Zach Galifianakis

The Campaign

Year: 2012
Directed By: Jay Roach
Written By: Chris Henchy & Shawn Harwell (screenplay and story), Adam McKay (story)

RYAN’S REVIEW

This was not a movie I was interested in when it first started being advertised earlier this year.  It looked like just another stupid Will Ferrell movie to me and I didn’t have much faith in what he and Zach Galifianakis would do together.  I think both of these men are funny, but both of them tend to play roles of men more stupid than anything else and I always feel they were overacting a bit.  Well this movie was available On Demand during the heart of the political process with elections nearing, and I reluctantly agreed to watch it with Amber one night. I was very surprised when I found myself laughing through the whole thing.  This movie is exaggerated, as most Will Ferrell movies are, but this one has plenty of truth masked within all of the silliness. It says something bold and believable about our political process in this country and mocks the joke that it has all become.

Will Ferrell definitely has his moments and he also has the ability to be a serious actor from time to time and I like that about him.  I have always felt he was at his best as a supporting man like his role in Old School but it was that role that gave him all the power.  As Frank the Tank he was so funny that he became one of America’s favorite comedians.  His career exploded after that but I am usually hot and cold with what he produces.  For example, Step Brothers may be a funny movie but the part he plays is just so overdone with stupidity and immaturity.  I tend to find myself more annoyed than humored in movies like that.  That persona works in many movies though so I can’t argue with it.  I thought Land of the Lost was hilarious and I really liked his more serious roles in movies like Everything Must Go and Stranger than FictionHowever I have never been a fan of Ricky Bobby or plenty of his other work.  I thought things were falling apart for him when he was cast in The Office as the show was beginning to fall apart but I was wrong.  In this movie as the perfectly named politician “Cam Brady” I thought he was hilarious.  His stupid persona seems fitting for a politician ironically enough and he nailed it.  My favorite part is when he sees the new Marty Huggins ad that has his son in it.  I am never a fan of infidelity in a movie but for some reason when it happened in this one I couldn’t stop laughing about it.  When Ferrell says “you make my son call you daddy I fuck your wife, that’s the deal!” I fell to the floor.  When he showed up and Marty’s wife was watching Drew Carey on The Price is Right it was a done deal. Ferrell may be a bit too goofy for me at times but the guy is undeniably funny and I really enjoyed his role in this one.

I have written my thoughts on Galifianakis before in our reviews on The Hangover movies.  I think what I said specifically was that he would only get as far as that beard would take him.  So it was nice to see him diversify and go simply with the perv stache in this one.  I like Galifianakis quite a bit because after all he is from my home state and grew up only an hour from where I live now.  I don’t think his career will last long enough though if he can only play the one part though.  I have seen him before on Bored to Death and he is really good in that but if he can’t branch out with different roles in movies his career will only be a flash in the pan.  As Marty Huggins, Galifianakis played his typical role of the very weird guy but it worked in this one because it was so funny to see them try to transform him into a political candidate.  His accent is great in this one but it should come easy to him being he is from North Carolina.

I really liked seeing Dan Akroyd and John Lithgow as the big business brothers in this movie.  They fit the roles nicely and I like seeing Akroyd in anything these days because he isn’t doing too much anymore.  I have always been a big fan of Lithgow and think that he can only make any movie he is in better.  I am becoming a huge fan of Jason Sudeikis, everything I see him in seems funnier than the last. SNL has a great cast right now with really funny people like Bill Hader, Taran Killam, and Jay Pharoah but Sudeikis is funnier than all of them as far as I am concerned.  I really look forward to what is to come from his career as he continues to gain more popularity.  I also thought Dylan McDermott was really good as the ultra cool campaign manager that shows up to “make you not suck.” I don’t usually like McDermott but really enjoyed his performance in this one.

This movie says a lot about politics in this country.  About the big businesses behind the candidates running for office and how they use those candidates to achieve their own goals.  About how campaigns manipulate the public to get into office and will absolutely do whatever it takes.  It’s about how dirty politics can be in general and the cut throat world these people live in.   While the movie may cover all these things in humorous fashion there is one thing to keep in mind while watching this movie….a lot of truth is said in jest.  I think this movie not only does a great job mocking the whole thing but it isn’t really off base with the truth behind it all.

I always love a movie that catches me by surprise and this one did.  I did not expect to like it at all and ended up loving it.  I think that any time a movie can do that then it is worth your time to see it.  This movie may have seemed funnier to me when we watched it during the election season but I enjoyed it just as much watching it again after getting a copy for Christmas.  This movie is a bit vulgar so take the R rating seriously but if you get an opportunity to see it you should check it out, it is worth your time.

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The Hangover

Year: 2009
Directed By: Todd Phillips
Written By: Jon Lucas and Scott Moore

RYAN’S REVIEW

Amber and I went to see this movie in the theater when it came out and I don’t know if we have ever laughed so hard in the theater. From beginning to end the laughs never stopped and we walked away feeling really fulfilled by the film. I think it has been a little outplayed at this point, only 3 years later. It was really popular when it came out and still is today. I also think the sequel destroyed any legacy the movie might have had by being so awful. For my thoughts on The Hangover 2 you can read this.

This movie caught everybody by surprise in 2009, and it put Zach Galifianakis on the map. I think Galifianakis is awesome but he is only going to go as far as that beard will get him. He is hilarious in this movie but I think he has played the character to death now. I’ve had enough of the weird bearded guy by now, but I’m glad to see he has gone with simply a stache in his next film, The Campaign. Although he does appear to be playing the same character yet again. I am not really a fan of Ed Helms but he was really funny in this movie as Stu. I think Bradley Cooper is really good as the cool guy in control too. I think Ken Jeong is really funny, and his role in this movie really advanced his career. Ken Jeong is from Greensboro, NC and before becoming an actor he was a surgeon or something. It’s a fascinating story really and I think it is really cool because we live really close to Greensboro. Coincidentally Galifianakis is from a town farther away but still close in the other direction from where we live (he is from Wilkesboro, NC). I thought Mike Tyson‘s cameo was funny and I have heard that it has helped him get his life back on track which is a good thing. I can’t forget to mention Jeffrey Tambor, I think he is awesome and he adds a lot to the film.

Everybody already knows how funny this movie is so I’m not going to go any farther into it.  I think this is a really funny people that most people will enjoy, but the sequel left such a bad taste in my mouth I don’t find myself in the mood to watch it anymore.  Nevertheless this movie is worth your time.  Just don’t waste any on part 2, if you saw this movie you more or less have already seen the sequel.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I remember seeing this movie in the theater. I also remember completely laughing my ass off. Everyone I know has seen this movie and every single one of them think it’s hilarious. There is really not much more to say about it.

I like this poster. It captures the main characters in strange situations leaving the question, why? Why does Galifinakis have a baby with sunglasses on? Why is Andy from The Office missing a tooth and hey, look! Hot Bradley Cooper is in this. We all know the cliché of going to Vegas, getting completely wasted to the point where you do something crazy. I mean the city’s motto is “What Happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” The font is a clean sans serif that is glowing slightly to allude to the glowing lights over Vegas.

NEXT MOVIE: The Happening (2008)

Dinner For Schmucks

Year: 2010
Directed By: Jay Roach
Written By: David Guion, Michael Handelman, & Francis Veber

RYAN’S REVIEW

Sometimes a movie is only as good as the mood you are in when you see it.  I remember watching this movie and laughing the whole time. I thought it was funny enough to buy at some point over the past year and having watched it last night I can’t figure out what I was thinking.  This movie has its moments but overall I am finding it stupid this time around.

This movie is out of the norm for me because I am not fond of either Steve Carell or Paul Rudd.  While Rudd does have a presence in many good comedies I don’t think these comedies are good because of him.  He tends to play the exact same part in all of them but maintains a good level of success despite that. He always has a girlfriend that he has some sort of issue with and he is paired with a funnier actor that carries the movie for him.  The main examples that come to mind besides this movie are I Love You Man and Roles Models. I think those two films are both much funnier than this one though.  I was a big fan of The Office but came to loathe Steve Carell’s Michael Scott character long before his departure from the show.  I think he was only funny because he was regurgitating a Ricky Gervais character and I haven’t really enjoyed many of his ventures into films. While the 40-Year Old Virgin may have been awesome, I think its biggest downfall was that it launched a career for Steve Carell. Zach Galifianakis is a funny guy but I don’t think his star is going to shine for very long.  He is simply letting that beard get him as far as it can and that can only go so long.  He was great in The Hangover but I am already getting bored with seeing that character continually popping up in movies like this one.  Being from North Carolina I want to mention that he is a local, born and raised in North Wilkesboro which is not too far from where we live.  There is literally nothing there; I am shocked this current megastar came from the place.

Half way through this movie I found myself bored and began questioning whether it belonged in our collection or not.  By the end of it I had decided to take it out of our collection.  I love comedies, but really good comedies get better each time you watch them no matter what kind of mood you are in.  This has proved to be a premature purchase for us and it doesn’t belong among the rest of our films. I’m sure many of you out there might enjoy this film; I did the first time at least.  I can’t recommend this movie though, and I intend to take it out of the collection.

AMBER’S REVIEW

This movie is alright, it’s not completely horrible. It isn’t the funniest movie that I have ever watched or anything. I really enjoy Steve Carell in this film. I like him in almost everything I have seen him in aside from Evan Almighty. I love that he almost resembles the mice that he sets up in notable scenes from history.

I don’t really have anything else to say about this film, except that I don’t mind that Ryan is removing it from the collection. (Although, he has only had it since December because he added it to his DVD Christmas list for whatever reason.) I still love him; hey we all make movie mistakes. I would just catch this on FX sometime. Don’t make an extra effort to buy it or anything.

NEXT MOVIE: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)

Movies Not To Watch

THE HANGOVER 2

It has taken us this long but we are finally watching this movie.  It wasn’t by chance that we have waited this long, we might have never watched it at all if not for a sudden impulse today. This past summer before the movie was released I posted some thoughts about it when reviewing American Pie 2. I think my thoughts were pretty accurate about the movie except for the fact that I thought this movie would actually be funny. Not only is it not funny but it is worse than I could have ever imagined. This movie is awful, really really awful.  It’s a much dirtier version of an already dirty movie, and I just don’t think that was necessary. It’s funny because in the opening credits there are three people credited with “written by”, but it should have been “recycled by.” This movie is barely even a sequel, it’s simply the same thing on the other side of the world. I am so sick of hearing them tell everyone they don’t know anything, it’s so redundant.  The Ed Helms character even sings a song again, despite having gotten a tattoo on his face and been fucked in the ass by a tranny prostitute (they really went too far with that, it was a bit much and not funny).
This is what happens when the movie studio rushes something out just to make the money.  They are trying to do something similar with Bridesmaids but Kristen Wiig has resisted the idea and obviously for good reason.  This movie was very successful just like it’s predecessor and I know several people who have said it is hilarious. I warn you to take their advice with caution! This movie is a waste of your time and money!  They could have remade this movie and had everything the same yet been different, they could have invested some creativity into the story.  The first film was really funny and there was plenty to build on, it’s pathetic how lazy filmmakers can be sometimes.
I’m sure plenty of people out there will disagree with me, but I think this is one of the worst movies I have seen in a long time.  There is already talk of a third film but I shudder to think what they might do a third time around and I loathe the thought of these idiots having a third blackout.  This movie is stupid and I am disappointed to have wasted an evening with it.

UPDATE: One statement from this post has kind of needled at me all week since posting this review.  I usually try to avoid getting too profane in any post, for the obvious reason being I have no clue who might be reading these posts. I don’t think this is really an appropriate setting for profanity and I don’t feel right about publishing a post with such a vulgar statement in it.  I know that I could remove it now but instead would like to apologize to anyone who might be offended and leave it as a testament to how bad this movie was.  It was more than bad, it was beyond horrible. It was such a waste of time I found myself angry enough to use language I would otherwise reserve for more appropriate situations.
Also, more specifically, if my statement bothered you then for the love of all things sacred in the world do not ever see this film.