Currently browsing the "Ben Stiller" tag.

Review: Brad’s Status

I lie in bed and overthink everything in my life on a regular basis, but I don’t think everyone needs to hear about it. Writer/director Mike White (School of Rock, Beatriz at Dinner), however, thought that that kind of obsessive inner life monologue would make for a great film. Perhaps, though not this film. In Brad’s Status, Brad (Ben Stiller) is a dad about to take his only son (Austin Abrams ) on a college tour, and it throws him into a self-absorbed walk down memory lane where he compares his life with those of his classmates (Michael Sheen, Jemaine Clement, and Luke Wilson) and comes up totally lacking. Though there is dialogue in the film, Brad’s voice-over dominates. And boy is he annoying.

Zoolander 2

Zoolander 2 reminded me a lot of Dumb and Dumber To – a stupidly funny treat for diehard fans of the original. It’s not nearly as good as the first one, because, really, the novelty is gone. You know that former fashion model Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) will ultimately save the day with one of his signature looks, like the classic magnum, or blue steel.

While We’re Young

While We’re Young is a solid indie that many adults (even of the mainstream variety) should be able to relate to. It’s a comedy/drama about a middle-aged, childless couple named Josh and Cornelia Srebnick (Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts) whose best friends have just had a baby and seem to be drifting away. Then they meet Jamie and Darby (Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried), a pair of twenty-something hipsters who become their new besties and inject new life into the Srebnicks’ otherwise stagnant personal and professional lives.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is based very loosely on a James Thurber short story. As a lover of old films, I fondly remember the Danny Kaye version from the 40s, which was also kind of loosely based on said short story. What the two movies have in common is that they focus on a mild-mannered man who lives his life of adventure through his own very imaginative daydreams. From there they diverge quite a bit. The new version directed by and starring Ben Stiller is not content with Walter’s fantasies remaining in the realm of the imagination. It turns the story into a very 21st century personal growth, action hero flick. Walter starts off as the same milquetoast kind of nice guy, but inspired by his unrequited love for a co-worker, he becomes the man of his dreams.

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

The third (and surely not the last) Madagascar movie picks up where the second one left off – I think. I didn’t see the second one. But that’s okay; I catch on pretty quick – and you will to – in a movie that caters largely to the 10 and under crowd. Fortunately, there is also enough subtle humor and double entendres to keep the tagalong adults relatively entertained. On that front, Chris Rock steals the show (“Circus – Afro! Circus – Afro!”).

Tower Heist

The trailer for Tower Heist makes it look like an Oceans Eleven-esque comedy ensemble thievery pic. And guess what? That’s exactly what it is, only not as good. On the Oceans scale, I’d give it a six and a half.

Little Fockers

Little Fockers could very well ride the Focker franchise to a modicum of box office success – despite the fact that it pretty much sucks. I was embarrassed for the likes of Robert De Niro, Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman, though Streisand and Hoffman do appear only briefly in this sequel, as the hippie parents of Stiller’s character, Greg Focker.