On Christmas Eve I wanted to watch my favorite Christmas movie, Bridget Jones’s Diary but my boyfriend argued 1) It is not a Christmas movie and 2) It’s dumb. So instead we settled in to watch the very Christmassy and very intelligent The Interview instead.
The Interview (2014)
If you look back at my trailer review for The Interview you will see that I was excited for this film before the Sony hacking scandal occurred.
Was I disappointed by this film? A little bit, yes. It is a funny movie, but not uproariously so. It takes longer than it should for the story to get off the ground. The first quarter was boring, but once the action moves to Korea things get better. The Interview has its funny moments that are enjoyable if you are a fan of Seth Rogen’s brand of comedy.
What I like best about The Interview is the ‘bromance’ Dave Skylark (James Franco) develops with Kim Jong-Un (Randall Park). Both actors are excellent in their roles, but Randall Park in particular steals the show. He makes Un funny and strangely charming/sympathetic. But he also does well to show the darker side of Un. I also like that The Interview takes shots at North Korea’s policies, but also that of the United States. The United States isn’t condemned like North Korea. But a few jabs here and there show that the US can be hypocritical with some of their policies.
I enjoyed The Interview, but it is definitely not a movie worth starting a war over.
Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
At midnight on Christmas Eve I couldn’t sleep, so I thought, fuck it, I’ll watch Bridget Jones by myself. And I’m glad I did because as always this film put a big smile on my face. My boyfriend may not think this is a Christmas movie, but nothing screams Christmas like “I realize that when I met you at the turkey curry buffet, I was unforgivably rude, and wearing a reindeer jumper.”
I find that over ten years later this movie still works. Yes, the telephones and VCRs are now dated, but the humor is still relevant. Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant all give great performances. Renee is a perfect Bridget, making her both quirky, charming, and realistic. Colin Firth is great as Mark Darcy, but that’s to be expected from the man who also played a similar Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. And Hugh Grant is very humorous as Daniel Cleaver.
I like Bridget Jones’s Diary because it makes me happy. I find it very funny even after multiple viewings. It’s a Christmas tradition that I like to try to maintain every year. Well, it and reindeer jumpers.
I hope everyone had a good Christmas. I want to say thank you to all my subscribers, I really appreciate each and every one of you.
This is going to be a mini review for two reasons 1) I caught this film on TV and missed a bit of the beginning. 2) I think analyzing a comedy too much takes away from simply enjoying it and I don’t really want to spoil the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it.
This is the End is a meta comedy written and directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Seth also stars in the film along with James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, and Danny McBride among many others. The film is meta because each of the actor’s plays a heightened version of themselves and toys with the public’s perceptions of them. The whole film feels like an inside joke among a group of friends and the audience is invited to feel like another one of the guys. I love Jay Baruchel, but the best actor in this film, at least to me, is James Franco. His timing is impeccable and his reputation as a pretentious D-bag (in Star Lord’s words) really works for him here. I used to hate James Franco, but he definitely has charisma. And this film, combined with The Interview if it’s successful, can turn things around for him and make me (as well as a lot of other people) like him again.
There are a lot of cameos in this film and that is definitely one of its strong suits. I loved Emma Watson, she was tougher than any of the guys. Near the very end I was thrilled to see the Backstreet Boys show up (Backstreet forever). But by far my favorite was Channing Tatum as a sex slave. I am really starting to like him and the whole concept there was just hilarious. Another highlight was the reference/spoof of Rosemary’s Baby. I was so thrilled to see that as it is one of my favorite films. And lastly, my favorite scene was the argument between James Franco and Danny McBride about cumming everywhere. The audience can see how much fun the actors are having with that scene which makes it all the more enjoyable. Actually, I think that notion applies to the whole film. The joy these guys have working together emanates off the screen and is infectious. I would recommend this film to anyone who likes their comedy a little on the raunchy side. So many comedies fail, it’s nice to finally see one succeed. 8/10
Seth Rogen and James Franco are teaming up again for another comedy, this time tackling the political thriller genre. The Interview is about reporter Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) landing an interview with Kim Jong-un, the leader/dictator of North Korea. Things start to get out of hand for the duo when the CIA enlists them to assassinate Kim.
I don’t really watch a lot of comedies. Most of the time they are always disappointing and give away the best jokes in the trailer. So it’s rare for me to drag myself to the movie theater to see one. But this film has intrigued me. I love serious, dramatic political thrillers, so that’s probably what has drawn me to this film the most. I haven’t seen Pineapple Express or This is the End, Rogen and Franco’s two previous collaborations. I like Seth Rogen, I found him very funny in Knocked Up and I really like Superbad. But I can’t stand James Franco. I think it has more to do with his off-screen persona than any movie he’s done. He’s just so arrogant it’s a turn off for me, especially since I tend to watch a movie a lot of times based on the actors in it. Franco is quite funny in this trailer, I’ll give him that. I think he might be drawing on and making fun of the public perception of him as a d-bag (as Star Lord would say).
I think one of the highlights for this film will be the cameos in it. The bit with Rob Lowe at the beginning of the trailer is quite funny. There’s also a super quick shot of Joseph-Gordon Levitt playing with puppies. JGL and puppies guarantees I will be seeing this movie. I also love Lizzy Caplan (just see some of my Masters of Sex reviews), but her role here looks like it will be relatively minor. I have no idea who else will make an appearance, I’m hoping there might be a couple surprises.
I think this film looks funny, but that it also has some substance to it, like it has more to say than just a couple cheap jokes. Well, I will give James Franco a chance to redeem himself in my eyes when I go to see this Christmas day. Okay, probably not Christmas day, but maybe the weekend afterwards.