Tag Archives: Will Ferrell

Cinema Dispatch: Daddy’s Home 2

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Daddy’s Home 2 and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures

Directed by Sean Anders

I don’t know about the rest of you, but the only thing I was wondering when I first heard about this movie was why they didn’t cast John Lithgow as the TOUGH dad.  Seriously, the dude’s got Cliffhanger, Ricochet, and even Dexter under his belt to show us all how despicably evil he can when the role calls for it, and it’d certainly be much better casting for Marky Mark’s mean deadbeat dad than the guy they got; though I’m pretty sure ANYONE in Hollywood who’s not currently being ostracized for inexcusable behavior would have been a much more palatable choice than Raging Mel.  I don’t know about this one.  I certainly didn’t expect much out of the first film and it managed to be a bit better than I was expecting, but what are the chances that we’ll get a half-way decent sequel out of that; especially as it’s a Holiday film which are almost always a bad idea for sequels.  Wait, didn’t I just say that like a week ago about A Bad Mom’s Christmas?  Now that I think about it… two unexpectedly solid comedies about parenting that made a HUGE amount of money at the box office get Holiday sequels about the parents of the characters in the first film… that are released within a week of each other.  Huh.  Well that’s… coincidental.  Anyway, does THIS Holiday sequel manage to AT LEAST be as good as the OTHER Holiday sequel we just got, or am I in for one HELL of a crappy movie going experience?  Well… Let’s find out…

The movie begins about a year after the events of the first film where Brad and Dusty (Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg) have put aside their differences and are the best co-dads of all time; sharing responsibilities with the kids and working together as a cohesive family unit!  Well… ALMOST perfect.  Dusty’s biological daughter Megan (Scarlett Estevez) reveals during the school’s Christmas Recital that she’s not happy about having the holidays split between two households, so the two families band together and decide to have just one Christmas together which seems like a great idea… until Dusty gets a call from his dad Kurt (Mel Gibson) who’s decided to come down for the holidays.  This is bad because Dusty’s dad is just like he was in the first film and will surely be nagging on him the entire time for not being MANLY enough whatever the hell toxic dinosaurs like him are always on about.  In addition to that, we’ve got Brad’s dad Don (John Lithgow) coming to town who is ACTUALLY a really nice grandpa but seems to be hiding something from Brad, an increasingly tense standoff between Brad’s wife Sara and Dusty’s wife Karen (Linda Cardellini and Alessandra Ambrosio) about how to raise the kids they share (Dusty’s biological kids and Karen’s daughter from another marriage), and to top it all off, Dusty’s biological son Dylan (Owen Vaccaro) is about at the age where he needs to have THE TALK which throws EVERYTHING into chaos as the four dads on hand have their own idea of how it should go and who should give it.  Will any of these plot threads come together into something resembling a cohesive whole?  Is there a single point in this movie where it’s NOT uncomfortable watching Mel Gibson on screen?  Can someone explain to me what I POSSIBLY could have done to deserve this!?

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What the heck did ANY of us do to deserve this?

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Cinema Dispatch: The House

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The House and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by Andrew Jay Cohen

While everyone else was looking forward to yet another Spider-Man movie or that new Thor film, I was waiting on bated breath for the new Will Ferrell comedy!  Now sure, the guy hasn’t been at the top of his game lately, but more often than not he still manages to have a certain amount of charm and charisma that keeps his more mediocre movies at least somewhat entertaining (*cough* Daddy’s Home *cough*) so at the very least his presence usually means I won’t be tearing my seat up in frustration while sitting in the theater.  What really sold me on this movie though is that it co-stars Amy Poehler who along with Kaitlin Olson is one of the most underrated comedians out there and really SHOULD be headlining big blockbusters along the current greats like Kevin Hart and Melissa McCarthy.  Not only that, but the premise was actually pretty interesting with its sights firmly aimed at the ridiculousness of college tuition fees and the burden it places on students who want ta chance at great opportunities and the parents who are stuck with the extortionist bills.  Being one of those unlucky bastards still paying off his student loans, I can certainly relate!  Does this movie manage to take full advantage of its extremely talented cast and solid premise to deliver one of the funniest films of the year, or have the filmmakers squandered a fantastic opportunity to make something great?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins with the mild mannered middle class Johansen family, made up of Scott, Kate, and Alex (Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, and Ryan Simpkins), taking a tour of Alex’s dream college that they can JUST barely afford since she won a local scholarship for being such a good student.  Of course, the city council led up by Bob Schaeffer (Nick Kroll) has decided to divert the scholarship funds towards making a gaudy and impractical local swimming pool (complete with water slides and a food court) w which gives Scott and Kate only three months to come up with tuition money or else Alex can’t go to college.  Fortunately, they have a friend named Frank (Jason Mantzoukas) who’s teetering on the edge of total instability after his wife left him and comes up with an idea to not only make them the money they need for Alex’s education but to get him some extra cash so the bank doesn’t foreclose on his house and hopefully get his life back on track enough to win over his soon to be ex-wife.  The plan?  Use his absurdly large house to set up an illegal casino for all the local housewives and working dads (and vice versa) to unwind and lose a shit load of money!  If Scott and Kate can just hold it together for a month, they can make just enough money to pay for Alex’s tuition and close up shop before the one cop in town (Rob Huebel) or even that asshole Bob Schaeffer find out what they’re doing.  Can Scott, Kate, and Frank keep things from getting out of hand in the high stakes world of illegal gambling?  Look, we’ve ALL seen Casino so it can’t be THAT hard, right?

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“SOMEONE GET AN ICE PACK!!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Daddy’s Home

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Daddy’s Home and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures

Directed by Sean Anders

While Adam McKay is trying to branch out with The Big Short, his longtime collaborator Will Ferrell seems to be doing the same thing he’s been doing since Bush was in the White House.  You could make the comparisons between him and Adam Sandler, but honestly I still find the guy funny and despite always going back to the man-child well, he’s still willing to branch out every once in a while with films Like Everything Must Go and even The LEGO Movie where he actually got to make an honest statement about the people he has so often portrayed in film.  This one though doesn’t look to be all that challenging for him or his audience, but it can still be funny, right?  They’ve got Mark Wahlberg in there, and he’s proven himself to be hilarious in other movies.  Will this be the perfect comedy to end 2015 on, or is this going to be one more reason we can’t wait to see the year end?  Let’s find out!!

The movie is about Will Ferrell playing some guy who’s a step dad and Marky Mark from the Funky Bunch playing the biological father of the family Will Ferrell married into.  Will Ferrell has spent the last year or so trying desperately to connect with his new step children and it finally seems like they’re starting to accept him when Marky Mark calls up and says he’s coming over to visit.  Misunderstands and double talk then ensue which somehow leads to Marky Mark staying in the garage of their new house and he spends most of the film trying to undercut Will Ferrell and win back his family that he abandoned many years ago.   Seems like a tough sell, but it turns out that the kids have mythologized him and he’s also a real MAN’S MAN so who couldn’t fall in love with that, am I right?  Can Will Ferrell prove his manly dad-ness enough to convince his wife to NOT abandon him (which really seems like an unlikely scenario), or will Marky Mark get his way long enough to get bored with his family again and leave them twisting in the wind?  Can this AT LEAST be better than The Other Guys?  Please?

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“Are you sure this is gonna work?”     “Oh yeah!  Definitely!”     “Let me rephrase that.  Are you sure this is going to work FOR ME?”     “Oh… Uh, no.  Not even a little.”

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