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Out in Theaters: ‘OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY’

With every Holiday season comes the arrival of a new batch of Holiday movies. Some are geared towards the whole family, others exclusively for adults (read: stoned teenagers) but most are disposable garbage. Increasingly, we’ve seen an uptick in adult-oriented, hard-R holiday season comedies and with Office Christmas Party, Why Him? and Bad Santa 2 all in theaters this holiday season, there is no shortage for those looking to mix some raunch in with their ugly sweaters and eggnog. But at least with the former, you’ll find a few chuckles buried in among the coal. Read More

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Out In Theaters: THE GIFT

Joel Edgerton‘s edgy horror/psychological thriller unravels the commitment-phobic fears of modern living, turning the clear divisions between protagonist/antagonist on its head in the process.

Have you ever run into an old school chum, perhaps while visiting your hometown? This old friend seems way more invested, eager to “catch up” and pick up where you left off, oblivious of the fact that you may have a wife, kids, a job, commitments a-plenty, and just don’t have time to kick back and spark one up on the couch, reflecting on old times? But what if your old friend is going through a rough patch and just needs a friendly face and a sympathetic ear? Here’s your chance to do the right thing and be a true friend, but too often, we falter, succumbing to the fear of wasting our precious, precious time. Read More

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Out in Theaters: HORRIBLE BOSSES 2

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A comedy sequel that slam-dunks over its predecessor, Horrible Bosses 2 is a sardonic, infantile laugh riot. Joke for joke, it’s more meaty than the 2011 original. The characters are churned up and the window dressings turned down. This has one and only one purpose: to make you laugh.

After decidedly not killing their bosses, Nick, Kurt and Dale have since gone into business for themselves, inventing a product known as the “Shower Buddy.” Their sudsy SkyMall idea lands them a spot on the nightly news (an appearance they accidentally botch with silhouetted sexual references) but not before production baron Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz) notices opportunity.

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After ordering thousands of units of the American made all-in-one shower companion, Hanson pulls the plug on NickKurtDale.com (don’t try to say it fast) assuming the company will collapse and he can buy their already manufactured goods for pennies on the dollar. Considering their background in amateur crime, the sloppy trio decide to take matters into their own hands and respond with a kidnapping scheme to bargain Hanson’s son Rex (Chris Pine) to cover their lost capital. Hilarity ensues.

Reviewing comedy is a fickle game and one given over largely to subjectivity but for me, the comedy here really works, improving on a formula that looked better on paper than it actually was the first time around. Horrible Bosses 2 delivers on that promise of unabashed retardation. The first film was a half rack of ribs, occasionally tasty but built on chalky bones, while this is pure brisket; a tenderer cut that trims the fat and leaves just the jokes. The dead air has been filled with sweat, nicknames, non-sequitor and flagrant exaggeration. The archetypes are racketed up well past the point of normalcy and from Kevin Spacey‘s left ear diamond earring to Jamie Foxx‘s Motherfucker Jones penchant for chewing on slurpee straws to Charlie Day‘s perma-coked out mania, the energy of the group is solidified in a sense of juvenile glee nothing short of infectious.

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The main triptych were happy-go-lucky, fairly straight-laced dudes with a little bit of quirk but now their idiosyrnacies have been turned up to cable-network extreme. Jason Bateman is even more of a cowardly, self-righteous asshole. Jason Sudeikis drips numbness while pumping out a stream of off-putting sexual energy. Charlie Day is more, well, Charlie Dayish; his nervous energy and sweaty antics broadcast in all its kooky crack-baby glory. It’s the noisy, chaotic, dummy humor of It’s Always Sunny; the calculated misanthropy of dumb dudes doing dumb deeds.

Yes, Jennifer Aniston and her carnal explicitness busted my gut. Pine proved (yet again) that maybe comedy is what he was made for. And Day, Bateman and Sudeikis are all right on the money. It was a solution of funny people doing funny things and it had me laughing the whole way through. That’s not to say that what worked for me will necessarily work for you though. In fact, many will likely be put off by Horrible Bosses 2‘s short-order comedy. For me though, it’s one of the best studio comedies of the year; a hearty step up from their first outing and a nearly laugh a minute affair. Bring on number three. 

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HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 Nabs Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz

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Is Hollywood so unimaginative that it has to rehash an idea as simple as Horrible Bosses? Even after lackluster numbers, it appears that the 2011 comedy will attempt to flower into a franchise after all.  Confirmed to play a new horrible boss/father-son duo are Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz. Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis will reprise their roles as the extremely unlucky guys who just can’t seem to find a good boss, a feat proven tricky when you’ve attempted to murder your last bosses.

What else is there to say about Christoph Waltz? He can do no wrong. One can imagine that he is swimming in scripts for better movies than this, so it must be okay. Right? Chris Pine has also proven to be pretty solid talent lately and it will be interesting to see how he handles a comedic role. The few comedic moments in the new Star Trek films were well executed by him.

Hopefully they don’t go the route taken by Hangover 2 and do the exact plot again. However, it’s difficult to imagine a much broader scope when the film is called Horrible Bosses. You pretty much know what you are in for.

I am currently working on the third film in the series, where the protagonists work in a Chinese factory and commit suicide after 2 hours of existential pondering and hopelessness. At least that’d be something new.

Horrible Bosses 2 is directed by Sean Anders and stars Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz. It hits theaters on November 28, 2014.