Archive for Jennifer Aniston

Storks

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In this animated avian tale, storks have stopped bringing babies home and started delivering packages for an e-commerce giant instead. But when a stork named Junior creates a baby by mistake, the rush is on to make things right.

REVIEW:

Storks is charmless with rote obligation. This is a kid’s film for hire, with none of the creativity, emotion and design that elevate the genre to art, or even simply a fun time at the movies” 2 stars

“This flick had a great message buried underneath all of the intense ADHD but this movie was incredibly way too manic for me to follow. Seemed to be a children’s movie strictly for children. The annoyingly distracting flow of the flick couldn’t salvage the film’s positive message, talented cast, and impressive animation.” 2 stars

“Most of the movie doubles down on the mania and lacing the sugar-rush sensation with an almost lysergic sense of silliness.” 3 stars

“Enjoyable animated family movie, the colorful animation and the overdone funny voice-over does tend to focus on kids, still should be a decent watch for adults too. There are lots of hits and misses, some genuine funny moments mixed with equal amount of forced laughs, the plot and storytelling is the biggest weakness.” 3 stars

“Dull storyline, and a lot of the “humor” were not that funny. The ending picked up a bit but failed to really deliver anything really good to watch. I know this movie is about storks, but the humans are totally brain dead in this movie. Overall I found it to be a waste of time to watch.” 1 star

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Along Came Polly

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , , , on June 28, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Risk-averse Reuben Feffer, whose best-laid plans for life and love careen wildly off-track when his bride dumps him on their honeymoon for a muscle-bound scuba instructor. Stunned, humiliated and in the grip of acute indigestion, Reuben plans to play it safer than ever. But a chance adventure with an adventure-craving childhood friend named Polly, shoots him into a whirlwind of extreme sports, spicy foods, ferrets, salsa dancing and living in the moment.

What people are saying:

“One of Stiller’s weakest efforts. Not really any believable chemistry between these two though of course Jen looked good. And PSH is always solid.” 2 stars

“Along Came Polly is not a comedy that shoots for the stars and is perfectly happy living on the lower rungs of the ladder; but it is an enjoyably, stupid comedy. The story is incredibly played-out and the neurotic character Stiller always plays is growing increasingly more annoying and you know exactly how his character is going to make a fool of himself throughout. Aniston gets a change of pace from her bombshell persona and plays a ditzy, flake who never thinks too hard about the next step; which was refreshing. Hands down the best character is Philip Seymour Hoffman’s, Sandy Lyle who’s a washed-up, former actor still thinking he’s a big deal because he was in one hit movie! Seriously, his scenes are absolute gold and his physical performance is commendable as well. It’s at best a rental and you watch it at home with your family/loved one and you laugh, and then forget all about it; but it is a competent film.” 3 stars

“The plot is weak, even for a rom-com, the characters are as well fleshed out as a 3 panel comic strip and most of the comedy is centred around toilets and perspiration. There is some entertainment to be had in there, and the pacing is pretty swift, but I very much doubt anyone will want to watch this more than once.” 1 1/2 stars

“Honestly, not too bad of a movie. One of the few romantic comedies I enjoyed, and any guy will enjoy. Pretty funny. Ben Stiller slowly becomes a dead weight on the movie and by films end, your glad it’s over. Aniston and Stiller don’t really make a believable couple on screen. But all in all it’s a not too bad of a movie, ” 3 out of 5 stars

“Err…it was tolerable. I dunno, I don’t really care for these generic rom coms. The best parts were Philip Seymour Hoffman and the blind ferret. But movies like these don’t deserve alot of acknowledgement or in-depth reviews…at least not from me. It was a good effort, that failed in terms of originality. No thanks.” 2 stars

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

Bruce Almighty

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on March 28, 2015 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Bruce Nolan (Jim Carrey) is a television field reporter for Eyewitness News at WKBW-TV in Buffalo, New York, but desires to be the news anchorman. He is in a healthy relationship with his girlfriend Grace Connelly (Jennifer Aniston), but also has a mild crush on his co-worker, Susan Ortega (Catherine Bell), who barely seems to notice him. Bruce however continues to suffer unfortunate events and it reaches his breaking point when he is passed over for promotion by his rival, Evan Baxter (Steve Carell), who then steals dialogue from Bruce’s segment in accepting the promotion on-air. Bruce becomes furious and aggressively criticizes the station during his first live report (culminating with calling them “fuckers”), leading to his dismissal from the station. Following a series of other misfortunes, Bruce complains that God (Morgan Freeman) is “the one that should be fired.”

Bruce later receives a message on his pager, directing him to an empty warehouse where he meets God. God offers to give Bruce His powers to prove that He is doing the job correctly. God tells Bruce that he cannot tell others he has God’s powers, nor can he use the powers to alter free will. Bruce ignores God and is initially jubilant with the powers, using them for personal gain, such as training his dog to use the toilet, chasing away thugs by spewing out a swarm of hornets, and sexually impressing Grace. Bruce also finds ways of using the powers to cause miraculous events to occur at otherwise mundane events that he covers, such as discovering Jimmy Hoffa’s body or causing a meteor to harmlessly land near a cook-off, earning him his job back. Bruce then uses his powers to cause Evan to make a fool out of himself on-air, causing Evan to be fired in favor of Bruce as the new anchor.

After taking Grace to a fancy dinner and telling her he made anchor (angering her, as she thought he was going to propose), Bruce begins to hear voices in his head. He re-encounters God, who confronts Bruce on using his powers for personal gain and not helping people. He also explains that the voices are prayers to God that Bruce must deal with. Bruce creates a computerized email-like system to receive the prayers and respond, but finds that the influx is far too great for him to handle—even though God had stated that Bruce is only receiving prayers from the Buffalo area – and sets the program to automatically answer Yes to every prayer.

Bruce attends a party celebrating his promotion. When Grace arrives, she finds Bruce being seduced and kissed by Susan, and quickly leaves. Bruce follows Grace, but she is heartbroken and will not listen to him. He tries to use his powers to convince Grace to stay but cannot influence her free will. As Bruce looks around, he realizes that the city has fallen into chaos due to his actions. Bruce returns to God, who explains that He can’t solve all the problems, and that Bruce must figure out a way to solve it himself. Bruce then begins to solve his problems in life practically, such as helping a man whose car broke down across the street, training his dog normally, and allowing Evan to have his job back. Bruce returns to his computer system and goes about answering prayers as best he can. As he reads through them, he finds a prayer from Grace, wishing for Bruce’s success and well-being. As he reads it, another prayer from Grace arrives, this one wishing not to be in love with Bruce anymore.

Bruce is stunned and walks alone on a highway, asking God to take back His powers and letting his fate be in His hands. Bruce is suddenly struck by a truck, and regains consciousness in a white void. God appears and asks Bruce what he really wants; Bruce admits that he only wants to make sure Grace finds a man that would make her happy. God agrees and Bruce finds himself in the hospital, shortly after being revived—near miraculously—by the doctors. Grace arrives and the two rekindle their relationship, with Bruce and Grace later becoming engaged. After his recovery, Bruce returns to his field reporting but takes more pleasure in the simple stories. Bruce and Grace announce their engagement on live TV. The film ends with the beggar who Bruce had previously ran into on various occasions finally revealing himself to be God.

REVIEW:

Jim Carrey has had quite the career when it comes to film, especially the comedies. One his most memorable, though perhaps not for his performance, is Bruce Almighty. Let’s take a look at this film and see what is so intriguing about it, shall we?

What is this about?

When TV reporter Bruce Nolan angrily ridicules God, the Almighty responds by giving Bruce all His divine powers. But can Bruce improve on perfection?

What did I like?

Phonemonal cosmic power. Let’s think for a moment. If you had the power of God, what would you? My guess is that most of us would test it out a little bit, then do things to make our lives better, which would then be followed by the workload of the Almighty. So, pretty much what Jim Carrey does here is what we all do. Can’t fault him for that, at all, and he does so in true Carrey fashion. Love it!

God. Few people are capable and worthy enough to take on a role as big as God.  Alanis Morrissette did in Dogma, but all she did was skip around and smile. Patrick Stewart and James Earl Jones are usually called on to be the voice of God, but I don’t think they’ve ever portrayed him in person. Morgan Freeman, however, seems have that mixture of commanding screen presence, warmth, and Je ne se quoi that makes him the perfect choice. Even better is the fact that when he was cast, I don’t recall an uproar about his race, which really shows how well respected an actor he is.

Dog. In a small bit of comic relief (is that what you call this…in a comedy?), the dog has a couple of moments where it stands up, lift the toilet seat, and takes a piss. This is followed by another scene where he’s sitting on the toilet reading a newspaper. I thought that was kind of clever, as we all know dogs are horrible when it comes to using the bathroom where they are supposed to. Perhaps this is the director’s way of showing “what if”?

What didn’t I like?

Devil. If Morgan Freeman is God, shouldn’t there be a devil somewhere? I suggest that either the sister-in-law or his big rival, Evan, though the latter would ruin the premise of Evan Almighty, should be getting some kind of unholy help. It just makes sense to have yin and yang. Maybe that’s just me wanting too much balance, though.

Forgiveness. Is it me, or in every movie Jennifer Aniston is in she ends up walking in on a guy at the wrong moment and then spends the rest of the film being all pissy about it? Katherine Heigl is guilty of this, as well. Maybe this is just a female thing, but I know that guys are willing to forgive and forget in the blink of an eye, but women hold on to any and everything they see, regardless of the situation. This situation where Aniston walks in and seen Bruce making out with Catherine Bell’s character (who wouldn’t want to be in a triangle with those two, btw?) was nothing more than a misunderstanding. Had Aniston not been so overemotional and gone in the first place, Bell’s character wouldn’t have had the chance to throw herself at Bruce. Forgiveness is needed all around, methinks.

Blood type. At the end of the film, Bruce is laying in a hospital bed and glances over to see the bag of blood which is being pumped into him. He gives is a confused look and Jennifer Aniston’s character enters and says something that leads us to believe we missed an important scene. Roll credits and we se the outtakes of this scene in which they are sitting in the car discussing blood type and Bruce says the line that Aniston says. It all makes sense, now! Films do this more often than not. They will cut something that has significance to something later on, leaving the audience confused. I don’t know the reason this scene was cut, but since it was related to the hospital scene, some kind of effort should have been made to at least mention the blood type stuff somewhere else.

It’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon and I feel like I should be outside enjoying it, but I need to get some work done. Ever the procrastinator, I decided it was movie time! Bruce Almighty fit the bill perfectly for what I was looking for. Something light, funny, with a beautiful leading lady. I actually have very little negative to say about this, so let’s dispense with the formalities and allow me to tell you this a definite must-see film. I very highly recommend it!

5 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

Wanderlust

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) are an urban married couple who purchase a micro-loft in New York after much hesitation. George is expecting a promotion while Linda is trying to sell a documentary to HBO. Soon after purchasing their home, George learns that his company has folded, overnight, while HBO rejects Linda’s documentary. With both out of work, they are forced to sell their apartment and decide to leave for Georgia to live with George’s arrogant brother Rick (Ken Marino) and his wife Marisa (Michaela Watkins) after Rick offers George a job.

After many hours on the highway, Linda demands they stop to rest. The closest place to stop is a bed and breakfast hotel named Elysium. When they turn, they are surprised to see a man walking naked named Wayne Davidson (Joe Lo Truglio). They promptly try to turn back but flip the car over, so they are forced to stay at the hotel. While trying to sleep, they are distracted by noises in the living room. When they go to check, they learn that Elysium is a hippie commune. They meet the various residents of Elysium, including Seth (Justin Theroux), Eva (Malin Åkerman), and Elysium’s owner Carvin (Alan Alda). George and Linda spend the night feeling more alive than before. In the morning, everyone helps flip George’s car back so they can leave, but Seth urges them to consider staying.

George and Linda arrive at Rick’s house and find the atmosphere much less soothing. George eventually reaches breaking point with Rick and takes Linda back to Elysium, where they are welcomed back. George is excited about the simpler lifestyle while Linda is hesitant. After a few days however, Linda starts feeling enlightened by the lifestyle while George begins having second thoughts. George and Linda soon learn that ‘free love’ is strongly encouraged as Seth and Eva want to seduce Linda and George, respectively. Both George and Linda rebuff the notion of free love.

At the same time, Elysium is being targeted by property developers to build a casino on the property, but they are unable to until they have the deed to the land, which Carvin misplaced. When the property developers arrive with bulldozers, Linda scares them off by flashing them and the other residents join her. Linda is lauded as a hero by the commune. George then demands that they leave, saying that if they stay, they would have to give in to ‘free love’. Linda wants to stay and has sex with Seth. George is pressured to have sex with Eva, but he drives her away with his bizarre behavior. The next morning, George reaches breaking point, stating that he dislikes the rules of Elysium and wants to leave. Linda wants to stay, so George goes back to Rick’s house alone.

Seth believes he has found his soul mate in Linda and searches for the deed to Elysium which he sells to the property developers to start a new life with Linda. A child from the commune witnesses the burning of the deed by Seth and the man that wants to build the Casino. Seth tells Linda that he wants to go away from Elysium and that the others can look after themselves. Linda refuses.

In the meantime, George realises he loves Linda and comes back to finder her, getting into a fight with Seth while the commune looks on and tries to help ‘non-violently’. The child that witnesses the burning of the deed by Seth tells the commune what happened and George punches Seth in the jaw.

In the aftermath, the news show that visited Elysium does a story about the commune. George and Linda start a publishing company, with their first book being a political thriller novel written by Wayne. The novel is then fast-tracked into a film adaptation starring Ray Liotta. Carvin reclaims his rights to Elysium after he is reunited with all the original founders of Elysium, one of whom had another copy of the deed.

REVIEW:

Jennifer Aniston in yet another romantic comedy…or is she? I’m not quite so sure this can be classified as a romantic comedy, but yet, it does seem as if she only does one type of film, with a couple of exceptions. Wanderlust is yet another in her long line of generic nice girl roles.

What is this film about?

A young couple is looking to buy an apartment in New York City, and so they do. The next day she strikes out on her documentary pitch to HBO and he loses his job because the company he works for is raided by the feds. This forces them to sell the apartment they just bought and head to Atlanta to live with his (more successful) brother. On the way, they stop at what they think is a bed and breakfast, but turns out to be a hippie commune, where they have the time of their life. After a falling out with the brother, they return to live in the commune. As you can probably guess, things don’t go as well as planned there, either. The “leader” thinks the wife is his soulmate, some company wants the land to build condos or something, and of course there are various (sometimes comedic) issues with the people. Will the happy couple stay happy? Will the hippies keep their happy home?

What did I like about this film?

Hippies. I’ve been in a 70s kind of mode since the summer, as I’m having to do some “Summer of Love” stuff at work. The hippie commune, brought me back to that, even though these are a different brand of hippies. It was still nice to see them portrayed in a somewhat positive and comedic light, as opposed to the hate speech we got from that episode of South Park.

Cast. This is an extremely talented cast and it is a treat to see them together. Aniston and Rudd have great chemistry together, something we first saw in Friends, and of course it is kind of hard her to not have magic with her boyfriend Justin Theroux. This is not to forget great comedic turns from the likes of Alan Alda, Malin Akerman, Jordan Peele, and others.

Marino. I first was introduced to this guy in that show Reaper. He was quite funny in scenes here and there, until they killed him. Ever since then, I’ve gained respect for this man’s talent. He really cranks it up a notch, though his character is annoying as hell.

What didn’t I like?

Bait and switch. I remember when this film was about to be released, there was a big hullabaloo about Jennifer Aniston finally doing a topless scene, but right before the film was released she demanded it be cut out in respect to her new boyfriend. Many of us guys, and some women, were pissed about that. Months later, the film is released on DVD and that is all but forgotten, except the scene actually is still in the film, but it is an edited version of it. In other words, almost as much of a tease, if not more, than her scene in The Break Up.

No need to see that. As much as I was hoping to see more of Jennifer Aniston, we say way too much of Jo Lo Truglio, who was playing a nudist. I can deal with him being naked. It was his character, but did we really need to see everything?!?

Silk Spectre. So, why would you cast someone as hot as Malin Akerman to be the obvious young hottie and not really use her? I kid you not, she’s all over the film, but mostly as a highly paid extra. There are a couple of scenes with her, but nothing memorable. Such a shame, really, as she is infinitely more talented than some of the people who actually got major screentime.

Wanderlust is one of those films that people thought would be better than it turned out to be. The great cast and decent story aren’t enough to keep this film afloat as it meanders through its 97 minute runtime. I won’t say this film is bad, but it is one of those flicks that you’ll forget 5 minutes after you finish watching. I do not recommend it.

2 3/4 out of 5 stars

Horrible Bosses

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman) and Dale Arbus (Charlie Day) are friends who despise their bosses. Nick works at a financial firm for emotionally abusive Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey) who dangles the possibility of a promotion in front of Nick, only to award it to himself. Dale is a dental assistant being sexually harassed by his boss, Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston); she threatens to tell his fiancee (Lindsay Sloane) that he had sex with her unless he actually has sex with her. Nick and Dale’s accountant friend Kurt Buckman (Jason Sudeikis) enjoys working for Jack Pellitt (Donald Sutherland) but after Jack dies, the company is taken over by Jack’s cocaine-addicted, amoral son Bobby (Colin Farrell).

At night, over drinks, Kurt jokingly suggests that their lives would be happier if their bosses were no longer around. Initially hesitant, they eventually agree to do away with their employers. In search of a hitman, the trio meet “Motherfucker” Jones (Jamie Foxx), an ex-con who agrees to be their “murder consultant”. Jones suggests that Dale, Kurt and Nick kill each other’s bosses to hide their motive while making the deaths look like accidents.

The three reconnoiter Bobby’s house, and Kurt steals Bobby’s phone. They next go to Dave’s house. Kurt and Nick go inside while Dale waits in the car. Dave returns home and confronts Dale for littering, but then has an allergy attack from the peanut butter on the litter. Dale saves Dave by stabbing him with an EpiPen. Nick and Kurt think Dale is stabbing Dave to death and flee, Kurt accidentally dropping Bobby’s phone in Dave’s bedroom. Dave’s wife Rhonda (Julie Bowen) thanks Dale for saving her husband, causing Dave to jealously accuse her of having an affair with Dale. The next night, while Kurt watches Julia’s home, Nick and Dale wait outside Bobby’s and Dave’s houses to commit the murders. Dave discovers Bobby’s cellphone in his bedroom and uses it to find his address, suspecting his wife is having an affair. He drives over and kills Bobby, with Nick as a secret witness.

Nick flees at high speed, setting off a traffic camera. The three friends meet to discuss their reservations about continuing with their plan. They are arrested by the police, who feel the camera footage makes them suspects in Bobby’s murder. Lacking evidence, the police are forced to let the trio go free.

They consult with Jones again, but learn that he has never actually killed anyone, having been imprisoned for bootlegging Snow Falling on Cedars. They decide their only option is to get Dave to confess and secretly tape it. The three accidentally crash Dave’s surprise birthday party. Nick and Dale get Dave to confess to the murder before realizing that Kurt, who has the audio recorder, is elsewhere having sex with Rhonda. Dave threatens to kill all three for attempting to blackmail him. They flee by car. Dave gives chase, ramming their vehicle. Kurt asks his car’s navigation-system operator to help get them out of trouble. Believing they have committed a crime, the operator remotely disables Kurt’s car, allowing Dave to catch and hold them at gunpoint. Dave shoots himself in the leg as he details his plan to frame them for murdering Bobby and attempting to kill him to get rid of the witness.

The police arrest Nick, Dale and Kurt, but the navigation-system operator reveals that the entire conversation was recorded. Dave is sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, while the friends get their charges waived. Nick is promoted to president of the company under a sadistic CEO (Bob Newhart), Kurt retains his job under a new boss, and Dale blackmails Julia into ending her harassment by convincing her to sexually harass a supposedly unconscious patient while Jones secretly records the act.

REVIEW:

So, I’m sure we all have some sort of animosity towards our bosses, right? Well, I don’t really have any towards mine, per se, but he does annoy me with his anal retentiveness sometimes. Still, I wouldn’t call hm horrible, nor would I go into a bar searching for a hitman to kill him.

Now, while I wouldn’t do such a thing, the three central characters of Horrible Bosses aren’t as smart. In case you haven’t figured out, the plot of this film is these disgruntled employees tire of taking stuff from their bosses and hatch a plot to kill them in the hopes that their lives would be made easier.

Each of their bosses are deplorable people, and are portrayed as such by Kevin Spacey, and almost unrecognizable Colin Farrell, and Jennifer Aniston in the hottest role I’ve seen her in, including her scenes in Just Go With It.

Farrell is actually not the boss when the film starts, but rather the boss’ son. However, he is obviously disgruntled and jealous of the attention Jason Sudeikis’ character receives. After his father dies of a sudden heart attack, the business is turned over to him since he is the closest relative. Not exactly sure how that worked, but whatever. Anyway, once Farrell takes over he starts making insane orders of Sudeikis, such as “…fire the fat people”, as I’m sure you’ve seen in the trailer. On top of this, he’s having an affair with a woman who is miserable in her marriage because her husband is a total douche. Just so happens that man is played by Kevin Spacey.

Spacey is hands down the worst of the three. As bad as he is, this is amplified by his vindictive, vengeful, jealous nature and the way he treats Jason Bateman. I don’t see how there haven’t been more attempts on this guy’s life, including a few by his wife. I have to say, though, this is the kind of character Spacey should have done as Lex Luthor in Superman Returns, instead of a rehash of Gene Hackman’s version.

On the flipside, Jennifer Aniston might actually not be that bad. The issue with her is that she is obsessed with her assistant, played by Charlie Day, who just happens to be freshly engaged. she goes out of her way to make sure he pays attention to her and desperately wants to have sex with him. It may just be because Aniston is America’s sweetheart or the fact that she’s unbelievably hot here, but the audience really feels for this woman. Such a shame they felt the need to try to kill her. Hell, I’d do anything to have her chase after me like that! Fair warning guys, she is a major tease here. For instance, there is a scene where she is wearing nothing more than her lab coat, which is open, and panties. Need I say more?

The employees actually don’t do anything for me. Well, let me take that back. Sudeikis and Bateman just seem to doing their usual shtick. As I’m not a fan of either, you can guess what I think of them in this film. However, Charlie Day saves this film from going under because of them. His role as the naive member of the group really worked. I thoroughly enjoyed his performance.

Jamie Foxx also appears in a couple of scenes as someone they guys pick up in a bar and think that because he was in jail he would be the perfect person to pull off these hits.

I really liked the plot of this film, even if I didn’t agree with it. Some people are calling it dark, racist, misogynistic, and other negative adjectives. While it obviously isn’t sugar, spice, and everything nice, it is a nice little story that will entertain the audience. Isn’t that what we go to the moves for, anyway?

This is a rare jewel in comedy today in that it doesn’t veer off into drama territory the way more and more of them do. Horrible Bosses will have you either cracking up or in shock. For that reason, this is worth watching. With all the dark, depressing films these days, we could all use a good laugh and this is just what the doctor ordered. Why not give it a shot?

4 out of 5 stars