ORBzine - Comedy 2008 Movie Reviews

TITLE & REVIEW

Be Kind, Rewind

Be Kind, Rewind This is French Director Michel Gondry 's commentary on the state of Hollywood today. The Studio bosses are greedy, cracking down on the so-called Pirates. denying the viewers a decent selection

Jack Black ( Tenacious D: Pick of Destiny ), with his usual inane capering, manages to accidentally erase every single movie in the video store. The guys' answer is to create their own remakes of the films. This is actually quite realistic. Mos Def would be good in a remake of British shows, like the 1980s TV show Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy or the 1960s film The Italian Job ! Jack Black could be in a remake of Day of the Jackal ... Why does all this talk of remakes give off a certain feeling of Deja Vu? It cannot just be the predictability of the jokes about them!

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    Get Smart

    Get Smart This is a pretty decent movie. Not just because it stars Steve Carrell ( Evan Almighty ) in the title role, or is based on a 1960s TV show. No, it is good IN SPITE OF these things. It actually stands on its own as a comedy-thriller! The closest thing to this movie would be The Tuxedo , which means that Anne Hathaway is the new Jennifer Love Hewitt . There is lots of slapstick, rather than the endless OTT parodies of the post- Scary Movie comedies that proliferate these days.

    The US Government's most secret spy movie, Control, is on the trail of stolen nuclear weapons. Kaos (led by Terence Stamp - Elektra ) is back in business, and they hit Control where it hurts. Agent 23 [Dwayne Johnson - Scorpion King ] and the other secret agents are compromised. Control has to deploy their last resort - Agent 99 (Hathaway) and Maxwell Smart (Carrell), an expert analyst who finally passed his Field Agent exam (8th time round).

    The mismatched pair make their way across Russia, pursued by a thug from a James Bond parody. Back home, support is provided by the Boss (Alan Arkin) and Bruce the Nerd (Masi Oka - Heroes ).

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    Zack and Miri Make A Porno

    Zack and Miri Make A Porno Zack (Seth Rogan) and Miri ( Elizabeth Banks ) are a pair of slackers who have been flatmates ever since they left school. They are down on their luck, without enough money to pay the rent or utility bills. But a chance encounter with gay porn star Brandon Routh ( Superman Returns ) convinces them that the best way to pay off their debts is to make a porn film. They recruit a crew (including RL porn-star Traci lords ) and set out to make Star Whores!

    This was directed by Kevin Smith , and has many of his hallmarks. The main plot, the love story, is reminiscent of Chasing Amy (and even of Clerks 2 ). However, unlike most of Smith's films this is not part of the View Askewniverse. But while Jay and Dante do not appear, the actors who play them also portray members of the porno team!

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    Shaggy Dog

    Shaggy Dog Tim Allen ( Santa Clause 2 ) gets bitten by a genetically engineered dog in the hands of evil scientist Robert Downey Jnr ( Iron Man ). An unforseen side effect is that Allen becomes a were-dog.

    All these shennanigans cause problems for Allen's marriage to Kristen Davis .

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    Ice Age 2: The Meltdown

    Ice Age 2: The Meltdown Following on from the end of previous film ...

    Our heroes discover that they are in a valley blocked by a glacier. But the glacier is melting - and the enormous lake on the other side is about to flood the entire valley. All the animals must get to the far end of the valley if they want to survive!

    Manny the Last Mammoth (Ray Romano) meets a Possum ( Queen Latifah ) who is a lot bigger and tuskier than her brothers ...

  • Ice Age
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    Bedtime Stories

    Bedtime Stories Hotel Handyman Adam Sandler ( Biodome ) wants to be Manager, but this job is going to slimy executive Guy Pearce ( ). Sandler's best buddy is co-worker Russell Brand ( ), while Pearce is assisted by fellow Kiwi Lucy Lawless .

    Sandler, a confirmed bachelor, is asked by his sister Courtney Cox to look after her kids for a week while she is out of town. She does not let them watch television or do anything fun, so he has to tell them bedtime stories instead. His stories start to come true ... and he attempts to manipulate them in order to improve his life.

    The result? The comedy is dumbed down to child-friendly level, and the climax is incredibly contrived. Of course, it is a kids movie ... so the extreme predictability should not matter.

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    The Simpsons

    The Simpsons This is the feature-length film version of the most popular animated sitcom of the last two decades. It is widescreen, with much more expense paid to the visual quality of the animation. Also, pretty much every character still living in the cartoon is in the movie.

    Basically, Homer's stupidity causes Springfield to become the most polluted city in the USA. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) seals the town in a gigantic glass dome.

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    Black Knight

    Black Knight Martin Lawrence ( ) becomes a Connecticut Yankee at the court of a Medieval English King. He shacks up with token black chick Marsha Thomason (who at least has an authentic English accent).

    The UK release happened almost a full YEAR after it premiered in the USA. That should tell people what to expect.

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    A Bug's Life

    A Bug's Life This is an all-star animation from the late 1990s about an ant who can think abstractly. Not to be confused with Antz , of course. This is the one made by the creators of Toy Story .

    Flick is an ant whose ant-hive is threatened by greedy grasshoppers led by Kevin Spacey ( Se7en ). The Princess ( Julis Louis-Dreyfuss ) sends Flick off to get some warrior bugs to fight the grasshoppers. This turns from Magnificent Seven into The Three Amigos when he accidentally recruits a theatrical troupe including Dr Zachary Smith from Lost In Space .

    Naturally, there is a feel-good ending with a moral for child viewers to learn.

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    Scooby Doo: Monsters Unleashed

    Scooby Doo: Monsters Unleashed The Mysteries Inc team are in Coolsville to attend the opening of a museum exhibition in their honour. But a supervillain is also in town, intent on unleashing an army of monsters to destroy our heroes.

    Just like in the first film, the team have to cope with internal conflict as well as real monsters. Fred and Daphne feel the wrath of TV reporter Alicia Silverstone . Velma has another love interest - Museum curator Seth Green ( Buffy ). Scooby and Shaggy investigate creepy old man Peter Boyle ( Species II ).

    All in all, a decent follow-up to the original.

  • Scooby Doo
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    Meet The Feebles

    Meet the Feebles This is Peter Jackson 's parody of The Muppets. Heidi Hippo goes on a rampage.

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    National Lampoon's Men in White

    National Lampoon's Men in White This is a low-budget parody of the blockbuster comedy men in Black . Instead of highly-trained US Government Agents, this time it is Garbage men who fight the alien invaders.

    National Lampoon used to be associated with high-value comedies. These days the brand is more closely linked to cheap low-brow crap. Not as bad as the Epic Movie brand, but bad enough.

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    Epic Movie

    Epic Movie A quartet of unlikely orphans (including Kal Penn from Harold and Kumar fame) win tickets to visit a magical chocolate factory run by the Creepy Pale Man (Crispin Glover - Charlie's Angels ). Even better, they discover a magical doorway to the land of Gnarnia, which is trapped in eternal winter by the White Bitch ( Jennifer Coolidge ).

    This is basically a lot of scatological jokes strung together.

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    Vampires Suck!

    Vampires Suck! This is the long-awaited mockery of the Twilight saga. Unfortunately, like most recent parodies it is more like Meet The Spartans than the hilarious parodies of yesteryear. It is a PG-12, however, so it is dumbed down to the level where it will not confuse or scare young kids. Like Die Hard 4.0 for example.

    We get the basic plot of Twilight . A Teenage Girl moves in with her dad (Dietrich Bader - ), attends school, falls in love with pretty-boy vampire ... And hilarity is supposed to ensue.

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    Burke and Hare

    Burke and Hare This is the true-life story of a couple of multiple murderers, brought to life by American Director John Landis .

    Burke (Simon Pegg - Shaun of the Dead ) and Hare (Andy Sirkis - Lord of the Rings ) are a couple of Irish economic migrants trying to scrape a living in Edinburgh, 1828. Desperate for money they get involved in the bodysnatching racket. Ronnie Corbett and the Town Militia have made grave-robbing impossible, so the protagonists take to murder instead.

    Burke is a reluctant villain, but he needs money to impress Isla Fisher . She wants to produce an all-female version of MacBeth, a reluctant villain who Burke can relate to.

    There are a host of familiar faces for the UK audience - in fact we have not seen so many cameos since Carry On Columbus .

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    Megamind

    Megamind This is the newest in a recent slew of revisionist superhero-themed films. It is also one of a number of new 3-D animations, although this probably has the most incredible soundtrack

    The protagonist is supervillain Megamind (Will Ferrell - Land of the Lost ), who constantly battles the local superhero (Brad Pitt). But when the villain unexpectedly wins, he must learn to take responsibility.

    Feisty lady news reporter Tina Fey may be over-privileged and exploitative, but Megamind accidentally finds himself in a relationship of sorts with her.

    Megamind gets bored, and decides to create a new superhero with the same super-powers as the old one. Naturally, this backfires horribly.

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    Paul

    Paul Scifi Nerds Simon Pegg and Nick Frost ( Shaun of the Dead ) take a road trip from San Diego Comic-Con to Roswell, New Mexico ... and pick up a hitch-hiking alien named Paul (Seth Rogan - Green Hornet ) on the run from the Men in Black. And hilarity ensues!

    Every other line is a reference to a scifi film, and if you like scifi then you'll love this - like Galaxy Quest . But it is easy to get in to, even if you're a newbie to the genre.

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    Your Highness

    Your Highness Once upon a time ... The evil wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux - Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle ) kidnaps beautiful maiden Belladonna ( Zooey Deschannel ). The brave Prince Fabious (James Franco - Spiderman ) and his stoner brother Thadeous (Danny McBride - Land of the Lost ) must go and rescue her. On the way they team up with warrior woman Isabel ( Natalie Portman ).

    Our heroes trek across sets and locations throughout Northern Ireland. The film cost over a million dollars for every minute of screen time. Unfortunately it was filmed mostly in medium shot, which misses most of the expensive sets and spectacular filming locations. The result looks to be mostly CGI (E.G. Dunluce castle is on the poster, but in the movie it is CGI'd up as the villain's tower).

    This movie was rated 'R' (15) - presumably for the swearing and a couple of visual penis gags. The problem is not the presence opf these jokes, it is the relative lack of any other jokes! The film is not constant Monty Python style slapstick, or Blackadder-style rapid-fire one-liners. Instead it tries to mix the serious and the funny. The result is a light-hearted action-adventure romp.

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    Xmas Movies

    Santa Claus: The Movie

    Santa Claus: The Movie Once upon a time - well, we get the background story to how Santa got the job and ended up living at the North Pole.

    Eventually we get to the Modern Day (circa 1985). Top Elf Dudley Moore ( Bedazzled (1969) ) tries to modernise the workshop. Dudley gets himself exiled, so he goes to NYC and works for megalomaniac toymaker John Lithgow ( Third Rock from The Sun ).

    Santa befriends a homeless boy in NYC. By strange coincidence, the boy meets a girl who is evil Lithgow's stepdaughter ...

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    Elf

    Elf Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell - Land of the Lost ) is a human who was raised by Santa’s Elves at the North Pole. However, the average Elf looks like Peter Dinklage (who has a great cameo). Ferrell is six foot five, although he exhibits the mentality of a six year old. The Elves cannot cope any more, so they send him to New York City to live with his real father (James Caan - ).

    Ferrell meets Zooey Deschannel , and has hilarious adventures in NYC.

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    Santa Clause 2

    Santa Clause 2 Santa (Tim Allen - Shaggy Dog ) takes a holiday from the North Pole to visit his kids, who are staying with his ex-wife and her new husband (Judge Reinhold - Beverly Hills Cop). He has trouble with his teenage son, but gets to meet the gorgeous Headmistress ( Elizabeth Mitchell ).

    Meanwhile, back at the North Pole things are out of control. Bernard the Elf (the genius from Numbers TV show) created a replacement Santa, a big rubbery robot Tim Allen. But the Robot goes out of control …

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    Santa Baby

    Santa Baby Mary Class ( Jenny McCarthy ) is a high-flying executive. Unfortunately her father falls ill, so she must return home and take over running the family business. The twist is that her father is Santa Claus (George Wendt - Ghost Whisperer: Season 5 )!

    Mary has plans to modernise the Elves' toy-production system, replacing hand-crafting skills with automation. Naturally this leads to humousous situations.

    There is also a plotline concerning Mary's love-life. She has a boyfriend who is a fellow high-flying executive. However, she also warms up towards her High School BF, Ivan Sergei.

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    Discworld Franchise

    The Colour of Magic

    The Colour of Magic This is the long-awaited adaptation of the best-seller by Terry Pratchett , narrated by Brian Cox ( Troy ), produced by Robert Halmi Snr and Jnr ( Farscape ) and directed by Vadim Jean . It was first broadcast in 2008, and consists of two segments of about two hours each.

    Rincewind (David Jason - ) is expelled from the Unseen University by the Archchancellor (James Cosmo - Braveheart ) and his ambitious underling (Tim Curry - Rocky Horror Picture Show ) for being the worst wizard ever. Luckily, he soon finds new employment, thanks to Patrician Vetinari (Jeremy Irons - Dungeons and Dragons ). An anachronistic tourist named Twoflower (Sean Astin - Lord of the Rings ) hires him as guide to the city, a medieval fantasy landscape that parodies the works of Swords and Sorcery writers like Fritz Leiber .

    Our heroes blunder from adventure to adventure, avoiding Death (Christopher Lee - Dracula ) until they land at Krull, ruled by Astronomers who want to send explorers over the side of the flat world and look at the the turtle upon whose back the world rests. The plan is to find out what gender the world-turtle is. The Arch-Astronomer (Nigel Planer - ) knows how vital this is, because eventually the turtle will want to breed.

    The second part of the story is an adaptation of the sequel, The Light Fantastic. Our heroes find themselves back on Discworld, where they team up with Cohen the Barbarian (David Bradley - The Strain ) and Bethan the Pagan Priestess ( Laura Haddock ).

    The villainous Tim Curry has made himself Arch-Chancellor, and hires Herenna the Henna-Haired Harridan ( Liz May Brice ) to capture Rincewind for him. What our heroes do not realise is that, despite being a villain, the new Arch-Chancellor is the only one who can save the Discworld from impending doom. Unfortunately he is power-hungry and impatient, and only has the first seven spells.

    Will Rincewind get the Eight Spell out of his head? Will the Discworld collide with the mysterious red star in the sky? And will we find out how the world-turtles breed?

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    Going Postal

    Going Postal Ankh-Morpork is no longer the Lankhmar-style Medieval/Fantasy city we loved. It is now more pseudo-Dickensian, a mock-Victorian effort that Terry Pratchett regularly updated to make more Modern. Vimes is nowhere to be seen - Angharad the werewolf is commander of the City Watch. Archchancellor Ridcully gets a small cameo appearance.

    The protagonist is an everyman figure named Moist Von Lipwig, a con-man sentanced to Death (without benefit of a trial). This may seem extreme, but it is pointed out that a non-violent crime is not necessarily victimless.

    Von Lipwig is given a chance at a reprieve by Lord Vetinari (Charles Dance - Game of Thrones ). He must re-open the Post Office, and go into direct competition with the Clacks' owner, one-eyed villain David Suchet.

    This is two segments of two hours each. To be continued ...

    The Postmaster challenges the Clacks to a race. Whoever can get a message to a distant city 1700 miles away (!) will win. Can a horse and carriage beat a system that works by visual transmission? It will still take the postman about three weeks to get his parcel there.

    Well, the clacks is notorious for the lack of investment in maintenance. The villain, in what may be an intentional parody of Atlas Shrugged , points out that he does not care about providing the BEST service - he cares about providing the ONLY service, and thus making more money!

    Pterry himself gets a tiny cameo at the end, as one of the newly-hired postmen.

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    Hot Tub Time Machine Franchise

    Hot Tub Time Machine

    Hot Tub Time Machine This is a love it or hate it kind of film. It is basically The Hangover mixed with Back To The Future . There is even a great cameo from Crispin Glover, last seen as the Creepy Thin Man in the Charlie's Angels movies.

    A gang of 40-something guys (and a 20-something nephew) go on a male bonding weekend to a ski resort. They take a dip in the Hot Tub Time Machine, and find themselves back in 1986. And hilarity ensues!

    There are the usual conundrums regarding time travel. The guys Quantum Leap into their 1980s bodies, except for the nephew (who flickers and fades in a Back To The Future reference). However, their I-pods and other 2010 technology comes back with them. Also, although the film is set in 1986, some of the props come from 1988. Wow, let us pretend this is worth being anal retentive about!

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    Hot Tub Time Machine 2

    Hot Tub Time Machine 2 This is set in the alternate universe started by the first movie. Lou was the richest man in the universe, but his company is in trouble now because he is a perverse moron. He has offended everyone, and holds a big party where he offends lots more people … until the lights go out and someone attempts to kill him. To save Lou’s life, his son and Nick (token black man in the original, now given a bigger role) take him to the hot tub again …

    The guys end up in the future, which is where the killer came from. Lou and Nick (the older guys) are happy to compare everything to films (especially Terminator ), but call the youngster a nerd when he refers to the multiple universe theory of Fringe . It does not pay to think too much about this film, just sit back and enjoy the same crude humour as in the first film.

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    Wallace and Gromit

    Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave

    Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave This is a thirty-minute Xmas special made for the BBC in the mid-1990s. Wallace and Gromit have a window-washing business, which is an excuse for them to use their wacky inventions.

    Wallace gets a love interest. Gromit gets framed for sheep-rustling!


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    Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the Were Rabbit

    Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the Were Rabbit The plasticine pair are engaged in humane pest control. They catch rabbits by using a huge vacuum cleaner mounted on the back of a truck. Wallace then decides to brainwash the rabbits into hating carrots and other vegetables. Since Wallace himself is on a vegetarian (cheese-free!) diet, this leaves one to wonder what exactly the rabbits are meant to eat. And naturally, something goes wrong ...

    A small village nearby is overrun with carrot-eating pests. Wallace and Gromit are hired to capture the rabbits. But they have to deal with a Were-Rabbit! Worse, Wallace’s love interest (the Lady of the Manor) has a jealous suitor - Victor Quartermain, a self-styled big game hunter!

  • A Close Shave
  • The Wrong Trousers
  • A Matter of Loaf And Death
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    Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death

    Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death After their big-screen feature-length offering, the plasticine pair are back on the BBC again. This is a thirty-minute Xmas special. Wallace and Gromit now own and operate their own bakery. The mid-sized town they live in apparently used to have thirteen bakeries, but someone brutally murdered the other twelve.

    Wallace meets his new love interest. Yes, his third in as many films. He is like James Bond these days! Unfortunately, Gromit has doubts about this particular lady ...

  • A Close Shave
  • The Wrong Trousers
  • Curse of the Were-Rabbit
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    Scary Movie Franchise

    Scary Movie 3

    Scary Movie 3 Cindy ( Anna Faris ) has moved on from the last Scary Movie. She is a TV journalist, but now her new boyfriend's family is being harrassed by supernatural occurrances. There is the creepy videotape from Ringu , and the crop circles from Signs ...

    The President Of The US (Leslie Nielsen - Spy Hard ) has to keep everything together.

    This is the first in the series that is not written/produced/directed by the Wayans Brothers. They handed the reins over to Zucker (a parody veteran from the Airplane series), who still managed to include a high representation of African-Americans.

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    Scary Movie 4

    Scary Movie 4 This is the fourth in the series, and the second Zucker effort, so if you've seen the previous film you should know exactly what to expect. Seriously. The plots are remarkably similar.

    Cindy ( Anna Faris ) has moved on from the last Scary Movie. She is now taking care of an OAP lady who lives in The Grudge House. Her new love interest is Craig Bierko (Long Kiss Goodnight).

    Aliens invade. AGAIN. This time it is Tr-Ipods! Bierko takes the kids to safety (like Homer in War of the Worlds ) and ends up in a basement with Michael Madsen ( Sin City ).

    POTUS (Leslie Nielsen - Forbidden Planet ) dithers, insults the entire United Nations and parodies George Walker Bush in other ways too. He also provides the most eye-catching screen nudity since Misha Barton in Closing the Ring.

    Cindy goes in search of the solution. She teams up with Regina Hall , who has come back from the dead as a super-horny journalist. They visit Bill Pullman ( Independance Day ) in an homage to The Village , where he lives with Carmen Electra (who died in the first movie, but who is keeping count?).

    The Aliens' plan for the human race is to torture them to death. But they do not use just ANY torture chamber - it is the one from the Saw series.

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    Scary Movie 5

    Scary Movie 5 This is the fifth in the series, and the third Zucker effort, so if you have seen the previous film you should know exactly what to expect. Seriously. The plots are remarkably similar.

    This starts with Charlie Sheen ( Being John Malkovich ) and Lindsay Lohan enacting a parody of supernatural shocker Paranormal Activity .

    Cindy ( Anna Faris ) has moved on from the last Scary Movie, and been usurped as female lead by the younger (but still comedically talented) Ashley Tisdale . She finds herself the reluctant stepmother to a couple of feral girls. This leads on to mockery of recent ghost stories - specifically Mama . There is also a sub-plot that parodies Black Swan .

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