Little Buddy Review: ‘Cinderella (2015)’


               From the first moment I heard of this film I was hesitant in the desire to see it let alone give it a second thought.  Pretty much since the garbage fest that was Enchanted I have been very wary of the wave of reinterpretations for classic or beloved characters and stories to some god awful feminist drivel.  I thought that this would be another retelling of something that was once awesome to make it some overly hyped tough girl who doesn’t need a man story.  A story where the prince is an idiot and Cinderella will slap her sisters around and at the end she would end up being her own woman and tell the prince off.  But, I did need another movie to review and I thought this one, if I was right, would be fun to rip into.  So how did it turn out?

                A young girl named Ella in her early childhood grew up with wealthy parents who gave her unconditional love and inspiration.  After her mother’s death, when she is a young adult (played by Lily James) her father eventually marries a woman, Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchet) who lost her husband.  She brings her two daughter to the marriage and after Ella’s fathers subsequent death, the new family begin to treat Ella as a servant changing her name to Cinderella as she was prone to sleep in the ashes of the kitchen’s fireplace.  The prince (Richard Madden) of the kingdom has requested that all ladies of his kingdom of all walks of life join him for a ball where is supposed to pick a princess before his father’s death.  He does this in hopes that the girl he met in the forest and was smitten by right away will show up.  That girl was Ella and with the help of her fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) she will be able to go to the ball and see the prince again.

                Kenneth Branagh is a phenomenal director when he does period films and he uses that skill to great effect here.  The film has the fanciful nature of the early Disney animated movies.  From the beginning you are caught up in the brightness and fun look of the film.  The entire cast is spot on in their roles.  It’s interesting to see characters from Downtown Abby and Game of Thrones together.  Lily James is pitch perfect as the naïve yet loveable Cinderella and brings her own beauty and charm to enhance the role.  This film is definitely a star making performance from her.  Madden is also great as the prince charming role and has some great chemistry with James.  Cate Blanchet, as usual, is perfect as the evil stepmother.  The rest of the cast is rounded out with some great character actors that bring humor and charm to the story, but the one out of place is Helena Bonham Carter.  She is the only actor who seems miscast here.  She does well but the way she plays her character just doesn’t seem to fit, but it’s a decent enough try.

cinderella 2015 still

                What Branagh did here respects the original classic Disney film and he should be commended for that.  Our overly PC and psycho feminist culture in America ruins what could be great movies and this one could have been yet another disaster.  Instead we are treated to a pleasant movie that brings up and encourages themes of chivalry, honesty and the desire to get out of your comfort zone to fulfill a dream while everyone else around you is working against it.

                Cinderella is a whimsical, refreshing in its presentation, charming and a call back to what made Disney great in the first place.  Innocence, love, honor, standing up for yourself, etc.  See this when you get the chance.

3 stars out of 4

Posted in Review, Little Buddy Review | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: ‘Trainwreck’

trainwreck poster

                For a man who is quoted on Starbucks bags and cups as asking people to be respectful to one another, Judd Apatow is disrespectful to the point of outright hatred for anyone he disagrees with.  Of course you can guess that that lack of respect is aimed at conservatives, pro-lifers, Christians, you know, the usual targets for dirtbag liberals who ignore and or make excuses for radical Islam.  The 40 Year-Old Virgin was a great film.  This is 40 was a great film.  Knocked Up was a horrible film, but these all have common themes throughout them that go against what Apatow believes.  Those themes are very conservative and somewhat Christian tin nature.  It’s hard to even desire to see a movie he is involved with because he hates people like me do specifically.  All that to say, I still gave Trainwreck a shot and it’s mainly because I think Bill Hader is very good in everything he does.  Does Apatow’s latest film show a positive look on the themes he so vocally hates personally or is this one that falls flat from first time screenwriter Amy Schumer?

                Amy (Amy Schumer) is a woman that doesn’t want to get tied down by relationships but wants to have meaningless sex with anyone she deems worthy, all while drinking and smoking weed to over excess.   While working at her magazine company, she is given the assignment to interview an up and coming sports doctor Aaron (Bill Hader).  What she didn’t expect was to actually start to fall for the doctor and she needs to come to terms that maybe she has been leading her life all wrong.

                Before we delve into the story we’ll quickly go over the acting and feel of the film.  As acting goes, Trainwreck has filled itself with some noteworthy performances and those mostly come from the supporting cast.  Schumer is fine and shows how confident she is in comedy but her character is very hard to like for most of the film.  Hader, not surprisingly, is one of the best parts of the film, giving a wonderful comedic performance that plays well off of everyone else who may share a scene with him.  The three great surprises came from LeBron James, John Cena and Tilda Swinton.  All three are surprisingly funny and keep up well with the rest of the cast which consists of mostly seasoned comedians.  Collin Quinn rounds out the main cast and is a welcome addition to the film as its resident veteran comic.  The film is bright, as most rom-coms are and flows nicely with hardly any boring down times that can sometimes hurt the genre.

trainwreck still

                For what it’s worth, Trainwreck is a paint by numbers rom-com that utilizes what has become the norm in today’s comedies of fairly uncomfortable scenes and everyone smoking pot.  Does this story fit the conservative and Christian values Apatow has shown in his films before?  To some extent yes.  During the course of the film, it is shown that having a promiscuous lifestyle is harmful to the people doing it.  Drinking and doing drugs is looked down upon.  Family and marriage is seen as something that is not only positive but something the main character comes to respect and might even want for herself.  In other words, once again, the guy who hates such ethical stances knows that to do the opposite, i.e. keep sleeping around, doing drugs and no big deal, isn’t going to make as much money.

                It pains me to say that Apatows latest directorial effort is a success even though it is a by the book, been there done that rom-com.  Its success has nothing to do with Apatow; it has to do with its writer and the cast, both of which carry the movie along on one funny and enjoyable experience.  Lots of swearing here and not appropriate for lots of people.

3 stars out of 4

Posted in Review | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Review: “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation’

rogue nation poster

                I apologize for the lack of reviews/articles here over the last few weeks.  My family and I have been moving into our new house and it has taken up a considerable amount of time as well as working more than full time during the week.  It also didn’t help that I was seeing movies that didn’t inspire any desire for me to write about.  I was finally able to sneak off to the movies in between unpacking boxes and building things to see the newest addition to one of my favorite franchises, Mission Impossible.  When the second film in a series of five is the weakest link and it’s still pretty darn entertaining, you have a franchise that is just one big cash cow.  After Ghost Protocol’s popularity around the world, it was inevitable that there would be another film and thankfully there was.  Was it worth it?

                Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and team have been working tirelessly to continue to protect the world form the evils that want to destroy parts of it.  Because of a disgruntled CIA chief (Adam Baldwin), the IMF agency has now been halted and its agents added to the CIA employee list.  Hunt, believing that he has finally found the leader of the “syndicate” has once again gone rogue to try and track him down.  He uses the help of Benji (Simon Pegg), Will (Jeremy Renner) and a possible double agent named Ilsa (Rebecca Fergusun) as both the syndicate and the CIA try to track him down.  Hunt and team must work together to take down a group that works as the opposite of their team, one that seeks to cause destruction and chaos across the globe.

                The Mission Impossible franchise shows completely no signs of slowing down.  This is a fantastic summer movie.  Like those that came before, the ensemble cast is all great.  Cruise is still great in his role and shows that even though he is 53, he can still draw in a crowd.  New cast member Fergusen did not look well in the trailers, but in the movie as a whole, she does very well in keeping up with Cruise and the rest of the cast.  Pegg and Renner, who fit well in their roles as pretty much the tension easers with their spot on humor as well as their ability to create well, rounded characters in this series.  Alec Baldwin is a great addition to the series which most always is the case when he is brought onto a film.  The films bad guy, as played by Sean Harris, is second best villain in the whole series just behind Phillip Seymour Hoffman of course.  But it’s not just the acting the draws the audience in.  It’s the action.

rogue nation still

                Ghost Protocol raised the bar extremely high for action scenes and even though Rogue doesn’t surpass it, it still all comes together for more than one “wow” scenes.  If you’ve seen the trailers then you already know there is the usual Tom Cruise being crazy doing his own stunts action.  There is also a great car chase sequence in the film that at times had my palms feeling sweaty.  The fisticuffs scenes as well as the gun battles are all top notch and seemed to be placed perfectly where they are for the pacing.  The set pieces and locations, as usual, look great with the water filled break-in being one of the best.  The action and pacing all fit well with the usual theme here, good versus evil and good doing everything it can to stop evil.  Simple and great when done right like it is here.

                Not a lot to be offended with here and this is another great summer movie this year.  Can’t wait for the next one.

3 and ½ stars out of 4

Posted in Review | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Little Buddy Review: ‘Minions’


                Despicable Me was an out of nowhere franchise that has spawned one sequel and lots and lots of merchandise cash.  While I was not initially interested in seeing the film lots of friends and family members said it was great so I finally got around to watching it and loved it.  A few years later Despicable Me 2 came out and it was another winner.  So when news of a minion’s only movie would be made, there was no real surprise due to their popularity.  Is Minions a worthy addition to the franchise?

                The little yellow men known as “minions” have been around since the dawn of time.  Since their very beginning they were always in search of serving the most evil life form on the planet.  Throughout the ages they would always mess up in some way that would see their new evil masters depart until they found themselves alone and living in the arctic.  As boredom sets in, three minions named Kevin, Stuart and Bob are tasked with going out into the world and finding a new evil master to serve.  Through their adventure they come to Villain Con, a convention of all things villainous.  After mistakenly winning a test given to the crowd by Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock), they find themselves in her employ.  They find that their first job as Overkill’s minions is to steal the royal crown in England.

                The answer to the question, is Minions a good addition to this franchise is kind of iffy.  While it works well as a standalone film, I’m not convinced it needed to be done outside of the eventual cash cow it will be.  It looks great and has many laugh out loud moments.  The voice acting is all good.  Jon Hamm is one of the best parts of the film with his goofy husband to Bullocks character.  The three main minions are given enough difference to make it work as a small family trying to help the larger family.  The story though doesn’t seem to deliver in the end.  The beginning montage of who they served in the past seemed more interesting than what we end up with here.  There’s nothing overly offensive about the story it just needed heart which it doesn’t have and cuteness doesn’t make for a good substitution.

minions still

                I was very surprised there were several scenes that really shouldn’t have been in a children’s film.  Story wise I get why they are there, but I was really uncomfortable with my 4 year old son watching them next to me in a theater full of kids.  To give a few examples in case that gives you pause to take your own kids are the following two.  Early in the film, three of the minions are picked up by what seems like a normal happy family.  Within a few minutes, that same family, kids and all, put on ski masks, grab guns and rob a bank.  Another scene has one of the villains in a medieval torture chamber trying his hardest to hurt the minions.  I realize that both these scenes and any of the others are played for laughs, which is fine if it was targeted for an older group.  Thankfully my son didn’t really grasp what those scenes really meant, but it could spark some interesting conversations you may not really be ready for with younger kids.

                All that to say this is a decent film that could have been much better and has an unfortunate amount of inappropriate material for younger audiences.

2 stars out of 4

Posted in Little Buddy Review | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Review: ‘Ant Man’

ant man poster                Last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy was a surprise runaway hit.  Marvel was able to take a more obscure title into a huge box office hit.  At the time of Guardians release, marvel had in development another obscure title called Ant-Man.  A project gestating for almost eight years under the brilliant eye of Edgar Wright.  At the time of production, Wrights project of love was no longer his but Peyton Reeds.  This usually means bad things for a movie but many still had faith that the film would be good mostly because of the star power behind it.  Would Ant-Man be a disaster without the direction of dedicated fan Wright or would it still be able to pack the surprise punch that Guardians was able to deliver to audiences around the world?

                Recently released from jail, burglar Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) wants to get his life together so he can be with his daughter.  After months of finding it hard to get or even keep a menial job, Scott finds out that his roommate, Luis (Michael Pena) has heard that there may be a job that will help keep him stable financially.  Scott breaks into the house of Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and opens a safe, not to find loads of money, but a weird suit that Scott takes.  After trying on the suit Scott finds that he can shrink down to the size of an insect and that Pym has planned this to recruit him to become the “Ant-Man”.  Pym and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) want him to break into Pym’s old company and still a weapon Pym’s former assistant Darren (Corey Stoll) has created to profit of war.

ant man still 1

                While I was super hyped for and will always wonder what Edgar Wrights version would have been, this one went above and beyond what I was expecting out of a movie about this character.  The cast, down to the most smallest…heh… character is all spot on.  Paul Rudd backs off a bit from his improve genius to give a subtler humorous character than what he might usually play.  He is perfect casting for this character.  Michael Douglas is fantastic as the gravitas this film needed.  Get excited for that opening scene with him and the practically perfect CGI de-aging he has.  I was able to look past the fact that Evangeline Lilly plays one of the worst television characters of all time; she is more than up to the task here to play a somewhat bitter yet loving daughter to Douglas’ character.  Stoll brings menace to his character which I did not expect.  Maybe it’s because his character in The Strain isn’t an evil bad guy.  I think for Stoll, the shaved head was the way to sell it, beyond the crazy eyes he starts to give as his character becomes progressively crazier.  Last but not least is the always great Michael Pena.  He steals practically every scene he is in.  As for action scenes for Ant Man are worth the price of admission themselves.  They are both creative and exciting and bring something new to the table.  Its Scott Lang’s fight with a surprise character that is one of the best parts of the movie.

                As for the story, it is typical and if it was not for the actors playing the usually generic characters this movie could have fallen flat on its face.  Yet, like almost every Marvel movie before it there is the right amount of heroism, good versus evil and a character seeking redemption for the greater good.  Some have thought the father daughter scenario wasn’t needed or wasn’t done well but I disagree.  Over the last year or so, having a four year old has given me a little bit of a softer heart for those characters in films that play dads or want to protect kids.  So yeah, kind of got choked up at some scenes.

ant man still3

                This was better than Avengers: Age of Ultron because of its humor, action scenes and story.  Ant Man is another great summer film that you can take your family to.  There are a few cuss words and maybe one scene that might freak out some kids having to do with incineration, but for the most part it’s pretty clean.  Marvel just keeps the hits coming.

4 stars out of 4

Posted in Review | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Terrific Trailer Tuesday Double Feature

batmanvsuperman poster

Now this is the trailer we’ve been waiting for.  While the teaser was a bit of a let down, this was something that gets fans excited.  Ben Affleck seems to have been a good choice and I am glad I wasn’t as reactionary as most people when his casting was first announced.  The film looks great and I can’t wait for some of those scenes.  Luther looking goofy is the biggest critique I have with this but that could be on purpose.  Some cool things I noticed from the trailer.  First is that we get to see a filmed version of what looks like the Batman suit from the graphic novel Red Son.  Also, with how big that battle involving Superman, Batman and Wonder Women looks epic enough that the rumors of Doomsday showing up might be correct.  What do you think?

Next up is a film released after the above film and I just might be looking forward to this one more than Batman v Superman.  Coming from David Ayer who directed the best film of last year and this looks awesome!  Check out Jared Leto at the end and try not to get excited.

Posted in Terrific Trailer Tuesdays | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Review: ‘Ex Machina’

ex machina poster

                It has been a fun decade for science fiction for me at least.  From fun action films like Battle: Los Angeles, Dredd, the Planet of the Apes reboots to more serious fair like A Scanner Darkly, District 9, and Timecrimes.  It’s been fun to see that this genre is still going strong with absolutely no end in sight.  The latest addition is Ex Machina that may give us a look at the philosophical side of science fiction and the implications of what artificial intelligence may look like one day.  Is it another great addition to the genre or just a subpar addition to keep to the side?

                Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) has just won the Bluebook companywide contest to spend the weekend with the CEO of the company and pick his brain.  He is flown to the CEO, Nathan’s Oscar Isaac who very quickly has Caleb a legal contract that everything he is about to learn will not be revealed to anyone.  After the signature is put to paper, Nathan tells Caleb that he has been working on artificial Intelligence and that Caleb is there to test it for him.  Sessions of time with Ava (Alicia Vikander), Nathan’s creation are set up where Caleb is tasked with finding out if the robot can persuade him that she is human.  Caleb quickly finds that he is able to easily connect with Ava and that maybe Nathan’s intentions aren’t purely scientific.

                This movie looks incredible whether it’s an exterior or interior scène. The pacing is spot on and the scenes with tension play out great.  The two lead males are fantastic.  Gleeson plays it with subtle wonder as well as a growing confidence if not outright cockiness by the end.  Isaac is the best part of the film as he has his character down and his choice of how he looked matched his character completely.  His character is just moments away from yelling at Gleeson for being a mindless peasant and shows so much overconfidence that it is endearing to his character.  He is fun to watch throughout.  Here’s where I might get the most flack when it comes to the acting critique.  Vikander did a good job but nothing ground breaking or phenomenal.  Not having taken any acting classes myself I would still think blankly staring, being wide eyed every so often, glimmers of emotion and monotone speaking would be rather easy.  Regardless, all cast members have a great chemistry and play off each other tremendously.

ex machina still

                As far as the story goes, I’m going to have to watch this one a few times to understand most of it, but when a movie can play smart with philosophy I’m all the way in.  What does it mean to be human?  That’s the center question for the film and it is asked in the form of can anything other than a living, breathing, organic person be classified as a human.  While the film doesn’t have a definitive answer, which works in the films favor, it does try to dig into what it might mean.  Is it conscious thought?  Is it the ability to be attracted to another person?  Having memories, scheming and so on.  In the end I don’t believe the Ava character is human because there is no emotion when she does things in the last half of the movie and she shows no concern or fear.  In the end, I think she is just a very cool computer.

                This is a fun science fiction movie just because of the way it looks and how it grips you from the very beginning.  With some great special effects and some intriguing acting this is a must for sci-fi buffs.  There is a lot of non-sexual related nudity and some language.  I look forward to a second viewing and finding things I missed the first time.

3 and ½ stars out of4

Posted in Review | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Why Did You Recommend That? ‘Slow West’


                It seems like forever since there has been a good western.  The last one I loved and is one of my favorites was Open Range and that was released in 2003.  The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford looked great but could drag.  3:10 to Yuma also was slow at times, which the viewer could really feel, but had enough action and themes that it was worth it.  Then you get horrid attempts like Appaloosa or the Proposition both of which were so boring and slow it was mind-numbing.  So when someone told me that there was a great western that was just released and starring Michael Fassbender, I was all in.  I shouldn’t have been.

                Jay (Kodi Smit-McPhee) comes from an aristocratic family in Scotland and has traveled to the United States to find his love.  His true love is named Rose (Caren Pistorius) a young peasant girl he falls in love with who had to flee to America after her father accidently kills Jay’s uncle.  During his travels he meets up with Silas (Michael Fassbender) who he pays to get him to her in one piece after realizing he can’t make it on his own in the west.  What Jay doesn’t know is that Silas is a bounty hunter seeking Rose and her father for the reward money.

                As usual, good out of the way so we can tear into this nonsense.  The acting across the board is great and the look and feel of the film is incredible.  What is unfortunate is that the story is so worthless.  It seems like a long drawn out college film made by someone who thinks he’s like, totally super deep.  Who thinks his long drawn out moments are so profound that he can taste the awards coming his way.  I’d use the word pretentious, but that would be too complementary.  Chock that up with all the wasted talent and incredible cinematography and this is actually heartbreaking in its failure.  It’s heartbreaking because the story is what makes the film a complete failure and its downfall.

slow west still

                I have read other reviews, glowing in their praise because, well, who knows why.  Well, those same reviews say that this movie is a deep and emotional look into what love is.  What?  From the start you know that the boy is delusional and is so blind to the fact he has been friendzoned he travels hundreds of miles to find the girl that doesn’t care about him thinking they are in love.  Not only friendzoned but, in all honesty it doesn’t seem like she would care one bit if she ever saw him again.  That’s all topped off with her using him one last time before he takes his last breath to save her wretched self.  Honestly?  It feels like the makers actually had this happen to them with a girl and this is their way of getting back at them.  ”Here’s how you hurt me, by callously shooting me in the heart and then pouring salt (yeah, that’s really in the movie) in the wound.  Well, I’m a director now so meh.”  That being the point of the whole story is what makes this film such a waste of time.  Why should you care about a character this dumb?  His only point is to open the mind of Fassbenders character to something good in the world.  But that all falls flat because there wasn’t something good in the world for the kid, just a selfish girl who needed someone to play with in her dull life.

                Don’t waste your time unless you like slow agonizing torture.  The film did look unbelievable.  It just sucks that the story was such a pile.

1 star out of 4

Posted in Review, Why Did You Recommend That? | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Why Did You Recommend That? ‘While We’re Young’


                It’s been over a year since someone recommended a movie to me…most likely because I do this article and usually tear the film apart.  Well, during my recent visit back to San Diego I was told that While We’re Young was a good movie I should consider.  It didn’t click at first that this would be another one of these articles, again, it’s been awhile, but then I started the movie.  Let’s just say being annoyed through most of the movie isn’t a good thing.

                Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts) are a middle aged couple who have found themselves in a bit of a rut with their marriage.  They each do their own thing separately and when they do come together there is no connection, which is made all the more difficult because of their smart phones.  During a class, Josh meets a young married couple (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried) who seem interested in his documentary career.  Josh and his wife start to hang out with the couple feeling that their interaction with them makes them feel alive again and important.  Once Josh agrees to help on their documentary, he begins to slowly but surely feel that maybe these two aren’t what they seem to be.

                Starting with the good, as I usually try to do, the acting in this film is across the board great.  Adam Driver plays the stuck up know-it-all hipster to perfection.  Stiller and Watts are also great in their roles of an older married couple trying to figure things out.  Charles Grodon, someone I miss in film and television is a very welcome presence here.  The cinematography is also well done here, given the film the matching annoying instagram feeling throughout.  Where this film should have shined was in the story, which was wasted to make some stupid point about what truth is.


                Maybe I am finally old, but watching a movie about an older married couple finding what happiness is through two pretentious and annoying hipsters isn’t enjoyable.  Now, coming up on the ten year mark in my marriage, I can understand the rut that can become all too familiar and the desire to find that spark again.  That’s what I wanted this movie to be about, not some pseudo-intellectual tripe about what truth is in today’s world.  Truth, to this films point no longer matters, especially in today’s society.  It’s about what we think or can make people think is true.  It was so frustrating seeing the cheating elitist hipster get away with what he did and to be hailed as brilliant by today’s young execs and yesterday’s liberal heroes.  Top all this off with the final moments of the film finding the couple staring at a toddler playing with an IPhone.  Before credits roll we see that as they stare the face they start to make is one of uncertainty and even possibly fear in that they made the wrong choice.

                Unfortunately this is what the world believes concerning truth.  It is subjective and there really is no such thing as truth outside of what the individual deems to be true or not.  The words of Grodon’s character at the end during his speech are empty words meant to be intellectual.  He nor the younger generation believe what he is saying concerning truth.  They, like true secularism and liberalism are liars wrapped snuggly in their blanket of self importance and the eternal struggle force acceptance, no matter how screwed up their worldview is.  Wasted talent, wasted potential, another waste of time.  But hey, I got a new article out of it…so I got that going for me.

1 and ½ stars out of 4

Posted in Review, Why Did You Recommend That? | 3 Comments

Review: ‘Unfinished Business’


                Vince Vaughn recently said that he agrees with most critics that his recent comedies have been subpar and just running through the motions.  I couldn’t disagree more.  Delivery Man may not have been as good as this film, but it had a very good moral theme that lacks in most comedies.  The Internship was another winner for Vaughn because of its message of hard work, even when you seem obsolete and what rewards could come from that.  Even though The Watch was a horrible waste of talent, his characters desire to protect his daughter still resonated.  How does Vaughn’s latest compare as far as morally positive and pro-family themes?

                Dan Trunkman has recently quit his job because of the manager’s lack of caring for those under her.  He starts a new business with the help of 67 year old Tim (Tom Wilkinson) and a young man named Mike (Dave Franco).  After a year of hard work, it looks like they may finally get a big deal with a huge company.  After traveling to the company to shake hands on the deal, Dan runs into his old boss Chuck (Sienna Miller) who is there to try and steal the deal from him.  The team finds themselves traveling to Germany to try and convince the head of this big company that they are the better deal.  All the while, Dan’s family at home is having problems of their own that he is trying to get back to and help with.

                This is the best of the recent run of Vince Vaughn comedies.  Vaughn brings a little more than just the straight man with fast zingers.  He is more restrained and shows the right range of emotions for everything that slows his character from reaching his final goal.  Franco also brings a range as far as playing the somewhat slow and eager to please salesman.  The character is sweet and gentle and has some of the funniest parts in the movie.  Wilkinson does well but I expected more from him.  James Marsden, who plays one of the senior executives in the company Vaughn’s character is trying to do business with is so smarmy and underhanded that you hate his character, which means he did a great job.  Also doing a great job at creating a character you hate is Sienna Miller.  Rounding out the characters is Nick Frost as the underling to Marsden’s character who really wants to do business with Vaughn and understands that it is best for his company.

unfinished business still

                The movie is at its best when the central premise of Vaughn’s character is trying to get business done while still staying connected with his family and doing it all for them.  Nowhere within the story does this character ever say that he is doing it for revenge, to prove something or his own pride.  He’s doing it because he is a hard worker who wants to support his family using the gifts he has in this business.  He is a loving father who makes assumptions about his kids throughout the film that end up being completely wrong.  When he finds that out, he actually tries to empathize and encourage his kids and its touching.  This is an important aspect of his character that makes the movie worth the watch.  What his character does to show his kids he cares is heartwarming as well as funny.  In the end, his daughter gives him one of the best encouragements back with what she thinks about her dad for a homework assignment.

                While I understand why Vince Vaughn said what he did in that interview, I disagree with him.  All of his recent comedies have him in a role that is admirable, whether it be for hard work, encouraging gifts in others or being a loving and protective father.  All that being said, this is a hard R movie with needless male and female nudity and lots of adult language.  So viewers beware on those points.

3 stars out of 4

Posted in Review | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments