Cedar Rapids

Year: 2011
Directed By: Miguel Arteta
Written By: Phil Johnston

RYAN’S REVIEW

Amber and I watched this movie on a whim a few months ago and I really enjoyed it.  I hadn’t wanted to watch the movie at all but found myself so surprised that I added it to the DVDs Christmas list of movies I wanted to add into the collection.  This movie has a good but not great cast and a relatively typical story that they all make the most of.  The thing is that it surprised me, and I always enjoy the movies that surprise me because it happens so infrequently these days.  As a lifelong movie fan I have grown bored with all the rehashed themes and remakes that plague the industry today.  That coupled with the fact that TV has stepped up its game so significantly has made it harder to get into movies these days.  More often than not I feel like I have reached a point where I have seen everything and long for the character development we see on TV series that simply isn’t possible in a featured film.  So whenever I find myself surprised now it makes me appreciate the movie all that much more.  This movie isn’t that original or anything special really but it made me laugh, and I saw more than I expected with it.

I do not like Ed Helms.  I have always hated his character on The Office and I haven’t thought much of his movie career outside of that.  The Hangover was an awesome movie, but it wasn’t Ed Helms that made it awesome.  He was good in that movie but is out shined by his costars. He plays a part in this movie that he is well suited for.  I do like him as the straight laced and innocent guy that eventually succumbs to stress and peer pressure before going nuts.  The part where he is hanging out with a prostitute and unknowingly smokes crack was what ultimately made me decided we needed to own this movie, it was such a funny scene and situation.

I think John C. Reilly is an awesome actor and like most of what he does.  Unless he is starring along side Will Ferrell and simply acting like an idiot.  In my opinion the man has far too much talent to waste his time on movies like Step Brothers and Talladega Nights. He is really funny in this movie and manages to make me laugh without sinking to the shameless level of comedy we usually see from Will Ferrell. Anne Heche surprised me in this movie as well.  I have never really been a big fan of hers but in this movie she is witty and really sexy to boot.  I have grown to really like Rob Corddry and although he has a small part in this movie he still brought something to the table.  I was shocked to see Alia Shawkat in this movie because I haven’t seen her in anything since playing Maeby on Arrested Development (possibly one of the funniest shows ever made, oh how I miss it). Thomas Lennon has a small role in this movie and he is one of those guys that can make any movie better.  There is no end to Lennon’s versatility and he brings something funny to every role he plays.  I have always thought Sigourney Weaver was great and like that she can still play a part like the one she has in this movie. Also on board here is Kurtwood Smith and I think he was perfectly cast for his role.

Last but not least, Stephen Root.  I saved him to last specifically so I can say more about him because the man deserves any and all credit he can get.  I have been a fan of Root since he played Milton on Office Space and I am a huge fan of King of the Hill in which he voiced one of my favorite characters, Bill Dauterive. I did not think at the time, especially once Dodgeball came out, that Root had much to offer as an actor.  I could not have been more wrong because the man can do ANYTHING. He is such a diverse talent that I am simply amazed at everything I see him in.  I see him so frequently too that it only adds to the wonder.  Sometimes I wonder if there is a TV series out there that he hasn’t been part of. I have seen him play parts in Boardwalk Empire, True Blood, Justified, and 24 just to name a few.  What amazes me even more than his presence in so many shows is the fact that he plays such different characters in all of them so flawlessly.  He pops up in movies all of the time and he always brings it.  Stephen Root truly is an unsung hero in the acting world and I think he is simply great in everything. In this movie he plays Ed Helms boss and does a great job.  He has one line that is just so funny.  He tells Ed Helms that he watched him grow up with the potential to do anything and somehow he managed to do nothing.  That isn’t a specific quote but if you see the movie I don’t think you can help but laugh at that one.

I don’t think this is an exceptional movie by any means but it is a good movie that I really enjoyed.  There are a lot of funny people being funny here and in the end it all comes together quite nicely.  This movie didn’t enjoy any wide release or anything so it is probably one many have never heard of.  If you get a chance to see it though it’s worth your time to see it.

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