Quick Reviews: The Other Guys (2010) and It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010)

The Other Guys (2010)

Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, and Michael Keaton

Directed By: Adam McKay

Written By: Adam McKay and Chris Henchy

Sadly, another misfire from Will Ferrell. This is one of those comedies that just aren’t all that funny, though at least there are many chuckles throughout it’s duration (the best one coming after an explosion). It’s not that there’s a single thing that makes it bad (and it really isn’t bad, actually, it’s just underwhelming), it just it doesn’t add up to anything good. Like many comedies I feel this way about, it seems like one of those “you had to be there” deals; meaning if you were on the set, it would be damn funny…but since we aren’t…

Lack of true laughs aside, I think the biggest issue I have with this movie is that I’d much rather see what The Other Guys teased at the beginning: an over-the-top action flick with Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson. That part is absolutely great and is actually really funny. That’s the movie I wanted to see, not what followed.

Quick hits – I think Wahlberg would be good in a Lethal Weapon style action cop flick (not counting The Departed, though I think that helps illustrate my point)….I hope Will Farrell will try some more dramatic roles in the future as I really enjoyed his performance in Stranger Than Fiction…It’s always great to see Michael Keaton back in anything. I hope he gets more supporting parts in the future.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010)

Starring: Keir Gilchrist, Zach Galifianakis, and Emma Roberts

Directed and Written By: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Novel By Ned Vizzini)

There are times when a movie just speaks to you; It’s Kind of a Funny Story was one of those times for me. I won’t go into huge details about it, as I’m sure it would only bore you all more than I already do, but I could completely relate to Gilchrist’s Craig. So, yes, my glowing remarks will be a bit biased, more so than usual. I’m sure there are those who will scoff at the message behind the film (basically: we’re all a little screwed up, but we’re going to be okay), but I don’t think it comes across as contrived at all.

Gilchrist is quite good as the awkward Craig in this (somewhat) coming of age story which takes place in a mental hospital.  Don’t worry, it does make sense provided you allow yourself to suspend disbelief a bit. Roberts fits her role very nicely: the cute love interest named Noelle. The two actors have good chemistry with one another. Galifianakis’ Bobby is especially good as a mentor to Craig who happens to be another patient. His performance is both funny and dramatic at the right points and I think he toes the line very well. I’d like to see more of this from him.

Quick hits – this is actually a very good ensemble cast, which includes: Lauren Graham, Jim Gaffigan, and Viola Davis…It’s always fun and realistic to watch actors play sports in movies and they’re not any good at them (in this case, two play basketball terribly)…Watch for the awesome David Bowie/Queen lip sync sequence.

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