Tag Archives: comedy

Movie review: Deadpool

I had been waiting for Deadpool since Fox officially announced they would make it back in 2014. I was waiting before then, since the idea of a Deadpool movie first came about in 2009 when a horrible rendition of the character appeared in Fox’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the shittiest X-Men movie in the franchise to date. In fact, XMOW was so shitty Fox literally made a sequel where they go back in time to undo the events of the movie, effectively making it non-canon.

Look two faces right of Wolverine, and who is that?! Gasp, you should! Reynolds as Wade Wilson the first time, in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

As tangential as that may have sounded, it wasn’t. It’s the shittiness of Fox’s earlier comic book movie endeavors that produced the colossus (ha, get it?) of a movie that is Deadpool.

Deadpool is a wisecracking mercenary who has healing powers similar to Wolverine, and who uses swords, knives, guns, and chimichangas to hilariously kill his way through life. He’s also cognitive of the fact that he’s a comic book character and often “breaks the fourth wall” meaning he addresses the audience directly.

Fox’s 2016 Deadpool stars Ryan Reynolds as the titular character Deadpool / Wade Wilson. What you may not know is that is technically the second time Reynolds portrayed the character. As previously mentioned, Reynolds played a version of the character, albeit a very much under done and poorly written version, in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. So that fact that Fox doubled down and went balls out to make a solo, R-Rated comic book flick about a character known for cussing up a storm and killing people actually got me a little hard.

If you haven’t seen Deadpool, SEE IT. Based on how many records it’s broken it’s hard to imagine there’s a soul left on this earth who hasn’t seen it. Ya know what, if you’ve seen it already, go see it again, smart ass.

Lets be honest, Fox took a bigger gamble with Deadpool than Marvel/Disney did with Guardians of the Galaxy. Which do you think is easier to market to children, talking raccoons in talking trees, or burn victim, foul mouthed, sex addicted mercenaries?

The movie was everything I expected and much more. It wasn’t just the above. Despite cramming in the character’s core persona and mythos, they managed to make the character relatable in and out of the spandex. Wilson talks like us. He walks like us. He drinks like us. He loves like us. He jokes like us. He’s not a choir boy, and he does fuck up every once in a while, but despite the fuckups he’s still a good guy, not a villain. And just like all of us, sometimes bad things befall him, for no wrongdoing of his own. And this movie did a fantastic job of showing what extremes a good people will go to in order to save themselves, and more importantly to better the lives of those we love.

Despite how much I love Marvel and their titles like Iron Man and Captain America, Wade Wilson is 10x more relatable to the audience than Tony Stark or Steve Rogers.

I don’t need to review this movie. The movie was great, and honestly you should see it. The only, and I mean only bad thing about the movie that I say actually has nothing to do with the movie itself. It has to do with the marketing. Fox was so worried about filling seats that they over marketed it. Leading up to the movie there were so many different teasers, trailers, clips, commercials starring Deadpool and viral marketing that by the time I first plopped my ass in the theater seat, I felt as if I had already seen the movie. And to be honest, I kinda did. Spend 20 minutes on YouTube and watch all the aforementioned and you’ve basically seen the movie. But just because I got filled up on Costco free samples doesn’t make the movie any less enjoyable.

Despite having blown most of its load in it’s advertising campaign, I still thought Deadpool was an amazing movie, and it definitely did not disappoint. It was funny, no, it was gut wrenching hilarious. On several occasions I thought I needed a respirator because I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe, which is sort of ironic once you’ve seen the movie. I particularly loved the jab about KFC sporks, especially since I thought I was the last person on earth to remember the fabled tool of the ancients. Just as Deadpool riddles his enemies with bullets, the entire movie is riddled with dick and fart and sex jokes and Mexican food. Comical jabs abound. The film has plenty of in your face comedy, but it also has tons of more subtle comedic moments that you have to pay attention to in order to appreciate. Tonally, the movie felt a lot like Archer.

The movie played very fast and loose with the whole breaking the fourth wall bit. Reynold’s Deadpool not only did so, but the movie also was self-aware and made plenty of references to out of movie productions that Reynolds and his former co-stars had participated in, such as Green Lantern, the Blade series, and the overall X-Men­ franchise even going so far as to name particular actors like Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy, and Hugh Jackman.

It also goes without saying that the movie had plenty of action. Which is interesting now that I think about it because despite centering around a guy with swords and knives and things that go boom, the movie put comedy in the drivers seat, drama in shotgun, and action in the backseat. The X franchise was so dry and dull and comedy-less with over the top action that it was refreshing to see a change of formula. Deadpool, besides his healing, really doesn’t have “super powers”. He can’t fly or control the weather or shoot red crap out of his eyes or lift the entire Golden Gate Bridge. He can run, jump, and shoot, and he does ‘em all with style. This is definitely not an action movie the likes of Michael Bay.

Most of all, I am happy for Ryan Reynolds. He seems like a nice guy who just kept getting shafted career wise. Everyone loved him in Waiting and Van Wilder, but as iconic and memorable as those roles were they probably didn’t pay too well. Blade 3 was okay, but nothing compared to Blade 2. Then he had a series of mega flops like Green Lantern and R.I.P.D. So it’s great to see him getting a stab at a role that’s finally on par with the weight his name brings to a movie.

If you want a hilarious movie, with relatable characters, excellent dialogue, a healthy dose of action, the occasional insensitive remark, and a possibly CGI’ed super suit, then this is the movie for you. Or if you’re just tired of apocalyptic (irony again!) superhero movies.

Advertisements

Trainwreck: Movie Review

It’s about fucking time! Trainwreck is the raunchy, inappropriate, horrible, tasteless, repulsive, guilty-pleasure, gut-busting comedy I have been waiting all my life for.

I’ve written quite a few movie reviews recently about all types of movies; action, horror, comedy, drama, satire, crime thriller, sci-fi, and cult classic. Sometimes you get movies you thought would be great, but greatly disappointed *cough* Ultron *cough*. But other times you get movies you thought would be a train wreck, and instead you get Trainwreck. Despite the title, this movie is anything but.

No duh, I thought the movie would be funny. A comedy movie starring Amy Schumer and Bill Hader, how could it not be funny? But I didn’t expect it to be the funniest movie I have seen in years. I dare to say it’s the funniest movie of the decade, maybe this century.

The combination of Judd Apatow directing and Amy Schumer writing as well as starring in the movie is amazing. I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time! The entire movie is over the top funny from the get-go, but somehow never crosses that line into campy territory. Trainwreck walks that fine line of as funny as you can possibly get without being stupid.

The entire cast pulls their weight in this movie and I was blown away by the sheer number of cameos and guest appearances.

It goes without saying that Amy Schumer was amazing. If you like her comedy skits and her television show then you’ll go crazy over Trainwreck, which is Amy Schumer x 10, her magnum opus. Amy Schumer essentially plays a parody of her cinematic self, named Amy, naturally. As a young kid her father (perfectly played by Colin Quinn) warned her and her sister about the dangers of monogamy after a failed marriage with his wife/Amy’s mother. The young Amy took her father’s advice to heart and heeded his warnings well into adulthood, purposefully avoiding lasting relationships. Her shameless romp through New York comes to a screeching halt when she falls in love with Aaron (Bill Hader), a nice guy doctor who is the centerpiece for her latest work assignment at a sleazy tabloid company. The story follows Amy as she struggles to find a meaningful relationship while still heeding her father’s warning.

Most movies feel like the Breakfast Club, where you have the jock, the princess, the nerd, the bad boy, the outcast, etc. What I appreciate about Judd Apatow is his ability to craft a well-rounded ensemble of characters without resorting to caricature archetypes.

Bill Hader brings a solid performance. Hader looks like a normal guy and maybe he is, but that doesn’t mean he can’t still be funny, charming, smart, sincere, emotionally intelligent, and occasionally score a shot on LeBron James. The onscreen chemistry between Hader and Shumer is awesome, and it feels fun and natural to see them spar and dance on screen.

When I said there were a lot of cameos, I meant it. The movie features Colin Quinn, LeBron James, John Cena, Dave Attell, Tilda Swinton (who looks nothing like Tilda Swinton), Randall Park, Daniel Radcliffe, Marisa Tomei, Method Man, Tim Meadows, Matthew Broderick, Marv Albert, and Chris Evert. And every single of one of them killed it!

Colin Quinn plays an aging, philandering, swearing, drunk Irishman marvelously.

LeBron James might not be Oscar material but despite playing himself he’s still 10x the actor Kristin Stewart will ever be, and had some of the funniest lines in the entire movie and somehow managed them without so much as a smirk.

(Call me an asshole but) This is the first time I’ve seen a movie where I would say Tilda Swinton looked bangin’ hot. She too fabulously plays her role as a bitchy New York columnist.

John Cena, John Cena. Where do I even begin with John Cena… Mad props to Cena for taking on this role as he’ll be the butt of his friend’s jokes for years to come. If you’ve ever seen the movie, think Eminem in the opening scene of The Interview.

They couldn’t have picked a better title for the movie. Trainwreck describes the movie and Amy perfectly, as her life careens out of control from one disaster of a relationship to the next. And just like a train wreck, the movie is horrible but you just can’t help but look on. The movie really is horrible. By that I mean that the acting is great, the directing is great, the story is great, but the humor is devious and I’m probably going to hell for enjoying it.

The movie is so hilariously offensive to everyone, but so innocently portrayed that you can’t help but love it, like Cartman. Men, women, straights and gays, kids and the elderly, blacks, whites, Puerto Ricans, Asians, effeminate men, millionaires and street beggars, no one was spared and no mercy was given. The movie was a parade of profanity, stereotypes, and other things mere mortals dare not whisper in public, like Voldemort. Trainwreck is everything that’s wrong in the world but throughout the entire movie I was busting up laughing begging for more, MORE!!!! You do get more, plenty of it. In fact it’s also super long for a comedy, stretching just over two hours. I usually relegate comedies to movies I only watch when they are at Redbox or rerunning on TV, but this movie is the exception. This movie is officially on my list of guilty pleasures, but as Billy Joel once said, “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.”

Despite the outlandishness of it all, the movie comes together amazingly well. The weight of real life doesn’t get lost in the story, and the characters all deal with very real problems that the audience can relate to. In true Apatow fashion the movie delves into the inner sanctum of modern life such as arguments with your loved one over trivial things that won’t matter in a couple hours, kids, step kids, marriage, death, pregnancy, family, parenting, careers, friendship, and occasionally snorting lines of adderall off peoples foreheads.

I want – nay – I must see Trainwreck again. It was just that good! In fact, I might even buy it when it comes out on DVD. Mom and dad if you’re reading this, Christmas is just around the corner. Can you say stocking stuffer?

I give it a solid 9/10.

Mission Valley AMC Theater, Tuesday Matinee, just $6.49 per adult!
Mission Valley AMC Theater, Tuesday Matinee, just $6.49 per adult!

Spy: Movie Review

Yesterday evening I was able to catch an early showing of the new 20th Century Fox comedy, Spy, starring Melissa McCarthy, Jude Law, Rose Byrne, and Jason Statham.

I live in San Diego greater, so it was a little bit of a hike up to Edwards Mira Mesa Stadium 18, but well worth the drive.

The movie sucker punched me, so I’m going to do the same thing to you. Go see Spy. Not kidding, if you love to laugh, go see this movie. If you haven’t been to the movies in a while, go see this movie. If you have a stick wedged firmly up your rear and need some good humor to dislodge it, go see this movie.

What I love about Spy the most is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. From watching the trailers you get the idea this is a B comedy movie with a star studded cast. This movie is the hot girl who doesn’t know she’s hot – the Laney Boggs from She’s All That. It’s actually an A movie wrapped in a B movie advertising campaign. Underneath the veneer, this is an awesome movie that is jam packed with humor and action while still maintaining a decent enough of a plot to watch without blushing.

Spy is a parody of the spy genre in all regards, but it does it with gusto so it doesn’t seem cheesy. Likewise all the characters are parodies of themselves, or at least parodies of the roles the actors normally play, which makes it hilarious.

Most entertaining of the movie is Melissa McCarthy who plays CIA analyst Susan Cooper along with a dozen other secret aliases. When the undercover identity of all the CIA’s top operatives is exposed, Susan Cooper – an inexperienced and unlikely option – is sent in to retrieve critical information. Susan Cooper surprisingly ends up being more than a match for the task, and Melissa McCarthy is more than a match for the role, and plays it excellently.

Jude Law plays James Bond, on crack. His character Bradley Fine is a well-spoken, well-dressed, highly dangerous flirtatious Englishman. Jude Law could have used his star power to get away with mediocre acting and to gloss over the finer points, but he didn’t. Law seemed to have a lot of fun playing the role and spared no expense on screen making the character likeable and digestible. It was also cool to see him not taking himself too seriously in the role.

Jason Statham plays Jason Statham, on meth. Imagine throwing all of Jason Statham’ previous roles into a blender, and mixing in some meth and 12 cans of Red Bull. That was Jason Statham’s role as Rick Ford, the ultra-macho tough guy anvil jawed Brit who will wrestle a grizzly bear while jumping out of an air plane and then land in the ocean and strangle a great white. But he’s also an idiot. Unlike the others, Rick Ford does take himself too seriously, and it’s hilarious.

Second only to the lead star, is Rose Byrne. Having just watch Byrne in Neighbors with Seth Rogen, it was a complete 180 seeing her again as sexy super villain Rayna Boyanov. The casting director must have told her the role was to play the biggest bitch imaginable, and she hit the nail on the head. I imagine her character as a sort of Elektra King (The World Is Not Enough) dressed as Melissa McCarthy put it, a slutty dolphin trainer. Most impressive was how she spit out her one liners without busting up on camera or even so much as cracking a grin out of the corner of her mouth. The bloopers to this movie will be just as entertaining as the movie.

There was also a fun B line, including the dorky best friend from the CIA, an HR nightmare Italian Spy Perv, the unflappable and snarky CIA director, and of course, 50 Cent.

The commercials make this movie look like it is PG13. It’s not. It’s rated R and between the language, violence, and overt sexual content you should definitely leave the kids at home.

You came for a comedy and you got one, and the cook was nice and gave you a side dish of Grade A action to go along with it. Not only would I see Spy again, I will watch Spy 2 if they ever make it.

Focus Movie Review

On Monday evening I had the pleasure of attending a pre-screening of Focus, the new Will Smith movie entering theaters today, February 27. Thank you to Brett and Adriana for gifting us your tickets, we had a blast!

I’ve been a longtime fan of Will Smith, after all, the guy has saved the world six times by my count. But some of his recent movies have been incredibly underwhelming, to downright horrible.

Take for example the 2013 film After Earth, where Will and his son Jayden spoke with some amalgamation of random accents from around the world, botched to the point that no one in the audience actually knew what their characters said in the entire movie.

1108146 - After Earth

His cameo in Anchorman 2 was…. well…. the second Anchorman. And Winter’s Tale, wait, what movie?

Truth be told Will Smith hasn’t made a good movie since 2008’s Hancock, so I was very curious, and anxious to see Focus, a movie which has enjoyed practically no advertising campaign.

And the verdict? Not only was Focus not crappy, it wasn’t even mediocre. It wasn’t even enjoyable. It was damn good. In my opinion, Focus has officially resuscitated Will Smith’s acting career, and proved to audiences that he still has it. It? It. That it, that thing, that one of a kind je ne sais quoi that we have all grown to love about Will Smith. That charismatic, smooth talking, sharp thinking, always charming Will Smith that can steal the show without ever picking up a gun, or even cursing for that matter.

Okay Andrew, we got it. You liked the movie. Now what the heck is this movie even about?

will-smith-focus-thatgrapejuice-600x337

What? The name Focus isn’t obvious enough to you? Just kidding! The title has practically nothing to do with the movie aside from one line in the movie with no relevance. But it’s quick and catchy. “Hey, you guys wanna see the movie Focus this weekend?” See, catchy.

Don’t worry, no spoiler alerts. If I had to sum it up, Focus was a combination of Hitch, Italian Job, and Ocean’s Eleven, and naturally Smith’s character is a mashup of Hitch, and Mark Whalberg and George Clooney’s characters in those respective flicks.

Gettin' jiggy with it.
Gettin’ jiggy with it.

Smith plays Nicky, a professional con artist and thief. But don’t worry, he’s super lovable and you’d be honored to be pick pocketed by him at the Del Mar Fair. Focus is one of those root-for-the-criminal movies, but don’t worry, there’s an actual villain so it’s excusable.

Fellow actors and actresses Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro, and BD Wong have short lived but memorable roles in the movie. Unlike most movies, Focus doesn’t really focus on anything. From the onset there is no big goal, no overarching story, no antagonist that continuously drives the story forward. But in spite of all that, the movie does move forward, and quickly at that.

What movie is complete without cleavage?
What movie is complete without cleavage?

The movie begins when Smith and Robbie’s characters have a (not so) chance encounter at a bar. One thing leads to another, and someone has a gun in their face. But the mood quickly deescalates and you hit the ground running with equal doses of comedy, emotion, and drama. You’ll even be biting your nails during some scenes.

Whether you are looking for a couples’ movie, a girls night out, or a guys night out, or if you’re one of those people who go to the movies alone, this movie will not disappoint.

I highly recommend you see Focus, and bring some company because you’re going to want to talk about it on the drive home!

focus car

Was it enjoyable? Yes it was. I was laughing, I was writhing with suspense. The movie had that good old 90’s and 2000’s Will Smith fresh prince attitude to it! The acting was great, and the story was believable. I give this movie a B+.

Did it deliver what it advertised? I didn’t see too many advertisements for this movie in all honesty, but whether it did deliver nonetheless.

Would I see it again? I don’t know if I would buy it, but I would definitely Red Box it, and will make sure to watch it as soon as it becomes available on Netflix. It would make a good stocking stuffer this Christmas. You won’t hear me say this often, but I would actually be interested in a higher stakes Focus sequel, as this movie has some upwards potential.