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Review: Tag

Tag pretty much delivers on what the trailer and the promos promise: an entertaining adult comedy action movie featuring a diverse group of guys who spend one month out of the year continuing a highly-competitive game of Tag they started as kids. The movie was inspired by a true story that was featured in the Wall Street Journal and on a segment of CBS Sunday Morning. The stakes and physical gamesmanship are exaggerated for comedic and dramatic effect in the film. But it’s comforting to know that facsimiles of these guys really do exist, and their primary motivation is admirable: it’s not so much about the game as it is about having a reason – and creating the opportunity – to stay in touch (literally and figuratively) no matter where life takes you.

Quickie Reviews: I Do… Until I Don’t; Crown Heights; Polina

Nothing gets you pumped for the start of the Fall movie blitz quite like the final weeks of summer at the box office. Bring it on! I’m ready for Awards Season! But first… a quick look at the latest releases that are unlikely to gain much traction as families enjoy a final long weekend of togetherness before the days get shorter, kids return to school and commuter garages reach capacity by 8 a.m.

First up on the altar of sacrifice: I Do… Until I Don’t, an ensemble comedy from writer/director/actress Lake Bell (In a World) about marriage and commitment. Here’s the gist: a bitter documentarian from the BBC shows up in divorce-mecca Vero Beach, Florida to test and prove her theory that marriage should be a seven-year contract with the option to renew. She recruits three seemingly diverse couples to appear in her documentary. They include Alice and Noah (Bell and Ed Helms), a boring couple struggling to keep their window-blinds business afloat while also attempting to have a baby; Alice’s kooky sister Fanny (Amber Heard) and her peace-loving soulmate Zander (Wyatt Cenac) who claim to be happy in their forward-thinking ‘open relationship’; and Cybil and Harvey (Mary Steenburgen and Paul Reiser), an older couple going through a bit of a midlife crisis as their anniversary approaches.

Vacation

Judging from the trailer, and fond memories of the 1983 comedy-adventure classic National Lampoon’s Vacation, one might logically surmise that the new Vacation movie is a must-see for first-generation Griswold family followers and their offspring. But one would be very, very wrong. This movie tanks, in a horrifically comical way.

I laughed – a bit. I groaned – a lot. I checked my watch – often.

We’re the Millers

We’re the Millers is sort of like a twisted, R-rated version of the classic family vacation comedy, National Lampoon’s Vacation. The Millers may occasionally step one (or more) toke over the line, but it does have some very funny, squirmy, and surprisingly sweet moments. Here’s the gist: Jason Sudeikis plays David Burke, a small-time pot dealer who creates a fake family out of some neighborhood misfits, so he can smuggle a large shipment of weed out of Mexico with minimal suspicion, and clear a debt with his obnoxious supplier (Ed Helms).

The Hangover Part II

If you weren’t among the masses that gave The Hangover Part II $186 million over the past two weeks and you’re still thinking about seeing it, don’t bother – especially if you saw The Hangover. It’s essentially the same movie; just swap Bangkok for Vegas and a missing little brother for a missing groom. The big problem is, the jokes that were unexpected and often laugh out loud funny in the first one are predictable and stale in the sequel.

Cedar Rapids

There’s nothing really wrong with Cedar Rapids. It’s a fine little story with a fine little cast doing a fine little job with the material. But the film itself just doesn’t seem to have much reason for being. It’s sort of Up In the Air meets The Hangover meets The 40 Year Old Virgin. It’s occasionally funny, occasionally sweet, and occasionally quirky… but not enough of any of those things to make it particularly memorable.

The Hangover

Is “The Hangover” a chick flick by standard definition? Certainly not. Did this chick laugh her ass off? Hell yes. Just because it’s a “guy” comedy about a bachelor party gone horribly, horribly wrong in Vegas doesn’t mean a chick can’t enjoy it.