And the Oscar Goes To… Not a Clue

Currently browsing the "Comedy" tag.

Mainstream Chick’s Quick Takes: The Boss; Demolition; Mr. Right

The Boss – Sadly, The Boss kinda sucks. Or, to put it more gently, it’s really weak. The R-rated comedy starts out with huge promise and some very funny moments, but fizzles rather fast. Here’s the gist: Melissa McCarthy plays Michelle Darnell, a very successful but not-so-nice Suze Orman/Martha Stewart hybrid type who gets sent to prison for insider trading. She emerges from prison friendless and broke, but determined to rebrand herself and rebuild. Considering she screwed over a lot of people during her rise to the top, including her former assistant Claire (Kristen Bell), Darnell’s road to redemption is sure to be a rocky one. The Boss is no Bridesmaids. The plot is extremely contrived, relying mostly on physical comedy gags to break the monotony. Without a doubt, the character of Michelle Darnell needs to stay relegated to smaller, SNL-style skits. This full-length feature film treatment doesn’t do her, or the audience, any justice. Case dismissed.

A Walk in the Woods

Here’s what I liked about the adventure-comedy-drama A Walk in the Woods: Robert Redford and Nick Nolte; some really funny and smart one-liners; the notion that you’re never too old for new adventures; and lots of pretty scenery.

Here’s what I didn’t like about A Walk in the Woods: It’s a long walk, with too few ‘mile-marker moments’.

Magic Mike XXL

In brief… so to speak… Magic Mike XXL is pure guy candy – a sort of Hangover with male strippers. Unlike the 2012 surprise hit, the sequel doesn’t take a dark turn. It stays fairly fun throughout – despite having virtually zero plot, and dialogue so cheesy you may need to stock up on Lactaid. But c’mon, what did you expect? Have you SEEN the trailer?! (Scroll down. You’re welcome.)

XXL picks up the story three years after stripper extraordinaire Magic Mike (Channing Tatum) leaves his beefy ‘Kings of Tampa’ stage buddies to pursue his true passion – making furniture. Life isn’t going quite according to plan. Business is slow. His girlfriend has bolted (for some inexplicable reason). And Mike is feeling kinda sorry for himself. And then: his buddies show up to lure Mike back in the fold for one last hurrah at a stripper convention in Myrtle Beach. And off they go! They make a few stops along the way, learn some new moves, shake off some demons, get involved in various mishaps, and um, dance – a lot – for an interesting array of women.

Furious 7

Furious 7 is totally absurd. The stunts defy all laws of physics and gravity. The acting and the dialogue are inconsistent. And yet, it’s still a fun ride. No wonder Dame Helen Mirren wants to play a villain in the next one! I didn’t see the first four installments of the Fast and Furious franchise, but I became a fan with 5 and 6. They are guilty-pleasure movies, pure and simple, delivering a consistent formula of action, special effects, scantily-clad bods (male and female), bonding, romance, bromance, and family dysfunction – all delivered with a wink and a nod.

22 Jump Street

There’s a running joke in 22 Jump Street that unabashedly acknowledges that the sequel is basically the exact same movie as 21 Jump Street, except with a bigger budget. No joke. It’s basically the exact same movie, except it takes place on a local college campus instead of a local high school and employs the kinds of special effects and car chases employed by bigger-budget films. The plot is basically the same. The jokes are basically the same. The entertainment value is basically the same. And if you recall (or choose to read) my original review of 21 Jump Street, then you’ll understand why 22 Jump Street works quite well – for what it is.

Neighbors

Neighbors is, well, exactly what you might expect from an R-rated comedy about a feud between neighbors. Here’s the premise: Mac and Kelly Radner (Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne) are a happily-married couple with a cute, scene-stealing baby who have grand illusions of being cool, hip suburbanites – even when a fraternity (led by the uber-buff Zac Efron) moves in next door. But the frat’s partying ways quickly spark a feud that escalates into an all-out war of debauchery and misunderstanding.

Grown Ups 2

Grown Ups 2 is little more than a ‘supersized’ episode of a mediocre sitcom. It’s got a few funny lines and sight gags – but nothing that would justify a recommendation to spend your hard-earned cash to see it in a theater. That said, I suspect that anyone who actually saw and liked the original Grown Ups movie in 2010 will like the sequel as well. You know who you are. Enjoy. As for the rest of you grown ups out there, take a look through some of our earlier reviews and find something else to see.

The Heat

The Heat is a mildly amusing buddy cop movie that breaks formula only in that the two leads are female. It’s like a raunchy version of Beverly Hills Cop meets Miss Congeniality – in Boston. I didn’t love it, but the movie does fill a cinematic void for a mainstream, non-apocalyptic comedy.

This Is The End

This Is The End isn’t for everybody – by a long shot. But for those who enjoy the likes of Pineapple Express, Harold & Kumar, and The Hangover… and maybe a zombie movie or two… then This Is The End is most definitely for you. It’s disturbingly comical. Absurdly funny. Satirically sickening. In other words, it’s quite good, especially for a comedy about the apocalypse. The movie stars a bunch of movie stars playing fictional versions of themselves – or at least, I hope they are fictional versions (yeah, I’m talking to you Michael Cera!). Here’s the gist:

The Big Wedding

Ouch. This movie is getting some harsh reviews. So maybe I missed something – or am simply more forgiving – ‘cause I didn’t hate it. I actually thought it was mildly amusing, especially if you’re in the mood for a quirky, formulaic, pseudo-romantic, somewhat raunchy comedy that’s strictly for grown-ups. Sure, it’s not as good as you might expect (or hope), considering the all-star cast. But it’s not as bad as it might have been, thanks to an all-star cast. If you have 90 minutes to kill and want to say “I Do”, here’s the scoop: