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Jacob in Jail: Second Life in Hot Tub Time Machine

March 28, 2010
Jacob in jail - scene from the set.

Jacob in jail - scene from the virtual set

Troi & I (with help from Caralee & Kennet) worked on a little bit of animation for a scene in Hot Tub Time Machine. The scene plays out very briefly on the computer of one of the characters, but is enough of the backstory to be mentioned in quite a few of the reviews. Many of the reviews are very favorable, so I grabbed the lines from them that talk about Jacob, stuck in the basement, playing Second Life.

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“They bring with them Adam’s basement-dwelling nephew Jacob (Sex Drive’s Clark Duke), a 20-year-old who has a head start on the time travelling because he lives online via Second Life.”
Peter Howell, Toronto Star

“Jacob’s skeptical, worried presence as an ambassador from the era of text messaging and Second Life serves as a reminder that nothing much has changed. And of course being 40 is no picnic either.”
A.O. SCOTT – New York Times

“Theoretical explanations should be left to Adam’s nephew Jacob (Clark Duke), a basement-dwelling Second Life aficionado who comes along for the ride even though he doesn’t exist yet in 1986.”
Andrew O’Hair –

“Along for the ride is Adam’s teenage nephew Jacob (Clark Duncan), who spends his time in the basement playing “Second Life” where his avatar is a prisoner in solitary confinement. In other words, Jacob doesn’t interact with anyone even in the virtual world.”
JEFFREY WESTHOFF – Shaw Suburban Media

“George McFly himself, Crispin Glover, has gone back in time in this lazily scripted, but undeniably funny time-travel comedy that finds four losers – three 40-something buddies and a 20-year-old who lives in his uncle’s basement submerged in ‘Second Life’ – hurtling back to the Reagan era via the titular time machine.”
Brett Michel – Boston Herald

“Adam also lives with his nephew, Jacob (Duke), a kid who would rather play hours of Second Life than talk to actual humans.”
Nina Garin, San Diego UNION-TRIBUNE

“With sharp riffs on the intersection of ’80s pop culture (ALF, Kid ‘N Play, Ronald Reagan!) and 21st-century culture (Twitter, Viagra, Second Life!), this Time Machine is a fun dip into a pool of memories that are best forgotten again once the booze wears off.”
Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

“His disgruntled nephew, Jacob (Clark Duke), is a basement-dwelling hermit whose imprisoned Second Life avatar sees more sunshine.”
Nick Rogers, The Film Yap

“Clark Duke plays Cusack’s sedentary, Second Life-addicted nephew… The most effective jokes are the ones that actually address the generation gap, poking fun at boxy technology or contrasting Duke’s character with kids who actually go outside.”
Matt Margini, NYU News

“In tow is Adam’s nephew Jacob, played by Clark Duke. The kid is a basement dweller with no friends and a penchant for playing Second Life, where his alternate universe Avatar has been stuck in jail for the past two years.”
B. Alan Orange – MovieWeb

“…acerbic nephew, Jacob (Clark Duke), lives in the basement, his every waking moment devoted to his Second Life virtual world. And he’s arguably the coolest member of the group.”
Thomas Leupp,

“Young Jacob spends his days in a dark basement playing “Second Life” while Lou drowns his lonely sorrows in straight-up vodka and Mötley Crüe.”
Kara Nesvig, Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“Adam (Cusack) was just dumped by his girlfriend, and his 20-year-old nephew Jacob (Duke) lives in his basement, playing the video game Second Life, and generally letting his first life pass him by.”
Evan Mudryk, The Gateway

“Jacob (Duke), Adam’s nephew, is obsessed with Second Life, lives in his uncle’s basement, and writes Stargate fan fiction.”
Ben Pearson, Ben’s Movie Reviews

“Adam shares a now half-empty house with his weirdly live-in nephew Jacob (Clark Duke), a shy high-schooler spending his free time in a Second Life jail.”
Gene Rutigliano Charge Shot!!!

“Rounding out the group is John Cusack’s nephew (Clark Duke) who lives in his basement and isn’t even quite a success in Second Life (apparently doing hard time there due to some wrong choices).”
A Random Walk through Film

“Clark Duke is so great as the only one not reliving his past. From his Second Life character to his constant reference to things (email, texting) that didn’t exist in the 80s, he is the sane man that no one listens to and yet there is purpose to his being there. You’ll see.”
Right Brain Ramblings

“Here, [Cusack] plays Adam, an underachieving forty-something reeling from a demised relationship and forced to look after his shut-in nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) playing Second Life down in the basement.”
Rob Vaux – Mania

“‘Hot Tub’ stars John Cusack, the eccentric Jimmy Stewart of 1980s teen films, as Adam, an insurance salesman reeling from a breakup in his early 40s and stuck with an unwanted roommate: his poorly socialized nephew Jacob (Clark Duke), who lives in a virtual world of Second Life role-playing and Internet fan fiction.”
George Lang – The Oklahoman

“One of the things Adam’s girlfriend neglected to take was Adam’s nephew, Jacob (Clark Duke), who — from the sanctity of his basement computer room hangout — didn’t even notice her departure. (He was too busy serving out his virtual prison term in Second Life.) Jacob is self-absorbed and nerdy. And defensive, as all virginal self-absorbed nerdy guys tend to be.”
John P. Meyer – Pegasus News

“Fast forward twenty years or so, and Adam (played by John Cusack) is losing another girlfriend, plus his plasma TV, his nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) hasn’t left his basement for a couple of months due to his infatuation with Second Life and his duration of doing “hard time” within the game itself.”
Angela Davis – Lost in Reviews

“Adam and Nick hate their jobs and their love-lives, Adam’s nephew Jacob wastes his days doing prison time in Second-Life, and Lou is a complete mess-of-an-alcoholic ass-hole who seems destined to die bitter and alone.”
Matt Goldberg – Collider

“Adam’s (Cusack) been dumped, Lou’s (Corddry) suicidal, Nick’s (Craig Robinson) whipped by his demanding wife, Jacob’s (Duke) sheltered by Second Life.”
Dan Meccas – The Film Stage

“Joining them despite Lou’s inherent hatred is Adam’s nephew, Jacob (Duke), an underachiever who lives in Adam’s basement as a virtual shut-in, spending his days serving hard time as a prisoner in Second-Life.”
Stefan Blitz – Forces of Geek

“Tagging along is Adam’s nephew Jacob (Clarke Duke) who has spent far too much time on his computer – his Second Life character is spending three years in prison. Adam figures he needs some human contact.”
Sean Patrick Kernan, Zoiks!

“His nephew, Jacob (Clark Duke), lives in the basement, where his existence mostly revolves around his Second Life on the computer.”
Dustin Rowles – Pajiba

“Adam’s nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) is forced to detach himself from his avatar in Second Life and join them.”
Jenni Miller – Cinematical

“His 20 year-old nephew, Jacob (Duke), is currently living in his basement who spends all of his time on the computer creating a “second life” where he’s a prisoner serving his time, which he shows much more concern for than anything in his first life.”
Kelsey Zukowski, The Critic’s Word

“Jacob (Clark Duke), his twenty-something nephew spends most of his time in Adam’s basement doing jail time…in Second Life. There here are consequences to your actions, even in Second Life, and Jacob plans to live with them.”
Jeffrey Van Camp, Cinema Soldier

“Jacob (Clark Duke), Adam’s nephew, is a basement dweller who mysteriously has no neck beard. He spends his days on the internet playing Second Life, preferring the consequences of a simulated world to the consequences of the real world. So pathetic is he that he’s spent an entire week in simulated jail, doing push-ups and brooding in a cyber-prison while he awaits punishment for simulated crimes.”
Angelic.Ashes – Song of Ashes

“Cusack brings along his nerdy nephew who now lives in his basement, living his life primarily through Second Life.”
Movie Shlep

“Jacob (Clark Duke) is Adam’s 20-year-old nephew who is living with him because he’d rather sit in the basement and face hard time in Second Life instead of facing his mom’s boyfriend—so he too tags along for the ride.”
Katelan Cunningham – SCAD District

Adam’s twentysomething nephew Jacob (Clark Duke), a basement-dwelling Second Life addict, accompanies the three friends to Kodiak Valley to relive their glory days.”
Julia Rhodes – California Literary Review

“Accompanying them is Adam’s nephew Jacob (Clark Duke), who is the text messaging and Second Life generation’s ambassador.”
Peterson Hill – The Crimson White

“In some ways this is a parable about middle aged crazy, reclaiming our youth and second chances (in fact, the Jacob character plays the online social game Second Life incessantly which is a nice bit of business).”
365 Cinema

“Adam’s nephew, Jacob (Clark Duke), lives in his basement. Jacob is the full embodiment of the nerd stereotype. He hasn’t seen the sunlight in probably a few weeks, and is introduced serving a jail sentence in the game Second Life because he feels such a connection to his avatar that he needs to serve hard time with it.”
J.D. Jackson – Caffeinated Critics

“Adam’s geeky, hefty 20-year-old nephew, Jacob (Clark Duke), spends his life on ‘Second Life.'”
R. Kurt Osenlund, The Good Life film critic – Bucks Local News

“Adam brings along his nerdy, Second Life-playing nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) for the ride.”
Oscar Areliz – butr

“Between heavy drinking, relationship problems, and addictions to second-life, the guys together decide to get away from it all in order to help their alcoholic buddy Lou (Corddry) who needs some adult supervision after a suspected suicide attempt.”
M.M. Mallory – Your Eyes Liars

“Adam’s young nephew Jacob (Clark Duke)… lives in the basement and plays Second Life all day with a convicted felon avatar.”
Caity Cudworth – The Good 5¢ Cigar

“Jacob (Clark Duke), who is Adam’s nephew that lives with him while his floosy mother tramps around, spends most of his days texting and living through his Second Life video game character.”
Nate Brennan – MSU Reporter

“Jacob (Duke), Adam’s nephew, spends all his time playing “Second Life” in his uncle’s basement.”
M. Carter @ The Movies

“Adam (John Cusack) is an insurance salesman, just broke up with another girlfriend and his nephew, Jacob (Clark Duke), is responsibly serving his prison time in Second Life while holed up in Adam’s basement.”
Media Breach

“Cusack has to bring his nephew, Clark Duke, along for the trip, promising him a great time. Too bad the kid would rather be playing ‘Second Life.'”
The Voracious Filmgoer

“Adam’s… young nephew, Jacob, is living in his basement, and more interested in playing ‘Second Life’ than actually getting a life.”
Popcorn in my Bra

“Tagging along for the ride is Cusack’s 19 year old nephew Clark Duke (Sex Drive, TVs Greek), an addict of the computer game Second Life.”
Randall Yelverton, Lake Expo

“Clark Duke, the visual odd man out in the premise, is Cusack’s nephew who lives in the basement and plays Second Life all the live-long day.”
Andrew Witts – Never Not a Nerd

“Jacob spends his days playing Second Life and has forgotten how to actually live.”
Stacy Normand – USM Free Press

“Along for the ride is Adam’s socially-awkward nephew Jacob (Clark Duke), who at home is too busy playing ‘Second Life’ on the computer.”
Ryan Oliver – Movie Madness

“Ironically Jacob is the most adult of them all, despite a social life of ‘Second Life’ and porn.”
Jake Lane – The Beacon

“His nephew Jacob (Clarke Duncan) is an uber nerd who prefers second life to the real one.”
Anghus Houvouras – Encore

“His sister’s kid is living in his basement, where he spends his days cloaked in darkness playing ‘Second Life’ on his laptop.”
Banko’s Bargain Blog

“Duke’s character has the faintly robotic delivery of someone who spends too much time on Second Life.”
Margot Harrison – Seven Days

“Miserable insurance salesman Adam (John Cusack), his former BFFs (Craig Robinson and Rob Corddry), and his Second Life-obsessed nephew (Clark Duke) are whisked away when a magical hot tub transports them back to a pivotal time in their lives…”
Jen Yamato –

“Then there was the nephew, played by Clark Duke, who is a nerd personified. He spends all his days playing Second Life, even though his character in the game is in jail and doesn’t do anything.”
Andy Brown – The Chief Report

“…his nephew Jacob (Clark Duke), a likeably chubby geek who spends most of his time in the basement wired to all things electronic (particularly Second Life, where he spends his time as a tattooed convict).”
James Kendrick – QNetwork

“The only thing she didn’t take is Adam’s nephew Jacob (Clark Duke), who lives in the basement and is completely content spending his time on an online role playing game in which he has to serve a prison sentence. Adam chastises Jacob, telling him to at least play something where he’s a warrior or a troll. ‘It’s called doing hard time,’ Jacob insists, ‘Our actions have consequences, even in Second Life.'”
David Ferrara – The Modern Critic

“…oh and don’t forget Jacob (Clark Duke), Adam’s 20-something nephew who lives in Adam’s basement playing Second Life.”
Jessie Krehlik – Setonian Online

“Adam’s nephew, Jacob (Clark Duke), who devotes more attention to his Second Life online than his actual life, tags along.”
Joel Frady – The Mountain Times

“Off they go to the Kodiak Valley Ski Resort, teamed up with Jacob (Clark Duke), a 24-year-old, Second Life-playing cyber geek who is the son of Adam’s sister, Kelly”
Joe E. Holman – Holman’s Movie Review

“Adam wanders down to the basement where his sarcastic lazy nephew Jacob plays Second Life as a character doing time in jail.”
Maxwell Anderson – Ecstatic Text

“His nephew Jacob (Duke) spends time living in the basement playing Second Life, where he’s currently doing prison time waiting for a court hearing. ”
Chas Andrews – Louisville Mojo

“…we find Jacob (Clark Duke), Adam’s nephew, hanging on the couch playing a Second Life game with no life and a broken family.”
Joe Gillis – LIFilmE

“For no discernible reason, they bring along Adam’s nephew Jacob (Clark Duke), a 20-year-old Second Life junkie. ”
Micah Sachs – My Own Worst Critic

“His nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) is living in his basement, spending most of his time in Second Life as a tattooed prisoner.”
The Hippo

“These three lifelong buddies are joined by Jacob (Clark Duke), Adam’s “Second Life”-loving nephew and this movie’s token nerd.”
Duncan Russell – Waltonian

“[Adam’s] nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) lives in his basement, where he plays Second Life in lieu of having a life of his own.”
Woodstock-Saugerties Times

“Disappointment runs through their lives, from the thwarted ambitions of Nick (Craig Robinson), who traded music for marriage and ended up a dog groomer, to the perpetual romantic implosions suffered by Adam (John Cusack), who can’t inspire his nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) to abandon his online Second Life for actual social interactions.”
Serena Donadoni – The Cinema Girl

“Along the way we watch as the three men make peace with the past and their current crappy lives and Jacob comes out of his Second Life-playing, basement-dwelling shell… Separated from technology and texting devices, he’s going to learn how to communicate with real live girls, right? That’s what the point of making him a Second Life-addicted nerd is, right?”
The Hurdled Nerd

“Along to provide a counterpoint – or perhaps to show that nothing much has changed– is Clark Duke, who wasn’t even born in the ’80s. He spends his time living in his uncle’s basement, playing Second Life. His Second Life character is in prison. Weep for our youth.”
Willie Krischke – Gonna Watch It

“They take Adam’s nerdy Second Life-obsessed nephew (Duke) but discover the ski lodge is now a run-down dump with one redeeming feature – a hot tub that sends them back to the ski lodge in 1986, where they magically appear as their younger selves.”
Shannon Harvey, The West Australian

“Adam wanders down to the basement where his sarcastic lazy nephew Jacob plays Second Life as a character doing time in jail.”
Maxwell Anderson – Ecstatic Text

“Adam (John Cusack) has just been dumped by his long term girlfriend, his nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) refuses to live in the real world, focusing more on his life in Second Life…”
Andrew Dittmer, Popcorn Cinema

“Adam’s nephew Jacob (Clark Duke) lives in his basement playing Second Life all the time and to top it all off, the friendship of the four is breaking down.”
Adam Mason – Movie Moron

“Adam (John Cusack) and Nick (Craig Robinson), and Adam’s Second Life shut-in nephew Jacob (Clark Duke), band together…”
Simon Reynolds, Digital Spy

“Adam’s nephew, Jacob, lives in his basement and is obsessed with Second Life and similar video games.”
Mini Anthikad-Chhibber – The Hindu

“In [Adam’s] basement, his pudgy nephew Jacob (Duke) lives indoors and his only social interactions are online, via his avatar on ‘Second Life’ (which makes one worry about how many such situations really exist).”
Mark Camilleri – Mark’s Movie Marks (Malta)

“Jacob is a loser, and they don’t give us too interesting of a character out of him. He has little background, besides the fact that he plays Second Life in Adam’s basement.”
Dustin Roosevelt – Greenville Action Movie Examiner

“Jacob, the 20-year-old nephew, would rather be at home jamming out virtual push-ups in Second Life than sitting around a table playing quarters with depressed middle-agers.”
Noah Nickels – Nerdy Nothings

If you’ve read this far, you’ve done the equivalent of what we did by being the last two in the movie theater until all the credits had rolled and we finally saw in the last batch of acknowledgements:
Second Life® footage — Troi Nelson and Steve Nelson

From → Etc

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