Posts Tagged ‘Danny McBride’

’30 Minutes’ a frantic action comedy

Sunday, August 14th, 2011
Aziz Ansari and Jesse Eisenberg in "30 Minutes or Less" Chet (Aziz Ansari), left, and Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) plot to steal a car in the shrill action comedy “30 Minutes or Less.”

“30 Minutes or Less” might have been a lickety-split action comedy had its running time actually been 30 minutes or less.

Ruben Fleischer’s movie runs a scant 83 minutes as it is, and that still gives his annoying, caffeinated characters plenty of time to wear out their energetic, promising welcome during the first act of a two-and-a-half act comedy.

Fleischer reunites with his “Zombieland” star Jesse Eisenberg in a project clearly intended to follow the model of the popular, quick and quirky undead horror comedy that works where this one does not.

Eisenberg brings his patented brand of nervous twitchiness to Nick, a slacker pizza delivery guy who drives like Burt Reynolds in a Hal Needham movie just to get the goods to the customer in under a half-hour.

As we see, he’s not all that successful, despite burning the tire tread.

Nick’s best friend Chet (the personable Aziz Ansari) has landed a job as a teacher. Despite taking a brave step into adulthood, Chet realizes his example is lost on Nick, who initiates incredulously childish, destructive fights that no normal friendship could withstand. (Chet takes responsibility for the divorce of Nick’s parents; Nick tortures Chet with details of how he deflowered Chet’s twin sister Kate, played by Dilshad Vadsaria.) (Read more…)

‘Due Date’ delivers crass comedy, kooky characters

Friday, November 5th, 2010
Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis in "Due Date" Peter (Robert Downey Jr.) tries to take the wheel from a sleeping Ethan (Zach Galifianakis) in the buddy/road comedy “Due Date.”

Call it “Planes, Trains and Automobiles — Without the Planes and Trains.”

“Due Date” stars Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis as two clashing, feuding strangers who share a small car during a road trip from Atlanta to Los Angeles.

One is an uptight architect with a flair for expensive clothes and a problem with his temper. The other is a wannabe actor with a bad perm and a knack for abysmal clothing combinations.

How these two personalities survive their road trip becomes the haphazard plot for “Due Date,” Todd Phillips’ new raunchy laugh-fest designed to hold us over until he delivers the sequel to his smash 2009 raunchy laugh-fest “The Hangover.”

Unlike the uniformly unsavory characters in “The Hangover,” the characters in “Due Date” seem to be struck from the Judd Apatow mold: They’re guys who make us care about them in between bouts of complete self-absorption and frequent gross-outs.

Downey plays Peter Highman, an architect whose extremely pregnant wife Sarah (a comically challenged and miscast Michelle Monaghan) plans on getting a C-section four days away.

Peter first sees wacky Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis) at the Atlanta airport where Ethan’s car shaves the door off Peter’s rented limo.

Oddly enough, Phillips introduces Ethan in a long, lingering slow-motion shot, the sort usually reserved for the first time a guy meets the hot girl of his dreams.

Except Ethan looks like a hairy, bearded traveler who’s escaped from “Grizzly Adams.” (Read more…)

‘Up in the Air’ soars among the year’s best

Saturday, December 12th, 2009
George Clooney and Vera Farmiga in "Up in the Air" A termination expert (George Clooney) falls for a kindred spirit (Vera Farmiga) in Jason Reitman’s comic drama “Up in the Air.”


The moment you meet Ryan Bingham, you just know it: He’s the master of his universe.

Bingham flies around the country and fires all the employees that company bosses don’t want to deal with themselves. Business is good.

He clocks 350,000 air miles a year. He belongs to all the exclusive, most elite travel clubs. He has packing quick and tight down to a habitual science, and he wields his coveted gold and super platinum credit cards with the grace and power of a Jedi knight armed with a light saber.

He also conducts seminars on preparing backpacks in which he equates possessions and people to dead weight that slows you down.

“Moving is living!” he proclaims.

“Up in the Air” is the slick and engaging story of this man, who flies above the fray of emotional attachments and the messiness of relationships. This noncommital, avowed bachelor is so close to the dashing actor who plays him, avowed bachelor George Clooney, that Ryan Bingham is easily the Clooniest character ever to grace the silver screen.

Director/writer Jason Reitman – who gave us the superior comedies “Thank You For Smoking” and “Juno” – has created (based on Walter Kirn’s novel) a funny, sexy, exceptionally romantic film oozing with post-financial-meltdown Zeitgeist that gives “Up in the Air” both a timely and timeless appeal. (Read more…)