Friday, February 25, 2011

My Week In Movies - The Mule Still Talks

Just Go With It (2011) About 10 minutes into Adam Sandler's new romantic comedy you realize that he's not going to end up with the girl you're supposed to think he's going to end up with because it's not Jennifer Aniston, and Jennifer Aniston is a much bigger star than the other girl. The other girl in question is played by swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker. Her and Adam Sandler's doctor character meet and fall in love, but after a serious of wacky mishaps that only happen in the movies, Sandler talks his assistant, Jennifer Aniston, and her family to pretend they are his ex-wife and kids to impress his new younger girlfriend. Of course, while all this is going on I'm thinking how in movies a relationship built on lies is all going to backfire in the end, we've seen it all a million times. I'm happy to report that Just Go With It wisely skips the majority of the predictable ending they set up and stick mostly to playing the film just for laughs. All I ever ask from a comedy is to be funny and keep being funny, and this fluffy romantic slapstick delivers. Jennifer Aniston is great and even outshines Sandler in the comedy department. Brooklyn Decker sizzles on the screen and proves to be a much more competent actor than anyone would give a swimsuit model credit for. Comedian Nick Swardson is hilarious as Sandler's brother who gets mixed up in the whole affair and pretends to be Aniston's new boyfriend Dolph Lundgren. I also gotta give Nicole Kidman props for hamming it up in a small supporting role. Good times at the theatre. Rated PG-13, for commercial purposes. There is almost nothing offensive in this lighthearted film, except for a few minor curse words and a moment or two of sexuality. It might have been rated PG-13 just because Brooklyn Decker is so scorching hot!?

You Again (2010) Oh boy, was this a bad movie! Kristen Bell returns home for the wedding of her older brother only to find out he's marrying her high school nemesis. As it turns out, the fiance's aunt is Bell's mother's high school nemesis. Then all wacky holy heck breaks loose! The cast is impressive, with Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver and Betty White, but the script is so flat and silly and once again with the "isn't this funny" musical score. Half of this movie is accompanied with wacky, mischievous music cranked up so loud...all the time trying to tell you - wait for it, wait for it, this is going to be funny! Even Betty White can't save this mess from making any sense. Just not a good movie. Rated PG, surprisingly not a single curse word is muttered nor is there any sex or off-color jokes.

Francis Covers The Big Town (1953) In the fourth instalment of the Francis the Talking Mule series, Francis and his buddy Peter end up in New York City where Peter gets a job at a newspaper. Francis gets all the dirt in town chatting to the police horses and passes the news onto Peter who quickly becomes the top reporter at the paper. This seems to be the perfect gig for Peter since he still hasn't learned to keep his mouth shut about his talking animal friend. Now all Peter how to do when questioned about the whereabouts of his information is simply remind everyone that a good report never divulges the source of his information. But trouble soon finds Peter and Francis once again and it's all more fun than you can shake a carrot at! There's three more Francis movies for me to see, but they aren't out on DVD so I'll have a harder time tracking them down. I've really been enjoying these films. Again, this one is not rated but does have some mild violence.

Bedtime For Bonzo (1951) President Ronald Regan stars in this
wacky comedy where he adopts a chimp, hires a young pretty housekeeper to help out and then tries to juggle his girlfriend and a monkey throwing things around. This is exactly like a good ol' fashioned Disney comedy (which it's not) and Bonzo provides plenty of laughs and charm to carry the picture. But the added bonus of having Ronald Regan on board, who didn't usually play roles like this and knowing that he would be president of the most powerful nation in the all makes the movie more fun. Supposedly, this was Regan's least favorite film that he was in - but it also happens to be his most widely remembered role. None of the cast of this picture signed on for a sequel - Bonzo Goes To College - which is not on DVD and that's a crying shame because it would be next on my Netflix queue. Not rated.

Scooby-Doo: Curse of the Lake Monster (2010) Why is it that these direct-to-DVD prequels are better than the two theatrical films. This fourth live action Scooby Doo mystery is every bit as faithful and true to the original cartoon is a cartoon-to-live action film should be. A simple story involving the Mystery Inc. gang getting summer jobs at a country club and helping to solve the mystery of a legendary monster nearby. There are a few supporting roles played by some familiar faces from classic TV and there are a couple of nice hidden references to Hanna-Barbera. The kids and I are definitely on board for a 5th go-round! Unrated, but basically a G. There is some very mild crude humor and some romantic undertones.

In The Navy (1941) After the success of their first staring vehicle, the Army themed Buck Privates, Abbott and Costello enlisted in the Navy for another service picture. This follow up features more of the same ingredients that made the first movie so much fun including The Andrew Sisters and plenty of Abbott and Costello's classic comedy routines. The DVD includes production notes which says that In The Navy went into production in mid-December 1940 and hit theatres by the end of January 1941. That's some turn around that modern day Hollywood could never touch. To top it off, the film was one of the highest grosses of 1941. Not rated - good old fashioned fun!

The Filthiest Show in Town (1973) Via Netflix, I thought I had discovered an unheard of sketch comedy film from the early 70's, instead what I discovered was that I had rented an early 70's soft core porno. The set up is a parody of The Dating Game, complete with commercials and obscenity trail. Besides being dull and boring, this film's biggest crime is that it just wasn't funny! Rated R for language, non-stop nudity, and graphic sexual situations.

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