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

 

 

The Wedding Singer (1999)

Director: Frank Coraci

Writer: Tim Herlihy (Screenplay)

Starring: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Christine Taylor, Allen Covert, Matthew Glave, Ellen Albertini Dow

 

Plot: Robbie, a singer, and Julia, a waitress, are both engaged, but to the wrong people. Fortune intervenes to help them discover each other.


Tagline – Before the internet, Before cell phones, Before roller-blades, There was a time… 1985. Don’t pretend you don’t remember.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Rom Com

 

Story: The Wedding Singer starts when positive popular wedding singer Robbie Hart (Sandler) is left at the alter by his fiancée, Julia Sullivan (Barrymore) is working at a waitress at weddings who has been trying to get her fiancée to set a date.

When Robbie returns to his wedding singer, he isn’t the same, but Julia puts him back on the right path as he continues to help the outcasts get their moment. Robbie helps Julia with her wedding arrangements as her fiancée is too busy and she is new to town, as time goes by the two become friends.

 

Thoughts on The Wedding Singer

 

Characters – Robbie Hart is the best wedding singer in town, his life is in place with his wedding happening soon, his life crashes when he gets left at the alter, but a new friendship with Julia brings a new light to his life. Julia is the waitress working weddings, waiting for her fiancée to get a date set up, when it gets arranged not knowing many people, she befriends Robbie to help arrange the details. Holly is the sister of Julia that helped get her the job, the wilder of the two. Sammy is the best friend of Robbie, a limo driver that has been working with Robbie for years.

PerformancesAdam Sandler is an actor that has been getting slammed left, right and centre in the modern times, but many people remember in the 90’s he knew how to make quality rom coms where he can give us his style of comedy and make it funny without it being over the top, this is one of his best comedy performances. Drew Barrymore is great in this role too because she had the girl next door around her which comes through in her performance. The supporting characters are all good too, they give enough laughs without taking the scene away from the leads.

StoryThe story follows two people that believe they are in love and about to marry the person they love, only after they spend time together they learn they should be together, but both are the type of person not to take that chance. With an 80s setting we get to see how the love story between the two unfolds and just whether they will end up together or not.

Comedy/Romance/MusicThe comedy comes for small action in the film, most are funny, though we do get early signs of the weaker humour Sandler brings us now. The romance shows us just how you could meet anyone at the wrong time in life and they could be the person you were meant to be with. The music is filled with 80s classics that we all know the words too.

SettingsThe film give us the 80s setting throughout which does help with certain parts of the film not going down the modern usage of technology which would have helped along the way.


Scene of the Movie –
The singing side of the film.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We get glimpses of the bad side of Sandler.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best of Sandler when it comes to comedy, it has the right laughs for the most part and does keep the idea of falling in love simple.

 

Overall: Sandler when he was at his best.

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

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – F – The First Time (2012)

Director: Jonathan Kasdan

Writer: Jonathan Kasdan (Screenplay)

Starring: Britt Robertson, Dylan O’Brien, Craig Roberts, Joshua Malina, James Trecheville, Christine Taylor, Victoria Justice

 

Plot: A shy senior and a down-to-earth junior fall in love over one weekend.


Tagline – Nervous is normal.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cliched and Generic

 

Story: The First Time starts as we head to the most unrealistic high school party where senior Dave (O’Brien) is trying to put together a speech to try and get the girl he loves at his high school Jane Harmon (Justice), only he stumbles upon a junior Aubrey (Robertson) with the two bonding over the night, where the people are mostly just looking to hook up and get drunk.

As the two spend more time together over the weekend they learn that the ones they have crushes on are no the ones they want to be with.

 

Thoughts on The First Time

 

Characters – Dave is in his last year of high school, he is best friends with his high school crush without ever being able to telling her how he feels, he has his life planned out until he meets Aubrey. He wants to make a change in his future with her in it, tired of the just going around searching for parties. Aubrey is a junior, she has an older boyfriend and happens to be in the same party that Dave is at, the two click and soon become friends as they fall in love over the weekend, even if she doesn’t know her plan for her life. Jane is the popular girl all the guys want, she is the best friend to Dave and the one that Dave has a crush on, she makes the mistakes in her choice of guys. We get the traditional stereotypes for the characters that are friends of the two characters.

PerformancesBritt Robinson and Dylan O’Brien are both good in their roles, they make the most of the generic characters they are playing, they are good for the ages and show us they were two names that could have gone onto bigger projects. The rest of the cast get their laughs without needing to do too much.

StoryThe story here follows two high school students that fall in love over a weekend changing their perspective on life. Now to say this is a generically painful movie to watch because the lives these students are living is so unrealistic, while trying to touch on a serious matter because it tries to tell the story of how to virgins have sex for the first time. I don’t know what the target audience for this movie is either because it is way to slow for a teenage audience even if it is trying to tell us about more important things in life for teenagers before college.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in the film comes from the supporting friend characters which work for the film, while the romance in the focuses on the ideas of two people meeting and falling in love when they least expect it.

SettingsThis film uses the neighbour settings for the couple of spend time around, we don’t have anywhere standout, but it is slightly confusing how these kids are always out all night at parties.

 

Final Thoughts – This is a generic teenager rom com that doesn’t give us enough to focus on because of how unrealistic they make the lives behaviour of the kids.

 

Overall: Rom Com simples.

Rating