Daddy’s Home (2015) Film Review

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Imagine if you had an idea for making a comedy feature film where a good guy marries a great woman and takes on her two children, and then the father, who’s a bit of a wild guy, comes back and they both want to be head of the family. I expect someone probably would say to you ‘hey, it’s not that original, and I think that most of the jokes would be pretty average’. And imagine if you said ‘oh, but I can get Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg’ and they responded with ‘yeah, but will they do anything good with this?’ Now imagine that you responded saying ‘Nah, let’s do something good instead’. The world would be a better place.

It’s not the worst comedy I’ve ever seen, but jeepers creepers, it’s a stinker. I’m sure that it will make a lot of people a lot of money, and there may be some people who love it. In the cinema I was in, there were kids in front of me who were so bored they started playing games on their phones. I think I may have watched their gameplay for a good four or five minutes and was far more entertained.

Megamind (2010) Film Review

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After his world was destroyed, an alien was sent to Earth. Just like Superman. Only, not unlike Superman, there were two babies. Megamind (Will Ferrell) a blue creature who just cannot quite get it right, and Metro Man (Brad Pitt), a real Superman type. As children, Metro Man always won over Megamind, and Megamind decides, along with Minion (David Cross), he decides to be a real villain. He falls into a routine with Metro Man – he kidnaps Roxanne Ritchie (Tina Fey), Metro Man saves her and they go on. But one day, he kills Metro Man, and their world is turned upside down. Depressed, Megamind realises he needs a foe to continue, and he makes Titan (Jonah Hill), the hero. But nothing goes quite as expected.

It is a fun film, but it was only when I got about three-quarters of the way through when I realised that I had seen it before, so it clearly did stick in my mind. Good points? David Cross is fabulous as Minion, the strange fish companion. The character of Roxanne is being saved a lot, but there is a lot more to her. She still is the only significant female character, which is a shame. And I love that Megamind mispronounces everything.

 

Blades of Glory (2007) Film Review

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After a very public fight, Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell) and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) are banned from international ice skating championships. But luckily there is a loophole – they can compete in pair skating. But with only a month to find partners, they end up skating together, doing things only two men can do. This puts them in direct competition with brother and sister pair Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg (Wil Arnett and Amy Poehler) who will do anything to win.

You know those Will Ferrell comedies that are ridiculous and insane and could be very funny or totally awful? This is one of those. I think it is mostly pretty funny. But then, I totally love Amy Poehler and I also totally love Will Arnett. So, there was a high chance I’d be liking this. I really like Will Arnett’s dumb.

If you like these comedies, I reckon you’ll like this. I also really like the slightly not-quite-right CG work that puts the actors’ faces on the skaters’ bodies – kind of not right, and hilarious. Oh, and William Fichtner is in it. I love that man – I’ll watch him in anything.

 

The LEGO Movie (2014) Film Review

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There’s a bad guy, Lord Business (Will Ferrell) who is trying to destroy the ordered Lego world where ordinary guy Emmett (Chris Pratt) lives, and he must step up to save it. Oh, and they are all made of Lego.

It’s full of cameo voice roles, great gags, pop culture references and yet I just didn’t like it that much. Perhaps it was too much of a build up. I don’t know. All I know is thank goodness for Will Arnett, because his Batman totally saved it for me. Perhaps finally I have outgrown kids films? I doubt it.

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.

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!

Elf (2003) Film Review

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Santa (Edward Asner) made a bit of a mistake and brought a human baby back to the North Pole. Rather than returning him to the orphanage from whence he came, the baby, Buddy, is adopted by a senior Elf, Pappa Elf (Bob Newhart) and raised to be another Elf. But things are not smooth sailing, and eventually, Buddy must learn the truth. Discovering that his mother has passed away but his father, Walter (James Caan) is still alive, adult Buddy (Will Ferrell) goes to New York to find him, and find a new life.

Around Christmas time there are always a lot of lists about best Christmas movies. I usually ignore them – I’m not really into Christmas films. There seem to be increasing numbers of houses with light displays each year in Melbourne, but regardless of complaints about the commericialisation, we don’t have the insanity that Christmas in these movies seems to have. I don’t mind a film with a bit of schmatlz or corniness, but I do find a lot of Christmas films a bit hard.

Elf is great. It’s really funny and great for kids without getting too racy, but it is not stupid. It is made very easy to totally buy into the innocence and naivety of Buddy, and how difficult he may find fitting in to modern New York. I doubt a total scrooge would enjoy it, but me? Bring it on.

 

 

Stranger Than Fiction (2006) Film Review

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Harold Crick(Will Ferrell) is an ordinary guy. He works for Internal Revenue and has an ordered and repetitive existence until two things happen; he meets the beautiful baker Ana Pascal (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and he starts to hear a female voice narrating his every move. He doesn’t believe he is crazy, but cannot imagine that he is the creation of author Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson) or what this could possibly mean for his future.

This is such a beautiful film. The concept is so clever and it is executed to make a wonderful and fabulous film that everyone should see over and over again.

Talledega Nights – The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) Film Review

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Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) is the top NASCAR driver, rising to fame with the assistance of his wingman, Cal Naughton Jnr (John C Reilly). But then, after his first, fairly uneventful accident, he suffers post-traumatic stress disorder and cannot drive. His wife leaves him for his best friend, and it is only the assistance of his absent father, Reese Bobby (Gary Cole) that he can get back on track.

This is one of those dumb Will Ferrell/John C Reilly films. Heaps of people love these films. Not me. I found it such a yawn fest. The characters are so ridiculous that there is no empathy for them. Possibly, they would make good characters for a recurring Saturday Night Live sketch, but a whole film? Whatever.

Step Brothers (2008) Film Review

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Watching this in the cinema back in 2008, I spent the first half of the film laughing my butt off and then, very suddenly, I found it totally not funny. It was a very strange experience. I had to revisit, and what did I find? I didn’t laugh at all. Well, not until the musical number at the end, which did give me a few giggles.

The plot is that there are two men, Brennan (Will Ferrell) and Dale (John C Reilly) both in their late 30s, both unemployed and living with their single parents. The parents (Mary Steenburgen and Richard Jenkins) fall in love and marry and the two brothers have to learn to share.

There are some pretty funny lines, and some ridiculous slapstick scenes, but essentially, it didn’t work for me. I find that both John C Reilly and Will Ferrell do a variety of different comedy, but it is the really dumb ones like this that I just don’t like.