Kingsman: The Secret Service

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WARNING: Mild Spoilers

Harry Hart owes a life debt to a fallen friend, Lancealot, whilst working for a socially elites group of people who are Britain’s best undercover spies called: Kingsmen. They all take names from King Arthers fairy tales, and some even exude qualities of their mythical counter parts. Regardless, Gary “Eggsy” Unwin grew up as a social delinquent. He eventually gets arrested and calls on the Kingsmen to get him out of trouble. They do and decide to recruit him for their undercover training program.

I consider most British comedies wittier then most American comedies due to well placed sight gags or very well crafted dialogue. This one lacked in some areas on good gags and smarm, but it made up for with well crafted crass humor. Colin Firth played the straight man to Taron Egerton‘s young and foul mouthed teenager. Many examples can be seen in the various trailers out there. Other times its simple pokes at American stereotypes or in your face violence. Oddly enough I found myself snickering at some of the violent scenes involving a racist church group they eventually investigate. Other times it was at the blatant references to just about every other spy film ever made while still trying to formulate a ironic style of humor while still honoring the genera.

I didn’t care for the film’s jumbled development. Many times Taron Egerton’s character jumps between lovable dumbass to killing machine back to being a arrogant prick. You’d think after months of training he’d know how to do something simple like open a parachute. Also the anti-US American undertones were a tad obnoxious. They were consistent and only seemed to be berating the ‘evil corporate American companies are trying to kill you’ lunacy that seems to plague every other story now-a-days. Also it isn’t plausible that one of the crucial parts of the story involves mass genocide and all the billionaires in the world just being OK with it. Because once society has toppled what good is their money? Who will run their power plants or make their food? Oh wait. No one will, because everyone is DEAD. There’s a definite spike between different styles of humor after a main character dies. In the beginning it’s a mixture of mellow, wit, wry, and crass humor. After the main character dies then it becomes oafish and pure crass. It isn’t that its too jarring, but it’s REALLY noticeable. So if you think all of a sudden the jokes become crappier then thats just letting you know you’re near the end of the movie.

Colin Firth was decent as a stern sophisticated person without giving into his past experience with roles. Mark Strong played a good guy for once and while not showing a lot of strength in anything he did seem to know how seem convincing he was a master of all trades. Mark Hamill is a bumbling professor and plays it rather well. It’s different since he usually plays a stronger male role, even as a villain. Taron Egerton was good as a jackass, but most of his acting was reactionary due to the script so I don’t think it’s a good example of his acting. Samuel L Jackson was great as the villain, but it seemed like he needed to tighten up some areas and be a little more aggressive or assertive. Other wise he was rather good and made someone with a lisp rather creepy.

Most spy films that try to be comedies fail by hiring writers who don’t know how to blend the two genera or the comedy becomes too experimental. This was a nice balance of everything without having one genera overpower the other. The characters were likable, even if mildly cliché. The story might be bland to some people, but how everything is set up separates it from the rest of the genera. Kingsman might not go down as a comedy classic, but it will definitely be brought up in conversation frequently.

See it in theaters.

7.5/10

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 Movie Review

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WARNING: SPOILERS

In the long slew of gross out movies that Rob Corddry and Craig Robinson seem to be fond of making this is probably their darkest yet. The crew from the previous film is back, with exception to Adam (John Cusack), and are shoved into the future. There they try to find out what happens to Lou (Rob Corddry) and why people are trying to kill him. As they bumble about they run into a few new faces and they find out that his life, as well as a few others, are completely in shambles.

Now usually some sequels either extend the series or do a good job at filling all plot holes. This successfully only adds more plot holes and leaves the previous ones unanswered. They only briefly bring back Chevy Chase‘s character (the Hot Tub Repairman) for two sentences and then disappears again. Thus not answering why he’s there nor how he can just come and go as he pleases. They joke about Cusack‘s character disappearing and then don’t explain why. Then they form new plot holes like why Lou decided to become a jerk again since at the end of the previous movie he seemed rather generous with his friends and liked his son. So he went from loud lummox of the group, to being the most immoral person in the film. It’s suggested he slept with peoples wifes and did more drugs then before with reason as to why and would verbally abuse his coworkers. They also bring up Adam Jr (Adam Scott) who is suppose to be Adam’s son, but don’t explain that well.

The crux of any comedy is the jokes. They deviated from the previous formula they had and make just about every joke darker or gross. One of the grossest scenes in the movie highlights the slow moral degrade of most TV game shows, but it takes it too far when they do more then imply possible forced sexual acts. It ruined the latter half of the movie for me since it made me wonder if I heard sounds of rape or just someone who was grunting in pain due to a lot of electricity flowing through their body. Other times they are just hating on Jacob (Clark Duke) and it isn’t funny because most of it is from Lou and he has no room to talk. It’s a total oxymoron for someone who has poor impulse control to throw shade about his son who’s just hasn’t found himself yet.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 wasted a movie going experience by rehashing the previous storyline. With the small, and ignorable plot holes, of the previous movie were only exasperated in the fact that they were brought back up with stupid dialogue, and just as quickly dismiss. Then sprinkle some very disgusting humor and offset it with other forms of humor and it makes them feel largely incongruous. Quality doesn’t seem to mean anything this time since the jokes are guilty of being average or bland. None of the characters developed any and even at the end they are only slightly less crass. So it seemed like a fruitless endeavor for them.

I’d wait for this one on DVD before thinking about seeing it.

5.5/10

The Wedding Ringer Movie Review

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Warning: MILD SPOILERS

Doug Harris proposes to Gretchen Palmer and they start to plan their wedding. Doug struggles to find best men as the weeks get closer to the wedding date. Eventually Edmundo (AKA Dirty Eddie Sanchez) notices and suggest Doug see Jimmy Callahan. Doug finds out Jimmy does this as a profession and is offered a rang of options. Once Jimmy finds out that he needs 7 groomsmen then he almost kicks Dough out.

This was really disappointing. I thought it would be funnier since Kevin Hart was in it, but I was really wrong. Now don’t get me wrong it was different story and bromance wise, but not as a comedy. Not only does it rely off of some terrible tropes, aggressive humor, pratfalls, and various things that are just really recycled jokes, but they are the most predictable things ever. The only good part was the one liners. If they aren’t cringe worthy, then they had me rolling my eyes. I’ll admit I did laugh a few times and smirked, but for the most part this was cliché.

Seriously we’ve seen all these jokes before. Let me see if I can spell a few of them out for you. The fat guy is made fun of for his fat. Fat guy leans on glass table and it breaks. Fat guy starts screaming in pain. The black guy with the fro is super ghetto and says something ghetto. The guy with the mulletsays something eluding to rape or redneck-ish. Bullshit macho-men push around a smaller guy. Do you get the point yet? Does it feel like I’m explaining all the jokes for you so it isn’t fun, and possibly being abrasive or in your face about it? Good! That’s exactly how the movie made it out to be. Every other movie ever made has made all of these jokes already, without violence and such blatant stereotypes.

Other then the jokes, and some horrible pranks played on Douge, the story was relatively well written. The bromance felt more legit then the relationship then the romance subplot. This totally worked out later. Also there’s the who plausibility factor. There’s lots of people out there who just don’t have time to maintain friends and when something that requires you to have them, like a wedding, then they would be SOL. However, since the whole story is COMEDY based, and the jokes are terrible, that’s why I can’t give it a passing grade.

Sadly, despite the jokes and story, everyone did a reasonably decent job at acting. Kevin Hart was loud, in charge, and swam like a duck in water with this role. Josh Gad was good as a dimwitted questionably social nerd. I vaguely remember seeing him in other things and he seems to have range. Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting was good, but I didn’t care for her in this role because it seems she’s been typecast as the pretty slut, pretty manipulative girl, or pretty woman who’s settling for less. Affion Crockett was awkward in a few scenes and his timing was spot on. Jorge Garcia did well, but it seemed like he made a few references to LOST that I didn’t get. Sorry I didn’t watch the show. I mostly know Corey Holcomb as Black Jesus and while this wasn’t a stretch, but he was lively. Olivia Thrilby basically was there to call Hart’s character on his BS. I like her, but I feel she’s was underused. It was also interesting to see some famous standup comics make guest appearances. Jeffrey Ross made a quick guest appearance as the weddings DJ. It wasn’t much of a performance, because he said a whole of 5 lines maybe, but who knew he could sing. Whitney Cummings made a quick appearance as Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting brides made, who was incredibly obnoxious and loud, but fun. Also one of the funnier scenes was with Josh Peck who royally screws the pooch on a wedding toast. His delivery was freaking FLAWLESS. I cringed with the people at the wedding in the movie and made me want to punch him.

The thing that upsets me about this film is that everything was good, except the jokes. All jokes made were notably average, with very few exceptions. They’ve been in other films multiple times to the point of being nauseating. The plot falls apart in some areas due to main focal points relying off the jokes, because when the punchline falls flat so does the impact of that moment in the story. I can’t recommend seeing this since a comedy relies really heavily off of jokes that just aren’t funny.

4.5/10

Must Come Down Movie Review

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WARNING: SPOILERS

Ashley is a bit of a free spirit who’s just trying to find a good time and his way through life. After quitting his job to travel he’s traveling back to his home town to revisit past memories. Holly just recently got dumped by her boyfriend. She’s also looking for a new job and is confused as to what to do with her life. The two meet at a bus stop and eventually start talking. They bond and help each other over come emotional obstacles.

So I usually don’t like indy movies because they feel pandering or the story is either repetitive of something from it’s genera. This thankfully wasn’t that. It’s a simple love story between two lost souls and kinda dorky people who just want to be loved. For the most part it’s all about subtle moves. Like Holly will lay on the blatant hints of wanting more then a friendship. Then Ashley would brush it off, but would kinda acknowledge it the next day. It was like a cute disjointed teen romance. There’s one scene where she hugged him and started to cry. Then as he left he looked emotionally drained. I honestly think he knew he made a mistake.

To a certain extent there isn’t much of a story. It’s mostly quick montages of people goofing off together. Yes it seems to deal with Ashley’s social awkwardness, but he doesn’t seem all that bad off. He does mention his parents getting divorced, but it seemed to lack detail. It’s obvious Holly just wants to be in love again but would probably be better suited just keeping calm for a while. It does seem to capture the uncertainty of life, that bad alone feeling, and how great it is to just find someone.

PEW PEW!!

PEW PEW!!

The scenic outlay of most of the shots are brief and capture simple details. They’re nicely shot and the simpler they are capture more of the moment between the characters. Its quick cuts go directly to what the other characters were previously talking about and usually winds up hilarious. The musical pacing is great. It reminds me of Garden State because it didn’t use orchestra music to heighten some emotional scene. It would interject random indy bands and it always seem to help make smooth transitions between the characters, especially at parts with no dialogue.

First off I’ll acknowledge my bias towards Ashly Burch. Yeah I like her acting, and voice acting. I originally started watching her in Hey Ash Whatcha Playin. Which she plays Ashly Burch, the character, who’s debatably clinically insane. So this was a little more normal for her. She did well as a worried emotional trainwreck without giving into some of the old acting cliches of the romance genera. There was only one scene of hers that I think she UNDER played, but the script might have been written that way. David Fetzer was funny to watch as a flighty guy who just seemed to like to coast through life. He was weirdly likeable. If anything his character reminds me of ‘that guy’ at all the parties. He’s weird, he dances to his own beat, and thinks about everything a lot. Liberty Cordova was a cute addition to the cast. Her brief parts gave a ditzy kinda feel. It was brief, but cute. Colin Fugit had about 10 lines in the whole movie and he was probably the weakest of the group. Yeah he played a scumbag character but it seemed stale or hesitant. But eh, it doesn’t mean he won’t get better. Most of the other actors had small parts so its difficult to critique them all.

This is a heartwarming movie despite it’s SLOW pace. The cast plays their characters out well and seem earnest. The music was a awesome addition to the movie. It was probably a bunch of indy bands, but every song laced the scene and feeling of the moment so well it’s weirdly soothing. The scenic shots are light and done very well with natural lighting without too much visual interference. Despite it not ending the way I would liked it to, it’s still a beautifully melancholy romance movie for people who struggle to move on. It’s something us diehard romantics wish we could experience at least once, for a little while. For me its something I’d watch on a rainy day.

It’s available as a digital download, to rent, or you can buy a physical copy at their website.

7.5/10

The Interview Movie Review

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Dave Skylark is a trash celebrity show host. His producer Aaron Rapoport gets verbally beat down by a former colleague about his career choice, rather then taking on serious journalism. Rapoport asks Skylark to help change the tone of the show. So they agree to make the show about legitimate news stories. The next day they start researching and find out that the leader of North Korea is a big fan of the show. So Rapoport asks one of his connections in North Korea to interview him. They get a call back from North Korea’s US ambassador and set up the interview.

I liked this film for the most part. However I need to point out that there wasn’t really any reason for all the hype. Yeah I can see how the North Koreans might be offended by all of this, but it is purely fantasy. To a certain extent it seems to blend the right amount of reality and hokey, almost, cold war like jokes to make a serious subject just down right funny and separate it from its real world context. Most of the comedy are stupid mishaps which could happen during any spy movie or behind the scenes of a show. So it makes it feel more plausible. As for the political side, I doubt there was that many political undertones. I honestly didn’t notice any. Sure they have violent song demonizing America, just like in North Korea. However it takes a lighter tone, politically, just by leaving out some of the more serious issues of that nation. It only touched lightly on them to push the story along.

The development between the characters was entertaining to watch. Franco and Rogan were a interesting dynamic since usually they’re both idiots. The love story between Seth Rogan and Diana Bang was cute. Usually romances in spy movies either feel forced, sappy, or even cliche. The subplot didn’t really miss a beat with all the comedy and was apart of the jokes. That’s what I love about the characters of this film. It very much feels like they are apart of the joke or they are a walking joke. Their personality just seems quirky enough that it seems to help with the pacing of the jokes and gives some credibility of being plausible.

As for the acting goes, everyone did rather well. James Franco was great in this jerky shallow, yet lovable, role. Seth Rogan compliments Franco as the straight man in this film. This was different from most of his roles and hopefully he’ll pursue more serious roles. Lizzy Caplan was lovely and stern as the CIA agent who recruits them. Randall Park (who played President Kim) was cartoonish in some areas, but did well coming off as subtlety creepy. I thought he excelled in the kinda comical areas where Kim admitted to Skylark that he loved Katy Perry and tons of other American stuff. But, hey, who doesn’t like Katy Perry? Diana Bang did a decent job being a complete stereotype that we see in every other spy movie involving screaming Asians. Although she didn’t ham it up too much so it wasn’t oppressive.

This was a strange movie to say the least. It’s filled with random sight gags, situational humor, and well timed crass humor. The humor doesn’t interrupt the pace of the story and compliments the characters well. It might not make you bust out laughing, but it’ll give you a warm smirk throughout the film. It, unlike most other Rogan/Goldberg movies, had tasteful gore rather then trying to mirror Quentin Tarantino level of grotesque effects. I’m not sure if there was any political commentary, but it was a fun movie to watch for New Years Day.

Try to at least see it once. However you should remember that the humor in the trailer is pretty much the standard throughout the film.

7.5/10

Birdman Movie Review

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WARNING: Mild Spoilers

Birdman centers around Riggan. He’s a Hollywood actor who’s fallen out of the spotlight and is struggling to make a comeback. Along the way you discover his other problems and failures. It also covers the story of multiple actors and the madness that happens behind the scenes of a play. For every aspect that goes into this film its central theme is that they all struggle with a sense of lost fame or just flat out growing older. So it feels like a mid-life crises movie for the theater crowd. Then it lightly touches with others frustrations like unwavering movie critics or a daughter they don’t have time for. The madness truly sets in when their main actor gets hurt.

I love weird movies with social and political commentary, but this was a hit and miss to me. Either the jokes were middle school grade crass or very artistically done. The jump between the differences is smooth, but unpredictable. That’s fine, but the crass jokes hamper the artistic style and flow of the film. The other neat thing is that everyone had a joke, regardless of quality, in the film. I thought this was cool since usually in most films it’s only one guy, or small group, being the catalyst for the jokes. But no, everyone was funny at least a few times.

On top of that this is a completely beautifully shot film. It has nearly no cuts in it and looks like one continuous shot. This almost made me feel like I was one of the cast members, although it had a voyeuristic feel since none of them ever interacted with the camera. The extreme closeups of the characters did add to a sense of ‘being in the moment’ with the character. It emphasized that the audience should be paying attention to the characters rather then the background. This was a neat aspect, but the background was hideously distracting since there is a insane amount of detail in just about every scene. One example is when Riggan is talking to his now ex-girlfriend and talking about how they would be bad parents.

The only thing I couldn’t stand about the film, unfortunately, was half the stories political and social commentary. I’ve heard it all before, multiple times, so it came off as completely boring to me. One part of the movie Sam (Emma Stone) freaks out on her Dad, Riggan. She states that he doesn’t matter anymore and pretty much states what he does doesn’t matter. Its a glaring commentary of people innate need to be or feel wanted, when in a dark truth none of them matter to a certain extent. So if you have the slightest clue as to what nihilism is, then this is glaringly obvious to you. Other times it hates on the audience, which is completely hilarious, but it’s still the same boring argument. Either the audience is made of art snobs like the Tabitha character or they just want a shit ton of violence and explosions which is something you hear a few times in Riggans internal rants. Both have validity, both have a important statement to make, but seriously I’ve heard it a zillion times before.

This is probably one the best all around cast performances that I’ve seen all year, maybe even in a long time. Michael Keaton probably gave one of the best performances in his career in this one. He was manic and strange and did it at sporadic levels. It was really well done and convincing. Emma Stone did a grand job looking like a complete washout with some social conscience. This was refreshing since she always picks the goody two shoes roles and how it was written was great. Most druggie characters are either the comic relief or completely assholes to the point where I don’t think I’d care if they recover or not. With her acting and the way the character is written it really does drive home how she’s just struggling to deal with everyone and life itself. Even when she expresses her fear that she doesn’t matter was rather heart wrenching. Zach Galifianakis was fantastic in this semi-dramatic role. Usually he gets handed a role that makes me wonder about the characters emotional or mental stability. This role helped prove he has range. Naomi Watts, like her other performers, is here and there. However in this one she shinned as a struggling performer who’s trying to keep it all together with a weird boyfriend and still make a living. Edward Norton was great as usual, but he’s a like Guy Pearce, Helen Mirren, or John Goodman. They rarely suck in any of their performances. To see a substandard performance would be rare and unusual. Jeremy Shamos and Damian Young shared bit roles, and were funny. However it was a shame they didn’t have more screen time. Also last, but not least, is Andrea Riseborough. She was fantastically creepy as the super unstable girlfriend and as a performer who was too into acting.

The cast and crew should be thoroughly pleased with themselves. They’ve made a hell of a film that covers vast topics in a really cramped time frame. I am forced to give it a lower rating though because I’ve heard it all before. To me it’s like talking to a green peace guy who cries about the environment but then doesn’t go out and plant trees, or any other kind of foliage for that matter, to offset the CO2 caused by pollution hes just complained about. So it’s kinda like more pretentious crying, but I can’t say that as a absolute considering it presents a lot of the philosophical topics in a different light. Even if I didn’t care for it it was done very well with clever black comedy. Also the black comedy is so well done it even gave me a warm cynical smile sometimes without feeling shitty. This is noteworthy since black comedy usually more grotesque or even mean to the point of many people, with a soul, end up hating the punchline.

This is a great thinking film. If you want to find yourself asking questions about life, love, fame, and self importance long after the film, then watch this. This might even be a good piece to analyze later in some art class or a philosophy class. Regardless you should probably see this at least once for the balance character development and the great performance by everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE.

8.0/10

Horrible Bosses 2 Movie Review

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Warning: MILD SPOILERS about stuff.

Nick Hendricks, Kurt Buckman, and Dale Arbus invent a new show gadget and try to market it on a TV show to find investors. Bert Hanson calls them up and invites them to talk about a contract. He tells them to invest in the product. They go out and buy up a shop, employees, and basically put themselves in debt. They go back to Hanson and announce that they’ve completed his order. Hanson informs them that he plans to not buy anything from them so they can go bankrupt and he can buy them out. Since they didn’t sign a contract he doesn’t owe them squat. So this is when they decide to hatch a plot for revenge.

This was only mildly funny to me. The jokes were hit and miss. I found myself only snickering half the time and rolling my eyes the other half. It was like a weird mesh between Always Sunny and Arrested Development. The weirder thing for me is that I even found characters I hated in a COMEDY of all places. Also due to how the script was written I think they underused some talent they had. Although this was a nice stretch for some into other roles in the future I’m not sure it will help them that much. To a certain extent it was like a transition role for some in this film.

Most of the jokes were a strange mixture of everything. I like it, but its a stark smash in the face when it goes from crass humor half the movie to something that’s damn near cute-ish. Also everyone did a decent job delivering said jokes. There was only about two I think were stale, but that’s because it’s a over used bit. In the very beginning they are displaying their new invention and one person is behind a see through shower pumping a water pump. Of course it makes it looks like some sort of homosexual act. Yes funny, but it’s been done a lot. There was another joke that involved Jennifer Aniston‘s character being particularly disgusting and there’s a fine line between doing a smutty character and then there’s the other half where it’s down right repulsive. It comes off either stalker-ish or insinuates rape. To say the least it was a poorly done joke about rape, but I find those kinds of jokes abhorrent anyway. The way it was done was disgustingly cringe worthy. This made me think that she was the worst character in the whole movie. For those who have PTSD problems and ‘trigger words’ consider this your warning. Its at the very tail end of the film if that helps and some at the beginning.

I didn’t mind the acting, but it wasn’t a stretch for many of them. Jason Bateman, whom I’ve never been able to fully watch anything of his, does the same role as many of his other movies/tv shows. He’s essentially the straight man amongst two or more idiots and gets sucked into their stupidity. This is bad because I think he can act, like so many others, and either doesn’t get the diverse roles or just like doing the same crap over and over. Jason Sudeikis, whom I thought always decent on SNL, played parallel to Charlie Day in being completely stupid characters. Sudeikis is strange, loud, and angry half the time and it fits well, but I’ve seen him do this done a few times. Day essentially plays the same role of as his Always Sunny character. They’re both funny, but essentially the same characters. Jennifer Aniston plays a great villain and its welcoming since she’s always been type cast as that damn Friends character for the longest time. That being said she was convincing enough that I hated her damn character. Kevin Spacey was spastic and strange. He brought the darker side of comedy to this movie and did it well. Jamie Foxx seems better as bad guys from the few things I’ve seen him in. His lines in this one seemed a little more genuine. Chris Pine was a decent as a bad guy in this one, but it needs a little work. Or maybe it was the script, who knows.

This movie is a decent comedy. I don’t think it will go down as anything big, but it’ll have enough to give a few a chuckle. It had a mixture of crude, silly, cute, situational, wry, and even slapstick humor. The acting was varied and for some it might be distracting now and then. The story is steady and has some different kind of twists, but might be predictable to some. It’s worth a watch at least once.

6.0/10

Dumb and Dumber To Movie Review

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Lloyd Christmas has become catatonic after the first Dumb and Dumber movie. Harry Dunne visits him every day. Eventually Lloyd admits it was a prank and Harry confesses he needs a kidney transplant. So they go to visit Harry’s parents looking for a possible donor. There they give him mail they’ve collected for him over the years. One of the letters is from Fraida Felcher saying she’s pregnant with Harry’s kid. Then the adventure begins…

This is no where near as good as the first one. It’s also really sad when I can summarize it in one word: lame. The story felt forced after the first 30 minutes. The character development was rushed, unlike the first one. A good half the film is either a rehash or referencing the first one. The characters are stupider then before, which feels unrealistic. Why? Because people that stupid don’t live into their 50s or however old the characters are. To a certain extent this hurts the story more then some of the cliches in the writing. Which is bad since the story is almost one for one with the original. Like something happens. They meet someone who befriends them that tries to kill them. It turns out the loved one of whomever is trying to extort money, etc. etc. etc.

The other thing that bothers me about it is that it’s riddled with cliches. The set up, the timing, the conniving wife, well ya, we’ve see it before. It’s all writes itself a bad detective story with morons in it. Unlike the original is that the original that slowly led up to things and has a smoother flow throughout the movie. Then my next problem with it is the comedy. A lot of the comedy in the original was what I call “casually dumb”. Its kinda honest mistakes but it makes people think you’re dumb. For example: Harry gets pulled over by a state trooper (the always funny and weird Harland Williams). Before Harry stops the state trooper yells at him “PULL OVER!” Harry replies with “No it’s a Cardigan, but thanks for noticin’.” It’s like a honest mistake that makes someone look stupid. Now when something happens in Dumb and Dumber To it’s very much relies off prat falls and painfully stupid lines. A lot of examples can be found in the trailer. It’s very blatant they are dumb at which most of it is cringe worthy.

Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are at the top of their game. They fully embrace the characters and you can see that they are nearly the same, if not better, at their performance as the first one. Rob Riggle was only good in one scene where he seemed generally upset. Other then that it reflects much of his other roles and doesn’t seem too much of a stretch for him. Laurie Holden was good as the “bad woman” villain. However, it seemed stale because either she wasn’t unaccustomed to being a turd or as said before the cliches in the story wouldn’t allow her to develop more of the character. Rachel Melvin was a nice addition to the group. She was cute, spunky, and unrealistically stupid in some scenes. She didn’t stand out too much, but her delivery on the comedy was done well despite the material. Kathleen Turner was a reliable talent and helped push the story along.

Dumb and Dumber To is nowhere near what people are making it out to be. It is funny, but the story is no where near as good as the first one. The comedy is funny, but I don’t think it will be as memorable. Much of the acting is on par with what it should be with only a few exceptions. It’s something to see while in theaters, but it will leave a few saying “What?” at some of the jokes or sighing heavily.

5.0/10

Best Worst Movie Documentary Review

_1270593886In 1989 one of the worst films of all time was made: Troll 2. This documentary tells the journey of the film from being universally panned to a cult classic, and its fans. It explores the actors lives after the movie, what they went through, and their lives as they peruse other careers. The director, Claudio Fragasso, even makes frustrated comments during the documentary and shows that he truly wanted to make a good film and it wasn’t his intention to make a terrible one. It even tells various peoples opinions, mini-reviews, of the movie and how cult followings develop.

It’s truly hilarious to see the whole subculture of movie goers express their love for a terrible movie, even by showing up dressed as a goblin. The heart warming aspect of this documentary is that people can come together to appreciate a movie, regardless of what it actually is. Which is strange considering this has been rated as one of the worst movies of all time. IMDB has it currently sitting at number 98 out of 100 of their bottom 100 worst of all time. Also it starts out completely weird because the first 30 minutes of the movie are spent talking about George Hardy and how he’s the town’s dentist and class clown. They go as far as interviewing his ex-wife and even she likes the guy. Which is amazing for anyone who gets divorced. Now sure he’s a great guy, but they spend a lot of time on him.

After that they finally get into why they’re making the damn documentary. It sporadically jumps between the actors, the fans, and the director of the film. Most of the actors thought it was going to boost their career. Then they’d reel back old memories of receiving the VHS copy on Christmas day, and how it ruined Christmas day. The weird aspect of it all is that it seemed like many of the actors who signed on to do the movie had no idea how bad it was. Many of them said this through out the film and made me wonder if they read the script at all. Eventually it came to the point where some admitted it kills their career sometimes. One even tells a story how people would see this movie on their resume and they’d only pull them in to laugh at them. While one cast member says it’s comparable to Casablanca. The opinions between the fans even vary as well.

In the end Claudio Fragasso even kinda admits his movie was terrible. However, even though it didn’t make people scared, or whatever, he was still able to appreciate that they enjoyed it. To me that’s the true sign of a good artist. It doesn’t matter if someone understands something the way they do. The only thing that matters is that someone enjoy what was made in a positive way. I hope to see more from Claudio Fragasso and from the documentary crew in the future. This is truly what a documentary is suppose to be about: covering all grounds and piecing it all together without leaving a lopsided argument. If you want to see how a damn documentary is made, watch this. Either way I don’t see how someone won’t enjoy the show.

Please find this and watch it.

9.0/10

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Movie Review

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Walter Mitty is a ‘average guy’ who feels like he isn’t living the life he wants. So he daydreams frequently. These daydreams are elaborately hilarious and endearing. Many end during a interruption by someone or whenever whatever fantasy is fulfilled. While struggling to stay in reality he works at a soon defunct newspaper that is being transitioned by a obnoxious and mildly abusive boss. Meanwhile he struggles to talk to a new found office love and move his Mom into a new apartment.

This is a great self discovery movie. To a certain extent this is like the midlife crisis that doesn’t end horribly. It captures what most people wonder: does my existence matter? Through his journey he rediscovers himself, his accomplishments, and realizes he does matter to others. His life isn’t anything over the top, but he learns to enjoy it and what he has accomplished. The most heart warming part is the people who recognize his accomplishments, like the elusive photographer he worked with. He even learns to deal with his panicked imagination due it hampering his love life a few times and it makes him realize things aren’t always so complex.

What’s really cute in how the story pushes itself along. It doesn’t drown you in facts about many characters in a matter of minutes, unlike LA Confidential. Where ever Mitty is a little clue or something will pop up and it will bring back a memory, or his imagination, will remind him of something or encourage him to move forward. After that other characters will comment on his work and what he’s done. It’s like a long autobiography with other peoples commentary. It’s really different method of story telling compared to most self involved movies.

The story’s direction is rather linear and slow paced sometimes. It comes to a point where Mitty has to go globetrotting in order to continue the story. It was rather predictable considering if he didn’t then I would have only sat in the movie theater for about 30 minutes. Then there are many scenes that are nothing but 3 minute + montages of beautiful scenery. These two factors will probably lose the movie points with some, but as stated before: the story and warm characters keep it watchable.

While Ben Stiller usually plays the offbeat male roles really well, this one seems to stick out amongst the rest. It seems to be more of a earnest then most of his characters with less erratic qualities. He did a great job showing sincerity for other people while in stressful situations. Kristen Wiig, while always funny, doesn’t show much of a stretch for this role. It almost felt standard from seeing some of her other characters, but it was like a toned down version of all of them. Adrian Martinez did a great job capturing the awkward assistant that is always willing to help. Although I felt it was cut short, because he didn’t have that many scenes and probably could have been in a few more to show his importance in Mittys life. Adam Scott was great as a passive aggressive turd, but it seemed too similar to his comedic style. So it wasn’t really anything new. Sean Penn was a great addition to the mystery character that helps pull the movie forward.

I really like this film. Everything is great about this movie, except the long montages. It isn’t the Forest Gump of this generation, but it’s really damn close. What’s beautiful about this movie is that it takes a slow and silly approach to showing how everyone has a purpose and how there is always someone who needs them. It’s really heartwarming, and although not a traditional holiday film it still captures the wonderfully soft and warm compassionate side of the human spirit.

Please see this in theaters.

8.5/10