Posts Tagged ‘bill hader’

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It: Chapter Two (2019)

September 6, 2019

It: Chapter Two (2019)

Director: Andy Muschietti (It, Mama)

Starring: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, Bill Skarsgard

Anticipation Level: High

How Was It? Honestly, the only thing that kept my anticipation level below epic levels was the initial reactions of the critics. A 71% favorable rating on Rotten Tomatoes wasn’t what I was hoping for. Still, I absolutely adored the first movie and while It (2017) may not be the horror classic I initially made it out to be, it at least deserves to be mentioned with the best genre flicks of the last several years.

The audiences seem to be loving Chapter Two and Twitter is going pretty crazy over this movie – especially over Bill Hader’s performance – but I’m going to make a prediction right now: in 2-3 years, everyone is going to realize this movie wasn’t very good. Think about Avengers: Age of Ultron. Most people liked it when it first came out. I even gave it a favorable review. Nowadays, it’s rare to find anyone that liked it and most agree it’s one of the weakest installments in the MCU. I have a feeling It: Chapter Two is going to follow a similar path. Everyone is overreacting now, maybe because they are in denial, and in a few years, this movie will be universally regarded as a dud.

Because… it’s a serious slog. I can’t imagine someone being genuinely entertained by this for three straight hours. It’s soooooo long and the running time seems to be born more out of ego than out of necessity – like director Andy Muschietti and the studio think they can get away with making this some horror epic because the first movie was so successful. I mean… they are probably right. Chapter Two will probably do big business, but I think the length and drop in quality will hurt its legs over the long run and I’d be surprised if it outgrosses the first movie.

I think the biggest problem with this movie is the source material. When I revisited the novel in 2017, I was surprised at how weak the story gets when I got to the adult portion of the book as I’ve always regarded It as one of the best novels I’ve ever read. It’s just not good. I actually think the filmmakers did a laudable job of adapting King’s work in Chapter Two and I like some of the changes they made – it’s funnier and the characters are way less annoying than in the novel. For instance, I couldn’t stand the adult Richie Tozier but Bill Hader makes him the highlight of the film in Chapter Two. Actually, the casting of the adult characters is pretty solid overall. Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy seemed like perfect casting, but honestly, no one is going to remember the adult versions of Beverly or Bill in this movie. Hader and James Ransone (as adult Eddie) are great though. If it weren’t for them, this movie would be completely forgettable. They arguably save the whole thing and make it worth watching.

The biggest problem with Chapter Two is that the kids made the book and the kids made the movie in the 2017 film. The adult story just isn’t nearly as good. Muschietti seems to understand that and I think that’s why we get a three hour movie here: the kids get a lot of screen time and it doesn’t really help the movie… it just makes it unnecessarily longer. With that said, any time young Eddie or young Richie are on screen it is usually a good thing. Those two characters and actors are the heart and soul of these movies.

When it comes down it, I just didn’t enjoy this movie. I guess it was okay. Maybe it will even grow on me over time because I’m so dissatisfied right now. I think it would have been a tough watch as a two hour movie and it’s an hour longer than that! I was pretty forgiving of some of the questionable CGI in the first film – mostly because the actual movie was so good – but it’s harder to ignore here. I just don’t have a lot of good things to say about Chapter Two other than praising the performances of Bill Hader and James Ransone.

Obviously, everyone is still going to go see this… especially if they loved the first one like I did. So I won’t tell you not to watch it, but don’t be surprised if you walk out feeling disappointed.

Replay Value: I’m a horror buff, so I’ll still be adding this to my movie collection… and I’ll watch it again… I’ve seen a lot of bad horror movies multiple times… but none that are three hours long!

Sequel Potential: If this movie crushed, I wouldn’t put it past Hollywood to write a sequel that doesn’t exist as a novel.

Oscar Potential: BILL HADER FOR BEST ACTOR! Yeah right. He has NO chance. I thought he was great in this, but that is crazy talk.

5/10 (Decent)

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Trainwreck (2015)

August 3, 2015

Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Lebron James, Brie Larson
Director: Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Funny People)

Bottom Line: Trainwreck is comedian Amy Schumer’s first starring role and she quickly establishes that she can carry her own comedy. More impressive, she wrote the film herself and it’s plenty funny while providing an entertaining narrative. In the film, Amy plays a 20-something career girl that was taught by her father that a life of monogamy is unrealistic, so she spends her nights bar-hopping and bringing various men home only to send them on their way before they can even think about sleeping over. Through her job, she meets a sports surgeon played by Bill Hader and they develop a relationship unlike any she’s experienced before.

I have to say I was impressed with the cast in this movie. I wasn’t surprised at all that Amy Schumer was funny and likable even though her character had some rather despicable traits. I could tell by watching her stand up that she has plenty of charisma and that she could be a rising comedic star. Trainwreck proves this fact. It will be interesting to see if she can keep the ball rolling, as a lot of comic actors have a tendency to wear out their welcome rather quickly (does anyone still look forward to a Will Ferrell movie?). What did surprise me was Bill Hader, who really seemed to have only one gear during his Saturday Night Live tenure and I never was a big fan of his style on the show. He plays it rather straight in Trainwreck and it’s a nice change of pace. Hader actually has some acting ability – and he still managed to be pretty funny. What surprised me more than anything was how awesome Lebron James was in his role. Granted, most of the credit should go to Schumer for writing LBJ a great role, but Lebron hams it up wonderfully without being so tongue-in-cheek that he comes across corny. He crushed it and his appearances on screen were the best parts of the movie, which is unfortunate because he mostly disappears during the second half.

Like most Judd Apatow movies, Trainwreck runs unnecessarily long, which makes it feel like it’s dragging at times, but Trainwreck is his strongest film since 2007’s Knocked Up. It provides just enough humor and drama to give the audience a genuine investment in the film’s story. Trainwreck is a solid step in the right direction for Apatow and a coming out party for Schumer and Hader. I’m looking forward to what everyone involved has in store for the future.

Replay Value: I will watch it again, for sure.
Sequel Potential: No spin offs for bit characters please.
Oscar Potential: I was impressed with Bill Hader but this isn’t the kind of movie that the academy will think about or remember.

Grade: 6.5/10 (Recommended/Must See)