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Wednesday, 19 February 2020 13:53

‘Downhill’ an uphill battle

A good comedic pairing is something to cherish. When two talented and funny people are brought together onscreen for the first time, our expectations are really elevated. We can’t wait to see how their respective talents react with one another. And when the filmmakers bringing them together are acclaimed talents in their own right, well … what could go wrong?

Quite a lot, as it turns out.

So it is with “Downhill,” the new film starring Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Written and directed by Oscar-winning duo Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, the film is a remake of the 2014 dark comedy “Force Majeure.” Unfortunately, despite the tremendous talent involved, “Downhill” goes downhill pretty fast.

This new film never manages to recreate the same delicately unsettling balance of its predecessor, resulting in a movie that is constantly at odds with itself regarding the sort of movie it wants to be. The erstwhile dramatic moments feel forced and false, while the ostensibly comedic bits come off as disingenuous and get lost in the morass. Tonally, “Downhill” never stays in its lane; it gets out over its skis, leaving its cast (and us) tumbling helplessly down the mountain.

Published in Movies
Friday, 28 December 2018 13:53

‘Holmes & Watson’ doesn’t have a clue

Saying that someone “makes it look easy” is a solid compliment. You’re implying that the person in question is so good at what they do that it looks effortless. It’s a nice thing to say.

Here’s the thing, though – oftentimes, a LOT of work goes into that perceived ease. And if that work doesn’t get done and done well, what once looked easy can quickly turn Sisyphean.

You could get “Holmes & Watson.”

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 11:39

Father knows worst – ‘Daddy’s Home 2’

‘Tis the season for parentally-titled holiday-themed comedy sequels, apparently.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 05 July 2017 09:29

‘The House’ worth a gamble

Comedy rolls the dice in unexpected ways

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:36

A vote of confidence for The Campaign'

Satirical political comedy crass, crude and better than you think

2012 is an election year, so it shouldn't be a surprise to see politically themed movies make the scene over these next few weeks leading up to November. What is surprising at least a bit is who fired the first satiric salvo of the season.

It's Will Ferrell.

You have to call Ferrell's latest film 'The Campaign' a political satire, if only because there's really nothing else you can call it. It's as broad and goofy and crass as anything else Ferrell has done. Throw co-star Zach Galifinakis into the mix and you can expect things to get seriously weird.

Published in Movies

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