Thanks to the folks at Ain’t It Cool News, I got a chance to catch a sneak preview of 30 Minutes of Less last month at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. And what made it even better was that one of the film’s stars, Jesse Eisenberg, was in attendance to introduce the movie and talk about it afterward.
I’ve been a fan of Jesse Eisenberg’s work since I first saw him back in 2003 in the criminally underseen Roger Dodger. Since then, I’ve loved his work in The Squid and the Whale, Solitary Man, Zombieland, The Social Network and Adventureland, the latter of which is one of my favorite movies of the past few years.
Now, 30 Minutes or Less has been added to that list. Reteaming Eisenberg with his Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer, this action comedy is the tight, fast and fun ride that I felt like Pineapple Express was trying to be. In 30 Minutes or Less, Danny McBride, who played memorable roles in both this film and Pineapple Express, and comedian Nick Swardson strap a bomb to Jesse Eisenberg’s pizza delivery boy and force him to rob a bank. And the hilarious Aziz Ansari (Parks and Recreation‘s Tom Haverford, who calls forks “food rakes”) plays Eisenberg’s best friend. What I loved about this movie was that it puts real characters in extraordinary, and often really funny, situations, but the characters play it entirely straight, which makes it so believable. When Eisenberg’s Nick realizes the full implications of having a bomb strapped to his chest, shit gets real. There is no winking at the audience, because these are real people, dealing with this situation as we might.
With all the bloat of this summer’s movie season, 30 Minutes or Less goes down like a cold draft beer that leaves you refreshed. The film opens this Friday at the Alamo Drafthouse and around the Austin area. Check out the trailer.
In the intro and the Q&A after the screening, Jesse Eisenberg was witty and verbose and wonderful. Several audience members also had the opportunity to meet him earlier in the day when he was slinging pizzas over at Home Slice on South Congress (see photo from The Daily Texan above), and he acknowledged them, remembering their names and what they had talked about, which was just as impressive as his adorable recent McSweeneys piece titled A Post Gender Normative Man Tries to Pick Up A Woman at a Bar.
And while he was at the Alamo Drafthouse, theater management discussed their no talking policy with him to mixed results.