Due Date

The other day I went to see the comedy written, directed, and produced by Todd Fillips – “Due Date”.  Todd also played one of the supporting roles in this film, which is somewhat usual of him.  Two main roles were played by Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis.

Even though I did enjoy this comedy quite a bit, I still felt that it was rushed into production.  Some parts of the movie are hilarious.  I’ve been laughing out loud more than twice.  And even laughed to tears once or twice.  But there were parts of this movie which were unnecessary, boring, and disconnected.  It felt like these were early drafts.

Robert Downey Jr. was interesting – a somewhat more dramatic character than most of his recent movies.  Zach Galifianakis was exactly as he usually is in his most recent movies.  There were weird moments, but overall the duet worked together.

I won’t recommend this film strongly, but if you have a chance to see it – see it.  It’s not a total waste of time.   Ranking-wise, I’d give it a 4 out of 5.

Funny People

Funny People

Just got back from the cinema, where I watched “Funny People“.  When I saw the trailer, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to see this film or not.  There were a funny scenes, but it looked like a cliché, more or less.   But then I saw a 7.3/10 rating at IMDB and decided that I want to see that.

The film turned out to be quite good.  It’s not really a comedy in the sense that you’d expect from the title, poster, and trailer.  It’s more of a drama with a few funny bits in it.   And while it does follow a sort of cliché story, it does it in an interesting way.  The best to describe it I guess, is with a bad racing car analogy – you can see the track and you sort of know where the car will go, but it still surprises you with its dynamics and by getting off the track at a few turns.  Except that the film is actually good.  You sort of know how it will end and how you’ll get there, but there are a few things which come slower or faster than you’d expect.

All in all, it was a kind, thought provoking, and at times quite funny movie.  Recommended, with 4 stars.  And if you want to see the trailer, here it is:

American Gangster

American Gangster

I first saw “American Gangster” in the cinema.  I liked the film so much that I couldn’t wait to get the DVD.  Of course, the 3 hour duration is not a big helper for repeated watching, but even so, I still enjoy it once in a while.

This film is excellent on so many levels, it’s hard to mention them all.  There is moral, there is entertainment, there is an authentic trip back in time, there is plenty of good acting and directing.

This is now definitely one of my favourite films.  5 stars.

Be Cool

Be Cool” is ought to be one of the less promoted celebrity full movies of all times. I haven’t heard anything about this film until today – no posters, no trailers, no rumors – nothing.

Directed by: F. Gary Gray
Genres: Comedy, Crime, Music
Cast: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Vince Vaughn, Cedric the Entertainer, André 3000, Steven Tyler, Robert Pastorelli, Christina Milian, Paul Adelstein, Debi Mazar, Gregory Alan Williams, Harvey Keitel, The Rock, Danny DeVito, James Woods
IMDB raintg: 5.5
My rating: 7.5 *******½

John Travolta is dancing with Uma Thurman in the movie with Harvey Keitel and it’s not “Pulp Fiction”? Yes. Danny DeVito is in and the film is both a comedy and a crime movie? Yes. The Rock is playing a gay guy and he’s got more screen time than Aerosmith voice Steven Tyler who is also in the movie? Yes. Vince Vaughn is in too and he’s trying to make out for more than himself. See, he thinks that he’s black and he sounds like Samuel Jackson half the time and like Snoop Dog the other half. And I haven’t even named half of the people yet.

The story is rather cliche, but it’s done well. In a nutshell – lots of criminals and show businessmen are trying to get over each other over money and power. But it has lots of charm and humor to it. Cedric the Entertainer plays a leader of a crime gang. But he lives in a good neighborhood himself and has Harward education behind his back. The monologou on racism was outstanding! Oh, and his gang is great too. Especially his first assistant.

There are lots and lots of things happening on the background. They are those nice touches that make up a movie. A Russian mafia guy with two black eyes and a rig, floored armchairs in Uma’s house, her wearing a “Widow” t-shirt after her husband was killed in the first two minutes of the movie – these and lots more is what made the film so good.

Character development and dialogues were outstanding.

Additionally, it was perfect technically. Camera work was great. Soundtrack – excellent. Costume and decor designs – fantastic. Especially costumes. Some of them were changing like for every scene of the movie (Uma’s), and other’s stayed the same during all the time (Travolta’s).

Now, all of that was perfect. The only thing that is offsetting this film is the story. An original plot would have made this one into a perfect movie. As it is, it’ll stay on my “Very good” shelf.