Friday, August 20, 2010

Cemetery Junction

Ricky Gervais seems to be the biggest British comedian since Mr. Bean. I got a kick out of him in The Invention of Lying, so when I saw that he was in another British comedy, I quickly added it to my queue.

Ricky isn't the star of this Cemetery Juncton, though he stars in it, but he does direct the flick.

Three bloaks from a blue-collar town are deciding their future when Freddie (Christian Cooke) decides to take up the seemingly more successful path of selling life insurance in order to escape his current existence. While making his rounds, he runs into an old girlfriend Julie (Felicity Jones) who happens to be the daughter of the company.

She seems to fold him into her world and now he is faced with having her in his life and keeping up his friendships with the goofy ill-timed profanity spewing Snork (Jack Doolan) and the more suave Bruce (Tom Hughes).

The movie moves a bit slow, and everyone talks with a thick British accent (I know - in a British movie - how crazy!). And if you like jokes about bloaks and poofters, you'll dig this movie. If you have no idea what a bloak or a poofter is, you'll be lost. You definitely need to pay attention to this movie to appreciate it.

Cemetery Junction is rated R for British crude language and some minor sexual references. The movie is 95 minutes long. The movie also stars Ralph Fiennes and Emily Watson.

I need to make a note that I'm not a huge fan of British romantic comedies. Sure, I like Monty Python. And I thought Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels was funny, but I'm just not into the most British comedies. I know some of my friends will be disappointed. I guess I'm not as much of a Tory as they are.

I can only give Cemetery Junction 2.5 stars.

Monday, August 16, 2010



Ben Stiller is always good for laugh. I mean, there was Dodgeball, Zoolander, the two Nights as the Museums, the whole Fockers series. He's not the funniest character out there, but he's funny enough that I'll watch his new movies.

Greenberg is his latest adventure where he plays a neurotic Roger Greenberg who recently gets out of the mental hospital and is asked by his brother to watch their house while they are away on vacation.

Meanwhile, his brother's assistant, Florence (Greta Gerwig), comes around and helps Roger get by with all of the house chores. Since Roger doesn't drive or know anything about dogs, the weak and impressionable Florence is there to help him out.

In the meantime, Roger, who is lonely and looking for a new start in life, starts to fall for Florence, but his violent outbursts and inability to accept any accountability for his actions, begins to wear thin on Florence. Can Roger turn this awkward forced relationship into something romantic that will last, or will like everything else in his life, be something fleeting that just passes him by?

Greenberg was directed by Noah Baumbach, who directed the nearly intolerable Margot at the Wedding. Greenberg is rated R for strong sexuality, language, lots of drug and alcohol use and some minor violence.

Greenberg is definitely a dark comedy. I did fine humor in many of the scenes, though I found everyone to be a bit predictable. The movie is about an hour and 40 minutes long.

The movie also stars Rhys Ifans, Jennifer Jason Leigh (Fast Times at Ridgemont High), and what I hope to be an up-and-coming Brie Larson.

Greenberg wasn't too bad. It's not my favorite Ben Stiller movie, though I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of dark comedies. However, this one was good enough to earn it 3.1 stars.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Ghost Writer

When Ewen MacGregor is hired to be the ghost writer of a former British Prime Minister, he finds himself in a situation more than he bargained for.

After the first assistant drowns, MacGregor is brought to a secluded island in what appears to be coastal Massachusetts, to write the memoirs of Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan). The conditions that MacGregor is subject to seem a bit odd and he starts to snoop around to find out what is really going on. However, he finds out that there are some important powerful people that will do anything to ensure that certain facts are never known.

There is quite a dramatic ending in many aspects. But some of it seems a bit too convenient as a way to tie the story together.

Directed by pedophile Roman Polanski, The Ghost Writer is a little over 2 hours long and is rated PG-13 for language, brief nudity, some sexuality, some violence and a drug reference.

Also staring in the movie are Kim Katrell as Lang's assistant, James Belushi, Olivia Williams, Timothy Hutton, and Tom Wilkinson.

This movie is so SLOW. There are long scenes of mundane conversation that add very little to the plot of the movie. I know they wanted the suspense, but they added suspense to the suspense. Get on with it! And they ending - give me a break.

I give The Ghost Writer 2.1 stars.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

When in Rome

I had seen a string of guy movies, so I slipped in a romantic comedy for my wife. And after having seen Kristen Bell in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Couples Retreat, I knew I liked what I saw.

When in Rome stars Kristen Bell as single gal Beth Martin in Rome for her sister's wedding where (Alexis Dziena) she meets Nicholas Beamon (Josh Duhamel) where they sort of feed off of each other's clumsiness.

The night turns odd when Beth, all drunk and feeling pitiful when she sees Nicholas with another woman, starts pulling coins and chips out of the water fountain, and magically changing the lives and romantic interests of several guys - Lance (Jon Heder - Napolean Dynamite), Gale (Dax Shepard), Antonio (Will Arnett - Gob from Arrested Development), and Al Russo (Danny DeVito).

These guys nearly qualify as the biggest dorks around. And once Beth learns that her suitors are under a spell, she must find out how to undo the spell so that they stop chasing her. The problem is the one she likes (Nicholas) is also under the spell. Does he really like her because he's under the spell or does he have true feelings for her?

When in Rome also co-stars Don Johnson as Beth's dad and Angelica Houston as Beth's boss, with cameos from Lawrence Taylor and Shaquille O'Neal.

When in Rome is rated PG-13 for some suggestive comments. The movie is 91 minutes too long.

The comedy is zany and goofy and nonsensical. I found myself wanting this movie to be over. And quick. It was so ridiculous. And my wife started hating the movie before I did. Netflix thought I'd give it 4 stars. They were way off on their algorithms. I can only give it 1.9 stars. This one is a pooper.
My Zimbio