Tag Archives: Steve Carell

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012) Film Review

What do you do when the world is going to end? Like, for sure end. There is no chance of survival, there’s no hope. Would you assess your life and see it lacking? Would you have regrets? Would you try to make things right, or would you party? Get trashed? Have an orgy?  Commit a whole bunch of crimes?

Dodge (Steve Carell) is in a world going crazy, with an asteroid heading to destroy the planet. His wife has gone, and he decides to track down his first, true love. Meanwhile, he meets the nutty English neighbour, Penny (Keira Knightley) and they end up figuring things out together.

I enjoyed this film so much more than I thought I would. I love Steve Carell most of the time – and he’s so good at the sad sack type of character. I thought that Penny was going to be a bit of a manic-pixie-dream-girl character, and I’m rarely a hug fan of Keira Knightley, but I liked her in this, and I really liked the film, even with the cheesy quirks.

 

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The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013) Film Review

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Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) have a steady gig in Vegas, playing the same show they’ve done a thousand times, and crowds are dwindling. Their boss, Doug Munny (James Gandolfini) is urging them to get interesting, like new face on the scene, Steve Gray (Jim Carrey). Gray doesn’t wear a flashy costume, and his tricks are more like endurance events, and tend to be way gross. After a failed attempt to compete, Anton walks away leaving Burt to reassess. And even though his new stage girl, Jane (Olivia Wilde) shows all faith in him, and wants to help him, it takes old-timer Rance Holloway (Alan Arkin) to bring his love of magic back.

Yawn. You know, I love Steve Carell and Jim Carrey, and I love that they get to play ridiculous characters every so often. But it is boring. Expert in something who is at the top of his field gets shafted in some way and falls to pieces, but with the help of a beautiful woman who has absolutely no reason to fall for such a misogynistic ass and a bit of willpower, he claws his way back to the top. It’s the same story as Anchorman, and Blades of Glory, and Zoolander and and and…. Boring. It was a nice touch having Steve Buscemi in it, but you can’t polish a turd. Not even Steve Buscemi can fix this.

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Foxcatcher (2014) Film Review

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Broken men, oh so many broken men. Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) is an Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler, following in the footsteps of his older brother and now coach, David (Mark Ruffalo). Then along comes John du Pont (Steve Carell) a very rich man trying to break free from his disapproving mother Jean du Pont (Vanessa Redgrave) whilst still living in her shadow. He has a passion for wrestling and convinces Mark to come and live and train at his facility. But there is darkness, so much understated but deep darkness and things are bound to end tragically.

It’s a slow movie that underplays key events to the point that if you were to be distracted, you could almost miss important moments. I still haven’t decided what my opinion is about it – certainly, it is a well constructed story, and the lack of soundtrack during most (if not all) of the film works beautifully. But I found the acting, certainly from the three main actors, really stilted and forced. It was almost as if each had several physical characteristics that they had been told to focus on and this drove their performances. Once I got used to this, it was okay, but it took a while.

Foxcatcher was nominated for Oscars for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Steve Carell), Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Mark Ruffalo), Best Achievement in Directing (Bennett Miller), Best Writing, Original Screenplay (E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman) and Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling. It was also nominated for Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama (Steve Carell), Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Mark Ruffalo) and BAFTAs for Best Supporting Actor (Mark Ruffalo) and Best Supporting Actor (Steve Carell).

 

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Anchorman : The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) Film Review

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It’s the 1970s and Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is the legendary anchorman of a small San Diego television station. He’s got his crew; field reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), sportsman Champ Kind David Koechner) and weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell). Then along comes a woman, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) to join the team, and he needs to evaluate his thinking.

Sometimes, I just cannot tell why I like some Will Ferrell films and not others, given they mostly have the same silly things happening throughout. But, this is one that I really, really like. Stupid, dumb, but really very funny. And the quotes from Brick are some of my favs.

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Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) Film Review

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Anchorman 2 sees the reunification of news anchorman Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) with his team: handsome roving reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), crazy sports reporter Champ Kind (David Koechner) and extremely stupid Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) as they move to New York to launch new 24-hours news network GNN.

I loved Anchorman. There were a lot of visual gags, a lot of slapstick and a lot of stupidity. Why did they have to revisit it? There were no new gags here and what was fun in the first film was tired and old in this. Even Brick, who I loved in the first, was overused and disappointing in this. The only good thing was, at the end, they brought back the multi-news crew battle, this time featuring Sacha Baron Cohen, Marion Cotillard, Will Smith, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Jim Carey, Liam Neeson, John C. Reilly and Kanye West. It wasn’t quite worth sitting through the whole film, but I may well look it up on YouTube. Ah, here it is!

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Dan in Real Life (2007) Film Review

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Dani (Steve Carell) is a widower who has three teenage daughters and a big weekend with his family, including various children and partners. In town, he bumps into a gorgeous woman, Marie (Juliette Binoche) who he has an immediate connection with despite her being in a relationship; and then he returns to the house and finds that Marie is dating his brother. He struggles to cope with the dynamic created between them and with his family.

It’s fine. It’s believable, apart from a few scenes (think the shower scene. Stupid.). I love Steve Carell, he really does play grief so well, and is able to balance it beautifully with humour. And it feels like a real family; perhaps it is because there is so many of them on-screen at any one time that there is no specific focus; even with the wonderful John Maloney and Dianne Wiest.

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Date Night (2010) Film Review

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Phil (Steve Carell) and Claire (Tina Fey) have been married for some time, have small children, and find that they barely have energy to have their date nights, even though they clearly enjoy each other’s company. But when close friends tell them they are splitting, news that strikes out of the blue, they decide to make a big effort and go into town (New York, that’s the town) for a special dinner. When they can’t get a table at an exclusive restaurant, they pinch someone elses reservation. Hint: if you are going to do this, make sure that the people who’s reservation you take are not attempting to bribe anyone, and you don’t spend the night on the run for your life. Even if you do end up spending time with a shirtless Marky Mark.

I love Steve Carell, I love Mark Wahlberg and I especially love Tina Fey. How could I not love this film? It’s funny, ridiculous, but mostly extremely funny. And I could watch it over and over. Just ace times.

 

 

 

 

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