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Category Archives: Comedy Movie Reviews

The Way, Way Back (2013)


The Way Way Back Poster 2

The Way, Way Back (2013)

Steve Carell and Sam Rockwell both have the ability to be really funny and that is why I thought that The Way, Way Back could be hilarious.  If both of those guys are in the same movie together than it is bound to make you laugh right?

THE WAY, WAY BACK

The movie is about Duncan, a timid 14-year-old boy (Liam James) who is dragged along on a summer vacation with his mother (Toni Collette), her jerk of a boyfriend (Steve Carell), and her boyfriend’s daughter (Zoe Levin).  In order to escape the awkwardness, Duncan ventures off on his own to a nearby water park where he befriends Owen (Sam Rockwell) the manager, and gets a summer job.

The film was written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.  The rest of the noteworthy cast includes Allison Janney, Maya Rudolph, Rob Corddry, Amanda Peet, River Alexander, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash.

The Way Way Back Rockwell James

The film did not have a very promising start, and I was worried that it was not going to get any better.  It was a stale dysfunctional drama until Sam Rockwell made his appearance and saved the day, and the movie.  Rockwell turned the film into a “dramedy” and made it worth watching.  The film literally went from awful to entertaining as if Rockwell had just flipped a switch.

Unfortunately, Carell’s character was not funny at all.  Carell is usually pretty excellent when he is in a comedic role, but when his character is all drama, he is hardly likable.

The Way Way Back Dinner Table

The movie was a good story of how uncomfortable life can be sometimes with a divorced parent who is dating again.  Maybe being a child of divorced parents myself, I related to the movie a little bit more than others might.  When you are a kid who is stuck dealing with a boyfriend or girlfriend of one of your parents whom you just don’t like or get along with, it is nice to be able to escape with your friends for support.  I was fortunate enough to be able to do that many times during my childhood.  That is what this movie is about and that is what this movie does a good job depicting.

The Way Way Back Party

It’s not the funniest movie in the world and it’s not the greatest, but it is a touching story that should make you laugh.

I rate this movie a 7 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.

If you liked The Way, Way Back, then you will most likely enjoy:

The Big Wedding (2013)

Stuck in Love (2012)

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

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Pawn Shop Chronicles (2013)


Pawn Shop Chronicles Poster

Pawn Shop Chronicles (2013)

Back in 2006 I was blown away when I watched the film Running Scared (2006).  I saw that movie in theatres three different times.  It was that good.  Paul Walker was the main star and Wayne Kramer directed.  Yesterday I watched a preview for Pawn Shop Chronicles and thought it looked like it could be pretty awesome and it has a solid cast.  Paul Walker is one of the main stars, but when I found out Kramer directed, that made me want to see it.

Pawn Shop Chronicles follows multiple stories involving drugged-out hillbillies, newlyweds, and an Elvis impersonator as their lives all intertwine because of their transactions made at a pawn shop.

Pawn Shop Chronicles Walker

The noteworthy cast includes Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser, Kevin Rankin, Vincent D’Onofrio, Elijah Wood, Chi McBride, Thomas Jane, Norman Reedus, Lukas Haas, DJ Qualls, Michael Cudlitz, Ashlee Simpson, and Matt O’Leary.

The movie is a disturbingly dark comedy and weird, white trash, hillbilly adventure.

Kramer continues the trend of super intense filmmaking with unique, quirky, fun characters in a brutally twisted storyline.

Just like Running Scared, the camera work and editing is very unique and fast-paced which helps to make the movie more thrilling.

Pawn Shop Chronicles Fraser

The movie is very graphic.  It was pretty shocking at times.  F-bombs, nudity, and disturbing images were all overused.

Within the first ten minutes of the film, I began to wonder what I had gotten myself into.  But, then the movie hit its stride and got much better.

Walker plays a way different type of character than he has ever played.  It was actually pretty refreshing to see him try something new for a change.  It was a stretch for him, but he pulled it off nicely.

For you Reedus fans out there; his role will disappoint you because it is hardly noticeable.  I felt like he was way underused.

This is Fraser’s best movie in over a decade.  I was happy to see him in a likable role again.

Dillon stole the show, in my opinion.  It never seems like he misses a stride.  Every once in a while when he finds the right character, he gives a breakout performance that reminds us all that he still has the ability to take over a movie.

Pawn Shop Chronicles Dillon D'Onofrio

For the type of film that this is, it is an exercise in quality filmmaking.  It will keep you guessing.  It is a funny, messed up, shocking adventure like no other.

I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

The Big Wedding (2013)


The Big Wedding poster

The Big Wedding (2013)

I come from a very dysfunctional family, but I am sure that we all do in one way or another.  So maybe that is why I am drawn to dysfunctional movies.

The Big Wedding is about a couple that must pretend to be married even though they have been divorced for a very long time.  Their adopted son is getting married and the family is reuniting for the wedding, but his birth mother is unaware that his adopted parents were ever separated.

The Big Wedding Keaton De Niro birth family

The film was directed by Justin Zackham and the noteworthy cast includes Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Surandon, Topher Grace, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Ben Barnes, Robin Williams, Christine Ebersole, David Rasche, Patricia Rae, and Ana Ayora.

The movie is inappropriate from the very first scene and delightfully dysfunctional throughout.

The Big Wedding Surandon Keaton De Niro

The film revolves more around the families of the groom and bride rather than the groom and bride themselves.  That is what the movie actually has going for it because instead of being a sappy love story, it is more about the harsh reality of the lives of the family attending the wedding.

It’s very amusing to see acting legends De Niro, Keaton, Surandon, and Williams all in the same film together and all as awesome as ever.

There are tons of laughs to be had in this film.  From the awkwardness of a divorced couple acting like they are married to the funny insults back and forth between siblings and the jokes that get lost in translation with the adopted kid’s foreign birth family.

The Big Wedding Grace Heigl

The humor is raunchy and there is a lot of language.

I laughed harder than I thought I would.  The Big Wedding was a pleasant surprise.  It was hilarious, witty, messed up, heartfelt, and dysfunctional.  It was just like family should be, or at least how my family is.

The Big Wedding De Niro

The film appears like it could be a chick flick, but don’t be fooled.  It was just a pure comedy.

I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

If you liked The Big Wedding, then you will most likely enjoy:

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

The Way, Way Back (2013)

Stuck in Love (2012)

Admission (2013)


Admission Poster

Admission (2013)

 

Paul Rudd has been typecast in the same roles for the majority of his career.  When Tina Fey is not on television, she is acting in cheesy romantic comedies.  With this in mind, I figured that this movie would be very average, but I thought that I would give it a chance anyway.

Admission Fey

The film is about an admissions officer at Princeton (Tina Fey) who is not very fond of children.  After finding out that an applicant just might be her son that she gave up for adoption a number of years before, she puts her job in jeopardy trying to help him get accepted.

The movie was directed by Paul Weitz and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Paul Rudd, Gloria Reuben, Wallace Shawn, Lily Tomlin, Michael Sheen, Nat Wolff, and Travaris Spears.

I would hardly classify Admission as a comedy.  It is not even really a dramedy.  It is a romantic drama, but mainly just a drama.

Admission Fey Rudd Wolff

It seems like more and more movies these days have been released classified as comedy/romance/drama.  It is deceiving because often times these movies are just not very funny or any good at all, i.e. The Guilt Trip (2012) and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012).

These types of movies take actors that are mainly known for their comedy and they try to stretch the parameters of their acting ability by making them do comedy, drama, and romance.  The end result is usually a light hearted, dysfunctional concoction of cheesy and cheap humor, a formulaic story, and characters that seem out of place because they are out of their element and in over their heads.  Admission is exactly this kind of movie.

I chuckled a few times, I was bored a little bit, and when the movie was over I knew that I would never have to see it again.

Rudd and Fey keep making the same movies and therefore will continue to make the same movies.

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Tomlin was charming.  Given that she has mainly been acting in television lately, it was nice to see her in a movie again.

This is not even a good “chick flick.”  Don’t waste your time on this below average movie.

I rate this movie a 4 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Run.

Kick-Ass 2 (2013)


Kick-Ass 2 Poster

Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

After being surprised at how much Kick-Ass (2010) actually kicked ass, I was excited to see this sequel.

Kick-Ass 2 good group

This time around Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) has teamed up with a group fellow wannabe superheroes that he inspired to dress up and fight crime.  Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) is out for revenge on Kick-Ass and has gathered a group of so-called super villains to destroy him and everyone he knows.

The movie was written and directed by Jeff Wadlow and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Chloe Grace Moretz, Morris Chestnut, Jim Carrey, Clark Duke, John Leguizamo, Lindy Booth, Claudia Lee, Donald Faison, and Garrett M. Brown.

I did not like this movie as much as the first one.  At times, it was pretty tacky.  Ass was kicked and laughs were had, there was a lot of quality action, but it just was not as good as it could have been.  It was less believable and more predictable.

Kick-Ass 2 Carrey

With the addition of Jim Carrey, I thought that for sure Kick-Ass 2 would be funnier than Kick-Ass.  I was wrong.  There were a few more laughs, but not because of Carrey.  His role was not big enough to make a difference.  Most of the other new characters in the film were not developed enough.

Moretz stole the show in the first movie and she was still probably the best part of this one, but she did not get the opportunity to kick as much ass as she did in the first film.

Kick-Ass 2 bad group

The film concentrated a little bit too much on the drama that the characters were having at school and at home instead of concentrating on them fighting crime.  This made the film a little slower at times and less enjoyable.

Even though I didn’t like a few aspects of the movie, it was still entertaining enough to have fun watching.  Almost all sequels are not as good as their predecessors, but maybe I just went into this film with expectations that were too high.  The story went a slightly different direction than I anticipated, but I still laughed and had a good time.

Kick-Ass 2 Johnson Moretz

I rate this movie a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.

The Last Stand (2013)


The Last Stand Poster

The Last Stand (2013)

Arnold Schwarzenegger is back, again.  He must have gone a little heavy on the spray tan and make-up because his face looks like a tanned piece of aged leather, but he’s back.  I held off seeing this movie in the theatre because I was not sure if Ahnuld could pull this one off.

The Last Stand Ahnuld Knoxville

The Last Stand is about a drug lord that escapes from protective custody and heads for the Mexican border.  The only thing standing in his way of freedom is small town Sheriff Ray Owen (Schwarzenegger) and his band of misfit deputies.

The film is directed by Kim Jee-Woon and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Forest Whitaker, Johnny Knoxville, Luis Guzman, Peter Stormare, Eduardo Noriega, Jaimie Alexander, Zach Gilford, and Harry Dean Stanton, and Genesis Rodriguez.

The Last Stand Knoxville Flare

The film does not have a lot of character development, but there is a bit of stupid comedy and tons of action.  The special effects are actually quite good and they help to make the film enjoyable.  There are endless car chases, bullets are flying, people and things are exploding, blood is spattering, and fans of 90s action movies are applauding.

Schwarzenegger, Knoxville, Guzman, and Stormare all make this action movie more of a comedy not to take too seriously.

The Last Stand Ahnuld Whitaker

Whitaker seems to be the only person in the film taking his part seriously and it fits his character like a glove.

Overall, the film was better than I expected it to be.  It’s a bit predictable at times, but for the type of movie that it is, that is to be expected.  It certainly seemed like they had fun making it.  Even though Schwarzenegger looked a little goofy, he pulled his character off quite well and it was fun to see him acting again.

The Last Stand Ahnuld

I rate this movie a 7 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.

If you liked The Last Stand, then you will probably enjoy:

Bullet to the Head (2012)

A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

We’re the Millers (2013)


We're the Millers Poster

We’re the Millers (2013)

Longtime drug dealer David Clark (Jason Sudeikis) gets into trouble with his supplier (Ed Helms) and in order to make things right, he is forced to smuggle drugs into the U.S. from Mexico.  In order to be less conspicuous and hopefully not get arrested crossing the border, David hires a stripper (Jennifer Aniston), a nerdy neighbor boy (Will Poulter), and a homeless girl (Emma Roberts) to all act as his family.  Together, they are the Millers.

We're the Millers in camper

The movie was directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Matthew Willig, Luis Guzman, Thomas Lennon, and Mark Young.

Because Sudeikis is in the film, you know that you will be in for a comedy that is maxed out with gross, stupid, and raunchy humor.  There is some pot humor, but it’s mostly all potty humor.

We’re the Millers is a sick, perverted version of Vacation (1983).  Instead of a family going on vacation and everything going wrong, it’s a fake family going on a major drug-run and everything going way wrong.

We're the Millers trio looking out camper

The story is very formulaic and predictable with nasty surprises along the way.  If you enjoy crass, this movie is crass.  It is crude, but you can’t help but laugh at it.

It seems like Aniston has really brought herself down as an actress for making films like this one.  She is way less classy than she used to be.

We're the Millers Aniston Sudeikis

This is the type of movie that basically guarantees that you will never be taken seriously as an actor in the future.  I understand that it is a comedy, however I think that it will be hard for anybody in the cast to not be typecast in the same kind of role and in the same kind of movie from here on out.

We're the Millers group outside camper

There is not much else to say about this film.  If you like this type of comedy, then you will probably enjoy this movie.  Because of how predictable We’re the Millers was, it was not quite as funny as it otherwise could have been.

It was worth the matinee price that I paid for the ticket because I knew what to expect.  I most likely would not have paid full price at a night show.

I rate this movie a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.

2 Guns (2013)


2 Guns Poster 2

2 Guns (2013)

Director Baltasar Kormakur pulled out the big guns for his new Action/Comedy 2 Guns.  With a cast that includes Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Bill Paxton, James Marsden, and Paula Patton, how could you go wrong?  This is the question that I asked myself.  My answer was that you most likely can’t go wrong.  I was very excited to see this film, so I caught one of the first showings.

2 Guns Washington Wahlberg

The film is about an undercover DEA agent (Washington) and an undercover Special Forces officer (Wahlberg) that team up to get close to a drug cartel.  The catch: each man is unaware that the other is a cop.

The rest of the noteworthy cast includes Edward James Olmos, Fred Ward, Robert John Duke, and Patrick Fischler.

2 Guns Patton Washington

2 Guns is a high caliber adventure that is fully loaded with twists and turns, plenty of action, an amazing cast of edgy characters, lots of laughs, and a whole lot of fun.

Denzel Washington is one actor that has never really disappointed me.  He has always acted his heart out in every role that I have seen him in.  He is certainly one of the greats.  He is one of the most consistently solid actors of our time.  His role in 2 Guns is evidence that he has no intention of changing his ways or slowing down.  His character is suave and in control.  He lets his presence be known on screen.  If he were a Jedi, the force would be strong with this one.

2 Guns Wahlberg Washington Car

Mark Wahlberg’s acting ability has noticeably improved over the years.  It was never bad by any means, but he has definitely found his niche.  He has always taken a no-nonsense approach to his acting.  This has given his movies more intensity and energy.  Over time, he has learned to develop a different personality to each of the characters that he plays.  He has become very versatile.  In 2 Guns, he somehow managed to be funny and a badass.

The witty banter exchanged between Washington and Wahlberg was hilarious.  That, mixed with each man’s physical ability for violence made the movie very entertaining.  Their characters played off of each other wonderfully.

Besides Haywire (2011), I have not seen Paxton in anything great for a while.  This is his best film movie Frailty (2001).  He played a good tough-guy in this film.

There was never a dull moment in this movie.  If you are looking for a lot of action, some good laughs, great acting, and an overall awesome film experience, look no further than 2 Guns.  This movie has everything.  It’s the best Action/Comedy film so far this year, and will probably be the best of the year.

I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

If you enjoyed 2 Guns, then you will most likely enjoy:

Broken City (2013)

Pain & Gain (2013)

Flight (2012)

Red 2 (2013)

Ted (2012)

Kick-Ass (2010)


Kick-Ass Poster

Kick-Ass (2010)

I delayed seeing Kick-Ass for 3 years.  Honestly, at the time that it came out, it appeared like it would be jam-packed with gratuitous amounts of stupidity.  I was fed up with superhero movies being the trend and given the fact that Nicolas Cage was a part of it made me worried.  Cage is one of my favorite actors, but at the time that he made Kick-Ass he was taking any and every movie role offered to him.  He was having money problems and he needed to get out of debt.  During that time, he systematically dismantled his image and his career by force-feeding the world 11 movies over the course of 3 years.  I thought the title was pretty lame and I was very skeptical to say the least.

Kick-Ass Johnson

The movie is about a nerdy high school kid (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who one day decides that he wants to be a superhero.  He dresses up like a superhero and therefore thinks that he is one.  Fighting crime proves to be much more difficult than he anticipates and he gets in way over his head.

The film is directed by Matthey Vaughn and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Nicolas Cage, Mark Strong, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Michael Rispoli, Clark Duke, and Jason Flemyng.

Kick-Ass Fighting

After writing off Kick-Ass three years ago, I never really thought twice about it until I learned of the upcoming sequel a couple of months ago, Kick-Ass 2 (2013).  I heard from a few different people that Kick-Ass was actually pretty awesome.  I decided to give it a chance.

The movie was actually pretty bad-ass.  The soundtrack set the tone quite nicely with a couple of different songs by The Prodigy.  Later it transitioned to Elvis Presley and even Ennio Morricone.

Kick-Ass Strong Plasse

Nicolas Cage was better than I expected he would be.  The film was during his low point, but his character turned out to be moderately entertaining.

Mark Strong was a superb hard-ass.  He played his part perfectly.

Kick-Ass Moretz

Aaron Taylor-Johnson was alright, but it was the young Chloe Grace Moretz that stole the show.  She sure kicked some ass.

I was shocked at how much I enjoyed this movie.  It was far better than I originally anticipated.  There is a bit of language, blood, raunchiness, and violence, but overall it was mildly funny and supremely amusing.  It was a well-acted and clever, kick-ass journey into an almost believable world where superheroes exist.

I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

R.I.P.D. (2013)


R.I.P.D. Poster

R.I.P.D. (2013)

To me, this film appeared like it would have a lot of similarities to Men in Black (1997).  Instead of a police force that protects the earth from aliens, R.I.P.D. has a police force that protects the earth from the dead.  The dead people in R.I.P.D. wear human body suits and hide out among the living, sort of like the aliens in MIB.  Interestingly enough, the dead people in R.I.P.D. and the aliens in MIB are monsters that appear very much alike.  The futuristic guns in each film look like they are all part of the same family.  Each movie has old grumpy veterans of the force that are tasked with training the new recruit.  Hollywood continues to recycle the same ideas.  They twist them around a bit and feed them back to us again on the silver screen.

R.I.P.D. Bridges Reynolds

R.I.P.D. is a buddy-cop comedy with a twist.  Instead of simply just trying to protect and serve, Roy (Jeff Bridges) and Nick (Ryan Reynolds) are deceased cops who try to protect the living from the dead as part of the Rest in Peace Department.  After 15 years on the force, Boston cop Nick is tragically murdered in the line of duty.  Instead of going to heaven, he gets stopped along the way and recruited to become a member of the R.I.P.D.  He gets paired with Roy, an R.I.P.D. veteran.  Roy shows Nick the ropes, but Nick is only interested in investigating his own murder.

R.I.P.D. Disguises

The film is directed by Robert Schwentke and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker, Stephanie Szostak, Marisa Miller, James Hong, Devin Ratray, and Robert Knepper.

Even with the thought of basically already seeing this movie 3 times before, I expected it to be funnier than it actually was.  Reynolds humor is usually pretty sarcastically witty.  Pairing him with Bridges in a cowboy-like character, I thought that I might die laughing.  This was not the case however.  There was a touch of cleverness that caused a little bit of deserved laughter, but the comedy was mostly just not there.

R.I.P.D. Reynolds Parker Bridges

All of the actors were likable, but the film was desperately lacking originality.  The story was highly predictable and very convenient.  I felt like there was not enough of a back story to the Rest in Peace Department itself and why the dead were trying to invade the earth.  It was hardly explained why the department existed and why the dead were able to come back to earth.  There were just tons of holes in the storyline that were completely overlooked by the characters.  Apparently the viewers were also supposed to overlook these flaws and just go with it.  I did that, but it made the film less enjoyable.

R.I.P.D. Ratray

Overall, you can expect a few laughs and a bit of entertainment.  It’s also pretty funny and sad to see what Buzz (Devin Ratray) from Home Alone (1990) has become.

I rate this movie a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.