Archive for Jennifer Coolidge

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

Posted in Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Through a series of misunderstandings, Alvin, Simon and Theodore come to believe that Dave is going to propose to his new girlfriend in Miami…and dump them. They have three days to get to him and stop the proposal, saving themselves not only from losing Dave but possibly from gaining a terrible stepbrother.

What people are saying:

“In some respects, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip is a marginal improvement over prior installments, although this in no way qualifies as a recommendation.” 1 star

“A cute and harmless family movie which will definitely gain the approval of the kids as the three most famous chipmunks venture to Miami with a stereotypical rebelling teen. Despite a predictable plot, the film makes a decent enough movie for children to enjoy.” 3 stars

“I think Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise should’ve quit after the second movie. The third one was boring at best. We had four kids with us. They were pretty bored after the first 30 minutes. There were some good songs but they did not make up for the very forced story line. Save your money and watch it on a rental.” 2 stars

“Irritating characters, little semblance of a plot, weak gags, and sub-par performances … result in a film that doesn’t even have enough going on to interest a five-year-old.” 1 star

“Definitely better than the third movie, which, unfortunately, was pretty lame. “The Road Chip” had some great music and was genuinely funny in many places. Though I agree with some other reviews that this was not a movie particularly geared toward young children, I think that young adults ages 12 or 13 on up, including adults, would really appreciate it. Younger children would like the music and some of the comedic lines and scenes, too.” 4 stars

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A Night at the Roxbury

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2013 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Wealthy Yemeni-American brothers Steve (Will Ferrell) and Doug Butabi (Chris Kattan) enjoy frequenting nightclubs, where they bob their heads in unison to dance music (specifically Haddaway’s hit song “What Is Love”) and fail miserably at picking up women. Their dream is to party at the famous L.A. nightclub The Roxbury, a fabled nightclub where they are continually denied entrance by a hulking bouncer (Michael Clarke Duncan). By day, the brothers work at an artificial plant store owned by their wealthy father, Kamehl Butabi (Dan Hedaya). They spend most of their time goofing off, daydreaming about opening a club as cool as the Roxbury together, and Doug using credit card transactions as an excuse to hit on a phone approval operator. The store shares a wall with a lighting emporium owned by Fred Sanderson (Dwayne Hickman). Mr. Butabi and Mr. Sanderson hope that Steve and Emily (Molly Shannon), Sanderson’s daughter, will marry, uniting the families and the businesses to form the first plant-lamp emporium.

After a day at the beach the brothers decide that tonight is the night they will finally get into the Roxbury. Returning home, Doug gets into a heated argument with their father about going out clubbing instead of staying home. Their father has planned a dinner party with Emily and her parents. The angered Mr. Butabi then denies them access to their BMW car and their cell phones. They are given enormous cell phones by their mother (Loni Anderson) and allowed use of the fake-plant store’s delivery van, they are quickly rejected by the doorman (Michael Clarke Duncan). After discovering they might bribe their way into the club, the brothers drive around looking for an ATM. They get into a fender-bender with Richard Grieco (playing himself) and to avoid a lawsuit, Grieco uses his fame to get them into the popular club. There they meet the owner of the Roxbury, Benny Zadir (Chazz Palminteri), who listens to their idea for a nightclub of their own. He likes them and sets up a meeting with them for the next day. The brothers also meet a pair of women at the Roxbury: Vivica (Gigi Rice) and Cambi (Elisa Donovan), who see them talking to Zadir and think that the brothers are rich.

On the way to the afterparty at Mr. Zadir’s house, the brothers annoy his driver and bodyguard Dooey (Colin Quinn) by making him stop to buy fluffy whip and making jokes about sleeping with his parents. As revenge, the next day Dooey denies them entry into Zadir’s office for their meeting. He tells the brothers that Zadir was drunk out of his mind last night and does not know who they are. In reality, Zadir really wants to see them, but does not have their contact information. The girls break up with the Butabi brothers after realizing they are not really wealthy. The brothers fight and Doug moves out of their shared bedroom and into the guest house. Meanwhile Steve is forced into an engagement with Emily. The wedding is held in the backyard of the Butabi residence, but is interrupted by Doug. Having gone on a fluffy-whip-fueled bender, he interrupts the wedding, reconciles with his brother, and the wedding is called off. Afterwards, Richard Grieco (a guest at the wedding) talks to Mr. Butabi to help him understand that Steve was not ready for marriage, and that Butabi is too hard on Doug.

The movie ends as the Butabi brothers happen upon a hot new club. The building is unique in that the exterior is constructed to resemble the interior of a nightclub, and the interior resembles a street — this was an idea pitched by Doug and Steve to Zadir earlier in the movie. Attempting to enter, they are surprised to find their names on the VIP list. In addition, Zadir reveals that to reward their idea, he has made them part-owners of the club. Their new-found success comes full circle when they meet two women in the club: Doug’s phone representative from the credit card company (Meredith Scott Lynn) and a police officer (Jennifer Coolidge) whom Steve earlier flirted with while getting a ticket.

REVIEW:

In the late 90s, after the “frat pack” days of Saturday Night Live consisting of Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, David Spade, Chris Farley, etc., we came across a nice little era that brought us a nice little sketch about a couple of brothers that were always in the club bobbing their heads to Haddaway’s “What is Love”. Who knew that this little sketch would turn into a pretty big film, A Night at the Roxbury.

What is this about?

Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell extend their “Saturday Night Live” skit about dimwit club-goers Doug and Steve Butabi, who gain entry to the swanky Roxbury nightclub after a run-in with Richard Grieco.

What did I like?

They live. If I recall, these guys didn’t speak in their sketch, but instead just made some noises when they were sandwich dry-humping some chick. It makes you wonder how they could even warrant having a full-length film. Well, someone had the idea that these are real guys with real lives and real problems. Wile it may not have been the best, it was better than what we already knew. Unlike The Coneheads and Wayne’s World, where we knew at least a little about the characters, more so with the Coneheads, these guys were just random barfly creeps., if you will.

Cast and cameos. Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell bring their characters to the big screen and give “life”, but it is the cameos from the likes of Richard Greico, Michael Clarke Duncan, Chazz Palminteri, and Loni Anderson that stood out to me. Not to mention a cast that brought in SNL darling Molly Shannon, fellow cast member Colin Quinn, character actors Dan Heyda, Lochlyn Munro, and a very young Jennifer Coolidge. They really keep this film rolling along, if you ask me. I kind of wish they would have found a way to bring in some of the guys that were with them in the sketches, though, specifically Jim Carrey or Sylvester Stallone.

Song. Ah, the late 90s…when total crap music could still make you get up and hit the dance floor….maybe with a little help from some drinks and a pretty girl *AHEM* Sorry, that’s a story for another time. I do recall hearing Haddaway’s “What is Love” over and over and over again. I think that just about the time it had died out, I seem to remember it being replaced by the “Macarena”, this sketch started and it was brought back to prominence. Now, 15 yrs later, I had nearly forgotten that it existed, but appreciate the cheesiness that it had, as well as the memories associated with it, both personally and involving the Roxbury Guys.

What didn’t I like?

Flimsy. The so-called “plot” is so flimsy, that I’m surprised the whole picture didn’t fly away when some walked by. My goodness gracious, I don’t believe these people thought to do anything with these characters other than bring them to the big screen. Also, it is quite predictable with the whole brothers splitting up only to be reunited at the wedding and meet up with the club owner at the club they told him about, and they just happen to find their dream girls there. It was way too easy to see that coming, at least for me.

Jump. Earlier I mentioned how I appreciated the cameos in this flick, and I really did. However, I have to wonder what rock they dug Richard Greico out from under to stick him in this. Granted he is playing himself and serves only to get the brothers in the Roxbury and set things right at the end. Considering how they idolized the guy, it seems he would have worked better as a guardian angel who just happened to take the form of Richard Greico.

Stretch. Of all the SNL films, this isn’t the worst, but it makes you come to the realization as to one of the reasons we don’t see anymore sketches brought to the big screen. Stretching these characters out to this point in order to force a film into production serves no real purpose. Making matters worse, The Blues Brothers are similar characters in terms of how much we know about them from the sketch, but the film version is regarded as on of the best SNL films. It just goes to show how far things have fallen, and don’t forget how horrible MacGruber  the latest from the studio, which was horrible, as well.

What can I say about A Night at the Roxbury? This is one of those films that appeals to some and appalls others. For me, it has moments, but is nothing special. I would watch it again and again, but that is more for nostalgia reasons. Do I recommend it? Yes, but only half-heartedly. Not everyone will like this. If you are a fan of the late 90s SNL sketches, then you’re more than likely love this. Otherwise, take your best guess as to whether or not you should check it out.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

ExTerminators

Posted in Comedy, Independent, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , on January 10, 2013 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Alex (Heather Graham) is a lonely accountant whose one act of rage results in her being sentenced to court-ordered therapy. There she meets Stella (Jennifer Coolidge), owner of an extermination business who uses her car as a weapon, and Nikki (Amber Heard), a dental technician with the face of an angel and the mind of a sociopath. Together these women form their own “silent revolution”, wreaking havoc on the abusive men in their lives.

REVIEW:

A trio of beautiful women go around a bounty hunters avenging the wrongs done to them and their friends. Sounds like ExTerminators is the kind of flick sure to please at least some people. I’m not quite sure I’m one of those people, though.

What is this about?

While attending a court-ordered anger-management class, lonely Alex befriends pest control business owner Stella and dental tech Nikki. Drawing on their overabundance of rage, the women set out to teach the men in their lives painful lessons.

What did I like?

Nothing from nobody. I may not be a fan of these “girl power” films that are polluting theaters of late, but I can get behind a female not laying down as her significant other beats the living crap out of her. The whole murder angle of this film starts when Joey Lauren Adams’ (who is really starting look old, btw) character is beaten by her husband in the bar while the other women, as well as the rest of the people in the bar just stand there. Thank goodness for that bouncer! By coincidence the three leads happen to come across the guy and run him off the road, causing his car to explode. Not to sound vindictive or bloodthirsty, but any man who stoops to hit a woman like that deserves to die. I actually think he got off too easy.

What didn’t I like?

Too much talent. Heather Graham, Jennifer Coolidge and, to a lesser extent, Amber Heard, all have actual careers, so I have to wonder why it is that they agreed to do this little film that was obviously below them. Granted, none of them are exactly leading ladies in films, but Coolidge has a career of being the funny sidekick and/or comic relief and most recently definition of the word “milf” and Graham was set to be a breakout star just a few short years ago and then something happened that has kept her down. We’ll see what trajectory Amber Heard’s career continues to take. I just think all three of these ladies could have done better.

Slimy tax. Sam Lloyd is best known as the sweaty, nervous, and lovable lawyer Ted from Scrubs. In a way, his tax officer character, Hutt, is similar, just creepier and without the lovable factor. I don’t have a problem with his performance, but rather the way this whole angle was handled. Sure, it was meant as a subplot, but it came off as something they threw in there at the last-minute without truly thinking it through, and it is resolved in the same manner.

Ending. I won’t spoil the ending but, as a friend of mine who watched this before me said, “…it would have been better with something more Thelma & Louise-ish”. I cannot disagree with him on that, partially because it has been so long since I’ve seen that movie I can’t remember how it ended, but I do remember them driving off a cliff, just not sure if that is the ending. There are no cliffs involved in this film, but a rather…how should I put this…”girly” ending involving one of the main characters. I didn’t hate it, especially given the way things play out, but I would have liked something, anything, else than the ending we got.

ExTerminators is something that I had to hurry and watch before Netflix decided to take it off instant. At one time, I actually had it on my DVD queue. Boy, am I glad I didn’t waste that spot. This is a film that has very few moments of pleasure for the audience. It just plods along until mercifully ending. I cannot recommend this, even for those looking for some sort of “girl power” film. It just isn’t worth the time and torture.

2 out of 5 stars

American Reunion

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

13 years after graduating high school, Jim (Jason Biggs), Oz (Chris Klein), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), and Stifler (Seann William Scott) have gone their separate ways. Jim is married to Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) and they have a 2-year-old son named Evan. Oz is an NFL sportscaster living in Los Angeles with his supermodel girlfriend Mia (Katrina Bowden). Kevin is married to Ellie (Charlene Amoia) and works from home as an architect. Finch has supposedly gone missing. Stifler works as a temp at an investment firm.

When a high school reunion is announced, Jim and Michelle decide to return to East Great Falls for it. They arrive at his old home, where Jim’s dad Noah (Eugene Levy) is still grieving over his wife dying 3 years earlier. Jim also runs into his neighbor Cara (Ali Cobrin) whom he used to babysit and has since grown up. Jim meets up with Oz and Kevin at a bar. Finch also arrives on a motorcycle, telling them he has been traveling the world. In the bar, they meet Selena (Dania Ramirez), who was Michelle’s old band camp friend who used to be ugly but has since grown more attractive. The boys agree not to invite Stifler to any of their festivities, but they reluctantly allow Stifler to join them when he shows up at the bar.

The next day, the guys go to the beach with Michelle, Selena, and Mia. Oz reunites with Heather (Mena Suvari), who is dating a heart surgeon named Ron (Jay Harrington), while Kevin reunites with Vicky (Tara Reid). At night, the guys and girls, minus Michelle, go to the falls where they encounter a high school party celebrating Cara’s 18th birthday. Oz, Heather, Mia, and Ron spend time together, where Mia brags about her adventurousness and promiscuity and Ron secretly tells Oz he’d be willing to trade girlfriends. Kevin spends some time with Vicky, Finch makes out with Selena, and Stifler tries to hook up with high school girls. Jim is forced to drive a drunken Cara home. On the way, Kara tries to seduce Jim. Oz, Finch, and Stifler come help Jim secretly return Cara home, but her boyfriend A.J. (Chuck Hittinger) spots Jim and Stifler sneaking out. Meanwhile, Kevin wakes up in a bed next to Vicky without most of their clothes on and assumes they had sex.

The next day, Jim and Michelle, who have been having a lackluster sex life, decide to do something about it at a party Stifler is hosting. They decide to bring Noah to help him out of his depression. At the party, Noah gets drunk with Stifler and starts spending time with his mom Jeanine (Jennifer Coolidge). Kevin confronts Vicky about what happened the night before. When Vicky says they didn’t have sex, Kevin is relieved, but Vicky gets upset that he would have a low opinion of her. Mia takes ecstasy and shows everyone a video of Oz as a contestant on Celebrity Dance-Off, which shows his embarrassing loss. When Heather goes to comfort Oz, he admits he never should have left her and kisses her, but when she leaves, she returns to find Mia straddling him. Upset with him, she gets into a fight with Mia. Jim and Michelle decide to role play with dominatrix outfits, but Jim is confronted by Cara wanting to seduce him again. They are confronted by A.J. and their two groups of friends get into a fight, which is broken up by the cops, who are there to arrest Finch for stealing the motorcycle.

In the aftermath, Mia breaks up with Oz, Stifler decides to skip the reunion for work, and Michelle, upset with Jim’s behavior, goes to her grandmother’s. When Jim tells his dad about their lack of sex because of their son, his dad says they need to make time for each other. At the reunion, Jim, Oz, Kevin, and Finch, who was bailed out by his mom, meet up. Finch admits that he’s an assistant manager at Staples and stole the motorcycle when his boss didn’t give him a raise. They decide to go get Stifler. Stifler quits his job and accompanies them as they return to the reunion. Kevin makes amends with Vicky, Finch hooks up with Selena, Oz gets back together with Heather, and Jim reconciles with Michelle. Meanwhile Stifler is asked to be a party planner for a wedding and hooks up with Finch’s mom Rachel (Rebecca De Mornay), much to the delight of the finally reunited “MILF Guys”.

The next morning, the five friends gather at a hot dog joint, where Jim encounters Kara and both apologize for their behavior. Oz states he’s staying in town with Heather, Finch states he’s planning a trip with Selena to Europe, and Stifler plays coy about Finch’s mom. They all agree to gather once a year to catch up. Elsewhere, Noah and Jeanine are at a movie where Jeanine performs fellatio on him.

REVIEW:

I’m a pretty big fan on the American Pie franchise. The first 2 are among my favorites, as is American Pie Presents Band Camp. The other straight to DVD abominations, though, we’ll just pretend don’t really exist. Initially, when I heard they were getting the original cast back together for a theater released film, I was skeptical. I mean, the track record hasn’t exactly been the greatest following American Pie 2, which happens to be my favorite entry in the series. As more and more news came out about this, though, I found myself getting a little excited about American Reunion, but was it worth it?

Back in 1999, sex comedies had become almost a taboo thing to do, now in 2012, these things are a dime a dozen. Although, most of them are so bad they end up without even a sniff of the big screen. One thing that they all seem to have in common is they involve teens, so seeing some adults in a sex comedy is a nice change.

These guys have come a long way since those sex crazed horndogs we met in the first American Pie. That’s not to mention how far (some of) their careers have come after all these years.

I bet you’re wondering who has a reunion after 13 years, right? Well, and this is actually touched on in the film, someone screwed up in planning the 10 yr reunion, so they’re a little late in getting things off the ground.

Alright, so what worked for me?

Seeing all of the original cast again. Yes, they’re older (in some cases it really shows), but think about what you looked like 13 ys ago compared to today. Chances are there have been quite a few changes there, as well.

Eugene Levy, as with everything else he’s in, steals the show. Couple that with his hooking up with Jennifer Coolidge, and it is comic gold.

Speaking of Stifler’s mom, she’s still as hot as she was in the first two films. Then again, I’ve always said that about her…sometimes. I also loved how she was about to pop out of her dress. Now that I think about it, her character is not really that much different from the one she plays on Two Broke Girls in some ways.

Dania Ramirez was also a nice addition, especially since she was a band geek (something I know a lot about). A friend of mine who saw this at a midnight screening said it was nice to see that East Great Falls had some color, too.

The 90s music is a great touch here and there, but (not to spoil anything) when Oz and Heather get back together, they play the song that was playing when they hooked up after prom in the first film, which was a nice touch, I thought.

What didn’t work…

I love nudity of the female form. Yes, there are perky breasts to be seen here, not in as much abundance as previous entries, but my qualm is with the fact we had to see Jim’s junk. I know females out there will say that it is a double standard, but I could care less about seeing a guy’s penis, especially one squashed by a glass pot cover!

It has been 13 years and the acting for most of these guys has not gotten any better. Granted, with the exception of Alyson Hannigan, none of them have had steady work. Hell, Thomas Ian Nichols has literally only done these movies, to the best of my knowledge.

While it was good to see everyone again, some of them felt like they were brought in just to say, such as Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth) and Jessica (Natasha Lyonne). I can accept the Jessica thing, as she wasn’t really a major part of the films in the first place, contrary to what the posters tell you, but Nadia was the main reason Jim got into all those sexual deviations, such as the pie situation and the infamous video on the net. Yet, for some reason, they brought her in for 2 seconds to say hi at the end, with some Jim look a like, which just made it worse.

If the direct to DVD sequels have taught us anything, it is that there is such a thing as too much Stifler (no matter part of the family they are) , yet this film didn’t seem to get that memo, as it gave a lot of focus on him. The thing is, Stifler is a good comedic supporting character who is different from the leads. When you make him a lead, it ruins the dynamic, as we learned in American Wedding. Now, this is not to say that Seann William Scott did a bad job. It was just the way it was written. 

On top of this, the mental breakdown that happens at the end of these movies, usually done by Kevin, happened to Stifler. What’s up with that?!?

Speaking of breakdown, did we really need to have Michelle running off to her grandmother’s? This is the 21st century, and just judging by her personality and chemistry with Jim, I just see her not getting mad, but taking it out on him in the bedroom. I joked that she may even invite that little 18 yr old to join them, or at least her band geek friend.

So, when all the dust settles, what do I really think of American Reunion? Well, it is a great trip down memory lane. I would wager that when you come out of seeing this, you’ll want to call up some old friends or that one that got away, or even just talk to an old friend who you had a crush on (and still might) but will never tell. I won’t say this is the best entry in the franchise, nor will I say it is a great film, but it is a good flick that can be enjoyed for what it is. I highly recommend it as you’re sure to come out with a smile on your face, especially after the credits scene. While I can’t say you should rush out and see it in theaters, rest assured, when the DVD comes out, I’ll be sure to be getting it…the unrated version, that is.

4 out of 5 stars

Gentlemen Broncos

Posted in Comedy, Independent, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Gentlemen Broncos tells the story of a homeschooled teenage outcast and aspiring science fiction writer named Benjamin. He attends a writing workshop to show off his work but his idea, Yeast Lords – The Bronco Years, is plagiarized by the legendary fantasy novelist Ronald Chevalier, who has turned desperate for ideas after his publisher rejects his latest novel and informs him that they intend to drop him entirely. The story is also adapted into a disastrous movie by the small town’s most prolific homespun filmmaker.

REVIEW:

 The twisted minds that brought you Napoleon Dynamite now bring us Gentlemen Broncos. Many of the same elements are present here…outcast lead character, weird family life, obscure part of the country (either Alaska or Utah…not sure which one), odd supporting characters, etc.

So, what is this film about? Well, a homeschooled boy who lost his father has taken up writing science fiction and his mother sends him off to some home school writer’s camp of some sort. Here, he meets his hero, who doesn’t want to be there and eventually plagiarizes his manuscript.

During the film, whenever someone reads the story, we are privy to what the story is. When I was in high school, I watched this really bad, low-budget film called Galaxina. These scenes reminded me of that, or those Saturday Night Live sketches with Tracy Morgan as a spaceman (can’t remember the name off-hand).

I seriously have to wonder what is wrong with these Hess guys to create, let alone put these things on screen. It was like they went a middle school and got some kid to come up with a story and told them it would be on the big screen.

To make things worse, when Chevalier got his hands on the story, it got even worse, not as bad as the homemade version, though. That was almost unwatchable, let me tell you!

The comedic timing amongst the cast is a major selling point for this picture. They really sell the simplistic outlook of these characters, much in the same way the cast of Napoleon Dynamite did.

This is one strange film, let me tell you. Approach at your own risk. However, as out there as it is, there is also that train wreck mentality. What I mean by that is you just can’t look away. I guess the best way to give a recommendation is to think of it this way…when Napoleon Dynamite was released, people either loved or hated it. That is still the case today, and Gentlemen Broncos will probably strike your fancy or irk you to the point of no return. The only way to know is to check it out for yourself.

3 out of 5 stars

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

Posted in Independent, Movie Reviews, Thrillers/Mystery with tags , , , , , , , on April 17, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Terrence McDonagh (Nicolas Cage), is a New Orleans Police Sergeant. While cleaning out a locker after Hurricane Katrina, he notices that a prisoner may not have been transferred. When he finds the prisoner about to drown, he mocks him before eventually jumping in the water to save him. He is promoted to lieutenant and given a medal for his work, but has suffered a serious back injury because of the rescue. As a result, he is prescribed Vicodin which he will be needing to take for pain for the rest of his life.

The film moves ahead six months. McDonagh is now not only addicted to painkillers, but several drugs including cocaine and marijuana. He has convinced a person that works in the police department to bring him drugs sent to the evidence room. His girlfriend Frankie, a prostitute, also does cocaine and they often share drugs. He has also become estranged with his father, a recovering alcoholic who can only bring himself to attend to his Alcoholic Anonymous meetings and nothing else, and his alcoholic stepmother. Over the course of the movie, he uses his position as an officer to bully people and steal more drugs. He also finds Frankie beaten by one of her clients, and threatens him.

McDonagh has been assigned to investigate a murder scene, where six illegal immigrants from Senegal were executed. Information comes in that leads them to a delivery boy who was an auditory witness, and through his details and evidence they deduce the people were killed for selling drugs in a gang leader’s neighborhood. The gang leader Big Fate has two associates: Midget and G. They are both arrested, leading to Big Fate willingly coming to the police station with his lawyer. As they try to get enough evidence to convict Big Fate, their witness goes missing. McDonagh finds his grandmother, who works at a nursing home, and almost kills an old woman trying to find out where the witness has gone. The old woman sent him to Europe so he could avoid getting involved in gang affairs.

In addition to dealing with the murder investigation, McDonagh gets in trouble with his bookie for not paying his debts. What money he had was given to a very powerful figure in the community, who is a friend of a man McDonagh threatened earlier. He now requests an exorbitant amount of money as compensation, and gives McDonagh two days to get it. As a result of his treatment of the old woman, McDonagh is temporarily removed from duty and placed in the evidence room. Angry, he goes to Big Fate and they become partners, with McDonagh supplying police information so he can get enough money to pay his debts to the bookie and the figurehead. McDonagh pays his bookie, and the figurehead is killed when he threatens McDonagh and Big Fate in Big Fate’s home.

To celebrate their partnership, McDonagh implores Big Fate to smoke pure cocaine with his “lucky crack pipe”. He does, and McDonagh later plants the pipe at the murder scene. The department uses this new evidence to arrest Big Fate and his cronies, but when they are alone, McDonagh’s partner attempts to simply kill Big Fate, as he does not want him to have the chance to escape conviction. McDonagh is outraged at the concept and arrests Big Fate, showing that despite his addictions he still performs his duty as an officer. McDonagh is promoted to Captain.

The film ends one year later. McDonagh appears to be sober, as Frankie and his parents have done so, but it turns out he is still doing cocaine. He meets up with the prisoner he saved at the beginning of the film, and the man says that McDonagh saved his life, and he has been sober for almost a year, and offers to help McDonagh finally escape his own addiction. McDonagh, high on cocaine, simply asks “Do fish dream?” The film ends with the two men in an aquarium, sitting against a fish tank.

REVIEW:

Nicolas Cage has made some…um…intersting films before, but this one is just flat out odd at points.

I chose to watch this flick this week because it was suggested as a film that was so bad, it was good. However, this was not the case.

This picture seemed to be caught in that soupy mix of not knowing whether it wants to be serious, a spoof, or whatever. I don’t have a problem with mixing tones, if it can be done well. Sadly, that is not the case here.

There are total random moments that make no sense, such as alligators in the middle of the highway, iguanas singing, disembodied souls dancing. These are all things that make you sit back and say WTF?!?

The pacing of this thing is horrible. After the first half hour or so, I found myself constantly looking at my watch, wondering how much longer this thing was going to go on.

To make things worse, just as it seems as if this film was about to pick up ad get interesting, it suddenly decides to start wrapping everything up in a nice little bow. Normally, I don’t have a problem with this, but for some reason, it just didn’t feel right for this film.

Xzibit surprised me in this film, as I had no idea he could act. I knew he could rap and host Pimp My Ride, but not act, so it was good to see him do something else. I believe that he even upstaged Nicolas Cage.

Speaking of Cage, there are moments that you would think this character was written specifically for him, and other times when you wonder what he was doing taking this role. I seriously wondered if he was trying to be Al Pacino, because there are times, especially with this character’s back issues, that he reminded me of Bog Boy Caprice, and other that he sounded like he could have been a Corleone.

Eva Mendes brings a bit of eye candy to the screen, but not much else, until the part where she gets hit by a customer, which spawns a whole new set of problems for Cage’s character.

This film is not without its problems, but there are too many of them to ignore. I wish I could say that I enjoyed this flick, but I didn’t. It plodded along, didn’t keep my interest, and just wasn’t very good. Apparently this is a remake, so that might be another reason that I don’t care for it, but I just found this out a few minutes ago. Do I recommend this to anyone? No, trust me, it isn’t worth the time. Stay away if you can.

2 out of 5 stars

Best in Show

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Best in Show is presented as a documentary of five dogs and their owners destined to show in the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show, held in Philadelphia. The documentary jumps between the owners as they prepare to leave for the show, arriving at the hotel, and preparing backstage before their dog takes the show. The owners and their dogs include:

  • Gerry and Cookie Fleck (Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara), with their Norwich Terrier Winky. They are a middle-class couple from Florida who run into monetary problems and are forced to sleep in the hotel’s storage room when they finally arrive. Throughout the film, they encounter men that Cookie had slept with during her youth.
  • Meg and Hamilton Swan (Parker Posey, Michael Hitchcock), with their Weimaraner Beatrice. An upper-class, stereotypical yuppie couple, they think they are taking great care of Beatrice (although really they are just confusing and aggravating her with their neurotic behavior), going as far as taking her to a therapist after she saw Meg and Hamilton have sex. At the show, the Swans believe that Beatrice will become unnerved without her favorite toy, the “Busy Bee”, and frantically search for a replacement for it before the show.
  • Harlan Pepper (Christopher Guest) and his Bloodhound Hubert. The Peppers have raised bloodhounds for generations, and Harlan continues the tradition, though he has aspirations of becoming a ventriloquist.
  • Sherri Ann (Jennifer Coolidge) and Leslie Ward (Patrick Cranshaw) Cabot with their standard poodle Rhapsody in White (a.k.a. Butch), a two-time winner of the show in the past. Sherri Ann is a luscious big-breasted blonde, having the elderly Leslie as her sugar daddy (a parody of the marriage between Anna Nicole Smith and J. Howard Marshall II). She is primarily worried about giving Rhapsody a makeover; however, trainer Christy Cummings (Jane Lynch) makes sure the dog is ready for the show, while Leslie stays utterly oblivious and apathetic. Over the course of the film, the fake couplehood between Sherri Ann and Leslie crumples while Sherri Ann’s romantic involvement with Christy becomes apparent.
  • Scott Donlan (John Michael Higgins) and Stefan Vanderhoof (Michael McKean) and their Shih Tzu. The gay couple takes great pride in their dog, and are confident that she will win the competition. They gossip about the other participants throughout the film.

The owners and their dogs all arrive in time for the show, which is hosted by Trevor Beckwith (Jim Piddock), and “color” commentator Buck Laughlin (Fred Willard). During the first round, Beatrice is disqualified when Hamilton cannot control her, but the other four dogs advance to the final round. Just before the finals, Cookie stumbles and insists that Gerry take over for her. Though the audience is initially awed by seeing Gerry’s “two left feet” (the result of a birth defect), ultimately Winky takes Best in Show.

Afterwards, the film explores what each character is doing after the competition. Gerry and Cookie returned home to Florida and were overcome with attention after the victory. They go on to record, in amusingly bad style, songs about dogs. Sherri Ann and Christy have entered into a partnership and publish a magazine for lesbian purebred dog owners called American Bitch. Harlan fulfills his dreams and becomes a ventriloquist, entertaining sparse crowds with a honky tonk song and dance number. Hamilton and Meg Swan have found a new dog, one that enjoys watching them make love, and are sure it will be a winner. Stefan and Scott are in the process of designing a calendar featuring Shih Tzu dogs appearing in scenes, with appropriate costume, from famous classic films, such as Gone with the Wind and Casablanca.

REVIEW:

Dogs are not my favorite animals, and I could really care less about dog shows. So, why did i watch Best in Show? Well, the answer is that I’ve heard many things about this picture and wanted to see for myself how good/bad this was.

With a cast that includes veteran comedic actors Eugene Levy, Fred Willard, Catherine O’Hara, Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Lynch, etc., how can this film be anything but spectacularly funny? Well, let me say this, if you watch this film and don’t laugh, you have no soul. Pay close to attention to Fred Willard’s commentary, he steals the show.

The film lampoons dog show trainers to such an extent, that they are caricatures, but the sad truth is, that people really are this extreme, especially the yuppie couple.

A lot of the film’s dialogue is ad-libbed, but you would never tell unless someone tells you. That just goes to show you how good this cast is.

A running gas throughout the film is Catherine O’Hara’s character’s promiscuity and how just about every man she runs into apparently has slept with her. Initially, I found this funny, but it did drag on a bit and I just started to feel sorry for Eugene Levy’s character. There is also this strange lesbian overtone between Jane Lynch and Jennifer Coolidge, which does turn into an actual relationship, but the sexual tension and eventual relationship seems a bit…I dunno…forced in so that they can “shock” the audience.

I’m by no means a dog person (I actually hate the evil beasts), and don’t really care for the mockumentary style format. It’s the same reason I just can’t get into The Office. However, with these two things going against it, I actually did like a good chunk of the film, especially the middle section. With that in mind, this is a pretty good comedy and will definitely put a smile on your face.

4 out of 5 stars