Thomas Lennon

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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How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

Year: 2003
Directed By: Donald Petrie
Written By: 5 different people are credited with the writing.

RYAN’S REVIEW

When I was in college I had to write a paper about something I wasn’t interested in or something like that.  I can’t remember what the assignment was specifically but it was along the lines of doing something I wouldn’t normally do.  I chose the laziest route available and simply watched a movie I would normally never see.  I have never been one to sit through a chick flick because I think they are all relatively the same and have little point to them.  They aren’t made for me and I have always avoided wasting my time with them.  This movie just happened to be the chick flick that had just hit the video stores and I bought a used copy at Blockbuster.

This movie is pretty typical really and it is pointless, but I could have made worse choices when picking up the chick flick for my assignment.  This movie has a good cast and it is funny albeit stupid overall.  Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey have good chemistry with one another, something they have exploited in a few films together.  In supporting roles are Adam Goldberg, Thomas Lennon, and Kathryn Hahn who are all really funny.  I think Thomas Lennon is hilarious and I really like how he pops up in everything in roles like this.

This movie isn’t anything special but it is a funny battle of the sexes story.  I only bought it for the paper I had to write but I kept it because I did enjoy the movie.  To this day it is the only chick flick in the collection but it has its place on the shelf.  This movie has its moments and those moments make it worth your time.  If you find yourself in a position where you have to watch a chick flick you could do a lot worse than this one.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I am not a huge fan of chick flicks, as they call them, but this one takes the cake on the genre. I thoroughly like this one and it can still make me laugh the entire time. I really like Kate Hudson. She is cool and suave and I just think she is really funny. This movie really plays on how males and females react and interact in relationships, specifically in the beginning.

Here is the poster for this movie. Blah. It’s nothing special. I even hate the typography. It’s a really long title for a movie, compared to other movies and there was a lot of room to do something super creative with the title, but they completely bombed it. The colors are also green and red and the movie doesn’t take place nor have anything to do with Christmas. You have to be careful using those colors together, so another fail. The movie may be good but the poster fails in comparison.

NEXT MOVIE: The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

Balls of Fury

Year: 2007
Directed By: Robert Ben Garant
Written By: Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant

RYAN’S REVIEW

This is a stupid movie, and maybe it doesn’t really belong in the collection but I like it all the same.  It’s dumb but it has its moments and I like the Enter the Dragon theme.  Inserting Ping-Pong into that scenario is silly enough to make everyone laugh and the Reno 911 guys got enough funny people together to make it work, sort of. I wouldn’t really call this a successful movie by any means but I wouldn’t call it a complete failure either.

I have always thought Reno 911 was a very funny show, and I think Thomas Lennon is great in everything he does.  Whether he is the short short wearing LT. Dangle or the uber-German ping pong player we see in this film he is always funny. I am a great fan of Christopher Walken, and when it comes to films like this I think we have to appreciate his effort to keep making movies, he is nearly 70 years old now.  We should all be grateful he continues to share his talent with us when he could have retired years ago.  I am not a fan of George Lopez but he isn’t that bad here, he has a couple of jokes worth hearing.  Dan Fogler has his moments and plenty of opportunities to be funny, but he tends to be stupid as often as he is funny. However, I do think that when you make that decision during production, to make that guy the star of your film, you have already made a mistake. Robert Ben Garant should have played the part himself, it would have made a funnier movie.  Many great cameos here by really funny people like David Koechner, Diedrich Bader, Kerri Kenney, Patton Oswald, and Aisha Tyler. Also, nobody looks more official in military garb than Robert Patrick, well cast as the father. Terry Crews as Freddy Fingers is short lived but awesome.

I like this movie but it’s not one I would recommend heavily because it is a stupid movie.  Somewhat of a guilty pleasure I suppose, and because I saw it around the height of a Bruce Lee phase.  Don’t go out of your way to see this one but don’t run away from it if you catch it channel surfing.

AMBER’S REVIEW

Ugh, I usually really find humor in movies like this one, but I couldn’t hate this one more. I have tried and tried to find humor in it, but every time I watch it I find it less funny than the previous time. I hate this movie so much that I don’t even want to waste any time writing about this. Ryan loves it, I don’t know why….but I seriously don’t recommend it. Don’t do it!

NEXT MOVIE: Basic Instinct (1992)