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

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Robocop 3 (1993)

casting card

 

Plot: Robocop saves the day once more. This time the half man/half robot takes on ruthless developers who want to evict some people on “their” land.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tidy Finish

 

Story: Robocop 3 starts as we see the city being redeveloped at the hands of Kanemitsu (Mako) and the CEO (Torn) who are rehoming all of the residents. We meet a resistance led by Bertha (Pounder) trying to take the company down from the inside and their newest partners in this are Robocop (Burke) and Lewis (Allen).

When Paul McDaggett (Castle) is leading the rehoming procedure kills Anne this drives Robocop on yet another one of his missions against the authority trying to clean up the streets.

Robocop 3 is a good finish to the series not on the Robocop himself side of the but on the battle for the city side. I did like how that if you were to watch all three the revolution we see happening brews up between the stories without it being just happening. When you watch this side of the story I did like the conclusion but on the Robocop side everything just puts him against a bigger enemy without really being tested. This is easy to watch like all three but never reaches the levels of the first.

 

Actor Review

 

Robert John Burke: Robocop is still loyal to Lewis and now he has started to make his own decisions going against orders, this leads him into joining the resistance against the CEO trying to take over the city. Robert does a solid job to fill in the for the exiting Peter Weller.

Nancy Allen: Anne Lewis is the partner of Robocop that will always stay by his side but this time it will be the end of her. Nancy is used for motivation this time around which is good but we don’t see enough of her.

Rip Torn: The CEO is trying to redevelop the city which means moving everyone out of their homes. He is answering to Kanemitsu which means you do anything wrong he will fire you. Rip becomes the solid villain in this film which works well enough.

John Castle: McDaggett is the man cleaning the streets one building at a time and not taking any prisoners in his hunt for anyone in the resistance. John is good in this role where we get to see a villain in a revolution.

Support Cast: Robocop 3 has the biggest supporting cast with members of the resistance, cops as well as the businessmen trying to bring the city down.

Director Review: Fred DekkerFred gives us a solid finish to the series where we get to see just how the city has got to the position is has with the Robocop side of the story almost just being a side part.

 

Action: Robocop 3 has standard action you would expect to see in this style of film.

Crime: Robocop 3 puts us in the middle of the crime world where all of the story is taking part in.

Sci-Fi: Robocop 3 has the robotic cops with this time adding in the robotic ninjas.

Settings: Robocop 3 keeps us in the same city that is now on a revolution.
Special Effects
: Robocop 3 doesn’t have the best special effects but they work enough for the film.

Suggestion: Robocop 3 is one you could watch to finish the series off nicely. (Finish the Franchise)

 

Best Part: Final showdown.

Worst Part: Killing off Anne seems cheap.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $23.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

Tagline: He’s back to lay down the law.

Trivia: Was filmed in 1991, but was not released until end of 1993 due to production company Orion going bankrupt.

 

Overall: Easy to watch finish to the series.

Ratingcard

 

 

Hercules (1997)

logoDirector: Ron Clements, John Musker

Writer: Ron Clements, John Musker, Don McEnery, Bob Shaw, Irene Mecchi (Screenplay) Kaan Kalyon, Kelly Wightman, Randy Cartwright, John Ramirez, Jeff Snow, Vance Gerry, Kirk Hanson, Francis Glebas, Mark Kennedy, Bruce Morris, Don Dougherty, Thom Enriquez (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Tate Donovan, Josh Keaton, Roger Bart, Danny DeVito, James Woods, Susan Egan, Bobcat Goldthwait, Matt Frewer, Rip Torn

 

Plot: The son of the Greek Gods Zeus and Hera is stripped of his immortality as an infant and must become a true hero in order to reclaim it.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disney’s Weaker Years

 

Story: Hercules starts with narration of the legacy of Hercules before taking us back to the beginning of the Hercules legend. We see Zeus throwing a party of his baby Hercules giving his first present Pegasus before Hades interrupts the party from the underworld. Hades not content with ruling the underworld wants to rule everything and consults the all-seeing future where he learns that when Hercules enters into battle with him he will lose. Hades sends his two slaves Panic and Pain to take Hercules and take away his immortality before killing him. They do remove his immortality but fail to remove his strength or kill him leaving him with a normal family to grow up as a normal kid.

We move forward to a young Hercules struggling to fit in anywhere, not being acceptable by the locals before being told the truth by his adopted parents. Hercules sets out to make it to the home of the Gods to find out where he really came from and meeting his father who sets him off to meet Phil to be trained as a hero along with his long lost friend Pegasus. We end up with a montage to show the training where Phil sees this chance as one last chance to train a true hero. On his first mission Hercules saves Meg from a creature getting his first glimpse of love.

We learn that Meg is in fact working for Hades and once Hades learns that Hercules is still alive he sets out to finish the job Panic & Pain failed to complete all those years ago. Hades’ attempt to kill Hercules only ends up making him a hero making him the hero Hades was warned about. Can Hercules become the hero he was destine to become or will love stand in his way?

Hercules has 17 writers, really 17 how is this possible? The story really does follow a very typical Disney theme of a son trying to prove himself in his father’s shadow and someone trying to find their place in the world. The ideas of the world Hercules lives in are all nice but as a fan of Greek Mythology I always want to see the Hercules myth told in all its greatness rather than a small segment that is clearly made up for a younger audience. I feel this film is very average and the story offers nothing fresh to the animation idea and is easily one of the more forgettable Disney animations. (4/10)

 

Character Review

 

Hercules: Hercules is the son of Zeus who loses his immortality and left on Earth. He grows up a mortal with strength but ends up struggling to fit in before discovering the truth where he must train to become the hero he was always destiny to become. Hercules is a character that we all know but do we really think he has this clumsy tendencies or failure to fit ideas? I don’t think so. (4/10)

 

Hercules, Phil and Pagesus

Hercules, Phil and Pagesus

Phil: Phil is the half man half goat trainer of Hercules, who sees this as a chance for him to get his last chance to train a real hero. Phil is your very generic trainer who really doesn’t get the laughs he needs. (4/10)

 

Hades: Hades is the God of the underworld who plans to take over the world but Hercules being alive puts a spanner in the works as Hercules is destiny to stop him. Hades makes for a good villain as he is always turned into the villain when we talk about the ancient Greeks. He is also the highlight of the film. (6/10)

 hades

Meg: Meg is the first damsel in distress that Hercules saves, but she is really forced to work for Hades even after she starts to fall in love with Hercules. Meg tries to be the alternative damsel in distress but it all gets lost when we don’t care about which side she plays on. (3/10)

 

Pain & Panic: These two are the bumbling slaves of Hades who keep messing up the simple ideas but adding comedic moments. These two are meant to be the comic relief but really fail to capture the idea of funny. (4/10)

 

Pegasus: Hercules’ loyal half horse half bird giving to him as a baby, Pegasus is one friend who is always there for Hercules when he needs him most. Pegasus does what it needs to do adding a protective friend but nothing more. (5/10)

 

Support Characters: Hercules has plenty of names known for being around at the same time as Hercules but not many that make too much of a difference.

 

Director Review: Ron Clements, John Musker – I feel these two don’t give us the film we really wanted from the word Hercules but not many do. (4/10)

 

Animation: Hercules has to get good points for the animation because when the Titans come they are frightening for a young audience. (8/10)

Comedy: Hercules has very few laughs if any throughout. (2/10)

Family: Hercules is one for the family to try to together it has attempted jokes for all ages really. (5/10)

Musical: Hercules has good songs used throughout with only one real memorable one. (6/10)

Romance: Hercules throws in a weak romantic angle which we see too often in Disney films. (3/10)

Settings: Hercules creates the settings Hercules could have fought in. (7/10)

Suggestion: Hercules is one that should be watch with the kids only, it falls to reach the levels other films do with the same style of story. (Try It With The Kids)

 

Best Part: I can go the distance song.

Worst Part: No comedy.

What Could Have Been Better? – Better sidekick characters.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Turned into a television cartoon.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for Best Original Music Score.

Box Office: $252 Million

Budget: $85 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

Tagline: Zero to Hero!

 

Overall: Hercules feels so much like a complete rip off of nearly every Disney film and never reaches its true potential.

Rating 35