Ben Stiller Weekend – Dodgeball (2004)

Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Writer: Rawson Marshall Thurber (Screenplay)

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor, Ben Stiller, Rip Torn, Justin Long, Stephen Root, Joel David Moore, Alan Tudyk, Gary Cole

 

Plot: A group of misfits enter a Las Vegas dodgeball tournament in order to save their cherished local gym from the onslaught of a corporate health fitness chain.


Tagline – Grab Life by the Balls 

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One of the Best Sports Comedies

 

Story: Dodgeball starts as we meet the two gym owners, White Goodman (Stiller) who is obsessed with perfection with bodies only accepting beautiful model like members, on the other side of the street we have Peter La Fleur (Vaughn) owner of Average’s Joe a gym that is open to all, with the regulars and staff including Justin (Long), Gordon (Root), Owen (Moore), Dwight (Williams) and Steve the Pirate (Tudyk).

When Average Joe’s is facing a financial crisis with lawyer Kate Veatch (Taylor) preparing to close them in 30 days with White Goodman wanting to buy it and demolish it. The only plan is to train and enter a dodgeball competition where the prize is the money they require, only problem is, White has made his own team of super-athletes to stop Average Joe’s winning.  

 

Thoughts on Dodgeball

 

Characters – Peter La Fleur is a gym owner, he is laidback and willing to let anybody join at their own pace, this mentality has left him facing financial crisis and he reluctantly accepts entering a dodgeball tournament, he can bring the team together as he gives the whole team hope. White Goodman is the owner of Globo Gym he only accepts beautiful people in his gym even offering cosmetic surgery for his members. He is completely over the top believing he is God’s gift to women with his success coming from his family’s money, he will do anything to eliminate Average Joe’s. Kate Veatch is the lawyer that is assigned to study the finances of Average Joe’s, she becomes the love interest for both men even though she has no interest in White, she joins the team to help eliminate Globo Gym. Patches O’Houlihan is the dodgeball expert, he trains the Average Joe’s to help become competitive in the competition. The rest of the cast include the Average Joe’s members Justin, Gordon, Owen, Dwight and Steve the Pirate that each have their own stories behind their characters to help motivate them to compete.

PerformancesVince Vaughn is one of those actors whose comedy can go either way, it is a laidback style which work perfectly for his character here, because he brings us a real person compared to Ben Stiller. Stiller on the other hand nails his completely over the top character that you are meant to be laughing at with everything he does and says. Christine Taylor is good in her role which like the rest of the cast shine, we get a mix of different comedies from the supporting cast which blend together to show the different styles of real life people.

StoryThe story here follows to rival gyms going to compete for a dodgeball tournament to help keep the little gym with no money a chance to stay afloat before the global franchise closes them down. The story does botte down to a simple underdog story which is fine we can all enjoy a story about an underdog, we do get moments in the film from the Average Joe’s characters that help them learn to become more than they are which is the whole point of a gym, to improve yourself in your own way and everything Globo Gym shouldn’t be. If you want a simple fun sports comedy to watch, this is going to be the one for you without a question.

ComedyThe comedy in this film comes from many different levels, we get moments of slapstick with the dodgeball scenes, we get over the top characters in White Goodman and his team and finally each member of Joe’s team has their own quirky to make them funny.

SettingsThe look at the different gyms helps the settings because it shows how people can be intimidated by certain gyms over others, when we head to Vegas for the tournament the competition feels are authentic as you would imagine.


Scene of the Movie –
Most of the dodgeball scenes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Lance Armstrong scene is awkward now.

Final ThoughtsFor a sports comedy this has laughs, heart and quality performances from the whole cast, this is one that will stick with you for years to come and I hope to see everyone else enjoy it.

 

Overall: Sports comedy done to near perfection.

Rating

 

 

Ben Stiller Weekend – There’s Something About Mary (1998)

Director: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly

Writer: Ed Decter, John J Strauss, Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly (Screenplay)

Starring: Cameron Diaz, Matt Dillon, Ben Stiller, Lee Evans, Chris Elliott, Lin Shaye, Jeffrey Tambor, Markie Post, Keith David

 

Plot: A man gets a chance to meet up with his dream girl from high school, even though his date with her back then was a complete disaster.


Tagline – Warning: The guys who did ‘Dumb & Dumber’ and ‘Kingpin’ bring you a love story.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Laugh Out Loud Comedy

 

Story: There’s Something About Mary starts back in high school Ted (Stiller) is an outsider at school with a giant crush on the school beauty Mary (Diaz), he is lucky enough to get asked to the prom which only ends in disaster after an accident.

13 years later Ted still wants to know about Mary, he hires a private investigator Healy (Dillon) to find out about her, only for him to fall for her and he tries to get her using all the secrets he has learnt from spying on her, which drives Ted down to Florida to try and win her heart first.

 

Thoughts on There’s Something About Mary

 

Characters – Mary is the beauty woman that the guys are all attracted too, she is good-hearted helping the community including her brother, she however can’t settle on the right guy, attracting the wrongs one too often. Ted is the high school student that suffers an unfortunate accident on prom night, he never got over not knowing about Mary and sets out to learn about her 13-years later, he continues to have accidents in life, but is an honest guy. The nice twist on these two characters is that, Mary is the big sports fan while Ted doesn’t seem that interested in sports. Healy is the private investigator that is hired to learn about Mary, he falls for her and uses the information he has learnt to try and win her heart. Tucker is a friend of Mary’s that also loves her and will do anything to stop the guys dating her.

PerformancesCameron Diaz was the perfect choice for this role she has the looks which was important, but she shows us all that she has the comedic timing too. Matt Dillon as a creepy investigator works great too, this plays into his strengths in the comedy genre too, while Ben Stiller shows us just how good he is at playing to loveable loser figure, apart from his terrible fake crying. The supporting cast get their laughs too, which works well throughout the film.

StoryThe story follows multiply men that fall for Mary, they are going to try different plans to win her heart and certain ideas do work. This doesn’t paint the intelligent doctor figure of Mary very well, but we tend to focus on the guys plans over her decisions. Ted is the nice guy that mostly wants to make sure she is doing well in life only to become part of her life again, while others turn to lies to play into her favourite traits. For a comedy this story works very well, it will give you the laughs along the way even if the characters for the most part are turned into desperate people that will lie to get a woman.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in this film gets laughs throughout the film, certain people will be offended by certain material though. The romance shows how people will fall in love and how far people will go for love.

SettingsMost of the film is set around Florida, which gives us the sun filled background to make this easy on the eyes.


Scene of the Movie –
Learning the truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The depiction of mentally handicapped people.

Final ThoughtsThis is a funny comedy that does make us laugh more often than not, we have great performances from the whole cast and you will be happy to watch this again.

 

Overall: Enjoyable comedy.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Zoolander 2 (2016)

Director: Ben Stiller

Writer: Justin Theroux, Ben Stiller, Nicholas Stoller, John Hanburg (Screenplay)

Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Penelope Cruz, Kristen Wiig

 

Plot: Derek and Hansel are lured into modelling again, in Rome, where they find themselves the target of a sinister conspiracy.


Tagline – Long time no Z.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Painful to Watch

 

Story: Zoolander 2 starts by filling in the events between the two films, Derek Zoolander has been left complete shame after his school collapsed days after opening, killing his wife, he has lost his child and now lives alone.

When Derek receives an invitation to Rome by Alexanya Atoz (Wiig) he must make up with Hansel (Wilson) who has lost his looks in the same accident that took Matilda, to make the impact in the modelling world again. While Valentina Valencia (Cruz) is investigating while popstars are being murdered.

 

Thoughts on Zoolander 2

 

Characters – Derek Zoolander has been struggling after his career crashed, a recluse from the world, he is drawn out for a new case which brings him to Rome o stop a new model terrorist act. Hansel was left scarred after the accident, also out of the business, now he is out of hiding to work with Derek one last time. Valentina Valencia is the Interpol agent trying to figure out who is killing popstars. Mugatu is back after being locked up for the time between the movies.

PerformancesThis brings sadness to me, talking about these performances because the first film is one of the better comedies released to the world. The performances from the returning cast are parodies of their original work, with the additions being annoying and poor throughout.

StoryThe story is strange because nothing happens for the first hour of the film, it does turn into the same idea again, villain trying to take control while the idiotic model tries to save the day. The story feels like a parody of the previous film which never gets to the levels it needs to.

ComedyNo it just misses on most levels.

SettingsThe film is set in Rome, this works for fashion world only.


Scene of the Movie –
They killed Justin Bieber?

That Moment That Annoyed Me The rest of the film.

Final ThoughtsOh dear God this was terrible, why do people keep making awful sequels to good comedies, just stop, let the original stand alone.

 

Overall: Avoid at all costs.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Zoolander (2001)

Director: Ben Stiller

Writer: Ben Stiller, Drake Sather, John Hamburg (Screenplay)

Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Christine Taylor, Will Ferrell, Milla Jovovich, Jerry Stiller, David Duchovny, Jon Voight

 

Plot: At the end of his career, a clueless fashion model is brainwashed to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia.


Tagline – 3% Body Fat. 1% Brain Activity.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Still Funny

 

Story: Zoolander starts when world famous model Derek Zoolander (Stiller) loses his title of Best Male Model to Hansel (Wilson) the new hip model that is one with the world. looking to find himself in the world, he first tries to return home, to his coal mining family, but after.

When that doesn’t go to plan the controversial fashion design Mugatu (Ferrell) hires him for his latest line, only for him to be selected to kill the Malaysian Prime Minister that has abolished the child labour laws. Derek must team up with Hansel to stop this happening.    

 

Thoughts on Zoolander

 

Characters – Derek Zoolander is the world’s most famous male model, he has nearly zero brain intelligence relying on his one look to keep him on top. His career has started to go downhill with new model Hansel coming into the business, which leads to Mugatu brainwashing him into assassinate the Prime Minister Malaysia. Hansel is the new model on the block, he has taken Derek’s crown as best male model, he is very out there with his worldly ideas to everything, relaxed in each moment. He is a rival to Derek in the fashion world. Matilda is a reporter that has been working on stories around Derek, she learns that there is a bigger conspiracy going on and joins forces with Derek to solve the situation. Mugatu is the fashion designer that has been hosting shows with his models taking out problems to the fashion world

PerformancesBen Stiller was on his best form when it comes to full comedy here, he commits to this role to get the full comical levels needed. Owen Wilson is great too because you can see him as this trippy like model that only he can do. Christine Taylor works well in her role getting the serious side of the story over while the rest handle the comedy. Will Ferrell seems to have his first wildly over the top character here and it works for the whole film.

StoryThe story takes us into the world of male modelling, I still believe this might be the only one to do that. We have the idea that the powers that be are controlling governments to keep money pouring into the industry through illegal activities and now they are facing the need to eliminate a threat which brings in models, a disposable figure to do the murdering, this idea is as wild as it sounds, but it works go well on this level because it keeps everything feeling fresh and adds to the comical side to the story.

ComedyThe comedy is mostly poking fun at the idea of the intelligence levels of models, we have always had jokes at the women models being dumb, this focuses on the male models being dumb.

SettingsMostly set in and around New York, the film uses the settings to keep us in the busy fashion capital of America, which is where the story needs to be told from.


Scene of the Movie –
Getting in the computer.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain jokes no longer work for political correct behaviour.

Final ThoughtsThis is a funny comedy that has still lasted the test of time, the jokes mostly hit and the character is strangely still one of Stiller’s most iconic figures in modern comedy.

 

Overall: Funny throughout.

Rating

 

 

Malin Akerman Weekend – The Heartbreak Kid (2007)

Director: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly

Writer: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, Scot Armstrong, Leslie Dixon, Kevin Barnett (Screenplay) Bruce Jay Friedman (Short Story)

Starring: Ben Stiller, Malin Akerman, Michelle Monaghan, Jerry Stiller, Rob Corddry, Carlos Mencia, Scott Wilson

 

Plot: A newly wed man who believes he’s just gotten hitched to the perfect woman encounters another lady on his honeymoon.


Tagline – It seemed like a good idea… at the time

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Laugh Out Loud Comedy

 

Story: The Heartbreak Kid starts as we meet 40-year-old Eddie (Stiller) a single man who has never got near to marrying, with his friends settling down, when he comes out of an ex-girlfriend wedding he is feeling down, but a chance meeting with Lila (Akerman) could change everything in his future.

Being spontaneous and learning that Lila could need to leave for work unless she is married the two get married after just 6 weeks together and head off on their honeymoon in Mexico. The longer the two spend together the bigger secrets that come out and Eddie starts to regret marrying her and it becomes worse when he meets Miranda (Monaghan) while on the honeymoon.

 

Thoughts on The Heartbreak Kid

 

Characters – Eddie is a 40-year-old man who has never committed to a relationship with his friends getting married, but when he meets Lila he bites the bullet and gets married only to learn Lila isn’t the woman he thought she was and tries to start hanging out with another woman at the resort. Lila is the beautiful woman that comes into Eddie’s life, to stay in America she gets married, only to show the flaws that Eddie hasn’t seen yet, one that is different to what he wants. Miranda is a woman that Eddie meets at the resort and they just click, but she doesn’t know his secret.

PerformancesBen Stiller gives one of his best performances of his career on the comic level, he fits the character well and gets both the serious and slapstick style down well. Malin Akerman does great and uses her abilities for the comedy that goes against what you would expect. Michelle Monaghan is always a great choice in these roles and fits the role perfectly.

StoryThe story shows us what it is like to be getting to an age where getting married can become important or facing loneliness and warns us about getting married too quickly, leaving you a chance to fall for the person you are meant to be with. This does work for a story as we watch Eddie try to keep his wife happy and start flirting with another woman and the comedy plays into this well.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy works well in this film we get a range of it from sarcastic to slapstick, the romance works too because it shows what it is like at the age where people would feel the need to settle down.

SettingsMost of the movie is in and around Mexico which looks beautiful throughout the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Everything revealed.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is long in places.

Final ThoughtsThis is one comedy that I did enjoy, it has good jokes and comic moments, as well as a good romantic story involved.

 

Overall: Enjoyable comedy throughout.

Rating