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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Tag Archives: The Office

David Brent: Life on the Road (2017)

Never give up on a dream. As crummy as it may be.

It’s been awhile since we’ve last seen or heard from David Brent (Ricky Gervais), and while his career as a D-List star didn’t quite pan-out to much, he’s now using whatever fortune he has left over to go out on the road with his band, Foregone Conclusion. Of course, he’s paying for it all, isn’t getting paid-leave from his work, and doesn’t really know, or get along with any of the other members in the band, but David is living out of his dream of hitting the road and giving audiences some sweet tunes. However, David does come to terms with the fact that his career may not be the best thing for him at this point in his life, and it may also be financially draining him, with money being spent on all sorts of crazy costs like hotel rooms, cars, set decorations, PR reps, food, beer, and yes, mini-bars. But still, David will not let all of these issues stand in the way of living the life of an absolute rock star, even if there’s no audience to really see that.

Always need the hype-man, no matter the genre.

Always need the hype-man, no matter the genre.

Ricky Gervais has, believe it or not, grown a lot since the Office. But at the same time, he’s still kind of living in the shadow of David Brent, so it’s not all that surprising to see him go back and see what Brent’s up to, even all of these years later. And sure, it’s more than enough to give someone pause, seeing an actor go back to their most iconic role, but Life on the Road shows us that there’s more than just nostalgia’s sake to catch back up with Brent.

Sure, it’s great to see him be awkward, say mean, nasty things to those around him, and make a general ass of himself, but the way Brent is made out to be, it’s hard to ever hate him. That’s how he was on the show, and that’s how he is here, which is why no matter how hard he tries, Gervais will never be able to get out of the shadow of that character, even if he definitely has come close. And it’s also why Life on the Road proves to be a very enjoyable trip down memory-lane, in some ways, to realize that the Brent character can continue to live on and on, still be the same person, and can still be loved by all of those who fell in love with him over a decade ago.

Does that mean we always need to see a David Brent movie? Probably not, but hey, it’s nice to have around.

Eat your hearts out, ladies.

Eat your hearts out, ladies.

And what’s interesting about Life on the Road, is that it’s not necessarily an Office movie, as much as it’s just a movie about a character from that show. No other iconic and lovable character from that show has an appearance here, nor are there many mentions about that show’s existence – mostly, we just get to see Brent’s life, picking back up after being away from him for over a decade. But it still works; Gervais is great at this character, making each and every conversation he has, turn into an absolute and embarrassing travesty, while at the same time, still making us want to see more from him.

Oh, and it’s also good that the songs are pretty nice to hear, too. For any movie like this, it would have been easy for the songs to be crap, because of how silly they are, but no, there’s actually been some real effort and drive put into how the songs sound and yeah, they sort of work. They’re dumb for sure, but they still work, given the movie’s context.

But it’s really hard to talk much more about Life on the Road and go on and on about it because, after all, it’s relatively forgettable. It’s nice to get this refresher of Brent, see how he’s doing, and what sort of an ass he’s still being, but when all is said and done, the movie is still an-hour-and-a-half long episode of the Office, just without everyone else. This time, it’s just Gervais being Brent and that’s about it. It’s still fun to watch, but when it’s over, it may leave the mind immediately.

Still, it’s a hell of a lot better than Special Correspondents – whatever the hell that was.

Consensus: As a nice and refreshing reminder on why we loved the title character in the first place, Life on the Road proves that Gervais can still perfect this character and give us plenty to laugh at.

6.5 / 10

Can't compete.

Can’t compete.

Photos Courtesy of: The Playlist

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Nobody Walks (2012)

Girl hipsters that look like 14-year-old boys, never a good sign for the married-man.

Olivia Thirlby stars as Martine, a New York City artist who stays with a local family (Rosemarie DeWitt and John Krasinski) in Los Angeles while working on her art film. But her arrival in this seemingly idyllic family soon begins to unravel suppressed impulses in everyone and forces them to confront their own fears and desires.

I honestly don’t mind a good infidelity movie here and there, especially when they have a top-notch cast and promise like this. However, in order for me to like that infidelity movie, I have to buy into the infidelity that is actually occurring and even though there is definitely a lot of screwing around, a lot of wondering whether or not the other person knows about the screwing around, and a lot awkward conversations between one another because of them wondering whether or not the other person knows about the screwing around, I still did not really buy into it all. I bought into the fact that John Krasinski could be a humbled and horny husband, though. If that accounts for anything.

Right from the beginning, you can tell this is an indie-movie, through and through. You got the shaggy-looking people, staring-off into space; you have the unusual jobs for certain human-beings; you have the long scenes that are filled with no dialogue, but instead some moody music from an indie band only 3 people know about; and you also have a shit-ton of symbolism, coming through other layers of the story. So basically, any idea that this movie is going to be like Fatal Attraction; you’re wrong. It’s more or less like indie-version Fatal Attraction; had Michael Douglas and Glenn Close just boned every once and awhile and never actually spoke to each other. That probably would have solved a lot of things in that movie and definitely steered-clear of any rabbits to be hurt, but I digress.

Don't make Jim angry. You don't like Jim when Jim's angry.

Don’t make Jim angry. You won’t like Jim when Jim’s angry.

That’s not to say that there isn’t plenty of the stuff you’d expect from movies where people are cheating on each other, because there definitely is, it just feels so under-cooked that by the time the movie’s over, you’re left with, “That’s it?”. I’m not going to go into the logistics of this movie, what happens, and practically spoil the whole damn movie for you but when you see how much immoral-boning actually happens here, you’re going to be surprised that there’s even a story in the first-place. You just never feel those sparks of fire, burning up inside the plot and these characters’ minds, and instead, you just feel the need inside of you to just get some sort of “oh shit” moment to really lift things up from being a bit of a bore.

Mostly where the lack of sparks come from, is the fact that we never really feel like we understand what the attraction between some of these people are. Martine obviously has this way to her that gets guys all wood’d-up in the pants and the wives’ eyes glued to their men, but we never fully understand why she does the things she does and why the guys who get involved with her, actually do. Yeah, she’s got a cool look to her that reminds me of when I was 10 and definitely dresses all hip and cool, considering she’s the New Yorker in L.A., but there’s nothing to understand. She’s hot, I guess? I never understood that and maybe that’s how most affairs begin: the idea of having a new spice of life to happen to you, without any rhyme or reason as to why that certain someone or something was picked. If that was the case, the movie could have brought that out more. More for me to understand and more just to keep me interested.

Even though it’s hardly ever boring, the film just never feels like it has a clear destination in place and even worse, no route or alternate ways to take. It’s just sort of free balling as it goes along and that’s all fine and dandy when you have a movie that wants to be all-over-the-place and unpredictable, but that IS NOT this film. You sort of see where it’s going and when, you just don’t know why and I don’t think the film did, either. You just never really get a clear-look at these characters, what keeps them going on throughout the day, and what gets them to tick. Instead, you just see them do their jobs, get horned-up on-occasion, and have all types of awkward conversations with one another. The dialogue is good but when these characters aren’t speaking, then that’s when things go South for this flick and it definitely disappointed me because I was expecting big things from this movie.

Honestly, the reason i was expecting such big things from this movie is because it features not one, not two, but THREE stars that have been really working their ways up the ladder of sorts, in terms of dramatic-acting and earning some r.e.s.p.e.c.t. This seems to be John Krasinski’s first, real and raw dramatic-role for him and the guy handles it very, very well. The Krasinski look and charm is still there, but now we have a more ruffled and worn-out type of dude that just so happens to want a little excitement in his life. I will say one thing about this guy, even though he definitely gets away with banging around for a tad bit, he definitely isn’t very bright when it comes to keeping it a secret and there were plenty of times where I just wanted to slap him and be like, “Wake up bro! The bitch knows!”. Regardless of his character’s somewhat stupidity, Krasinski is still a solid actor and it’s nice to finally see him not play Jim Halpert.

From a far, this looks like a total dude. Still, I'd bone.

From a far, this looks like a total dude. Still, I’d bone.

Another reason for Krasinski’s character’s stupidity, isn’t just by the way how he not-so subtlety hides it away, but the fact that he’s cheating on his wife, played by the ever-gorgeous Rosemarie DeWitt. I’ve really been drooling over DeWitt as of late and everything that she does and even though she is very good here, it’s not a very showy role for her. She does get a couple of key-scenes where you see her really come into her own, but it only occurs once during the beginning and twice during the end. Other than those three instances, we don’t see much more of Rosemarie. Shame, too, because she’s such a joy to watch on-screen. I was also surprised to see Dylan McDermott play such a d-bag as her ex-hubby who only shows up for one scene, but was one scene where I was very interested and though McDermott did an awesome job with such a small, meaningless role.

Olivia Thirlby has really been working her way up the food-chain ever since her days of paling around with Juno, but Thirlby has come into her own now and is actually pretty good that way. As I’ve already stated about her character, I never really understood what was so breath-taking or amazing about her that stopped every man from what they were doing at that point in time, but Thirlby still handles it all well and has us believe in her. She’s not likable but she’s not a unlikable, neither. She’s just somewhere in the middle and I think that’s a true testament to Thirlby for giving this one-dimensional character some heart and emotions, even if half of them are just moaning and groaning, if you know what I mean?

Consensus: DeWitt, Krasinski, and Thirlby all raise Nobody Walks‘ relatively-mediocre material up a notch more than expected, but it is still a bit of a disappointment how very little emotional fireworks actually went-off.

5 / 10 = Rental!!

Marry me! Now!

Just marry me! Now!

The Hangover (2009)

The film that almost every teenager in high school quotes.

When three friends (Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Bradley Cooper) finally come to after a raucous night of bachelor-party revelry, they find a baby in the closet and a tiger in the bathroom. But they can’t seem to locate their best friend, Doug (Justin Bartha) — who’s supposed to be tying the knot. Launching a frantic search for Doug, the trio perseveres through a nasty hangover to try to make it to the church on time.

This is a film I have seen numerous times, and each time I have always laughed more and more than the other, but never have I actually had the time to write down a review for this. Finally, I got it all down on paper, or computer.

The film is directed by Todd Phillips, of Old School fame, and I must say he hasn’t lost that comedic touch but here he put’s a spin on premise that has been time and time before, and make it something hilarious but also interesting. This has a sort of Reservoir Dogs feel to it, where you don’t actually see the event that the whole film centers on, until later on, but that makes you apart of actually piecing together what happened, which is really a lot of the fun.

Though, it’s not all about the plot really, it’s more about all the non-stop jokes that go on throughout this whole film, that has had people quoting it for the past 2 years now, and when that will ever stop is something I don’t have the answer to. The best thing about this screenplay is that it knows what it is, it’s not trying to do anything different, or smart,  it’s just raunchy, gross-out, and sometimes smart dude humor that always works. Almost every single line here is instantly quotable, and will have you laughing about it for days.

My only complain for this film is that the whole resolution to this film seemed a little dumb. When the ending happens, this whole sweet little message comes into place, and I didn’t buy it one bit. Maybe it’s just me who actually cared about this, but I don’t know this part just seemed a little forced for me.

The whole cast here is what made this adventure through Vegas the laugh-out-loud riot that it is. This is one of the first films that put Bradley Cooper on the map, and with great reason because he’s awesome here as the slime-ball, sexy man Phil. I like how the film relies on Cooper for his good looks, but he still has that charm that makes his lines so much funnier than they may seem. Ed Helms basically plays the same dude he plays on The Office, but I must say it doesn’t fail here one bit as Stu. He starts off as this totally whipped, nerdy moodle (check it out on Urban Dictionary), but then after the party something changes within him and he’s almost like a bomb for the whole rest of the film. He’s just tick, tick, ticking away until he finally breaks loose and breaks out some of the funniest lines within the whole film. The real showcase in this film is Zach Galifianakis as the strange, and possibly-brain-damaged, Alan. I love all of Galifianakis’ stand-up, and his stuff on Funny Or Die, and watching him here bring out some of the most insane, and possibly funniest lines of the whole movie had me finally understand why he is in almost everything now. I just hope he goes back into that little cage, and stop being so over-exposed appearing in crap all over the place, especially ones like Due Date. I still want my money back by the way Zach! All three of these guys play off each-other so well, and create a realistic bro-mance that actually seems like three opposite individuals like these could actually come together on a crazy trip like this.

There is also a whole bunch of funny side acts/cameos here that will have you laughing even more once you see them. Heather Graham is just so stunning in almost everything she does, and she is very funny here. I also still do not know how she still looks like Rollergirl from Boogie Nights. And that was about 13 years ago people! I was disappointed Justin Bartha didn’t get more screen-time, because he’s always hilarious in everything he does. I laughed my ass off at every time Ken Jeong was on the screen, and is by far the best Asian gangster in film history. Also, who can forget Mike Tyson drumming out to Phil Collins? There are also some nice cameos from the likes of Mike Epps, Jeffrey Tambor, and The Dan Band.

Consensus: The Hangover is exactly what everybody says it is, a laugh-out-loud riot, with instant quotable lines, and crazy situations that will have you laughing for days on end. The perfect guy’s film with an amazing cast, that will keep your interest the whole adventure. Let’s just hope this second one, doesn’t blow as much as I think it will.

9/10=Full Pricee!!

The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)

Really makes me wanna get it on! Any takers?

Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) has a pleasant life with a nice apartment and a job stamping invoices at an electronics store. But at age 40, there’s one thing Andy hasn’t done, and it’s really bothering his sex-obsessed male co-workers: Andy is still a virgin. Determined to help Andy get laid, the guys make it their mission to de-virginize him. But it all seems hopeless until Andy meets small business owner Trish (Catherine Keener), a single mom.

This was the directorial debut for the man we now call, Judd Apatow. The guy went on to direct Knocked Up and Funny People. Even though this isn’t as good as them both, it still is frickin’ hilarious.

My favorite aspect to this film is that it’s script is basically just one running gag for about two hours, but somehow Apatow and company make it work. The humor here is gross-out, disgusting, sexxed up, but sometimes insightful, and always hilarious. There are plenty of one-liners that you’ll find here, as well as some funny little hits on Michael McDonald, horse shows, hood rats, and the movie Gandhi that are all funny as hell, and although they may not always hit the mark you still find yourself cracking up at everything these people say. This could have easily gone the wrong way, and just have been one bad sex joke, after another, but it never seems to get old.

However, there’s more to this film than just a bunch of dick and sex jokes. There’s actually more of a sweet tone to this film that works out for this film because in between all the raunchiness, there is actually a caring, little love story here. It’s not just about this dude trying to bag a bitch, but more about him actually having a meaningful relationship with somebody and falling in love. It all sounds pretty corny, but just to watch how Apatow pulls all this off is something great to see.

My only problem with this film is that it does run on for a bit too long. The version I watched was 2 hours and 13 minutes, which made some conversations run on longer than others, and by the end you feel like this runs on about 10 minutes too long. Speaking of the end, what the hell was up with that ending? I didn’t really get the whole “Age of Aquarius” song number at the end, and to be truly honest, I don’t think anybody else watching this did either.

Not only did Apatow become a star after this so did the whole cast. Steve Carell makes his first star turn as the geeky, but lovable Andy Stitzer, and makes all the scenes with him hilarious. Nowadays, it’s almost hard to see him as anything other than Michael Scott, but no matter what he is in, he is an absolute riot to have up there, and this first big role for him proves it. Catherine Keener is good as the main romantic interest, Trish, but my only problem with her is that I feel that her character was a little too sweet for this type of movie, but despite that Keener is always a delight to have. This film also put so many other talents on the map such as Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, Romany Malco, Jane Lynch, Kat Dennings, Leslie Mann, Elizabeth Banks, and a little cameo from a very young Jonah Hill. All do great jobs with the material their given, and thanks to this film, are all getting big-time paychecks from so many other films.

Consensus: Some of it may run on too long, but The 40-Year-Old Virgin has a great combo of a hilarious script filled with raunch and vulgarity, and a sweet story at the bottom of it all, with plenty of great moments with this funny cast.

8.5/10=Matinee!!

An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn (1998)

Somebody needs to burn this film.

In this satire skewering Hollywood movie making, Eric Idle stars as a film editor who gets a shot at directing a big-budget film (starring Sylvester Stallone and Whoopi Goldberg, no less) but is foiled by his producer (Ryan O’Neal). The premise builds on the age-old showbiz tradition of directors pulling their names from projects and replacing them with “Alan Smithee” credits to show that too many cooks have spoiled the cinematic broth.

OK, so now that the movie is finished with let me just start by saying this is a horrible film. I heard that this film was basically called “the worst film of all-time”, and liked swooped seven awards at The Golden Raspberry’s, and I wanted to give it a shot and actually see for myself. Now I wish I never made that decision.

Basically this film has a Mockumentary feel to it, like The Office or This Is Spinal Tap…., but this film takes that and moves it completely nowhere we expected. The film had little scenes that were just interviews that seemed to talk about the same crap after all this time. They were either talking about the director or the movie, or they were showing scenes that had nothing to do with the story at hand.

The worst thing about this film that really just made me want to kill something was it’s annoying on-going jokes about bigger and better stars. I understand a little pun joke here and there but once you do the same joke in a different format then I start to get really annoyed. The jokes labeled around stars such as Hugh Grant, OJ Simpson, and others I can’t remember cause there were so many.

I hated how this film tried to be funny but also insightful in a way, and does neither. The film tries showing how people in the film industry react with one another and really it just doesn’t play out to where we get what is the message behind it all.

Maybe the only the only thing saving this movie is it’s lead performance from Ryan O’Neal. Out of this whole film he is the only good thing as he is so condescending and arrogant that he actually feels like a real person that you just hate. There are little cameos in this film that are just meaningful and make no addition to the story other than just having another big name for the card.

Consensus: Irony has never been placed so wisely. This film should’ve been burned right from the moment it was conceived. The comedy is so obvious that it’s just dumb, and there is absolute no insight about Hollywood that we haven’t seen before.

1/10=SomeOleBullShiiittt!!!!

The Hangover (2009)

The greatest night of your lives just happened but you can’t remember a thing. This is how badly that sucks.

The main plot follows four friends who travel to Las Vegas for a bachelor party,only to wake up the next morning not remembering a thing and missing the groom, whose wedding is scheduled to occur the next day. The three friends that are left over try to track down the groom through asking questions and finding more and more clues to hopefully finding the groom in time for the wedding.

The great thing in the movie is we do not see what happens that night we are either told or we just wonder. That is what gives this film the full mystery and kept me guessing throughout. The absurdity of the situation is backed by raunchy behavior that could’ve spiraled out of control, but thankfully doesn’t.

The trailers totally fooled me into thinking that this was another frat boy movie that was made for 17 year old or possibly even younger. For this movie however, that is not the case. The comedy is more sophisticated and more adulta and surprisingly not too sexed up.The screenplay is very clever and hilarious and it has the right actors to deliver the lines.

This movie was directed by Todd Phillips who is also known for Old School and Road Trip, and a lot of the similarity’s are shown. However this films comedy seems more mature than both, and is more likely to be more of a classic because of its ways not too become too raunchy.

The performances from this cast is great as well. The cast may not be so big named but they are very well-picked for each role and all do great. The one I was most surprised by was Ed Helms, of The Office fame, does really step out of his shadow from The Office and really does shine, and proves he can act in a big time movie. The other funny thing about the cast is that the cameos from people such as Heather Graham and Mike Tyson were all shown just to add on to the story and show their charm, and I highly respected that.

Their were however some parts that I had a problem with. I didn’t enjoy how they would just show an ass or a penis shot just for the sake of humor. But more of that nervous humor that doesn’t shock me anymore with just seeing a penis. Yeah its raunchy but not funny nor shocking any longer.

This film is hilarious from start to end. Although there were some forced laughs I thought the performances are great and each star delivers on a great and clever script. It is better and also in a way smarter than Old School.

9/10=Full Pricee!!!