Bachelorette

September 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Cody, Reviews

Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, Isla Fisher
Written by: Leslye Headland (debut)
Directed by: Lesyle Headland (debut)

After spending a few weeks on the VOD circuit, the adult comedy “Bachelorette” finally makes its way into theaters.  In “Bachelorette,” old friends Regan, (Kirsten Dunst) Gena, (Lizzy Caplan) and Katie (Isla Fisher) are invited to be in the bridal party for their friend Becky’s (Rebel Wilson) wedding.  After derailing Becky’s low-key bachelorette party, Regan, Gena and Katie go out on the town and meet up with the guys and their bachelor party for Round Two.

As expected, the film delivers on its promise of debauchery with the bachelor/bachelorette party escalating into a night full of sex, drugs and bodily fluids.  Unfortunately, director Leslye Headland relies too heavily on trying to push the limits without a strong script and the film finds itself falling short on laughs.  One of the primary problems with “Bachelorette” is that most its characters are completely insufferable and irredeemable people.  Dunst’s character in particular is shrewd and grating, almost to the point where one might wonder how she has any friends to begin with.  The failure to create likeable characters is particularly disappointing considering the talent of the cast members.  The very funny Fisher is a complete waste in the film as she spends most of it being incoherently wasted in many unfunny scenes.  Though Caplan is the best and funniest member of the female cast, even she struggles to truly elevate the film from the constrictions of the material.

Due to its female-centered principal cast and taking place in the world of weddings,  “Bachelorette” will likely garner comparisons to “Bridesmaids.”  Where as “Bridesmaids” skillfully balanced gross-out humor with strong character relationships and great dramatic moments, “Bachelorette” is decidedly one-note.

Rango

March 4, 2011 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin
Directed by: Gore Verbinski (“Pirates of the Caribbean”)
Written by: John Logan (“Gladiator”)

Industrial Light and Magic sure knows how to make a great first impression. “Rango,” the first-ever animated feature created by the George Lucas company, is an impressive adventure film set in the Old West featuring a scrawny pet chameleon as it’s courageous hero.

When Rango (Johnny Depp), an aspiring thespian, strolls into the small town of Dirt after landing in the desert, he is given the chance to start on a clean slate and become whoever he wants in his new surroundings. No one in Dirt knows who he is, so he conjures up a few lies and jumps into character as a mysterious gunslinger who isn’t afraid of anything the big, bad desert has to offer, including the villainous Rattlesnake Jake (Bill Nighy).

Reminiscent of the storyline in the 1986 comedy “The Three Amigos,” the towns people, made up of some bizarre looking creatures, accept Rango into their dried-up community and make him sheriff when he accidentally kills a terrorizing hawk. As sheriff, it’s now up to Rango to somehow bring water to the thirsty people of Dirt before more of them pack up and take off in search of the one thing they need to survive the desert heat.

As an animated spaghetti Western, “Rango” takes its original narrative and sets it on a dark and dangerous path most cartoons would never tread. Leave it to director Gore Verbinski, who teamed up with Depp in the first two “Pirates” movies, to find inspiration from Western classics like those from director Sergio Leone. Along with exquisite imagery and witty dialogue from the title character, “Rango” is an imaginative and sort of hallucinatory tribute (see if you can spot the “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” reference) to a genre most kids aren’t exposed to nearly enough. With a lizard as the lead, this is as kid-friendly as it’s going to get.