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Bad Words (2013)
The "Bad Santa" of spelling movies.
I love comedies, but to be quite honest seldom do I laugh out loud continuously through a film. Bad Words left me in stitches. It has "oh no they didn't go there" humor in spades. It's not the crassness or taboo breaking in and of it self that makes this a great comedy, it's the tongue in cheek cleverness of it all. It's fearless, smart, bad taste like an early John Waters film or Bad Santa. Jason Bateman sells the vile Guy Trilby role and the co star kid played by Rohan Chand is fantastic and really is the child prodigy he plays. The entire cast plays it straight enough to make the absurdity realistic and believable so the whole movie hangs together as a story as well as a laugh factory.
The Imitation Game (2014)
Left me angry... at the fate of Alan Turing
I know quite a bit about Alan Turing and have felt his treatment after the war was a crying disgrace but this movie serves to humanize him and it makes me even more resentful of his treatment. The film does not idolize Turing, or even paint a particularly pretty picture of his nature, none the less it does present a portrait of a complicated and very intelligent man who's contributions to the world are profound. Like Edison v Tesla, we idolize Einstein yet few have even heard of Alan Turing though his impact on our world with the invention of the programmable computer and his leadership in cracking the German enigma code leading to the defeat of the Nazi regime is probably as great any modern scientist. This is a fascinating high quality film that tells a story that needs to be told.
Third Person (2013)
We actually didn't realize how good it was until we thought about it.
If you see a large number of user reviews with spoilers it's because this movie has a complex story line that is hard to describe without spoiling the suspense and confusion that one experiences while watching it for the first time. Don't read the spoilers until after you see the film or you will rip yourself off. My partner and I saw it at the Rehoboth Beach film festival and really didn't know exactly what to think at the end of the movie. We had both been engrossed and intrigued but felt unsatisfied at the end
until we were discussing it on the way home and figured out what we had just seen. The most popular spoiler alert review nails the plot, but suffice to say that this is no typical "I can see were this is going" movie, it was almost "I see dead people but they don't know they are dead" kind of realization, only for us, we didn't get it until a half an hour after the movie was over. We actually didn't realize how good it was until we thought about it. I would recommend it and I will watch it again to tie up all the clues given along the way.
State Fair (1962)
If you really enjoy musicals then this is fun.
If you are an aficionado of the 1945 version then perhaps you will be disappointed in this 1962 version, but for everyone else this is a big budget, star studded, Rodgers and Hammerstein musical with all the attributes that presents. This may not be the best Rodgers and Hammerstein musical but if you like the genre then this is, if nothing else, a charming bit of 60s Technicolor nostalgia with a lot of songs, pretty scenery, Pat Boone looking and sounding great in his prime and a gorgeous Ann Margaret delivering a knockout version of "Isn't It Kind of Fun?" To me that number alone make this a must see.
I can understand the criticisms that I've read here on IMDb but I think the point of watching old musicals is to escape reality for a while and have joy. By that standard State Fair delivers. If you like musicals and you haven't seen this one by all means see it. There really are precious few films in this genre so don't allow the naysayers to deprive you at a chance to escape to a simpler time and place and have some fun.
Thelma & Louise (1991)
Excuse my repeated use of the adjective "Iconic" but this movie contains several characters that have become just that. The women, the last scene, Brad Pitt's sex scene, even the car are film and cultural legends. Few movies create iconic characters that become part of our lexicon but, when people say someone is a "Thelma" or a "Louise" or they are a "Thelma and Louise" you know exactly what they mean. The last scene is iconic cinema if there ever was. You definitely don't want to pull a "Thelma and Louise" in your car! Brad Pitt exploded onto the scene in this film and he has been a sex symbol ever since. I re-watched Thelma and Louise nearly twenty years after its release and it was as poignant and funny as it ever was. If you have never seen this movie then by all means help yourself to a chunk of American culture and if you haven't seen it for a while then watch again, it has aged pretty darn well. (Warning: guys with fragile male egos often hate this movie.)
Two and a Half Women
OK so it's not what you want you children to model themselves after but then neither was producer Chuck Lorre's Two and a Half Men. This is sort of the female version of that great show and maybe it's because it's a mostly female cast that it seems to raise the ire of so many. I don't know or care, to me its funny. Anna Faris is well
Anna Faris and if you like her in things like the "Scary Movie" series then you will probably like her playing Christy who often innocently deadpans her way through raunchy or absurd situations with great comedic sensibility. Allison Janney plays Christy's Mom Bonnie who is the counterpart to Charley Harper's slutty mom Evelyn. The show probably could use a "Berta" but it has enough good characters to develop into the same sort of comedic juggernaut Two and a Half Men was, given some good writing. Time will tell.
Plenty of silly, social comment and "oh no they didn't" laughs.
If you liked the first two Harold & Kumar movies then you will likely like this one. If you have never seen a Harold & Kumar movie they are implausible story line, very irreverent, even crass, comedies that always break taboos.
This movie's story line is again unlikely and at times totally ridiculous, it's a total cut up comedy. You get the sense that the actors were having fun while they were filming. I laughed (and moaned) throughout the entire movie which I think is kind of the benchmark for this genre.
A lot of the humor uses or pokes fun at the 3D effects so see it in 3D if you can, it's a real treat, the effects are great. There was enough pot smoke and coke blown in you face that you could almost get high.
Not quite bad enough to be campy fun, just bad
I was hard for me to even sit through this movie. The story could have been told in a fifteen minute short but was drug out for an excruciating 93 minutes. The contrived setup was barely plausible and took so long I felt like screaming enough already, just get on with it. The dialog was boring banter with no relevance to the anemic plot. What passes for a set was just pathetic. It's nearly a one shot movie. Perhaps the horrible acting could be attributed to the horrible script, it would be hard to do anything good with it. I found myself hoping all the characters would die immediately to save me from having to watch anymore.
I don't care what the critics say, I enjoyed it.
If you must kowtow to the critics or would hold "Maid in Manhattan up against Casablanca then skip this one but if you are inclined to enjoy a light romantic comedy then this is not a bad movie at all. I was planning on seeing it based on trailers but was kind of shocked by all the bad press. At that point I went to see it out of curiosity as much as anything and I really enjoyed the movie. It has a plot, not Hitchcock grade obviously but better than most modern sex/coms, it has a bunch of laughs, a tear or two, it has good music and pretty people. What are you looking for in light fare if not those things? There were only about twenty people at the screening I attended and the buzz afterwards was "I don't care what the critics say, I enjoyed it". I agree.