Yesterday I knocked out eight or so quick hits of movies I enjoyed in 2019. I should have mentioned in that first post that I’m talking about movies I watched in that year, not necesarily movies that came out in said year. If that were the case, I probably wouldn’t have much to write about as someone who mainly gets their entertainment from Netflix (digital AND disc, like an O.G.), Amazon Video, the library and Hulu! Let’s get back to it!
Director Joe Carnahan likes to mix things up with his action projects. He did the kinetic, assassin-filled Smokin’ Aces before moving on to The A-Team and then the far more serious Liam Neeson thriller The Grey. Turns out his next film, Stretch, will harken back to the action comedies of the 80s according to star Patrick Wilson (Watchmen, The Conjuring) who also appeared in A-Team.
While talking to Collider about the horror flick Insidious: Part 2, Wilson went on a bit about the film which also stars Chris Pine, Jessica Alba, Ed Helms, Brooklyn Dekker, Ray Liotta and David Hasselhoff:
It’s insane. It’s all those movies – in a strange way [Insidious] nods to 80’s horror movies, I think in a lot of ways. Stretch is like that for action comedies. It’s completely balls to the wall. The worst night of the limo drivers career going from trying to get this money, all this cast of characters, and a dead guy over my shoulder that’s haunting me the whole time in a shark-skinned suit and a tiny moustache by the name of Ed Helms. I was like, ‘Joe is this Cannonball Run meets Bachelor Party?’ [Laughs] it’s like all those excessive 80’s R-rated action comedies. I mean, it’s insane. Brooklyn Dekker, Jessica Alba…we’d be doing ‘Tonight I’m getting chased down the street by these body guards. Oh and we happened to get a former pro-baller from the Green Bay Packers, he’s going to be chasing you.’ And you’re like, ‘Of course, why wouldn’t we?’ [Laughs] Who’s there today? Today’s David Hasselhoff. Awesome, who’s he playing? David Hasselhoff. Fantastic! It was that type of movie and it was awesome. It was so much fun. The movie was so much fun. It was insane, insane. So funny, hopefully.
Wilson sounds pretty excited about the project which, combined with the Cannonball Run nod, makes us excited about the project. We’re all for getting more comedy in our action. Stretch will open on March 21, 2014.
It’s weird to say this because I am a big Todd Phillips fan going back to Road Trip, Old School and Starsky & Hutch, but I don’t remember much about The Hangover. I gave it a glowing review, but, honestly, I couldn’t tell you much about the plot aside from the basics and the reveal of where Justin Bartha’s character wound up really being. As such, I wasn’t super excited about seeing the movie when it wound up being on a double bill with Bridesmaids at our local drive-in. I was however excited about the latter movie and the idea of actually seeing a new movie with our baby in tow (the whole thing worked out quite well, actually).
Anyway, I had a good time with The Hangover Part II. My initial impression from the trailers was that it was basically the same movie in a different setting and it kind of is for the most part, even down to the reveal of where the missing person is. But, you know what? Sometimes it’s just fun to watch characters (archetypes even) doing the things you expect of them in increasingly hilarious–and even action packed–ways. Also, the scenes with the drug dealing monkey made me lose my shit.
My only complaint was that I wish Bartha had gotten in on the action some more. The sequel didn’t have to be exactly set up like the original. I think he’s a lot of fun to watch on screen, but still hasn’t really gotten the chance to shine through. Maybe in the third one they’re talking about.
Side note, I think I could watch Bradley Cooper in just about anything. Dude’s CRAZY charming.
Much like H2, Bridesmaids exceeded my expectations, which is impressive because I was really excited about the flick. I mean, how can you not be intrigued by this poster? There’s a lot of hot funniness bubbling below the surface there. The thing that surprised me about this movie, though, is how misrepresnted it was by its own ad campaign and even the many talk show appearances I saw of various cast members (the missus has a jones for watching Good Morning America, The Rachel Ray Show and The View so I’m seeing all kinds of stuff I never saw before). Even when Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph straight up said it wasn’t like The Hangover-but-with-women they didn’t really seem to nail what the movie is about. See, here’s the plot, contains some plot SPOILERS. Wiig and Rudolph are best friends and have been forever. Rudolph gets engaged to a guy who’s got a great job. She’s been palling around with Rose Byrne’s character because she’s married to the hubby’s boss. So, basically, Rudolph’s gaining access to this more afluent life style and it’s creating a rift between her and Wiig. At the same time, Wiig’s life is in the crapper because her bakery failed, she lives with British freaks and she’s hooking up with Jon Hamm in a role so outwardly skeezy that he might actually be a descendant of Don Draper. Rudolph makes Wiig her maid of honor, but there’s immediately static between her and Byrne.
The trailers made it seem like the story then focused on that rivalry as well as the exploits of the other ‘maids (Melissa McCarthy as the sister-in-law, The Office‘s Ellie Kemper as the co-worker and Reno 911‘s Wendi McLendon-Covey as the cousin) but most of what you see in the ads came from the movie’s first half hour or so as the rest of the flick revolves around Wiig’s slow descent towards rock bottom and madness as tensions rise with Byrne, Rudolph and her ill-fated relationship Chris O’Dowd’s police officer (love that dude’s voice).
So, while it’s not this raucous lady Hangover, Bridesmaids still packs in the laughs–including some amazing gross-out stuff that I had heard about, but didn’t expect to be quite so funny or graphic–but more importantly really gets into the difficulties of friendship and keeping them strong as things in life change. It reminded me of some dude-based movies I’ve seen, but I can’t quite put my finger on which ones. I’m hoping that it’s success will lead to more funny lady comedies that aren’t afraid to have some balls.
In my zeal to enjoy my re-found health and the nice weather, I lost track of time and will not have enough time to watch a James Bond flick tonight (also because of NBC comedies and Jersey Shore, of course). I thought that meant there’d be no Bondy goodness today, but then I remembered that we were finally getting the chance to see Michael Scott’s Threat Level: Midnight starring Michael Scarn on tonight’s episode of The Office (funny I forgot about it after calling the show out on my Maxim TV column). The episode featured a secret agent whose nemesis has a gold face and killed his wife. Doesn’t sound too far off from a Bond movie, right? Well, he’s also got a robot butler, a mystical hockey teacher and his own signature dance which you can check out here. I was thinking about this earlier today, but I love it when movies or parodies of movies don’t just go with the genre they’ve chosen to tackle but also add in a few others. In this case, Michael Scott didn’t just want to make a secret agent movie, but also one with a robot AND a sports mentor/training montage. Fun stuff. I know this is a bit of a cop out entry, but at this point, I’m thinking the DDOS posts will be going on past the end of the month unless I can watch a bunch of movies back to back next week (we’re heading to Ohio this weekend). Don’t worry though, you’ve got a weekend full of James Bond Jr. posts!
Just call me Captain Obvious, gang. I don’t think I’m blowing any minds when I say that the missus and I finally got around to watching The Hangover and it was fantastic. As I mentioned way back in May, I’m a big Todd Philips fan from Old School and Starsky & Hutch. Unfortunately, I didn’t get around to seeing it in the theaters and, of course, it exploded as this gigantically huge comedy that made boat loads of money and shot Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis in the super star realm they belong in.
I have this tendency to laugh in loud, sharp bursts and sometimes–rarely, I say–I laugh so loud that you can’t hear the following line. The missus made me promise not to laugh too loud. Luckily, the movie seems written with the laughs in mind because there’s space in there for me to laugh. And man, did I laugh a lot. Sure, the plot of the movie feels familiar with a combination of Swingers, Dude Where’s My Car and Very Bad Things, but who cares? The specifics of these characters interacting with each other make this movie super fun (even if Cooper has a very Vince Vaughn-from-Old School feel and Helms reminds me of Luke Wilson in Old School at times). Hell, this flick has a tiger, Mike Tyson, Ken Jeong naked, a shocking amount of violence and another great Heather Graham performance–something I wasn’t expecting.
I won’t get into too much detail as I’m guessing I’m the only person in the world who hadn’t seen this movie yet. If you haven’t do yourself a favor and check it out. I liked this one so much I’m thinking about buying it on DVD, something I haven’t done in a while for a new movie (I’m still a sucker for value multipacks).
For me, the current wave of awesome comedy flicks didn’t start with Judd Apatow (though much respect him as he’s done most of the heavy lifting). No, comedy started getting awesome for me again (like the previous golden age thanks to the National Lampoon/SNL/SCTV folks in the late 70s and early 80s that I grew up on) in 2003 with the release of Old School, which I’ve talked about before.
Well, Todd Phillips, the mastermind behind Old School, along with Road Trip (2000), Starsky & Hutch (2004) and School for Scoundrels (2006) which I didn’t love, has a new movie coming out soon called The Hangover about three dudes (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis) who wake up Dude Where’s My Car-style in Vegas missing the their buddy the groom. You know what else it has? Mike Tyson and Phil Collins together! (kinda). I laughed so hard the very first time I saw the first trailer, I almost couldn’t stop. i then showed it to everyone int he office and laughed as much every time. It’s the one with Tyson punching a dude, amazing. Well, I’m so enthused about this flick I thought I’d provide you with every trailer I could find with a basic search on YouTube. Enjoy!
Haha, of course, I write this whole thing only to find that most of the trailers on YouTube have had embedding turned off. Well, here’s the one I could find, check for links below.