The Internship

Mom Under Cover sends us this movie review.

The Internship – B

This buddy movie proves that Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson have a certain chemistry on-screen that was not a fluke (Wedding Crashers).  Billy and Nick (Vaughn and Wilson) are forty-something salesmen out of a job because no one wears wrist watches anymore a la Willy Loman.  They enroll in the University of Phoenix to qualify as “students” for an internship at Google (which is portrayed as Nirvana). Despite their hilarious interview via Skype, Billy and Nick secure spots as Nooglers.  The movie is predictable — the youngsters eschew Billy and Nick, but in the end, the old geezers have something to share with their younger counterparts and are not obsolete after all; the team comes together–Kum-bay-ya.  For those of a certain age, Billy and Nick’s ’80s cultural references that fly over the heads of the co-eds are pretty funny.  Rose Byrne plays Wilson’s alluring love interest.  Will Farrell has a cameo as a mattress salesman that is uncharacteristically flat.  Go with low expectations and you will enjoy it.

Potpourri from Nick at Nite

Nick at Nite reviews DVDs:

You, Me, and Dupree

You, Me, and Boring. Avoid this movie at all costs. I suggest the following alternatives. Wash your dog, clean the garbage disposal, go grocery shopping, offer to go grocery shopping for a neighbor, read a book, read another book, write a book, grow your own vegetable garden, learn to play the harmonica, or get a GED. I put this movie in the queue because the movie trailer was funny and Owen Wilson (Midnight in Paris) is a good Dallas kid. Well, turns out the movie trailer was not that funny and Owen Wilson’s home town doesn’t make the movie entertaining. The movie features a young married couple who take in the husband’s loser friend when he is kicked out of his apartment and fired from his job because he took an unapproved leave of absence to go to their Hawaiian wedding. Madcap antics ensue. Relationship sours. Loser friend is the inspiration that rekindles the young married couple’s love. Sound like a formula? It is. It is just not clever enough or funny enough to be worth anyone’s time. I expect more from Owen Wilson; from the rest it is to be expected. I give this movie a solid “F.”

Superman Returns

And why not. Forget Christopher Reeve. Ignore the last two movies in the prior Superman series. What the world needs now is the man of steel. This is a fun ride. This kid they got to play Superman sounds like Christopher Reeve. One of my friends is convinced it was some kind of dubbing job. This movie seems to kick off after the first movie of the prior Superman series ends. Superman has disappeared for several years after his home planet was discovered by scientists. He apparently travels there and then after a long journey returns to earth. Of course, his skills and talent are needed here on earth where evildoers are evildoing. Superman takes care of business and says very corny things. He is greatness. I am glad someone took the time and effort to make this movie the right way. Yes, it is cheesy at times. And, yes the special effects are over the top (shouldn’t they be?), but I enjoyed it and a whole new generation of kids got to see Superman. I give it an “A.”

Miami Vice

Wow. This was terrible. Usually, I love anything directed by Michael Mann (Ali). Jamie Foxx (Ray) is almost always great. And that Irish guy is not too bad. But this is ridiculous. I knew I was wasting my time when in the first 45 minutes of the movie, Jamie Foxx, one of the cops in the movie, goes from driving a racing boat, to driving a Ferrari, to flying a plane, and then a helicopter. Is he a cop or a stuntman? Do most cops usually do all of this stuff? Stupid. I know, I usually eat this kind of garbage right up. Yet, something about this movie just didn’t sit right with me. I think it they had called it anything else and left alone the whole idea of Miami Vice, I might have liked it better. I kept waiting for Don Johnson to pop up in a bad suit with a t-shirt underneath it. Perhaps Edward James Olmos saying something trite, but true. A guest appearance by Willie Nelson. Or a Dire Straits song. Without these things this was just another movie. And not a great one. I give it an “F.”

You, Me and Dupree

A View From Mars

You, Me and Dupree (C) I believe I have completed the last leg in the “man-child” trifecta which began with The Break-Up and followed with Click. The man-child in question is played to a tee by Owen Wilson (Midnight in Paris) who stars as Dupree. The You and Me are played by Matt Dillon (Crash) and Kate Hudson (The Skeleton Key), respectively (or not). The basic plot of this one revolves around Matt and Kate getting married and the lovable (at times) and carefree Dupree shacking up with them for the time being. The yuks ensue. There were some funny moments and I can only think of one time in which I laughed out loud. I’m a fan of Owen Wilson, but I prefer him in better and far funnier movies. Not much to say about this one considering we’ve already seen the premise of a comedy in which the main star is supposed to grow up, and within months no less. This movie is better suited for an evening rental with no expectations, Owen fan or not. Go see the other two of the man-child trilogy.

The 40-Year-Old Virgin; Bottle Rocket

Reviews from The Movie Snob

The 40-Year-Old Virgin (B+). Here’s a romantic comedy with a protagonist that I could really relate to—yes, like Andy Stitzler, I too am a 40-year-old unmarried guy. Okay, I’m only 37.7, but that’s close enough for me to be able to relate to the hapless Andy. (And feel pangs of envy over the awesome framed Asia poster he has hanging in his apartment.) This movie has been reviewed enough that I can skip plot synopsis and go straight to my opinion, which is that this movie is much funnier than that other raunch-comedy/summer-hit, Wedding Crashers. I’m not entirely sure why that is—maybe because this movie does not linger on the “serious” romantic plotline between Andy (Steve Carell) and Trish (Catherine Keener) the way Crashers crashed and burned on the Owen Wilson-Rachel McAdams relationship. Instead, 40 gives a lot more attention to the amusing antics of the secondary characters, especially Andy’s three well-meaning friends and co-workers who try to help him overcome his, um, romantic abnormality. Although the film goes a little overboard to make Andy an unusual character (surely not every 40-year-old virgin collects vintage action figures and rides a bicycle to work), I still found myself able to relate to his situation. Also, I salute the nice use of the classic song Believe It Or Not (Theme From “The Greatest American Hero”).

Bottle Rocket (C). A friend loaned me this DVD, which I assume was the first movie to be directed by Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou). Written by a very young Owen Wilson and starring him and his brother Luke, the movie is about three friends in their twenties, all drifting aimlessly through life in some anonymous suburb. Owen’s character, however, has a plan to break them out of their stultifying existence. Unfortunately, his plan is for them to turn to a life of crime. After their first heist is unexpectedly successful, they go on the lam and hide out in a cheap motel for a long spell that is almost like a different movie within the movie. The movie is not nearly as bent as Anderson’s later work (which I think is a good thing), but unfortunately the story is a little slight for a full-length feature. Still, not a bad freshman effort, and it’s kind of fun to see Owen Wilson’s now-patented screen persona in embryo form.

Wedding Crashers

New from Nick at Nite:

Wedding Crashers

This is the funniest movie I have ever seen. It has no match, it has no equal. Vince Vaughn is as funny as it gets. Who could have seen this coming for the lanky kid who got his big break playing the spoiled legacy in Rudy? That is right, I saw Rudy again the other night to celebrate the impending college football season and couldn’t believe it when I recognized him in a bit part. When he scores one near the end of the game to help get Rudy on the field and tells Sean Astin “that one was for you,” no one could have imagined several years later he would be immortalizing the word “Motorboat.” Speaking of immortalized, what about Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman? Holy smokes, one can only hope this movie has a sequel and that Jane Seymour returns to reprise her role. I am not suggesting this movie is long on plot. It is not. I am also not suggesting that it has any highbrow humor. It does not. It is filled with one liner after one liner. It contains the kind of jargon, lingo, and back and forth that mirror most interactions between men. As such, it is brilliant. Vaughn and Owen Wilson play each others wingmen as they go from wedding to wedding to wedding hoping to score with whatever cute girl they can find (basically mirroring what men do all of the time, whether at weddings, the grocery store, doctor’s office, wherever). Hilarity ensues when one of our heroes actually falls for one of the girls at a wedding. I won’t spoil any of the gags because that is where the humor is, I will suggest that you have one or two beers before you see it or during the movie, as I think it could only add to the experience. I give the movie an “A.”

Wedding Crashers; East of Eden

From the desk of The Movie Snob:

Wedding Crashers (C-). There were some chuckles in this buddy-flick-slash-romantic comedy, but not nearly enough to justify the two-hour running time. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn are buddies (and apparently divorce lawyers, judging from the opening scene with cameos by Dwight Yoakum and Rebecca De Mornay as a splitting couple), and they get their kicks by crashing weddings and picking up women at the receptions. Complications set in at their biggest crash of all – the wedding of the oldest daughter of the U.S. Treasury Secretary (played by Christopher Walken). Vince’s character gets mixed up with the Secretary’s psychotic youngest daughter Gloria, while Owen’s falls hard for the sensible, sensitive middle daughter Claire. Vaughn and Gloria get most of the laughs, while the usually entertaining Wilson is mired in the laborious cliché of the main plot. Can he win the girl away from her jerk boyfriend, despite having met her under false pretenses? More importantly, does it have to take 119 minutes for him to do it?

East of Eden (B-). I completed my traversal of the James Dean trilogy by watching the DVD of this, which I think was his first major picture. Set in northern California in 1917, it is the story of brothers Cal and Aron Trask, who have been raised by their strict Christian father after the early death of their mother. Aron is the favored and dutiful son, while Cal (James Dean) is the troubled ne’er-do-well. The plot is set into motion by Cal’s discovery that their father may have been less than forthright with him and Aron about what happened to their mother. Throw in some strong attraction between Cal and his brother’s girlfriend, and you’ve got a real soap opera on your hands. Worth a look, although I still don’t think Dean was a particularly good actor.

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou

From the desk of The Movie Snob:

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (C+). This is a very odd comedy from the same creative folks behind Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums. And I’ll say up front that I really disliked Tenenbaums. But I decided to give The Life Aquatic a chance for a couple of reasons: (1) the previews made it look like a kinder, gentler movie than its immediate predecessor, and (2) I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Jacques Cousteau, the obvious inspiration for the character of Steve Zissou (Bill Murray). At the beginning, the movie sets up two tidy little plots with a lot of comic potential: (1) Zissou has decided to embark on an Ahab-like quest to kill the mysterious beast, a “jaguar shark,” that ate his best friend, and (2) Zissou meets his adult son Ned (Owen Wilson) for the first time and impulsively invites him to join his crew aboard the Belafonte. So I was expecting the movie to be one part action flick, one part father-son-bonding flick. And I guess it sort of was, but after the set-up the plot just kind of wanders around from one tangent to another, leaving the two main threads dangling for so long that you begin wonder if the movie will ever find its way back. Anyhoo, it’s not a bad movie if you don’t mind the lack of narrative momentum. There are some decent laughs, and the movie boasts a good cast including Angelica Huston, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, and Willem Dafoe.

Starsky & Hutch

From the desk of The Movie Snob:

Starsky & Hutch (C). I can’t give this movie quite the strong recommendation that guest reviewer Fidan did a couple of weeks ago, but it definitely had some laughs. Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller have their laid-back-guy/uptight-guy shtick down to a science at this point, and several times during the movie it really clicks. These are counterbalanced, unfortunately, by several long boring stretches where there just isn’t anything happening. Like Fidan, I have never seen the TV show, so there may have been some hilarious references to the original that I just didn’t get.

Starsky & Hutch

A guest review from Fidan K.

Starsky & Hutch (B)

As a child of the 80s, I am not familiar with the original Starsky and Hutch. Therefore, this review is based on the movie version and not how it compares to the original. Starsky and Hutch are two police officers partnered together to fight crime in their own special ways. The plot is weak, but the strong points of this movie are the actors. Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughan, and Snoop Dogg are all funny and play their parts perfectly. I laughed a lot during this movie and thoroughly enjoyed the performances of Stiller and Owens. I would only recommend this movie if you are fans of the actors or you are in need of a flashback to the 70s.

Shanghai Nights; Old School; The Good Girl

These reviews are courtesy of John. John is the oldest member of our Movie Court, and we sometimes affectionately refer to him as “The Grade Inflater.” But he was surprisingly rough on this latest batch of movies….

Shanghai Knights. (C+) The follow-up to the surprisingly entertaining Shanghai Noon, starring Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson. This time, they’re in England chasing down the …yada yada yada. Mildly amusing but more of the same. I like Owen Wilson (ex-boyfriend in Meet The Parents) enough to make it worth a matinee, but am uncomfortable making a recommendation.

Old School. (B) I laughed out loud a few times, mostly at Will Ferrell’s idiotic hijinks. There was enough funny stuff to keep me entertained and at least a semblance of a plot, albeit completely unrealistic, to officially qualify it as a top-notch guy flick, for what that’s worth. A relative lack of the gross-out Austin Powers Goldmember-type humor was a positive.

The Good Girl. (D+) I rented what I believed to be some basic chick-flick feel-good movies. I got this one wrong (maybe I’ll actually read the box for a description of the movie next time). Jennifer Aniston plays a hapless check-out girl at a generic dept. store who’s discontent with her bland life. John C. Reilly plays the likeable but simple underachieving devoted husband. Jennifer meets a Holden Caulfield wanna-be and her life becomes even more of a struggle. Aniston is a reasonably good, as is Reilly, but the movie is just a depressing bag of turmoil (works well with geraniums). I thought it sucked, frankly, though there were a few humorous scenes involving a female co-worker (Zooey Deschanel).

Finally, with due respect to the Queen, I liked Undercover Brother. No way that’s an F. I agree fully with the One Hour Photo review.