Archive for Comedy

K. JAM Media, Persistent Entertainment, Vocal Yokels,

Jessica Biel, Jake Gyllenhaal, Catherine Keener, James Marsden, Tracy Morgan, James Brolin

Alice Eckle (Jessica Biel) is a waitress in a small town. She is dating a policeman Scott (James Marsden) who has decided to propose to her. But a freak accident leaves her with a nail embedded in her skull inbedded into the brain. When she arrives at the hospital for emergency surgery, once the doctor (Bill Hader) learns she has no insurance, he throws her out. Alice sees a commercial for a junior senator, Howard Birdwell (Jake Gyllenhaal), so she heads off to Washington with the idea for a new bill to provide emergency health care for anyone who does not have insurance. But life in the Capitol is not at all what she expected, and she finds some very interesting effects of having a nail in your brain. Things get very complicated right very soon.

This is a movie that has bubbling in my queue for a couple years. I finally got enough “Very Long Wait(s) in front of it that it popped up in my mailbox. This is a light and funny film, with lots of decent characters. WIth the likes of Beverly D’angelo, Kirstie Alley, Tracy Morgan, and more, there’s plenty of funny stuff going on. This is a really weird movie as it’s really a morality play about the government and the dirty tricks, lies, and schemes that go on. There are some problems that held this movie back. A lot of it is a little silly. Well maybe I’d say a lot silly. A bunch of the jokes fall pretty flat, and many of the characters seem to be cardboard cutouts. I was entertaining, but not all that enticing. I wasn’t blown away with it, and I have a really hard time recommending this movie, but if you’re so inclined, it does a few decent moments, as long as you have nothing better to do.

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Pantelion Films, 3Pas Studios,

Eugenio Derbez, Salma Hayek, Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, Raquel Welch, Rob Corddry, Rob Riggle, Raphael Alejandro, Mckenna Grace, Rob Huebel, Linda Lavin, Michaela Watkins, Michael Cera

Maximo (Eugenio Derbez) figures out early in life that working is not for him. He wants to be a gigolo and have rich women take care of him. But when his wealthy widow, Millicent (Linda Lavin) throws him out when she falls for a younger guy, Maximo is out. With no where to go he sets off to his sister Sara (Salma Hayek) to move in with her. But he soon sets his eye on another catch, Celeste (Raquel Welch) but he’s going to have to work really hard because he has some competition, and he’s not getting any younger.

This is a light and breezy Latin comedy, but I didn’t find it overwhelmingly funny. Yeah, the jokes are there, but it feels like most of it are inside jokes and you’re not in on the jokes. I suspect Latin folks would really enjoy this, mostly because they probably know someone like Max and Sara and can really relate. It was okay, and I suspect it was entertaining enough. I didn’t really get into it a lot, and I can’t highly recommend this, but it’s not really that bad. Rent it if you want. There are a lot of surprise guest shots in the movie, and it’s kind of fun to see them and try to figure out who they are.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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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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