy, to believe. On top of that, let’s say Sandler’s plan works and Palmer believes he really has children and an ex-wife, how would he explain these kids away once he has her convinced. Is he just going to have sleepovers with somebody else’s children every other weekend for the next decade to really sell the lie? To be fair, he does say he is going to fake their deaths, but as deceitful as he is, it is doubtful that he would be willing to stage a fake funeral for two children.

Once again, this kind of stuff is forgivable because of the players involved. Sandler and Aniston work very well together and Decker does fine since all that’s required of her is to run around in a bikini (she’s good at that). Nick Swardson is amusing as Danny’s cousin who assumes a part in the lie parade: he’s Katherine’s new German sheep-shipping boyfriend Dolph Lundgren. It’s kind of a stupid character, but it was my kind of stupid.

Nicole Kidman inexplicably shows up in the second half of the film and is quite amusing as Aniston’s nemesis. It was just nice to see her in something light-hearted after last year’s deadly serious Rabbit Hole. The rest of the cast is rounded out by odd cameos. Dave Matthews is amusing as Kidman’s husband. Dan Patrick had a funny scene as a hula dance contest emcee, and Kevin Nealon made one of the sight gags of the film work better than the rest. There are more, but listing cameos kind of ruins the surprise of them. The only issue I really had with the casting was that most of the Sandler regulars (like Allen Covert) were relegated to cameos instead of supporting players.

Just Go with It isn’t going to go down as a comedy classic and plenty of people will flat out hate it, but it is just some harmless fun with a little bit of heart. Some of it may be stupid and absolutely ridiculous, but those problems are easily forgiven thanks to a likable cast that works very well together.

Random Thoughts (Spoilers)

Andy Roddick? Heidi Montag? I just found those cameos completely random. And I thought Roddick was Seann William Scott at first…not a big tennis fan.

Dave Matthews as a gay character is a strange running joke in Sandler movies. (He was a gay guy in I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry.) I wonder what the story is behind that.

The fake sheep was idiotic, but I’m a sucker for obvious fake animals/humans so I loved that scene.

Palmer believes that one of the kids is British? That is ridiculous, and the little girl’s accent was annoying.

After Grown Ups, I think Sandler just makes movies for his own personal enjoyment. Did this film need to be in Hawaii? I have a theory that Sandler just wants to get paid to party on the island.

It’s odd that the climax of the film (Danny leaving Palmer at the altar) isn’t shown, but rather is stated by Sandler. Oddly enough, this element of poor storytelling was refreshing because I didn’t feel like seeing the cheesy scene described by Sandler.

The soundtrack had a lot of Police covers. I would have rather heard actual Police songs, though.

I don’t know any plastic surgeons or anything, but my God, apparently they are multi-millionaires. The amount of money Sandler throws around in this film is sickening.

It is never really explained why there is a connection between Palmer and Danny aside from Danny flat out saying there is one. Not a big problem since it’s a forgettable comedy, but that kind of crap wouldn’t fly at all in a regular movie.

Sigh…oh how I wish Sandler would make a movie that is as funny as his comedy albums.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

"The Rite"

The Rite - Directed by Mikael Håfström, written by Michael Petroni, suggested by the book by Matt Baglio, starring Colin O'Donoghue, Anthony Hopkins, Alice Braga, and Rutger Hauer - Rated PG-13

Why do I have electrical powers? Why are demons so desperate to recruit this boring dude? Why do I care? Oh wait, I don't.

Movies about exorcisms always arouse a bit of interest with their claims of being “based on a true story.” Hopefully, the majority of today’s audience realizes that the “true story” gimmick is just that: a gimmick. That doesn’t mean an exorcism film can’t be effective, though. Unfortunately, an exorcism movie, like The Rite, can be ineffective, boring, and pointless.

The Rite looks like an Anthony Hopkins film if you’ve seen any of the marketing material, but it is not. Hopkins is at most a supporting player behind the vastly weaker Colin O’Donoghue. O’Donoghue plays Michael Kovak, a shell of a young man (and character, for that matter), who decides to enter seminary school just to get out of the family mortuary business. Why is priest or mortician his only two options? The film never really gives a reason why; a character just states it, so it’s accepted…which is kind of ludicrous. Anyway, just as Michael is about to become a priest he decides to come clean and admit it’s not for him. But his father superior (Toby Jones, classing the film up in a couple scenes) blackmails him into going to Rome for exorcism training…once again, for almost no reason at all. The mantra of the film consists of characters telling Michael they “see something in him,” even though it’s highly unlikely that the audience is seeing any of this. We can be told a million times that Michael is special; that doesn’t make it true.

Thankfully, Michael’s Rome field trip leads him to the only redeemable aspect of the film: Anthony Hopkins. Hopkins plays Father Lucas, a veteran of the war on demonic possession. The Rite is only enjoyable when Hopkins is onscreen. He gets to have a bit of fun with the role, playing with stereotypes (“What did you expect? Spinning heads? Pea soup?”) and acting crazy here and there. It’s an enjoyable performance and it’s unfortunate that he’s relegated to a supporting role.

The Rite actually could’ve have been a very campy and/or interesting film if the filmmakers had tried to be a bit more daring. There are snippets of whacky fun: the exorcism of a pillow, a cell phone call mid-exorcism, etc., but they are only short moments. Instead, the filmmakers went with clichéd horror ploys like the violin shriek/jump scare. But there is a possibly interesting movie buried here. For instance, take the idea that an exorcism is a drawn out affair rather than a single, crazy night. There’s something there, but the film doesn’t really explore it.

More interesting is the psychological subplot. Michael spends the majority of the movie as a non-believer who thinks that exorcists are witch-doctors who abuse their patients by not giving them proper psychiatric care. That idea in itself is not terribly fresh or interesting (last year’s The Last Exorcism looked into that very issue to good effect), but this film could’ve used that doubt in its narrative. This film could’ve been all about Michael’s obsession with psychiatric care. His character’s journey could have been a journey into the mind of an insane man. In fact, at times the film actually appears to be just that, but it ends up going back into plain old scary exorcism mode…so to speak.

The problem with the story is that the main conflict is whether or not Michael will start to believe in the devil. But there is no mystery as to whether or not the devil exists in this film because there is irrefutable evidence onscreen that proves Satan exists. So what’s the point? Well, the point could be that since we know the devil is real and Michael won’t accept it, this film is really taking place inside Michael’s mind as he fights himself psychologically. The climax of the film could’ve been his realization that he has believed the whole time. Then he returns to the real world, letting the viewer know that all that had passed was in Michael’s head. Sure, that kind of thing has been done before, but it still would’ve been much more interesting than what was attempted here.

The reason why the filmmakers went with the normal exorcism story is that they have to stick with that idiotic “true story” tagline. Sure, all of this really happened; that’s why there’s a “suggested by the book” credit. Really? “Suggested?” What does that even mean? Even if it the book was nonfiction how could any truth possibly remain when the story is taken by suggestion alone? Maybe someone can write a version of this film in which it all takes place in Michael’s mind and this film’s screenwriter can get a “suggested by” credit. What a joke.

All in all, The Rite is a missed opportunity. Aside from O’Donoghue, the cast is stellar: Hopkins, Jones, Ciarán Hinds, and Rutger Hauer. There are some ideas at play, but the film abandons them for the same old song and dance we see nearly every year it seems. This movie is fine as far as disposable entertainment goes, but for a film that sticks its tongue out at The Exorcist, shouldn’t it strive to at least be different? Don’t bother watching this to answer that question, just go watch The Exorcist again.

Random Thoughts (SPOILERS)

I think Hopkins only took this role so he could channel Hannibal Lecter when he became possessed. When he's breaking down Alice Braga it feels like a deleted scene from The Silence of the Lambs.

Really, a demon puts a lengthy plan into play to get this one loser to believe in God? And how is getting a guy to believe in God the job of a demon? Demons must be really stupid. Plus, what the hell (no pun intended) is so great about this Michael character anyway? Does Hell really need that boring of a soul? Maybe he could be used in some torture scenarios or something...

Anthony Hopkins backhands a little girl in this movie. It is a redundant scene since it is painfully clear that he is possessed at this point, but it certainly got my attention. A few more crazy moments like that and I might have liked this one.

The ending just didn’t add up. The film kind of stops with no real resolution to Hopkins’s character. There's an odd reference to a dirtbike, then an awkward goodbye. It seemed like a bad improv scene.

That scene in which Michael notices a McDonald's seemed like a blatant commercial. "Feel lost in a foreign country? Don't worry, a little bit of home is just a block away. I'm lovin' it." I usually don't mind product placement, but that was a bit too obvious.