A lonely and mentally disturbed cable guy raised on television just wants a new friend, but his target, a designer, rejects him, with bad consequences. (IMDb)
Provides a good offering of ridiculous comedy–see the hilarious intensity at the basketball game–and stalker creepiness (sometimes at the same time), thanks to Carrey’s great turn as The Cable Guy. He’s a great character but the direction goes back and forth between playing him up for laughs and thrills and digging into the more sympathetic and compelling side of his character, even veering into odd-couple dramedy at points. This throws off the whole of the film despite plenty of good moments.
The Madagascar animals join a struggling European circus to get back to New York, but find themselves being pursued by a psychotic animal control officer. (IMDb)
More entertaining than ever: The increased “fish out of water” animals vs. humans antics make for loads of hilarious action set pieces (see the insane truck then plane escape from Monte Carlo), the goofy one-off bits are taken to another level (see DuBois’ rousing French song; Rock’s gut-busting Afro-circus bit), and the new circus setting provides two infectious feel-good musical numbers. The plot, meanwhile, continually takes wonderfully unexpected turns (see the poignant return to the zoo).
7.5/10 (Really Good)
The animals try to fly back to New York City, but crash-land on an African wildlife refuge, where Alex is reunited with his parents. (IMDb)
Starts off a little rough with a cheesy flashback, yet another rendition of “Move It” (enough already), and a contrived four-fold character-growth set-up in a far-fetched multi-animal tribe, but the penguins keep you engaged (I’ll never tire of their hijinx) and the adventure plot sparked by a touching Alex-Marty moment picks things up with a number of memorable scenes both hilarious (see Julian’s sacrifice bit; the Penguins’ union negotiations) and moving (see the father-son dance diversion).
Spoiled by their upbringing and unaware of what wildlife really is, four animals from the New York Central Zoo escape, unwittingly assisted by four absconding penguins, and find themselves in Madagascar. (IMDb)
The four quirky animal friends (with their oddball supporting cast–the suave penguins are comedy gold) riff nicely off each other, and the comedy is only bolstered by the silly realism-pushing settings and situations (see the lax luxury of the zoo; penguin ship hijack), good one-liners (“Well this sucks”) and fun visual gags (see Melman’s “We’re running out of time!” with a clock on his head). Alex and Marty’s friendship crisis, meanwhile, brings some surprisingly mature (if short-lived) drama.
The supervillain Megamind finally defeats his nemesis, the superhero Metro Man. But without a hero, he loses all purpose and must find new meaning to his life. (IMDb)
The script’s dialogue-based humour is inconsistent at best (the opening voiceover intro is kinda lame; Megamind and Metro Man’s cliche convo was funny: “Revenge is best served cold!” “But it can be easily reheated in the microwave of evil!”) but it’s helped by a great voice cast (Cross as earnest Minion tops the list), and the overarching premise offers both some quirky satire of the typical good guy vs. villain dynamic as well as, of course, a refreshingly nuanced look at the villain itself.
A man from Los Angeles, who moved to New York years ago, returns to L.A. to figure out his life while he house-sits for his brother. He soon sparks with his brother’s assistant. (IMDb)
The “slice of life”-type dramedy is nailed by everyone involved here: Achingly authentic scenarios (see Greenberg with bitter Beller; his date with Beth) are played out with perfect dialogue, strong turns from the whole cast, and smart edits (see Greenberg catching up at Beller’s party). Stiller’s uptight lead is loveably cynical (“Life is wasted on people”) and complimented perfectly by Ifans’ chill Ivan and Gerwig’s far-from-one-note-romantic interest who has her own share of issues.
7.5/10 (Really Good)
When a group of hard-working guys find out they’ve fallen victim to their wealthy employer’s Ponzi scheme, they conspire to rob his high-rise residence. (IMDb)
Why would they have to sneak past the very hotel workers that they plan to give the spoils of the job to? This and many other plot holes riddle this half-assed heist flick, so while the vicarious pleasure of Robin Hood-esque stealing is still there (see when Mr. Malloy sees his car is missing) it never lasts for long (surely a car made of gold would be too heavy for an elevator). Mediocre characters and scant humour (Murphy’s wild Slide is probably the highlight) don’t do much to help.
An estranged family gathers together in New York for an event celebrating the artistic work of their father. (IMDb)
Shifts from a first act packed to the brim with quirky, rapid-fire dialogue (Hoffman’s self-absorbed Harold is the highlight here: “It’s my protest”), entertainingly edited (see the snippets montage) to a downright hilarious second act (see the siblings’ note taking, Pam obsession) and a slower, more ponderous third act that really brought out the complex dynamic between the brothers and The Dad (both Stiller and Sandler are great–see their pre-fight exchange). Well-paced, and never predictable.
7.5/10 (Really Good)
To become the greatest band of all time, two slacker, wannabe-rockers set out on a quest to steal a legendary guitar pick that gives its holders incredible guitar skills, from a maximum security Rock and Roll museum. (IMDb)
There are some moments of good comedy (the subversive take on the “inside all of us/inside your hearts” speech had me in stitches) to go with the entertaining soundtrack (the opening flashback number and the boardwalk jam are highlights), but not enough to distract me from the terrible script that can’t even do the generic underdog story right (where was their triumphant open mic performance?). It’s not boring (fun cameos help), but not every bit lands, and it misses the mark on a grander scale.
Occasionally slips into lackluster-ly standard low-brow humour (dancing aside, Grossman is a bit much, and so was Kirk and Tugg’s convo about Simple Jack), but the satirical meta-movie framework that pervades the film offers loads of laughs, from the uproarious opening trailers, news clips, and initial action sequence (the first act was definitely the best) to the ongoing naivety of Stiller’s action star and stubbornness of RDJ’s method actor as contrasted with Baruchel’s earnest Kevin.