This Week's Movie Buzz: See It, Rent It, Or Skip It?
This week is a big week for comedies, with four premiering. We have "Land of the Lost," "Away We Go," "The Hangover," and "My Life in Ruins." I'm very excited because I will be seeing an advanced screening of "The Hangover." I have high hopes that it will be very funny, but I'll let you know what I think after I see it.
LAND OF THE LOST
Dr. Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell) is an eccentric scientist whose theories are not taken seriously by the rest of the science world. His latest invention sucks him into a space-time vortex alongside his assistant Holly (Anna Friel) and a redneck survivalist named Will (Danny McBride).
Trapped in an alternate universe, the three become friends with a primate named Chaka, who becomes their only ally against dinosaurs and other extraordinary creatures. The trio try to survive and escape back to their own world, in the hopes that Dr. Marshall can get the respect he deserves for his discoveries.
Brad Silberling, director of comedies like "10 Items or Less" and "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," steps in to direct "Land of the Lost." Former television writers Dennis McNicholas and Chris Henchy pen this film together.
SEE IT, RENT IT, OR SKIP IT? : Rent it. I used to think Will Ferrell was one of the funniest men alive, but lately I've lost faith in his ability to make me laugh. His outrageous antics have become almost cliché, and they've lost the spontaneity that made them humorous. Even though I really liked the TV show "Land of the Lost," and I've enjoyed Danny McBride in every recent movie I've seen him in, I don't see this film being hilarious enough to warrant seeing in the theater.
AWAY WE GO
In this comedy, expectant couple (John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph) travel across the U.S. in search of the right place to raise a family. On their trip, they experience some speed bumps connecting with old friends and relatives, in the hopes of finding a place to settle down.
"Away We Go" is written by newcomers Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida. The film is directed by Oscar winning director Sam Mendes, the man behind 2008's "Revolutionary Road." Music for the movie is done by indie musician Alexi Murdoch, whose music has appeared in numerous television shows including "The Octopus Project" and "Prison Break."
SEE IT, RENT IT, OR SKIP IT? : See it. It is a limited release but if you have the opportunity, definitely check this one out. This film looks like an offbeat comedy that's one part a road trip movie, and one part the trials and tribulations of childrearing. John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph seem to have a delightful rapport as husband and wife, both equally clueless on their journey to parenthood. I think the film has solid direction under Sam Mendes, who made "Jarhead" and "American Beauty" which have been two of my favorites.
Doug and his three friends drive to Las Vegas for a wild bachelor party. Waking up the next day, his three groomsmen have no recollection of the previous night's shenanigans. In their suite at Caesars Palace there is a tiger in the bathroom, and a baby in the closet, but worst of all Doug is missing. The trio set out on a quest to retrace their steps and get Doug back to L.A. in time for his wedding.
The writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, responsible for the recently released "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past," work together again on "The Hangover." At the helm is director Tom Philips, known for sophomoric comedy hits like "Old School" and "Road Trip." Doug is played by Justin Bartha ("National Treasure: Book of Secrets") and his groomsmen are played by Bradley Cooper ("He's Just Not That Into You"), Ed Helms ("The Office"), and Zach Galifianakis ("Into the Wild").
SEE IT, RENT IT, OR SKIP IT? : See it. "The Hangover" seems to be another comedy that pushes the envelope of humor in Hollywood. While some people say this trend is bad because it appeals to lowbrow humor, I disagree. As a long time fan of comedian George Carlin, I believe we can find humor in all subjects in life. That being said, this movie looks like a side splitting good time, filled with outrageous laughs, gross out humor, and painful slapstick. I've always liked comedian Zach Galifianakis, and I'm excited to see him in a more mainstream comedy.
MY LIFE IN RUINS
Georgia (Nia Vardalos), a tour guide in Greece, feels like she has lost her mojo, or as the Greeks call it, kefi. Depressed by a nonexistent love life, she leads a group of tourists, educating them about Greek culture. As she exposes the tourists to new experiences in a foreign land, she finds romance with an unexpected match, and rediscovers her kefi.
Donald Petrie, director of previous romantic comedies such as "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" and "Miss Congeniality" is in the director's chair for "My Life in Ruins." Nia Vardalos, who wrote and starred in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," plays the role of Georgia.
SEE IT, RENT IT, OR SKIP IT? : See this one. This movie looks like a lighthearted romantic comedy, mixed with a fish out of water story. I haven't seen Nia Vardalos in anything since "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," but I really liked that film when I saw it. There will probably be some similar humor, playing to her strengths since the story's backdrop is Greece. The supporting cast seems like a strong one though with veteran actor Richard Dreyfuss, SNL's Rachel Dratch, and comedian Harland Williams.
Story by Starpulse contributing writer Evan Crean, a movie trivia guru and trailer addict with a practically photographic memory of actors and directors. Get a first look at the movies premiering each week, which which ones will be worth your $10, which ones you should wait to rent and which ones aren't worth your time.
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