Saturday 19 Apr

Holy Ghost People

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04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Comedy · The Hangover

The Hangover

None June 11th, 2009

n-boy misadventures devolve into insipidness.

Don't confuse such praise with high-mindedness. The flick certainly isn't above the obligatory gross-out, whether it be a geriatric backside or a sudden bout of vomiting, but Phillips and the screenwriting team of Jon Lucas and Scott Moore ("Ghosts of Girlfriends Past") are smart enough to base the debasing in well-drawn characterization and narrative.

Doug (Justin Bartha, "National Treasure: Book of Secrets") is getting married in two days, and so best friends Phil (Bradley Cooper, "He's Just Not That Into You") and Stu (Ed Helms, TV's "The Office") take him to Las Vegas for a final blowout. Phil, a married schoolteacher, is the requisite cool dude who isn't quite as cool as he thinks. Stu, a mild-mannered dentist, is henpecked by a shrewish girlfriend (Rachael Harris, "The Soloist"), who is under the false belief that the guys are going to Napa Valley for a wine-tasting tour. Tagging along with the chums is Alan (Zach Galifianakis, "What Happens in Vegas"), Doug's mentally unstable, soon-to-be brother-in-law who appears to have some troubling traits. "I'm not supposed to be within 200 feet of a school "¦ or Chuck E. Cheese," he mentions in passing.

They check into Caesars Palace and toast to a night they'll never forget. Cut to the following morning. Phil, Stu and Alan wake up with supreme hangovers in a thoroughly trashed hotel suite. A tiger is in the bathroom, a baby's in the closet. Stu is missing one of his front teeth and Doug is nowhere to be found. None of them can remember anything that transpired the night before. From these grotesqueries, "The Hangover" fashions a shaggy-hair-of-the-dog mystery, as the trio pieces together the previous night in hopes of finding the groom.

Part of the film's success is its terrific casting. As Stu, Helms spirals into sheer panic without losing believability, and his conspicuously missing tooth adds the right pitch of "Deliverance"-styled delirium. There are memorable supporting bits by Heather Graham ("Miss Conception") and Rob Riggle ("Step Brothers"), but it is Galifianakis who comes close to stealing nearly every scene. He imbues Alan with a childlike innocence as endearing as it is sociopathic.

"The Hangover" loses a bit of steam in the final third, when Mike Tyson turns up for a cameo and the movie's dark comic riffs opt for safer ground. But then the film acquits itself with a brilliantly wicked end-credits montage. Director Phillips hasn't topped his own "Old School," but he comes mighty close. And like any whopper of a hangover, the best remedy is to see it again.

"”Phil Bacharach

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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