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“Horrible Bosses”
a review by Darby O’Gill

It’s finally here, hands down the best comedy of the summer! Horrible Bosses is this year’s The Hangover, which is good news, because this year’s The Hangover Part II was horrible! An all-star cast leads the way with a witty script that’s just plain fun! Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman) is the definition of a hard working employee that’s just days away from finally getting that big promotion. The only problem is his self-centered dick of a boss, Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey). Kurt Buckman (Jason Sudeikis) is the son his boss never had… If only he didn’t actually have a son. And, when said son, Bobby Pellit (Colin Farrell) inherits the family business, Kurt quickly finds himself hating his once loved job. Dale Arbus (Charlie Day) is a dental assistant, whose boss, Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston) doesn’t quite get the concept of a sexual harassment free work environment. So, when these three friends finally get pushed to their absolute breaking point, the only logical conclusion is to kill their bosses, or at least hire someone that can get the job done. Enter “Motherfucker” Jones (Jamie Foxx), the trio’s new murder consultant.

Horrible Bosses is not going to change the world, but one thing is for sure, it will make you laugh from start to finish. From director Seth Gordon, the same man that brought us the brilliant documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, comes a new instant classic. I have a feeling this will go right up there with the likes of Office Space, and Swingers. I realize that’s a pretty tall order, but this is one of the few movies I got to see this year that I wanted to see again almost the second it was over. The chemistry amongst the cast is fantastic! They may not be reinventing the wheel, but they sure as hell are having a good time spinning it! Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) completely steals the show, but Jamie Foxx is a close second. The weakest performance might surprise you. I would have to say it’s Kevin Spacey. It’s not that he gives a bad performance, but it’s just that he’s played this character a thousand times before. The one that will instantly come to mind is his performance as Buddy Ackerman in Swimming with Sharks. As much as I enjoy Spacey’s work, I think this role is just a little too close to his stereo-typical type casting for him. Without a doubt the most unrecognizable actor in Horrible Bosses is Colin Farrell. To say it’s Colin Farrell as you’ve never seen him before, would be an under statement. The bottom line on this one is that you just have to see it!

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“Due Date”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Okay, let’s just get the obvious out of the way here first. Due Date is a blatant rip-off of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. There, I’ve said it. I don’t think it’s that much of a secret. I mean anyone who has seen Planes, Trains, and Automobiles could tell you that, just from seeing the trailer. And I must admit, the first time I saw Due Date, that fact weighed deeply in my enjoyment of the movie. Yes, it’s true that there are plenty of movies out there, that are just like every other movie you’ve ever seen. And yes, it is also true that every idea out there has been done like a million times before, and because of that I found myself enjoying Due Date a whole lot more the second time around. I also found myself quoting the movie every now and again, which to me are the signs of a good movie.

In Due Date, Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) is traveling home to Los Angeles, where his pregnant wife Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) is about to give birth to the couple’s first child. Like all fathers-to-be, Peter is rather high strung… Actually, it seems like he’s always high strung. But, that gets taken to a whole new level, when thespian Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) enters the picture. Due to a slight misunderstanding, both Peter and Ethan are removed from the fight to LA, and are placed on a “No Fly” list by the TSA. To top the whole thing off, Peter’s wallet is still on the plane, and he quickly finds himself stranded with no cash. The end. No! This is a road trip movie! Of course Ethan rents a car, and the annoying, over confident, human tornado of disaster that is Ethan Tremblay offers Peter a lift to Los Angeles.

Here’s the thing, Galifianakis is funny, but his character is way too close to the character he played in Todd Phillips‘ other big hit The Hangover. To be brutally honest, this could have been The Hangover 1.5: Alan’s Big Adventure. It’s not enough to ruin the movie, but it does enter you mind from time to time. Robert Downey Jr. on the other hand, plays a great asshole. It’s a nice throw back to his Weird Science days. The pairing of these two actors is great. I just wish the story and characters could have been a little bit more original. In Todd Phillips’ defense, The Hangover is a hard movie to follow, and Due Date might not be as great, but there’s a lot to be enjoyed here. Phillips gets an amazing performance out of Juliette Lewis as a drug dealer, much like he did with Heather Graham in The Hangover. Like I said earlier, I’ve seen this movie twice now, and I definitely enjoyed it more the second time around. There are a lot of fun moments, some really good laughs, and overall Due Date is a decent night at the movies.

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“Valentine’s Day”
a review by Darby O’Gill

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, than with a review of Garry Marshall’s Valentine’s Day on Valentine’s Day? Okay, there is probably a better way to spend Valentine’s Day, but that’s all I have for you this year… So, get over it.

In Valentine’s Day, we follow the lives of several people, and the events that take place on what day? That’s right, Valentine’s Day! Do you see a pattern forming here? This movie also has an all-star cast the length of my arm. Now, when most movies have a cast of this size, it’s almost a sure thing that the movie is going to totally suck, but not so much in this case. Normally, one of the biggest problems of movies of this scale is the script. They almost always screw-up the pacing of the story by trying to make sure all the A-List actors are getting enough screen time. I’m happy to say this isn’t the case in Valentine’s Day. Amazingly, this script really flows well from one sub-story to the next, and it also works really well as a whole. That’s not to say this movie is perfect. This movie definitely has its flaws, the biggest being Queen Latifah’s acting. Wait, I’m sorry that’s not totally true. The worst performance came from dumb & dumber. I’m sorry, I mean Taylor & Taylor. Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner give two of the worst performances I’ve seen in a movie to date. Ah, what a train wreck! Now, I haven’t seen the Twilight movies, so I don’t know if Lautner can normally act. But, working next to “Acting 101” Swift, Lautner looked like he couldn’t act his way out of a wet paper bag. Surprisingly, Ashton Kutcher’s performance was bearable! I was expecting him to be over the top, and annoying, but he gave a nice subtle performance. Also playing a big part in this movie, is the city of Los Angeles. Shot on location on the streets of L.A., Valentine’s Day will become another one of those movies, that when friends come to visit you in from out of town. You’ll take them for a ride around L.A. and say, “This is where that one scene in Valentine’s Day was shot.” Now, I’m not saying this is a must see movie, but if your lady wants to go see it, there are worse movies you could sit through. Just be glad she doesn’t want to see Leap Year.

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