Tag Archives: will ferrell

The LEGO Movie – Review

24 Feb

Ever since 1949, it is safe to say that a majority percentage of children have had the wonderful opportunity to get their hands on some LEGOs and build something. LEGOs stimulated the imaginations and allowed people, sometimes not even children, to look at something they built and be proud. When I heard of The LEGO Movie, I automatically assumed this was going to be a LEGO commercial in movie form, and it certainly had advertising in it and LEGO sales will skyrocket after this, but it’s more than that. The LEGO Movie is a hilarious and kinetic ride that made me laugh harder than I expected I ever would.

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Emmett (Chris Pratt) is a nobody and blends into society without even needing to really try. He falls into step with everyone else, listens to the same song on the radio, and watches the most popular television show without fail. Life is easy for Emmett until he finds a mystical LEGO piece called the Piece of Resistance. Finding this Piece, according to Emmett’s new and rambunctious partner Wyldestyle (Elizabeth Banks), makes Emmett the “Special,” who is someone destined to be a “Master Builder” and stop the evil Mister Business (Will Ferrell) from unleashing his super weapon, the Kragle, on the entire world. Soon, the duo meets Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), the person who proclaimed the prophecy and now they are on a quest to Mister Business’ headquarters to stop him once and for all.

Something that really was great about The LEGO Movie is that all of the funny parts weren’t shown in the trailer, which I really thought was going to be the case. I also was just expecting to see a mediocre animated movie whose sole purpose it to make us all buy more LEGOs. Well, like I said, I was wrong on both accounts. This movie works really well as a superbly animated comedy with a lot of heart and jokes that come so fast a frequent that sometimes it’s hard to keep up. That was the first thing I noticed in the movie.

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When the movie first started, I found myself laughing, but I wasn’t really sure at what. It took me a few seconds to realize that everything going on was a joke. Everything. That’s how it was in the beginning and it was really strange at first because there was just a constant flow of laughter that I wasn’t expecting and wasn’t really sure what it was directed at. As the movie goes on, the amount of jokes per second slows down, but not by much. The LEGO Movie is a very funny movie that never stops, so by the end you may need to take a break from laughter for your own health. Too bad that’s going to be really hard with all of the thinking back you’re going to do. A lot of this has to do with screenwriters Phil Lord and Chris Miller (both Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs movies, 21 Jump Street) and the rest of the cast who give excellent and funny performances. My personal favorite was Liam Neeson as Bad Cop, who sounded like he was having more fun than he has ever had in his entire career.

With a movie that moves as fast as this, you wouldn’t really expect it to be too long. Unfortunately, this is really the movies only drawback: it’s runtime. I’ve complained about runtimes of some movies before, because it’s really a factor that has the potential to ruin an entire movie. In The LEGO Movie, there are scenes that shouldn’t go on for nearly as long as they do. One LEGO world in particular was completely out of place and ran pretty dry in terms of jokes. Once that part was over, the movie picked right up again, but it was an awkward slow down and one that added an extra fifteen minutes onto the movie that didn’t need to be there.

The LEGO Movie was a fun, often exciting, and kinetic movie that just went on a little to long. It’s written wonderfully by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and the voice acting really brought the movie to life. I was really surprised by this movie and when it was over had a hard time stopping my talking about it. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to get it when it comes out! It’s an unexpectedly great time at the movies.

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The Campaign – Review

16 Feb

Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis are a match made in comedy heaven. Add in screenwriters Chris Henchy and Shawn Harwell (Entourage and Eastbound and Down) and director Jay Roach (the Austin Powers movies and Borat amongst other things), and anything can be possible. That is exactly the combination for The Campaign, a farcical political comedy that had all of the ingredients to be a damn funny movie, but unfortunately it wastes a lot of its potential and it lands in the region of a forgettable, mediocre film.

The Campaign

Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) is a Democratic congressman from the state of North Carolina who is running for his fifth term completely unopposed. It seems like he has the election in the bag until two corrupt businessmen, the Motch Brothers (John Lithgow and Dan Akroyd) enter the picture. They need a sap that they can control to run for congressmen in order for them to profit off of a Chinese company that they want for production in America. They see that sap in Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), who is thrown into the race and immediately bashed by Brady. Brady underestimated Huggins and his campaign manager Tim Wattley (Dylan McDermott), and what ensues is a mudslinging political showdown to end them all.

Did you ever have a friend come up to you all excited about a joke they just heard, and when they finally get through saying it, it isn’t even that funny. Still, you give a little chuckle but that’s nowhere near the reaction they actually wanted, so they keep hammering in the punchline again and again until you finally say, “OK I GET IT!” The tagline for this movie is “May the Best Loser Win.” In my opinion, the tagline should just be, “Ok. I get it.” Repeating a not so funny joke over and over again doesn’t make it any funnier. In fact, it just makes the joke worse.

THE CAMPAIGN

 

All of the ingredients for an excellent comedy are here. Well Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis both have shown their talents in many other films and shows, the same can be said for the writers and the directors. Plus, the cast of supporting actors are all really impressive. Well, for starters, the entire supporting cast is completely underused. How can you cast Dan Akroyd and John Lithgow and have them hardly in the movie. The most disappointing thing, though, is how annoying Will Ferrell is. His character is supposed to be a troublesome person, but his accent and the way he played the character was just surprising. Having tackled more difficult roles before, it’s a wonder how he could’ve been as bad in this as he is. Galifianakis carries his role very well and, like always, seems completely in character.

The Campaign did have a few funny scenes, but that doesn’t make up for the rest of the movie. The scene that had everyone talking is when Ferrell’s character punches a baby. That was really funny and pushed the boundaries a bit, and will be the scene that this movie will be remembered for years down the line. But this one scene and a few others don’t excuse the rest of the jokes falling flat. I like the ideas around the jokes and the points that they are trying to make, but the execution is just so poor.

So, as disappointing as it is to say, The Campaign did not hit most of the marks. With such an excellent cast, two talented writers, and a director who’s proved his skill with comedies before, you would think that this would be a surefire success. Unfortunately, The Campaign is a movie that thinks it’s funnier than it actually is and is such a waste of time for everyone involved, especially the viewer.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back – Review

8 Jun

It was going to happen eventually. There was no point in hiding the fact that there was going to be a film all about Jay and Silent Bob. Kevin Smith has always been shocked to hear that the most popular characters he has ever created are the two stoners who hang outside of the QuickStop food mart. Nevertheless, he gave the fans what they wanted when he made Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

It seems that Jay and Silent Bob’s lives can’t get any worse when Dante and Randal finally slap them with a restraining order to stay away from QuickStop. They find refuge at the local comic book store run by Brodie (Jason Lee), who tells them that the Bluntman and Chronic characters are getting their own movie. Jay and Silent Bob are infuriated when they hear this since they never got any money from Miramax for their likenesses. They then decide to head to Hollywood to stop Banky (Jason Lee again) and Holden (Ben Affleck) from making the movie. Complications arise, however, when they get mixed up with jewel thieves and an orangutan, all while being chased by Federal Wildlife Marshall Willenholly (Will Ferrell).

Newcomers to the View Askewniverse, beware! This film is Kevin Smith’s giant inside joke to all of the fans of his previous movies. Many of the jokes are references pulled directly from all of his films from Clerks to Dogma. For the viewers who have seen these films, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is going to be a film that will give you a great amount of entertainment, but is probably Smith’s least strongest in the Askewniverse series.

As a person who is really interested in the world the Kevin Smith has created with his motley of characters, it was really rewarding to be able to see most of them in the same movie together. This is the film that really ties all of the other ones together. It almost added to the humor that Jason Lee plays both Brodie and Banky in the same movie, but it didn’t detract from the movie watching experience since I can easily discern between these two very different characters.

There were more funny and talented people in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back than you can really imagine. George Carlin has a great bit as a naughty hitch hiker willing to do anything for a ride and Chris Rock made me laugh considerably as his overly racist director of the Bluntman and Chronic movie. Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill even have cameos in this movie, making this the first movie they appeared in together since Return of the Jedi.

As funny as all of these actors are in this movie, having so many of them in there made it difficult to concentrate on one main plot. The movie starts to become almost a sketch film of sorts with Jay and Silent Bob running into the strangest of people on their cross country trip. I began caring less and less about Bluntman and Chronic and more about what the next silly thing is that’s going to happen next. When the amount of stars and jokes begin to overshadow the plot of the movie, the movie is put in danger of becoming less and less interesting.

I also had a bit of an issue on the way the jokes resorted to something involving farts, sex, or falling over. Sure, it’s great to hear the foul mouthed Jay rant about his thoughts on women and seeing both Jay and Silent Bob get into crazy situations are fun to watch, but it gets a little old after a while. The movie went on for way too long and the witty dialogue that is relevant in most Kevin Smith movies is missing.

If you have seen the other films in the Askewniverse and don’t mind tossing your brain out the door for this often mindless comedy, than this is a movie worth seeing at least once. Jay and Silent Bob are great characters and I liked seeing them in the main role with the leads from the other films taking a back seat. It’s also interesting to see how Smith’s universe ties so intricately together. It’s certainly not Smith’s best movie, but it’s an ok film if you’re a Kevin Smith fan.