DUMB AND DUMBER TO REVIEW

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Hey! Want to see the second most annoying and needless sequel ever? No, not that. This!

GOT YA!

I didn’t like it a lot but it proved one thing. Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels have still got it!

In all fairness, I’m being a little harsh. I laughed a lot more than I expected.

It is a welcome return of sorts.

And we always knew it was going to be a tough act to follow from the iconic original. A hit that I still quote word for word and watch repeatedly.

When rumours started spreading that a sequel was in the pipeline, I had my doubts. BUT they were soon squashed when the dynamic duo were confirmed.

The trailers unfortunately reveal most of the better gags. BUT there were still some hilarious moments to be had.

However, no matter how hard they tried, Dumb and Dumber To still fell short. It didn’t help that the feeble story line ended up being nothing more than a regurgitation of the first one.

So what happens in this one? 20 years since their first adventure, Lloyd (Carrey) and Harry (Daniels) go on a road trip to find Harry’s newly discovered daughter, who was given up for adoption.

Carrey and Daniels don’t look any different. It feels like we never left them. They nail it. I just wish they had better characters to work with. In the original we had the ill tempered trucker Sea Bass, Mary Swanson and Mike Starr’s Joe Mentalino.

This time round, we have Laurie Holden’s (The Walking Dead) toe sucking femme fatale and a double helping of Rob Riggle. Toe sucking femme fatale? You read that right.

A weird running gag in which Holden loves sucking toes and playing with feet wasn’t very funny. And she didn’t do much else.

Rob Riggle playing a pair of twins should have been funnier considering what a comical supporting act he has proven to be (Let’s Be Cops/21 Jump Street/Step Brothers).

And he had the odd moment. Especially during the prank wars. Oh yes, they’re back!

The opening half an hour was a lot better than I expected.

The idea that Lloyd had been sitting in a loony bin after his “break up” with Mary Swanson for 20 years as a prank shouldn’t have worked. BUT it did.

The pair then pick up where they left off. Nothing has really changed and the little nods to the original are all there. Even the apartment looks the same minus Butthole the cat.

I wonder why they called him that? 😉

I want to say so much about some of the surprises that pop up. BUT I won’t spoil it all for the D + D fans. In case, you were wondering though. A certain tenant with some pretty birds makes an appearance.

The prank wars are back. Lloyd’s random dream sequences are back. And they are all still entertaining.

The silly subplot involving Harry’s long lost daughter (Rachel Melvin) and a predictable and uninteresting diabolical scheme with Holden and Riggle felt lazy and uninteresting. It killed what buzz I was getting from Carrey and Daniels.

I knew there had to be a ploy to get them back on the road but surely The Farrelly Brothers could have cooked up something better?

Jim Carrey is on fine form. Delivering some new quotable one liners.

A scene in which Lloyd is trying to help Harry ends up setting up the silliest punch line that got a cheeky grin from me.

“Harry just needs to bond . . . Pause . . . Cue a face pull and Sean Connery accent. James Bond”. Brilliant. What?

The infamous Freda Felcher finally makes a cameo. Described as a “Titanic whore” and a women adored by all men. It was funny that it would be 80s sexpot Kathleen Turner.

But those days have not been kind to her. It’s been a long time since Body Heat.

Turner proves she is game for a laugh and the dimwitted duo don’t hold back the punches. Intentional or otherwise.

Lloyd falling for Harry’s daughter was hilarious. It even had the cheesy love theme that they used for Mary.

BUT I felt Rachel Melvin joining in on being a dimwit kind of killed it a little bit. She had a couple of one liners. However two’s company, three’s a crowd.

What I loved about the subplot with the original was all the in-jokes. The fact Harry and Lloyd were perceived as intelligent blackmailers who “disposed” of hitmen and unwittingly got involved with the FBI. All because they wanted to return a briefcase to a crush. Brilliant.

This time around. It’s the same old guff. The dimwits get mistaken for clever masterminds delivering a package while visiting estranged daughter.

It just doesn’t work though and the last 20 minutes killed the film for me.

Don’t get me wrong. The first 40 minutes I was laughing. In fact I might even have snorted. A scene involving an old lady and a reference about a turkey had me cringing.

Lloyd’s encounters with a Chinese couple and a professor that resembled a certain physicist were hilarious.

For it’s all failings, it was still miles better than the pathetic prequel. The only one who got out of that mess with any credit was Eric Christian Olsen. He was superb as Lloyd.

It zipped along, delivered more laughs than I expected BUT got too caught up in a naff story line that slowed everything down to a snail’s pace.

If (A BIG IF) the guys thought to push for a third, I wouldn’t say no. Just give them a better premise.

2.5/5

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THE GAMBLER REVIEW

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The odds on me telling you to watch this pretentious yawnfest are virtually zilch.

Harsh? Maybe. But I have never been so bored and disappointed with a film in some time.

Mark Wahlberg and Rupert Wyatt take on the remake of the cult Caan crime caper and, to be honest, by the end I couldn’t help wondering why?

So what’s it all about? Lit professor and gambler Jim Bennett’s (Wahlberg) debt causes him to borrow money from his mother (Jessica Lange) and a loan shark (Michael Kenneth Williams).

Further complicating his situation is his relationship with one of his students (Brie Larson). Will Bennett risk his life for a second chance?

Now I will be honest. I haven’t seen the original. But I certainly want to now. Surely if the purpose of a remake is to be a re-imagining or an improvement on the original, than it must be terrible, right? Hmmm . . .

The opening 15-20 minutes was slow-burning but seemed to set everything in motion. The moments in which Wahlberg’s Bennett gambles is tense and utterly bonkers.

Showing how easy it is to fall into an addiction. The adrenaline rush. The complete disregard. Clocking up debts left, right and centre.

However these are only moments. In between these tense tidbits, we are left with uninteresting characters, a lot of mindless exposition and barely any action or suspense that the film seemed to promise.

Wahlberg certainly did his best but his character was such a deluded self-deprecating simpleton that there was only ever going to be two outcomes.

Two outcomes that were predictable and made the whole thing a waste of time.

Larson (21 Jump Street) and Wahlberg managed to convey a little chemistry but Bennett was such an egotistical and unlikeable character that you felt Larson’s Amy was getting what she deserved for being such a silly little girl.

Jessica Lange (American Horror Story) was good as Bennett’s mother but there wasn’t enough of her. Her fiery interactions with her son made things a little bit more interesting but were either skipped over so quickly or left open that it made it all rather flat.

It would have been nice to have had a little more insight into their fractious relationship. Not little arguments, pointless flashbacks and a strange opening scene with a cathartic cameo from George Kennedy.

What infuriated me was how many opportunities Bennett had to get out of his mess but continued to cause hassle, borrow money and gamble it away. I was thinking, “You’re getting what you deserve, mate”.

Wyatt certainly captures the gruelling stakes of gambling with a man so frustrated with life that he is on this nihilistic path BUT it could have been done a lot better and a good portion shorter.

The classroom scenes felt one big rant at life. Philosophical meanderings that I’m sure were supposed to come of clever and thought provoking just came off pretentious, overlong and pointless.

If it was supposed to show the yearning desire between Larson and Marky Mark, it didn’t. If it was supposed to reveal more of Bennett’s character, it did a little.

Only that he is a plonker.

A waste of a talented supporting cast. You had a menacing (but incredibly fat and bald) John Goodman and Michael Kenneth (Omar from The Wire/Chalky White from Boardwalk Empire) at the helm of two very angry looking gangs.

All that supposedly cryptic, suspenseful and threatening dialogue leading to . . .

More talking and more pointless meetings.

Don’t get me wrong, Williams and Goodman do their utmost to make as memorable a mark as they can with the material. Goodman was particularly impressive in the small part he had.

The last 20 minutes finally got things going. Wahlberg’s moronic wheeling and dealing with the loan sharks all building up to one final roll of the dice. It was tense and I thought, “Finally! Here we go!”

BUT alas, it was done all too quickly, predictably and the final moments were unbelievably corny.

To be honest, one revelation certainly made one of Wahlberg’s rants not complete jibberish.

Greig Fraser’s cinematography certainly made this droll affair look stylish. BUT I was disappointed by Wyatt after he successfully managed to rework a franchise that I didn’t want rebooting (Rise of The Planet of the Apes).

I wanted a broody, stylish cryptic crime caper with one man battling his addiction.

To an extent, you do. But it certainly isn’t what you want or hope for. I’d gamble my chip on something else.

I would recommend to people who are still interested; just watch the trailer. Two minutes tells you everything and it will save you two hours of pretentious, feeble waffle that amounts to nothing.

Unfortunately, Marky Mark I didn’t pick up any good vibrations this time around.

2 (just)/5

SEX TAPE REVIEW

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Like any sex tape really. Overhyped. Talked about by all your friends. And not as good or as dirty as you hope or think.

As soon as it started with the alluring Cameron Diaz effing and jeffing about sex. Cue a montage of her and Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) in numerous sordid positions in numerous places, I feared the worst. It was OTT, stupid but most importantly not funny. I can do random, silly, crude humour. As long as it’s funny.

To be honest, it only really kicks off when the duo inevitably make the sex tape to spice up their flailing marital sex life. If you’re lucky not to have seen the trailers then some of the gags in which the pair try and outdo each sex act, it brings the odd chuckle. Diaz has proven she’s game for a laugh in the past; There’s Something About Mary, The Other Woman and boy she’s still got it at 42. Wowewewow. Anyway . . .

I could get over the fact the pair were trying to act like 20 year olds in the flashback montage because Diaz and Segel worked well together. The film only really gets going when the actual sex tape is shared across a number of iPads through a naff syncing app. A ridiculous premise in which Jay (Segel) gives away all his iPads as a charitable gesture. But that’s only because I’m tight and would have sold them for a quick buck but hey, there wouldn’t have been a movie otherwise.

Cue an anonymous text blackmailing our guilty couple and a mad hunt to seek all the iPads and deleting said tape leading to a watchable if mediocre comedy. The supporting cast were picked perfectly. Rob Lowe was fantastic and in scene stealing form. How he did all it dead pan? I will never know. His obsession with Disney characters being an unexpected but much needed gag, helped ignite this flat battery.

Incorporating himself into every Disney picture around his mansion was completely random but hilarious. The heavily advertised Alsatian fight sequence with Segel was still brilliant. And to be frank, I was laughing a lot more than I expected to and the pace soon zipped along as the madness ensued. Segel’s spiel (Didn’t mean to rhyme there) certainly improved things and made gags and one liners work when they really shouldn’t.

Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine) and Ellie Kemper (21 Jump Street) were pretty good. Cordrry in particular, delivering some belters yet again.

Robby (Corddry): Who has sex for three hours?
Jay (Segel): We did!
Robby: That’s the length of the movie “Lincoln”. You did the full Lincoln.

A guilty laugh from me. An unexpected cameo from Jack Black was great. Black can do no wrong. Literally showing up  to spew some random porn site names. Should be dumb but funny. Desperation? Laughing at porn site names? Maybe.

Apart from the odd one liner here and the unexpected funny gag there, the rest of it does reek of desperation. Swearing, drug use and shagging thrown in to make up for the lack of . . . anything really. The kid actors were wasted (Not literally) and were highly unmemorable. Well it can’t be helped when the biggest kids in the film are the parents. Sebastian Hedges Thomas made the most memorable impression as the little sod (Trying to keep it clean) Clive.

The commentary and debate about couples losing their sex life as soon as they get married wasn’t a bad concept. We got a little tidbit of depth with our couple as Diaz and Segel juggle busy schedules, work and kids but it’s soon soiled by, “When shall we pencil in to fuck?”. Delightful. NOT.

It zips along and certainly kills 90-odd minutes. Not the worst film I’ve seen by the way critics are laying into this. I don’t know why snobby toffs would even bother seeing films like this. It was always going to be slated. Sometimes big dumb movies are a great release. Switch your brain off and relax. Unfortunately this one was killing my brain until the gags finally got going.

2/5 for me

22 JUMP STREET REVIEW

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Jump to your nearest store or online outlet and see this movie!

Hill and Tatum reunite for a ridiculously OTT but incredibly funny sequel that has enough to match its predecessor and possibly surpass it.

Now Jump Street has never been (and never will be) subtle. If you like your comedies a little more subdued and less about sex and drug gags than . . . Why are you here?

Now I liked 21 Jump Street but felt it was a little overhyped. The way my brother bigged this movie up to me; I was expecting an Anchorman but it still delivered the goods.

What I loved about these movies is the blatantly obvious self-referencing, the ability to poke fun at itself and constant breaking of the fourth wall. This is perfectly demonstrated with Deputy Chief Hardy Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) explaining how the idiotic success of their last mission has led to their budget being doubled so they can do the exact same thing and hopefully yield the exact same results.

And boy do they! With crazy car chases, OTT action pieces, zippy one liners and laugh out loud gags from Jonah Hill’s wooing poetry slam to Tatum’s buffoonery. I always knew Hill would impress. You can tell where he improvises and it makes things all the better for it. There are a couple moments where the jokes have the tendency to go on a little bit.

I always found Tatum a little wooden in his other movies but whether it be the subject or his partnership with Hill; he has really come out of himself and is absolutely brilliant and they fantastically together.

It’s hardly perfect. The plot line is reversed to predictable if hilarious results. This time around, the inevitable happens in which Hill struggles to adjust to college life after his surprise performance at high school, while Tatum blends straight in, forming a bromance with another jughead that soon threatens to destroy the relationship of the dynamic duo.

I could list all the gags but hey, why would I do that? I was just pleased that this wasn’t a case of all the best bits in the trailer.

Ice Cube was actually very funny. I felt his typical angry bravado was used for its strengths this time around and he was given a little more screen time which allowed for some cracking moments.

Peter Stormare seemed to play a strangely out of place and generic villain. I mean the passing joke about what happened to the 90s works for those are familiar with his numerous bad guy roles back in the day but for anyone else, it will go straight over your head.

Patton Oswalt (King of Queens) was in a funny blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo as a teacher whose just received tenure. I just wish he was in it more. The alluring Amber Stevens (Greek) plays the love interest well and was able to be more than just a cliched cut out. The Lucas Brothers (TWINS! JINX!) were brilliant as the Yang twins. A memorable supporting role if ever there was one.

I found Jillian Bell quite irritating by the end. Her old guy jibes at Hill were funny (At first) BUT the massive punch up goes on far too long. I could respect the Mr & Mrs Smith parody nod BUT it got a little repetitive.

And of course, regular faces from the original (Well, original remake) pop up. Inevitably, the teasers were hinting for another sequel. IF the gags are this good, I’m happy to keep watching.

Keep watching the closing credits for a fantastic sequels gags. There was a surprising cameo from a certain comic actor.

I would have to say that this is one of the funniest films I’ve seen in a while. My name is Jeff! INVEST!

4 (just) out of 5!