Grown Ups 2

Neighbors 10

There’s a great jab at Kevin James movies in Neighbors. Seth Rogen‘s character is arguing with his wife, played by Rose Byrne, because he thinks she needs to be the responsible part of their marriage, and he cites the actor’s work comparatively. He’s watched too many movies and TV shows, apparently, in which an idiot male needs to be reigned in by his more rational female partner, and he thinks that’s reality. I’m sure a lot of husbands out there will identify. But Byrne’s character wants to have fun and be a little immature, too. She can be just as foul-mouthed and get just as down and dirty as the boys, and man does she. This break from expectations is one of the reasons Neighbors succeeds as a great work of comedy. It aims to be more realistic and relatable than your average dumb gross-out movie. In particular, there is one recent comedy starring James that relates very much to Neighbors: Grown Ups 2. I didn’t include it on my list of movies to watch after seeing the newer movie, because I don’t want to recommend it (I got enough flack for giving it a non-negative review last year), but it’s probably the movie I thought about most while watching Rogen and Byrne battle a fraternity led by Zac Efron and Dave Franco. Both movies deal with adults in arrested development clashing with young attractive college students. Either one could go by the original title of Neighbors, which was “Townies.” But only one […]

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2013review_comedies

If there’s one movie that speaks most to the sad state of comedy in 2013, it’s The Hangover Part III. It managed to copy the chemistry that made the Wolfpack a household name while evolving into a different animal altogether. The gags were angrier, more aggressive, and they shifted the tone from absurdity to despair. It’s a comedy that isn’t funny (much like The Comedy, which isn’t funny) and it offers some insight into the frustrations offered by modern movie humor. In our obligatory year-end retrospective, we’ve covered horror, documentaries, sci-fi/fantasy, and other categories, but even thinking of 13 movies meant for laughter (let alone the best baker’s dozen) is a difficult task this year because a general pall of mediocrity fogs the genre. The cinema is dominated by comedies that aren’t funny. There were studio efforts (Grown Ups 2, We’re The Millers, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone) that fell completely flat, indie standouts (Frances Ha, Computer Chess) that were funny without busting guts, and experimental tinkering (Movie 43) that was just plain terrible. That’s not to say that there were no triumphs, but the amount of whiffs was truly disheartening, and one formula is causing the lion’s share of the problems.

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discs white house down

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. And for those of you still reading, how’d you like a chance to win a new Scream Factory Blu-ray of John Carpenter‘s Body Bags? Just leave us a comment below with the name of your favorite horror anthology and why you love it, and we’ll pick a winner on Friday 11/8. (U.S. addresses only!) White House Down John Cale (Channing Tatum) is a Capitol cop with aspirations towards the Secret Service, but while his application is rejected he gets a second shot when terrorists attack the White House with a nefarious goal in mind. Cale finds himself protecting the president (Jamie Foxx) while simultaneously trying to save his own daughter. All that and he still doesn’t get the job. Probably. You’ll have to watch. Director Roland Emmerich‘s film had the misfortune of following the near-identical Olympus Has Fallen into theaters, but while most folks will tell you you can only like one or the other I’m here to say I love them both. Olympus is the better action film, but while this one does just fine in that department its real strength is its energy and sheer entertainment value. The effects are shady, and I’m fairly certain there’s not a single scene in the film that was actually filmed outdoors, but Tatum and Foxx have fantastic chemistry that when combined with an absolutely ridiculous script will have you smiling […]

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despicable-me-2

After all the handwringing over box office performance this week, everything played out just like everyone expected it would. With one little, yellow twist. Despicable Me 2 managed to beat out the newcomers with $44.7M. That adds to a pile of almost $500M worldwide that’s almost certainly being stacked in the shape of a 3. Meanwhile, Grown Ups 2 came in second with $42.5M, and Pacific Rim opened with $38.3M domestically (and $91.3M worldwide). So, as expected, the animated sequel with 1/3 less heart dominated, the close-to-comedy sequel with telephonic celebrities did strongly against its budget, and the big gamble original monster movie with zero name-stars and one-note advertising that made it look like a Transformers rip-off didn’t win. On the limited release front, Fruitvale Station did fine for itself with $377,000 from 7 theaters. [Box Office Mojo]

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grownups2-05

I haven’t seen the first Grown Ups. I never had the desire to. But I took the bullet for the team and saw Grown Ups 2 anyway. Nobody else had the desire to. I understand the stigma here. If you know you don’t like Adam Sandler and Co., you probably won’t like this one. You likely didn’t see the original either. But many did. At $271m, it’s the highest grossing movie worldwide for both Sandler and his production company, Happy Madison. That doesn’t mean people liked it (gross doesn’t actually account for taste), but they made a sequel regardless. And I know at least some people liked this one. At the screening I attended, mostly including non-press, there was a fairly continuous roar of laughter. As for me, all I can say is I didn’t dislike it. It astounded me too much with its nonsense, and it’s not nearly as offensive as I’d anticipated. So I have no real issue with it. I might have even smiled once or twice at something ridiculous. This is a movie that opens with Sandler’s character, Lenny, waking up to the sight of a big buck deer staring back at him in his bedroom. His wife (Salma Hayek) sees it, screams and the animal rears and then pisses in Sandler’s face. They chase it around the house, it eats the dog’s food, pisses again on Lenny’s showering/masturbating teen son and then finally exits through the front door, which had been left open all night. […]

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Grown Ups 2

Great horned beasts loosing their urine on Adam Sandler‘s face, middle-aged male nudity, cheap jokes being ritualistically sacrificed. This is the trailer for Grown Ups 2. At least they got to use Warrant’s “Cherry Pie” in a not-at-all-cliche way. Check it out for yourself and get ready to eke out your best Colonel Kurtz impression:

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