The Hangover Part III

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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disc much ado about nothing

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Much Ado About Nothing Leonato’s (Clark Gregg) home is visited by fellow dignitary Don Pedro and his two immediate officers, Benedick (Alexis Desinof) and Claudio (Fran Kranz). The latter falls in love with Leonato’s daughter Hero, while the former has a friction-filled and antagonistic past with the man’s niece Beatrice (Amy Acker). It’s not all foreplay and country matters, though, as Don Pedro’s manipulative brother, Don John (Sean Maher), is intent on disrupting political relations by destroying relationships. Let the romantic hijinx begin! William Shakespeare’s classic romantic comedy comes to life yet again, and it’s the best screen incarnation yet. Joss Whedon can be hit or miss at times, but when he’s on the result can be pretty damn incredible. His first foray into the Bard’s realm falls into that category as Whedon retains the original dialogue while adding visual wit of his own. Add to that some perfectly nuanced performances and an attractive score, and you have a film that will leave you smiling for days. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Featurettes, music video, commentaries]

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hangover iii

With The Hangover Part III’s May 24th release date rapidly approaching, it’s now officially crunch time for its marketing people. They’ve got a few short days left to convince anyone who might be on the fence about coming back for a third helping of Hangover-style decadence that this is a movie that can’t be missed. So, in order to round up every last box office dollar they can possibly find, they’re pulling out the big guns—a red band trailer. If there are two things in this world that everyone, no matter what their age, class, or background, responds well to, they’re nostalgia and dirty jokes, so this new trailer makes liberal use of both. After you click through the link and give it a watch, prepare to be pled with to remember how fun that first movie was, and prepare to plug the ears of any kids who might be in the room.

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The Hangover Part 3

It should come as no surprise that the first teaser trailer for this summer’s The Hangover Part III isn’t so heavy on the plot – after all, who cares about the plot when Todd Phillips’ final entry into his trilogy of idiocy just threatens to blow shit up, smother monkeys (not a euphemism), and get Ke$ha-style wasted? Let’s get stupid. Witness (some of) the mayhem after the break.

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hr_The_Hangover_Part_III_3

Perhaps it was optimistic to think that the fair city of Las Vegas could possibly survive the third Hangover film, but the latest poster for The Hangover Part III promises that the entire joint will go up in flames, it will “all end” (a la Harry Potter), and either Zach Galifianakis or Ken Jeong won’t survive the outing. Don’t drink, kids, just…don’t. The Hangover Part III drunkenly stumbles into theaters on May 24th. [Warner Bros., via ComingSoon]

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The Hangover Hits the Road

As the vast majority of criticisms that were lobbed at Todd Phillips‘ The Hangover Part II derided the director for essentially remaking his own first film (this time, set in Thailand), it’s comforting that the third film in the franchise will move away from the structure of its predecessors. We’ve long had suspicions about where The Hangover Part III will go, and now the currently-filming production’s first official logline confirms – the Wolfpack is going on the road. Warner Bros. has just revealed (via ComingSoon) the official plot description for the film, which simply tells us: “This time, there’s no wedding. No bachelor party. What could go wrong, right? But when the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off.” Points to WB for knowing exactly what we want to hear (if this description had included any words like “baby shower” or “vow renewal,” I would have eaten my hat).

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John Goodman in The Hangover Part III?

Though he’s had a long and storied career full of great roles both dramatic and comedic, sometimes it still feels like John Goodman is still an underutilized and under-appreciated actor. No matter what movie you put him in, his presence alone is guaranteed to class the production up and serve as one of its highlights. The guy is just that good, and the fact that he hasn’t had a real starring role since the days of King Ralph and The Babe is kind of a shame. Of course, beggars can’t be choosers, so when it comes to watching John Goodman work, us film fans will take what we can get. And though it is a bit bittersweet, Variety has word that this status quo is looking to continue. The latest development in the man’s career is that he’s negotiating to take a small role in The Hangover Part III, which is said to be a villain role, similar to the one that Paul Giamatti played in the first sequel.

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If you were one of the many people who complained that The Hangover Part II was nothing more than a tired retread of everything that had already been run into the ground about the original (and why wouldn’t you have been?), then it might come as good news that the makers of The Hangover Part III seem to already be taking steps to differentiate it from the first two films in the franchise. Then again, you might not end up thinking it’s good news at all. According to THR, perennial Hangover supporting actor Ken Jeong has officially signed on to once again appear in this third film, but unlike in the first two installments, where his character’s role in the story consisted of little more than popping in and out of the action to show us his penis, this time around Jeong will see his presence greatly expanded. While details of the plot are still safely guarded, it’s known that the latest set of party fouls will send the boys to Tijuana, and this new news indicates that Jeong’s Mr. Chow will presumably be along for the ride. Could this mean that he’s in line to be officially inducted into the Wolfpack?

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Given the lukewarm critical response for Todd Phillips’ The Hangover Part II, there might not be many of you out there interested in seeing a third installment of his hard-partying series. But, the fact remains that the second film made enough money during its opening days to make an additional sequel pretty much an obligation, so a release date for The Hangover Part III has been set. This second sequel will hit theaters on May 4, 2013, with the whole gang back on board. For those keeping track, that’s a Memorial Day release, the same scheme that led to Part II raking in $581.5m worldwide. Those that fear a third film might as be as much of a retread as the second should keep in mind that we’ve been given indication this won’t be the case. There’s already been some comments made that point to the fact that this third film will deviate from the rigid plot structure of the first two; and a new quote from Phillips released by Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures seems to back that up. “We’re going to surprise a lot of people with the final chapter we have planned,” Phillips claims. “It will be a fitting conclusion to our three-part opera of mayhem, despair and bad decisions.”

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Despite opening to generally poor reviews due to its been there, done that approach to joke crafting and storytelling, The Hangover Part II still got a ton of people out to the theaters and pulled in record amounts of money. You know what that means: The Hangover Part III is now as inevitable as death and taxes. And, sure enough, THR has a report that the principal cast are negotiating as a team to get a deal for a third film in the books. Because of Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, and Bradley Cooper’s all-for-one attitude when it comes to negotiating, getting this deal together has taken longer than usual. Their united front is allowing them to demand quite a bit of money to get a third Hangover movie made, and of course the studio has been doing whatever they can to drive that number down. They’re not really in any position of power, however, as a third Hangover is pretty much guaranteed to bring in truckloads of greenbacks, so the actors’ demands that each of them bank $15m a piece to come back and get drunk again are looking like they’re going to be met. Comparatively, each only made $1m for doing the modest budgeted original film.

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Seeing as comedian/actor Zach Galifianakis is pretty much the closest modern equivalent we have to a mythical trickster, the things that he says should probably be taken with a grain of salt. Especially things he says in interviews, which he seems to hate doing. So, grain of salt firmly in place, in a cover story for Rolling Stone magazine Galifianakis has said that the plot of Hangover Part III would be about his character, Alan, getting locked up in a mental institution and the rest of the crew having to come together and break him out. Personally, I think that this sounds like a whole lot of nonsense that Galifianakis is pulling out of nowhere, but there is one quote in the article that rings very true. When initially talking about the possibility of a third Hangover, Galifianakis said, “They want to do a Hangover III. I’m getting fricking phone calls already.” The film already has a plot, and one of the leads is leaking it before the second one is even out of theaters? That’s not so believable. Execs are champing at the bit to get all of the main actors signed on to do a third film already? That’s something I very much believe. Despite the fact that The Hangover Part II debuted to a lukewarm critical reception, fans of the first film still came out in droves to get some more drunken obscenity. There is no way that the people in charge of writing and cashing the […]

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


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