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The Muppets (2011)
The triumphant return of the Muppets to the silver screen after over a decade
The late Jim Henson's lovable Muppets have now been around for decades, entertaining people of all ages. I'm definitely far from the only one who can say that the world-famous puppet characters were a major part of my childhood, and I haven't been disappointed revisiting them after growing up. I didn't see this 2011 movie, simply titled "The Muppets", when it came into theatres late last year, but since I had seen all the previous theatrical Muppet movies, I was bound to see this one after it came into stores, hoping it would be a LOT better than 1999's "Muppets from Space", the only theatrical movie in the franchise that didn't impress me at all! Well, I've seen it twice this week, and can say I definitely got what I hoped for!
Walter, a puppet, has always been very close to his human brother, Gary. At an early age, the two of them discovered the Muppets and quickly became a devout fans. Years later, the now grown up brothers still live together, and Gary has been dating a woman named Mary for the past ten years. The human brother plans to take his girlfriend to Los Angeles for their tenth anniversary, and is taking his puppet brother along with him for a tour of the abandoned Muppet Studios, though Mary doesn't like Gary always bringing Walter along with them wherever they go. During the tour of the Muppet Studios, Walter sneaks into Kermit the Frog's old office, where he witnesses Statler and Waldorf selling the Muppet Theatre to businessman Tex Richman, and after the two leave the room, Walter overhears Richman's intentions to destroy the building and drill for oil underneath! The devout Muppets fan tells Gary and Mary about what he has just heard, and the three of them must try and reunite the Muppets so the old team can raise $10 million and save their theatre!
This 2011 blockbuster begins fairly well, showing Walter and Gary growing up together and their relationship. After this sequence, it shows them grown up and about to go on their trip to Los Angeles. This part features the first song in the movie, "Life's a Happy Song", and while this may not be "Rainbow Connection", it's still a good and catchy tune to start off with. Other standout songs follow, such as "Man or Muppet". The gags in the film may not usually be hilarious (though there are some hilarious moments, such as how long Walter screams after he hears Richman's intentions), but there are plenty of amusing moments, obviously largely thanks to the famous Muppets with their charm and antics. I guess they're not exactly the main characters here, which some fans have a problem with, but they still get PLENTY of screen time and are still thoroughly entertaining. Jack Black can also provide some laughs as himself here, even if this is not the funniest he's ever been. "The Muppets" doesn't rely entirely on its gags, as I found the plot consistently entertaining, and there are some poignant moments. Jason Segel and Amy Adams are both impressive as the human leads, and Chris Cooper is also convincing as the antagonist. Walter, a new Muppet introduced in this movie, is a lovable one, much like Henson's famous Muppets.
I've noticed a lot of negative reviews here, and I'm sure some fans of the Muppets gang have good reasons to dislike this movie, but I'm afraid I can't say I agree with any of them. The only theatrical Muppets movie I've ever been able to write a negative review for was the last one before this, which I found to be not only not very funny, but so too dreary and cruel for the Muppets. I felt like the Muppets I knew as a kid had gone so far away when I watched "Muppets from Space" several years ago, but that was certainly NOT how I felt when I watched this latest theatrical movie featuring Jim Henson's characters. I'm sure many people haven't been impressed with anything that has been done with the Muppets since Jim Henson's premature death in 1990, and for them, I guess there's no point in watching this, but if you're not one of those, and you want a good, lighthearted family film, I think this is a really good one to check out for the family. Yes, it is rated PG, but I've definitely seen far raunchier PG-rated films marketed in the "family" category, such as the unsatisfactory "Cheaper by the Dozen" remake.
Johnny English Reborn (2011)
Just like the original, the occasional big laugh isn't quite enough
It took eight years, but a sequel to the polarizing "Johnny English", a 2003 James Bond spoof starring the extremely talented Rowan Atkinson, was finally unleashed upon the world late last year. As I said in my review of the original, I saw that one on the big screen in 2003, thought it was really funny, and my opinion didn't change with a couple subsequent viewings within the next year or two after that. This, however, all changed when I watched it again in 2007, and found it to be overall mediocre, even though it still certainly wasn't COMPLETELY straight faced. Last summer, knowing that a sequel was coming, I decided to give the 2003 comedy another try, and this time, it did improve slightly after my 2007 viewing, but I still didn't find it nearly as funny as I originally did. I didn't go and see "Johnny English Reborn" in the theatre when it came out last fall (I saw the trailer for it before then and it didn't look that funny to me), but over half a year later, I've finally watched it with fairly low expectations, and mixed results.
It has been five years since a disastrous mission in Mozambique, and the clumsy Johnny English seemed to be responsible for the failure of that mission. As a result, he was disgraced and stripped of his knighthood. Since that major embarrassment, he has been living in Tibet, where he has been studying martial arts. However, after his five years of exile, he is suddenly called back to MI7, which has since been changed to Toshiba British Intelligence. Upon arrival at the secret service's London headquarters, Johnny meets his new boss, Pamela Thornton, who goes by the codename, Pegasus. Although she has obviously heard bad things about him, she assigns him to go to Hong Kong and stop a plot to assassinate the Chinese premier. Colin Tucker, a young junior agent, is assigned to accompany English on this mission, so the two of them fly east together to investigate this assassination plot. The disgraced agent is determined to succeed in this mission and clear his name, but his extremely clumsy nature hasn't helped him much in the past, and certainly won't make the challenges that await him any easier!
The reason why I can't rate this sequel higher than a 6/10 is the same reason why I couldn't rate the original "Johnny English" higher than that after last year's viewing. I found that the laughs were just not consistent enough. Like the original, this one has lots of sight gags, but they're usually not that funny and get a little tiring, as does the title character constantly lousing up. One memorable part which didn't make me laugh much was English seizing Pegasus' mother twice, mistaking her for the "Killer Cleaner." There were lots of gags in the movie that I couldn't keep a straight face through, but very seldom did I get any full laughs. I did get a quite a laugh when Tucker and English sing "Don't Give Up On Us" in an attempt to keep wounded Russian agent Karlenko alive long enough to give them required information, and also during the "Agent in distress" segment, but I can't say the same about too many other gags. In fact, I would say I got even less laughs than during my last viewing of the original, and the only reason why I'm rating "Johnny English Reborn" higher than a 5/10 is not because of the laughs but because of the thrills. Yes, there is lots of action and suspense on Johnny's mission, which I tend to be a sucker for, but since the movie's main purpose is to make viewers laugh, I can't say it does a very good job with that. With all its ups and downs, I call this sequel hit and miss, and even if you don't expect a comedy masterpiece, you could still easily end up unpleased.
Not so impressed with this version anymore
I first saw this full-length live action adaptation of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" (one of the many classic children's books that Dr. Seuss is remembered for) in late 2001, the year after its theatrical run. I was a teenager at the time, and remembered the book and the 1966 animated TV special very well from my childhood. I definitely was impressed with my first viewing of this live action film the first time I saw it, and it didn't seem to wear thin with subsequent viewings, even though I certainly didn't find it to be nearly as good as the cartoon. This Christmas season, I have revisited both the 1966 short and this 2000 full-length movie. I still think that classic TV special is a little gem, like so many others do, but this version is far from it.
Inside a snowflake, there is a town called Whoville, and in this town, everybody loves Christmas. Just outside their town, up on Mount Crumpet, lives a bitter hermit known as the Grinch, and his dog, Max. The Grinch hates Christmas and is greatly feared by the Whos. However, Cindy Lou Who, a little girl in Whoville who feels that the true meaning of Christmas is missing in the town with all the materialism she's seeing around her, is curious about this despised creature that lives up on that mountain. She asks other Whos who once knew the Grinch what they remember about him, and learns a lot about how he became the hateful individual he now is. Feeling that everyone should be together for the holiday, and that this creature can change, she then attempts to befriend the Grinch, inviting him down to Whoville for the Whobilation. Thanks to her, he has been nominated the Cheer Meister for this event. Will Cindy Lou Who's plan work?
One reason why I don't care much for this version is Jim Carrey's portrayal of the Grinch. During my latest viewing, I couldn't keep a straight face through ALL his antics, unlike when I watched Carrey in "Batman Forever", but for the most part, he's still not funny here. I also found the characters in general here to be bland and not so likable, especially the nasty Mayor Augustus May Who, who can be perhaps a little annoying at times. I also think the flashback sequence showing the Grinch as a baby is a notable weak segment, with the "Santa, bye-bye" and such, and that's certainly not the only one. Basically, I just found the movie overall to be deeply flawed in a number of departments, and totally lacking the charm of the 1966 short. There are some mildly amusing moments, as well as some occasional touching ones, plus the visuals are very impressive and I can't complain much about Anthony Hopkins' narration, but these things are not enough to make up for the lack of heart in this adaptation. Not EVERYTHING fails here, but unfortunately, the vast majority of it does.
This polarizing live action version of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" led to the making of another live action full-length adaptation of a classic Dr. Seuss book, "The Cat in the Hat", and that film's reception was generally very negative, which is understandable! The third full-length movie based one a Dr. Seuss story was 2008's "Horton Hears a Who!", this time not a live action film but a computer animated one. I said in my review of that film that it was PROBABLY the best of the full-length Dr. Seuss adaptations so far, but now I'm going to have to take that back and say it's DEFINITELY the best of the three! Clearly, live action doesn't work so well with these Dr. Seuss classics. It's been eight years since the release of the "Cat in the Hat" movie, and it seems there's still no sign of another live action Seuss film coming, which isn't a bad thing. I don't know how the upcoming CGI "Lorax" adaptation will turn out, but at the moment, I can say the "Horton Hears a Who!" adaptation is the only good one of these previous movies. This version of Dr. Seuss' Christmas story is not as bad as its 2003 follow-up, but was still unnecessary, and I would say you're better off sticking with the classic TV special to put you in the Christmas spirit.
Still better than "Brüno", but not as funny to me now as it was in the theatre
It's been nearly five years since this movie, starring Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat (one of his three alter egos from "Da Ali G Show"), came into theatres, turned out to be a great success, and sparked a lot of controversy! I went to see it on the silver screen in November 2006, and that was definitely the biggest movie-going crowd I've ever been in! I found this extremely raunchy and politically incorrect comedy to be overall very good at the time, both shocking and funny. I watched it again on the small screen a few months later, when it was new to the home video format, and still thought it was overall funny, even though I knew more about it and how it was made by this point. However, another viewing of "Borat" last year (my first in three years), followed by one this year, have proved to be a bit bland in comparison.
Borat Sagdiyev is an extremely sexist, anti-Semitic, and anti-homosexual man from Kazakhstan, and is a very popular television personality in that country. The Kazakh Ministry of Information sends him to the United States of America with producer Azamat Bagatov to make a documentary film about the country which will benefit Kazakhstan. The two of them fly to New York, and initially, the intention is to shoot the entire documentary in this city. However, as Borat flips through the channels on his hotel room TV, he comes across an episode of "Baywatch", sees Pamela Anderson in the role of C.J. Parker, and immediately falls in love! After finding out that Pamela lives in California, and that his wrathful wife back in Kazakhstan has just died, he decides to convince Azamat to take the filming project to California, but doesn't tell him the real reason why he wants to go there, which is to marry his new love interest! As the two of them travel across the country, they face numerous complications!
The vast majority of people who appear in this film are not actors, but people who were pranked into believing that Borat really was a man from Kazakhstan. Knowing this was probably a reason why I didn't find some parts as funny with subsequent viewings, such as the part with the title character at the dinner gathering, where he bluntly considers one woman's looks inferior to those of the other two women at the table, and then shows that he doesn't know how to use the toilet! However, this definitely isn't the only reason. Some parts still gave me a thorough laugh, such as Borat taking driving lessons and then going to purchase a car, asking about the "p$#@% magnet," but most parts didn't make me laugh as hard as those. One part I remember making me laugh hard in the theatre was the naked fight, but I definitely found that far less funny the last two times. If I had thought the drunken frat boys were actors the last two times I saw the film (can't say I have much sympathy for them if they really meant what they said, even if they were drunk), I would have thought they were trying to be funny but failing. Even if I didn't usually laugh that hard too many times during my last two viewings, I still at least found a lot of mildly amusing parts (Sacha Baron Cohen's talent obviously helps a lot in the film), but I also found some mediocrity or lameness.
After the release of "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan", Sacha Baron Cohen followed it up in 2009 with "Brüno", featuring the only character from "Da Ali G Show" he hadn't made a movie with yet. I didn't see that one in the theatre, but saw it on DVD last year, and with just one viewing, I thought it was below average. My last two viewings of "Borat" were after that, and I still found this film to be better than Cohen's follow-up, but certainly not as funny as I found it several years earlier. I was not there to witness any of the filming process of this hit 2006 comedy, so I obviously don't know exactly how it was done, but knowing how few people were acting did make some parts a little awkward to me with recent viewings, though not everything, since it didn't seem ALL of them got it so bad, and I doubt absolutely EVERYONE who was pranked deserves sympathy, but it still can be at least somewhat cruel. Also, even if the entire film had been staged, I think I still would have found it to be hit and miss during my last couple viewings. So, I still don't hate this "Borat" movie like some people do, but I do think it is overrated.
Imagine That (2009)
I can imagine this movie being better than it turned out
I have seen former "Saturday Night Live" comedian Eddie Murphy in a bunch of films, but most of them haven't been very good. This is the most recent film I've seen him in, and I've just watched it two years after its release. I didn't hear of it while it was playing in theatres, but since it was such a flop, that's not surprising. Unfortunately, "Imagine That" is basically yet another lacklustre piece of fluff starring Murphy. Watching it about 24 hours after "The Sweetest Thing", a 2002 romantic comedy which was ironically very bitter to me, I have to say that I think this 2009 release is a LOT better that that film (though comparing them does seem pretty ridiculous, since they're not the same kind of film), but it's still not a film I can praise too highly.
Evan Danielson is a financial executive who has a six year old daughter named Olivia, and she has a security blanket and likes to talk to her imaginary friends, since she doesn't seem to have any real ones. Since Evan focuses so much on his work, he tends to neglect his daughter. The financial executive was at the top of his company for eight years, but has finally been facing some competition lately since the arrival of Johnny Whitefeather. Evan's career is now going down the tubes, but as this is happening, he is introduced to his daughter's imaginary world, a world with her imaginary princess friends and their queen in it. He plays along, and finds that the solution to his recent career trouble may lie in Olivia's fantasy world! However, there's more in his life than just his job, and he may have to decide what's more important, his work or his family?
This movie is supposed to be partially a comedy and partially a drama, and the comedy aspect definitely fails for the most part. The part that made me laugh the hardest was probably Evan singing in a high voice at one point while in Olivia's imaginary world, and hardly anything else made me laugh at all. An example of something I didn't find very funny was the two times Olivia screams when deprived of her security blanket, and Thomas Haden Church in the role of Johnny Whitefeather doesn't do much for the film, either. Parts of Evan's rant about his daughter's drawings during a meeting are mildly amusing, but not the poop part. There are touching moments in "Imagine That", so I guess the movie doesn't COMPLETELY fail as a drama, but the drama is still not good enough to make up for the lacklustre humour. Those flaws plus the fairly uninteresting premise make this a pretty insignificant family flick, and I just MIGHT be able to rate it 6/10 instead of 5, but it's still far from a must-see.
Johnny English (2003)
I'm more impressed after my latest viewing than I was four years ago, but still don't think it's nearly as good as I did in the theatre
I remember going to see this James Bond spoof, starring the very talented Rowan Atkinson, on the silver screen back in 2003, and thinking it was a great comedy! I saw the movie again a couple times on the small screen within the next year or two after that, and my opinion did not change, even though it had been widely criticized by many. However, a little over four years ago, I watched it one more time, and still found some funny parts during this viewing, but found most of the film to be dull and unfunny, enough to make it just mediocre as a whole! For the first time, I could finally understand the criticism! I didn't watch "Johnny English" again until this month, knowing that a sequel is coming up, and it improved slightly for me this time, but not very much.
Johnny English is a secret agent in England who works for MI7, and has the tendency to louse up. After a bomb goes off and kills most of MI7's top agents, English is the only one left, so he is sent to the Tower of London to protect the crown jewels. While he is there, the crown jewels are stolen while the lights are out! It is unknown who stole them, but it is up to Johnny English to find the culprit! He investigates with his sidekick, Bough, and makes lots of mistakes, but eventually, he discovers that Pascal Sauvage, a Frenchman, has evil plans to become King of England, and take control of the nation! English must now try and reveal Sauvage's intentions to his country before it's too late. Bough and an initially mysterious woman he keeps running into and is in love with named Lorna Campbell can help him on this mission, but the mission will be made more challenging due to the agent's clumsiness!
During my most recent viewing, I found myself laughing pretty hard a number of times for a while, with a lot of the mistakes Johnny English makes and the accidents he causes. If it had stayed this way, I would have wondered what I found so lame about the spy spoof when I saw it in 2007, but unfortunately, it doesn't stay like that. I eventually found myself laughing less often and not as hard. Perhaps the constant sight gags and the protagonist lousing up just about everything he does just get a little tiring. Several times in the film, something goes wrong with the clumsy MI7 agent's gun when he points it at his enemies, and I found this funny at first, but it soon wore out its welcome to me. A lot of the slapstick just shows lazy and cheap comedy writing. When I saw the part where English climbs up through the toilet and gets covered in excrement again after a few years, I found it to be basically just like I did back in 2007 – not funny, just gross, though I still found Lorna's reaction pretty funny. However, towards the end, I did find some more big laughs, with a very memorable part I remember finding hilarious the first time, and not much less funny, if at all, the last time!
When I saw this spoof in 2003 and 2004, I hadn't seen nearly as much of Rowan Atkinson's work as I had by the time I watched it again in 2007. Maybe this was a major reason why I didn't find "Johnny English" nearly as good that time, and another major reason may have been that I had higher standards by that point. Atkinson still does show his talent in this film, and fans of his could easily find laughs here, but could also find that these laughs are nowhere near consistent enough to satisfy. The comedian playing a clumsy secret agent sounds like a great idea, but it did not reach its full potential, and I really get the feeling that this won't change with the upcoming sequel, "Johnny English Reborn", especially after seeing the trailer for it, featuring more excessively simplistic sight gags. I certainly don't think this 2003 spy spoof is as bad as many others do (it's still better than the super forgettable "Spy Hard"), but it's still pretty much just fluff, and far from one of the big highlights of Atkinson's career.
There's Something About Mary (1998)
A second viewing was definitely better for me than the first, but I still don't exactly get its reputation
This Farrelly brothers comedy was a huge success, and I clearly remember knowing about it and seeing that famous cover image of Cameron Diaz in the role of Mary back in 1998, but I was too young for R-rated movies at the time. I finally saw "There's Something About Mary" for the first time early last year, and knowing how popular it was, I had pretty high expectations, but was REALLY let down! I thought it was easily the most overrated comedy I had ever seen, and didn't get why it had gotten so much praise! After that, I had no intention of watching it again. I just wrote a bad review of it and then moved on. However, I recently decided to give it another try, though I wasn't expecting it to be that much better than the first time. I think it turned out to be above average for me this time, which was more than I expected.
In 1985, Ted is a high school student and has a crush on a popular girl named Mary. He gets a date to go to the prom with her, but unfortunately, after a terrible zipper accident at Mary's house, the date is cut short! Ted has to go to the hospital before he gets to go to the prom with his new girlfriend. Thirteen years later, he hasn't seen Mary since that ambulance took him away, but still can't get her off his mind. He is still in love with her, so he hires a private investigator named Pat Healy to find her and get information about her for him. Pat discovers that Mary is now an orthopedic surgeon living in Miami. She lives with her significantly older roommate, Magda, and a Border Terrier dog named Puffer. It turns out that Ted is in luck, as Mary is still single as well, but Pat finds himself falling in love with her. He lies to Ted about her so he can win her heart without any trouble, and it turns out Ted really shouldn't have hired this guy!
Even during my second viewing, I was only finding occasional mildly amusing parts around the beginning. I didn't find Mary's mentally handicapped brother, Warren, being assaulted after being tricked into saying, "Have you seen my wiener?" very funny, and still didn't the second time, which was not surprising. I also still just didn't find Warren to be a very funny character. The first BIG laugh I found the second time was Mary's stepfather pulling Ted's leg at the door, and I remember finding that funny the first time as well. It's also funny when Ted is seen urinating through the window, but this leads to the genital/zipper accident, which I found more painful to watch than anything I had ever seen in a comedy before! I'm not sure exactly why, since I had previously seen male genital injuries in comedy, but maybe it's because the one here was longer than any I had seen before, and I found that it got increasingly uncomfortable up to the "We've got a bleeder" quote! The second time, I knew it was coming, so it wasn't nearly as bad, but it was still another part I didn't find very funny. After that, I found some good laughs occasionally during my second viewing, but was still finding the film boring for the most part and no more than average, even though I was definitely laughing more than I did the first time. Like the first time, I still thought the sex soliciting scene was pretty lame. Eventually, however, I found that the plot somehow got more entertaining the second time I watched this 1998 romantic comedy. I even found the semen hair gel segment pretty funny, and I don't recall finding it funny at all the first time!
After two viewings of this hit romantic comedy from the controversial Farrelly brothers, I still can't say I understand all the high praise, but after seeing it a second time, I can't call it a bad movie anymore, nor can I even call it a mediocre movie, even if I still think it comes close to that. Even though Ted getting his genitals caught in his zipper still didn't amuse me too much the second time, and I still found the close-up of it unsettling (good thing that shot is VERY brief), I don't quite despise that part as much as I used to. It is now another comedy I can refer to as a mixed blessing. Since "There's Something About Mary" is from Peter and Bobby Farrelly, you're absolutely right if you assume that it's very raunchy, often juvenile, and irreverent, and as popular as it is, it could easily disgust many viewers. I don't think the movie is NEARLY as funny as maybe most others who have seen it do, but won't just advise everyone to just skip it, either.
There are weaker moments here, but lots of great sequences to make up for that
This is a popular action fantasy film widely considered a cult classic, even if it wasn't all that well received upon its initial release in 1986. Since then, it has spawned a handful of sequels and a TV series. Queen contributed a bunch of songs to this original "Highlander" movie, and that was how it was eventually brought to my attention. I first heard of the film years ago when I was told that Queen's very emotional "Who Wants to Live Forever", a song I knew very well by then, was written for it. It has taken me 25 years, but I have finally seen this motion picture that started a franchise, and while I can't call it an amazing film like some people can, I certainly do think it's closer to that than it is to what those who dislike it consider it to be.
Connor MacLeod is an immortal, and the only way his kind can be killed is by being decapitated by another immortal! They are destined to fight and decapitate each other until only one is left, and the last remaining immortal will get the prize of supreme power and knowledge! MacLeod was born in the Highlands of Scotland in 1518, and as a young man, he suffered a fatal stab wound and strangely survived! The people of his village believed that this was the work of the Devil, so he was banished. Five years later, he was found by Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez, a fellow immortal, and finally learned the truth about himself and the destiny of his kind. Soon after that, Ramirez was killed in a sword fight by the Kurgan, an evil immortal who is determined to be the one to get the prize! Since his days in the Highlands centuries ago, MacLeod has lived under several different identities, and in 1985, he lives in New York City as Russell Nash! In this time, the battle of immortals rages on, and MacLeod and the Kurgan are the only two of them left! Unfortunately for MacLeod, the Kurgan is bigger and stronger than him!
I wasn't sure how the movie would turn out when I saw the beginning with the wrestling match, but we then see the first flashback to MacLeod's days in the Highlands, which is a memorable one. After that, the sword fight in the parking garage is a pretty good action sequence, and it is followed by another good Highlands flashback. When the police find MacLeod (or Nash) and take him in for questioning, I was not impressed with how over-the-top the Garfield character turned out to be, and there's some pretty juvenile dialogue between him and Nash during the questioning. I also didn't care for Roxanne Hart's performance as Brenda Wyatt at first. However, none of this lasts, and we see lots of action and suspense as we see the immortals battle, both in 1985 and centuries earlier. Sean Connery plays Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez, and although this isn't a huge part he plays, it's constantly entertaining as the character teaches MacLeod about immortals and how to fight his rivals. This original "Highlander" is also a visual treat with its cinematography, special effects, beautiful Highland scenery, etc. With all these merits plus the Queen songs (if you're a fan of that band), I would say this cult film is a really good choice for fans of the action/fantasy genre.
Cheaper by the Dozen (1950)
I was expecting this to be better than the no more than mediocre 2003 remake, which it definitely is
Not much less than a year ago, I saw the 2003 remake of "Cheaper by the Dozen", a remake starring Steve Martin, a comedian I had seen in some funny movies. I didn't know that film was a remake until no more than a few hours before I watched it. That was when I learned about this 1950 film of the same name, an adaptation of a book of the same name, but it would be a while before I would finally see this one. I was not very impressed with the remake, and found its unbelievably stupid 2005 sequel to be even worse. I was expecting this 1950 version to be much better. While I certainly don't think this original film is a GREAT family film, like some clearly do, it definitely is better than the cheesy and crude remake, like I was led to believe.
Based on a true story, set in the early 1920's, Frank Bunker Gilbreth is an efficiency and motion study expert with an extensive family. He and his wife, and Lillian Moller Gilbreth, have a total of eleven offspring, and all eleven of them live with their parents in Providence, Rhode Island. The Gilbreth family moves from there to Montclair, New Jersey, where they live in a large house, and the many children of the family are often used as test subjects for their father's scientific theories. The family also welcomes a twelfth child. The film focuses on several different events as the Gilbreths stay in Montclair, scientific tests are carried out, and family meetings are held to make decisions based on votes. Frank often has trouble with his offspring, especially with his rebellious teenage daughter, Ann, who disagrees with his old-fashioned views.
I was obviously expecting to laugh when I saw this original "Cheaper by the Dozen" film adaptation, something I don't recall doing while watching the remake. While this 1950 family comedy movie is far from hilarious, I certainly did laugh a number of times, even if the laughs were usually small, and Clifton Webb's performance as the easily angered Frank Bunker Gilbreth was a major part of this. Unlike the remake, I can't describe any of the gags here as notably lame. The part I laughed the hardest at might have been Frank's reaction when he is informed that there was no film in the movie camera when it was used to document the tonsil operations. The plot isn't the most fascinating I've ever seen in a movie, but it can be interesting, and it also gets poignant towards the end. All this film's merits make it not a masterpiece in family filmmaking, but a recommendable piece of family entertainment, unlike the 2003 version and its sequel.
There was a good chance I would find this bizarre film very underwhelming, but I didn't!
After making several short films, filmmaker David Lynch made his feature-length debut with "Eraserhead", this very trippy movie which I guess you would call horror! I was not around when this film came out, and I never even heard of it until sometime within the past few weeks when I saw a clip from it, the part showing the character known as the Lady in the Radiator singing the haunting and repetitive song, "In Heaven"! This made me curious enough to watch the movie, and it didn't take long at all before I did just that. I got plenty of warning about how incredibly weird and sometimes gruesome it was before watching it, and as popular as I knew it was, it wouldn't have been surprising if I got basically nothing out of it, but that's not what happened.
In a decaying, post-apocalyptic society, Henry Spencer is a printer who lives in an industrial town full of noisy machines, and is currently "on vacation." His estranged girlfriend, Mary X, invites him over to her family's house for dinner one night, so he comes over. After a very strange session at the dinner table, Mary's mother takes Henry into another room and informs him that Mary has just given birth to a baby very prematurely, and he happens to be this baby's father! Because of this, he is now obliged to marry his estranged girlfriend, so Mary and the baby, a severely mutated child, move into Henry's apartment with him. When the couple attempt to sleep, the mutant baby just won't keep quiet, so Mary decides that she can't take it anymore and temporarily moves back in with her family, leaving the disfigured child with Henry, who is now headed for one bizarre and frightening mixture of instances!
As I watched the beginning here, I could already tell that it certainly wasn't going to be one of the most understandable films I've ever seen, showing bizarre scenes in a slow-paced manner. It looked like I was going to find most of "Eraserhead" boring at first, and I wasn't finding the acting in the sporadic moments of dialogue to be all that impressive, but I wasn't going to give up yet. I kept watching to see what would happen, and I think I started finding the film more intriguing when Henry comes over to the X family's home, though I didn't find absolutely everything before that to be boring. From this point on, I found lots of tension in this very weird story which is a lot like a crazy dream with its incoherence, but that's not necessarily a bad thing! Some parts didn't grab me as much as others did, but the all the insanity was definitely enough to hold my attention basically all the way up until the very sudden ending! I think the gloomy atmosphere and constant sounds of machinery and howling wind really helped.
Many consider this 1977 feature-length debut from David Lynch to be a masterpiece, while there are also lots of people who have been absolutely disgusted by it, and I can understand that perfectly. It's truly a mind-boggling motion picture, and it sure can get disturbing, especially during the scenes with the mutant baby! Also, what exactly the movie is about is probably largely up to the viewer to decide. You can be VERY sure that "Eraserhead" is not for kids, and many adults wouldn't be able sit through it, either, which I certainly can't fault them for. If you're used to mainstream cinema, you'd better prepare yourself for something very different if you're going to watch this polarizing cult film, and also be ready for the constant weirdness and unusual gruesomeness that you're bound to see. You've been warned! It's definitely not a film I would want to watch multiple times, but you just might find that you don't even want to watch it once, or maybe you'll be even more impressed than I was!
A deservingly popular Abbott and Costello comedy
I remember watching quite a bit of Abbott and Costello around the late 1990's and early 2000's. I watched episodes of the comedy duo's 50's TV series, "The Abbott and Costello Show", which I think gave me a lot of laughs, and also watched several of their movies. From what I remember, I did find some of those movies funny, but some not so much. I eventually found that I didn't find the duo quite as funny as the Three Stooges (when Curly was part of that trio). I guess I did see at least some of this 1948 release around that time, but couldn't remember much of it, even though it's one of their popular films. After not watching any Abbott and Costello for years, I've finally watched "Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein" in its entirety (not sure if I ever did that before or not, but probably not), and it certainly succeeded in making me laugh, like it's obviously supposed to.
Bud Abbott and Lou Costello star as Chick Young and Wilbur Grey, two American railroad baggage clerks who receive two crates from Europe which are to be delivered to McDougal's House of Horrors wax museum. Wilbur gets a phone call from Larry Talbot in London, who tells him to delay the delivery of those crates and wait for him to arrive in the United States, but then Talbot turns into a werewolf, and Wilbur doesn't know why he is now hearing growling on the phone! After a demand from McDougal himself, the baggage clerks soon deliver the crates and it turns out that they both contain real monsters! Inside one is Count Dracula, and inside the other is Frankenstein's Monster! Dracula hypnotizes Wilbur and escapes with the Monster to his island castle! With the crates now empty, the two baggage clerks are arrested and spend a night in jail, but are then bailed out. Chick doesn't believe what Wilbur tells him he saw, and when Talbot arrives, Chick thinks he and Wilbur are both crazy, but one thing leads to another, and the clerks find themselves in a lot of danger!
With my memories of watching Abbott and Costello years ago, if I was going to find this film funny, I could expect it to be largely because of Lou Costello's antics, and that was definitely the case here. With his clumsiness, freak-outs, state of mind after romantic conversations, and how he acts when he is frightened, he can sure be funny and sometimes hilarious! Bud Abbott can also be funny with his angry reactions to Costello's behaviour and his insults. The laughs in this film are sometimes big and sometimes small, but there definitely are lots of them. The humour is not the only thing "Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein" has going for it, as it is also nicely photographed and the story gets intense. Also, Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi, and Glenn Strange all do decent jobs reprising their roles from Universal Horror movies. I don't like this Abbott and Costello film as much as many others do, but still think it's an overall solid effort, and fans of the duo should certainly get a kick out of it.
Baby's Day Out (1994)
This might be hard to watch if the villains weren't so funny at times
John Hughes was a filmmaking icon of the 80's, but his career went downhill in the 90's, when he was still writing and producing but no longer directing after 1991's "Curly Sue". The fact that he wrote this 1994 family comedy adventure was how I discovered it just very recently, nearly seventeen years after it came out. It was made in my childhood, coming into theatres when I was nearly eight years old, but I never heard of it until probably earlier this year. The title and premise of "Baby's Day Out" suggest that the movie is pretty darn cheesy, and they certainly don't lie. While exploring Hughes' work in recent years, I've seen both good and not so good movies from the late filmmaker, and was expecting this to be one of the latter, which it sadly is.
Baby Bink Cotwell lives in a mansion with his loving parents, Laraine and Bennington. His favourite bedtime book is "Baby's Day Out", which his Nanny Gilbertine constantly reads to him. He is about to have his picture taken for the newspaper, but three con artists, Eddie, Norby, and Veeko, come to the mansion disguised as newspaper photographers, and when nobody else is looking, they kidnap the baby! They take Bink back to their apartment with them, but trying to control him turns out to be difficult. To try and get him to sleep, Norby reads him the "Baby's Day Out" book, but he ends up being the one who falls asleep instead, and Bink then manages to escape through the window. The kidnappers soon discover that he has escaped and go out to try and catch him. The baby crawls around through the city as the criminals pursue him, but as close as they often get, they can't seem to ever catch up to him! Meanwhile, FBI agents have come to help the Cotwells find their missing infant son.
For a while, it looked like nothing here was going to tickle my funny bone at all, and I don't think this changed until the three antagonists get the baby to their apartment. These three characters aren't funny while they pose as photographers, but after this, they sure can be funny as they try to keep the baby under control and then pursue him in the streets. Their conflict is often the reason for this, and without these characters, I might have found "Baby's Day Out" to be one dull movie! However, even these criminal characters aren't always funny (it's still USUALLY straight-faced, even with all the screen time the antagonists have), and lots of unfunny things happen to them during their pursuit of Baby Bink. That doesn't exactly include the crotch-on-fire segment, though I'm not sure what I would have thought of that part as a kid. I guess a movie can have a ridiculous premise and still be entertaining, but I still didn't find the premise here too fascinating. In addition to being mostly unfunny, this is also a predictable film.
"Home Alone", the 1990 Christmas movie written and produced by John Hughes, turned out to be an amazingly high grossing blockbuster. I saw it for the first time just a couple years ago (though I definitely knew about it long before then), and if you ask me, that film certainly is overrated, but still better than this one. "Baby's Day Out" has a premise a lot like its far more popular predecessor, with a kid rivaling adult criminals who are in pursuit of him, only it's more extreme this time, with the kid being just a baby. I know many would disagree with me on this one, but I think this particular family adventure film doesn't have a lot of merit. It blends in with such other lacklustre 90's Hughes films as "Flubber" and the live action remake of "101 Dalmatians". Now, some people clearly LOVE this movie, and I don't look down on them for that, but I'm not expecting to ever come anywhere near being part of that crowd.
Old Dogs (2009)
Mostly bland physical comedy in a mostly bland story
I think I first discovered this 2009 comedy very recently, within the past few months, and I noticed that the two co-stars were Robin Williams and John Travolta, both big names in the acting business. I also noticed that the cast featured Seth Green as well, another actor I had been familiar with for quite a while, and just before seeing the film, I learned that it featured the late Bernie Mac in a posthumous appearance. However, despite having some popular cast members, "Old Dogs" is not exactly a very popular film. Sometime within the past few weeks, I finally saw Williams in "Good Morning, Vietnam" for the first time, and he sure made me laugh a lot in that movie, but unsurprisingly, this much later film marked one of the low points of his career.
Dan Rayburn and Charlie Reed are two middle-aged men who are best friends and business partners. They are both single, but Dan has been married before. Years ago, he married a woman named Vicki while drunk, after divorcing another woman, but this marriage was very short-lived. However, years after that, he meets up with her again and learns that he is the father of her twin offspring, Zach and Emily, who are now seven years old! He also learns that Vicki is about to serve two weeks in jail for trespassing during her work as an environmental activist. Her best friend, Jenna, has agreed to babysit the twins while she is away, but after an accident that lands Jenna in the hospital, Dan is left to take her place, even though he has no experience looking after kids. He gets Charlie to reluctantly help him with the babysitting for these two weeks, and Dan and the twins all stay in Charlie's apartment for this time. The two men face difficulties with the kids as they also try to land a deal with a Japanese company.
Slapstick/sight gags make up a lot of this movie's humour, and unfortunately, this usually fails. There were parts I found somewhat funny, such as the tanning salon accident, and at least Robin Williams' comedic talent does shine through a little at times, but the moments when I couldn't keep a straight face were too sporadic. Lots of mishaps which are obviously meant to be funny ensue as Dan and Charlie try to look after Zach and Emily, such as them getting clobbered at camp, what happens after they take the wrong pills, and many other segments. Lots of mediocre gags are featured in this mediocre story. Unsurprisingly, "Old Dogs" gets somewhat sentimental towards the end, but even this doesn't help much. I don't have much else to say about this insignificant 2009 family movie. Overall, it's just another mediocre comedy I've recently seen, and I really think you can find a much better film to watch with the family.
Pete's Dragon (1977)
Generally unsatisfactory musical numbers blend in with the other major flaws
I remember at one point in my childhood, I heard about a movie called "Pete's Dragon", maybe when it was about to come on TV, and also remember seeing some of it, though I can't remember how much I saw. There was another part of the film I remember seeing some years later (the part where the Dr. Terminus character manages to win over the initially angry people), but I didn't know what movie I was seeing. After many years, I could still remember the title of this mostly live action Disney film (but one with a cartoon dragon), and finally decided to watch it from start to finish this week. It's far from one of the most highly regarded Disney productions in the long history of the company, and I wasn't expecting it to be among the great ones, but I was expecting it to be better than I found it to be, which is not good at all for the most part.
With the help of his magical dragon, Elliott, a young orphaned boy named Pete manages to escape from his cruel adoptive family, the Gogans, but they are still determined to find him somehow or other. The boy and his dragon friend travel together and soon come to a village called Passamaquoddy. Before they enter, Pete tells Elliott that he must make himself invisible (a magical power of his) in order to avoid scaring the people, so the dragon reluctantly does so, but even in his invisible form, he soon causes a lot of trouble in the village, and since nobody can see him, it looks like Pete is responsible! After Pete gets away from an angry mob and Elliott scares Lampie, the drunken lighthouse keeper, the two of them go to a cave near the lighthouse, where Nora, Lampie's daughter, finds Pete and decides to give him shelter in her home. He often talks to her about Elliott, and she doesn't believe that this dragon actually exists, but plays along. Unfortunately, the dragon continues to cause trouble for Pete, and the village of Passamaquoddy has another problem when medicine showman Dr. Terminus and his assistant, Hoagy, are back to swindle the villagers again with their fraudulent formulas!
This live action/animation crossover is a musical, and unfortunately, the songs generally don't have much effect. I think this already shows with the first song, sung by the Gogans as they pursue Pete, but it gets worse after the boy and his dragon friend get away from them and we hear the next musical number, "Boo Bop Bopbop Bop (I Love You, Too)". During this song, I felt like I was watching something strictly for the very young. Basically, the rest of the songs also fail, including the "I Saw a Dragon" one featured in the part where Lampie tells the people in the tavern what he saw, a notably clumsy segment of the film. The musical numbers are only one of the significant flaws in the film. Most of the cast performances failed to impress me, especially Jane Kean overacting in the role of Miss Taylor, the strict teacher of the village. It doesn't seem that Sean Marshall, who plays the title character, was a very good child actor. "Pete's Dragon" does have some pretty funny parts, but not enough to make it really work as a comedy, either. Also, while I certainly didn't find myself not caring what happened to any of the characters, I still didn't find most of the story too entertaining for some reason, but that might have been largely because of the other problems.
This is a mainly live action family musical, and maybe I'm not usually into movies like this, but that hasn't stopped me from finding "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory", a live action family musical from six years before this one, to be a great film, so it's definitely not like "Pete's Dragon" would look bad to me regardless of quality. This particular Disney piece came out the same year as "The Rescuers", an all animated feature which disappointed me when I first saw it last year (I actually found its 1990 sequel, "The Rescuers Down Under", to be much better, as rare as that is with sequels and as much as many Disney fans would probably disagree), but even that film I found to be better than this very lacklustre live action/animation crossover. I gave "Pete's Dragon" a try, and realize that it has a following (not a huge one, but it is a following), but simply put, I just didn't like it. I guess I can still recommend it for kids and won't say adults should avoid it at all costs, but I also still think there are good reasons for all the criticism.
The Shaggy Dog (2006)
There were times when I pretty much found this sickening!
I finally saw "The Shaggy Dog" from 1959 for the first time earlier this month, and while I found it to be no family masterpiece, I still thought it was pretty good. I remember when this 2006 remake came out, and I saw that Tim Allen, a comedian I saw in more than one movie in my childhood, starred in it. I never saw this family movie when it was first out, and didn't know it was a remake, but now know that it's the second remake of the 1959 Disney film, the first one being a TV film from 1994, which I haven't seen and don't care if I never do. After finally watching the original, I intended to watch this theatrically released remake, but I did think it would be far inferior to the version I had previously seen, and now, after seeing it, I think I was correct.
A 300 year old Bearded Collie is kidnapped from a Buddhist monastery in Tibet by a group of geneticists led by Dr. Kozak! The animal is brought back to the United States, where the scientists begin to study his mutation, which is what has made him live so long, and intend to make life-extending medicine out of it! Meanwhile, Dave Douglas is a deputy district attorney who hates dogs, and his teenage daughter, Carly, is one of the activists who accuse Grant & Strickland, the company that has secretly kidnapped the dog, of cruel animal testing. The Bearded Collie manages to escape, and is found by Carly and her boyfriend, Trey, as they are searching for evidence of animal testing. This dog isn't the proof they're looking for, but they bring him back to the Douglas home to keep as a pet, calling him Shaggy. Dave obviously doesn't approve when he sees this, and Shaggy ends up biting him, so the mutated dog is taken to the pound. After this, Dave soon starts acting like a dog, and then actually turns into one!
Tim Allen plays the same kind of role I remember seeing him play when I was a kid in the 90's (though certainly not in "Toy Story"), and that's a neglectful, insensitive father. This felt a little tiresome to me when I saw him play this role again here. Needless to say, since this is a comedy, one would obviously want laughs from it, but personally, I don't think I found any of those (I didn't keep a straight face throughout, but usually did). There are many gags involving Dave acting like a dog while in human form, and these may be funny to a lot of kids, but I just found them consistently lame and SO cheap that anyone could come up with them, no comedic talent required! Unfortunately, none of the other gags are funny enough to make up for this. I found some of the film pretty much disgusting, with its lame gags and clichés! Later on, I did find that the plot gets more exciting, after being pretty dull for the most part beforehand, and if this change didn't happen, then maybe even my 4/10 rating would be too generous!
It seems that movie remakes can often be poorly received, and understandably, this is one of them. The original "Shaggy Dog" isn't hilarious, but it sure is funnier than this lacklustre 2006 version! If this remake (with lots of differences from the original) starring Tim Allen is strictly for kids, then it was way too late for me by the time it came out, as I was almost twenty years old by then. I guess some adults do like this version, and I won't fault them for that, but I really think kids are much more likely to enjoy it. It's definitely not one of those really well crafted family films that can be equally entertaining for all ages. The 1959 version has its share of flaws, and I can understand why it's not one of the most popular productions from the early decades of Disney, but I've made it clear that I still like it a lot better than this theatrical remake, and I'm sure I'm not alone.
Old Yeller (1957)
Still a strong and memorable Disney animal movie over half a century after its release
I believe I first heard of this live action Disney movie from the 1950's late in my childhood (I was born nearly thirty years after this film's release), but never saw it until last year. I think it was late last summer when I first watched this adaptation of the "Old Yeller" novel by Fred Gipson, and from what I remember, I was impressed with a lot of it, but later on, I wasn't so sure anymore. I watched "The Shaggy Dog", another live action Disney dog movie from the 50's featuring Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran playing brothers, for the first time just this week. Shortly after watching that film and being fairly impressed with it, I have watched "Old Yeller" for the second time, and would say it was better for me than it was the first time, and also better than the other Disney dog movie I've mentioned, which I was expecting.
In 1860's Texas, Jim Coates leaves his ranch to take part in a cattle drive, and won't be back for several months. On the ranch, he leaves behind his wife, Katie, and two sons Travis and Arliss. Travis, the older of the two brothers, is left to take his father's responsibilities. Shortly after his father leaves, Travis happens to be working outside when a stray yellow dog comes, scares the family mule, and makes it knock down the fence! Travis angrily chases this dog away, but the next day, he finds him back on the ranch already! Arliss has decided to adopt this dog, but after the trouble the mutt has already caused, Travis obviously doesn't want him around. However, the older Coates brother begins to have a change of heart when he discovers that the meat he left out overnight has surprisingly not been touched by the dog. It soon turns out that "Old Yeller" is a big help for Travis as he takes on the responsibilities of his absent father, and the two develop a strong bond, but there is some trouble ahead.
This movie has a small cast, but most of the few who had roles in it put on decent performances, even if some are slightly flawed. Dorothy McGuire and Fess Parker as the Coates parents, Tommy Kirk as Travis (one of his many Disney roles), and actor/athlete Chuck Connors in the smaller role of Burn Sanderson, are all notable cast performances. On the other hand, I did not care much for Jeff York as the lazy, fast-talking Bud Searcy, or Beverly Washburn as Bud's daughter, Lisbeth, and when these two characters first appear, I've found that they may temporarily bring the entertainment value down a bit, but fortunately, they aren't usually a problem. For the most part, the plot is an intriguing one, with what Travis and Old Yeller go through together and the boy's initial reaction to the dog followed by the strong bond they develop. Obviously, SO many others have pointed this out, but parts of the film certainly are emotional as well, which also helps keep it from being underwhelming and forgettable. They also picked some nice, scenic filming locations for this particular live action Disney film.
I'm sure many people through the generations have seen this movie in their childhood, but I didn't, so I obviously don't know what that's like. This certainly isn't the happiest movie a kid could watch, but its reputation shows that it clearly has pleased many of those who saw it as kids, so I guess it has succeeded with that goal as the decades have gone by, and likely continues to do so today. Many adults like this "Old Yeller" adaptation as well, which I can understand after seeing it myself. In my opinion, there are some weaker parts of the film, so I can't rate it as highly as some voters, but overall, it's a solid effort that has aged well. If you haven't seen this successful 1957 Disney animal movie, I will say that should you do decide to watch it, some parts could make you cry if you're an emotional kind of person, or maybe even if you're not that emotional (though I didn't cry), but this is a major reason why it's so widely remembered and praised.
The Shaggy Dog (1959)
An early live action Disney movie with its share of flaws, but also plenty of heart
I saw lots of Disney animated films from different eras as a kid, back in the '90s, but never heard of this particular live action flick from Walt Disney Productions. I remember when the remake starring Tim Allen came out in 2006 and I saw a trailer for it, but I didn't know that film was a remake at the time. I still haven't seen that version, and have known for sometime now that it's not all that popular, but now I have finally seen the original 1959 version of "The Shaggy Dog", with a cast featuring Fred MacMurray and several cast members of "The Mickey Mouse Club". I didn't think this movie would be amazing family entertainment, since it doesn't seem to have that kind of reputation, but I was expecting it to be a 7/10 for me, which it is.
Wilby Daniels is a teenager who likes to conduct experiments in the basement, but his father, Wilson, does not like this, and after Wilby accidentally launches a missile from the basement, Wilson tells him to clear out all his experiments. A new family moves into the neighbourhood, and Wilby and his friend, Buzz Miller, soon meet the daughter of the family, Franceska Andrassy. They also meet the family's sheep dog. Wilby, Buzz, and Franceska go to the museum together, but Wilby is separated from the other two. He meets Professor Plumcutt, a man he used to know, who tells him about his beliefs in ancient magic, including shape-shifting. Wilby ends up accidentally bringing home a mystical ring, which turns him into the Andrassy dog! This is not a good thing, since his father hates dogs! He sneaks out to tell Plumcutt what has happened, and learns from him that he is now under a spell, which will turn him back and forth from human to dog, and the only way to break this spell is through a selfless act of heroism!
As a comedy, this 1959 live action Disney flick is far from consistent, but I did laugh a number of times, starting around the beginning when Wilby has his missile in the basement and accidentally launches it from there, obviously putting holes in every floor above! More laughs come after Wilby turns into a dog, including the scenes where Officer Hanson hears the teenager talk to him while in dog form. I didn't usually laugh that hard, but those parts were definitely exceptions, and were not the only ones! The acting in "The Shaggy Dog" is mostly not that impressive, and the plot isn't the most interesting, but in both cases, I've certainly seen worse. The dance sequence is maybe a bit tedious, and during parts like that, it was somewhat of a struggle for me to stay into it, but eventually, that changed, as the story gets better and the suspense builds up! For the rest of the film, I had no trouble staying into it, even if it wears out its welcome just a BIT towards the end. So, while by no means a masterpiece, this original "Shaggy Dog" probably still has enough to please the family.
Tenacious D in their own movie, with mostly positive results
I first heard of Tenacious D, the musical duo consisting of Jack Black and Kyle Gass, years ago, finding articles on them in music magazines. This would have been around the time their self-titled debut album came out. I then saw Black play the starring role in the 2003 film, "The School of Rock", which made me become a fan of him as a comedian. To this day, I still haven't seen much of the "Tenacious D" TV series (though I did see part of an episode which I thought was very funny), but in late 2006, when I saw the trailer for the duo's then upcoming movie, "Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny", it certainly did catch my attention. It took me over four years to get around to watching this fictional biopic, but I was still expecting to get lots of laughs out of it when I finally did see it, even if it wasn't great, and fortunately, I did.
In his childhood, JB lives in Kickapoo, Missouri, and has a passion for rock music, but this kind of music is forbidden in his strict religious household. Following the instructions of Dio, who comes to life on JB's poster of him, the young boy runs away and sets out on a journey to Hollywood to fulfill his rock dreams! After traveling around the United States and going through more than one other Hollywood, a now grown up JB finally arrives in the most famous one, in California. Here, he soon meets a guitarist named Kyle Gass, and is amazed by his skills, but this man doesn't seem to want anything to do with him. That night, JB is attacked by a masked gang, and Kyle pretends that he saved him from them. The guitarist then takes the aspiring rock star to his apartment. While training JB to be in his band, it is revealed that Kyle has been lying. He actually doesn't have a band, and has been living off rent checks sent by his mother, which she has just decided to stop sending! Kyle is about to leave his apartment and move back in with his parents, but when JB sees the guitar Kyle has just bought him with the last of this rent money, he convinces him to stay, and together, they form Tenacious D. The two of them set out on a quest to find a very powerful guitar pick known as the Pick of Destiny, as it appears that every rock legend has used it!
Troy Gentile plays Jack Black's character as a kid at the beginning of this movie, just like the actor did in "Nacho Libre". He was an excellent choice for this, as not only does he resemble Black, he can also really nail the comedian's facial expressions! I was already laughing during parts of this opening sequence, and found many more big laughs, plus some smaller ones, throughout the film. The part where JB and Kyle first meet is one of these memorably funny parts, especially when JB makes up lyrics to the classical pieces Kyle plays on his guitar! The two co-stars help carry the film with both their comedic and musical talent. They deliver lots of funny lines and play some good songs as they go on a quest full of mishaps, on which they don't always get along and don't always have the same attitudes. One really silly and over-the-top but still funny segment is JB's mushroom trip, caused by some mushrooms he finds in the forest and eats, not thinking about what they could do to him! The funniest bits of this sequence are that ones that show what's actually happening! There are some pretty weak gags, such as the "ear p%#@*^s" one, but this is far from a constant problem.
This feature film starring the renowned Tenacious D duo bombed at the box office, but has still gotten a decent cult following. Many may criticize it for its lowbrow humour, and there's no denying that it has a lot of that, but that's not a bad thing for everybody. Since this is an R-rated movie, I really don't think I have to point out that it's obviously not for kids, but there are also many adults who should stay away from it as well. If you're offended by the F word and/or by Satan (played here by former Nirvana drummer and current Foo Fighters frontman and guitarist Dave Grohl) being portrayed in a humorous manner, then you certainly should NOT watch "Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny"! I'm sure there are other things in the film that could easily offend as well, so you should be aware of that. However, if you're not offended by this sort of thing, you're a Tenacious D fan or maybe just a fan of Jack Black as a comedian, and you can take the film's tastelessness, then I can recommend it for you.
A lovable mutt, but pretty much a mediocre animal movie
I was less than six years old when this successful family movie came out, and clearly remember knowing that there was a movie about a dog named Beethoven around this time. I even had the feeling I had seen this film, or at least saw some of it, back in the day, but I guess I was wrong. 1992's "Beethoven", which was followed by "Beethoven's 2nd" in 1993 and several direct-to-video sequels in the 2000's, was only brought back to my attention recently, when I learned that it was co-written by John Hughes, as I have seen a whole bunch of movies from him. When I finally watched this one after nearly two decades, none of it seemed to ring a bell, so I am now convinced I had never seen any of it before. I knew this wouldn't be an amazing film, but maybe it would still be above average to me. However, even that didn't happen.
One night, two criminals break into a pet shop, kidnap all the puppies, and take them away in a truck! The puppies soon manage to get out of their cages and escape from the truck while it is in motion, and one of these puppies is a St. Bernard, who hides in a garbage can in a suburban neighbourhood for the rest of the night. Early the following morning, this puppy sneaks into one of the houses in this neighbourhood, which happens to be the house of the Newton family, and this happens while most of the family members are just getting up. The father of this family, George, does not want this St. Bernard puppy to stay here, but his wife, Alice, and children do, so he reluctantly decides to keep the dog until they can find his owner, not realizing that this animal doesn't have one. When Emily, the youngest child in the family, plays a piece by Ludwig van Beethoven, the dog barks along, so it is decided that the dog's name will be Beethoven. Beethoven grows up living with the Newtons, and makes George miserable but the rest of the family happy. Meanwhile, Harvey and Vernon, the two criminals who kidnapped Beethoven from the pet shop, are still on the loose! Herman Varnick, the veterinarian the Newtons take their dog to, is secretly collecting dogs for cruel animal experimentation, and Harvey and Vernon are working as his two henchmen!
The main dog in this movie is a cute and lovable mutt, but the human characters generally aren't so outstanding. I especially didn't care much for the irritable father of the Newton family, played by Charles Grodin. He really gets unlikable as he gets so concerned about his business and says some foolish things. Ryce's (the oldest sister) crush on a boy at her school named Mark, and her attempts to get him to notice her (which Beethoven helps her with) are cheesy aspects of the story. It's also not very pleasant watching Ted, the middle son, facing several bullies at school. As a comedy, there are sporadic laughs, with some of the trouble Beethoven causes for George, certain scenes featuring the two kidnappers, Ted thinking he's scaring off the bullies with his fists when it's actually Beethoven scaring them off from behind Ted, etc., but these generally aren't very big laughs, and there aren't enough of them. There are also some completely failed attempts to be funny, such as the "Biker Woman" near the beginning and the part with the irresponsible and annoying babysitter. I also usually found the plot boring, though there certainly are some tense moments towards the end.
This early 90's animal movie does have its admirers, but I still can't say I liked it, and since I found it to be so mediocre, I don't intend to watch "Beethoven's 2nd", the theatrically released sequel which came out the year after this first installment in the franchise, and certainly don't intend to watch any of the direct-to-video sequels, either, all of which were made years after the two theatrically released films and were likely just done for money. None of them appear to be popular at all, and I'm sure many fans of this original "Beethoven" movie hate them, or haven't even seen them and don't see any point in doing so. These films are probably a lot like the usually lacklustre direct-to-video sequels to Disney animated features, and I've seen a lot of those. Anyway, this 1992 film that started the franchise and is significantly more popular than all the other installments is probably very entertaining for many kids and their parents, and probably best for that type of audience. Certain others might like it, but that's probably less likely.
Get Him to the Greek (2010)
I sure did laugh, but this spin-off eventually wears a little thin, and sometimes gets kind of disturbing
The now very famous but widely despised Russell Brand made his breakthrough in 2008's "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", in which he played Aldous Snow, the lead singer of the fictional rock band, Infant Sorrow. In this 2010 spin-off sequel, the comedian got to reprise his role from the previous film, but this time, it was one of the two lead roles. As frightening as this may sound to a lot of people, I do think Brand is a funny comedian, and I found the 2008 Apatow Productions film he appeared in to be an overall funny and satisfying farce, so I was obviously interested in seeing this follow-up. I wasn't expecting "Get Him to the Greek" to be as good, and had noticed a lot of criticism of it, making my expectations a little lower. It turned out that I found it a LOT funnier than many others have, but it certainly doesn't stay as consistent as it could.
Infant Sorrow frontman Aldous Snow, whose current girlfriend is pop star Jackie Q, makes an album with his band called "African Child", with the title track as a single, but this turns out to be a critical and commercial disaster! The singer has now been sober for seven years, but his relationship with Jackie fails, and he relapses, abusing alcohol and illegal drugs again after all these years! This makes him spiral out of control and ruin his career! Meanwhile, Aaron Green is a lowly Los Angeles talent scout who works for Pinnacle Records, a company which is currently in a financial rut. He is also a hardcore Infant Sorrow fan, so he suggests to Pinnacle Records head Sergio Roma, who is looking for ideas to save the company, that they have Aldous perform at the Greek Theatre on the tenth anniversary of his big show at that venue. Sergio sends Aaron on a flight to London to escort the washed-up rock star to Los Angeles, and tells him he has 72 hours to get the man to the Greek Theatre. Unfortunately, several complications will make it difficult for Aaron and Aldous to make it to this major gig on time!
Aware of the criticism by the time I watched this, I thought maybe it really would turn out to be lame, and a major disappointment after "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", but that wasn't the case for me. I soon found myself laughing (sometimes lightly) as the film shows Aldous and his girlfriend and what goes wrong. More funny parts follow as we are introduced to Aaron Green and his life in L.A., and at this point, it helps that Sean "P. Diddy" Combs is funny as the short-tempered Sergio Roma. There are times when the film lags around this point, but not usually. I think it gets funnier when Aaron meets Aldous in London, and we hear what Aldous' mother thinks of his father. On the flight back to the United States, the conversation between Aaron and Aldous is another comic highlight, with Aaron admitting what he really thinks of "African Child" and the Infant Sorrow frontman's reaction to this. The big laughs continue with all the problems these two characters face as the talent scout tries to get the singer to their destination before the time is up. Sure, there are some pretty lame gags, but these are fairly rare. However, after a while, it wears a bit thin, and it sometimes gets kind of disturbing with Aldous' drug problems and what happens when he gets Aaron to smoke some of these drugs without the talent scout knowing, though I'm certainly not saying that it's all straight-faced from this point on.
Other viewers can hate this movie and look down on anyone who likes it all they want, but after watching such lousy attempts at comedy as "Ed", "My Boss's Daughter", and "The Master of Disguise" recently, I have to say that this one is a LOT funnier than those! "Get Him to the Greek" is the first comedy I've seen in a few weeks that has actually made me laugh a lot, so I have to give it credit for that! Still, even all those bad comedies didn't make this one look like a work of genius to me, as I could still see the flaws in it, which eventually get more significant as the movie progresses. Since this is another effort from Apatow Productions, you can obviously expect it to be very raunchy, and some scenes could gross you out, but even if you can take this and are prepared for it, and even if you like "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", you could find "Get Him to the Greek" disappointing. Still, while many would disagree, I certainly think it could have been MUCH worse, and it can obviously please certain audiences.
The Master of Disguise (2002)
Its reputation doesn't lie, this truly is one poorly crafted and unfunny effort!
I remember seeing a trailer for this movie several times in 2002, back around the time it came into theatres, and could remember the "Turtle, turtle, turtle!" clip more than anything else I saw in that trailer. So, I knew about the film when it was current, but also heard that it was getting really bad reviews. Since then, I have become more familiar with the work of Dana Carvey, who co-wrote and starred in this flick. I have now seen several of his "Saturday Night Live" sketches, and also the two "Wayne's World" movies, for which he and Mike Myers brought their headbanging alter egos from SNL to film, so I know that Carvey can be funny. Nearly nine years after "The Master of Disguise" was unleashed upon the world and disgusted many people, I've finally seen it, and am now not surprised that I can't contradict the majority's opinion.
Pistachio Disguisey is a young Italian man who is totally unaware of the fact that he comes from a long line of secret agents who have all been very skilled in disguising themselves for missions. His father, Fabbrizio, decided it was best not to tell his son about the family's legacy. So, instead of being one of these "Masters of Disguise," like his father once was but not anymore, Pistachio works as a waiter in his father's Italian restaurant in the United States, where his mother also works. One night, Pistachio's parents are kidnapped by Devlin Bowman, a criminal whom Fabbrizio brought to justice during one of his missions as a Master of Disguise, but this criminal has just gotten out of prison! After this kidnapping, the youngest Disguisey's grandfather comes to him and tells him about the family's legacy, and then trains him to use his Disguisey powers, so he can take on Bowman himself and rescue his parents. Meanwhile, the kidnapper is now forcing Fabbrizio the help him with his criminal activities!
I've seen too many unfunny comedies lately, and sadly, this one is no exception. Like probably most people who have seen this universally panned 2002 comedy adventure film, I didn't laugh at all. Two or three gags did force the corners of my mouth up, with one or maybe two of the slaps for example, but even those aren't usually funny, and perhaps get a bit tiresome. The turtle costume clip I saw in the trailer in 2002 may not have looked so bad, but this part of the movie is a great example of the lameness here, with Dana Carvey as Pistachio trying to be funny, but basically just being ridiculously goofy, and the same can probably be said about most of the other disguises. Many of the jokes in the film involve the lead character's fondness of large female buttocks, and this is never funny. There's also a running gag showing that whenever Devlin Bowman laughs, he is soon silenced by his own flatulence, and this doesn't tend to be funny, even if it ALMOST made me smile later on for some reason. Not only is the humour in his film consistently lame, the plot is also boring and clumsily written.
After this film was made, Dana Carvey went on hiatus to focus on his family life, and I can't blame him for that, but this sure was a poor piece for him to leave us with. Since then, he has returned to show business, making several TV appearances and showing that he still has his talent, which is something he didn't show when he made "The Master of Disguise". It appears he is also returning to the silver screen in the upcoming "Jack and Jill", coming from Happy Madison Productions, the company that was also involved in the production of this 2002 disaster, but no matter how good or bad this movie turns out to be, it looks like Carvey will only have a very small part in it. Well, even if he never plays any major film role again, he has proved to be a talented comedian through his decades in the business, despite this terrible film. I'm not sure if my 2/10 rating is too low, even if most people wouldn't think it is, but now that I've seen it after nearly a decade, I can understand why it was so poorly received.
Little Giants (1994)
What did I get out of this movie? Pretty much nothing!
I was a kid when this family sports comedy was released, eight years old to be specific, so it's a film I could have seen as a kid, only I never even heard anything about it back in the 1990's. I never knew it existed until sometime within the past couple years, and even then, I still wouldn't have discovered it if it hadn't been for now retired Rick Moranis playing the starring role here. I certainly wasn't expecting "Little Giants" to be too hilarious or original, judging by what I had learned about it, but since I knew it was more popular than probably a number of other films like this, there was a chance that I could at least find some good moments in it. However, that didn't happen, and the movie turned out to be even weaker than I could have imagined!
Danny O'Shea is the younger brother of Kevin O'Shea, and both of them live in Urbania, Ohio. The arrogant older brother is a former Heisman Trophy winner, and currently the coach of the Urbania Cowboys, the town's little league football team. Becky is Danny's daughter, and is the only girl trying out for the team. She is their best player, but during the try-outs, her sexist uncle still rejects her. Obviously not happy about this, she forms a new children's football team with the other rejected Cowboys. This new team is called the Little Giants, and Becky convinces her father to coach them. However, the rule is "one town, one team," so it is decided that the two teams will go head to head in a playoff game, and the winners will be Urbania's little league football team, so Danny gathers more children for his team and begins to prepare his players for the competition. The younger O'Shea has always been living in the shadow of his brother, and this might be his chance to put an end to that, but the Giants' chances of winning the game are threatened by several problems!
Needless to say, this movie certainly does have a predictable plot, and one that sure bored me! If anything here grabbed me at all it was very brief. It didn't help that none of the characters really meant anything to me, so I couldn't really root for anybody. Like most other movies I've reviewed recently, this one is also a bad comedy. I wouldn't have been surprised if I had found SOME laughs in the movie, even if they were sporadic, but I didn't even find one! Not only that, the only time I can remember even smiling was during the part where Danny calls the police on Kevin and Butz while they're spying on his team! Whenever any of the kids in the film are supposed to be funny, they always fail, and more notable than the rest in this regard is probably Rudy Zolteck. The gags involving this character's eating habits and his flatulence are always lame, and none of the other kids help, either (it's never fun watching their conflict, which is one of the problems), especially not Jake Berman, with his snot blowing.
I watched this movie just days after watching "Ed", another cheesy family sports film, but one which is generally considered to be much worse than this. After watching "Little Giants", I wouldn't say it's quite as bad as the 1996 flop starring Matt LeBlanc, but as much as a lot of people might be disgusted by me saying this, I honestly fail to see how this 1994 little league football movie is THAT much better! Well, regardless of what others may think of these movies, I'd better not watch any more films like this anytime soon, as this has gone far enough! I know there are many films like this out there which I've never seen, but most of them are probably not worth watching. Rick Moranis has often made me laugh, with his "SCTV" appearances and in "The Adventures of Bob & Doug McKenzie: Strange Brew" (featuring two very famous characters from "SCTV" played by Moranis and Dave Thomas respectively), but even he isn't funny in this movie, and it has to be the worst one I've ever seen him in. If you're an adult, then unless you just love these kids' sports flicks, this is not a must-see.
My Boss's Daughter (2003)
Without Terence Stamp, I might have kept a straight face throughout this increasingly lame comedy!
It was just last week when I watched "Just Married", which I didn't think was very funny, and now I've also seen "My Boss's Daughter", another romantic comedy starring Ashton Kutcher, which was released later the same year as the other one. I first came across the title of this one a little while earlier, since it was directed by David Zucker. I've seen a bunch of comedies which he was heavily involved in the making of, and have found several of them funny, unsurprisingly including "Airplane!" and "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!" However, this 2003 comedy, directed by Zucker and written by David Dorfman, certainly misses the mark, and as a romantic comedy starring Kutcher, it's even weaker than the overall mediocre "Just Married"!
Tom Stansfield works for a publishing company as a researcher. He believes he should be part of this company's creative department instead, but his boss, Jack Taylor, is so overbearing that the young researcher is too intimidated to talk to him about his ideas. Tom also has a crush on Jack's daughter, Lisa. One day at work, she approaches Tom and tells him about a party she wants to attend, but her father is making her housesit on the night this party is happening. Tom encourages her to stand up to Jack and go to this party, and she invites the young man to come over to the Taylor mansion that night. He arrives thinking she has invited him to the party, but she's not there when he arrives, and it turns out that she just wanted him to take her place as the housesitter for the night. So, Jack leaves Tom to look after the house, but as the housesitter tries to make sure that nothing goes wrong, he finds that EVERYTHING goes wrong, with people coming in uninvited, breaking Jack's rules, and trashing the place!
The humour is basically mediocre at the beginning, showing the protagonist on the subway trying to talk to Lisa, with nothing too funny, and that's unfortunately the way it is for most of the film, only it gets worse as it goes along. Now, I'll admit, I couldn't help but smile several times, even laugh a little a couple times, during early scenes with the Jack Taylor character, played by Terence Stamp, including the first conversation we see between him and Tom, though I didn't find the "retard" part very amusing. Stamp does an impressive job delivering some fairly funny lines, and his performance is the only one here I can really praise. After Tom is left alone at the Taylor mansion, it isn't funny as various people come in and make a mess, which Tom REALLY doesn't want to happen, and the romance between Tom and Lisa is also pretty cheesy. This housesitting session isn't funny to begin with, but the gags get worse. There certainly are some notably lame and juvenile gags, including the urination ones, and I can't forget the Julie character. Her severe head wound is meant to be a joke, but it's not funny at all. The lamest part of the entire film is probably her leaving blood on everything the back of her head touches!
Many viewers might think that this juvenile 2003 romantic comedy is horrendous all around, but I can't usually describe a film like that, and this one is no exception. However, I've made it clear that I still don't think it's very funny, and I'm certainly not puzzled at all by the film's bad reputation. As a flick directed by David Zucker, it marked a low point in his career, and apparently, this is the only movie that David Dorfman wrote, other than "Anger Management", which was made shortly before this film. While his other comedy, co-starring Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson, can be lame in places, it sure is funnier than this dreck! My vote for "My Boss's Daughter" is four stars out of ten, even if it looked more like five stars around the beginning. If it weren't for Terence Stamp's performance here, with the actor still showing his talent despite the film's poor quality, my vote would probably be one star lower.
Nothing even the least bit funny here, and the monkey is a major part of this!
I distinctly remember that it was at a family gathering in the autumn of 1996, when I was told about "Ed", a movie which I had never heard of before. I also got to see at least a bit of the film at that gathering, and it must have been pretty new to the home video format at the time. I was ten years old when this happened, and I guess I was pretty much indifferent to what I saw, most of which I wouldn't remember. I don't think I ever heard anything about this big time flop again until at least nearly a decade later, when I noticed that it was in the IMDb bottom 100. Before discovering that, I knew nothing about the family sports comedy's general reception, but for several years now, I have known that it's generally considered to be atrocious, so I was not too surprised by its lameness when I finally watched it all, fifteen years after its theatrical release.
Jack "Deuce" Cooper proves to be a very talented baseball pitcher while playing on his farm, and his skills get him into the minor leagues, playing for the Santa Rosa Rockets, but it turns out that he doesn't do so well while playing in front of a crowd. Soon after he joins the team, they get another new player, one who happens to be a chimpanzee named Ed! One would likely believe that a monkey couldn't possibly play baseball, but surprisingly, this one is a natural on the field! This unusual baseball player becomes Jack's new roommate, and unfortunately, he soon ends up causing a lot of trouble for the human baseball player in the home, making big messes and doing things Jack wishes he wouldn't do. However, despite Ed's sometimes reckless behaviour, he turns out to be a really good friend to Jack, and a big help to the Rockets during games, but somebody has other plans for this popular minor league player!
I don't know what the humour here is like for kids, but while watching the film after growing up, there wasn't a single moment I was unable to keep a straight face through! Ed is one unconvincing monkey, and is also very unfunny with his antics! The sight gags involving this character causing trouble and being messy, plus the ones involving his bodily functions, are perfect examples of the movie's poor attempts to be humorous. Ed may be the weakest aspect of the film, but any other character that is supposed to be funny, including more than one human Santa Rosa Rockets player and the Liz character, also fails miserably. In addition to being consistently unfunny, "Ed" also has a dull plot (one could easily call that an understatement), and whether Jack "Deuce" Cooper is out on the baseball field with Ed, at home or on the road having problems with the chimp's behaviour, dating the Lydia character, etc., it's generally not entertaining at all. I should probably mention that the story sure is predictable as well, with no big surprises, and if the writers ever tried to be touching here, they also failed at that.
All I could remember from what I saw of this movie back when I was ten years old was a baseball player saying Ed is Curious George, shaking his hand, and telling him he has read all his books, and the trouble the monkey causes as Jack's roommate making the struggling baseball player say, "I'm gonna spank that monkey!" Well, after watching what I saw all those years ago, along with the rest of the film, I'm going to remember a lot more, not that these memories will do me much good. If I hadn't been introduced to the film in my childhood, I doubt it would have really caught my attention when I found it in the bottom 100, and I wouldn't have ever seen it, but wouldn't have missed out on much had that been the case. Unlike so many other voters, I can't give "Ed" the lowest rating possible, and am not even 100% sure about my 2/10 rating, but see no really good reason why I should rate it any higher, since I agree with the vast majority that it's thoroughly unfunny and badly written. I may not have said much about this 1996 flop that others have already pointed out, but I agree with these criticisms, and would say there's absolutely nothing to make "Ed" worth watching!
Just Married (2003)
Not always boring, but not enough laughs to really cut it
This romantic comedy came out eight years ago, but I didn't discover it until a VERY short while ago. I recognized the two stars, Ashton Kutcher and the late Brittany Murphy, but hadn't seen either of them in many other films. This was Murphy's first film after "8 Mile", starring controversial rapper Eminem. I finally saw that movie for the first time last year and thought it was pretty good. I had seen Kutcher in "Dude, Where's My Car?" twice, but most of that juvenile sci-fi comedy has never amused me. Before I saw "Just Married", I knew it wasn't really a well liked comedy, so my expectations were low. I knew that even if it wasn't that good, I still could possibly get some laughs out of it, which I did, but very unsurprisingly, I didn't get too many.
Tom Leezak is a young average Joe who meets a rich young woman named Sarah McNerney one day at the beach when he accidentally hits her on the head with his football. The two of them start talking, and quickly fall in love. It isn't very long before they get married, even though Sarah's family doesn't really approve. The newlyweds fly to Europe for their honeymoon, and they start out very happy and may look inseparable at first, but some say they are too young to be married, and maybe they're right. What's more, the two of them are both keeping secrets from each other, secrets which could put the marriage in jeopardy if they told each other. As Tom and Sarah travel around the continent and check into different hotels, they experience a number of mishaps which cause conflict. It doesn't help when they meet up with Peter Prentiss, Sarah's ex-boyfriend, who is far more respected by her family than Tom is.
This widely criticized romantic comedy opens by showing Tom and Sarah walking through the airport and doing what they can to cause each other grief. This sequence is filled with sight gags which are mostly unfunny. In the scenes leading up to the honeymoon, there are some laughs, such as what Sarah says as she cries on the night after the wedding, but still, there aren't too many. The part that made me laugh the hardest in the film might be the conflict between Tom and the hotel manager after Tom shorts out the hotel's power and causes a fire, but even this wasn't a huge laugh for me. There were also parts where I couldn't help but grin, plus they chose some nice European filming locations for the honeymoon, the plot certainly isn't the dullest I've even seen, and Brittany Murphy and Ashton Kutcher put on decent comedic performances and have good chemistry. Still, overall, this wasn't enough. When the gags aren't funny, they usually aren't too memorably lame, either, but there are some exceptions, such as the hash in the rectum, though even this one isn't horrible. After all that happens in the story, the predictable and clichéd ending is also a disappointment.
It seems a lot of people like this movie, and many hate it, but I'm somewhere in between. It has too much merit for me to rate it below five, with its occasional funny moments, impressive performances from the co-stars who play interesting characters, good filming locations, and not an entirely boring plot, but I don't think all this is enough for me to rate "Just Married" higher than five, either. If the ending were a bit more creative, I just MIGHT be able to give the film a six out of ten, but as it is, I don't think I should even do that. Well, at least I can say that it certainly didn't exactly leave me in a bad mood, which I think certain comedies can do if they're bad enough. Overall, this is pretty much an average romantic comedy, nothing really special or surprising. So, maybe you could find this movie funny if you have the right sense of humour and are a fan of the two co-stars, but I definitely won't call it a must-see.