Day 173 & Day 174 & Day 175 & Day 176 – Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story & Sausage Party & The King’s Speech, & Airplane! (Post-Vacation Update)

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Movie Title: Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 36 min.

Rated: R

Who did I watch with?: Stephie

Where did I watch it?: Hotel – Columbus, OH / Car

Review:

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story is a fantastic rock and roll parody of many of the most well known stars in music. They are amalgamated together into Dewey Cox (John C. Reilly) who goes through a variety of phases in his musical career. Each of these phases are driven by pain and drugs, in that order, but with hilarity.

As a young boy, Dewey accidentally cut his brother in half with a machete. His father has never let him live it down and repeatedly reminds him “that the wrong kid died” throughout his whole life. He also strikes up a relationship with his young girlfriend played by Kristen Wiig who delivers a heap load of children that he promptly neglects. Along the way Dewey develops an addiction to a whole bunch of drugs, destroys a lot of furniture, and learns the true meaning of love. Along the way lots of great comedy actors appear in small roles that help drive the nearly vignette driven story forward.

What puts Walk Hard into the realm of strong music comedy is the music which is excellent. The songs are funny and neatly parody the artists intended. While the songs wane in the second half of the movie it fits with what happens in the plot. The humor is over the top and insensitive and how else could you make a realistic movie about rock and roll.

Verdict:

This isn’t about exotic pets. This is about love you stupid asshole! See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: Sausage Party (2016)

 

Movie Title: Sausage Party

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 29 min.

Rated: R

Who did I watch with?: Stephie

Where did I watch it?: Hotel – Columbus, OH / Car

Review:

Sausage Party is a crass animated comedy about the imagined lives of super market products. As a concept, it works great. Initially, all the products in the supermarket believe that humans are immortal gods and that when they leave the supermarket they are going to a magical land called the great beyond where all their dreams will come true. Sound familiar? Our main characters are Frank (Seth Rogen) and Brenda (Kristen Wiig) who are a hot dog and a bun madly in love. They are joined along the way by a menagerie of characters done by capable voice actors and a surprise turn by Edward Norton who has one great joke about himself.

Just when Frank and Brenda are about to be taken from the supermarket they are spilled from their shopping cart in a terrible accident. With their chance at escaping to the great beyond ruined they begin to explore the supermarket. The supermarket is divided up into many different neighborhoods and they traverse them all. Along the way they realize that the great beyond is not what it seems. It is a place where supermarket produce goes to die. But, Frank can’t convince anyone else to believe him.

Eventually the market comes around to Frank’s way of thinking and it turns into a a clever revenge movie for a time. The flaws in Sausage Party lie in its ambiguously driven villain Douche (Nick Kroll) and Seth Rogen’s writing. Douche is initially upset because he was spilled from the cart with Frank and Brenda. He wants revenge because he saw them as causing his fall from grace. But, over time this motivation makes less and less sense and his ending is lazy. He is a useful plot device, but it seems like the writer’s didn’t know what to do with him when he had outlived his usefulness. Rogen, who wrote, produced, directed, and acted in this movie took the idea of an R-rated comedy too far. It seems he became focused on doing things for shock value’s sake and that ultimately many of these things weren’t particularly funny. Apparently, the only concern of food is sex.

Verdict:

Sausage Party is a fun parody of real life that has a lot of strengths, but some real weaknesses. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: The King’s Speech (2010)

 

Movie Title: The King’s Speech

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 58 min.

Rated: R

Who did I watch with?: Stephie

Where did I watch it?: Hotel – Cleveland, OH / Car

Review:

The King’s Speech stars Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush in a character drama that would have been better set on the stage than the screen. This movie took home many accolades at the awards celebrating the best of 2010. Firth is excellent as the stammering King George VI. The future King George VI had never intended on becoming king. His older brother King Edward VIII (Guy Pearce) was destined for the position, but because he shirked responsibility the role fell to George. Firth is immersed in the role and his severe speech impediment feels genuine.

Rush plays Lionel Logue a lowly Australian with experience helping people with speech defects. Queen Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) seeks him out because of a reputation he has developed and after all traditional medicine had failed to help her husband. Logue uses unorthodox techniques that he learned helping World War I veterans recover from trauma. He develops a peculiar relationship with the future king and as war with Europe becomes inevitable helps him deliver his first speech to the nation on the subject.

The King’s Speech features several nice turns from minor actors including Michael Gambon and Derek Jacobi along with the previously mentioned Guy Pearce.

The problem with the movie is twofold. Colin Firth does not produce a likeable character in King George VI. The director seemed to be favoring the notion that social class does not effect the outcome a person has in life. Just because he is rich and royal, George still has problems. It is a message I found to be hollow. George behaves often like a petulant child and feuds with Logue despite the fact that he is clearly helping him. Logue ends up being the one that has to apologize. The other big problem is that the movie’s plot has no weight behind it and is entirely character driven. The characters are well played, but it feels like there is no weight to the outcome and that it is pre-ordained. He will give a good speech at the end. Period. Despite some attempts to make it more immediate, George’s problem feels very prescient compared to the upcoming onslaught that the coming war with Hitler will bring. It doesn’t feel important.

Verdict:

The King’s Speech is a solid character driven movie with one excellent performance by Firth. It was not deserving of a best picture victory at the Oscars. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: Airplane! (1980)

 

Movie Title: Airplane!

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 28 min.

Rated: PG

Who did I watch with?: Stephie and Kyle

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

Airplane! is a wonderful slap stick ensemble comedy with a simple premise. An illness has stricken the crew of a commercial airliner in flight. The only man that can land the plane is a traumatized war veteran with no nerve to do it. The comedy has a straight dead pan delivery and is a type of movie that just isn’t made anymore. Silly things happen for no reason and are never explained. Everyone treats everything with great seriousness. It’s great in every possible way. It credits an inflatable puppet in the credits. It also has the fantastic Leslie Nielsen as a doctor of medicine. I would definitely see him as my general practitioner.

Verdict:

See it!

Tomorrow’s Movie: Sicario (2015)

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