Currently browsing the "Jonah Hill" tag.

Review: Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot

Director Gus Van Sant has brought us some very powerful films in the past — Milk, Good Will Hunting, Finding Forrester, to name just a few — and he frequently pushed the envelope in the way he tells a tale — To Die For, My Own Private Idaho — but his latest is a pretty straight forward bio of alcoholic cartoonist John Callahan. Played by chameleon Joaquin Phoenix, the arc of the tale is Callahan’s coming to terms with himself after a life-changing accident while getting sober at the same time. There are some funny moments for sure, and an odd romance, and also some insightful AA bits. And it is a pleasant entertainment, though not terribly memorable.

The LEGO Batman Movie

“You can’t be a hero if you only care about yourself.” – Gotham City Police Commissioner Barbara Gordon to the self-absorbed, caped-crusading loner, [LEGO] Batman.

That sentiment forms the foundation – the building bricks as it were– of the new LEGO Batman Movie, a spin-off of the 2014 animated gem in which Batman delivered some of the greatest zingers in toy superhero movie history. This time around, Batman aka Bruce Wayne is front and center, voiced once again by Will Arnett (Arrested Development) with a perfect blend of snark, self-awareness, and vulnerability. The LEGO Batman Movie doesn’t quite rise to the level of its predecessor, but it’s still pretty darn entertaining – especially for the grown-ups.

War Dogs

War Dogs joins the ranks of ‘good but ultimately forgettable’ movies of the summer. Based on a true story, the film stars Jonah Hill and Miles Teller as Ephraim Divoroli and David Packouz, a pair of twenty-something Miami dudes who exploited a little-known government initiative that allows small businesses to bid on federal contracts. The initiative was meant to restore some balance to the fundamentally flawed defense-contractor universe after the Cheney-Halliburton debacle, but instead it opened the door for chumps like Packouz and Divoroli to exploit the system and rake in millions of your tax dollars during the Iraq War.

Hail, Caesar!

The Coen Brothers are prolific filmmakers, but for me their films are hit or miss. I loved No Country for Old Men, and Fargo was amazing. But then there are those utterly forgettable flicks – The Lady Killers, or Burn After Reading. I’d put Hail, Caesar! somewhere in between. It’s plenty entertaining but it isn’t going on the shelf with The Big Lebowski. It’s a lovely walk around 50s era Hollywood with a star-studded cast having a lot of fun. And if for nothing else, you should see it for Channing Tatum’s dance number.

True Story

True Story is based on, well, a true story. But I suspect the actual events were more gripping than this somewhat interesting, but often boring psychological crime drama starring James Franco as accused family killer Christian Longo and Jonah Hill as disgraced New York Times reporter Michael Finkel. For some reason, Longo took on Finkel’s identity while on the run for the gruesome murders of his wife and three young children. When he was caught, Finkel was the only one that Longo was willing to tell his story to.

22 Jump Street

There’s a running joke in 22 Jump Street that unabashedly acknowledges that the sequel is basically the exact same movie as 21 Jump Street, except with a bigger budget. No joke. It’s basically the exact same movie, except it takes place on a local college campus instead of a local high school and employs the kinds of special effects and car chases employed by bigger-budget films. The plot is basically the same. The jokes are basically the same. The entertainment value is basically the same. And if you recall (or choose to read) my original review of 21 Jump Street, then you’ll understand why 22 Jump Street works quite well – for what it is.

The Wolf of Wall Street

Martin Scorsese’s latest film The Wolf of Wall Street is basically three hours of sex and drugs and pure unadulterated greed. It is another “based on a true story” flick, only this one is all about one truly despicable guy and his equally morally deficient friends and family. Sure, the “wolf” is played by Leonardo DiCaprio, who does all he can to make the greedy jerk human, but at the end of the day, it is a relentlessly long slog through a lot of pretty unsexy sex fed by a veritable pharmacy full of Quaaludes, coke, and top shelf alcohol. It’s a pretty underdeveloped story of a bunch of late 20th century conmen who made a killing by lying though their teeth and their years of living the “high” life in every sense of the word.

This Is The End

This Is The End isn’t for everybody – by a long shot. But for those who enjoy the likes of Pineapple Express, Harold & Kumar, and The Hangover… and maybe a zombie movie or two… then This Is The End is most definitely for you. It’s disturbingly comical. Absurdly funny. Satirically sickening. In other words, it’s quite good, especially for a comedy about the apocalypse. The movie stars a bunch of movie stars playing fictional versions of themselves – or at least, I hope they are fictional versions (yeah, I’m talking to you Michael Cera!). Here’s the gist:

21 Jump Street

Okay, this one is really quite simple. 21 Jump Street is cheesy, dorky and crude. But it’s also kinda funny. So if you’re a fan of Harold and Kumar-type humor, then chances are you’ll enjoy this campy, satirical reboot of the ’80 TV show that put Johnny Depp on the map. If you’ve never heard of Jump Street – or you can’t stand H&K – then skip this one for sure. And if you’re thinking of taking the kids on a nostalgic trip down memory lane ’cause the tv show represented mostly good, clean drama (at least in the early years), then be advised: this movie is an action-comedy that more than earns its R rating. In other words- it’s definitely not for the pre-teen crowd.

The Sitter

The Sitter is basically an R-rated re-interpretation of the 1987 classic Adventures in Babysitting. The original featured a reluctant babysitter taking her charges on an adventure through the streets of Chicago in an attempt to help a friend in need. The Sitter features Jonah Hill as Noah Griffith, a lazy college dropout who takes his three troubled charges on an adventure through the streets of New York – in an attempt to score some drugs and get laid. It actually sounds worse than it is. Noah is a total shlub but he generally means well. And by movie’s end, valuable lessons are learned by all.