Archive for Comedy

De Line Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), New Line Cinema,

Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin, Joey King, Matt Dillon, Ann-Margret, Christopher Lloyd, Kenan Thompson, Siobhan Fallon, John Ortiz, Peter Serafinowicz, Josh Pais, Maria Dizzia, Anthony Chisholm, Jeremy Bobb

Joe Harding (Michael Caine) has been a hard worker for the same company all his life along with his friends, Willie Davis (Morgan Freeman, and Albert Garner (Alan Arkin). Joe is having financial trouble and his daughter’s debts are going to cause his house to fall into foreclosure, but while he’s in the bank a robbery takes place and the masked bandits take off with the money. Joe is very impressed with how easy it was to pull off. When the last straw falls, and the old friends learn their company has been sold and thew owners are cancelling their pension, they decide to rob the bank themselves, in their own style, and steal enough money to get back what they’re owed so that they can live out their days in style. But this is an extremely dangerous operation for the senior citizens to pull off, and when something goes wrong, it starts snowballing into a huge disaster.

This film is a remake of the 1979 film with George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg which was very, very well done. This one updates the story a bit, but is in many ways the same idea. The concept of growing old and forgotten in the U.S. is something that haunts a lot of older folks. They simply want what was promised to them and the young businessmen just don’t get it. It’s not a really over the top comedy, and it has real friendship and a lot of the kind of morality older folks still maintain today, and so there’s a lot to take in. It’s interesting, and it’s entertaining, and this is a great bunch of actors. The three main characters are stupendous, but the rest of the cast really helps them deliver the best they could with this retread of a movie. I found it interesting, and fun to watch, so I wouldn’t want to discourage you from watching, but don’t expect a side splitting comedy, as it’s much more subtle and gently done than that. If you like really great acting from accomplished actors, give it a try though as it’s a nice rental film that is worthwhile to see.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Primate Pictures, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, Warner Bros.,

Michael PeƱa, Dax Shepard, Jessica McNamee, Adam Brody, Ryan Hansen, Justin Chatwin, Kristen Bell, Vincent D’Onofrio, Rosa Salazar, Maya Rudolph, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Richard T. Jones, Jane Kaczmarek, Adam Rodriguez, Vida Guerra

Ponch (Michael Pena) is an undercover FBI man looking for dirty cops in the California Highway Patrol. He’s partnered up with a brand new rookie Jon (Dax Shephard) who is the oldest rookie in CHP history. Jon is a former X-Games star, but his failing marriage to Karen (Kristin Bell) causes him to tryout as a policeman to try to win her back. But the corruption runs deep and they don’t know who they can trust as they try to locate the loot and the dirty cops behind the heist. This is based on the popular 80’s TV show CHiPs, and even features a cameo by the original Ponch, Erik Estrada.

They took a different approach with this movie, not really following the story of the tv series, but rather making a comedy satirical parody of the TV show which was a little unintentionally funny in the first place. This one is strictly tongue in cheek and doesn’t even try to take itself seriously. Maybe that wasn’t a bad idea since the history of TV shows turned into feature films has been mostly dreadful. This one didn’t take itself too seriously and was actually really funny. They could go for jokes mocking the original series and beef it up with crazy R rated humor which differentiates it from the TV show. Michael and Dax have fun mocking their characters, and both are cartoonishly over the top performances. The supporting cast is really good too and help them a lot to bring humor to the story. And best of all it’s only a teensy bit over an hour and a half so it doesn’t drag out the joke too far. All in all, I think it was a nice homage to the original TV series done, as I stated, tongue in cheek, but with TLC as well. It wasn’t a bad break from serious movies, and was more like one of the many parody movies with Leslie Nielsen or maybe Charlie Sheen. It wasn’t bad, and worth the time I spent on it.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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ATO Pictures, Werc Werk Works, Spare Room Productions,

Greg Kinnear, Billy Crudup, Alan Arkin, David Harbour, Lea Thompson, Bob Balaban, Michelle Arthur, James Detmar, Michelle Hutchison, Chris Carlson

Mickey Prohaska (Greg Kinnear) is a slippery insurance salesman who will apparently say anything to make a sale. But while at a convention, he runs across a drunk lady in the bar who insists on coming up to his room. Next morning his wallet is gone. He heads home, already in financial trouble only to find out his credit cards have been maxed and he’s about to lose everything. But when he meets a elderly corn farmer named Gorvy Hauer who wants to pay for his insurance in pennies, but has an extremely rare valuable violin that the he isn’t even aware of, he thinks up a plan to sell the violin and taking the money. But one lie leads to another, and pretty soon Mickey is so buried in lies and troubles that he’s in deep, deep trouble.

This film was a good vehicle for Greg Kinnear. This is right in his wheelhouse. This is an interesting story which bears a second viewing. The first time through, it’s a really good crime story, with lots of crosses and betrayals and a lot of false leads, but the second time though, after you’ve seen the crime story, it’s a whole different film. This is a really clever sting movie that is intricately setup and worthy of Hitchcock. The nicest thing about this movie is the great acting found in it, as with talent like Billy Crudup, Alan Arkin, Lea Thompson, Bob Balaban, you can’t go wrong. THe cast had a blast making this film, and could see that it was a lot of fun developing their individual characters. This is similar to some of the other heist movies like Ocean’s Eleven, but the fun part is that you don’t know how any of these folks fit together until the very end. Watching Greg’s character Mickey slowing figure it out is a pleasure, but when he thinks he has it, he doesn’t know the half of it. This is a little movie without a huge budget, but really fun, and well put together. Though this film has been rolling around in my queue for years, I’m glad it finally bubbled up to the top. This was an enjoyable little mystery, and I can recommend it as something out of the ordinary.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Fox Searchlight Pictures, HBO Films, Home Box Office (HBO),

Larry David, Bill Hader, Jon Hamm, Kate Hudson, Michael Keaton, Danny McBride, Eva Mendes, Amy Ryan, J.B. Smoove, Philip Baker Hall

Nathan (Larry David) is a successful PR executive who steps quite a bit over the line with his boss, Will Haney (Jon Hamm) who in turn fires him. His life spirals out of control and he become a laughingstock, so he changes his name, and builds himself a new life in hiding. But when his old life slaps him in the face with his success, Rolly (His new name) decides it’s time for some revenge. When he partners up with a couple of clowns (Bill Hader, Danny McBride) who live on the street but know a little about explosives, the put together a plan to cause a loud BOOM, but as things go, it’s a terrible idea. This is an HBO original comedy film from 2013 but it is now available on DVD.

You either have a taste for Larry David, or you don’t. For me, he is not that funny, and terribly grating on my nerves. I respect that he has a lot of fans and a lot of people love his brand of humor. For me, it just seems to get annoying. I really tried to enjoy this film, and I did get through the whole thing, and I never really hated it, and the story is rather clever, but it’s just the voice and mannerisms of David that ruins it for me. He reminds me a lot of Woody Allen, for some reason, and I guess the sarcastic wit is similar, but I guess this just didn’t work for me. This is Larry David’s movie 100%, so if you’re a fan, you’ll probably enjoy it, but I could have done very well without it, myself.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Ad Hominem Enterprises,

Woody Harrelson, Laura Dern, Judy Greer, Margo Martindale, Cheryl Hines, Isabella Amara

Wilson (Woody Harrelson) is a lovable oaf who is still in love with his ex-wife (Laura Dern) of 17 years since she left him, moved to Los Angeles, and aborted their child, or so he thought. But when he runs across his ex, he finds out that she had the baby and gave her up for adoption 17 years ago. Wilson is really, really lonely, and pushes himself onto everyone he meets no matter how inappropriate, but when he starts stalking his daughter, things get really complicated in a hurry.

This film really reminds me of “The World According to Garp” which is a similar type of story with similar characters in many ways. But Wilson is more of a loser, and is just so damn inappropriate. When I was about 1/3 of the way through this film, I had the urge to turn it off as I was really thinking I didn’t like Woody’s Wilson, and it was getting on my nerves, but I’m glad I stuck to it, as soon I realize that I finally got it, and his portray of the title character is brilliant. Wilson is an unusual character, but as it proceeds you really get to understand him, and to understand why Woody played him the way he did. It was an interesting and very entertaining experience to watch this unfold slowly piece by piece and bit by bit. This seems like it must be an excellent book, and one I wouldn’t mind looking for, as it was quite an original story. I think we probably all know someone like Wilson, and as it moves along, you like him more and more and yet understandable as to why everyone avoids him as much as possible. He’s a guy with no filter at all. If you get to watch this film on DVD, in the “extras” there are some deleted scenes. If you get a chance to watch them, they’re really worth it. Some of the very best Wilson moments ended up being cut. Never hysterical, but it always puts a smile on yourself, Wilson is a very good film. Check it out.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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