Entries in Vince Vaughn (3)

Wednesday
Dec272017

Brawl in Cell Block 99- review

 

“Brawl in Cell Block 99” (2017)

Directed by S. Craig Zahler

Starring Vince Vaughn,  Jennifer Carpenter,  Don Johnson

Running Time 122 Minutes, Rated R.

4 Mitch’s out of 5

Mitch Hansch/movieswithmitch.com

 

This one is a throwback.  A grindhouse film that’s deliciously violent, sporting for me what might just be Vince Vaughn’s best work to date.  “Brawl in Cell Block 99” is directed by S. Craig Zahler (“Bone Tomahawk”) with slow burn that crackles the more the film goes on.  Vince Vaughn is jacked in this film, not 6% fat Beach Body jacked, but prison jacked where his 6 foot very plus stance is accompanied with the kind of muscles that can and will do some harm.  

 

Vaughn plays Bradley, never Brad, who has been off the bottle for some time while trying to go straight working at a tow truck site.  That doesn’t keep, when he loses his job and nearly loses his wife Lauren (Jennifer Carpenter) he decides to do what he knows best and be the muscle running drugs.  With the marriage doing much better and a kid, nicknamed koala in the womb, things go south for Bradley when a job goes south, and he ends up back in the slammer.  Not a day goes by before he finds out his wife and unborn are kidnapped and threatened to have some very, very horrible things happen to them if he doesn’t get himself thrown into another prison of maximum security and put a hit on an inmate there so that he can save his family.  

Like a slow burn that is never not entertaining.  Vaughn is downright scary in this film.  He has a slow pace and drawl about him that plays against characters he famous for, and it’s badass and then some.  The fight scenes are shot medium to long, and the choreography is stellar, and believe me when I say this, there is a kill scene in this film that is in the pantheon of great movie kill scenes.  Great acting, great soundtrack, great violence, and a great time to be had in “Brawl in Cell Block 99”.

Hebrews 13:3

 

Sunday
Mar152015

Unfinished Business- review

 “Unfinished Business” (2015)

Directed by Ken Scott

Starring  Vince Vaughn, Dave Franco, Tom Wilkinson

Running Time 91 Minutes, Rated R.

2 Mitch’s out of 5

Mitch Hansch/movieswithmitch.com

 

I keep rooting for the super dry, super ranter Vince Vaughn to have a comeback film because simply put, he makes me laugh and he makes me care. Maybe it was my fondness that clouded my judgement into thinking that the trailer for his latest film “Unfinished Business” looked like a pretty good time at the theater.  The film was not a good time, rather, an unfocused mess that can’t handle its unnecessarily heavy load, and even though I could see Vaughn trying his darndest, there just wasn’t nearly enough laughs to approve of.

Vaughn plays Dan Trunkman, a businessman who is tired of the dog eat dog mentality that his boss Chuck (Sienna Miller) enlists, and so he quits to start up his own company.  His only two employees are Timothy McWinters (Tom Wilkinson), who was let go for being too old and the very young Mike Pancake (Dave Franco), whose only sales experience is selling shoes at Foot Locker.  After a year of holding their meetings at the local Dunkin Donuts the team finally gets close to their big break by landing a big account lead by Jim Spinch (James Marsden) and his right hand man Bill Whimsley (the loveable Nick Frost).  Just when they Dan and team think they're about to get the coveted “handshake” to seal the deal, Chuck’s bigger and shinier firms turns up and risks taking over.

 

Ken Scott, director of Vaughn’s previous dud “Delivery Man” alongside “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” writer Steve Conrad have way too many Keebler elves in the treehouse.  Dan is not only keeping his financial woes from his wife, his children have serious bullying issues, he has an ongoing grudge with Chuck and a new one starting with Marsden’s underdeveloped Jim.  Add all of Timothy’s woes, Mike’s new experiences, and an ongoing homework assignment that Dan is trying to finish for his daughter meant to be the connecting voice over threadwork of the film, and you can see that Scott and Conrad are pushing the sentiment, which is great, but the ineffectiveness lets the story get more and more muddled.    

There are some pretty decent jokes that do land very successfully.  The German setting provides for the film’s best joke as the only room Dan could find is the one that’s held in a museum where there are no curtains so that the German people and their unique artistic tastes can observe his every move.  Titled ‘American Business Man 42’, Dan becomes a viral sensation.  The main problem laughs wise was that the supporting characters Tim and Mike are wholly unfunny.  Wilkinson is one of my faves, but his Timothy is way too sad of an old man to be funny as his lifelong dream is to divorce his wife.  Even worse is Franco’s moronic Mike, who isn’t point blank called out as mentally disabled, but we’re seriously lead to believe he is of that condition which makes it pretty hard to laugh at someone with that disability screaming and pointing out “buttcracks, two buttcracks!!”  It was downright offensive at points, and I gotta think that Franco will be up for a Razzie.  “Unfinished Business” will be bad business at the box office and I’ll just have to wait for Vaughn’s next film to be a hit.   

I’ll just have to wait for “this” next film to be a hit.

Colossians 3:23 

Monday
Jul302012

The Watch- review

“The Watch” (2012)
Directed by Akiva Schaffer
Starring  Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill
Running Time 101 Minutes, Rated R.
2 Mitch’s out of 5
Mitch Hansch/ movieswithmitch.com

Akiva Schaffer is one of three members of the Lonely Island comedy trio.  They’re the guys who do the digital shorts for SNL.  Members include Schaffer, Jorma Taconne, and the more famous Andy Samberg.  Their comedy is crude and way off the center, just the way I like it.  

Their stuff isn’t for everyone, and there's nothing wrong with that. If you like it, then good for you, if not, then no offense taken.  Schaffer previously directed the oddly superb “Hot Rod”, starring Samberg and Taconne, and if you’re a fan of that than you and I could be very good friends.  For most it’s not their cup of goofy tea, but “Hot Rod”, much like Taconne’s directed “MacGruber”, that also has started to pick up a cult following, was consistent in its beat of a different drum throughout, and that’s what makes those two films extra funny to me.  

The sin with the all-over-the-place-but-humour- “The Watch” is that it wants to be goofy weird, but it’s big league Fox Studios and hefty 68 million dollar budget doesn’t allow for that.  “The Watch” is more watered down than a Houston resident’s front lawn, and more confused about how to handle itself than a chicken in a pillow factory.  Not coming close to the R rated “Ghostbusters it wants to be, “The Watch” meets its umpteenth quota of Costco and genital jokes. This film makes it hard at times to engage comfortably in this film’s title.    

Ben Stiller plays the control freak Evan, a Costco manager who spends his time starting clubs and confusing the members with friends.  When one of his employees is killed by, and the trailer gives it away, extraterrestrials, Evan starts a neighborhood watch.  Evan may take it seriously, but the joined members Bob (Vince Vaughn) looks at it as a buddy club, Franklin (Jonah Hill) wants to work out some mental issues, and Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) is newly divorced and looking for adventure.  Stiller, Vaughn, and Hill you know, but it’s the British comedian Ayaode, who directed last year’s stellar “Submarine”, who gets to be the odd Zach Galifianakas like comedy breakout here.  

“The Watch” bounces all over the place, and rarely results in big laughs due to a lowest common demoninator script that comes from none other than Seth Rogen.  Lots of sit down scenes of the four shooting the excrement. You can see them struggle, almost aimlessly throwing comedy darts and missing the board all together.  There was a time when Vaughn’s rapid fire did it for me, but here he’s amped up higher than usual on some sort of Vaughn steroids.  I know it’s his thing to interrupt, but for goodness sake Vince, let Ben get out a line or two.  At times Vaughn hijacks the film, and I suppose he bullied Schaffer into letting him be the heavy at times.  

It’s not that each of these successful comedians doesn’t get a laugh or two, but for my ticket of admission price it was Will Forte in a much smaller part who got a laugh from me every time he was onscreen.  This isn’t nearly enough to win anyone over.  Rosemary DeWitt, who just came off of the splendid “Your Sister’s Sister” is wasted as Stiller’s wife, and so is Billy Crudup as Stiller’s peculiar neighbor.         

I came, I saw, and I watched a disappointing film drown in inconsistency.

I came, I saw, and I watched a disappointing “this” drown in inconsistency.