With 2 Guns opening this weekend and Lone Survivor hitting this winter, Mark Wahlberg’s showing very different acting chops on the big screen. As we mentioned yesterday, 2 Guns seems to have a more light hearted, comedic tone to it, at least judging by his character’s one-liners, while Survivor is a lot more serious. Directed by Peter Berg (Hancock, The Rundown), this new film tells the (based on a true) story of a quartet of Navy Seals whose mission in Afghanistan goes sour and they have to eventually fight their way out of trouble. The film also stars Taylor Kitsch, Eric Bana, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster.
The above trailer showcases the dramatic aspects of the film which, according to Variety, is being pushed as an Oscar contender by Universal hence the early New York and LA release of December 27 in advance of the wider January 10th one.
I mentioned a week or two back how I had recently enjoyed several Judd Apatow-related DVD commentaries and how I was looking forward to seeing Funny People. We’ve been sitting on the DVD since before Thanksgiving, but didn’t get to it until this weekend. It was definitely worth the wait.
I can’t think of a movie I’ve enjoyed more than Funny People in a while. I went into it knowing about the basic plot details: Adam Sandler plays a big-time comedian who finds out he has a kind of cancer, takes fellow stand-up comedian Seth Rogen under his wing and starts hitting the club circuit again. Sandler tries to make amends with some people, including Leslie Mann, who is the one who got away. He eventually finds out that the experimental treatment he’s been taking has worked and he’s got a second lease on life which sends him out after Mann who is married to Eric Bana and has two kids (Mann’s own kids with Apatow).
I’m a big fan of 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up and most of the movies Apatow produced, so it’s probably not a huge shock how much I liked this movie. What I liked most about Funny People wasn’t just the comedic aspect of it (which were hilarious), but also the dramatic side. I’d seen Sandler in Punch-Drunk Love and didn’t like the movie, but I’ve always figured he could do something more dramatic and this movie proves it. In fact, everyone in the movie is hilarious. Aside from the main three, you’ve also got Jonah Hill, Jason Schwarzman, Aubrey Plaza, Aziz Ansari, RZA, Bana and the Apatow children all tossing out great lines left and right. Sure, it’s long at 146 minutes, but I think it’s worth the time investment.