Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Director: Adam McKay
Writer: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay
Cast: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Fred Willard, Chris Parnell, Kathryn Hahn, Fred Armisen, Seth Rogen, Paul F. Tompkins, Danny Trejo, Judd Apatow, Debra McGuire, Jack Black, Luke Wilson, Ben Stiller, Tim Robbins, Jerry Stiller, Vince Vaughn
Seen on: 6.1.2015

Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is the star news anchor in San Diego. He and his colleagues Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) and Champ Kind (David Koechner) live the good life, filled with parties and women and are, simply put, celebrities. But their world is brought into disarray when Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) arrives on the scene: she’s young, she’s beautiful and she’s a journalist dreaming of becoming a news anchor herself.

Since Anchorman is pretty much a cult classic, I decided to watch it despite my assumption that it probably wouldn’t be my cup of tea. While it is a highly quotable film (that I quoted myself already, too, without realizing where I was quoting from) that even is kinda, sorta about a feminist topic, I was pretty much right about my assumption.

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While We’re Young (2014)

While We’re Young
Director: Noah Baumbach
Writer: Noah Baumbach
Cast: Naomi Watts, Ben StillerAdam Driver, Amanda Seyfried, Maria Dizzia, Adam Horovitz, Dree Hemingway, Charles Grodin, Peter Bogdanovich
Seen on: 11.8.2015

Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts) have been together for a while and are quite settled in their lives as their friends left and right start to have children. Josh gives lectures at uni and works on the same documentary he’s been working on for years, Cornelia works as a producer with her father Leslie (Charles Grodin), a famous documentary filmmaker. One day after class Josh is approached by Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried), a young hip couple. Josh is flattered by their admiration and they start to hang out together more, making both Josh and Cornelia painfully aware that they are not 20 anymore. But maybe they can change that.

While We’re Young wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. I had fun for the most part, but the end did leave a weird taste in my mouth.

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Director: Ben Stiller
Writer: Steve Conrad
Based on: James Thurber‘s short story (which you can read here)
Cast: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Kathryn Hahn, Adam Scott, Shirley MacLaine, Adrian Martinez, Sean Penn, Patton Oswalt

Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) works for Life magazine, handling their photo negatives. It’s not the most exciting job and Walter has a tendency to drift off in daydreams. Recently his dreams have been dominated by Cheryl (Kristen Wiig). And then Life gets taken over. For their last issue they are supposed to have star photographer Sean O’Connell’s (Sean Penn) self-proclaimed best photo on the cover – but Walter can’t find it. So he makes his way through the world to track Sean down.

The Scret Life of Walter Mitty was an incredibly sweet, funny and nice film that won me over with its sense of humor and its beautiful images.


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Megamind (2010)

Megamind is Tom McGrath‘s newest animated film, starring the voices of Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, Ben Stiller and J. K. Simmons.

Megamind (Will Ferrell) gets sent away by his parents because his world is swallowed by a black hole*. At the same time but from another planet close-by, Metro Man (Brad Pitt) is sent on his way, too. They arrive on our earth and while Metro Man lands in a mansion, Megamind is dropped in a prison. So it’s no wonder that Megamind grows up to be a supervillain. But when he actually succeeds and kills Metro Man, he has to show what he’s really made of.

Megamind was mostly meh. It has some nice moments, it’s not badly done, but it left me cold. I even fell asleep for a few minutes in the middle**.

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Greenberg (2010)

Greenberg is the newest movie by Noah Baumbach, written by himself and Jennifer Jason Leigh, starring Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, Rhys Ifans, Chris Messina, Merrit Wever and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Roger Greenberg (Ben Stiller) just finished his therapy at a psychiatric facility and returns from New York to Los Angeles. Until things look differently, he stays at his brother’s (Chris Messina) house. His brother, in the meantime, is on holiday. With only the family dog for company, Roger tries to reconnect with his old friend (Rhys Ifans) but in the end only finds some form of human connection in Florence (Greta Gerwig), his brother’s personal assistant/house keeper.

I know I’m probably losing all of my indie cred and any reputation I have built up as a film critic on this here blog but, dammit all: That movie was fucking boring. Yes, the cast was excellent but there’s only so much you can do without an actual plot.

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Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is the sequel to Night at the Museum. It’s directed by Shawn Levy and stars Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Hank Azaria, Robin Williams and Ricky Gervais.

Night Guard Larry (Ben Stiller) has given up his job at the museum an is now successfully selling various household inventions via TV shopping channels. He hardly ever has time to visit his friends at the museum any more. But when he finally does, he finds out that most of the exhibits are supposed to go into permanent storage in the Smithsonian – without the life giving tablet. But things don’t go as planned and Larry finds himself in the middle of the Smithsonian with millions of exhibits come to life and fighting an evil pharaoh [Hank Azaria] for the tablet and the lives of his friends.

The movie is much like the first one – lighthearted fun for the whole family. Though the plot and the villain are slightly ridiculous, they’re more of an excuse to have fun with the various pieces of art in the Smithsonian anyway. And boy, did they ever! The paintings and the sculptures coming to life were brilliant. The star-studded cast was as well, especially Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan had me laughing till I cried.


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The Viral Video Was Right!

If you remember, a while ago I posted the viral video to Tropic Thunder. Now, finally, life has caught up with anticipation and I was able to see it.

And from start, and by start I mean the fake trailers (more on that later), to finish, I laughed. I laughed so hard, I cried. This was definitely the funniest movie I’ve seen in a long, long time.


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Sometimes You Have to Make Sacrifices

Especially for your family.

So I did. This weekend, I accompanied my mother and my sister to the movies. Not a sacrifice yet, but we watched Sex and the City. And that’s the bad part…

I’ve seen maybe five epsiodes of the show (mostly because I enjoy Kim Catrall‘s character Samantha) and never had any desire to see more of it.

I just don’t get it.
I don’t care about labels.
I don’t care about shoes (except that I like to wear some, when I am in a city, at least). Spending 525$ on a pair of shoes, and ugly ones at that? No way! When shoes cost more than 50$, I’m already reconsidering and more often than not, not buying.
I don’t think it’s outrageous that women talk about sex.

And I really hate the hidden kitsch. If you want to have kitsch, that’s fine. I like a mushy movie from time to time myself. But why pretend to be so tough and “it’s all about sex and not about love” and then go on and on and on about love and falling in love and staying in love and love, love, love… gnnaaargh…


One surprise: I think it’s the first time that I actually saw a dick in an American movie (which was not porn).

The best part of the evening?
The trailers. First, the extended trailer for the Dark Knight (with more talking and less exploding. It was shown before a girly movie…) (I am so excited!), then for You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, which is either going to be hilarious or the worst thing ever (usually, Adam Sandler movies sound like the worst thing ever, but often end up being funny. The same rule applies to Jack Black movies. And Ben Stiller movies).

***EDIT: Read the related article “This one’s for the fellas. No ladies allowed!”… It’s worth it!***

Holy Shit

Do you know that feeling, when you watch a movie you haven’t seen for a really long time and suddenly there’s this actor or actress who got famous (or at least known to you) in the meantime and you’re like “holy fucking shit, that’s him/her???”? I have a run, I’m telling you.

It started last week when I watched Erin Brockovich and I saw that, holy shit! George, the Biker-boyfriend, is Aaron Eckhart!

These past days I used my sick-time to watch Freaks & Geeks, which I have once seen the pilot of and really liked but never had the time to continue watching (and btw. it died an untimely death – it’s a good show). And there in the first episode is Eli, a “special” kid and holy shit! it’s Ben Foster! (who, btw, also has a great role in My Name Is Earl.) Another thing which gave me this feeling, although I hadn’t seen the episode before was in the second to last episode – a (hilarious) cameo by Ben Stiller.

And now we’re entering the embarassing territory. I felt like watching Beverly Hills, 90210. (Ok, when you’re done being shocked and booing, let me just say that I never was really into it but I had some of those books accompanying the series, inherited from some family friends and I kind of liked them and I felt a bit nostalgic and as I couldn’t get a hold of the books, I decided to watch a bit of the series.) Anyway, right there in the pilot, minute 42, the doorman: holy shit! It’s Djimon Hounsou! And also, holy shit, one of the guys at the party is Glenn Quinn!

OK, that’s about it, right now. I just had to share.