Wednesday, March 12, 2008

DVD Vacation Extravaganza

I confess, I did not work last week and went on vacation. I saw 3 movies in the theater (as mentioned below), but I also saw 3 movies on DVD, all recent releases too. Two were very good entertainment, and one we actually turned off and didn't finish. First was Death at a Funeral. A British farce that's centered around the death of a patriarch. The two sons have returned to bury their father. The elder, Daniel (Matthew Macfadyen, Mr. Darcy from the recent Pride and Prejudice), lives in the family home with his fiancee, and the other, Robert, is a successful author living in New York. Daniel is distraught and trying to figure out how to eulogize his father, while everyone arriving is disappointed that Robert won't be doing the eulogy. Their cousins arrive, one complainingly bringing Uncle Alfie in his wheelchair, and the other bringing her fiancee (Alan Tudyk - from Firefly) to introduce to her father. They stop to pick up her drug-dealing brother (Kris Marshall from Love Actually) on the way, and a mix-up in drug bottles occurs. Ultimately, Alan Tudyk ends up really high on ecstasy, convinces people the coffin is movie, and then is naked on the roof. and Peter Dinklage shows up to blackmail the brothers with photos of him and their father in compromising positions. They fight with Dinklage, who is hysterical fighting for his rights to the inheritance and he ends up in the coffin. I won't give away the rest, and believe me there's a lot more and it's a constant chase between scenes to figure out who lives, who dies, and who gets away with what. It's terrific, and I highly recommend checking it out. 4 of 5 stars.

Second, I also liked a straight to DVD movie, I Could Never Be Your Woman, with Michelle Pfeiffer and Paul Rudd, and recent Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan as Pfeiffer's daughter. Pfeiffer is a screenwriter for a Saved by the Bell-type TV show, using language her daughter says in the script. She meets Rudd when casting the "geek" character, but because they hit it off so well (and Rudd is a really terrific comedic actor) the character becomes to popular he gets a spin-off. Pfeiffer and Rudd play back and forth, calling it off because of their age difference, getting back together because it doesn't really matter. Jon Lovitz plays Pfeiffer's ex-husband in the least annoying role he's EVER played. He's convincing as the man-child she dumped who's constantly getting plastic surgery, but never actually getting the younger girl he craves. There's a bit where he constantly tries to steal something from her house whenever he picks up their daughter. Anyway, Rudd helps Pfeiffer realize she's not as uptight as she thought, and she helps his career really take off. It's a fun little movie, nothing particularly amazing, but it does show the Hollywood scene with humor. And there's a great scene where they're comparing themselves to Ashton and Demi, and Lovitz walks in and says that would make him Bruce Willis, and everyone turns to stare in disbelief. It's very funny. Oh, and Ronan is a wannabe guitar player and re-writes all the pop songs with stupid lyrics that are infinitely funnier. Good fun, and great entertainment. 4 of 5 stars.

And the movie we turned off, 2 Days in Paris. Perhaps it got a lot better, but I doubt it. Adam Goldberg plays Julie Delpy's American boyfriend. They've just returned from a tour of Italy and are visiting her parents in Paris. Basically he's an idiot, xenophobe who can't be bothered to learn his girlfriend's (of 2 years) first language, so there's lots of misunderstanding of the parents crass behavior and his stupid comments on their lives. He's annoying and the movie didn't suit the entertainment we were looking for. Any comments that prove this was a good movie would be appreciated.


Fletch said...

Just goes to show that, like the show said, different strokes to rule the world.

I've seen two of the ones you reviewed. Thought Death at a Funeral was okay - not great, not terrible. But we loved 2 Days in Paris. One of the funniest movies I saw last year. I guess you just have to have an appreciation of Adam Goldberg, or something like that.

Jess said...

Fletch, I do like Adam Goldberg - did the movie get better after the first half hour or so? I just couldn't see where it was going and how it might get better, but I"ll probably give it another chance someday. Thanks.

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WaywardJam said...

So glad you found Death at a Funeral as enjoyable as we did. I'm a huge Alan Tudyk fan despite the rare number of roles he has. He really got to put it out there, no pun intended.

Never saw the other two. I am curious about whether I will loathe/love the 2 Days movie based on your and Fletch's differing opinions. As for I Could Never Be Your Woman, I don't know how I escaped not seeing this since we are drawn to Paul Rudd movies like moths to a flame! I will have to bump this up the queue.

Great post, I need to do something like this for when I do a bit of marathon dvd watching.