The plot is just-got-robbed-poor (there’s no heist, fugitive, or character tension to be found), and only a couple of the many jokes land, so two acts in and things are looking bleaker than a corn dog at a hot dog party before the marvelous moustached Mike McKinney shows up and finds his fate to add a jolt of comedy and give the plot a needed twist. The climax lets things down again but by then the continued earnest charm of David Ghantt has at least made him somewhat of an engaging lead.
Following a ghost invasion of Manhattan, paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates, nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann, and subway worker Patty Tolan band together to stop the otherworldly threat. (IMDb)
It’s mediocre, thanks to writing that’s often awkward and contrived and a plot that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense (especially in the final act–where did the villain get these powers all of a sudden?). That’s probably half due to the campy concept though, and the film with its solid main quartet does well at matching it with a goofy-fun vibe throughout that’s enjoyable even when the jokes don’t land (Jillian’s lip-syncing and Kevin’s interview are bits that definitely do though-I lol’d).
Derek and Hansel are lured into modeling again, in Rome, where they find themselves the target of a sinister conspiracy. (IMDb)
A convoluted and lazily written plot (see the terrible climax that renders pretty much everything previous irrelevant) is jammed onto a non-stop ride of ridiculousness that more often than not doesn’t generate laughs (the sexual innuendos are lame; Armisen’s head unnerving; the celebrity cameos mostly tiresome, straight-faced and dramatic Sutherland aside-“minus one”) but earns points for Wiig’s hilariously accented Alexanya and just for the sheer amount of insanity thrown out there by the end.
With the ’70s behind him, San Diego’s top-rated newsman, Ron Burgundy, returns to take New York’s first 24-hour news channel by storm. (IMDb)
The bad: A recycled rise-fall-redemption plot, flimsy satire, and a painful new-love-interest side plot (Good’s bad turn doesn’t help). The good: All the ridiculous comedy of the first film is pushed to eleven. The news team still offers loads of great humour (see Ferrell’s blind bit), with the unpredictability of the nonsensical Brick in particular coming fast and furious, just like the outrageous plot-gags (see the shark adoption; bat-shit crazy cameo-loaded everything-loaded final brawl).
A sausage strives to discover the truth about his existence. (IMDb)
The puns are okay, but the creative anthropomorphic food premise is funniest in its extreme plays on humanity’s physical aspects; namely, death (see the flour shell-shock scene, kitchen massacre) and sex (see the outrageous ending orgy). It swings and misses everywhere else, moving from a promisingly hilarious opening musical number to a swear-overloaded script with nary a clever joke, and a religion-related thesis just as lacking in subtlety. The meta-ending also felt silly and unnecessary.
Competition between the maid of honor and a bridesmaid, over who is the bride’s best friend, threatens to upend the life of an out-of-work pastry chef. (IMDb)
The actual bridesmaids scenes are outrageously funny (see the shit-storm in the bridal boutique) thanks to some crazy characters (McCarthy’s Megan is a riot) and excellent cast chemistry (Wiig and Byrne’s rival friends especially; see their competing speeches) but it’s the surprising character work on the goofy yet melancholy Annie (Wiig is perfect; see her cop drive-bys) that elevates this comedy to another level, injecting some nice bits of drama and romance (O’Dowd is adorable) into the mix.
An astronaut becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him dead, and must rely on his ingenuity to find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. (IMDb)
A skimming over of emotions and the consequences of time (particularly with the crew’s decision to go back) are the only standout flaws in this exhilarating thriller featuring a fast-paced back-and-forth between satisfying survival science-ing on Mars (Damon’s Mark adds a wry wit to the proceedings) and tense rescue-planning on Earth (a refreshingly diverse cast shines here). Any lack of suspense in the quickly solved conflicts of the first half is made up for in the nail-biting climax.
Having both coincidentally cheated death on the same day, estranged twins reunite with the possibility of mending their relationship. (IMDb)
The screenplay here is fairly formulaic in structure as far as indie dramedys go, with cycles of music-video scenes of personal reflection or vague comedic resolve following those of conflict. That said, its execution is excellent (thanks to wonderfully genuine performances from Hader, Wiig, and Wilson), its central relationship unique (i.e. non-romantic), and its subject matter darker (albeit resolved in a disappointingly easy ending) which set it a step above many of its genre counterparts.
7.5/10 (Really Good)
At times outrageous and hilarious, at others, genuinely sweet and heartfelt. Loads of laugh-out-loud moments, with a cast stacked full of comedic gems. It’s a movie of extreme moments that overwhelm the actual story and character development at points, but make it a very memorable and enjoyable watch.