After the mid-July bow Sony executives thought a sequel to the all-female remake was assured. Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution at Sony declared, “While nothing has been officially announced yet, there’s no doubt in my mind it will happen.” It’s now August and the comedy has only made $117 million domestic and another $62.8 million in foreign territories. With a net production budget of $144 million and tens of millions spent on marketing, Ghostbusters would break-even at $300 million, which is highly unlikely despite having not opened in markets like France, Japan and Mexico.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the franchise may switch gears and go from live-action to animation and make its way to theaters in 2019. Already in the pipeline for 2018 is the animated TV series, Ghostbusters: Ecto Force.
As of now, stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon are still signed on for two potential sequels.
How much revenue loss is still uncertain as the estimated $70 million loss does not account for merchandising and other revenue streams.]]>
We finally watched the new Ghostbusters film, well at least two of us did. If you have not seen the new movie yet, there are SPOILERS ahead. The cast of Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth deliver a fun filled adventure into the realm of Ghostbusting! The laughs, the jokes, and even some of the little details make this movie a great experience. If you’re sitting there saying, “Whaaaat”? Then you might want to see this one before it leaves the theaters.
And then we have Doug’s latest entry into “Horrible Events in History”. This time, we talk about Charles Whitman and the Attack on The University of Texas(1966).
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These female ghostbusters are no Bridesmaids. They brought The Heat and I Spy-ed many call backs and cameos. An audience crowd-pleaser, for sure.
Yeah, I spread on the compliments pretty thick, as if I were buttering a piece of bread, making sure to mention Paul Feig’s previous outings as a director. But in-the-moment reactions can backfire once you allow yourself to ruminate on a film for twenty-four hours. 2016’s Ghostbusters is enjoyable to a degree but seems mediocre when matched against other horror-comedy hybrids like Shaun of the Dead or The Cabin in the Woods.
Still, the shear amount of backlash this comedy has endured sight unseen has been an albatross. When the announcement was made that the ghostbusters were headed to the big screen again for the first time in thirty years but with an all female cast you’d think the sky was falling. Middle-aged white men taking to comment boards to vent their frustrations as if a piece of their childhood was being sullied by the feminine mystique.
I’m not one of those men. The original Ghostbusters arrived when I was only three years old. Growing up I would watch it every now and then but the ghost-busting exploits of parapsychologists Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) – and Winston (Ernie Hudson), the non-scientist just looking for a steady job – was never near and dear to me. Give me Indiana Jones. Take me back to the future or tell me a never-ending story. Give me the John Hughes compendium of high school life and teach me the crane kick – even though its application in a real fight would never work.
The outcry for 2016’s Ghostbusters has been such a bunch of hooey that unloading the baggage is like flipping the switch and allowing all the ghosts of the Big Apple to scare the bejeezus out of New Yorkers. It seems that Feig and the writers were keenly aware of the Internet ruckus they stirred that they even incorporated a few vitriol responses into the script as YouTube commentators try to discredit the female team.
The comedy is relatively amusing with a chemistry that grows as the plot moves forward. The comic highlights are undoubtedly SNL alum Kate McKinnon and, surprisingly, Chris Hemsworth. That’s right: Thor lets his hair down (figuratively) and dons a pair of eyeglasses (glass removed) as the dimwitted office assistant Kevin.
Part of the problem is that Paul Feig can’t shoot action. This, and the combination of special effects and our ghostbusting team battling supernatural foes, hurts in certain situations. Give us more comedy and less CGI wizardry. Also, a male supporting character not associated with the team could have helped in establishing a potential case that needs solving. Instead of a “keymaster” and a “gatekeeper” we get a bullying victim as the antagonist. Too bad snarky remarks and rebuttals on social media pretty much nixed the idea of having a third-party character villain to rile you up. The ’80s and ’90s had no shortage of “that guy” actors you loved to hate.
Plus, considering that Melissa McCarthy has been Feig’s muse of sorts appearing in all of his comedies since Bridemaids (along with Ghostbusters co-star Kristen Wiig) it is unusual to see both actresses in understated roles here.
Undoubtedly, Ghostbusters is an unnecessary remake. It would have worked much better as a soft reboot; have four girls be inspired by Peter, Ray and Egon as their ghostbusting made national headlines to grow up and become ghostbusters themselves. This could have breathed new life into a stale franchise with the old team mentoring the new team, or at the very least showing up during the climatic fight.
Ivan Reitman’s original film may be a classic comedy but it is not a sacred property. And yet the 2016 remake looks to do whatever it can to make audiences recall the 1984 film. There are homages to hallmark ghosts (Slimer, Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man) and the original cast pops up in cameos as different characters (including an in remembrance bust to Harold Ramis).
An all-female team is a good concept and if Ghostbusters is successful it will likely decide if Hollywood gives in to more female-driven properties. While there will be those who are totally against this remake, I ain’t afraid of no remake. I have no emotional ties. The end result, though, is entertaining junk food. Fun but not as fulfilling as it should be.
Director: Paul Feig
Writer(s): Katie Dippold, Paul Feig
Notable Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth
“You know, they were incredibly nice to ask me, and I really enjoyed being there. They have such a jolly group, and they are going to have great success with this project. I didn’t want to overshadow [them] or anything, and I feel really good about it. I thought about it for a very long time. Like, many, many months. No, that’s not right. I was seriously thinking about this for years, really … It kept eating at me, and I really respect those girls. And then I started to feel like if I didn’t do this movie, maybe somebody would write a bad review or something, thinking there was some sort of disapproval [on my part].”
The new Ghostbusters movie is set to be released July of 2016
Melissa McCarthy might be the singular oddest movie star in modern American cinema currently. It’s one thing for a foul mouthed, overweight man to find a niche with audiences. Big fat white guys who are skilled at falling down have been a comedy staple for generations. Granted the dip in talent has left us with Jack Black as the current high water mark currently but it’s nothing new to see someone heavy set fall down for a laugh. That McCarthy, who’s style might be considered a combination of Danny McBride’s colorful language with Chris Farley’s physical comic style, has become someone who can bring in audiences regularly to an R-rated comedy is fairly astounding.
Simple premise. Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is a CIA analyst and is the eyes in the sky for super spy Bradley Fine (Jude Law). When Fine winds up dead at the hands of an arms dealer (Rose Byrne) who’s trafficking in nuclear weaponry, and the CIA field agents wind up having their deep cover identities exposed, Susan is dumped into the field to stop a nuke from getting into the hands of evil doers. She has a rogue CIA agent (Jason Statham) following her, mucking things up in an Inspector Clouseau sort of way, and Cooper has to learn on the job how to save the world from nuclear terror.
The one thing about the film is that it works in its opening act, magnificently at that. Paul Feig does a masterful job at spoofing Bond in the opening act down to little details. This is someone who’s clearly a fan of the Bond series or someone who studied them en masse, at a minimum, and this is a spot on riff of the franchise. The opening is so strong because it works to everyone’s strengths; McCarthy is hilarious in concert with others but on her own can really struggle because she has the same problem as Jack Black does: she’s funny as part of a group, or with someone to play off of, but when she’s the driving force she becomes profoundly hit or miss.
It’s why she’s great in Mike & Molly and was the high point of Bridesmaids … and why she’s been fairly hit or miss outside of those. McCarthy’s shtick works when she has people to play off of that are doing the heavy lifting. It’s why she’s a great choice for the new Ghostbusters franchise reboot. And in many moments Spy works because McCarthy doesn’t have to do the heavy lifting on the comedy side. When she and Statham get to play off one another there’s genuine comedy magic. Statham, playing a clumsy version of his action persona with amazingly filthy dialogue, works so well with McCarthy that one wonders what a buddy comedy with the two of them would be like.
On occasion there’s some brilliance in the two working together, and Statham has a knack for playing it so seriously that the character isn’t trying to be funny, but when McCarthy has to carry the load by herself the film suffers because her shtick isn’t funny on its own. It needs to be a part of something, not alone, and unfortunately the film relies on her for huge swathes that fall flat for all but those with the least discriminating taste in comedy.
Spy remains an interesting film where all the best parts are overwhelmed by all the worst ones.
Writer / Director: Paul Feig
Notable Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jason Statham, Jude Law, Miranda Hart, Bobby Cannavale, Allison Janney
Spies. Spies. Everywhere I look, I see spies. With the debut of ABC’s “Agent Carter” to the upcoming Kingsmen: The Secret Service, and of course the latest James Bond adventure in the fall, spies are definitely in fashion for 2015.
Paul Feig, the director behind the hits Bridemaids and The Heat, has once again joined forces with his ingenue, Melissa McCarthy, for a spy comedy with plenty of f-bombs and hijinks. Check out the first trailer below.
In Spy, McCarthy plays an unassuming CIA analyst who gets her shot to go deep undercover to stop a global disaster. The cast includes the likes of action star Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Allison Janney, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Miranda Hart and Jude Law. The 20th Century Fox comedy arrives in theaters May 22nd.
The big news of last week was the final nail in the coffin of Dan Aykroyd’s Ghostbusters 3 as a remake of the ‘80s classic is coming instead of the long gestating sequel. Paul Feig’s been tapped and he’ll be doing something very interesting with it. He’s going to scrap any allusions of trying to bring back the original cast and is instead going with an all-female cast of female actresses in fairly iconic roles formerly inhabited by Bill Murray, Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson. While no one is attached to it so far, or at least has been announced as such, it’s a fairly substantial departure as Ackroyd’s dream of getting one more ride into the spotlight has ended.
Over three years ago I wrote on it and with the passing of Harold Ramis it felt like the dream of one more ride at the top for Aykroyd and company was officially dead. Murray wanted no part in it for obvious reasons; he moved on once he left comedy behind. With his good friend gone, Murray probably intimated to Sony that Ramis’s death coupled with Ivan Reitman leaving for good meant he was gone. He wasn’t going to come back to just hang out with Hudson and Aykroyd, even if he was contractually obligated to.
Throw in the fact that I think Sony didn’t want the hassle of getting Murray on board and you have the perfect setup for a brand new take with a brand new cast. Bill Murray isn’t a big enough star anymore, especially in a franchise that’ll have gone the better part of thirty years since being in theatres, and his desire to not do another Ghostbusters film was the biggest reason why a third film in the franchise never happened. He owns part of the rights and had to sign off for the threequel to happen, hence why it never happened unless it was on his stringent terms. It’s why the closest they got to his blessing was killing him off in the first reel on a script that was never made.
Sony probably said “here’s a bunch of money and you don’t have to be involved” for him to give his blessing to reboot it all, which he did after the check cashed.
With the film starting out new, as well, they can safely walk away from Aykroyd and Hudson needing to be in the franchise in any capacity. Sony has a shot at starting out completely new for a new generation without the baggage of the old Ghostbusters crew. And that’s exactly what Murray, Aykroyd and Hudson being in this film would be: baggage. And don’t kid yourself, either. The further the three are from the film’s production the better off we all will be for it.
They don’t mean much to the current crop of cinemagoers that make up the bulk of ticket sales in North America, just to the older vanguard that grew up with the original franchise, and Sony is allowing Feig the ultimate opportunity to start out fresh. It’s kind of impressive they’re giving him enough leeway to rebrand this as a female-centric franchise and aren’t going to be insulting about it.
Lionsgate is looking at an all female Expendables type, except kind of insulting as the gals post as high class call girls to save the day. After the colossal failure of Expendables 3 one can imagine that a spin off franchise will be a harder sell, of course, but Sony is topping them in every conceivable manner by developing a franchise for women that isn’t completely insulting to their intelligence. I think it’s an awful idea based on the people involved, if only because none of them were actually stars in the first place, but Feig’s concept intrigues me on every conceivable level.
Feig is no stranger to developing ideas with strong female casts, even if both Bridesmaids and The Heat were both films that were fairly terrible, but Ghostbusters at its heart lends itself to something interesting. In a world where the paranormal is a staple of television series, and Paranormal Activity is a fairly regular Halloween staple, a comedy about ghosts and whatnot seems appropriate. With enough people stupid enough to believe in or pay psychic mediums, among others, a film taking a more comedic aspect to it has a place in modern cinema. In a world where suckers en masse believe in cold reading as “psychic powers,” and the seriousness of the paranormal in cinema as a whole as of late, we need a good comedy to give it a kick in the pants.
So Feig, who has experience in comedy and ensemble films, is arguably the right guy for this particular vision. At its heart both The Heat and Bridesmaids had enough to them to see his vision. I wasn’t a fan of either but one can see the big picture; I’d argue that Bridesmaids would’ve worked as more drama than comedy (and with at least an hour of material taken out) and that The Heatwould’ve worked more effectively with less Melissa McCarthy doing a very bad Danny McBride impression.
Feig does have that rare ability to connect with a female audience, which is why a female Ghostbusters film is interesting on its face. You have a director who has the ability to understand his audience being tasked with a great concept, of paranormal investigator types who discover that the paranormal is real, and potentially a career maker for a handful of actresses. Now is an interesting moment in time because Feig has the ability to take the film in any number of ways. He has the ability to bring in a group of actresses who he he’s been successful with before. Hollywood loves success and there’s a potential for a franchise seemingly unprecedented in Hollywood right now.
We could be looking at the first ensemble franchise for the summer blockbuster season that isn’t reliant on male stars.
It’s something special that we’re potentially looking at Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne and Maya Rudolph stepping into some fairly legendary shoes for what’s going to be a summer blockbuster. This is going to be a film with $1-200 million behind it in budget alone, as this is an effects laden property, and all the usual rules for Hollywood are being thrown out. That’s something profound in a world where the average summer blockbuster normally features women in secondary roles.
Mike Noyes goes old school for Godzilla stuffs.
What would Travis Leamons do if he sang out of tune? He’d stand up and turn on this DVD.
If you want to pimp anything email it to me with a good reason why. It helps to bribe me with stuff, just saying ….
This week’s DVD – Team America: World Police
This is one of those films that I had mixed feelings on in theatres, and then on DVD a short while later. It has so much awful and so much good in it that it’s hard to really find a bead on it. I popped it in this weekend, as I’m still conflicted and wanted to see if there’s potentially a resolution (and a firm rating) I can throw onto it.
Simple premise. Team America saves the day and is trying to prevent Kim Jong Il from detonating WMDs across the globe. It’s up to Gary (Trey Parker), an actor recruited to infiltrate terrorists from Chechnya to help save the day.
The thing about the film is that it’s profoundly frustrating to watch. There are so many brilliant moments, and the film captures and ruthlessly parodies everything about the big summer blockbuster rote perfect. It works even more on that level now, with the summer blockbuster season becoming much more homogenized than ever before, as the film is still spot on in so much that it’s incredibly funny. Throw in some great bits, including cinema’s best puppet sex scene ever, and this is always one of those films I think I should love.
But I just can’t.
There are just so much abjectly terrible moments in the film that it feels fairly mediocre by the end. It’s one you can throw and watch … but I find myself skipping huge swathes of it because it’s so awful. It’s bi-polar as a film; some moments are so extraordinarily funny and huge chunks are so profoundly not that I’m still not sure, many years after this was released, on how to properly rate it. I really want to love it … but I can marginally like.
Unsure of a recommendation
What Looks Good This Weekend, and I Don’t Mean the $2 tall boys of Red Fox and community college co-eds with low standards at the Fox and Hound
The Best of Me – A Nicholas Sparks film. Someone gets cancer and/or dies, I think.
Skip It – NEXT.
The Book of Life (2014) – An animated tale about Halloween shenanigans.
Skip It – Fox Animation is usually miss or miss.
Fury (2014) – Brad Pitt is in a tank during World War 2, killing Nazis.
See It – I remember the Israeli film Lebanon and wondered what an American film maker would do with a similar concept about tankers. This could be an American Das Boot … or it could be abjectly terrible. Either way it looks interesting on the surface.
Dear White People – A satirical comedy about race relations in modern day America’s college campuses.
See It – It’s got a brilliant trailer and has that subversively good sort of feel to it.
Scott “Kubryk” Sawitz brings his trademarked irreverence and offensive hilarity to Twitter in 140 characters or less. Follow him @ScottSawitz .
Universal City, California, April 2, 2013 – A mild-mannered businessman and the spend-happy con woman who stole his identity embark on an uproarious, cross-country road trip in the number one comedy blockbuster Identity Thief, available on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, DVD, Digital Download and On Demand June 4, 2013, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Identity Thief’s fearlessly funny stars – Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses) and Emmy® winner Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) – charmed critics and audiences alike with their off-the-wall outrageous banter. Directed by Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses), Identity Thief also features an all-star ensemble cast including Jon Favreau (Iron Man series), Amanda Peet (2012), Tip ‘T.I.’ Harris (American Gangster), Genesis Rodriguez (What to Expect When You’re Expecting), John Cho (Harold & Kumar series), Robert Patrick (Safe House) and Eric Stonestreet (“Modern Family”).
Both the Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD include an unrated, extended version of the film featuring exclusive footage not shown in theaters, as well as a gag reel and making of the featurette with interviews with the film’s creators and cast. Exclusive to the Blu-ray™ Combo Pack (pre-order today) are bonus features including alternate takes, a behind-the-scenes featurette highlighting the stars’ unique comedic contributions and an insider tour with one of the movie’s most memorable characters.
Bonus Features Exclusive to the Blu-ray:
Scene Stealing: Capturing the Humor of Identity Thief: Inspired by comedy classics Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Midnight Run, Identity Thief brings comedy geniuses Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy together for an unforgettable cross-country journey.
The Skiptracer’s Van: Robert Patrick, in character as The Skiptracer, details what is important to him, especially his van, which subs as his office, home and perpetrator container. He gives a tour of the exterior, the “deep” interior and the cabin, replete with all of the supplies that he may or may not need.
Blu-ray and DVD Bonus Features:
The Making of Identity Thief: Featuring on-set footage and interviews with the filmmakers and the first-class comedic cast, this featurette brings audiences inside the making of the year’s funniest film.
Unrated and Theatrical Versions of the Film
Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses) and Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) lead an all-star cast in this hilarious blockbuster hit. Unlimited funds have allowed Diana (McCarthy) to live it up on the outskirts of Orlando. There’s only one glitch: she’s financing her shopping sprees with an ID stolen from Sandy Patterson (Bateman), an accounts rep who lives halfway across the U.S. With only one week to hunt down the con artist before his world implodes, the real Sandy Patterson is forced to extreme measures to clear his name. From the director of Horrible Bosses and the producer of Ted, critics are calling Identity Thief “smart, funny and surprisingly touching” – Rafer Guzman, Newsday
The film is a pseudo-sequel to Knocked Up as it follows Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) from that film and places them in 2012. Pete has left Sony and opened up his own fledgling record label which is doing poorly. Debbie runs her own clothing store with a pair of employees (Charlyne Yi, Megan Fox) who despise one another. Apatow’s daughters Maude and Iris return as older versions of themselves, as well, and growing up is difficult for the two. We follow the couple through a difficult time in their marriage as money problems and general difficulties as they struggle to stay married when everything says for them to walk away from one another.
This is semi-autobiographical for Apatow, it seems, as Pete has gone from being another supporting character to being his surrogate. It’s interesting to see how he’s tailored Paul Rudd’s character to mirror his own personal life, from back problems to professional failures after striking out on his own, as Apatow seems to want to use Paul Rudd in the same way Woody Allen uses actors who can do neurosis well. Rudd’s game for the character, who seamlessly adds in this mirror to Apatow to a fairly blank slate of a supporting role from Knocked Up. It’s an opportunity to explore the character further and it makes for an interesting look at the character as he tries to hold his family together when everything seems to be pushing him away.
To best understand the film is to best understand Pete, which is apparently a good way to understand Apatow as well. He’s an auteur trying to transition from good story-teller with R-rated jokes into being more profound which mirrors Pete’s attempt at producing music that matters. The big storyline about his work is an attempt at releasing a new album for Graham Parker and the Rumor, a band that hasn’t been popular in some time despite releasing some profoundly strong music, mirrors what one imagines Apatow feels as his place in the comedy mainstream. Pete wants this album to be a success and when it inevitably fails it points out how almost out of touch his tastes are with the mainstream. When he compares what he thinks of as good music to his wife it’s profoundly different as well. Pete’s in a position in life where his dedication to art has failed, and failed almost spectacularly, and it’s affected everything around him.
One imagines that’s how Apatow views cinema to a large degree; he wants to be profound but sees stuff that’s viewed as “fun” despite its rancid nature becoming significantly more successful than what’s good. When he hears Parker tell Billy Joe Armstrong from Green Day about how Glee paid him a lot of money for a song it’s heart breaking in the same way for Peter that Apatow looks himself. One imagines Apatow sees films involving board games and children’s toys being pushed hard when great cinema is often overlooked because it’s not “mindless fun.”
Unfortunately the film tries to be a comedy and, despite what’s a fairly solid look at a marriage in trouble, it’s just not funny. Apatow relies on a lot of cameo appearances to bolster his ranks and it’s pointed in how unfunny Paul Rudd is in the film when Melissa McCarthy can almost steal the film in her token appearance. Charlyne Yi nearly tanks the film on her own with a spectacularly bad performance, as well, and Jason Segel pops in for a couple of scenes to reprise his character from Knocked Up. It’s almost painful at times as Apatow, who used to provide a lot of good jokes, is now pandering to the same mouth breathing “low information voter” types with fart jokes and visual gags for the unsophisticated.
This is 40 is also excessively long as well as it feels like it should be titled This is Forty Hours instead. There’s easily an hour of material that could be excised from the film and make it leaner and more coherent. Apatow, who hit it out of the park with his first two films, has seemingly almost lost that edge that made his films funny in the first place. If anything This is 40 is further descending upon the same hill Funny People started rolling down.
There’s an “Unrated” version of the film which adds back into the deleted scenes and extended scenes that were initially excluded. Apatow lends a feature commentary as well as an EPK piece about the film as well.
Universal Studios presents This is 40 . Directed and Written by Judd Apatow. Starring Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Megan Fox, Melissa McCarthy, Graham Parker, Charlyne Yi, Jason Segel, Chris O’Dowd. Running time: 138 minutes. Rated R. Released: March 22, 2013. Available at Amazon.com.
You know what was the most interesting thing about this weekend? The controversy regarding Rex Reed insulting Melissa McCarthy for being a morbidly obese woman and being in a patently unfunny film, that’s what. You can read his original review of course and the big thing was that he kind of lost it. Reed’s an old dude and a bit cranky, I think, because he decided to just let it all hang out and mock Melissa McCarthy’s girth.
And I’m not immune to that charge, as last week I called McCarthy the “fat Bridesmaid” in passing in my weekend film preview. Quick jokes are often the best ones. I don’t feel the urge to apologize and I don’t think Rex Reed should apologize either. Why? Because of one thing no one ever called out the trailer for: it’s direct use of McCarthy’s looks and weight as poor punch-lines to begin with. I would use the phrase “in for a penny, in for a pound” but people would think it’s just another fat joke as opposed to an aphorism about getting in too deep.
So instead I’ll say when you make a film’s entire appeal about a fat, obnoxious woman being annoying one shouldn’t be all that surprised when it’s called to the carpet. Watch the trailer and then I’ll elaborate further.
When a film-maker is willing to dress up someone like McCarthy to look like some sort of clown who works trailer parks it gives you a license to get in one the joke. The entire film is based off of her doing “wacky” things that emphasize her weight as opposed to anything she’s actually saying or doing. It’s hard to not notice her because it’s hard to not see someone who looks like her clothes were made from a ‘70s circus tent being loud and obnoxious. Jason Bateman refers to her as a Hobbit, of course, and the entire film revolves around her being this freakish ogre who has a sad back story. Everyone behind this film essentially thought that dressing up an overweight woman to look like a freak, have her act like one and then casually insert Jason Bateman as the straight man to her antics would make it all ok.
You can’t market a film like that without some backlash.
Travis summed it up best, of course, right here, if you’re looking for a formal review. My thoughts would be more like “The entire film is basically one big Melissa McCarthy is fat, annoying and doesn’t know how to dress herself joke that isn’t funny. In fact it’s kind of insulting as a moviegoer.”
The problem becomes when you make a film, and in turn dedicate a good chunk of its marketing to, about how “funny” it is to see Melissa McCarthy dressed up like one of those Troll dolls on an acid trip then you should expect guys like Reed to unload the comments about her weight, etc. When a film like Identity Thief stoops to this level it becomes something to discuss. Unfortunately, Reed handled it in the worst possible way but there’s something to be said about discussing it.
“Melissa McCarthy is a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success,” he wrote and there’s a lot to be mined out of it. He’s not right in calling her a hippo, et al, but the fact that her entire shtick in the film is “I’m really fat and really annoying” is a valid concern. If Kevin James let himself get to Paul Blart level territory again and become an antagonist in a similar film it’d be a valid concern, too.
Comedy just focusing on someone’s weight and dress is as a lazy as a fart joke, regardless of gender.
This Week’s DVD – Flash Gordon
I’ll be honest; Flash Gordon is one of the worst films ever made of a major character. But let’s also be honest: it was the ‘80s and this was as good as it was going to get. And there was a point when the awfulness of ‘70s sci-fi met the cheesiness of the ‘80s attempts at transforming iconic figures of the pulp serial era into motion pictures. None were finer, for lack of a better word, than the Sam Jones headlined adaptation.
Jones is Flash Gordon, quarterback of the New York Jets, and he and ‘80s hot level travel journalist Dale Arden (Melody Anderson) get kidnapped by a crazy doctor (Chaim Topol) to the planet Mongo. The ruthless Ming (Max Von Sydow) rules all and it’s up to Flash to save every one of us. Why? Because the song says so, damn it, and if Queen says so then it must be true. Queen would never lie: not about the Quarterback of the Jets or about girls with fat bottoms. It’s Queen, for the love of Pete.
This is the peak of cheesy film-making. Back then it was the state of the times but watching it now, on the Blu-Ray, you can tell just how cheaply it was made. What a glorious format to expose this entire era, I have to say. Flash Gordon is such a bad film but it’s just so poignantly enjoyable for the same reasons. Plus it also has the peak hotness of Ornella Muti, too, and Ming’s daughter might be her greatest role ever.
Recommended … but very slightly. It’s a worthwhile purchase but not for anything of note, money wise.
And, as always …. DEATH TO MING!
What Looks Good This Weekend, and I Don’t Mean the $2 Pints of Bass Ale and community college co-eds with low standards at the Alumni Club
Beautiful Creatures – A teenager is waiting to be chosen by good or bad witches and such.
Skip it – This might be the first film featuring character actors completely mailing it in en masse for a big check en masse of the year.
Escape from Planet Earth – Aliens land on Earth and have to escape or something. It’s animated.
Skip it – Worst trailer of 2013, so far, and animated films rarely exceed the expectations their trailers provide.
Safe Haven – The blonde from Rock of Ages and Josh Duhamel have a ridiculous love story. And probably one of them gets cancer.
Skip it – If a woman tells you she loves Nicholas Sparks films and novels, it’s a sign she’s probably not the type to bring home to mom.
A Good Day to Die Hard – John McClane is BACK and blowing shit up in Russia.
See it – A proper Valentine’s Day film if there ever was.
Scott “Kubryk” Sawitz brings his trademarked irreverence and offensive hilarity to Twitter in 140 characters or less. Follow him @ScottSawitz .