Category Archives: jim carrey

A Thousand Words

A Thousand Words ~ Eddie Murphy doesn’t have much luck in the movies any more, Shrek and Dream Girls excepted. Whenever he releases a theatrical starring vehicle, even one like this that is actually pretty good, it fails. At least theatrically and critically. I, on the other hand, liked A Thousand Words, just as I’ve liked more than a few Murphy films of the last dozen or so years.

A Thousand Words is a fantasy flick with a simple premise. Eddie plays a publishing agent who is cursed by a client to only be able to speak 1000 words before he dies. This forces Eddie to be very selective in his words, and he must use other ways to communicate. It is fierce physical comedy, something Murphy loves and excels at, and he is a delight to watch here. He is supported by a wonderful cast, including in terrific parts – Clark Duke, Jack McBrayer, and John Witherspoon.

It doesn’t help the film that much like the infamous Pluto Nash that this movie was made a few years ago and was just released this spring. It’s sad that had this been forty or fifty years ago, this would have been a perfect vehicle for Jerry Lewis, one of Murphy’s idols. It’s also a matter of being out of favor with Hollywood – think about it, this would have been a hit if it starred Jim Carrey or Ben Stiller, right?

I liked it. It’s a good comedy with a happy ending, a good message, and an excellent flick for the family with humor for kids of all ages. Some scenes might be a bit risqué however. Recommended.

Quickies 5-14-2010

Starflight One ~ The synopsis for this 1983 gem reads, and I’m not joking, as follows: “By mistake the captain and passengers of the world’s first hypersonic airliner go past Australia, into space.” Also known as Starflight: The Plane That Couldn’t Land, it’s a disaster movie on a low budget telemovie scale starring the semi-warm cast of Lee Majors, Lauren Hutton, Ray Milland, Kirk Cameron, Robert Englund and Hal Linden. Just as bad as it sounds and would be fun if you make a drinking game out of it. This serious version of Airplane II is abysmal and yet sometimes unintentionally funny.

It’s Alive ~ This TV movie from 1968 is pretty cool, and riding on a smooth drive-in horror flick vibe, until you actually see the monster. Wow. This thing, a recycled prop costume from a previous film just as bad as this one, makes the monsters from the old “Doctor Who” TV series look professional. Hell, it makes Barney look like he walked out of Jurassic Park. This one’s okay excluding the monster. With the monster, it’s just terrible. An example of how one ‘special’ effect can ruin an entire flick.

Kitten with a Whip ~ This 1960s exploitation flick is indicative of the genre and one of the best with name stars. Sociopathic prison runaway Ann Margaret chills at aspiring senator John Forsythe’s home Desperate Hours style while the family is on vacation. This couldn’t have been better if William Castle or Roger Corman had directed it.

Yes Man ~ Jim Carrey plays a negative man who through a positive thinking guru forces himself to say yes to everything. Yeah, it’s kinda like Liar Liar only less funny. It’s not as bad as it could be as Zooey Deschanel saves all the scenes she’s in. As much as Zooey is a delight, Jim is equally a hyperactive and sullen brat. Not as bad as it could be, might be worth seeing if nothing else is on, and as long as you don’t pay for it.

Planet 51 ~ Other than the interesting twist of humans and aliens switching roles, which you can see in any of the previews, there’s really no surprises here. It’s fun animation for kids featuring pantless sea monkeys with Alien dogs in a retro 1950s world, along with The Rock being tiredly ironic for ninety minutes. The shine will wear off for adults pretty quickly.

Pineapple Express ~ You know those great action thrillers where some innocent bystanders witness a murder and then spend the rest of the flick being chased by the bad guys? Yeah, now imagine everyone in said flick is a stoner and/or a doper. Yep, you got it, that’s what Pineapple Express is. It’s funny, but it’s probably a lot funnier if you’re high.

Bookmark and Share

Disney’s A Christmas Carol

Disney’s A Christmas Carol ~ I’m a sucker for Christmas movies. Whether it’s the original Miracle on 34th Street or infamous Mexican Santa Claus from 1959 or It’s a Wonderful Life or Die Hard, I love ‘em. There are those that just put me in the holiday spirit and I have to see them every year, and A Christmas Carol is the granddaddy of them all.

I have seen literally dozens of movie versions of the story, and that’s not counting all the TV sitcoms that have done their own takes, but the absolute finest one is the 1951 version starring the incomparable Alistar Sim as Scrooge. Nobody does it better, and only a few even come close. So when I heard that Disney and Jim Carrey were remaking it in 3-D, I was tentative, and when I saw the previews – I was really turned off. I did not go into this flick with a good feeling.

Jim Carrey stars as Scrooge and as the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present among other things. Actors Cary Elwes and Colin Firth also take multiple roles. It’s an interesting version of the story, if unnecessarily dark and ugly, and far too scary for the kids. The only places it truly falters are where it deviates from the actual story. The only word I have for when it turns into a thrill ride in the third act is horrendous. Why? Is there an actual ride on its way to a theme park near you? That I hated.

There are also bits where Jim Carrey shows off his Jim Carrey-ness and completely takes me out of the movie. But then again, I imagine the beginnings of this project lie with Carrey doing imitations of Alistar Sim for writer/director Robert Zemekis anyway. And speaking of Sim, his crown is still safe. This one isn’t even in the top ten versions of the story.

Bookmark and Share

Get Smart 2008

Get Smart ~ It is really really difficult to screw up a “Get Smart” movie. Looking at the past attempts – The Nude Bomb in 1980 and Get Smart Again for TV in 1989 – two of the worst movies ever made, you would really have to try diligently to make something worse. Despite the shadow hanging over this film, the 2008 remake of “Get Smart” isn’t bad, it’s not bad at all.

The cast is fun. Steve Carel is a comedy genius, and has yet to fall into any of the traps Jim Carrey (who incidentally was originally cast) did when he was on top. Anne Hathaway is always a delight on screen, and her chemistry with Carel is delicious, inspiring positive comparison to the originals, Barbara Feldon and Don Adams. Always good to see Alan Arkin, and The Rock, Dwayne Johnson rules every scene he’s in. Bill Murray makes an embarrassing cameo while James Caan shows a real flair for comedy as the President. Terrence Stamp does an interesting impression as the typical Malcolm McDowell villain. Even Masi Oka of “Heroes” and Nate Torrence are fun. I wish however that Patrick Warburton as Hymie had been throughout the film rather than half a minute at the end. There is even a quick but great cameo by Bernie Kopell, who played the original Siegfried. But it’s not the cast I take issue with.

Why does this have to be a “Get Smart” movie to begin with? Name recognition? Surely not. No one who was alive when the program first aired or even when it was in syndication is among the major movie-going demographic these days. Is it to make more money for poor Buck Henry, the creator of the series? Maybe. That’s really the only reason I can see. And let’s face it, unless we count “Quark,” Buck does deserve it.

The reason I question this is because really the only weak parts of this film are the “Get Smart” gimmicks and where Carel does his bad Don Adams impression. That’s where it falters, when it tries too hard to be “Get Smart.” If you removed all of those references this would be a fairly strong but simple spy comedy. Really, if you needed name recognition that didn’t make sense to the demographic anyway, why not make it a sequel or remake of Spies Like Us? It works just as well. Worth watching, but I don’t know if I would feel good about paying for it.

.

The Death of Freedom of Speech


Apparently freedom of speech is politically incorrect. I knew that having a sense of humor, especially a sick one, was, but freedom of speech?

Apparently the KKK or the Neo-Nazis can gather and speak their mind with police protection on most occasions, but if you put a witty if sick phrase on a t-shirt, you’re public enemy number one.

T-Shirt Hell is closing. It’s not because of the economy, like everything else closing of late, it’s because of wrong-minded idiots who refuse to let folks have freedom of speech in America. They are being forced out of business because some people not only don’t understand the Bill of Rights, but they also don’t get that everyone doesn’t have the same sense of humor. Apparently it’s wrong to be stupid or silly or politically incorrect – unless you’re a Klansman or a Nazi. And you folks out there know damn well if Dane Cook or Jim Carrey said some of the things on these shirts you’d laugh, but somehow it being on a shirt and for sale is wrong.

And it’s not like T-Shirt Hell is a fly-by night operation either. They’ve been around forever and have been featured in publications such as Penthouse, FHM, Maxim, Stuff, Playboy, Esquire (yes, Esquire), and on the Howard Stern Show. Granted, it’s niche, but it’s big. And they ship thousands of products every week (still) and to locations all over the world. Seems like only a pocket of vocal people here in the States are the only ones without a sick sense of humor.

Here’s what the owner and creator of T-Shirt Hell, Sunshine Megatron, had to say about this: http://www.tshirthell.com/goodbye.php and also from a soon-to-be-laid-off employee of T-Shirt Hell: http://www.tshirthell.com/goodbye2.php.

So freedom of speech with a sense of humor only has a week to live on the intrawebs, but not on your shirt. The sale is on. Get out there and buy and wear your right to free speech.

Horton Hurts


Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! ~ I know this formula pretty well. I saw The Grinch. Jim Carrey plus Dr. Seuss equals disaster.

Don’t get me wrong, this flick looks amazing. There have been some serious leaps in technology made in CGI with this movie. The depiction of water alone in Horton is incredible. The problem is that the movie is far too long and squeezes far too many unnecessary elements and characters into it. In most cases the humor is built for groans rather than laughs and I seriously doubt the little ones will sit still for any of this.

Jim Carey and Steve Carel try far too hard, but on the other hand, the voice work of Carol Burnett and Charles Osgood is very much welcome. The film naturally provokes comparison to the made for TV cartoon of the same name, which at a mere 26 minutes, is vastly superior. I have to say, with that in mind, this version would have been a lot better had it only been 26 minutes long.

Good as a free rental on fast forward, but I’m afraid even the kids will be bored. All that, and it completely ruined a perfectly good 1980s REO Speedwagon song.

How Ron Howard Stole My Christmas


A Video Review of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

Copyright 2002 Glenn Walker

In the immortal words of the Pet Shop Boys, “What have I done, what have I done, what have I done to deserve this?” What sick twisted demon from hell possessed Ron Howard and made him create this big budget major motion picture based on the wonderful Dr. Seuss work? Surely this could only be the work of the devil.

The 1966 half-hour cartoon by Chuck Jones narrated by Boris Karloff with that song by Thul (Tony the Tiger) Ravenscroft is perfect. Why was there a need to do this?

Jim Carrey in his hideous make-up as the Grinch is nowhere near as scary as the citizens of Whoville who all resemble the monsters from “The Twilight Zone” episode Eye of the Beholder. Ron Howard made this for his kids? Why haven’t the authorities taken those kids away for cruel and unusual treatment?

The real story has very few characters but apparently the writers felt this had to be fleshed out and added a dozen or so irrelevant characters including the Grinch’s old girlfriend (hello?). Screenwriters Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman (who also had a hand in destroying the big budget motion picture version of the brilliant Wild Wild West) should have their pencils broken, their typewriters smashed and their word processors melted down.

The ending is horrendous. Apparently Christmas doesn’t come in a box, it’s not about giving at all. It’s all about money money money, materialism and greed, gimme gimme gimme. I hate Jim Carrey. Damn you, Ron Howard. This is easily one of the worst three movies ever made.

And take off the frigging hat.

Rating -*

***** Must see
**** Worth seeing
*** So you have eight dollars you want to throw away…
** Is Adam Sandler in this mess?
* A bullet would be quicker.

The above previously appeared at Project Popcorn.