Posts Tagged ‘melissa mccarthy’

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Ghostbusters (2016)

July 25, 2016

Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth
Director: Paul Feig (Spy, The Heat, Bridesmaids)

Bottom Line: Honestly, I thought this was going to be a huge bust and it wound up being a pleasant surprise. The casting in this movie wasn’t bad news to me, but I thought the trailer looked terrible. Fortunately, the team that was responsible for Bridesmaids – director Paul Feig and actresses Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy – once again find a successful blend of comedy and charm, reinvigorating a dormant franchise that has long been in need of a reboot. But an all female reboot? Why not! It works just fine, as Wiig and McCarthy are two of the strongest comedic actresses working today and they are as solid and funny as expected here, plus SNL’s Kate McKinnon absolutely steals the show in what I believe is her first major film role. She’s so funny we will probably all hate her in about 5 years due to overexposure. Chris Hemsworth is also a fun addition, hamming it up in the part of dimwitted secretary. Part of my concerns with the trailer were that the special effects looked overwhelming, ala Superman Vs. Batman, but all the supernatural hoopla fits in perfectly.

2016’s version of Ghostbusters isn’t going to blow anyone’s mind, but it’s a worthy successor to the – let’s be honest here – overrated original. That film is unfairly hailed as a classic when it probably tops out at slightly above enjoyable, which is pretty much what you can expect from this movie. The good news is we should all be looking forward to new adventures with this team of Ghostbusters.

Replay Value: Fun enough that I’d watch it at least one more time.
Sequel Potential: This reboot should reinvigorate the franchise for years to come.
Oscar Potential: None.

Grade: 5.5/10 (Watchable/Recommended)

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Quick Movie Reviews

March 31, 2016

Spy (2015)
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jude Law

After Identity Thief and Tammy I was thinking McCarthy’s schtick was already getting tired, but Spy was actually pretty enjoyable and plenty funny. Rose Byrne playing a smug villainness.. not so much. A comedy that’s just a bit above average.

5.5/10 (Watchable/Recommended)

Sicario (2015)
Starring: Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro

Blunt plays an FBI agent that is enlisted to help with escalating drug trafficking crimes on the U.S./Mexico border, but really, her character’s involvement in the film at all only seems to serve the purpose of being a McGuffin. Sicario is a film that I wanted to like, and it has some intense moments and is shot very well, but I just couldn’t ignore the feeling that if Blunt’s character was removed entirely and the film instead focused on Del Toro’s anti-protagonist, the real central character, we could have seen something quite a bit more gripping.

5.5/10 (Watchable/Recommended)

The Visit (2015)
Starring: some kids, some old people

It has been over a decade since M. Night Shyamalan has directed a movie that I didn’t hate. Not since Signs all the way back in 2002, and honestly, that film’s level of quality is plenty questionable too. With The Visit, Shyamalan returns to the suspense/horror genre that launched his “career” and while The Visit is no The Sixth Sense, it’s easily Shyamalan’s best film since Unbreakable. It’s creepy, scary, and grounded enough in reality that you just might get the shivers. Oh, and spoiler alert, we actually get a “surprise” ending that won’t make you want to bang your head against the wall.

6/10 (Recommended)

The Final Girls (2015)
Starring: Taissa Farmiga, Malin Akerman, Thomas Middleditch

Wow, what a fun movie. I dare (dare!) anyone that grew up loving 80’s horror movies not to love this parody/homage to that amazing genre. So Taissa Farmiga plays a young woman that recently lost her mother, a former 80’s horror genre star, in a car accident. While attending a theatrical showing in honor of her mom’s most famous slasher film, the girl and a group of her friends are somehow pulled into the screen and find themselves in the world of the film, complete with a masked psycho killer looking for young people to murder. The Final Girls is clearly a homage to the Friday The 13th franchise and Jason Vorhees more than anything else, and it is wildly entertaining, although oddly rated PG-13. Still, it’s a great horror flick, with plenty of suspense, the perfect amount of humor, and surprising emotional resonance as watching Farmiga’s character interact with an embodiment of her dead mother can be pretty touching. The Final Girls should be a favorite of horror fans and plenty of fun for everyone.

6.5/10 (Recommended/Must See)

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Schizophrenia

November 18, 2013

My posts have always been so organized. I think I’ve come to realize that organization is one of the reasons I struggle to update my blog on a regular basis. Rather than just come in here and talk about recent stuff or what I’m feeling, I feel compelled to write out a complete movie review and well, quite frequently, it just doesn’t get done. So here’s to a new strategy.

This past week I watched The Heat starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. My biggest takeaways from the film were that a) Sandra Bullock was really fucking good in Gravity and b) Melissa McCarthy is extremely funny but this might as well be a continuation of her character in Bridesmaids as a police officer. I can’t say I’m a big fan of Bullock’s work and this is more of the same, which is why her performance in Gravity is so special; it’s completely unlike anything she’s ever done–or, in other words: good. The Heat is funny though, thanks to McCarthy carrying the film, but she’s obviously being typecast (as many rising comedic actors are) and one has to wonder how long before fans start tiring of her schtick. Overall, The Heat was funny and enjoyable, and ranks amongst 2013’s funniest films in a year of mostly unremarkable comedies. 6/10

I also had a long overdue viewing of Derek Cianfrance’s (Blue Valentine) The Place Beyond The Pines starring Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, and Eva Mendes. One of the more highly acclaimed films prior to awards season, I actually found Pines to be quite disappointing. Mostly it just didn’t live up to the hype built from one of my friends constantly praising it and urging me to watch it. It’s a three part story that stretches over a roughly 17 year time period and certainly has the running time of an epic, clocking in at nearly two and a half hours. Naturally, it’s quite boring at times and the pacing makes it difficult to watch. Ryan Gosling is great, as usual, and Bradley Cooper appears to be turning into a pretty respectable actor. I wasn’t a huge fan of the story though. I couldn’t help but feel it was a bit contrived, especially the third act when everything ties together in a way that isn’t all that believable. Pines isn’t a bad film, but it’s an overly ambitious one, with a story that doesn’t quite deserve its epic running time. Definitely not the must see film people are claiming it to be. 5.5/10

I revisited Man Of Steel last night and I have to say my opinion of the film has dropped somewhat. I initially gave it a 7/10, which is a must see on my scale, and I can’t say it’s that strong of a film. That’s what’s difficult about reviewing films. I can’t imagine that people that criticize movies for a living can really get a full grasp on a film after one viewing. For me, Man Of Steel was a bit overwrought. The aspects I liked in my earlier review remain the same, but some parts of the film are increasingly tedious upon a second viewing. The Smallville battle is still epic. I mean seriously awesome. But the next part of the climax is a big WTF. I’m talking about when Zod is creating Krypton on earth and Superman is battling some ship over the Indian Ocean. I mean, what the hell is really going on here? For some reason, I remembered the finale being incredibly epic, but really there’s the Smallville battle and the final battle with Zod and a huge gap in between that just sucks. Also, now that Superman vs Batman has been announced for a 2015 release, you have to think watching this movie that the filmmakers really had no idea what they were going to do next. After seeing Superman go toe-to-toe with Zod and other Kryptonians–and all the property destruction those fights caused–it’s difficult to imagine a human–even one as resourceful as Batman–being a formidable opponent for Superman. The writers seriously have their work cut out for them.

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Bridesmaids (2011)

June 6, 2011

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne
Director: Paul Feig (“The Office”, “Arrested Development”)

Quick Thoughts: It’s a shame people are mistaking Bridesmaids for a chick flick. Sure, the film has mostly female characters and the plot centers around a wedding, but this is a movie that continues the recent trend of really strong R-rated comedies, following in the footsteps of Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and I Love You, Man. And perhaps it’s the best of the bunch.

Kristen Wiig displays an acting range I didn’t think she was capable of. Between her small film roles and her current run on “Saturday Night Live,” I was a fan of her work, but she seemed to be a one-trick pony, often playing her characters with a holier-than-thou attitude coupled with a mixture of craziness and ditz. She didn’t seem to have much depth past that, but as Annie, an overwhelmed and self-destructive Maid-Of-Honor in Bridesmaids she gives a genuinely touching and hilarious performance. Wiig really hits all the marks in this movie, as her character suffers through the pressure of trying to organize her best friend’s wedding while her own life crumbles around her. The rivalry between Annie and the bride’s new, extremely wealthy and resourceful friend Helen (Rose Byrne) creates most of the film’s tension and also a lot of its laughs, as Helen’s success often challenges Annie’s self-esteem, providing lots of awkward moments for Wiig to display her patented one-upmanship. A lot of comedies add some sort of contrived conflict that its characters must overcome just because they’re supposed to, but in Bridesmaids Annie truly bottoms out and Wiig really goes through quite the range of emotions. It’s an impressive performance. One that will surely get the Golden Globes’ attention. Wiig has been a slowly rising talent the past half decade or so, but this is a breakout film for her and legitimate stardom may actually be in her future.

Wiig is supported in Bridesmaids by a pretty funny female cast. Fellow “SNL” alum Maya Rudolph and Elle Kemper of “The Office” aren’t given a whole lot to work with, but have some funny moments. Rose Byrne as Helen is a suitable antagonist: she’s gorgeous, rich, and mostly ignorant of her pretentious and snobbish behavior, giving her such a sense of naivety that you almost feel bad for her when she discovers that she’s the film’s villain. Wendi McLendon-Covey (“Reno 911”) is hilarious in a small role as one of the bridesmaids, providing most of her humor by constantly ragging harshly on her children and her retched life as a mother.

Obviously, this is Wiig’s movie, but if she’s Batman, then Melissa McCarthy is a worthy Robin. She plays Megan, the bride’s sister and a member of the bridal party. McCarthy has found some success on the CBS show “Mike & Molly” this year, a series that plays largely on the plus size bodies of its two main characters. As Molly on that show, McCarthy’s performance is pretty subdued, but she’s let loose in Bridesmaids and she’s much funnier than I expected. Megan teeters on the edge of sheer silliness but McCarthy manages to bring some heart to the role and makes a character that easily could have been annoying very enjoyable. She’s consistently hilarious throughout the film.

Bridesmaids is everything you want out of a quality comedy. Strong, funny performances from the important actresses and a pretty incredible script from Wiig and co-writer Annie Mumolo. It’s a shame that The Hangover Part II is cruising past $200 million in domestic revenue while this film has roughly half that gross in twice as many weeks of release because Bridesmaids is not only a far superior film, it’s also much, much funnier.

Viewings: 1
Replay Value: A must own comedy with tons of replay value.
Sequel Potential: These characters would be worth seeing again, but it’s usually a mistake to make sequels to this kind of film since continuing the story will usually be forced and unbelievable. However, the film has performed well enough to warrant a sequel, economically speaking.
Oscar Potential: Through the first quarter of the year, Wiig has given 2011’s best performance I’ve seen, but comedies are mostly ignored come Oscar time. The script might have a shot at a nomination though.
Nudity: The movie opens with a pretty gratuitous sex scene, but no nudity.
Grade: 8/10 (Excellent)
RottenTomatoes Scores: Critics: 88% Audience: 88%
IMDB Rating: 7.7/10
Recommendation: At the time of publishing this, Bridesmaids is easily the best movie I’ve seen this year. A very charming and funny comedy with breakout performances from Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy.