Tag Archives: Zach Galifianakis

Craigslist Joe

craigslist joe
Setting out to explore whether America still has a sense of community where people help each other through hard times, 29-year-old Joseph Garner spends a month depending on the goodness of Craigslist posters for his survival.

Rating: 6 out of 10

It’s a great concept for a documentary. But with any documentary that focuses on the filmmaker pulling a stunt — like the infamous “Supersize Me” — it seems to take away from authenticity of the film.

However, that doesn’t mean they’re not entertaining and “Craigslist Joe” certainly is. It’s not going to blow the doors off your house, but it will keep you thoroughly entertained for for an hour and a half.

It’s definitely interesting to see some of the positions he’s in, the types of people he meets and the places he stumbles to. He’s very much going with the flow. He sleeps whereever he can find a place, gets a meal whenever he can, and a ride to wherever someone is willing to take him. But he also makes some real connections with people who help him along the way, and it’s the glue that holds this film together. It is a stunt, just like the guy who ate nothing but disgusting McDonald’s for a month. He could stop whenever he wants, but that just doesn’t make for good TV. I did walk away, though, satisfied. It was a fun road trip to watch unfold, and there were some heartfelt moments where people genuinely helped out a person who is — kind of — in need.

Puss in Boots

Voiced by Antonio Banderas, the dauntless feline of legend goes on an animated adventure to purloin a priceless golden-egg-laying goose. To help him on his mission, Puss brings along his friends Humpty Dumpty and the super-stealthy Kitty Softpaws.

Rating: 9 out of 10

This is by far smarter, funnier, more clever, witty, and fun than any of the Shrek films. Each of its unneeded sequels got dumber and dumber, which is why I ignored this spin-off completely. That was a huge mistake.

There were moments where I genuinely laughed out out loud. I delighted in the equisite detail of the animation and the backgrounds that drip with color in a Spanish-inspired fairy tale world. And I adored the theft of classic cowboy and Spanish films that no doubt inspired director Chris Miller (Shrek the Third). There is so much love poured into this film, and it’s obvious in all the detail that layers this movie over and over again.

And the performances are great, from the self-afacing Antonio Benderas, who is lampooning himself in the title role, to Salma Hayek, Zach Galifanakis and Billy Bob Thornton. It’s an awesome cast with a compelling storyline wrapped in a wonderfully crafted film. It’s one of the best animated films I’ve seen in years.

Due Date

High-strung father-to-be Peter Highman is forced to hitch a ride with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay on a road trip in order to make it to his child’s birth on time.

Rating: 6 out of 10

There are some genuinely funny moments and excellent acting by both Zach Galifianakis and Robert Downey Jr. And then there are moments where the I.Q. of this movie drops to a stupefying level.

The performances are always strong. Galifianakis delivers his usual witty, charming wackiness. He’s a really fantastic character actor, not to be outdone by Downey. Downey is the straight man, but a very unlikable, cold one. He’s a flat-out jerk in this role, but not in the funny way, like Bill Murray accomplishes so successfully. He’s just a jerk, and Galifianakis is the ying to his yang as an overly bubbly man child who has absolutely no boundaries or social graces. They play off each other very well in this disastrous road trip flick.

However, the movie takes some desperate swipes at humor in moments where it felt like they ran out of good ideas three quarters of the way through filming. It’s unfortunate, because it starts so promisingly and becomes so boring and moronic.

Due Date

Days before his pregnant wife’s due date, Los Angeles architect Peter (Robert Downey Jr.) is about to fly home from Atlanta when a series of unfortunate incidents land him on the “no-fly” list, forcing him to hitch a ride across the country with slacker Ethan (Zach Galifianakis). As Peter desperately tries to get home, he must deal with Ethan’s laid-back attitude, numerous delays and several mishaps in this road trip comedy. Jamie Foxx co-stars.

Rating: 4 out of 10

I soooo wanted this to be good. A buddy comedy with RDJ, Zach Galifianakis, and that cute dog. It should be funny right? It’s not. Not enough at least.

The odd couple works but the story gets too serious and the mishaps are too out there. The two strangers get thrown off a plane together and are forced to travel together in a rental car from Atlanta to Los Angles. RDJ is in a rush because his wife is about to give birth (that’s where the due date comes in). Along the way they (mostly RDJ) are shot, drink the ashes of Galifinakis’ dead father, are in a way-too-serious car accident, and get detained at the Mexican border.

I usually hate movies that are made up of a bunch of misunderstandings, when each one is more ridiculous then the next. And, this is a perfect example of all of that. It’s a big mess and annoying to watch. It’s too bad but this story was better the first time when it was called “Planes Trains and Automobiles.” Hollywood needs to stop remaking the classics.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story

Being a teenager is too much for 16-year-old Craig (Keir Gilchrist), who shocks his parents (Lauren Graham and Jim Gaffigan) by checking himself into a mental health clinic for a little R & R. But when the youth ward is unexpectedly closed, he’s forced to live among the adult patients. Zach Galifianakis, Viola Davis, Emma Roberts and Aasif Mandvi co-star in this quirky drama written and directed by the screenwriters of Half Nelson.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Galifianakis is fastly becoming a next-level talent in comedy, both on stage and film. This is a dramatic role for him, and I have to say he was excellent.

The film has comedy but it’s not provided by Galifianakis, who plays an important and intriguing supportive role as a patient who befriends the teenage protaginist, Gilchrist, who is a likeable, and in some ways for me, relatable character. I think we all had those moments as a teen where nothing made sense and sometimes the most obsurd things seems the most sensible.

This is a simple film, with 99 percent of it shot in the same floor of a New York City hospital with few characters and a simple plot that wraps around two teens falling for each with some odd complications — to be expected from two people staying in a mental hospital. This is an interesting film that fills the screen with simple images and thoughtful concepts.

Operation: Endgame

When a government assassin known as The Fool (Joe Anderson) arrives at a classified underground facility for his first day of work, he discovers the boss has been killed. Now, he must uncover the murderer before they all lose their jobs — or their lives. Stars making appearances in this action-packed comedy include Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover, Dinner for Scmucks) Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction), Ellen Barkin (Brooklyn’s Finest), Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine), Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show), Jeffrey Tambor and Maggie Q.

Rating: 4 out of 10

I saw Zach Galifianakis on the cover of the DVD, so I grabbed it. But there are a bunch of other actors that make me laugh, like Corddry, Odenkirk and I really like Rhames and Barkin. I figured I couldn’t lose.

The movie started off fine. They set up an action/comedy with a solid enough story where a group of spies and assassins will be killed if they can’t escape their underground office, which is below ground and sealed away from above. We get some great laughs by some ridiculous characters. Galifinakis and Corddry were great — the former a sharp shooter who lost his rights to be an assassin from gaining too much weight, Corddry a foul-mouthed alcoholic who spews insane insults. Ultimately, though, this film is amateurish. First-time director Fouad Mikati had a lot of talent at his disposal and failed to make it work. There were some moments that definitely made me laugh, but the humor was also squashed at times by being too crass. I feel the same way about swearing as I do about violence, they both have to be done right to work.

Ultimately, the movie turned into a dramatic action film, got less funny, but was harder to watch. You could do worse if you’re in the mood for a comedic action flick, but you could do a lot better, too. I would suggest “The Other Guys.”

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Youth in Revolt

While his trailer trash parents teeter on the edge of divorce, Nick Twisp (Michael Cera) sets his sights on dream girl Sheeni Saunders, hoping that she’ll be the one to take away his virginity. Directed by Miguel Arteta, who has been a successful television director with shows like “Six Feet Under” “The Office” and “Freaks and Geeks.”

Rating: 6 out of 10

Nick’s girlfriend needs him to be so bad he gets kicked out of his mother’s house so he has to move in with his dad, who lives near her. He spends much of his time ruining his life — setting downtown on fire, stealing cars, dropping out of school — for a girl he once spent an afternoon with. That’s the lynch pin, for me, that made this movie not settle right. But there’s other great aspects of this film that made it a pretty fun watch. Nick is a total weenie, and creates Francois in his mind, a smooth-talking lady’s man who encourages him along his path of destruction.

There are some moments of genuine teen angst in this film and some funny parts, too. There are nice supporting roles by Fred Willard as a crunchy liberal neighbor and Zach Galifianakis as Nick’s mother’s boyfriend who is a total pig of a man. All in all, the movie has some very funny moments but asks the audience to make leaps that are a little too far, even for a silly comedy. It’s a little much for the director to ask his audience to connect with a sweet, naive teen love story then be totally fine with slapstick and ridiculous stretches of plot.

Dinner for Schmucks

Tim (Paul Rudd) is a rising executive who “succeeds” in finding the perfect guest, IRS employee Barry ( Steve Carell), for his boss’s monthly event, a so-called “dinner for idiots,” which offers certain advantages to the exec who shows up with the biggest buffoon.

Rating: 7 out of 10

There’s a decision you can make during the first five minutes of this film. You can decide to be a cynic and tear it apart or you can put on your seat belt, strap in, and just go for the ride.

I chose the latter because “Dinner with Schmucks,” despite some of its crass humor, is a very endearing film with a likable loser played to perfection by the incredibly talented Carell. There are some slow spots for sure, but by the time you get to the dinner in the title all hell breaks loose and it contains the biggest laughs.

I also have to point out another performance by Zach Galifianakis, who is slowly becoming the next comedic genius. He plays Carell’s nemesis and every time he shows up, the film elevates. Between this and “The Hangover,” I am truly looking forward to more of his work because if these are any indication, we may have discovered someone special. Is this film great? No, but it definitely was worth the price of the movie ticket and I had a big smile when I left. I made the right decision during the first five minutes.

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