REVIEW: THE DILEMMA

CAST

Vince Vaughn (Wedding Crashers)
Kevin James (Grown Ups)
Winona Ryder (Black Swan)
Jennifer Connelly (Hulk)
Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street)
Queen Latifah (Brining Down The House)
Chelcie Ross (Drag me To Hell)
Amy Morton (Up In The Air)
Clint Howard (EDtv)
Talulah Riley (Westworld)
Rance Howard (Small Soldiers)

Jennifer Connelly and Vince Vaughn in The Dilemma (2011)Ronny (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Kevin James) are best friends and partners in a small auto design firm. Ronny is in a long-term relationship with his girlfriend Beth (Jennifer Connelly) while Nick is married to Geneva (Winona Ryder). The two have recently been given an opportunity to pitch an eco friendly car to Dodge. While at a botanical gardens planning a way to propose marriage to Beth, Ronny sees Geneva kissing a man named Zip (Channing Tatum). He comes home upset, but lies to Beth about the reason, causing her to worry that the stress of work has caused a recurrence of Ronny’s gambling addiction.Jennifer Connelly and Vince Vaughn in The Dilemma (2011)Ronny makes up his mind to inform Nick about Geneva’s infidelity, but puts it off after Nick expresses stress about their work. He meets with Geneva, who promises that the affair is over and that she will tell Nick as soon as the big project is finished. Ronny subsequently discovers her and Zip continuing their relationship. Geneva then threatens to accuse Ronny of hitting on her and tell Nick about a fling they had had back in college. Ronny follows Geneva to Zip’s house and photographs the two of them together but becomes trapped inside and misses his in-laws’ anniversary party. Ronny’s increasingly erratic behavior leads his friends to think that he has begun gambling again. They hold an intervention for him but Ronny explains the truth behind his actions and Geneva admits to the affair. Later, Nick and Ronny have their design accepted by Dodge and Ronny proposes to Beth.Jennifer Connelly, Vince Vaughn, and Kevin James in The Dilemma (2011)The movie shifts at from being funny to drama, and then to being mean spirited, and not in a fun way. Still not a bad film, the performances are not all bad, everybody pretty much does well here. Except Channing Tatum who talent is just wasted here. Not Ron Howards best work, but not his worst.

Advertisements

REVIEW: FRED CLAUS

 

CAST

Vince Vaughn (Delivery Man)
Paul Giamatti (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Rachel Weisz (The Bourne Legacy)
Miranda Richardson (Sleepy Hollow)
Kevin Spacey (L.A. Confidential)
Kathy Bates (Bad Santa 2)
John Michael Higgins (Couples Retreat)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Ludacris (2 Fast 2 Furious)
Stephen Baldwin (8 Seconds)
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen)
Dylan Minnette (Goosebumps)
Burn Gorman (Game of Thrones)

A baby is born, and within a few minutes of his birth, he starts saying: “Ho, ho, ho!”. Mother Claus calls her son, Frederick, over to meet his new brother, whom she has decided to name Nicholas. Mother Claus lovingly refers to the new baby as her little Saint Nick. During Christmas, when Nick opens his gifts including Fred’s, he decides to give them away to orphans which makes Fred angry. Mother Claus advises Fred to be a better person by stating he should be more like his brother; this in turn causes Fred to resent Nick. Feeling isolated, Fred often climbs a tree to confide his problems in a bird. On one occasion, Nick cuts down the tree, saying that now Fred can bring it inside since he liked it so much. However, the birdhouse Fred’s confidant lived in is smashed, causing the bird to leave; this causes a permanent rift between Fred and Nick.In the present day, it is revealed that when Nick becomes a saint due to all his good deeds, he, Fred, and Mother and Father Claus become frozen in time, never to age. Nick has become the modern-day Santa Claus, giving gifts to people and Fred works as a repossession agent in Chicago to take them away. His girlfriend, Wanda, gets mad at him for forgetting that her birthday was the next day. Wanda refers to a previous birthday where Fred promised to take her to France. When Fred gets back to his own apartment, he watches TV when a young orphan boy named Samuel “Slam” Gibbons comes in. Slam talks about wanting a puppy named Macaroni for Christmas. Fred is attacked by countless men dressed up as Santa and after he gets arrested, he calls his brother for $5,000 bail money. He also asks for an additional $50,000 for a get rich quick scheme. Nick agrees to give him the bail money, but tells him that if he wants the $50,000, he has to come to the North Pole and work for it.Soon after, an elf named Willie shows up to take Fred to the North Pole. He is the head elf and has a crush on Santa’s Little Helper, Charlene. Once Fred and Willie arrive at the North Pole, Nick welcomes Fred and shows him around the North Pole. There is a snow globe in the main area of the workshop, where you can say any person’s name and see if they are being naughty or nice. While Fred starts working, Nick introduces Clyde Northcut, an efficiency expert who has come to evaluate the North Pole. Clyde takes Nick to the workshop and on the way tells Nick that he has three strikes. If Nick gets three strikes, the workshop will be shut down for good. Meanwhile, the workshop is in a state of chaos because of Fred, and Clyde says that Nick’s inability to control his work staff is strike one. That night at dinnertime, Nick convinces Fred to come to dinner with Mother and Father Claus and Clyde. Sitting down at the dinner table, Mother Claus continues to praise Nick, while Fred storms out and heads to Frosty’s Tavern, an elf bar, where he meets Willie, who discusses his lack of self-confidence regarding Charlene. Fred teaches Willie to dance, and Willie then falls down in front of Charlene, embarrassing himself. A pep talk by Fred later lifts his spirits.Meanwhile, Clyde deliberately sabotages the mail sorting department by shredding countless children’s letters, which later gives Nick a second strike. Believing that Fred is putting Nick under stress, a family meeting is called (which Fred was tied up and taken to) with Wanda present, and Fred leaves by saying that therapy is for families who want to be together, and their family does not have that problem. When Slam is placed at the top of the most naughty list, Fred understands that Slam has just had it hard and is not naughty. He then stamps every kids’ description as nice.Furious at what Fred has done wrong, Nick ends up fighting with him, in which Nick injures his back. Angry with Nick, Fred leaves the North Pole with his $50,000, but Nick gives Fred a present to take with him. Fred waits until he returns home to open the gift, which is a birdhouse, a replacement for the one on the tree, and a note from Nick which says, “I’m sorry for cutting down your tree. Love, Nick.” Fred is confused and enters a Siblings Anonymous meeting. At the end, Bill Clinton’s younger half-brother, Roger Clinton Jr, makes a speech about his brother’s success. Back at the North Pole, it looks like Christmas is lost. Nick is in bed and cannot make his Christmas Eve journey of delivering presents.Willie reminds Fred that, according to a long-standing rule, only a member of the Claus family can deliver the presents and Fred qualifies. Fred begins delivering presents to children around the world and Willie joins him to assist with the flying of the sleigh and the navigation. Meanwhile, Clyde sabotages their efforts at midnight by shutting off the power, which was the only way for the North Pole to communicate to Fred and Willie, helping them navigate. While Fred and Willie attempt to finish delivering the gifts for the children, Nick talks to Clyde by realizing that when he was a boy, Clyde did not get what he wanted from Nick because he would act up due to bullying, which resulted in him growing up to be the man he is. Nick realizes, thanks to Fred, that his definition of naughty was flawed. Nick makes peace with him by giving Clyde the Superman cape he wanted as a kid but never got.Fred stops by the foster home to visit Slam and bring him the puppy (Macaroni) he wanted. Fred faces away from Slam to hide his identity and explains to Slam that he should become a better person. As the rest of the elves anxiously wait in the tavern, Willie marches in and, with newfound confidence, he walks up to Charlene, grabs a chair to stand on, and kisses her. After Fred announces that Christmas has been saved, everyone gathers around the giant snow globe to watch the children of the world open their presents. Nick tells Fred that he is the best big brother anybody could ever ask for, and they finally make amends.Fred returns to Wanda’s house and she is initially upset to see him and tells him to leave. He refuses and states that he is moving in with her. He gives her a present. Wanda opens it to find a teddy bear holding a French flag. That night, Fred takes Wanda to France in Santa’s sleigh, and they circle around the Eiffel Tower (“It’s a company car. It’s one of the perks.” says Fred). The two continue dating, and Charlene and Willie are now happy together. By next Christmas, Slam is adopted, but Fred never stops watching out for him – even becoming the coach of his Little League Baseball team. As for Clyde, Nick hires him as an efficiency consultant and he teaches the elves how to use a spreadsheet. Nick and Mrs. Claus, as well as Nick and Fred’s parents visit Fred’s and Wanda’s house for Christmas. It is evident that Fred and his mom have grown closer. Fred has also become a true Claus; while Nick has lost a bit of weight, Fred has gained some. The movie ends by showing the bird house hung up outside Fred’s window, and a bird, who looks like the one Fred befriended, perched on it.I do not recall the last time I have seen such entertaining Christmas movie. “Fred Claus” is funny and has many hilarious moments. The message that there is no naughty child and consequently every child deserves a Christmas gift is great. The cast leaded by Vince Vaughn is fantastic and I really loved this movie. A great film for the Christmas holidays.

REVIEW: THE WATCH

CAST

Ben Stiller (Night At The Museum)
Vince Vaughn (Swingers)
Jonah Hill (21 Jump Street)
Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd)
Rosemarie DeWitt (Buy It Now)
Erin Moriarty (Jessica Jones)
Nicholas Braun (Red State)
Will Forte (That’s My Boy)
Mel Rodriguez (Getting On)
Doug Jones (Star Trek Discovery)
Billy Crudup (Watchmen)
Johnny Pemberton (Son of Zorn)
Erinn Hayes (Kevin Can Wait)
Andy Samberg (That’s My Boy)

In the town of Glenview, Ohio, Evan Trautwig (Ben Stiller) is an active participant in the community and senior manager of the local Costco store. His life is disrupted when the store’s night security guard is murdered. The local police have no leads and show no interest in investigating further. Determined to find the killer and bring him to justice, Evan decides to form a neighborhood watch. However, he only manages to recruit Bob (Vince Vaughn), a construction worker and loving father; Franklin (Jonah Hill), a high school dropout who dreams of being a police officer but failed the written, physical, and mental health tests; and Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade), a recent divorcé.The watch members use the group as an excuse to drink and have fun, much to Evan’s annoyance. While driving on patrol, they accidentally hit something. They discover a strange metallic orb that acts as a highly destructive weapon and deduce that it is of alien origin. Meanwhile, several more townspeople are mysteriously killed. The watch responds to the murders and encounters an alien, which attacks them. Evan apparently kills it with a lawn gnome before the group returns with the creature to Bob’s house. The creature regains consciousness and escapes, stealing the metallic orb and warning them that the aliens have already infiltrated the town. The watch members theorize that the aliens are stealing their victims’ skins and disguising themselves as humans, so anyone in Glenview could be an alien. Bob confides to Evan that he is worried about his daughter Chelsea (Erin Moriarty) and does not trust her boyfriend Jason (Nicholas Braun). Evan admits that he has been avoiding his wife Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt) because he is infertile, and reveals his worry that it may cause her to leave.Evan suspects that one of his neighbors is an alien due to his strange, stiff way of speaking and because he always seems to be watching Evan. As the watch scouts the neighbor’s house, Bob learns that Chelsea is at an unsupervised party with Jason. Bob disobeys Evan’s orders and rushes to the party with Franklin. Bob prevents Jason from raping Chelsea, but Jason beats him until Franklin intervenes. Evan and Jamarcus investigate the odd neighbor alone, discovering that he hosts orgies in his basement. When Bob returns, he and Evan argue over his putting his daughter above the watch. Bob is fired from the watch after saying Evan has no friends because he tries to control everything. Evan goes home and admits his infertility to Abby, who accepts the news and tells him they will work things out.Evan then receives an urgent visit from Jamarcus, who confesses that he is one of the aliens but has decided to side with humanity after experiencing human culture. He warns the group that the aliens are building a transmitter beneath the Costco store which will summon their armada to destroy the earth; he is expelled from the watch for his deception. Bob, Franklin, Evan, and Abby arm themselves and infiltrate the Costco to destroy the transmitter. Bob encounters Jason who reveals that he is also an alien, and they fight. Evan and Franklin attempt to disable the transmitter, but are surrounded by aliens. Jamarcus arrives and saves the pair, revealing that the aliens’ brains are located in their crotch; Bob kills Jason by ripping off his penis. Evan discovers that the transmitter is powered by the metallic orb and removes it, disabling the machine. More aliens arrive, forcing the group to flee. The watch uses the metallic orb to destroy the Costco building, killing all of the aliens inside.In the epilogue, Evan and Abby rekindle their passion and adopt a daughter. Bob is closer to Chelsea and accepts her new boyfriend, who is intimidated by stories of how Bob killed Jason by “ripping his dick off”. Franklin is finally accepted by the Glenview Police Department, and Jamarcus continues participating in the secret neighborhood orgies. The group maintains the watch, continuing to protect Glenview.If you’re the kind of person who watch movies for fun and does not care too much for the plot and/or the critic, you’ll love this movie and will laugh a lot.

 

REVIEW: DELIVERY MAN

CAST

Vince Vaughn (Swingers)
Chris Pratt (Jurassic World)
Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)
Andrzej Blumenfeld (The Pianist)
Simon Delaney (The Conjuring 2)
Bobby Moynihan (Duck Tales)
Britt Robertson (Tomorrowland)
Jack Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction)
Matthew Daddario (Breathe In)

David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn) is a hapless deliveryman for his family’s butcher shop, pursued by thugs to whom he owes $80,000. His girlfriend Emma, an NYPD officer (Cobie Smulders) is pregnant with his child. One day, David returns from work to find a lawyer representing a sperm bank (where he gave 693 donations and earned a sum of $24,255 during his student years) who tells him that the clinic gave his samples to women in the clinic and that he has fathered 533 children. Of those, 142 have joined a class action lawsuit to force the fertility clinic to reveal the identity of “Starbuck”, the alias he had used.David’s friend and lawyer Brett (Chris Pratt) represents him as he tries to keep the records sealed. He provides David with profiles of each party to the lawsuit: David searches for them, finding moments for random acts of kindness. David considers identifying himself; but, after the thugs assault his father, he agrees with his lawyer to counter-sue the sperm bank for punitive damages. He wins the lawsuit, receives $200,000, and keeps his identity a secret.David has regrets and thinks about revealing his identity. However, if he chooses to do so, he would lose the $200,000 that he won in the countersuit. He reveals to his father that he is Starbuck. His father decides to pay off David’s debt. David finally reveals his identity on Facebook. He goes to Emma’s house and finds that she is going into premature labor. At the hospital, his baby is born, he proposes to Emma, and many of the children show up to see him.I’m not a fan of Vince Vaughn. And the premise for this movie sounded terrible – the advert made it sound particularly slapstick, like it would basically be one long jerk-off joke. The title – as a play on words of “delivery” is cheap. But the film, once you get past the initial set-up of the character as one of life’s losers, is really good.

REVIEW: SWINGERS

CAST

Vince Vaughn (Wedding Crashers)
Jon Favreau (Iron Man)
Ron Livingston (The Conjuring)
Patrick Van Horn (Free enterprise)
Alex Desert (The Flash 90s)
Heather Graham (The Hangover)
Brooke Langton (The Net TV)

Mike Peters is a struggling comedian who left New York City to find success in Los Angeles, and is still upset over his girlfriend of six years, Michelle, breaking up with him six months prior. To help Mike with his depression, his womanizing friend Trent and some other aspiring actor friends try and get him back into the social scene. The movie opens with Mike telling his friend Rob about how desperately he misses Michelle and that she has not called him. Rob explains that “somehow” girls “know” not to call their ex-boyfriends until they have completely moved on from them.To help Mike recover, Trent coaxes him into an impromptu trip to Las Vegas. Trent succeeds in picking up two waitresses, but Mike’s obsession with Michelle ruins Trent’s plans. Back in Los Angeles, Mike, Rob and other friends go bar hopping, stopping at party, and later an after-hours spot, where Trent demonstrates his prowess in handling the opposite sex. Inspired by this, Mike meets a girl named Nikki and gets her phone number. Back at his apartment, however, he leaves a series of increasingly anxious and desperate messages on her answering machine until she calls back and disgustedly orders him not to call her again. Missing Michelle more than ever, he contemplates moving back to New York until Rob comes over and consoles him. Out again for swing night at a Hollywood night club, Mike spots a woman named Lorraine. He summons all his courage to approach and connect with her. The following morning, Mike receives a call from Michelle, and finds that he no longer misses her. When Lorraine calls him, Mike ends his call with Michelle to connect further with Lorraine.

The story’s exposition takes its time, but in a perfect way. Every scene has a sincere purpose and contributes to establishing the depth of its characters. But it’s beyond just the characters. A movie is refreshingly good if even the circumstances have depth. In fact, that’s when it’s great.

 

REVIEW: WEDDING CRASHERS

CAST

Owen Wilson (Zoolander)
Vince Vaughn (Swingers)
Christopher Walken (The Prophecy)
Rachel McAdams (Sherlock Holmes)
Isla FIsher (Grimsby)
Jane Seymour (Smallville)
Ellen Albertini Dow (Patch Adams)
Keir O’Donnell (Paul Blart: Mall Cop)
Bradley Cooper (Joy)
Henry Gibson (Sabrina: The Teenage Witch)
Ron Canada (Ted 2)
Jennifer Alden (Surrogates)
Dwight Yoakam (Panic Room)
Will Ferrell (Elf)
Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives)
Rebecca De Mornay (The Hand That Rocks The Cradle)
David Conrad (Agents of SHIELD)
Geoff Stults (The Finder)

John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughn) are divorce mediators in Washington D.C. who “crash” wedding parties to meet and bed women. At the end of a season of successful crashes, Jeremy takes John to a wedding for the daughter of the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, William Cleary (Christopher Walken). Once inside, the pair set their sights on Cleary’s other daughters, Gloria (Isla Fisher) and Claire (Rachel McAdams). Jeremy ends up having sex with Gloria on a nearby beach during the reception. Gloria is possessive and quickly becomes obsessed with Jeremy, and Jeremy urges John to escape the reception with him.Meanwhile, John attempts to court Claire, the maid of honor, but is interrupted by her hotheaded boyfriend, Sack Lodge (Bradley Cooper), who is unfaithful and disrespectful behind her back. When Gloria invites Jeremy and John to an extended weekend party at their family compound, John overrules Jeremy to accept and get closer to Claire. John and Jeremy become acquainted with the Clearys at their home: the Secretary’s wife (Jane Seymour) sexually harasses John; Gloria’s brother Todd (Keir O’Donnell) tries to seduce Jeremy during the night; Gloria continues to lavish unwanted sexual attention on Jeremy; and Sack repeatedly injures Jeremy during a game of touch football. At dinner, John spikes Sack’s wine with eye-drops to make him sick and get more time to connect with Claire.John and Claire continue to bond the next day on a sailing trip. The suspicious Sack takes the men on a hunting trip, where Jeremy is shot in the buttocks. While he recovers, John and Claire go on a bike ride to a secluded beach. Claire finally admits she isn’t sure how she feels about Sack and ends up kissing John passionately. Meanwhile, Gloria tends to Jeremy’s wounds and reveals to him that she is not as innocent or inexperienced as she initially let on. Jeremy realizes that he himself has been played and that he may be in love with Gloria.Ready to confess everything to Claire to convince her not to marry Sack, John is interrupted by Jeremy being chased out of the house: Sack has investigated and revealed John and Jeremy’s identities to the family. Betrayed, Claire turns away from John and the Secretary tells them to leave. Over the following months, John attempts to reach Claire but she refuses to see him. He attempts to crash Claire and Sack’s engagement party but is caught and beaten by Sack. Confronting Jeremy about abandoning him, he learns that Jeremy has secretly continued his relationship with Gloria. Betrayed, John spirals into depression, crashing weddings alone and becoming nihilistic and suicidal. Meanwhile, as Claire and Sack plan their wedding, Claire’s doubts grow. Jeremy proposes to Gloria and tries to ask John to be his best man, but a depressed John refuses.936full-wedding-crashers-screenshot1John visits Jeremy’s former wedding crashing mentor, Chazz Reinhold (an uncredited Will Ferrell), who convinces him to crash a funeral. While there, he reconsiders his belief in love and marriage and rushes to Jeremy’s wedding. John joins the wedding mid-ceremony to Jeremy’s delight, but Claire is upset by his appearance, prompting John to profess his love to her and his regret for his past behavior in front of the congregation. Sack interrupts, but Claire finally tells him that she can’t marry him. Sack tries to attack John, but Jeremy intervenes to knock him out, and John and Claire kiss. After the wedding, the two couples drive away from the ceremony together, discussing crashing another wedding together, apparently skipping Jeremy’s own wedding reception.wedding_crashers

I admit Wedding Crashers is far from perfect, at time situations seem too contrived, the nudity is laughably gratuitous, and Claire’s evil fiancée Sack (Bradley Cooper) is an almost too heavy-handed device to make Wilson look good. But if you can look past all that, and simply accept it for what it is, you’re left with a very funny film.

REVIEW: LAY YOUR FAVOURITE

CAST

Rebecca Hall (The Town)
Bruce Willis (Red)
Vince Vaughn (Wedding Crashers)
Catherine Zeta-Jones (The Mask of Zorro)
Joshua Jackson (Cruel Intentions)
Corbin Bernsen (Psych)
Laura Prepon (That 70s Show)
Frank Grillo (The Purge)
Wayne Pere (Galaxy Quest)

Beth is becoming bored with her life in Florida, doing stripteases and lap dances for private customers. Her dad, Jerry, tells her to follow her dream of moving to Las Vegas, where she seeks honest work as a cocktail waitress.A young woman named Holly, who lives at the same Vegas motel, arranges for Beth to meet Dink Heimowitz, a professional gambler who follows the fast-changing odds on sporting events and employs assistants at Dink, Inc., to lay big-money bets for him. Beth is intrigued and it turns out she has a good mind for numbers, easily grasping Dink’s system and becoming his protege. A young journalist, Jeremy, becomes attracted to Beth, but she’s hooked on the excitement and income that gambling provides and is not ready to settle for any kind of normal life.When she begins expressing a more personal interest in her much-older mentor, Dink’s sharp-tongued wife, Tulip, lets it be known in no uncertain terms that she wants Beth out of her husband’s life. Against his advice, Beth accepts a similar job for a rival gambler, a man called Rosie who runs an illegal operation based in Curaçao. She succeeds there at first, but both Rosie and the job turn out to be extremely dangerous, and several lives depend on the outcome of one last game of basketball.It is not an inside look at the gambling industry per se, but it gives you enough of a glimpse. Not the greatest of films but worth watching on a slow night.