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Out in Theaters: ‘ZOOLANDER 2’

Ben Stiller‘s approach to round two of the Zoo is akin to chucking a baby bird from the nest to see if it will fly or plummet, only to discover a 25-pound lead weight secured to said birdling’s ankle bits. No scene demonstrates this better than when Hansel (Owen Wilson), in an attempt to elicit Derek’s (Stiller) magical modeling stopping power, is throwing objects at the now-out-of-fashion Derek Zoolander. Failing to summon the “fire” that stopped Mutagatu’s (Will Ferrell) M-shaped throwing star and saved the Malaysian Prime Minister all those years back, each progressively larger prop strikes Zoolander’s duck-face curtly in the sucker. By object four or five, a tasty-looking bottle of Reposado that acts as an accidental stand-in for the cockeyed audience, Zoolander cries out, “This just isn’t working.” No Ben Stiller, it really, really isn’t. Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘DADDY’S HOME’

There was an age of Will Ferrell where just about anything the slapstick buffoon did would conjure a hearty laugh from me. His performances in Anchorman, as the verbose, showboating newsman Ron Burgundy, and Step Brothers, as perma-man-child Brendan Huff, send me into a goofy rage of hacking cough fits to this day. But it’s been a hot minute since Ferrell has been able to lock himself and his signature non-sequitors into a winning project and Daddy’s Home continues that losing streak. Read More

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‘ZOOLANDER 2’ Trailer Features Ugly Benedict Cumberbatch and Murdered Bieber

It’s been 15 years since Derek Zoolander shot his last Blue Steel at the camera and, for better or worse, he’s back in the first full trailer for Zoolander 2. Years retired and now thought of as a bit of a joke, Zoolander is recruited once more to stop the evil fashion designer Mugatu (Will Ferrell) from assassinating all the beautiful people in the world, including, of course, Justin Bieber and Kayne West. Read More

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Out in Theaters: GET HARD

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Written and directed by Etan Coen – no, not he of the Coen Bros ilk – Get Hard left me questioning whether a mainstream comedy could deal with – and more importantly make fun of – race relationships and prison yard homosexuality without being intrinsically racist or homophobic. The answer is trickier than you might think. The liberal in me got tense around Get Hard‘s stereotypical depictions of “black people doing black people things” – hanging on stoops, twerkin’ – and “gay people doing gay people things” – the ever-delightful pairing of brunch and BJs. Read More

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Out in Theaters: TAMMY

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Begin Again played with alcoholism; Tammy’s the kind of movie that’s alcoholic. The whole thing seems inebriated, like it was shot with a camera in one hand and a shot of booze in the other. Never mind that Susan Sarandon spends the film chugging whiskey and brews, or that Melissa McCarthy can’t seem to make it a mile without blowing something up. People you watched in movies back in the ‘80s and ‘90s keep popping up in random places as if you stepped into a bizarro Hollywood career rehab. Hey guys, wanna fit Dan Aykroyd in this movie? What about Gary Cole? Sure. Screw it.

Watching old people make whoopee isn’t fun for anyone. Neither is diabetes. Tammy has a lot of both, usually at the same time. There’s a lot of amusement mixed in with things you’d rather not think about: unemployment, aging, prison. If you want to watch someone crash a jet-ski, you might as well watch America’s Funniest Home Videos and skip Ben Falcone’s hour-and-a-half long road-trip comedy.

I went into Tammy expecting fat jokes and toilet humor. There are a lot of both, but they’re not as bad as you’d think. McCarthy turns a lot of nothing into something. The film opens with her crashing into a CGI deer. Nothing’s funny about it, but the film draws it out for a minute. She recovers: after getting fired from her job at KFC-esque “Topperjacks,” where everyone dresses like a rodeo clown in parachute jumpsuits, she throws a tantrum. As a glorified loser she plays up the moment, throwing burgers and insults. She heads home to find her husband (Nat Faxon) eating a romantic dinner with the next door neighbor (Toni Colette). You don’t want to feel bad for her, but she turns up the embarrassment. It’s sweaty comedy: she has to burn a lot of calories to get any laughs, but damn it does she try hard.

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At first you don’t know what to think about Susan Sarandon as McCarthy’s drunken grandma. Sarandon’s made her career playing a mom—it’s difficult to imagine her suffering as a Grandma. When she heads out to road-trip to Niagara Falls with McCarthy and pulls out the liquor, you can still see the youth in her smile. Along the way they keep getting into crazier situations: jet-ski’s get Viking burials at an all-Lesbian 4th of July party, cars get blown up, the two end up in jail. At one point McCarthy holds up a Topperjacks with a paper bag on her head and a rolled up bag covering a finger gun—all this just to bail Sarandon out. The two go back—hostile paper bags on heads—to return the money.

Awkward romance finds itself in this film too. Sarandon hooks up with the aforementioned Gary Cole in the back of a car while McCarthy and Cole’s son (Mark Duplass) sit on the trunk. They move to a hotel room and McCarthy’s left to sleep outside. Amidst the old people fornicating, Duplass’s character falls for McCarthy’s wacky charm and somehow a relationship develops. This is awkward on many levels, and doesn’t really make any sense. McCarthy’s Tammy has absolutely nothing going for her, so why would Duplass’ character have any interest at all?

As much as it struggles with itself, Tammy is brutally honest. Though there’s a lot of heavy topics packed in, the film knows how to turn the discomfort into candid comedy. Kathy Bates and Sandra Oh play a lesbian couple with a passion for explosions. They make light of their struggle as a same-sex couple, and it’s genuinely funny even in its seriousness. Bates brings a lot to her role and delivers some touching moments. Sarandon’s alcoholism breeds some comedy within the sadness too.

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Hidden in all the fat jokes and potty humor is a vulnerable McCarthy, who knows how to take it and when to give it out. Though there are a lot of dumb jokes you’d expect from an Adam McKay/Will Ferrell produced comedy, there are some gems too. Her robbery antics at the Topperjacks struggling to jump over the counter and stealing hot pies gets a giggle. Her dance to “Thrift Shop” collects a grin. McCarthy puts the belly in belly laugh.

Wickedly funny at points, there’s a lot of internal strife—you know where Tammy wants to go but it takes the long way there. Despite its simplicity, McCarthy and Sarandon are quirky and fun, though far from smart. Who figured Sarandon would have any sort of comic timing? They’re not the first pair you’d want to road trip with, but at least they’re something to laugh at. If anything, Tammy is a reminder that no matter how bad life gets, it can always get a lot worse. 

C

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ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES Super-Sized R-Rated Version Hitting Theaters for Limited One Week Run

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Ron Burgundy’s latest breaking-news announcement can only signify one thing for an America still recovering from the torrid heap of dung that was Anchorman 2: more Ron Burgundy. Depending on your affinity for condom jokes and racial wisecracks, this latest newsflash will either leave you scrambling for your glue-on mustache or covering your eyes and ears in despairing attempt to escape the advertising torrent that’s sure to drown us all in Burgundy’s cologne and cocksurity.

With exactly 763 new jokes and thirty more (now R-rated) minutes, collaborators Adam McKay and Will Ferrell‘s latest installment looks like it could be just as obnoxious as its overly-long title. McKay and Ferrell have been saying for months that they could make another movie from all the content that didn’t fit in the The Legend Continues. Just imagine how much better this extra-long version will be with the improvised dick humor and shark-wrestling thatdidn’t make the first cut. At least they’re true to their word.
 
If Anchorman was asucculent filet mignon, then Anchorman 2 would be whatever it looked like coming out in the men’s room. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues was two full hours of glorified fart noise, and its shit-bouquet somehow managed to ravage one of this century’s funniest movie concepts. Now we can look forward to the dysenterial constipation Super-Sized is likely to be.
 
This limited edition release only lasts a week and is said to include a new musical number. As one of the highlights of the “original” version of Legend Continues was Ferrell’s shark sing-a-song “Doby”, hopefully this is sign of good things to come. Maybe, if we’re lucky, it’ll have all the humor Anchorman 2 didn’t.

Check out the trailer for this new cut and see if it’s something you’d be willing to shell out full ticket price for (again) when it hits theaters on February 28.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ph9NMC2wK50

 
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Out in Theaters: ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES

“Anchorman 2”
Directed by Adam McKay
Starring Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carrell, Christina Applegate, Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, David Koechner, Greg Kinnear
Comedy
119 Mins
PG-13

Following up a comedy classic like Anchorman is no easy task. In order to achieve a modicum of success, this sequel was already tasked with paying tribute to its predecessor while also setting itself far enough away so that it doesn’t seem like a play-by-play rehashing of the original. In this pursuit, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is a success. But while the first film had me in a constant state of stitches and continues to be a go-to favorite in the comedy stable, Anchorman 2 is far more spotted. Attempts to capture the comic vibrancy of men let off the leash fizzles with some performers more than others, revealing gags sautéed in randomness that come across as definitively hit-or-miss. And while more jokes land with a thud than you’d hope for, when it shines, it shines like the sweet diamond-crusted grills of Flava Flav. Read More

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Character Posters for ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND CONTINUES

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Playing up the epic element and riffing on monster movie posters, the cast of Anchorman: The Legend Continues takes over New York City in the macro. Towering above skyscrapers, stomping on cars, and lounging on buildings Ron Burgandy is joined by his faithful news crew as they trudge closer to their Christmas Day release.

“With the 70’s behind him, San Diego’s top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), returns to the news desk in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Also back for more are Ron’s co-anchor and wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), weather man Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), man on the street Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and sports guy Champ Kind (David Koechner) – All of whom won’t make it easy to stay classy…while taking the country’s first 24-hour news channel by storm.”

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Paul Rudd as Brian Fantana

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Steve Carrell as Brick Tamland

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David Koechner as Champ Kind

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Will Ferrell as Ron Burgandy

Anchorman: The Legend Continues is directed by Adam McKay and stars Will Ferrell, Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Kristen Wiig, Sacha Baron Cohen, Tina Fey, Greg Kinnear, Kayne West, James Marsden, Nicole Kidman, Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, Amy Poehler, Jim Carrey. It hits theaters on December 20, 2013.

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ANCHORMAN 2 Markets By Ice Cream and Trucks

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A new trailer for the much anticipated sequel to the modern comedy classic Anchorman was released today. Perhaps my youthful impressions of the film are clouding my judgement, but this one seems to ramp the stupidity to new heights, which I couldn’t be more excited about.

The trailer shows Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and friends working for a news station called GNN, in an effort to make the news more fun. Obviously a stab at the state of the sensationalist, entertainment first, state of modern cable news, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues might actually provide a valuable social critique, amongst its many, many, tasteless jokes. It will probably be mostly tasteless jokes though. Anything else would be a colossal disappointment.

Advertising for the film has been bordering on ridiculous, though, possibly threatening to wear out Ron Burgundy’s welcome before the film is even out. Besides the fact that you can’t turn on the TV, without being sold a Dodge Durango by Burgundy, you can now cry over your lost Border Terrier with a carton of Ben and Jerry’s “Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch” flavored ice-cream.

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Here’s to hoping a fraction of Anchorman 2’s advertising budget went into the film. If the trailers and talk of copious celebrity cameos are any indication, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues should give its target audience a massive laugh, when it comes out December 20th, 2013.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is directed by Adam McKay and stars Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Harrison Ford and Christina Applegate. It opens on December 20th, 2013