Not a lot of people know who Adam McKay is but he's Will Ferrell's best friend. They met on SNL when McKay was the head writer. He's responsible for such brilliant films as Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Step Brother, The Other Guys and the co-founder of Funny or Die. I love it when he's behind the camera. He seems to put out top shelf entertainment and some of the funniest films ever made. Get Hard has all the feel of an Adam McKay movie but it's not. He just came up with the story and the rest was outsourced to a first-time director and that's where it went wrong.
Will Ferrell is one of the funniest, if not the funniest, people alive today. He could look into the camera and read from the Wall Street Journal and make it funny. He's joined by Kevin Hart in this film (hear my full interview with him below), a king of comedy in his own right. The premise of the film seems hilarious enough -- a millionaire douchebag is going to jail but before he does he hires a black man, he assumes has been to jail because he's black, to teach him how to survive prison. Sure, it's a racist premise but it's not the first time a comedy has been made that set out to poke us in our collective racial sensitivity. But for some reason, this plot just kind of sucked.
Another big problem with the film is that director Etan Cohen doesn't have the experience to pull the plug on a scene before it wears out its welcome. There are moments in Get Hard that are amazingly funny but then go on for another few minutes and that negates whatever comedic progress was made in the scene before that. Not to mention that some bits in the film don't work at all from the very beginning and they go on too long as well. It makes those particular moments especially frustrating to watch. Cohen chooses to go for shock instead of actual comedy for much of the film.
Ferrell and Hart are funny in the film though despite a lousy script. That might be my own bias about them as performers though. They don't have a ton of chemistry but given the nature of their characters, that's fine. Ferrell is known for ad libbing and improvising most of his dialogue and Hart comes across as someone who sticks to the script. I'm not sure how much of that went on in Get Hard but if I had to guess, it was a lot.
I appreciate what McKay and his crew for Get Hard try to do with the social/political message they have in this. I also appreciate how hard they try to get that message across and still create a funny film, which they did for the most part. Get Hard isn't the total disaster that some are saying but it's far from the success the premise could have made it. When you put two of the funniest working comics in a movie together the expectations of greatness should be reached. They're not. And that is the real crime.
Rachel Hollis is a 32-year-old mom of three, and she's not afraid to wear a bikini to the beach.
She writes a lifestyle blog called The Chic Site, and used it to share an Instagram picture of herself on the beach in a two-piece, and she's inspiring women around the world to celebrate their mom-bods.
"I have stretch marks and I wear a bikini," she wrote. "I have a belly that's permanently flabby from carrying three giant babies and I wear a bikini. My belly button is saggy... (which is something I didn't even know was possible before!!) and I wear a bikini. I wear a bikini because I'm proud of this body and every mark on it."
Check out the picture, and the rest of what she has to say.
This could be one of the most bizarre stories ever.
A woman is suing the City of New York after she was locked up unnecessarily in a psychiatric ward for eight days following the confiscation of her car by the authorities.
She admits she got a little high-strung while trying to get her BMW back from the police, but when she tried to prove what an upstanding citizen she was by showing that Barack Obama followed her on Twitter, she got locked up.
Here's the kicker - turns out that @BarackObama does follow her on Twitter - except it's not POTUS, it's one of his campaign non-profit organizations.
Still, eight days in the psych ward and a bill for $13,000 for the stay seems a bit much, don't you think?
Out of all the film festivals, Cannes seems to be the most snooty, at least to me. Maybe because it takes place in the south of France or maybe because the movies that end up making a splash are the kind that most people end up rolling their eyes at when they get a wide release in America. Rarely do horror films get a buzz at any film festival let alone that one. It Follows is the movie that bucked the system. It was one of like five films to come out of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival with a lot of attention. Whenever that happens and it's to a genre that never gets the credit it deserves, I take notice and so should you.
Obviously, It Follows has a cast of unknown actors and all of them are young. The lead is a stunning Maika Monroe who will be in many more films to come; trust me. The film sounds ridiculous but trust me, it's not. Imagine an STD of the supernatural kind. Monroe plays a young girl who has sex with a boy who then informs her that he's passed a curse on to her via sex. The curse is a creature that takes the form of different creepy humans that has one goal until she passes it to someone else...kill her. I know! I know! It SOUNDS stupid but upon viewing the film it feels totally ominous and logical.
For decades, horror films have used sex as justification for the villains. Michael Myers, Jason Vorhees, Freddy Kruger all killed naughty teens after they had sex and/or got drunk and high. It Follows takes that tired plot device and amps it up with a very real feeling of dread and panic. It's a perfect anxiety piece for anyone who has ever had an STD scare or got that dreaded diagnosis in real life. It's way more effective than a masked killer shoving a butcher's knife into your chest. No matter what is happening on the screen at the time, you know that this creature is moving slowly toward Monroe in a deliberate mission to kill her. It never stops its pursuit and you don't know why.
Now, know that this film isn't scary. That's important to get across because that's all some of you want from a horror film and there's nothing wrong with that. Personally, I feel like the best horror movies are the ones that are expertly directed and have an overall sense of dread and creepiness. Writer/Director David Robert Mitchell NAILS it! It Follows is presented to us like Stanley Kubrik's The Shining. It's not the masterpiece that that was but this was also done by a young director on his second feature film. The long, single-take shots, the perfectly-framed angles, the lighting and one of the best horror soundtracks of all time make this a must-see.
If you're expecting blood splattered violence, graphic nudity in steamy sex scenes, a terrifying monster that drools and snarls...this isn't for you. It Follows is the slow burn that never startles but just makes you feel uneasy. It creeps you out and is a clever twist on the morality of horror. It's a film that deserves to be watched and then discussed afterward. It's a display from a filmmaker who's ready for the big time and a leading lady who needs to be cast in more right away. It Follows deserves all the attention it got from Cannes and I just hope that America embraces it for the classic it's sure to become.
My wife and I often get into fights. She says that Dreamworks Animation makes nothing but crap for kids and I defend them. Not everything that Dreamworks Animation has put out has been awful. Shrek, Madagascar, How to Train Your Dragon, The Croods, Kung Fu Panda...these are all great films. My wife's response to that is to point out what their success rate is given how many films they've made. I have to concede that point because she's right; it's not good. Especially when you compare it to Pixar which has made a superb film every single time they've tried, with some exceptions, it does make Dreamworks look sophomoric to say the least. Home is a film that really swings for the fences on hitting you right between the ribs and tug at those heartstrings while still being really, really funny. I hate to say it but it's another example of how right my wife is.
Jim Parsons is the voice of Oh, a member of a lovable alien species who invades Earth to claim it as their own. Parsons has won several awards for his role on The Big Bang Theory but I can't stand him. No matter what I see him in, no matter how far of a departure he takes it from his nerdy character on that show, he still irritates me. His portrayal of Oh is not even remotely a departure and annoyed me from the first seconds of the film until its bitter end. Another casting decision that is unforgivable is Rihanna as Oh's human sidekick. This isn't Rihanna's first film and I'm not sure who told her to get into acting but I hope that person suffers for that.
The only success in Home is Steve Martin, who hasn't been in anything in four years. It is possible for Martin to star in a terrible film but it is impossible for Martin to be terrible in it. This is a prime example. He plays the halfwit leader of the aliens and his hilarious performance is up there in the top ten greatest voice performances of all time. He may be the only thing worth watching in the movie. The only other performance that is amusing is from Matt Jones who you may recognize as Badger from AMC's Breaking Bad.
The biggest problem with Home is that it's dumb. I understand that it's for kids and it's okay if they're silly but it's dumb in a way that makes me mad because it talks down to the audience. Penguins of Madagascar is silly but it's not dumb. Pixar films tend to be the exact opposite and sometimes forget to be silly but they are never, ever dumb. Underestimating your audience is one of the worst things a film can do and director Tim Johnson (Over the Hedge) has a history of doing just that. However, the worst thing about Home is the soundtrack which is 90% Rihanna songs and they fire throughout the movie every five minutes like a rotten jukebox.
Home isn't worth seeing in a theater; it's not even worth renting. It's unfortunate because the scenes that involve Steve Martin are very funny and deserve to be watched. There aren't enough of them though to still justify a viewing of this annoying and aggravating film. I brought my 3-year-old son to my screening. He's an excellent moviegoer, which makes me excited and proud as you could imagine. Home didn't hold his attention, didn't make him laugh, didn't make excited. Either the apple doesn't fall far from the tree or it's simply not a good film for any generation.