Advertisements

Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

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

Tag Archives: Tropic Thunder

The Cable Guy (1996)

What’s a “Cable Guy”? Better yet, what’s “cable”? Is it like Netflix?

Matthew Broderick plays Steven, a dude who just got out of a relationship and needs someone to fix his cable one day. He calls up the cable guy (Jim Carrey) and he’s a bit weird, but he gets the job done. However, the cable guy wants more than just the job, he wants a buddy and that’s something Steven isn’t quite up for just yet.

The Cable Guy is often forgotten about in today’s world of media, whenever it comes to the conversations of the careers of both Jim Carrey and Ben Stiller. See, while they are both two of the most recognizable names in comedy, at one time, they actually got together and tried to make something that, well, wasn’t quite a comedy. If anything, it’s a lot darker and weirder than anyone had ever expected, which is probably why it’s hardly ever heard from and basically bombed when it was first released.

But did it deserve all that?

It's Jim Carrey being wacky! What could go wrong?!?

It’s Jim Carrey being wacky! What could go wrong?!?

Not really.

 

The Cable Guy is a strange movie, for sure, but definitely more of a comedy, than an actual drama. There’s lots to laugh at, but there’s also plenty more to cringe and be surprised by, too; there’s no real distinction between genres here and Stiller does a solid enough job as writer and director, never letting us in on the lines. We think we know what should be laugh-out-loud hilarious because of other comedies and what they constitute as hilarity, but with the Cable Guy, it’s far different and it’s why the movie, while not always successful, is an interesting watch.

And at the center, yes, it does have a little something to say about the culture of television and how, in ways, it can shelter us off from the rest of the world, and have us feel as if we are in our own, little bubble – the same kind of bubble where you are always loved, accepted and taken in, for who you are, not what you should be. Sure, it’s obvious and been said many times before, but the Cable Guy tells it again, but in a much smarter, heartfelt way, especially with Carrey’s portrayal of the title character who, surprisingly enough, is never given a name.

See! He's not so bad!

See! He’s not so bad!

How fitting.

Which isn’t all to say that the movie’s a down-and-out drama, because it’s actually pretty funny when it wants to be. Of course, though, it brings on problems with tone, where it seems like the movie may have bitten-off more than it can chew and handle all at once, but still, there’s something refreshing about watching a major-studio comedy flick give it the professional try. It may swing and barely hit, but at least it’s trying in the first place, so sometimes, a pat on the fanny is all that matters.

Right? Eh. Whatever.

Anyway, Carrey is the real reason why the movie works as well as it does, because he, like the movie’s tone, constantly has us guessing. We never know what he’s going to say, do, or try next and because of that, we don’t know whether to love, like, or be terrified of him. There’s this slight sense of danger to him, but also a bit of fun, too. Then, there’s also this sad aspect to him that may make you want to give him a hug. It’s a rich character that could have probably done wonders in a far darker, more dramatic movie, but as is, Carrey’s terrific in the role that, unsurprisingly enough, audiences just weren’t ready to accept just yet. It would take some time, obviously, but man, if only they had caught on sooner, rather than later.

On the opposing side of Carrey is Matthew Broderick, who’s fine as the usual straight-man he’s so used to playing by now, but his character has some issues. For one, he’s a bit of an a-hole; he’s constantly a Debbie-downer, never having anything nice or pleasant to say, and yeah, just not bringing much to the movie as a whole. Like I said, Broderick tries, but it seems like the script wasn’t there for him; instead of developing another compelling and well-rounded character, the movie just made him something of a blank slate, with little-to-no personality and allow for the Cable Guy to get all the work. It’s not like it doesn’t work, but hey, it would have definitely helped if we had a little more to work with.

Consensus: It’s obvious what the Cable Guy is trying to say, but it’s less about the message, and more about the funny, sometimes darkly odd premise, bolstered by an unforgettably crazy and all-star performance from Carrey.

8 / 10

Oh, uhm. Ha-ha?

Oh, uhm. Ha-ha?

Photos Courtesy of: Monkeys Fighting Robots

Advertisements

Jack and Jill (2011)

Adam Sandler’s career went up a hill, then totally plummeted.

Jack (Adam Sandler) has a nice quiet life with his family, until Thanksgiving comes and in comes strolling in his identical twin sister, Jill (also played by Sandler). She creates a huge problem for Jack especially when Al Pacino comes into the mix as a man who is very fond of Jill.

My expectations were already terribly low for this film going in considering that the trailer looked like one of those fake-films ‘Tropic Thunder’ had in the beginning, the 4% it now has Rotten Tomatoes, and the fact that it’s directed by Dennis Dugan, the genius behind ‘I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry’, ‘Grown Ups’, ‘You Don’t Mess With the Zohan‘, and the list goes on and on. Therefore, you know this is going to be shit.

In case you already can’t tell from the looks of it, this film is not funny but that’s not to say it doesn’t have some chuckles here and there. I had a chuckle and maybe one laugh-out-loud moment, but other than that, this film blows. I mean the film goes from fart-jokes, to obvious slap-stick, to anti-semantic jokes, and then randomly to jokes about Mexicans, hookers, Indians, and Al Pacino. The film varies all over the damn place. But not in a good way.

Another major problem with this film that I did not understand was how could anybody ever like Jill and her company, let alone her own twin brother. I mean she’s loud, annoying, mean, disgusting, talks loud, makes fun of chicks to their face, and gets sad at the most random things of all. I can’t really put any blame on Jack for not wanting to be around her because honestly, she annoyed the hell out of me just watching her, I could only imagine what it would be like to spend all of your favorite vacations with her.

Then the film tries to go for the little sympathetic note at the end where it tries to show that Jill just needs love, but what has she actually done that made her seem like she needed it and why the eff does Jack all of a sudden feel like he needs to give it to her despite practically trying to avoid her the whole 93 minutes. 93 minutes that I also must say felt as effin’ long as ‘The Godfather‘. As you can tell I’m trying to reference as many good films as I can just to get my mind off of this crap.

The performance from Adam Sandler that he gives for Jack and Jill really isn’t a bad one to say the least, there’s just nothing really all that funny about either of their characters so it kind of just doesn’t matter. It’s also really sad to say this because Sandler used to be one of the funniest guys in Hollywood and probably still could be if he wasn’t stuck doing shit where he gets to wear lip-stick, make-up, and woman’s clothes. Also, Katie Holmes plays his wife, as if she was trying to base her role off of a piece of card-board.

It was pretty fun to see all of these random cameos from people such as Regis Philbin, Dana Carvey, Drew Carey, Shaquille O’Neal, Jared (the Subway guy), Michael Irvin, Tim Meadows, and even David Spade. However they are all just here because Sandler has a lot of friends and keeps true to them but still doesn’t do much. Al Pacino is hilarious and shockingly convincing basically playing a nutty version as himself and is probably the main reason to see this film considering he is just so damn funny. The one laugh-out-loud moment I had with this film was because of him, which is saying a damn lot really.

Oh and there is also Johnny Depp wearing a Justin Beiber t-shirt saying that he was apart of Duran Duran. This is the most random bit of the whole movie and probably the most memorable, considering it lasts for only about 2 minutes.

Consensus: Jack and Jill had chuckles mostly thanks to Al Pacino, but other than that is just not funny because Jill is incredibly unlikable and just a person that nobody would ever want to be around, let alone her own brother.

2.5/10=SomeOleBullShitt!!

How ironic is it also that one of the last lines of this film was Pacino himself saying “Burn it!”? My thoughts exactly Al.

Get Him to the Greek (2010)

If I was able to chill with Russel Brand, I know it would probably be better than this movie.

Ambitious young record company intern Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) will let nothing get in the way of his planned rise to the top in the music business — not even the unruly rock star (Russell Brand) he must escort to Los Angeles for the start of his anniversary concert. Doing whatever it takes to get the rocker from Point A to Point B, Aaron encounters all manners of mishaps.

So for anybody who saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall may remember Russell Brand as Aldous Snow totally stealing the show. Well this one is a spin-off with the same guy here, the only problem is that I wish it was as funny as that one.

The script had me chuckling here and there, because the jokes have some good wit and work with the situations that this film places them in. However, the only problem that the jokes are way too raunchy, and not the good raunchy either. A lot of this film’s humor is just random, immature potty jokes that don’t work. I don’t mind a good raunchy joke here and there, but once it starts to become the only thing the film seems like it’s shooting for, it just starts to become an annoyance and do nothing for me. I laughed every once and awhile, but not enough as I was expecting.

The main problem with this film is that by the end the film starts to get a little bit more sweet than I expected as well. There is this little romantic sub-plot that really brings down this film. I get that they were trying to bring more heart to this film rather than a penis, which is where half of the film’s jokes were coming from, but the tone just seems to be uneven by the end. The things that happen in this film are a little bit too unbelievable to actually take into account of some reality, because the way these people act in just seems put on, and made for the next dumb scenario to happen.

I had a great time with these performances which actually helped me through some of the more annoying scenes. As always, steals the show by doing his usual charming, raunchy character as Aldous Snow, and it all feels genuine. Every time this guys on screen, you don’t see him as that crazy guy that did a weird hosting job of the MTV Video Music Awards a couple of years back, you see him as this nutty, drug-addicted rocker and it works. I’m glad to see that Russell BrandJonah Hill is at least still getting big roles that he deserves because this man is just funny in almost anything he does. It’s not just because he’s fat like many people think, it’s because that comedic timing Hill has is perfect. My favorite element of this film had to be Sean “P. Diddy” Combs playing the record producer, Sergio. He does to this film what Tom Cruise did in Tropic Thunder, and that’s basically just play himself, and curse all the time, thus providing many belly laughs. I found myself laughing at his parts the most out of the film, and I’m glad that Diddy at least doesn’t have that much of a huge ego, to take roles like this. There is also some nice little supporting jobs from the likes such as Rose Byrne, Colm Meaney, Elizabeth Moss, and randomly Lars Ulrich.

Consensus: There are some laughs here, much ado to the amazing cast here, but there is too much random raunch that seems put there to make crazy situations, seem even crazier, and the sweetness by the end doesn’t seem real.

5.5/10=Rental!!

Tropic Thunder (2008)

Its funny, even the 4th time around.

This combat film send-up from director-star Ben Stiller tracks a group of actors who are forced to become real-life soldiers when they’re abandoned in the jungles of Southeast Asia. The all-star cast includes Robert Downey Jr. (in an Oscar-nominated role), Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey and Nick Nolte, with an unrecognizable (and Golden Globe–nominated) Tom Cruise playing a crude movie mogul.

For the most part, I have seen this film about 4 times, and almost every time I laugh more. When I first saw this, I didn’t quite get the satire the film was using, however, knowing more and more about the movie biz I understood everything that this movie was saying.

The script I have to say is very well-written with some of the best satire in a long time. The jokes here are centered towards anybody, because the films finds its ways to make fun of anyone and everyone: blacks, whites, homosexuals, mentally-challenged, drug addicts, and of course celebrities. All of these jokes are in bad taste, but almost every single gag works. Some people don’t understand the jokes because its jokes are more Hollywood based, so it will go over some people’s heads, but once you understand the joke, their actually very funny and smart.

However, I will say that some of the jokes were pretty stupid, and it seems like they were trying their hardest to get a lot of really funny jokes out there, and it just looked like they were trying too hard. Don’t get me wrong they were funny, but sometimes, it seemed like it was just itching for the laughs.

The cast is the main reason why this film works. Each star gets credit, cause they take the bait, by letting themselves be made fun of. Ben Stiller is the typical down-grading action star, Jack Black is the drug-addicted, fat comedy man, Brandon T. Jackson is playing the rapper-turned-actor, who can’ stop drinking booty sweat, and Jay Baruchel, is…well….the guy who’s just there. Each character makes fun of someone, and its easy to see who, but others will just go over your head.

The two best worth mentioning are obviously the only two that were nominated for awards. Robert Downey Jr., sometimes didn’t make any sense when he talked, but he is hilarious when I did understand him. He has the greatest lines of the whole movie, and brings nothing other than his A game, and makes everything funny. Tom Cruise, is also funny as hell. He brings a lot of random funny as hell moments, with his random out-bursts, and spoof of real-life agents.

Consensus: Tropic Thunder sometimes tries too hard to bring laughs, with some easily offensive ones, but is other than that, a hilarious spoof, that is boosted even more by the great performances.

8.5/10=Matinee!!!