The indie horror/comedy Life After Beth is a clever new take on the… MoreThe indie horror/comedy Life After Beth is a clever new take on the zombie genre. When Zach Orfman discovers that his girlfriend Beth has returned from the grave he tries to resume his relationship with her but finds that she's not the same. Starring Aubrey Plaza, Dane Dehaan, Cheryl Hines, John C. Reilly, and Anna Kendrick, the film has a strong cast that does a good job at delivering the dry, sardonic humor. And, the film presents an interesting zombie mythos that's quite unique. However, the directing is a little weak and the pacing is rather poor. Life After Beth is a fun little zombie film, but it's not without its problems.
Satirical and fun, 22 Jump Street keeps the laughs coming. Schmidt… MoreSatirical and fun, 22 Jump Street keeps the laughs coming. Schmidt and Jenko find themselves being sent undercover once again, this time to find the supplier of a new drug that's sweeping the local college campus. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum deliver strong performances, and seem to have better chemistry than they had in the original. Additionally, the comedy is especially well-written, with lots of clever, self-referential humor about sequels. However, some the jokes are unnecessary crude and raunchy. And, the plot used a lot of cliches that add a generic quality to the film. Still, 22 Jump Street improves upon the original and delivers a smart and entertaining action/comedy.
Taking a bizarre and inexplicable turn, Big Top Pee-Wee has no… MoreTaking a bizarre and inexplicable turn, Big Top Pee-Wee has no connection to either the first film or the television series. Set in the 1940s (or thereabouts), a tornado hurls a traveling circus onto the farm of Pee-Wee Herman, who takes them in and offers them food and shelter. The tone of the film is remarkably un-Pee-Wee Herman-ish, having almost none of the trademark elements that the character is known for. And, the circus is rather uninteresting and pretty rote, with the typical fare; a beaded woman, a human cannon, etc., etc. However, the cast isn't that bad and features Kris Kristofferson, Penelope Ann Miller, and Valeria Golino (in her big screen debut). Though it has a good heart, Big Top Pee-Wee is a weird mixture of things that just don't go together.
In Ernest's final adventure he takes off to be all that he can be in… MoreIn Ernest's final adventure he takes off to be all that he can be in Ernest in the Army. Looking for a change Ernest P. Worrell joins the Army Reserve, but shortly thereafter his unit is sent to the Middle East to stop a mad tyrant who's developed a pluton bomb. Varney is clearly phoning in his performance, and no one else seems to be putting forth much effort either. And there are very few laughs to be had (if any), as the comedy falls flat. Incredibly dull and monotonous, Ernest in the Army is one of the worst films in the series.
Ernest proves that white men can jump in the slapstick comedy Slam… MoreErnest proves that white men can jump in the slapstick comedy Slam Dunk Ernest. When Ernest joins a city league basketball team an angel gives him a pair of magical shoes that allows him to jump incredible distances and run at super speeds. Varney gives one of his better performances as Ernest, and makes him a likable and sympathetic character with a heart of gold. And, director John Cherry does a decent job at staying within the low-budget limitation of the film. Still, the plot is pretty formulaic and idiotic. Plus, the jokes are painfully obvious, delivered with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the face. Yet despite being extraordinarily stupid, there's a bit of fun to be had in Slam Dunk Ernest.
Yet another lame and uninspired goofball comedy, Ernest Goes to School… MoreYet another lame and uninspired goofball comedy, Ernest Goes to School is cliched and trite. Now working as a high school janitor, Ernest P. Worrell faces his greatest challenge when, in order to keep his job, he goes back to school to get his dilemma. Bill Byrge returns to the series as Bobby, which is a nice surprise and helps to add some continuity. But Ernest has ceased to be a character and has devolved into a generic, mindless buffoon. And, the comedy lacks any cleverness or wit. Yet it doesn't compare to how hideously awful the acting is. Ernest Goes to School is yet another step down for the series, and marks its transition to straight-to-video.
Twenty years too late, the Farrelly brothers finally deliver their… MoreTwenty years too late, the Farrelly brothers finally deliver their highly anticipated sequel Dumb and Dumber To. Completely ignoring the prequel, the Farrellys pick-up the story of Harry and Lloyd, with Lloyd getting out of a psychiatric ward after pulling a prank and joining Harry on a quest to find his long lost daughter. Unfortunately, the characters come off more as pathetic and stupid than wacky and fun. And, Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels aren't able to spark that same charisma that they had in the original. The comedy delivers a fair share of laughs, but tries too hard and doesn't feel natural to the characters. Dumb and Dumber To is a desperate attempt to relive old glory days...and it fails miserably.
The stupidity continues as the comedy goes old school in the prequel… MoreThe stupidity continues as the comedy goes old school in the prequel Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd. Set in their carefree high school days in 1986, Harry and Lloyd become the unwitting pawns of a corrupt principle who's attempting to embezzle state funds by creating a fake "Special Needs" class. Featuring Eric Christian Olsen, Rachel Nichols, Eugene Levy, and Shia LaBeouf, the casting is pretty good; Olsen in particular does a great job at emulating Jim Carrey's performance from the original. And the comedy is well-written, staying true to the first film and offering several homages. Still, the film tries a little too hard to be like the original and doesn't quite have the same spirit. Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd is fun and entertaining, but it plays things kind of safe and sticks to a standard high school comedy formula.
From the Farrelly brothers comes Dumb and Dumber, an outrageously… MoreFrom the Farrelly brothers comes Dumb and Dumber, an outrageously hilarious screwball comedy. When a limo driver named Lloyd Christmas becomes infatuated with one of his fares named Mary, he convinces his best friend Harry to travel cross-country with him to return a briefcase that she left at the airport. Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, and Lauren Holly lead the cast and are especially good with this type of farcical comedy. Plus, the humor is able to be silly and outlandish without being vulgar or gross. Additionally, the soundtrack is used remarkable well, creating a lighthearted tone. Over-the-top and incredibly fun, Dumb and Dumber delivers a ton of laughs.
Vulgar, crude, self-referential, and irreverent, A Million Ways to Die… MoreVulgar, crude, self-referential, and irreverent, A Million Ways to Die in the West is a typical Seth MacFarlane comedy. When a sheep herder who hates the West saves a young lady during a bar fight they strike up a friendship that helps him gain some self-confidence. Starring Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Neil Patrick Harris, and Liam Neeson, the film features an all-star cast. But the performances are weak, due in part to the writing. And while a lot of the comedy is funny, the jokes are often taken too far or spoiled by some random bit of nonsense. Unfortunately, A Million Ways to Die in the West is a poorly made film that's more concerned with setting up gags than telling a fun story.