It’s not like me to review anything resembling a romantic comedy, because they are usually predictable, unfunny, and the romantic leads typically have zero chemistry. This is not the case however with “Date Night”, which finally brings together two of the best comedic talents in Steve Carell and Tina Fey.
I enjoy watching them every week on “The Office” and “30 Rock” respectively and absolutely loved watching Tina Fey host SNL for the second time (even though that annoying kid Justin Bieber was the musical guest). I kept seeing ads and posters for “Date Night” and while typically romantic comedies are not my preferred genre, I figured I’d give it a shot. I’m actually glad I did because even though the movie had its issues, I enjoyed watching it because of the amazing chemistry shared between Fey and Carell.
The movie is about married couple Phil and Claire Foster whose marriage has hit a wall and they’ve become bored. Even their date nights are a night of tedium, instead of having conversations at dinner they make up the conversations of other couples at a restaurant.
To resolve this seemingly endless cycle of boredom Phil takes Claire to a swanky seafood restaurant without a reservation and end up stealing the table of a couple that never showed up. This ends up being a big mistake as the couple they’ve decided to impersonate is blackmailing a crime boss (played by Ray Liotta).
As the night unfolds they go through car chases, are shot at, and are even forced to pole dance for a lonely district attorney. Through all of this adventure they each get to see a different side of each other and that ends us making their marriage stronger. Phil gets to see the girly side of Claire and Claire gets to see the tougher side of Phil.
Now, I will admit that this movie is awfully farfetched however; as I said earlier the chemistry between Fey and Carell makes almost every scenario seem semi-plausible. Aside from the two leads there are a ton of cameos that help elevate this movie. There are James Franco and Mila Kunis as Taste and Whippit, the trashy couple that Phil and Claire impersonate, and Mark Wahlberg as the pathologically shirtless Holbrooke, a former client of Claire’s. I enjoyed this movie and recommend it if you want to take your significant other on a date night. It’s funny and has a nice little message about marriage.
At ComicCon last year they screened some of “Avatar”, they showed a sneak peak of “Iron Man 2,” and yes, even “Twilight: New Moon (sigh)” but they didn’t receive the buzz and cheers that a little 30 million dollar movie based on a cult comic book featuring a group of mostly unknown actors did.
That movie was “Kick Ass” a movie as awesome as its name would dictate. It is probably one of the most innovative comic book movies I’ve ever seen as it takes the real world and blends it with the world that exists in comic books. Sometimes it would seem illogical to bounce between both worlds of logic and illogic but here it works. This movie takes the traditional archetypes of super heroes and beats them to a bloody pulp.
“Kick Ass” is about high school student and nerd Dave Lizewski (played by newcomer Aaron Johnson) who wonders why no one has ever tried to become a masked vigilante and while his best friend Marty (played by Clark Duke of “Hot Tub Time Machine” and “Sex Drive”), points out, it’s because without super powers you’d get your ass kicked.
This doesn’t stop Dave who orders a green scuba suit online and goes out on the street calling himself Kick Ass. In his first attempt at stopping crime he is stabbed and then hit by a car causing many broken bones and permanent nerve damage. Now you’d think that would stop him, but no, the nerve damage just gives him more encouragement because this way he won’t really be able to feel the beatings.
On his second attempt to fight crime he saves a guy from getting beaten up by a gang (he still gets beaten up pretty bad), and becomes a YouTube phenomenon (he also has his own MySpace page). This gets the attention of two real masked vigilantes, the 11-year-old Hit Girl (played by Chloe Grace Moretz of “500 Days of Summer”), and her father Big Daddy (played by Nicolas Cage). Kick Ass also gets the attention of crime boss Frank D’Amico who thinks Kick Ass is the one killing all of his underlings (it’s actually Hit Girl and Big Daddy).
I had a ton of fun watching this movie, especially whenever Hit Girl was on screen as this is one of the most unique characters I’ve seen in a long time. She is an 11-year-old borderline sociopath who was trained by her father since she was 5 to kill bad people (and swear like a sailor).
I also liked the performance by Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Frank’s son Chris who is trying to get his father’s approval and eventually wins him over by becoming a hero called Red Mist in order to bring down Kick Ass. He is slowly but surely moving away from McLovin mode and maybe showing signs he’s growing as an actor.
The most surprising performance though is Nic Cage as Big Daddy. He plays him like “Star Trek” era William Shatner mixed with Adam West-style Batman and it works. I haven’t seen him do anything remotely worthy of praise since 2005’s “Lord of War.”
I highly recommend this movie and even though during the middle it drags with subplots about Kick Ass’s girlfriend Katie and his desire to quit being a superhero, the climax of the film is awesome, funny, and quite brutal. If this sounds too offbeat for your taste, there is also the American remake of “Death at a Funeral” featuring an all-star cast including Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Tracy Morgan, and Danny Glover.
Thank You for Reading and Stay Tuned as next week I go to war with “The Losers”. Remember you can enjoy these and other fine films at your local Edwards.
Remember you can see these and other awesome movies local Edwards/Regal Cinema. Click here for Santa Clarita showtimes.