Party Down; Episode 104; Investor's Dinner

Over the last decade, Martin Starr has brought a unique ruckus to comedy on TV and in the movies. As an actor, he portrays characters that have settled into their aloof, awkward skins by way of deep thought, nerdy diversion, and hilarious observation. Poofs of weed smoke often chip in. While plagued with girl problems, his characters typically win over audiences until they are subtly recognized as the coolest, smartest dudes on screen.

It was under the guidance of Paul Feig and Judd Apatow—as the lanky, bespectacled and beloved teenager Bill Haverchuck on Freaks and Geeks—that Starr set this precocious M.O. in motion. And it’s a personal belief that had Freaks not been brutally axed in ’00 during its lone season, Haverchuck would have gone on to land a bevy of moist females. Of course, Freaks is now forever renown for launching a bevy of careers, including those of Starr, Seth Rogen and James Franco. And for being one of the best fucking things ever. Starr has notably followed up with memorable roles in Knocked Up—beard fail—and in the recent, terrific Adventureland, an ’80s time-capsule that stays with you like the killer kiss on a Ferris Wheel that didn’t happen and will not.

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The Rocker Movie Trailer

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School of Rock with teens instead of squirts equals this new trailer for The Rocker. Example: “You don’t ask your parents for permission to rock!” And if you watch closely Rainn Wilson (yes, veddy good on The Office) even begins to resemble Jack Black in SoR near the end.

[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/therocker.flv 470 252]

There are some laffs here: fat guy hurricane’ing snot on a hot gal’s forehead (Superbad‘s Emma Stone), noodle eating, Jeff Garlin off the bat…and Wilson sprinting is always funnay. There is dated lameness here: a band called ADD, creepy girl saying “Hello YouTube,” porn site password jokes in 2008, cliche “it’s about the music” confession, an unfunny recreation of 1988 (hard to do). Not appearing much, if at all, here, but on the plus side: Fred Armisen, Aziz Ansari, Jane Lynch. Hard to say if this Fox Atomic (ohai) comedy is going to connect or whimper off like a sappier Hot Rod. Who’s the audience, Office fans with bored nephews?

The Rocker opens nationwide on August 1st.

Discuss: What do you think of the trailer for The Rocker? Are soft-irony movies about white guys “rocking out!!!” still funny sans the already championed Anvil! The Story of Anvil?