Tag Archives: Steve Carell

Throwback Thursday-Date Night (2010)

I would wager that if one were to ask any married couple with kids about their daily lives, they would tell you that they have little time to spare for themselves. That is where date night usually comes in.

In 2010, the movie Date Night premiered. Tina Fey and Steve Carell play Claire and Phil Foster, an average suburban couple from the New York City area with a full plate of responsibilities. Like many couples, they look forward to date nights to relax and enjoy each other’s company. The evening they choose to go out on will not just be any evening.

Date Night is one of those movies that would be forgettable if it was not for the comedic geniuses that are Tina Fey and Steve Carell. The movie is not horrible, but it is not exactly what it promises to be.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Filed under Movie Review, Movies, New York City, Throwback Thursday

Vice Movie Review

Politics is not known to be a clean or ethical business. While some may claim that they are getting into politics to serve the needs of the people, their actual reason for getting into politics is not quite as transparent.

The new movie, Vice, is the story of Dick Cheney, who serviced as Vice President under George W. Bush. The film starts in early 1960’s when Cheney (Christian Bale) is a drunken ne’er-do-well. After flopping out of college, he is working, but spending most of his time in the bar and getting into fights. His longtime girlfriend, Lynne (Amy Adams) gives him an ultimatum: clean up his act or their relationship is over. The film then moves forward in time as Cheney climbs up the political ladder and he and Lynne go through the motions of marriage and parenthood. His job with Donald Rumsfeld (Steve Carell) will eventually lead to the job of Vice President while George W. Bush (Sam Rockwell) serves as President. Along the way, he makes many decisions, some which may be seen as unethical.

Writer/Director Adam McKay is not known for dramatic films that have a political edge. But with Vice, he is able to create a film that succeeds. This success comes down to the slightly unorthodox narrative and the lead actors who disappear completely into their characters. This disappearing act, especially by Bale, could lead to multiple awards come next year.

I absolutely recommend it.

Vice is presently in theaters.

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Filed under History, Movie Review, Movies, Politics

Flashback Friday-Evan Almighty (2007)

Many go into politics for altruistic reasons. Whether or not their reasons change over time is to be seen.

In the 2007 film Evan Almighty (a sequel to the 2003 film Bruce Almighty), Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) has changed careers. After spending years reporting the news, he becomes the news when he is elected to Congress. Sensing that Evan is a virgin politician, Congressman Long (John Goodman) is trying to pressure Evan to co-sponsor a bill that will allow developers to re-create the National Parks in their own image. Then G-d (Morgan Freeman, reprising his role from Bruce Almighty) tells Evan to build an ark. Evan is not exactly a believer in the instructions he has received. Torn between co-sponsoring the bill and the more than obvious signs from G-d, Evan has to make a decision. Should he save the world or co-sponsor the bill?

As sequels go, the film is not that bad. I also certainly appreciate the message about taking care of the environment. This film is the type of film that you might see in theaters or find it while flipping through the channels on a rainy weekend afternoon. But it is the best sequel ever? Not really.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Battle Of The Sexes Movie Review

The Battle Of The Sexes tennis match in 1973 between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs was much more than a tennis match. It represented the future of America.

In the new movie, Battle Of The Sexes, Emma Stone plays Billie Jean King and Steve Carell plays Bobbie Riggs. At the start of the film, Billie Jean King is the women’s tennis champion and Bobby Riggs is the former men’s champion who now earns his living by working for his father-in-law. When Billie Jean and the rest of the women discover that prize money for the women’s tournament is far less than the men’s tournament, they revolt.

While this is happening, both Billie Jean and Bobby are dealing with personal problems. Bobby has a gambling addiction that could threaten his marriage. Billie Jean is married, but she is attracted to women and one woman in particular, Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough). The question is, who will win the Battle Of The Sexes?

I really liked this movie. I liked it on several levels. I like it a) because it is an entertaining movie b) the match itself is a historical moment that truly changed the world and c) it feels appropriate for what is happening in this country right now. I especially appreciated that both main characters were not slated into the typical hero/villain role. Riggs could have easily been shown as the big bad chauvinistic wolf (which he certainly was to certain degree) who is trying to blow King and the feminist house down. I also appreciated that Billie Jean King paved the way for only women in general to achieve whatever they want to achieve, but also in her own small way, paved the way for the modern LGBTQ movement.

I absolutely recommend it.

Battle Of The Sexes is presently in theaters.

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Filed under Feminism, History, Movie Review, Movies

Flashback Friday-60’s TV Transformed To Film-Get Smart (2008) & The Beverly Hillbillies (1993)

Nostalgia. The good old days. Times gone by.

Hollywood has been banking on this idea since it’s inception.

Audiences are used to remakes and reboots. The question is, is the remake/reboot worthy of the original product and does it give justice to the memories of the fans of the original production?

This is the question I am going to answer tonight.

The first film I am going to examine in this post is Get Smart (2008). Based on the television show that aired from 1965-1970, Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) is a spy. While he is a genius in one area, his social skills leave something to be desired. Joining him is Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway), who may be the actual brains of the outfit. Their task, should they choose to accept it: prevent an attack from a Russian spy agency.

I wasn’t around during the show’s original run, but from what I can tell, the screen play sticks pretty close to the universe that is Get Smart. The cast was well-chosen, especially Carell and Hathaway as Maxwell and Agent 99.

The second film I will examine is The Beverly Hillbillies (1993). Originally airing from 1962-1971, the lead character is Jedd Clampett (Ernest Varney) a redneck who strikes it rich when he finds an oil patch that adds quite nicely to his bank account. Deciding to put his new-found fortune to good use, Jedd, his daughter Elly May (Erika Eleniak), his nephew Jethro Bodine (Diedrich Bader) and his mother known as Granny (Cloris Leachman) decide to pull up stakes and move to Beverly Hills.

But with their new-found fortune, Jedd and Co are swimming in a shark tank who know easy prey when they see it. Can the Clamplett clan survive California or will they return to Arkansas empty-handed?

The plus of this movie is that movie keeps the campiness and the kookiness of the original series. The minus of this movie is that it is almost too cookie cutter, as the screen play was stitched together from individual episodes.

Do I recommend them? Get Smart, yes. Beverly Hillbillies, n0.

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Throwback Thursday-Slightly Sexist Movies Marketed To Men That Secretly Appeal To Women- The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005) & Wedding Crashers (2005)

To anyone who goes to the movies, its quite obvious that a majority of lead characters are often male and women are sometimes portrayed solely as sex objects.

But some of these movies have a secret. While they appear to only attract male moviegoers, there is something about the plot that brings in female moviegoers.

In a romantic comedy or drama, we have become used to the plot line of the sexually inexperienced female and her sexually experienced male counterpart. In 2005, this idea was flipped on it’s ear in The 40 Year Old Virgin. Andy (Steve Carell) has dated a little, but has never had complete sexual relations with a woman. Egged on by his friends to finally do the deed, he goes to the traditional places to meet women, but nothing really happens until he meets Trish (Catherine Keener). Trish is a single mother with three kids. Andy and Trish fall for each other, but he has yet to tell her his secret.

What I like about this movie is that despite some sexist overtones, it is incredibly funny. I also love the idea of the man who has little sexual experience and the woman who has been around the block a few times. Steve Carell is on point as a man who is withdrawn and shy and because of that, his love life is completely different than his peers.

In Wedding Crashers, (2005) John (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy (Vince Vaughn) don’t use the usual haunts to meet women. They crash weddings, pretending to be guests. All is well until they crash the wedding of the daughter of Treasury Secretary William Cleary (Christopher Walken) and target two of the Secretary’s daughters, who are bridesmaids, Claire (Rachel McAdams) and Gloria (Isla Fisher). John falls for Claire while Jeremy attempts to seduce Gloria and finds that she is more than his match.

While this movie is incredibly crass and sexist at certain moments, it has a charm to it.  John and Claire’s relationship is sweet while Jeremy and Gloria balance out the sweetness with comedy perfection.

I recommend both.

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Filed under Feminism, Movie Review, Movies, Throwback Thursday