Archive for Justin Bartha

The Hangover Part III

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2013 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Two years after the events in Bangkok, Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) escapes from a maximum security prison, using a riot as cover. Meanwhile in America, Alan Garner (Zach Galifianakis) causes a 20-car freeway pileup after he purchases a giraffe and accidentally decapitates it on a low bridge. Alan’s father Sid (Jeffrey Tambor), furious with Alan for never owning up to his mistakes, dies of a heart attack in the middle of a lecture. After the funeral, Alan’s brother-in-law Doug Billings (Justin Bartha) informs friends Phil Wenneck (Bradley Cooper) and Stu Price (Ed Helms) that Alan has been off his ADHD medication and is out of control. They attend an intervention, in which Alan agrees to visit a rehab facility in Arizona, so long as “the Wolfpack” takes him there. On the way to Arizona, Phil’s minivan is rammed off the road by a rental truck and the group is taken hostage. They are later confronted by mob leader Marshall (John Goodman) and “Black Doug” (Mike Epps), his head of security.

He tells them that Chow hijacked half of a $42 million gold heist and, seeing how Alan has been the only one to communicate with Chow during his imprisonment, deduced that the Wolfpack could locate him and retrieve the gold. Marshall kidnaps Doug as collateral and gives the others three days to find Chow, or else Doug will be killed. Alan sets up a meeting with Chow in Tijuana, Mexico, where Stu and Phil will hide and attempt to drug him. However, Alan gives away their location and he forces them to confess they are working for Marshall. Chow explains his plan to retrieve the stolen gold from the basement of a Mexican villa he previously owned. Stu, Alan and Phil break into the house and successfully retrieve the gold, but Chow double-crosses them by locking them in the basement, rearming the security system and escaping in Phil’s minivan. They are arrested but mysteriously released from the police station, where they are picked up by a limousine and taken back to the villa, where they meet up with Marshall.

They learn that Chow had lied to them; the villa was never his and the gold they stole was the other half he didn’t get from Marshall. Marshall forgives them for their mistake but kills “Black Doug” for his incompetence and reminds them of their now two-day deadline. The group tracks Phil’s phone, which was left in the minivan, outside a pawn shop in Las Vegas. The pawnshop owner, Cassie (Melissa McCarthy), tells them that Chow traded a gold brick for $18,000, far less than its usual sell rate of $400,000. Using Stu’s former lover Jade (Heather Graham) as their contact, they learn that Chow is barricaded in the penthouse suite of Caesars Palace. Phil and Alan sneak into his suite from the roof, but Chow escapes, jumping from the balcony and parachuting down to the strip. Stu catches up to Chow and locks him in the trunk of the limo that Marshall had lent to them. They take the gold and meet with Marshall, who releases Doug back to the group. Although Marshall initially promised to not harm Chow, he changes his mind and shoots through the trunk of the car, presumably killing him. Luckily, Alan had freed Chow through a backseat compartment just moments earlier.

Chow emerges from the limo and kills Marshall, allowing the Wolfpack to live because Alan had saved his life. He offers Alan a bar of gold as a gift, but Alan turns him down, and ends their friendship due to Chow’s unhealthy influence on the group. As Chow sadly watches them leave, they go to retrieve Phil’s minivan from the pawnshop and Alan makes a date with Cassie. Six months later, the two marry. Vowing to begin taking responsibility for his actions, Alan regretfully resigns from the Wolfpack, but would still like for the gang to hang out on occasion. As the four walk to the ceremony, a montage of clips from the previous films play, thus ending the film. In a post-credits scene taking place the morning after the wedding, Alan, Cassie and Phil appear to have staged another wild party that they cannot remember. Stu emerges from the bathroom with breast implants and Alan remembers that the wedding cake was a gift from Chow, who emerges from the next room naked, laughing and wielding a Katana.


I’m not sure anyone really wanted it, but bring the Wolfpack trilogy to an end, we have The Hangover III. The big question that has been surrounding this has been, can they recapture the magic that made the first film such a huge hit, or will this one fall flat on its face and suffer from sequel-it is?

What is this about?

Capitalizing on the success of two previous Hangovers, Phil and the boys set out on another road trip and soon find their plans reduced to chaos. Before the dust settles, the gang will have to figure out how to rescue Alan from a mental hospital.

What did I like?

Giraffe. Ok. Decapitating a giraffe is a bit much. I’m no fan of killing animals, especially majestic ones such as giraffes, but the fact that this sequence captured the audience is something to be aware of. It very well could have just ducked under the bridge. Seriously, though, if you saw someone driving down the interstate with a giraffe, wouldn’t you be stunned and shocked, too?

Full circle. Since this is supposed to be the end of the saga, it just seems right that they bring things around full circle and return to Las Vegas. If you recall, The Hangover was set in Vegas. Also, some characters from the other films returned. I was very glad to see Heather Graham again, but it would’ve been nice to see Mike Tyson.

Molly. How can anyone not like Melissa McCarthy? She’s cute, cuddly, and funny! Her character here is an employee at a pawn shop and apparently has an attraction to the lovable shlub, Alan. The chemistry between the two of them is great, especially when we see them again near the end.

What didn’t I like?

Rushed. I like to point to Shrek 3 as a sequel that was bad, rushed into production, and was nothing more than a cash grab. Well, this film falls into many of those same trappings. When this was announced, I felt like they were rushing it out just to cash in, and the finished product just validates that thought.

Characters. The plot for this doesn’t matter, let’s face it. We watch this franchise for the interaction of the characters, especially to see what Alan does. However, this whole film may as well have been the Alan and Chow show, because the others may have been kidnapped along with Justin Bartha’s character, because they served no purpose, other than collecting a paycheck. Where was the funny confidence of Bradley Cooper’s character? Where was the funny neuroses of Ed Helms’ character? They surely weren’t to be found in this threequel.

Ending. I’m not going to spoil the ending, just know that it leaves things open for a possible 4th film, while also being a fitting ending for this franchise, considering what it is. Having said that, during the ending, we get full frontal of Ken Jeong. I don’t want to seem like I have a double standard, because if that was a female, I’d have no qualm with seeing her full frontal, but just seeing Jeong standing there in his “glory” was uncomfortable for me.

This is a franchise that surprised everyone with the first film. The Hangover part II was actually very well received, but The Hangover part III just seems as if they stopped trying and figured they had an automatic license to print money. That sadly was not the case. I enjoyed parts here and there of this film, but not enough to blow me away. It was just an average outing. Thank goodness for Melissa McCartney and that giraffe, because everything else falls flat. Sure, you can check it out if you want, but I won’t really recommend it.

3 out of 5 stars


The Rebound

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , on March 21, 2013 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

A housewife and mother of two, Sandy (Catherine Zeta-Jones), discovers that her husband has been unfaithful. After a hasty divorce, she leaves home and goes to New York City with her young son and daughter. There they begin a new life. Sandy quickly rents an apartment above a coffee house and befriends one of the waiters, Aram Finklestein (Justin Bartha). Aram, at 25, is not sure what he wants to do with his life although he has a college degree and a tendency toward women’s studies and feminism. He decides to babysit Sandy’s children ultimately becoming their full-time nanny. He develops a close-knit relationship with both children and a chemistry starts to brew between Aram and Sandy ensuing in an awkward sexual encounter that the children come to know about.

Notwithstanding, they start to date and after two months they seem perfect together. One day Sandy feels nauseous and suspects she is pregnant. Aram is thrilled and looks forward to raising a child with her. A doctor confirms that Sandy is pregnant, but it is an ectopic pregnancy and will result in a miscarriage. As they leave the doctor, a fight breaks out between Aram and Sandy, with the latter confirming that she thinks it’s ludicrous that the two of them, with an age difference of 15 years, would ever be happy together. After the break up, Aram decides to travel the world and to improve the lives of others. Sandy gets promoted at her job.

After five years, the two share a chance encounter in a restaurant. Aram reveals he has adopted a young boy from Bangladesh and is still single. Sandy, who is celebrating her promotion with her children and a colleague, invites Aram and his family to join them. The film ends as the two hold hands underneath the table whilst their children start to bond.


March Madness started this morning, so I was looking for some kind of basketball flick. Couldn’t find one, but The Rebound is sort of a basketball related title, so it works.

What is this about?

A beautiful single mother living in New York City, Sandy surprises everyone, including herself, when she becomes romantically involved with Aram Finklestein, her 20-something neighbor who’s many years her junior.

What did I like?

Love. Most romantic comedies that we see tend to forget about the two things that define their genre, romance and comedy. While this film doesn’t exactly leave the viewer rolling on the floor laughing, it does offer up lots of romance. There is just enough of it so as not to feel sickened with all the sap.

Chemistry. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Justin Bartha have great chemistry together. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that Bartha actually felt like he was actually vying for the affections of the nearly twice his age Zeta-Jones (can you blame him?) I believe we’ve all seen these age-challenged romances, but often times they just don’t seem believable.

Sound of Silence. I didn’t realize it until the final credits, but Art Garfunkel plays Mr. Finkelstein, a typical Jewish father…great comic relief.

What didn’t I like?

Montage. Right before the film’s final scene, Zeta-Jones has the typical female overreaction that we get in romantic comedies and breaks up with Bartha. I won’t go into the ludicrous way that this was a total 360 from her behavior for the rest of the film up to that point, but it causes him to go on a journey around the world. Basically, in the 5 yrs he;’s gone, her kids get older, she gets a new job, blah, blah, blah. It was just a way for them to fill some time because they couldn’t think of anything better to do.

Cliche. All the prerequisites for a romantic comedy are here, bitchy best friend, pushy Jewish parents, cheating signficant other, comic relief best friend. The only thing missing was some sappy love song, and I think we got that in the opening credits. Sometimes, all this stuff works, and other times it is just more of the same. For me, it felt like the latter. I was hoping we’d get a new monkey wrench thrown in there, and it just didn’t happen.

Flava Flav. No, Flava Flav isn’t in the film, but he does make an appearance on one of the televisions. I had totally forgotten about that God-awful show until then. Oy!

Despite the lack of basketball (Zeta-Jones is seen playing Fantasy basketball…she trades Kobe Bryant for Lebron James), The Rebound satisfied me this afternoon. Is this a film that I would watch over and over again? No, but it is decent enough to where I wouldn’t complain if I had to watch it again. If you get the chance, check it out!

3 3/4 out of 5 stars

The Hangover part II

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2012 by Mystery Man


PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Two years after their escapade in Las Vegas, Stu Price, Phil Wenneck, Alan Garner and Doug Billings travel to Thailand to celebrate Stu’s impending wedding to Lauren. Much to Alan’s dismay, they are joined by Lauren’s younger brother, Teddy. During Lauren’s father’s toast, he shows his disapproval of Stu by comparing him to congee. At the end of the night, Stu hesitantly joins Phil, Doug, Alan and Teddy for a beer. Sitting at a campfire and roasting marshmallows, the group toast to Stu and Lauren’s future happiness.

The following morning, Phil, Stu and Alan, along with gangster Leslie Chow – whom Alan befriended after Las Vegas – and a chain-smoking capuchin monkey, awaken in a dirty hotel room in Bangkok. Stu has a face tattoo (a replica of Mike Tyson’s tattoo), and Alan’s head is completely shaved. However, they cannot find Teddy, only discovering his severed finger. Chow begins recalling the events of the prior night, but he dies after snorting a line of cocaine. Panicked, the trio dispose of Chow’s body in an ice machine.

Through a tip from Doug who is still at the resort, they go to a prison to pick up Teddy but are given a wheelchair-bound elderly Buddhist monk, who knows more about what happened, but does not reveal anything: he has taken a vow of silence, and rejects also an alternative such as writing something down. After finding a business card, they travel to a neighborhood smouldering in ruins. They enter a nearby tattoo parlor where Stu got his tattoo, and they learn that they had started a fight that escalated into a riot. The trio then return the monk to his Buddhist temple, where they are encouraged by the head monk to meditate. Alan is able to recall that they had been at a strip club. There, they learn that Stu had engaged in sex with a kathoey prostitute. Upon exiting, the trio is attacked by two Russian mobsters from whom they had stolen the monkey, and Phil is shot in the arm.

After Phil is treated at a clinic, Alan confesses that he had drugged some of the marshmallows from the previous night with muscle relaxants and ADHD medication in order to sedate Teddy but accidentally mixed up the bags. After noticing an address and time point for a meeting written on Alan’s stomach, the trio meet up with another gangster, Kingsley, who demands Chow’s bank account code and password by the next morning in exchange for Teddy. They return to the hotel to try to find Chow’s password, only to discover that he is still alive. They steal the monkey (who had the code given to him by Chow inside his jacket for safe-keeping) back from the Russian mobsters through a violent car chase, during which the monkey is shot and injured. After taking the code and leaving the monkey at a veterinary clinic, the group complete the deal with Kingsley. Suddenly, Interpol agents appear and arrest Chow. Kingsley turns out to be an undercover agent, who tells the trio that the police have searched all day for Teddy but were unable to find him.

Desperate and out of clues, Phil once again calls Doug’s wife Tracy. Stu then has an epiphany and the trio rushes back to the hotel and find Teddy in the elevator unharmed (albeit still missing a finger). Teddy had woken up in the middle of the night to get more ice for his severed finger (after the first bucket of ice had melted) but became trapped after the power went out. The four use Chow’s speedboat, the keys for which were in Teddy’s pocket, to travel back to the wedding reception. Arriving on land just as Lauren’s father is about to cancel the wedding, Stu makes a defiant speech where he rejects being boring and instead states that he is in fact quite wild. Impressed, Lauren’s father gives the couple his blessing. After the wedding continues on, Alan presents Stu with a special gift at the post-reception dance: a musical guest performance by Mike Tyson. Teddy later discovers that he had taken many pictures during the night on his mobile phone. The group, along with Tyson, agree to look at the pictures together once before erasing the evidence of their exploits once again.


A couple of years ago, this little film called The Hangover came out of nowhere and surprised everyone. Now, it has spawned a sequel, The Hangover part II.

I’ve been reading some of the critics’ complaints about this film and the biggest, most recurrent one is that it is basically a carbon copy of the first, only darker. Now, as I was sitting here watching this film, I did see some similarities and parts taken, but that the whole point of the movie! Everything is sort of happening again, just in a different city (Bangkok instead of Las Vegas).

With that said, there are different things that happen as well and it is the combination of new and old that keeps this fresh and from falling into that trap the Home Alone movies did.

As far being darker than the first…well, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that, but it is set in Bangkok, a city not known for being especially friendly to those that come into its borders. On top of that, their 16 yr old compatriot loses a finger (the reason why is shown in the pictures that roll during the credits, but for the film, we think it is something far worse).

The first film was a riot, but I actually think this was one was even funnier. I don’t know, maybe it is because these guys have more chemistry now, or the writing is more seasoned after seeing what worked in the first film and what didn’t, but this one had me on the floor laughing more often than not.

The scenery is breathtaking. It goes from a virtual paradise to the slums of Bangkok and back, showing us what Thailand has to offer, without actually being some sort of Thai tour brochure, of sorts.

No chemistry has been lost among the returning leads, as a matter of fact, it seems as if the time away from these characters has allowed them to grow. Yes, that includes Alan, as well.

The story is great, but I especially liked the way they showed how Alan views himself and his “friends” and little boys. It sort of makes you feel sorry for the guy. I do wonder, though, and this just may be something I forgot from the first film, why it is he seems so attached to Phil. If you notice, everytime they meet, he says “Hi guys! Hi Phil!” I don’t quite know what to think of that, especially after the look he gives him in the final scene, but that is something you have to see and interpret for yourself.

If I do have one piece of negativity about this film, is that it didn’t capitalize on the hotness of the female cast. They were on the beach, so someone please tell me why they couldn’t have had at least one scene with Jamie Chung and Sasha Barresse in a bikini! Kind of negates the whole reason for having them there, if you ask me. They could have just as well hired some schlub actresses from some random acting class to read these lines and such.

So, this summer, we had a bridal shower gone bad in Bridesmaids and a bachelor party turned into a sting operation/kidnap and rescue mission in The Hangover part II. What was my verdict on it? Well, I loved it. Everything from man-child Alan to the drug dealing monkey to everytime they said “Bangkok has him now” (a phrase that I don’t believe was every explained). This is a hilarious picture and a must-see for all of us that need or could use a laugh. I highly recommend it!

4 1/2 out of 5 stars


Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , , , on December 24, 2010 by Mystery Man


Larry Gigli (Affleck) is a low-ranking mobster who is commanded to kidnap the mentally challenged, Baywatch-obsessed younger brother (Bartha) of a powerful federal prosecutor to save his mobster boss from prison. Gigli successfully convinces the young bear, Brian, to go off with him by promising to take him “to the Baywatch.” However, Gigli’s boss, Louis (Venito), does not trust him; he hires a woman calling herself Ricki (Lopez) to take over the job.

Although Gigli is attracted to Ricki, he resents the fact that Louis does not have faith in him and that he has to take orders from Ricki. He is also frustrated by Brian’s insistence on going to “the Baywatch” and by Ricki’s lesbianism. The events take a darker turn when Larry and Ricki receive orders to cut off Brian’s thumb, something neither of them wants to do.

Ricki’s girlfriend (Crider) shows up at Gigli’s apartment, accusing her of cheating. She slits both wrists and has to be rushed to the hospital. While at the hospital, Gigli goes to the morgue and cuts off a corpse’s thumb, which he sends to his boss as Brian’s thumb. Gigli and Ricki go back to his apartment and Gigli confesses his love, leading to a sexual encounter between them.

Afterwards, they are called to meet with the mob’s boss. Starkman (Pacino) reveals that he didn’t approve of the plan to kidnap a federal prosecutor’s brother and scolds them because the thumb they sent won’t match Brian’s fingerprint. He fatally shoots Gigli’s superior Louis. Starkman is about to kill Ricki and Gigli as well, but Ricki talks him out of it. They decide to take Brian back to where they found him. On the way, they discover Baywatch shooting an episode on the beach and leave a happy Brian there.


 It had to happen eventually. There is a movie that the critics and I actually agree on…sort of. I’m sure you’ve heard of Gigli. The movie that was made while Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck were dating, and has often been attributed to the reason they broke up. I’ll leave that to the conspiracy theorists, but this is a bad picture. However, I didn’t find it totally horrible.

The story actually isn’t bad. It actually put me in the mind of something in between The Whole Nine Yards, Get Shorty, and that neo-gangster genre that tried to get going in the early 2000s. I just think that the filmmakers didn’t tap the full potential with it.

That being said, many times an actor can make a bad film, good…or make a good film bad. You have to be the judge about this one, but I happen to think this cast did the best with what they had, which wasn’t much.

Gigli has moments of touching drama, romance, and hilarity, but none are memorable enough to bring up at the water cooler the next morning. Hell, chances are, you’ll forget this thing 5 minutes after it ends.

I mentioned the cast before and how they weren’t to blame here. Poor Ben Affleck. I saw a rerun of Saturday Night Live the other day where he was in a skit that was making fun of how this is his second film to be involved with a lesbian. The other being Chasing Amy. You have to feel sorry for the guy to keep getting cast like that, but at the same time, he brings something to this character that is just remarkable.

Jennifer Lopez has never looked better. Some people say that her voice is annoying. I guess they haven’t listened to Rosie Perez prattle on. While Lopez was muy caliente, she did seem a bit wooden in her performance, even when she was supposed to be showing emotion.

The sad part of Lopez and Affleck is that they don’t really show chemistry on screen. I wonder if their personal life was like that. If so, then it is no wonder they didn’t work out. Of course, in Lopez’s short appearance in Jersey Girl, she and Affleck seem to be as in-tune as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, so maybe it was this script that just didn’t work.

I’m not 100% sure, but I think this is film that got Justin Bartha, who you may know from the National Treasure franchise, noticed. He does pull of a masterful performance. I almost believed he was mentally challenged at times. I have to put this up there with Dustin Hoffman and Juliette Lewis’ performances as mentally challenged persons in Rain Man and The Other Sister, respectively.

I was scratching my head at the cameos by Lainie Kazan, Al Pacino, and Christopher Walken. Pacino, was actually a character important to the plot, but one has to wonder how they got him to do this schlock. Walken played a cop, and honestly, anyone could have played that role. Lainie Kazan was Affleck’s mother. I’m not really scratching my head about that casting, but rather why she wasn’t given more screentime, especially since her character seemed to actually be interesting.

Yes, Gigli is a bad film. The first half of the film is almost unwatchable, save for the hotness of Lopez. However, it does get a little better as the film progresses. I won’t insult your intelligence by saying you should see this, but at the same time, I do think this film gets a bad rap. It isn’t totally horrible, but it is bad. I wouldn’t avoid it, but if you never see it, that isn’t a big loss.

2 1/2 out of 5 stars

The Hangover

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2010 by Mystery Man


Doug (Justin Bartha) is about to be married to Tracy (Sasha Barrese). His friends — Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), and soon-to-be brother-in-law Alan (Zach Galifianakis) — take him to Las Vegas for a bachelor party. Tracy’s father (Jeffrey Tambor) lends them his car, a vintage Mercedes convertible, for the trip. The four get a villa at Caesars Palace hotel and casino, then sneak onto the roof and toast to the year ahead. The next morning, the three groomsmen wake up in the suite with no memory of the previous night and soon realize that Doug is missing. Clues abound: the suite is in severe disorder, a tiger is in the bathroom, a baby is in the closet, Stu is missing a tooth and has an ATM receipt for $800, one of the suite’s mattresses is impaled on a statue outside, Phil is wearing a hospital bracelet, and a valet brings them a stolen police cruiser they dropped off the night before, and a chicken is wandering around the room.

While retracing their steps, a doctor at the hospital informs them that they had traces of roofies in their blood explaining their memory loss, and that they came from a wedding. They find the chapel, and learn that Stu, despite planning to propose to his controlling girlfriend Melissa (Rachael Harris), married an escort named Jade (Heather Graham), who turns out to be the mother of the baby in the closet. In the parking lot, they escape an attack by two Asian gangsters who beat on the police car yelling “Where is he?”. Confused, the men visit Jade’s apartment and return the baby, but are taken by surprise by the police, the cruiser’s original owners, who arrest them for stealing their car. Phil negotiates their release in exchange for the three groomsmen “volunteering” as targets for a humiliating taser demonstration. They then retrieve the miraculously-unharmed Mercedes, which had been abandoned in the middle of Las Vegas Boulevard, from an impound lot and discover a fully naked Asian man (Ken Jeong) in the trunk. The man attacks them with a crowbar and runs away, and Alan admits to spiking their drinks the night before with what he thought was ecstasy, but realizes the drug dealer must have sold him roofies instead. They return to the hotel and find former boxing champion Mike Tyson in their room, looking for his stolen tiger. Tyson knocks out Alan and orders them to return the pet to his mansion. They drug the tiger with roofies and transport it in the Mercedes, but before they reach Tyson’s mansion, it wakes up and destroys the car’s interior, forcing them to get out and push the car the rest of the way. After the tiger is returned, Tyson plays security footage of the groomsmen’s activities from the night before in an effort to help them locate Doug.

Resuming their search, the three are confronted by the thugs, who, as it turns out, are led by the Asian they found in the trunk of their car, an Asian gangster named Leslie Chow. According to Chow, the groomsmen have $80,000 of his money, which they accidentally took the night before. Chow demands it back in exchange for Doug, whom he has kidnapped. Unable to find the money, Alan uses his knowledge of card counting to win it playing blackjack similar in style to Rain Man. The money is repaid, but Chow had kidnapped a different man named Doug, who turns out to be the drug dealer who sold Alan the roofies. After a conversation with Doug the drug dealer, Stu remembers that hotel windows do not open in Las Vegas (mostly for the exact reason that they’re in this mess), and therefore the mattress on the statue must have been thrown from the roof, where they had most likely locked out Doug as a prank. Rushing back to the roof, they find him, weary and severely sunburned from being stuck there for a day and a half, with fewer than four hours before the wedding. Before leaving, Stu meets with Jade and the pair agree that they cannot remain married, but promise to meet the following weekend to see what develops between them. Jade also reveals that Stu had pulled out his own tooth on a bet from Alan declaring, “I bet Stu isn’t a good enough dentist that he could pull his own tooth out”. As they rush home and make it to the wedding, Doug reveals that he found Chow’s $80,000 worth of casino chips in his jacket pocket on the roof. Doug marries Tracy, Phil happily returns to his wife and son, and Stu proudly breaks up with Melissa. As the reception ends, Alan reveals Stu’s digital camera he discovered in the back seat of the Mercedes chronicling the events they were unable to remember, and the four agree to look at the pictures only once before erasing the evidence.


For some reason I missed this when it was released in theaters last year and it has taken me up until now to get it from Netflix. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this picture, that is unless you count the one blogger that ripped it a new one for not giving the females anything to do. I’ll address that in a bit.

When I did my “2009 Movie Awards” post back in January, one reader commented, on my other blog, that this film should have won for best comedy. Now, the rules for the awards are that it has to be watched and reviewed during the year. Having said that, I can see how she would think that, and I can say that The Hangover will be a strong favorite for a couple of awards this year.

So, what do we have here? A film about guys headed to Vegas for a bachelor party and things somehow get so far out of hand that they end up having to have madcap adventures. This is comedy gold, people.

When the film started, I was thinking that maybe it was going to be a bit on the overrated side. It just didn’t seem like it was going to be that funny, then we meet Bradley Cooper’s character, and all hell breaks loose! Cooper is more or less the star of the film. I know some people will say that it is Zach Galifianakis that steals the show, but Cooper is both over the top and the glue that keeps things together at the same time.

The supporting cast is pretty good, too, but I can’t mention them without giving a nod to Ken Jeong. Talk about a show stealer. This guy is on the screen for maybe 10 minutes, tops, but you’ll remember those 10 minutes…partially becuse he’s naked for the first couple, but when he returns, his character is such a hoot, that you can’t help but crack u laughing each time he speaks.

Mike Tyson makes an unexpected cameo appearance. I’m still scratching my head about that one, and why he has a tiger that these guys just seemed to be able to walk off his property with, but I’ll suspend my disbelief on that one. Tyson plays himself, but at the same time he goes a bit overboard and has fun with the character. I sot of wish he would have had more screentime, but then again, this isn’t his film, so the brief time he got was enough.

There are 3 women to speak of in this picture. Sasha Barrese, who plays the bride to be, Rachael Harris, who is Ed Helms’  cold-hearted, overbearing, bitchy girlfriend, and Heather Graham, a warm, caring, single mother stripper/escort. All these women turn out great performances, and have nothing to be ashamed of. Could they have had more screentime? Sure, but this is a film about guys on a bachelor party weekend, so no they didn’t need anymore time than they got. Although, I wouldn’t have minded more of Sasha in a bikini or Heather Graham scenes.

As I mentioned before, some blogger said that these women’s roles were nothing more than a joke. To me this is a joke. I mean, if you know anything about this film before you watch it, then you know that there is no reason to expect to see some drama heavy, weepy, chick stuff. This is not a chick flick! These women didn’t complain when they took the roles, so why should anyone else try to raise a fuss?

*AHEM* Now that I’m off my soapbox, I do have a couple of complaints about this film. The first is that it is never really said how Bradley Cooper ended up in the hospital. I mean they show it in the final shot ,but we, the audience, never see it, and the snapshot montage doesn’t show what happened. Enquiring minds want to know. My other complaint has to do with the high-speed tux delivery. Seriously, if they can get their tuxes delivered in the middle of the freeway like that (it actually reminded me of that old Spy Hunter arcade game where you had to catch up with a truck to get new weapons and stuff while going hundreds of miles per hour), then why couldn’t they have changed on the freeway? I don’t know, it just seems like if they were in that big of s rush, every second would have counted, especially since they had to take the groom to the hospital after leaving and forgetting him on the roof where he got severely sunburned. That actually brings me to another point. He wasn’t handcuffed or anything, so other than the initial hangover, he should have been able to get up and head back down to the room or something, so why did he stay on the roof and end up having to go to his wedding looking like a lobster?

Yes, questions abound, but these aren’t enough to make for an unpleasant experience with this film. The Hangover is one of those films that comes along and sweeps everyone off their feet with how well it is made and how funny it is. There is no drama in this picture to speak of, except for a confrontation at the wedding. We get a bit of action and the comedy isn’t overpowering. I strongly recommend this to anyone, except those of you feminists out there who will get bent out of shape because the women are “allegedly” underrepresented in a film about a bachelor party.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars