Blog Archives

The LEGO Movie (movie review)

Like all art, opinions on The LEGO Movie are entirely subjective. The thing is, almost everyone seems to think it’s a great movie while there are few detractors. Rhett Bartlett (Dial M for Movies) called it "one of the great film disappointments of this decade." That’s going too far for me – my opinion falls closer to the middle of the spectrum. Read the rest of this entry

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy quick movie review

It may be safe to say that Dr. Girlfriend and I were the last two folks in American to settle down and watch Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and frankly, I don’t think either of us have much to say about it. I think I liked it a bit more than she did, but it’s safe to say that neither of us think it’s the comedy classic that it’s made out to be.

Let’s see, what did we learn? Well, now we know why "I’m kind of a big deal" shows up on t-shirts. The movie is totally watchable, but it feels a bit underwritten and the pace is a bit too slow for me – most of the first act feels like bumbling from one thing to the next with little structure. I enjoyed Will Ferrell; he’s great, as always, but there’s only so much one man can do. I don’t think I would have enjoyed the movie as much if I wasn’t a fan of Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Christina Applegate and the totally underutilized Steve Carell, I enjoyed the jazz flute scene… I loved the ending – the dog vs bear negotiation is one of the best out of left field endings I’ve seen in a long while.

I’m not sorry we watched it, but I can’t help feeling that Anchorman is shockingly overrated. I’m giving it a 7 out of 10; it’s got some laughs, but I don’t think I need to see it again.

How Movies Get Made: The Internship (A Fly on the Wall)

Welcome to A Fly On The Wall, a feature that imagines what it would be like to hear conversations that may or may not have ever actually occurred. Today, we’ll fly on over to hear a conference call that Vince Vaughn may have had with Luke Wilson and Will Ferrell and how this led to the filming of the new movie The Internship.

VAUGHN
OK guys, I’ll get right to it. I just got out of the meeting with 20th Century Fox and it’s fair to say that they’re not excited about our idea to make a high risk, cutting edge comedy starring three guys in their forties.

L. WILSON
Shit.

FERRELL
Yeah, that sucks, but whatever, I’ll be fine.

L. WILSON
That’s easy for you to say – I’m squeezing the last bit of toothpaste out of the tube over here!

VAUGHN
There is good news: they do want to make a movie with us.

L. WILSON
Thank Christ.

FERRELL
But not the movie we want to make.

VAUGHN
No, they don’t want to make some bizarre novella parody flick where you speak Spanish phonetically for 90 minutes.

FERRELL
‘Casa’ means ‘house.’

L. WILSON
What movie do they want to make? Not that I care, just out of curiosity.

VAUGHN
Basically, they want us to make Old School 2. They saw the success that the flick had for Dreamworks, so they want to duplicate it.

FERRELL
You’re kidding.

VAUGHN
I’m not. They’ve done some market research and they think the timing is right. The problem is, the studio doesn’t want to pay for the rights from Dreamworks, so they’re going with their own concept… sort of.

FERRELL
Which is what?

VAUGHN
Well, they do own that Dodgeball flick I made, so they want to combine Old School with Dodgeball in a movie where we lead a rag tag group of Google interns to victory… victory meaning full time jobs at Google. It’s basically just a rehashing of movies I’ve already made, but with a Google product placement. Because nobody knows what Google is.

FERRELL
Holy shit.

L. WILSON
Look, Meeting Evil did OK, and I do have a tiny bit of pride left, so forget it. I don’t need this; I’ve got The Skeleton Twins coming out this year!

VAUGHN
So you’re out?

L. WILSON
Yes, definitely out.

VAUGHN
Is your brother co starring in any stupid movie where he plays the wacky comic relief this week?

L. WILSON
No, I’m pretty sure he’s free.

VAUGHN
Beautiful – they’ll never know the difference, and if they do, I’ll just pop in Wedding Crashers and show them the insane profits me and Owen made for New Line. Will? You’re being awful quiet.

FERRELL
Vince, I love you, but I can’t star in this. I’ll do a couple of days on this flick like I did for Crashers, but that’s all I can do for you.

VAUGHN
Awesome – hold on a sec, I need to tell my wife something…
Yeah, tell the crew they can start putting the new addition on to the house!

check out more ‘A Fly on the Wall’ here!

Everything Must Go movie review

everything-must-go-movie-posterMy score:  80%

I went into 2010’s Everything Must Go only having seen the commercial during it’s theatrical release way back when, so I didn’t have any expectations whatsoever.  As soon as the movie starts up, it’s clear that this is not one of Will Ferrell’s yelling movies (Anchor Man) but instead, one of his indie flicks (Stranger Than Fiction) – I’m good either way, it’s all about the story, and Everything Must Go has enough story to get by on.

Read the rest of this entry

Cop Out vs The Other Guys movie review

Having seen two buddy movies of the cop variety within a few days of each other, I can’t help but compare and contrast Cop Out and The Other Guys – it’s time for a Buddy Cop Movie Smack Down!

spoiler alert

The IMDB description of The Other Guys reads, in part:  “Two mismatched New York City detectives seize an opportunity to step up like the city’s top cops whom they idolize — only things don’t quite go as planned.”  I take exception to that; I didn’t find Will Ferrell or Mark Wahlberg to be especially mismatched.  Both characters were extremely weird – going into the film, you expected Ferrell to be the crazy guy and Wahlberg to be the straight man, but it’s not like that; neither of them play the straight man, they’re both just crazy.  While Ferrell’s character tries to control his inner demons by insulating himself from the outside world, Wahlberg’s character just screams at everybody, unable to harness his anger into anything constructive.  They play off each other well as actors, but the script never defines their roles – the characters are too similar, despite Wahlberg’s barking and Ferrell’s straight faced insanity; you end up with Wahlberg’s character complaining that he’s stuck with Ferrell’s, while Ferrell’s would be equally justified in voicing similar complaints.

I saw the unrated version and frankly, I think this was just a marketing ploy – it was just a version of the movie that was not rated by the MPAA; there wasn’t anything racy in it; I’m guessing it was longer than the theatrical version, and if that’s the case, watching this version was a mistake, because the movie is just too long…  yep, here it is:  107 min rated, 116 min unrated… but even 107 minutes was too long.  The movie just isn’t paced well.

Now that’s not to say there aren’t laughs, because there are a ton of great jokes running through the entire film, and with two cameos by Derek Jeter, how can you go wrong?  Well, I wouldn’t go as far as to say they got it right, because the movie is a comedy and it’s funny, but I certainly wouldn’t watch it again.

My Rating: 3 out of 5

Moving on…

A few nights later, I saw Cop Out, and given my high expectations by the joining of three of my favorite talents (Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan and Kevin Smith), I wasn’t disappointed.  Tracey Morgan sets the tone for the movie right away as he interrogates a criminal with a series of quotes from various movies, much to the delight of his coworkers.  This opening sequence, including before the interrogation, during which Morgan’s character gives Willis’ character an anniversary card celebrating their partnership sets up the entire movie:  sure, both characters are silly, but Morgan is the executive in charge of  insanity in this flick.  Willis makes jokes, sure, but he’s the straight man and Morgan is a maniac, running around in a cell phone costume and planting a nanny cam in his bedroom to check if his wife is cheating on him.  As an added bonus, supporting actors include Kevin Pollak and  Guillermo Díaz (he’s Scarface in Half Baked, amongst many other acting credits and just being one of the funniest guys around – in a rare roll here as the bad guy), who bring a level of depth to the movie I did not expect.  And just to add a little somethin-somethin, we also get Jason Lee, Rashida Jones and Seann William Scott.  Beyond the performances, the script is well crafted and the movie is well paced and edited.  And, I can’t believe I’m saying this about a Kevin Smith movie, but the flick actually looks pretty good; the camera moves around, there are reveals…  stuff I didn’t know David Klein was capable of.  There was a weird helicopter shot at the very end of the movie, but whatever.  I really liked this movie, and I’ll watch it again, no doubt.

My Rating: 4 out of 5

 

In my view, Cop Out kicks The Other Guys’ ass, and easily at that.  The version I saw of The Other Guys was only 9 minutes longer than Cop Out, yet Cop Out moves so much faster and is just straight up funnier, has better action sequences and overall flow.  Sure, The Other Guys is a decent enough movie, but it’s just not in the same class as Cop Out.  Who knows, over time, i wouldn’t be surprised if I raise Cop Out’s score a bit; I think I was disappointed Jason Lee wasn’t in the movie more, and that might have held me back a little – so an update to 4.3 or 4.5 could happen as time goes by and I see Cop Out a second or third time.

And that’s what it comes down to – Cop Out is so good, I’d watch it again.  I’m not mad I sat through The Other Guys, but I don’t see myself sitting through it for a second time..

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