Archive for Jason Sudeikis

The Angry Birds Movie

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In the 3D animated comedy, The Angry Birds Movie, we’ll finally find out why the birds are so angry. The movie takes us to an island populated entirely by happy, flightless birds–or almost entirely. In this paradise, Red (Jason Sudeikis), a bird with a temper problem, speedy Chuck (Josh Gad), and the volatile Bomb (Danny McBride) have always been outsiders. But when the island is visited by mysterious green piggies, it’s up to these unlikely outcasts to figure out what the pigs are up to.

What people are saying:

“The game “Angry Birds,” at its core, is a destination for switching off your brain. And movies, even throw-away summer animated kid films, should aim for something more.” 1 star

“This movie suffers from the problem of the trailer giving away all the best scenes. I expected a lot more humor, since the trailer was actually pretty hilarious, but unfortunately they just crammed all the humor into that two minute trailer and the rest was just kind of… there. The animation isn’t anything to write home about, and the plot is really pretty simple. It was cute, and I’ve certainly seen worse, but I wouldn’t be tempted to see it again. ” 3 stars

“This isn’t a movie. It’s a colorful, unfunny headache, that utilizes Limp Bizkit in an unironic way, and whose funniest aspect is a mime…yes, a mime.” 1 star

“The Angry Birds movie was one of the best surprises of 2016 for me. It could have been the complete lack of expectations but the animation, character & set design, lighting, and dialogue quality had me reeling and constantly smiling at how entertained I was. Unfortunately, despite its unshakable quality during the first half of the movie, it suffers a disappointing hit in quality regarding story development and gags more or less exactly from the point wherein toilet humour is (somewhat literally) introduced. Despite its faults, this movie holds a special place in my heart for making me feel so very, very good.” 4 stars

“I went into this movie with no idea what to expect. The Angry Birds Movie is arguably the best video game adapted movie ever made, which sadly isn’t saying very much. For once, I agree with the critic consensus-this movie is way more entertaining than it has any right to be. Some of the humor is forced and some is just bad, but most of it is pretty funny. The final attack on Piggy Island is pulled straight from the games with some new stuff added in-and that’s exactly why it’s so great. The opening scene is a little forced and awkward, but there’s enough good in the rest of the movie to make up for it. Probably the best thing this movie has going for it is the voice cast. Andy Sudeikis, Bill Hader, Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage, Danny McBride, and Sean Penn are all perfectly cast, and the others are all great.” 3 stars

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Horrible Bosses 2

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2015 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Nick Hendricks, Dale Arbus, and Kurt Buckman decide to start their own business after tiring of working for ungrateful bosses. Their idea is a car-wash-inspired shower head called the “Shower Buddy”. They have trouble finding investors until they are approached by Bert Hanson and his son Rex. Bert admires their commitment to manufacturing the product themselves, while Rex prefers to outsource to China, and agrees to invest if they can make 100,000 units. Taking out a business loan, the three rent a warehouse, hire employees, and manage to produce their output. However, Bert backs out of their deal at the last minute, claiming that he never signed an agreement, and he plans on taking their inventory in foreclosure and selling them (renamed the “Shower Pal”) himself, while leaving the three in $500,000 debt with their outstanding loan.

Seeking financial advice, Nick, Dale, and Kurt visit Nick’s old boss, Dave Harken, in prison, who says the three have no feasible legal options to recover their losses. The three then resolve to kidnap Rex and hold him for ransom. They seek the help of “Motherfucker” Jones, who says the best way to kidnap someone who knows them is to keep the victim unconscious for the duration of the kidnapping. The three create a ransom note asking for $500,000 and go to the office of Dale’s old boss, Dr. Julia Harris, to steal a tank of nitrous oxide. While there, Kurt and Dale are almost caught by Julia’s sex addiction group meeting; after the group leaves, Nick has sex with Julia, providing the distraction that allows Dale and Kurt to escape the building. The trio goes to Rex’s house, but while they hide in the closet, Dale accidentally turns on the tank and they pass out. When they wake up in the morning, they find Rex gone.

When they arrive back at the warehouse, they find Rex tied up in the trunk of their car. Rex gets out and reveals he found them hiding in his closet, but decided to stage his own kidnapping with them due to his strained relationship with his dad. Rex sent the ransom note to his dad and increased the ransom to $5 million. The three are uncertain of Rex’s plan, but Rex threatens to go to the police if they back out. They call Bert to inform him of Rex’s kidnapping, threatening to kill Rex if Bert calls the cops. However, the police, led by Detective Hatcher, subsequently arrive at their warehouse to question Nick, Dale, and Kurt due to their involvement with Bert. When the police leave, Rex breaks down, knowing Bert cares more about his money than his son. Now sympathetic to Rex, the trio agrees to work with him in the fake kidnapping, and all four devise a plan to outsmart the police and take the ransom money, utilizing untraceable phones, a basement garage to block out any tracking signal, and Kurt disguising himself as Bert.

While the plan is in motion, Nick, Dale, and Kurt find that Kurt left Bert his own phone instead of the untraceable one. They nevertheless call Bert on Kurt’s phone to give him the instructions. Before they leave, Julia arrives at their hotel room and demands to sleep with Dale or else she will report them for breaking into her office. Dale’s wife Stacy, whom Dale has three daughters with, arrives, and believing Dale is cheating on her with Julia, storms off. Dale angrily locks Julia in the bathroom so the three can leave. In the basement garage, Nick, Dale, and Kurt, wearing masks, tell Bert to give back the cell phone. Bert is killed by Rex, who reveals that, after seeing that his father did not care about him, he decided to kill Bert and frame Nick, Dale, and Kurt in order to inherit the family business. Rex forces Kurt to switch pants as Rex’s pants have Bert’s blood on them.

As the trio are about to be cornered by the police, Jones arrives, as he anticipated that the three would be betrayed and killed and was seeking to claim the ransom money for himself. He attempts to help them get back to the warehouse where Rex is supposed to be tied up, with the police chasing them, before Rex does so they can prove their innocence. When they get back to the warehouse, Jones escapes with the money and the police arrive to find Rex tied up. Before the police arrest Nick, Dale, and Kurt, Kurt’s phone rings in Rex’s pocket, and the police recognize the ringtone as the same phone that was left to Bert by the kidnappers. Rex tries to claim the phone is his, but when Hatcher asks why Rex did not bother to call the police if he had a phone, Rex takes Hatcher hostage. Dale attempts to attack Rex, but Rex shoots him, which distracts Rex long enough for Hatcher to subdue him.

A few days later, Dale wakes up to find out that the three did get in trouble, but because Dale helped save Hatcher’s life, the police dropped the charges. He also finds out that Julia helped make amends with Stacy, although she hints at having had sex with him during his coma and promises to have sex with his wife as well. In the aftermath, their business goes into foreclosure, but is subsequently purchased by Harken in prison, who allows the three of them to stay employed. Jones, meanwhile, uses the ransom money to invest in Pinkberry

REVIEW:

What do you do when you make a small film that turns out to be an unsuspected success? Of course you quickly churn out a sequel, because that is how business is done in Hollywood these days. Whether audiences want it or not, we get remakes, reboots, sequels, and prequels, just so studio execs can keep their billion dollar lifestyles. Unfortunately, Horrible Bosses 2 is one of those films that should not have been made, at least not as quickly.

What is this about?

In a renewed attempt to escape their employers’ abuses, the oppressed heroes of Horrible Bosses open a business together. When a slippery investor torpedoes their dream, the boys strike back by kidnapping his son.

What did I like?

Voice of reason. In almost every movie he is in, Jason Bateman plays a no-nonsense, stick in the mud character that is usually the least likable of the cast, or at least one of the least liked. There are times, though, that those same characteristics can work to his advantage. Take for instance this role in which he is paired with two morons, as is said about his partners multiple times throughout the film. Bateman’s character isn’t necessarily the brains behind the operation, but he is the voice of reason, keeping everyone grounded. I shudder to think of where this might have gone had he not been there.

In the cards. Reprising his role from the first Horrible Bosses, Kevin Spacey appears in a couple of quick scenes. I wager these were all filmed the same day when he wasn’t on set for House of Cards. Spacey knocks it out of the park in what may very well have been the performance of the film. He has a Hannibal Lecter type of sophistication about him, mixed with a dose of crazy, thrown in what random bits and pieces that Spacey came up with. It was a joy to watch, especially in the epilogue, but I won’t spoil that.

She can be my dentist. Whew! Jennifer Aniston with dark hair is just…there are no words! Brad Pitt, what were you thinking? Do you not get the picture that you downgraded to that big lipped skeleton you’re traipsing around the world with adopting kids? Anyway, Aniston is not just tasty eye candy, but her character is a little more fleshed out, as we learn she has a sex addiction, which explains a lot of her actions from the first film. Also, she has a collection and needs Charlie Day’s character to sleep with her so that she can complete it. Yeah, she’s still a bit psycho, and the audience loves her for it!

What didn’t I like?

Yammering. I mentioned earlier how Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis’ characters were called morons for a good part of the film. If I recall from the original, that is no change for Day’s character, but Sudeikis was a bit more competent. What happened that turned him into a grown up frat boy, for lack of a better term, I wonder? Why is it that he and Day constantly yammer on about random stuff and the most inopportune moments? Is this supposed to be funny?

Waltz from days gone by. Christoph Waltz has not had a bad performance. Even in bad movies like The Green Hornet, he seems to be a bright spot. That record will not be besmirched by this film, though it is close. I have issue with the way Waltz was portrayed. Obviously, he has a very thick German accent. It is what has made him such a hot commodity. I’m not sure if he was supposed to have been covering it up for this character, or playing someone who was making an attempt to cover up where they were from. Also, this look…it wouldn’t have bothered me, except every time he was on screen, I felt like I was back in 6th grade with my beginning band director, Mr. Ramsey. I wonder if I should tell him that he resembles Christoph Waltz in disguise.

Length. I feel as if this film went on way too long. This is a comedy, there is no need for it to go much past an hour and a half. Truth be told, I lost interest about 10 minutes or so into the picture, and didn’t really come back until the security tapes of Aniston and Bateman were on display. What would I cut to make this shorter? Perhaps cut down the chase scene. This is a comedy, not an action comedy. No need for all that. I’d also cut out all the rigmarole in the last act. It just seemed as if they were talking in circles, which is mostly what this film does, now that I think about it.

Everything that Horrible Bosses was, Horrible Bosses 2 isn’t. This film isn’t funny, charming, witty, innovative, interesting, or anything. It is one of those sequels where the studio noticed that something they just threw out to the wolves, so to speak, made a lot of money, so they want even more. This caused the writers to half ass throw together a script, then we get this rushed product that is far inferior to its predecessor. I liken it to this…when you put toast in the toaster and pull it out before it is toasted, you’ll have somewhat toasted bread, but it won’t be full toast. This film was that partly toasted bread, not quite toast. I don’t have much to say on the positive side for this film, I’m afraid so, as you can just about guess, this is not getting a recommendation from me. You’d be better served torturing your own boss like they did in the first film.

2 out of 5 stars

Epic

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2014 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Seventeen-year-old Mary Katherine, or M.K. (Amanda Seyfried), moves in with her eccentric scientist father, Professor Bomba (Jason Sudeikis), who has been searching for tiny human soldiers called Leafmen. They protect the forest Bomba lives near from evil creatures called Boggans and their malevolent leader Mandrake (Christoph Waltz). An independent young soldier, Nod (Josh Hutcherson) decides to quit, much to the ire of the no-nonsense Leafmen leader Ronin (Colin Farrell).

The queen of the forest, Queen Tara (Beyoncé Knowles), must choose an heir to her throne and goes out to a field of leaf pods, guarded by a laid-back slug named Mub (Aziz Ansari) and a wannabe Leafman snail named Grub (Chris O’Dowd). Immediately after she chooses a pod, the Boggans attack. Tara flees the area with the pod, and though her bodyguards do their best to protect her, they are soon overwhelmed by the sheer number of Boggans. Eventually, Ronin arrives for her and the pair fly off on his hummingbird mount. They are then attacked by Mandrake and his son Dagda (Blake Anderson). Dagda is killed by Ronin, but Tara is fatally wounded when Mandrake shoots her with an arrow.

Meanwhile, M.K. decides to leave. Before she can leave, the family’s one-eyed, three-legged dog, Ozzy, runs into the woods. While looking for Ozzy, M.K. sees Tara falling. Dying, Tara gives her the pod and uses her magic to shrink her. She tells M.K. to take the pod to a Glowworm named Nim Galuu (Steven Tyler) before she dies, and M.K. joines Ronin and the Leafmen, along with Mub and Grub. Ronin discovers that Nod has entered a race against other creatures and bugs on birds. He goes back on a deal with a tough bullfrog named Bufo (Pitbull) to lose the race. Before Bufo and his two henchmen can kill Nod, Ronin intervenes and orders them to leave. A reluctant Nod joins him, M.K., Mub, and Grub after hearing about Tara’s death.

They eventually find Nim Galuu who leads them down to the scroll library, where M.K. discovers Tara’s brief message before shrinking her, and a message that will get her back to normal size. When Ronin leaves, Nod takes M.K. on a deer ride, and they begin to fall in love. Mandrake (to whom Bufo fearfully reveals the location of the pod, which he overheard from Ronin and Nod) arrives and kidnaps Mub and Grub and imprisons them, along with the pod, which he hopes to bloom in darkness then to use to destroy the forest. To get into Boggan territory undiscovered, M.K., Nod, and Ronin set out to Bomba’s house to get some disguises, where M.K. learns that the Leafmen have deliberately been leading Bomba off their trail.

When they reach the Boggan land Ronin distracts the Boggans while M.K. and Nod rescue Mub, Grub, and the pod. They are eventually found out by Mandrake, who summons the Boggans to stop them. M.K., Nod, Mub, and Grub escape alive, but Ronin sacrifices himself to ensure their escape. Before the full moon can sprout the pod at Moonhaven, Mandrake’s bats block the light, causing the pod to begin sprouting in darkness. As the Leafmen set out to fight the Boggans, M.K. sets out to get her father for assistance. However, upon regaining consciousness, Bomba believes that he didn’t really see M.K. and that he has been insane all these years, and shuts down all his cameras, but changes his mind when he sees a red push-pin that M.K. had put on his map while they were getting disguises.

Bomba is overjoyed to see that he has been right and when he follows M.K. to Moonhaven, he uses his iPod to make bat sounds, causing the bats to follow Bomba. Meanwhile, Mub and Nim Galuu try to stop Mandrake from reaching the pod, but are unsuccessful. Just then, Ronin appears, bearing scars and bruises from the Boggans. Mandrake manages to outdo him, but Ronin is defended by Nod, who finally realizes the importance of teamwork. Before Mandrake can obtain his victory, the moonlight takes over the pod before it blooms in darkness, causing it to bloom in light and defeat the Boggans.

The chosen heir is the flower child who helped save Tara earlier in the film. Grub becomes a Leafman, Nod and Ronin reconcile, and Nod and M.K. kiss before M.K. is returned to her original size. After reuniting with Bomba and becoming his assistant, the human family still keeps regular contact with their small friends as they continue the research of their world.

REVIEW:

With a title like Epic, one would expect some sort of epic adventure, right? That is what this picture intends to be, but I’m not quite sure it accomplishes that goal. Still, I am curious as to the journey it takes us on, not to mention the fact that this film was advertised for like a year, and never seemed to be released until it could be buried amongst the summer blockbusters, rather than coming out at another point in the year, where it could capitalize on the family market.

What is this about?

Magically transported to an enchanted forest, a teenage girl joins forces with a scruffy group of residents fighting a battle against evil — and soon realizes they must win to save both their world and hers.

What did I like?

Scum and villainy. The thing any epic film needs is a great villain. Since this film involves a mysterious heir to the throne, you just know there has to be some bad guy out there who wants the crown to himself. Enter Mandrake, the evil Boggan leader, voiced by Christoph Waltz. Character-wise, he is the typical bad guy, but when you throw in the vocal stylings if Christoph Waltz, there is just a new level of sophisticated evil that wouldn’t be there, otherwise.

Animation. This is some truly breathtaking animation. Seeing the world from the viewpoint of someone who is 2 inches high and then the human world from her viewpoint, as well, was imaginative and impressive. It is amazing to see how far  inferior computer animation (I still prefer traditional hand drawn and/or stop-motion) has come over the years.

What didn’t I like?

Voices carry. Have you ever listened to someone on the radio without ever seeing them, and then suddenly you get the chance to see what they look like and it is nothing like what you expected? Well, this film is the exact opposite. While the voice cast is pretty good, I didn’t feel as if many of the voices fit the characters, save for Beyoncé as the Queen and, as much as I hate to say this, I believe that was only because of her race. Surely, they could have done a better job with the voices than this. Christoph Waltz was one of the few exceptions, as were a handful of others, but for the most part, this was bad casting.

Is it over yet? So, I was sitting through this film and I couldn’t help but notice that for the gorgeous spectacle that this is, the film itself is not even close to be interesting. It doesn’t matter how much action, stunning visuals, or what have you is put into a film, it still has to be entertaining and not coma inducing. Apparently, these filmmakers didn’t get that memo.

Epic is a film that can best be summed up in two words…epic fail. For all its efforts to capture the kind of charm that Pixar and DreamWorks films receive, it fails horribly. For me, this just didn’t work, but I can see how kids and younger audiences would have a blast with it. Do I recommend it? Yes, if you’re into this kind of film, but I have to also say there are much better flicks than this.

2 1/2 out of 5 stars

 

We’re the Millers

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2013 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Low level marijuana drug dealer David Clark is robbed of his money and stash, some of which he owes to his supplier. His boss, wealthy drug lord Brad Gurdlinger forces David to smuggle marijuana from Mexico in order to clear his debt. Realizing that one man attempting to get through customs is too suspicious, he hires a stripper stage-named Rose, a runaway teenage girl and thief named Casey, and his 18 year-old neighbor Kenny to pose as a bogus family called the “Millers”. Because of the extra load of the marijuana on the RV, one of the radiator hoses breaks while going up a steep incline. A family they had encountered at the border called the Fitzgeralds, consisting of Don, Edie, and Melissa, catch up to them and tow the Millers’ RV to a repair shop. On the trip to the shop, David learns that Don Fitzgerald is a DEA agent after finding his badge and gun in the glove compartment.

The marijuana turns out to be stolen from Pablo Chacon’s cartel. The next day, when the Millers head to the shop to pick up the RV, Chacon and his henchman One Eye are waiting for them and prepare to execute the family. They immediately tell Chacon that they aren’t a real family and that they didn’t know they were stealing from him. Rose is given a chance to prove that she is a stripper by dancing, and when she gets close, turns a steam vent onto Chacon. The Millers then escape in the RV, with Kenny behind the wheel. Due to Kenny’s erratic driving, the RV veers off the highway and a tarantula, hiding in a bowl of fruit given to them when they picked up the marijuana, crawls up Kenny’s leg and bites his testicle. As Kenny has a severe allergic reaction to the bite, the Millers head to the hospital. This further delays the delivery of the contraband, but David re-negotiates with Gurdlinger for a fee of $500,000. When Kenny is finally released, David rushes him to the RV in a wheelchair and tips him over. David inadvertently reveals how much he is getting paid, in comparison to how little he offered to pay each of the others. Casey, Rose, and Kenny are left in disgust by the revelation, and so David leaves them at the local carnival.

David regrets abandoning them and returns to the carnival, begging them on his knees to come back with him. On their way back to the RV, One Eye discovers them and as he is about to shoot everyone, Don Fitzgerald comes out of the camper and subdues him. Chacon then comes around the corner and is about to kill them all, but David hits Chacon and he drops his gun. Rose picks it up and accidentally shoots Chacon in the shoulder and as he is recovering, Kenny punches Chacon and knocks him out. Don arrests Chacon and One Eye and tells the Millers that he will arrest them too, but actually gives them the opportunity to leave. David delivers the drugs to Gurdlinger who tells him he’s late and that their deal is off. DEA agents then crash into the room, arresting Gurdlinger. The agent in charge is Don, who tells David that he will have to be in the witness protection program until Gurdlinger’s trial. He then adds that anyone that was a witness to the crime will be in protection, and David smiles. The Millers are then seen together in a beautiful home, with several marijuana plants growing in the garden.

REVIEW:

Comedies these days seem to forget what its like to actually be funny, so when I heard people raving about how hilarious We’re the Millers was, my interest was piqued. I just hope that I wouldn’t end up being let down.

What is this about?

When a small-time pot dealer gets mugged, he needs to find a way to pay back his supplier. Agreeing to smuggle in a major stash from Mexico, he rounds up a fake family to act as his cover, and they head for the border in an RV.

What did I like?

Charming. You don’t normally think of a film about a drug dealer smuggling pot across the border being charming, but it actually is. Credit the chemistry between the four leads with that “miracle”, if you will. Bringing together four random people who just happen to cross each other’s paths and making them a family so that they can smuggle pot for the “father’s” boss could not have been easy, but the real selling point is how they seem to bond over the course of the trip, and that is what truly makes this film.

Support. Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, and Molly Quinn play a family that also is traveling down to Mexico. As it turns out, Offerman’s character is DEA, so you can imagine how that sits with our drug smuggling family. That point aside, he turns out to play a very key part later on in the film, as well as being a hilarious supporting character.

Love story. Even though they are playing husband and wife, Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Anniston’s characters are not being forced down our throats as trying to fall in love. I bring this up because most comedies would have done that very thing, especially seeing as how they can’t stand each other at the very beginning of the film (the story of why is told when they meet Offerman and his family). I was a fan of how the filmmakers were smart enough to realize the hormones of the kids and bring in characters for them to fall for, otherwise it was sure to end up with them falling for each other making for a story that just would have caused more complications that it was worth.

What didn’t I like?

Identity thief. Out of the blue, we meet the real Pablo Chacon, who was believed to be the name that Ed Helms’ character was using to smuggle drugs in and out of Mexico. My issue with this is that it served no purpose other than to throw a little action into a film that really didn’t need it. Just make Helms more of the bad guy and the deadline he set should have has more weight attached to it. That’s just my idea, though.

Wanna be a baller. So, Will Pouter’s character gets bitten by a tarantula that was in the fruit he was given when they picked up the pot. For some reason, the filmmaker’s decided to have him pull his pants down and show his swollen testicle (and other parts). I’ll be the first one to sat that had he been a girl and that was his chest, I’d have no problem, but since he’s a guy, I have issue with it. Yeah, double standard, I know…but it happens. Fact is, I really didn’t find this funny. It was just fine without them having to show it 3, 4, even 5 times, I believe. Once was enough!

Friends strip. Jennifer Aniston is a beautiful woman with a body most women would die for, but I just found it hard to buy her as a stripper. She just doesn’t have the curves for it. Maybe someone a little more voluptuous would’ve been more convincing, because even when she was stripping, I wasn’t buying it. On the flipside, she makes a very believable mom.

What can I say about We’re the Millers. This is a comedy that many people who was just going to e a run of the mill, pardon the pun, film that was destined to be inferior. As it turns out, this is on many people’s “best of” lists in terms of comedy, and I believe I saw it on at least one person’s best of 2013. For me, it wasn’t that good, but it is a solid viewing, sure to leave you laughing and thoroughly entertained. Word to the wise, stick around for the credits. There is a nice little scene involving the family and the Friends theme. I highly recommend this film. Check it out!

4 out of 5 stars

Movie 43

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2013 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

The film is composed of multiple comedy shorts presented through an overarching segment titled “The Pitch”, in which Charlie Wessler (Dennis Quaid), a mad screenwriter, is attempting to pitch a script to film executive Griffin Schraeder (Greg Kinnear). After revealing several of the stories in his script, Wessler becomes agitated when Schraeder dismisses his outrageous ideas, and he pulls a gun on him and forces him to listen to multiple other stories before making Schraeder consult his manager, Bob Mone (Common), to purchase the film. When they do so, Mone’s condescending attitude toward Schraeder angers him to the point that, after agreeing to make the film “the biggest film since Howard the Duck”, he confronts Mone in the parking lot and tries to humiliate him. Wessler tries to calm Schraeder with more story ideas to no avail, and the segment ends with it being revealed that it is being shot by a camera crew as part of the movie, leading into the final segments.

Having recently moved, Anna and Sean have coffee with their new neighbors. The neighbors, Robert (Liev Schreiber) and Samantha (Naomi Watts) have a teenage son, Kevin (Jeremy Allen White), whom they have home-schooled. Anna and Sean begin inquiring about the homeschooling, and the numerous manners in which Robert and Samantha have replicated a high school environment within their home, going as far as hazing, bullying, and giving out detentions, are humorously revealed. They also throw high school parties and Samantha simulates Kevin’s “first kiss” with him. Visibly disturbed, the neighbors end up meeting Kevin, who says he is going out and gives them the impression that all is fine: until he reveals a doll made of a mop with Samantha’s face on it, referring to the doll as his girlfriend.

Julie (Anna Faris) and Doug (Chris Pratt) have been in a relationship for a year. When he attempts to propose to her, she reveals to him that she is a coprophiliac, and asks him to defecate on her in the bedroom. Urged by his best friend Larry (J.B. Smoove) and others to go along with it, he eats a large meal and drinks a bottle of laxative prior to the event. Wanting foreplay, Julie is angered when Doug wants to finish, and she runs into the street. Chasing after her, he is then hit by a car and graphically evacuates his bowels everywhere. She cradles him and apologizes; covered and surrounded by his excrement on the road, she exclaims that it is the “most beautiful thing” she has ever seen and accepts his marriage proposal. (In the end credits, Julie and Doug are mistakenly re-named Vanessa and Jason by Rocky Russo, Jeremy Sosenko, Steve Carr, Peter Farrelly, and Charles B. Wessler).

Neil (Kieran Culkin) is working a night shift at a local grocery store. His ex-girlfriend, Veronica (Emma Stone), comes through his line and the two begin arguing, which soon turns into sexual discussion and flirtation as they humorously lament over their relationship; unbeknownst to them, Neil’s intercom microphone broadcasts the entire explicit conversation throughout the store, where various elderly people and vagrants tune in. After she leaves in tears, the customers agree to cover his shift while he goes after her.

Robin (Justin Long) and his cohort Batman (Jason Sudeikis) are in Gotham City at a speed dating establishment seeking out a bomb threat by their arch nemesis, Penguin (John Hodgman). While Robin attempts to connect with various women through speed dating—including Lois Lane (Uma Thurman) and Supergirl (Kristen Bell)—Batman encounters his ex, Wonder Woman (Leslie Bibb), and attempts to stop Penguin from detonating Supergirl, who later turns out to be the Riddler (Will Carlough) in disguise, which Batman already knew and was screwing with Robin, who kissed “her” moments before unveiling. (Early during production, this sketch was formerly titled “Robin’s Big Speed Date”.)

A faux-PSA about kids stuck in machines and how adults’ criticism of these particular machines affect the feelings of the children stuck inside the machines. This commercial was paid for by the society for the prevention of cruelty to children inside machines.

A developing company is having a meeting in their headquarters over their newly released product, the “iBabe”, which is a life-sized, realistic replica of a nude woman which functions as an MP3 player. The boss (Richard Gere), listens to his various workers (Kate Bosworth, Aasif Mandvi, and Jack McBrayer) argue over the placement of a fan that was built into the genital region of the iBabe, which is dismembering the penises of teenage boys who attempt to have sex with them. The board members then agree to strongly emphasise the dangers of the product via its new commercials.

Nathan (Jimmy Bennett) and Amanda (Chloë Grace Moretz) are watching television after school at Nathan’s house as their first “middle school” date. When they begin to kiss, his older brother Mikey (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) enters the living room and makes fun of them. Amanda then discovers she is menstruating and tries to hide it, and when Nathan sees blood on her pants, he panics and believes her to be bleeding to death, causing a debacle, which would later have Nathan and Amanda’s fathers (Patrick Warburton and Matt Walsh) involved.

Another faux-commercial; this time it now involves two women and Tampax as the two women are swimming in an ocean and a shark suddenly appears and graphically eats one of the women.

Pete (Johnny Knoxville) captures a leprechaun (Gerard Butler) for his roommate Brian (Seann William Scott) as a birthday present. After tying the leprechaun up in the basement, they demand he give them a pot of gold. The obscene leprechaun threatens that his brother is coming to save him. When he arrives, Brian and Pete are shot at but ultimately kill both leprechauns. At the end of the segment, Pete reveals he has also caught a fairy (Esti Ginzburg) who performs fellatio for gold coins.

Donald (Stephen Merchant) and Emily (Halle Berry) are on a date together at a Mexican restaurant. Tired with typical first dates, Emily challenges Donald to a game of truth or dare. She dares him to grab a man’s buttocks, and he follows with daring her to blow out the birthday candles on a blind boy’s cake. The game rapidly escalates to extremes, in which both of them get plastic surgery and tattoos, and humiliate themselves.

Set in 1959, Coach Jackson (Terrence Howard) is lecturing his basketball team before their first game against an all-white team. Worried about losing the game, the timid players are lectured by Coach Jackson about their superiority in the sport over their white counterparts, which he expresses vulgarly. When the game ensues, the all-white team loses miserably and rejoices in a single point they earn.

Amy (Elizabeth Banks) worries that her boyfriend Anson’s (Josh Duhamel) cat, Beezel (an animated cartoon), is coming between their relationship. Beezel seems to detest Amy and anyone who comes between him and Anson, but Anson only sees Beezel as innocent. One day, Amy witnesses Beezel masturbating to summer vacation photos of Anson in a swimsuit. Beezel attacks her and violently urinates on her. Anson still finds his pet innocent but Amy threatens to leave if he doesn’t get rid of Beezel. Caring more about his relationship, Anson agrees to find a new home for him. That night, Beezel tearfully watches the couple make love from a closet (whilst sodomizing himself with a hairbrush and dry humping a stuffed teddy bear). The next day when it comes time to take Beezel away, he is nowhere to be found. Amy goes outside to look. Beezel then runs her over with a truck and attempts to shoot her to death with a shotgun, but she chases him into the street and begins beating him with a shovel, which is witnessed by a group of children attending a birthday party at a neighboring house. When Anson approaches to see what is happening, Amy tries to explain Beezel’s motives. Beezel acts innocent and Anson sides with his cat. The children of the party then attack and murder Amy for beating up Beezel, stabbing her with plastic forks. Anson grabs Beezel, as Beezel again fantasizes about French kissing his owner.

REVIEW:

Movie 43 is a film that I have yet to read a good review about. Against my better judgment, though, I decided to see what the masses were so incensed about. Surely this thing could not be that bad…or could it?

What is this about?

A series of interconnected short films follows a washed-up producer as he pitches insane story lines featuring some of the biggest stars in Hollywood.

What did I like?

Offensive. No, this film did not offend me, unless you consider how unfunny it was, but there is a disclaimer at the beginning, and the directors were making the rounds before it was released saying that the reason they made this picture was to offend and shock audiences. Judging by the vitriol people have been spitting out regarding this film, I would say they succeeded.

Cohesive. Unlike Putney Swope, a film that also has random sketches interspersed amongst the “plot”, this one actually keeps everything tied together. As a matter of fact, the plot involving a guy who wants to get the horrible movie, which we are watching, made could very well be the best part of the entire flick.

What didn’t I like?

Fire the agents. I really have to wonder what the agents of such big stars as Kate Winslet, Halle Berry, Richard Gere, and fresh off his Oscar worthy performance in Les Miserables, Hugh Jackman, amongst others that have no business being in a film this lowbrow. I don’t particularly care to say that actors are too good for a film, but they were. For goodness sakes, Jackman was playing a guy with testicles on his neck!!!!

*SIGH*.  I was talking to a friend of mine a few minutes ago, and he summed this film up very well, it is like a movie version of current Saturday Night Live. There are moments that are funny, but they are so few and far between, that you barely even notice them, or care. The rest of the sketches and whatnot just exist for the point of being gross, offensive, or filler.

Some media outlets have been trying to compare Movie 43 so such comedy sketch classics as Kentucky Fried Movie and The Groove Tube, among others, but it doesn’t come anywhere near the quality of those. This is one of those films that I am stretching to fins something good to say about, so it is best that you avoid it like the plague. I’ve suffered enough for all of us!

1 1/2 out of 5 stars

The Campaign

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Spoofs & Satire with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Democratic Congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) of North Carolina’s 14th District is running for his fifth term unopposed. However his campaign is damaged by the revelation of his affair with one of his supporters, when Cam accidentally leaves a sexually explicit voice message on a local family’s phone.

Corrupt businessmen, brothers Glen (John Lithgow) and Wade Motch (Dan Aykroyd), use this opportunity to convince Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), tourism director for the town of Hammond and son of one of their associates, Raymond Huggins (Brian Cox), to run against Cam on the Republican ticket, as part of a plan to profit from illegal dealings with Chinese companies. Cam at first underestimates Marty and humiliates him by playing a video biography highlighting Marty’s dim-witted nature. The Motch brothers then hire Tim Wattley (Dylan McDermott) to be Marty’s campaign manager. Tim reinvents Marty as a successful entrepreneur and family man. Marty’s popularity rises due to his effective campaign while Cam’s is further damaged when he accidentally punches a baby when intending to hit Marty. Cam later runs a campaign portraying Marty as an Al Qaeda terrorist, and Marty exposes Cam as a fake Christian by asking him to recite the Lord’s Prayer, which he fails to do. Cam attempts to restore his religious image by visiting a church of snake handlers, but he gets bitten by a snake. A video of the bite is leaked into the Internet and goes viral, increasing Cam’s popularity.

When Cam’s son plans to slander his competition for class president, Cam realizes he has set a bad example and visits Marty to make peace. A drunken Cam tells Marty that he originally became a politician to help people, citing that as class president he had a dangerous, rusty slide removed from the playground. After Cam leaves, Wattley convinces Marty to call the police and report Cam for driving while drunk. Cam is arrested and his campaign is again damaged. Marty later airs a TV ad of Cam’s son addressing Marty as “dad”. Cam gets revenge on Marty by seducing his neglected wife Mitzy (Sarah Baker) and recording the act. The released sex tape humiliates the Huggins family and causes Cam’s campaign manager, Mitch (Jason Sudeikis), to abandon him. Marty retaliates by shooting Cam in the leg on a hunting trip, increasing his own popularity.

As the election nears, Marty meets with the Motch brothers and learns of their plans to sell Hammond to their Chinese business partner and turn the town into a large series of factories. Marty realizes he has been used and rejects the Motch brothers’ support. The Motch brothers offer Cam their support instead to preserve their plans. Marty meanwhile reconciles with his family.

On election day, Cam’s victory appears to be certain until Marty comes forward and exposes the Motch brothers’ intent and promises to preserve Hammond if elected. Cam still wins and remains congressman due to rigged voting machines owned by the Motch brothers. While Cam gloats, Marty shows his large scars to Cam and reveals that he looked up to Cam in school for getting rid of the dangerous slide. Realizing he has swayed from his true objectives as a politician, Cam withdraws from the election and Marty wins by default. Cam earns back Mitch’s respect, and Marty later appoints him his chief of staff.

Six months later, Marty and Cam expose the Motch brothers’ scandals and the brothers are called to appear before Congress. The Motch brothers point out that everything they did is legal under Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, but they are arrested for their association with Wattley, who is actually an international fugitive.

REVIEW:

So, isn’t it about time we had a Will Ferrell flick (in English)? Well, we got it with The Campaign. Some people may avoid this flick because of its two leads, Ferrell and Zach Galiafianakis tend to rub them the wrong way, but together they make magic!

What is this about?

Plenty of mud gets slung when an inexperienced contender backed by two plotting benefactors goes up against a longtime North Carolina congressman in a ruthless battle to win a House of Representatives seat.

What did I like?

Chemistry. Ferrell and Galifiankis seem to really gel together as political rivals. Their distinctive brands of comedy really played well in contrast to each other, as did their portrayal of these characters.

Satire. You can say I’m a conspiracy theorist for this, but I don’t care. It is hard to not believe there are certain powers behind the scenes pulling the strings with nearly every politician from the local school board member all the way up to the President himself (as soon as I post this, I’m sure the Secret Service will be at my door). That being said, it is good to see a film take the ludicrosity of the enormous powers these people, I use that term loosely, have and skewer it. No person, or group of person should be allowed to wield such power!

Help. For all the talk of the guys running for office, we can’t ignore their assistants, played by Jason Sudeikis and Dylan McDermott, respectively. It is their job to be the proverbial straight men and keep things running smoothly. Oh, and hey also have to see to their guy getting elected.

What didn’t I like?

Release. I really question the timing of the release of this film. Seems as if it could have really capitalized on the election hoopla, rather than the late summer scraps. I can just see how this would have been a nice break from all the dark, evil feelings that came about during the election last month.

Is he or isn’t he. The way Zach Galifiankis’ character had a very effeminate way about him didn’t really sit right with me, especially since it turns out he is a Republican, a party not known for welcoming those who act “differently”. In a way it is kinda funny, but at the same time, not so much. It is just one of those things that works for a little while, and then you either begin to ignore it or grow weary of it.

Wives club. The wives seem to be forgotten. Ferrell’s wife has a bit more development, though she does run off with the children, but given his sexual indiscretions, that’s alright. Galifiankis’ wife, though, is as sweet as can be, but she is lost in the shuffle, save for a couple of scenes where she laments about how the election is changing and taking her husband away from her.

The Campaign is a nice little flick that is sure to bring a smile to those who watch it. As it is a satirical film, though, there are sure to be those that are offended by its view of politics. Rest assured, though, I don’t believe it veers to the left or right with its topics. I recommend this, especially around election time. It is the perfect flick to lighten things up.

3 out of 5 stars

Hall Pass

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis) are best friends as are their wives, Maggie (Jenna Fischer) and Grace (Christina Applegate). They are both unhappy with their married lives and missing the old days when they were single. Realizing this, their wives talk to their friend Dr. Lucy (Joy Behar) and decide to give them a “Hall Pass”: A week off from marriage during which they can have sex with other women. They are skeptical at first, but ultimately accept the offers and try to pick up women with their friends Gary (Stephen Merchant), Flats (J.B. Smoove) and Hog Head (Larry Joe Campbell). Maggie and Grace spend Rick’s and Fred’s “Hall Pass Week” at Maggie’s parents’ house in Cape Cod, where Grace flirts with athlete Gerry (Tyler Hoechlin). She says that if their husbands have Hall Passes, so should they.

With their wives and children away, Fred and Rick check in at a motel and prepare for their Hall Pass Week. On day one, they decide to eat before going to a local bar and get too tired to spend the night there, preferring to stay at the hotel.

On day two, they eat pot brownies and decide to play golf, but get too high and wreak havoc on the golf course.

On day three, Rick and Fred go to a bar with their friends but fail to impress the women there. They decide to get drunk in order to become more loose, but go too far and wind up getting into a fight with other customers. They spend day four at the hotel suffering from a hangover.

On day five, Rick goes to a local coffee shop where Rick flirts with an attractive waitress named Leigh (Nicky Whelan), much to the annoyance of her co-worker Brent who insults Rick. When Rick answers him back, Leigh is impressed and tells Rick that they might see each other at the local gym. They later meet there, and Leigh invites Rick for a beer after they work out. Rick decides to sit in the hot tub instead, but falls asleep and stays there for several hours ending up with his muscles too weak to use and forced to accept the help of two naked men to leave much to his dismay. Meanwhile, Grace and Gerry get closer, while Maggie finds herself attracted to Gerry’s coach.

On day six, Rick and Fred go to a bar called Enter the Dragon with their friend Coakley (Richard Jenkins), where Rick meets his children’s babysitter Paige (Alexandra Daddario), who has just turned 21 and is with her aunt Meg. Paige is attracted to Rick, but he shoots her down to dance with Leigh. Brent, the party’s DJ, is angry at this. After the party is over, Rick goes to party at Coakley’s while Fred takes a girl to his motel room. However, she feels sick and, after a minor incident in the bathroom, is sent back home by Fred before they can have sex. Later that evening Paige’s aunt shows up at the room and mistakes Fred for Rick, eventually seducing him. Fred fakes oral sex on Meg until they are interrupted by Rick.

Meanwhile, Gerry’s coach tries to seduce Maggie, but she rebuffs him. Grace, on the other hand, has sex with Gerry, but tells him it will be just that one time. On her way back home, she feels guilty about cheating on Fred and has a car accident.

At Coakley’s house, Rick meets Leigh who offers him a one-time fling. He initially wants to do it, but ultimately rebuffs her, unable to cheat on Maggie. As he is leaving after hearing of Grace’s accident, he is approached by Brent who is angry at Rick for going out with Leigh. She calms him, and Rick makes his way to the hotel where he finds Paige who thinks he was having sex with Meg. They enter the room and find Fred having fake sex with her. After finding out the truth, Meg kicks Fred in the face.

Upon hearing about Grace’s accident, Fred tries to go to the hospital but finds Brent vandalizing what Brent thought was Rick’s car. Upon seeing Paige’s aunt, his mother, at the hotel, Brent thinks Fred has had sex with her and tries to kill him as well, but runs out of bullets and is tackled by Paige and his mother. Rick and Fred enter Fred’s car and make their way to the hospital with Brent and the police chasing them. At the hospital, Brent is arrested for attacking them and Fred finds out Grace only broke her nose.

Rick goes back home and finds Maggie. He tells her he did not use the Hall Pass and remembers the time he lost his virginity to her. She is the only woman he has ever been with. Moved by his declaration, Maggie tells him she did not use her Hall Pass either and they reconcile and have sex for the first time in months. Fred and Grace also reconcile and decide to hide their cheating from one another. However, Fred ultimately confesses that he used his Hall Pass with Paige’s aunt when Grace asks him to take her to see Kathy Griffin.

During the credits, Fred hosts a barbecue where he pays Kathy Griffin to be present. Noticing how happy Maggie and Grace are following the Hall Pass week, Gary’s wife suggests that she give him a Hall Pass. After a fantasy where he sleeps with a married woman, resulting in the death of her, her husband, her grandmother and several innocent bystanders (and ending with him getting anally raped in prison), Gary agrees to give it a go

REVIEW:

As a guy, I will admit that my eyes do wander. Hell, that’s not a guy thing, it is a human thing. I can guarantee you that no matter who you are, if a hot young thing walks by you either look at them when they’re coming toward or make an effort to look (without being caught) as they walk away. Significant others are not a fan of this, and I can imagine more than a few relationships have ended because of the wandering eye. Hall Pass takes that idea and runs with it, or should I say stammers?

What is this about?

Owen Wilson stars as a married man whose spouse (Jenna Fischer) grants him the right — for just one week — to pursue as many extramarital affairs as he can. His best buddy (Jason Sudeikis) receives an identical “hall pass” from his wife, and off the guys go. The hubbies soon discover, however, that picking up girls isn’t as easy as they recall, while their better halves embark on their own erotic adventures.

What did I like?

Idea. I like the idea of a week off from marriage. Maybe it is just because I’m just a huge flirt and can totally see my mouth/actions getting me into something I can’t get out of, but a pass would totally save my butt in that situation. Also, I know a few of my married friends who, while still in love with their spouses, would be more than happy to spend some time with someone else for a week.

Aussie. If there was one good thing about that final season of Scrubs, it is that American audiences were introduced to gorgeous Australian, Nicky Whelan. She wasn’t a major character on there, but I have total confidence had the show picked up steam she would have been added and her character given more to do. Perhaps that is how she got this role. A token hot blonde with a sexy Australian accent and a nice tan. I’d be using my pass on her, too….if I had one.

What didn’t I like.

Characters. Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis are two actors today that just rub me the wrong way. Putting them together was a huge mistake. Wait, I take that back. Sudeikis would have worked better as a supporting character, like he usually does, as opposed to a lead role. Wilson wasn’t as annoying as he usually is, but that might be because he could very well have been the lesser of two evils.

Humor. One reviewer called this “…outright hideous and also embarrassing, like a creepy uncle sporting a backwards baseball cap and cracking bad, lewd jokes for the under-thirties. At a funeral” That pretty much sums up how bad this film really is. I felt like it was trying too hard to be cutting edge and funny, but instead it just came off as a bland flick that just exists. I can’t say that I laughed or chuckled one big throughout this entire film and for something that is categorized as a comedy, that is a shame.

Subplot.  There is some weird subplot that is never quite fully develops between Wilson’s character and the babysitter. Making matters worse, in the final days of the pass, they bring in her obviously promiscuous aunt which is supposed to be a comedic point, but that never works, and she just turns out to be a hussy, in my opinion.

Hall Pass is going to go down as one of the most forgettable films I’ve watched all year. It isn’t funny or memorable. Come this time next year, if someone were to ask me about this flick, the only thing that I’m going to remember is Nicky Whelan. No slight to her, but that is pretty sad. I do not recommend this to anyone. It is not worth the pain and torture.

2 1/2 out of 5 stars