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Mastering Manhood

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Owen Diaz
Owen Diaz

A Very Harold __LINK__

The two make their way to Harold's house to put up the tree, but end up being kidnapped by two of Katsov's men, and are saved by Wafflebot. After Harold accidentally shoots Santa Claus in the head, Kumar gives him emergency surgery. In exchange for saving his life, Santa agrees to fly them back home in his sleigh, and reveals that he sent the package to reunite the friends. Harold arrives home to encounter Mr. Perez, who is angered when he discovers his Christmas tree is gone. Harold finally stands up to him, explaining that he may not be the perfect son-in-law, but he is the perfect guy for Maria. Mr. Perez says that he always knew Harold was a nice guy, he just wanted to make sure that he had "cojones" before accepting him into his family. Harold and Kumar rekindle their friendship, Kumar and Vanessa rekindle their romance, and Kumar tells Vanessa that he will re-take the exams to become a doctor and give up weed for the sake of their child; however, Vanessa advises him to break the latter, promising to give him her urine for another drug test. Maria discovers that she is pregnant on Christmas morning and that Santa has left a replacement tree in their lounge. Harold decides to smoke weed again, and he and Kumar share a joint for the first time in years. Santa flies overhead, smoking a bong, wishing everyone a merry Christmas.

A Very Harold

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 2.5 out of 4 stars, saying "It's not that I was particularly offended; it's that I didn't laugh very much."[14]Justin Chang of Variety wrote: "This vulgar romp is a generally harmless, heartwarming affair, a cinematic Christmas cookie almost sweet and flaky enough to cover the fact that it's laced with hash, cocaine and assorted bodily fluids, blood included."[15]Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter called it "A mildly diverting naughty comedy, lacking the pure comic nastiness of Bad Santa or the sheer audacity of Up in Smoke."[16]

It's not that I was particularly offended; it's that I didn't laugh very much. Ethnic jokes are cutting-edge among slack-jawed doper comedies, but sometimes (as in the first and still funny "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle") they had touches of wit and insight. Here the humor is intended to pound us over the head.

The third installment of the Harold and Kumar franchise is quite funny, even though it goes so very wrong in so many ways. There's the baby who gets dosed with several strong drugs, the accidental shooting of a revered holiday icon, the celebrity who pretends to be gay so he can bed women (the gay-in-real-life Neil Patrick Harris, again playing a debauched version of himself), the racial stereotypes, the underage drinking, and (of course) the over-the-top drug consumption.

Six years have elapsed since Guantanamo Bay, leaving Harold and Kumar estranged from one another with very different families, friends and lives. But when Kumar arrives on Harold's doorstep during the holiday season with a mysterious package in hand, he inadvertently burns down Harold's father-in-law's beloved Christmas tree. To fix the problem, Harold and Kumar embark on a mission through New York City to find the perfect Christmas tree, once again stumbling into trouble at every single turn.

Is been six years since the events at Guantanamo Bay. Harold and Kumar haven't seen each other much since then and they live very different lives. Harold, a successful business man married to Maria and living in a nice house in the suburbs. Kumar is still a stoner slacker living in the old apartment they once shared. A few days before Christmas a package arrives to the apartment addressed to Harold so Kumar travels to give it to him and makes the mistake of burning down Maria's father's prized Christmas tree. Now it's up to the boys to go on one more adventure to find the perfect Christmas tree on Christmas Eve.

Happy Saturday, folks. I'm writing to you this week surrounded by a mountain of used facial tissue (that's right, I'm not endorsing Kleenex on the site without some sort of kick back...wait, dang it). Cold season has officially set in which means I'm on a daily regimen of Dayquil (which I have no problem endorsing), warm tea, and self-pity. In case you're a longtime reader of the "Top 5" and you're wondering to yourself, "Wasn't Jason just complaining about the summer heat?", the answer is yes. Out of the 52 yearly weeks, I'm generally not complaining about the weather for approximately 2 or 3 of them. It's sad, I know.In this week's "Top 5" you can find our video interviews with the cast of A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, press conferences with Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and more from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 junket, the red band trailer for Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum's 21 Jump Street, a sit-down with the great Albert Brooks, and our coverage to date of this year's American Film Market. Find a brief recap and link to each after the jump.1. A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR 3D CHRISTMAS Video InterviewsIt looks like I'm going to have to make room in my annual Christmas-themed comedy lineup. Traditionally, Elf, Christmas Vacation, Just Friends, and Jingle All the Way (okay, not really) are a mainstay for me and mine around the holiday season. Based on everything I've heard about A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, it could soon make the cut. If you've already seen the pic and loved it as much as Matt did or if you're as hopeful as I am, then you may want to check out our video interviews with stars Kal Penn and John Cho, Neil Patrick Harris, and Thomas Lennon.2. THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN - PART 1 Press Junket CoverageLike it or not, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 is hitting theaters in a few weeks and it's most likely going to make a bazillion dollars give or take. Rather than fret over whether or not the film's merits actually warrant that type of success and popularity, I recommend taking the approach I adopted sometime around New Moon's release and just be happy that we're one installment closer to this whole thing being a distant memory. All pessimism aside, in my never-ending quest to not be known as a "hater", I want to encourage anyone who is legitimately looking forward to Breaking Dawn to check out our junket coverage featuring press conferences with Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, author Stephanie Meyer, screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, and producer Wyck Godfrey (we also have another interview with Godfrey here).3. Red Band Trailer for 21 JUMP STREETIn the name of full disclosure, I have to say that I've never been a huge fan of Channing Tatum's work (an admission that I'm sure will rock the actor to the core). In my defense, all of that was before I witnessed him, in full park cop attire, threaten to beat a man's genitals off. Will the final product be full of low-brow, potty humor? Probably. I don't care, though, because this red band trailer for 21 Jump Street is pretty great.4. Albert Brooks Talks DRIVE, TAXI DRIVER and MoreActor/writer/director Albert Brooks had an excellent career before he ever thought about taking on the role of Bernie Rose in Nicolas Winding Refn's 2011 crime drama Drive. It just so happens that his take on the cutthroat Rose has helped bring his stellar resume to light for a whole new generation of audiences who may have otherwise never considered revisiting his work in Lost in America, Broadcast News (for which he received his one and only Oscar nomination to date), or Defending Your Life just to name a few. Whether you're a longtime fan of Brooks or you're just wanting to learn more about the guy who played Bernie Rose to a tee, I suggest checking out Steve's interview with Brooks from earlier in the week.5. American Film Market 2011 CoverageIf at any point this week you found yourself wondering, "Where are all of these new movie images and synopses coming from?", the answer to that question is the American Film Market currently being held in beautiful Santa Monica. The market runs from November 2nd-9th so be on the lookout for even more images and synopses to pop up in the coming days. In the meantime, you can click here to check out all of our coverage of the event and get up to date on anything you may have missed.

The original Harold and Kumar (Go to White Castle) was a crazy one-shot comedy that seemed to throw everything but the kitchen sink at audiences in an effort to elicit a laugh. There were strippers, poop games, a raccoon, and even a misogynistic version of Doogie Howser himself, Neil Patrick Harris, before his return to the spotlight.

  • Actor Allusion: A brief exchange in the elevator before a party references actor Kal Penn working for the White House Office of Public Liaison in 2009.Adrian: Also, I told her you work for the White House.Kumar: Right, like anyone's gonna believe that.

  • Adam Westing: In addition to Neil, David Burtka plays himself as a douchebag drug dealer with a wife and kids.

  • Aesop Amnesia: Harold didn't learn from the last movie to be less uptight; Kumar didn't learn to be more considerate of others.

  • Armored Closet Gay: Inverted with NPH, who pretends to be gay only to trick women into taking their clothes off and getting "massages" from him.

  • Art Shift: The Claymation scene, one of the earliest stop-motion efforts from Laika.

  • Babies Ever After: Kumar finds out that Vanessa's pregnant early on; Maria & Harold are trying for a baby, and find out she's pregnant on Christmas Day.

  • Babies Make Everything Better: Even R-rated stoner comedies.

  • Beard of Sorrow: Kumar grew one after Vanessa broke up with him. He shaves it off before visiting Harold.

  • Berserk Button: Don't tell Wafflebot that you prefer pancakes to waffles (or threaten his new friend Kumar); he will kick your ass.

  • Big Damn Heroes: Wafflebot.

  • Bowdlerise: The TV version dubs over all instances of "fucking" with "freaking".

  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: NPH says goodbye to Harold and Kumar by saying "See you in the fourth one."

  • The Bus Came Back: Kenneth Park returns from the first movie.

  • Call-Back: Kumar mentions "cockmeat sandwiches." They also have dinner at a White Castle. It goes much more smoothly this time. Empty burger containers from White Castle can also be seen in Kumar's apartment.

  • Camera Abuse: The lens shatters during the car wreck.

  • Chekhov's Gift: Wafflebot from Neil.

  • Come with Me If You Want to Live: Adrian says this to Todd during the shootout at the party. They wind up being the only people in immediate mortal danger.

  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Maria's father had his mother killed by Koreans and is hostile when it comes to Harold. However, when Harold finally stands up to him, he states that he always knew that Harold was a good man and that he simply wanted his son-in-law to show some backbone to prove that he can protect his family.

  • Death Is Cheap: Or it is, according to NPH, when you cockblock Jesus.

  • Diagonal Billing: Penn and Cho in the closing credits.

  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: With Mary.

  • Egging: Harold runs into unemployed protesters who are decrying Wall Street.

  • Enter Stage Window: Kumar climbs into Vanessa's room because he doesn't want to deal with her parents.

  • Fanservice Extra: The two topless girls keeping Jesus company.

  • Foreshadowing: The famous scene from A Christmas Story where the kid gets his tongue stuck to a pole.

  • Gag Penis: Kumar's during the claymation sequence.

  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Harold's coworker, although mostly because he has a baby in tow.

  • Happily Married: Harold and Maria. And Maria becomes pregnant in the end.

  • Killer Rabbit: Wafflebot.

  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Kenneth Park gives the audience a two gun finger salute while talking about the 3D of a TV he bought. Harold asks "What are you pointing at?"

  • Lighter and Softer: In spades. For one, the racial humor is drastically turned down and most of the hijinks are grounded in reality. Well, except the appearance of Santa.

  • Logo Joke: The Warner Bros./New Line Cinema and Mandate Pictures logos get seasonal variations (with the little drummer girl in the latter being in time to George S. Clinton's music!).

  • Magical Realism: A ping-pong ball with Harold's face on it, Santa Claus....

  • The Mafiya: The Ukrainian mobsters.

  • Manchild: Kumar, who hasn't matured a day since the first movie. Part of the plot is focused on him learning that he needs to grow up.

  • Kumar: I love kids. Vanessa: That's because you are a kid. Todd, who is such a cowardly man-baby that even his baby daughter Ava acts more mentally grown-up than him.

  • Meaningful Echo: "I don't have to, I want to."

  • The Millstone: Surprisingly not Kumar in this one. Harold shows symptoms of it because if he'd just let Kumar smoke, the tree wouldn't be burned down, but Adrian is the one who almost gets the two killed and also gets them drugged.

  • Mushroom Samba: Harold and Kumar drink eggnog laced with something, and spend some time seeing everything in Claymation.

  • My Biological Clock Is Ticking: Maria certainly thinks so which is why she's been shown to pressure Harold during the entire film to impregnate her. She even tried to have sex with him in front of the house entrance even when Harold mentioned Maria's father would be arriving at any minute.

  • My Little Panzer: Wafflebot. A robot designed to make waffles for children can shoot maple syrup hot enough to burn through ropes and a guy's face with pinpoint accuracy. Harold lampshades this."It's extraordinarily unsafe, but it did save our lives."

  • Naughty Nuns: While Kumar is explaining his plan to steal a tree during Christmas Mass, he envisions a shower room with naked (except for their veils) nuns making out.

  • Never My Fault: As Vanessa complains to Kumar for becoming a poor loser without any money (he blew it all on more marijuana), Kumar blames marijuana itself for their relationship falling apart and his dire financial situation. Vanessa retorts Kumar was simply being irresponsible and lazy.

  • One Crazy Night: The heroes accidentally wreck Harold's elaborate Christmas tree, which means they have to go out and get a new one on Christmas Eve. Cue another epic adventure which involves waffle-making robots, The Mafiya, beer pong, babies getting high on coke, an encounter with Santa Claus, and Neil Patrick Harris As Himself.

  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Wafflebot gives one right before attacking the Ukrainian mobsters:" They serve pancakes in Hell!"

  • Priceless Ming Vase: Carlos' Christmas tree.

  • Racial Face Blindness: Parodied. When Mr. Perez has his flashback to his mother getting killed by Korean thugs, they all are played by John Cho. Later, when Maria's niece mistakes another Asian man whom she sees from behind as her husband, Mr. Perez says "It's OK, baby, they all look alike to me too."

  • Record Needle Scratch: In-universe with an actual record.

  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Wafflebot's eyes turn red when in attack mode against gangsters while rescuing Harold and Kumar.

  • Replacement Goldfish: Harold and Kumar got replacement friends after their breakup. But Kumar's is a white Nerds Are Virgins stereotype, and Harold's is an uptight Gosh Darn It to Heck! white stereotype; they don't like them that much.

  • Right Way/Wrong Way Pair: Harold and Kumar respectively. Harold's become a successful businessman working at Wall Street, married his girlfriend Maria and moved into a comfortable house. Kumar is unemployed, has been dumped by Vanessa for being useless and lazy, and still lives in the apartment he once shared with Harold (which the audience might not have recognized now that Kumar literally treats the whole room like a trash can).

  • Robo Cam: The viewer briefly sees Wafflebot's operations through its point of view. The crosshair is in the shape of a waffle.

  • Role-Ending Misdemeanor: In-universe, Kumar lost his job as a doctor after failing a drug test. In the end, Vanessa convinces him to return to medical practice by using her own urine for the next drug test.

  • The Scapegoat: Harold has become one for Wall Street as dozens of homeless New Yorkers blame Wall Street for their unemployment on Christmas.

  • Self-Deprecation: Early in the film, when an assistant presents Harold with a large flat screen 3DTV, Harold asks "Hasn't 3D Jumped the Shark by now?"

  • Serious Business: Christmas trees are serious business for Maria's dad, because when he was a kid his mother was killed in an alleyway (by Korean gangsters) while bringing home Christmas ornaments.

  • Sequel Hook: "See you in the fourth one."

  • Shout-Out: One of the protestors' signs reads "Eat the Rich"

  • The Smurfette Principle: The film's only main female character is Ava, Todd's 2 year old daughter, as Maria and Vanessa have minor to cameo roles respectively.

  • Staggered Zoom: Onto Harold's doorknob when the doorbell rings, signaling the arrival of his scary father-in-law.

  • Third Is 3D

  • Tongue on the Flagpole: Harold, but it's not his tongue. Also, Kumar is shown watching the infamous scene in A Christmas Story in his apartment.

  • Too Incompetent to Operate a Blanket: In the ads for Wafflebot a kid is jamming a fork into a plugged in toaster and a girl pours hot syrup on her hand.

  • Unflinching Walk: Sergei Katsov, after he blows up an ice cream truck.

  • Vertigo Effect: Kumar's buddy when he sees a picture on a bedroom table and realizes the girl he's about to have sex with is the daughter of a Ukranian crime lord.

  • Would Hurt a Child: The Wafflebot commercial is filled with children getting badly burned and electrocuted from using conventional methods to make waffles.

  • Zany Scheme: Once Harold and Kumar fail to pick up a Christmas tree at a Christmas tree lot, every one of their attempts to get a replacement tree is one of these.



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