Blog Archives

Devil’s DVD Disappointment: The Change-Up

Finally caught up with The Change-Up, while up in the…something that rhymes with up. Director David Dobkin developed, directed, and distributed (that last one is likely untrue, I just wanted the alliteration) the film, with stars Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds, and Leslie Mann. How does The Change-Up measure up? Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Horrible Bosses

Following in the footsteps of successful R-rated comedies of late, Horrible Bosses pieces together the slimmest of stories, hoping to ride the coattails of its actors and improvisation to a profitable box office. Gathered for your amusement are Jason Bateman (the everywhere-these-days straight man), Jason Sudeikis (continuing his role from Hall Pass), and Charlie Day (the manic, hamster-ish fellow from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), a group of long-term buddies intent on ending their occupational miseries by ending their bosses.

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The Change-Up

Finally caught up with The Change-Up, while up in the…something that rhymes with up. Director David Dobkin developed, directed, and distributed (that last one is likely untrue, I just wanted the alliteration) the film, with stars Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds, and Leslie Mann.  How does The Change-Up measure up?   Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Paul

You’d have to search pretty hard to find a single person-of-a-certain-age in the Western world who has escaped childhood without having seen E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, or a single Star Wars movie at least once. If you were young, receptive, and imaginative enough the first time you saw them, some of their images and themes (and the emotions they evoked) probably will stay with you forever, whether you like it or not. Such is the power of sci-fi, particularly of sci-fi movies: their pervasiveness in our lives, popular culture, and collective memory make us feel that we’re not alone, not only in terms of extraterrestrial life, but for the even stranger creatures that walk the earth – us, each alone, wondering if there’s anyone else who feels the same way and remembers the same things that we do. If you need proof that you’re not alone, here come Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and the movie Paul.

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Horrible Bosses

Following in the footsteps of successful R-rated comedies of late, Horrible Bosses pieces together the slimmest of stories, hoping to ride the coattails of its actors and improvisation to a profitable box office. Gathered for your amusement are Jason Bateman (the everywhere-these-days straight man), Jason Sudeikis (continuing his role from Hall Pass), and Charlie Day (the manic, hamster-ish fellow from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), a group of long-term buddies intent on ending their occupational miseries by ending their bosses.

Read the rest of this entry

Paul

You’d have to search pretty hard to find a single person-of-a-certain-age in the Western world who has escaped childhood without having seen E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, or a single Star Wars movie at least once. If you were young, receptive, and imaginative enough the first time you saw them, some of their images and themes (and the emotions they evoked) probably will stay with you forever, whether you like it or not. Such is the power of sci-fi, particularly of sci-fi movies: their pervasiveness in our lives, popular culture, and collective memory make us feel that we’re not alone, not only in terms of extraterrestrial life, but for the even stranger creatures that walk the earth – us, each alone, wondering if there’s anyone else who feels the same way and remembers the same things that we do. If you need proof that you’re not alone, here come Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and the movie Paul.

Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Couples Retreat

Seeing the previews for Couples Retreat and seeing the big name actors like Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, and Jason Bateman, it looked like comedy gold from first glance. In Olympic terms, I give it a bronze medal, close to silver however. While flaws were evident, the film did amuse. Read the rest of this entry

Up in the Air (Lil Devil)

This is a tough time in America’s history. Recession means bankruptcy, and unemployment runs rampant as factories close and their roles are filled overseas. Unlike anyone else in the country, for Ryan Bingham, these are the glory days. His job is traveling to and fro between just about every city or town on the map, and giving loyal workers the professional boot. Many stories concern those who walk “the road less traveled”; Bingham takes that road, along with several thousand more. He doesn’t relish this task; he’s like the garbageman, only the garbage asks him how he sleeps at night. What he does relish is the act of flying itself, as he feels more at home in the airport terminal than the address on his driver’s license (which I suspect he doesn’t have or need). This is a one-of-a-kind character, in a one-of-a-kind movie. The movie is Up in the Air, directed by Jason Reitman and starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick, and it’s one trip well worth undertaking. Read the rest of this entry

Couples Retreat (Lonely Devil)

Seeing the previews for Couples Retreat and seeing the big name actors like Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, and Jason Bateman, it looked like comedy gold from first glance.  In Olympic terms, I give it a bronze medal, close to silver however.  While flaws were evident, the film did amuse. Read the rest of this entry

Extract (Devil’s Advocate Review)

First, and foremost, a lot of what I will say, deals with the writer/director Mike Judge, whom coming off a short hiatus from his last directorial film, Idiocracy (2006) is hungry to put the tongue-in-cheek comedy back onto the main stage. His main staple, his claim to fame, is the two animated characters of Beavis & Butthead. Knowing that at least some point in the ninety’s you’ve heard of these two colorful characters, gives you a slight idea of how the mind of Mike Judge works. Further more, if you haven’t seen his film Office Space, or are unfamiliar with the film, it is HIGHLY recommended you see it first, even before you read any further into this review. I guarantee that film will set the tone of how interested you may become in spending 10+ bucks to see Extract.

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Extract

After a hiatus to tackle more existential realms (Idiocracy), Mike Judge returns to the normal, everyday working world with Extract.  He trades in his white collar heroes/criminals of Office Space for a grungy, factory blue one, but fails to find the hilarity that made his first film a cultural phenomenon.

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