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|What About Bob?
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Brand: Buena Vista Home Video
Comic wizard Bill Murray (CRADLE WILL ROCK, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS) teams up with Academy Award(R)-winner Richard Dreyfuss teams up with (Best Actor, 1978, THE GOODBYE GIRL) in an outrageously wild comedy that's sure to drive you off the deep end! Murray plays Bob Wiley, a troubled but lovable therapy patient who fears everything! After seeking help from noted psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin (Dreyfuss), Bob feels revived. But when the good doctor skips town to go on a quiet family vacation, Bob, afraid of being alone, follows -- showing up unexpectedly at the therapist's lakeside retreat. That's when the fun really begins! Bob innocently becomes the houseguest who just won't leave -- endearing himself to the other family members ... and, in the end, driving the stressed-out shrink absolutely crazy!
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|Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Special Edition)
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The Monty Python team are at it again in their second movie. This time we follow King Arthur and his knights in their search for the Holy Grail. This isn't your average medieval knights and horses story - for a start, due to a shortage in the kingdom, all the horses have been replaced by servants clopping coconuts together!
Could this be the funniest movie ever made? By any rational measure of comedy, this medieval romp from the Monty Python troupe certainly belongs on the short list of candidates. According to Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide, it's "recommended for fans only," but we say hogwash to that--you could be a complete newcomer to the Python phenomenon and still find this send-up of the Arthurian legend to be wet-your-pants hilarious. It's basically a series of sketches woven together as King Arthur's quest for the Holy Grail, with Graham Chapman as the King, Terry Gilliam as his simpleton sidekick Patsy, and the rest of the Python gang filling out a variety of outrageous roles. The comedy highlights are too numerous to mention, but once you've seen Arthur's outrageously bloody encounter with the ominous Black Knight (John Cleese), you'll know that nothing's sacred in the Python school of comedy. From holy hand grenades to killer bunnies to the absurdity of the three-headed knights who say "Ni--!," this is the kind of movie that will strike you as fantastically funny or just plain silly, but why stop there? It's all over the map, and the pace lags a bit here and there, but for every throwaway gag the Pythons have invented, there's a bit of subtle business or grand-scale insanity that's utterly inspired. The sum of this madness is a movie that's beloved by anyone with a pulse and an irreverent sense of humor. If this movie doesn't make you laugh, you're almost certainly dead. --Jeff Shannon
|It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
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Spencer Tracy heads a hilariously zany cast that stars Hollywood's greatest comedians (Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn, Phil Silvers, Terry-Thomas and Jonathan Winters) and features cameo appearances by every joker and jester in the business from DonKnotts and Jerry Lewis to The Three Stooges. Nominated* for 6 OscarsÂ(r), It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is "an explosive motion picture experience" (Variety)! On a winding desert highway, eight vacation-bound motorists share an experience that alters their plansand their lives! After a mysterious stranger divulges the location of a stolen fortune, they each speed off in a mind-bending, car-bashing race for the loot and the most side-splitting laughfest in history.
Stanley Kramer's sprawling 1963 comedy about a search for buried treasure by at least a dozen people--all played by well-known entertainers of their day--is the kind of mass comedy that Hollywood hasn't made in many years. (Another example from around the same time is Blake Edwards's The Great Race.) After a number of strangers (including Milton Berle, Jonathan Winters, Sid Caesar, Phil Silvers, and others) witness a dying stranger (Jimmy Durante) identify the location of hidden money, a conflict-ridden hunt begins, watched over carefully by a suspicious cop (Spencer Tracy). The ensuing two and a half hours of mayhem has its ups and downs--some bits and performers are certainly funnier than others. But Kramer, who is better known for socially conscious, serious cinema (Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?), is in a mood for broad comic characterization, and some of his jokes are so intentionally obvious (Durante literally kicks a bucket when he dies), they'd have a place in Airplane! Watch for lots of cameo appearances, including Jerry Lewis (who had called Kramer and asked him why he hadn't been invited to participate). --Tom Keogh
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Lies and deceptionit's all in the family when Robin Williams must convince his future in-laws that he's as upstanding and uptight as they are in "the funniest comedy you'll see this year" (Gene Shalit, "Today Show"). Co-starring Gene Hackman, Nathan Lane, Dianne Wiest, Christine Baranski and Calista Flockhart, The Birdcage is an uproarious comedy that will send your spirits soaring. Armand (Williams) and Albert (Lane) have built the perfect life for themselves tending to their gaudy Miami nightclub. But their pastel tranquility is shaken when Armand's son announces that he's getting married to the daughter of ultra-conservative Senator Keeley (Hackman)...and they're all getting together for dinner! Can Armand and Albert transform themselves into Mr.and Mrs. Family Values in time? It'll take the performance of their lives, but they'll do anythingand everythingto pull the chiffon over Keeley's eyes!
The great improvisational comedy team of Mike Nichols and Elaine May reunited to (respectively) direct and write this update of the French comedy La Cage Aux Folles. Robin Williams stars as a gay Miami nightclub owner who is forced to play it straight and ask his drag-queen partner (Nathan Lane) to hide out when Williams's son invites his prospective--and highly conservative--in-laws and fiancée to a meet-and-greet dinner party. Gene Hackman and Dianne Wiest play the straight-laced senator and his wife, and Calista Flockhart (from television's Ally McBeal) plays their daughter in a culture-clash with outrageous consequences. May's witty screenplay incorporates some pointed observations about the political landscape of the 1990s and takes a sensitive approach to the comedy's underlying drama. Topping off the action is Hank Azaria in a scene-stealing role as Williams's and Lane's flamboyant housekeeper, "Agador Spartacus." --Jeff Shannon
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|Step Brothers (Single-Disc Unrated Edition)
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Brand: SONY PICTURES HOME ENT
Brennan Huff, a sporadically employed thirty-nine-year-old who lives with his mother, Nancy. Dale Doback, a terminally unemployed forty-year-old who lives with his father, Robert. When Robert and Nancy marry and move in together, Brennan and Dale are forced to live with each other as step brothers. As their narcissism and downright aggressive laziness threaten to tear the family apart, these two middle-aged, immature, overgrown boys will orchestrate an insane, elaborate plan to bring their parents back together. To pull it off, they must form an unlikely bond that maybe, just maybe, will finally get them out of the house.
Crude, juvenile, and proud of it, Step Brothers stars Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as two 40-year-old men, both living at home and leading the lives of 13-year-old boys, who are thrown together when their single parents (Mary Steenburgen, Parenthood, and Richard Jenkins, Six Feet Under) get married. Brennan (Ferrell) and Dale (Reilly) start out hating each other as only teenage boys can--but things get even worse for their long-suffering parents when they become best friends. Step Brothers gets most of its mileage from very lowbrow humor, but hidden among the farts and masturbation jokes is the suggestion that while these guys may be emotionally arrested, so are Brennan's hotshot business executive brother (Adam Scott, Tell Me You Love Me) and his high-fiving frat-boy pals, just in a way that's condoned because it makes money. Also crucial is that Ferrell and Reilly capture adolescence in all its gruesome glory--the awkward insecurity but also the egomaniacal, arrogant self-centeredness. Mind you, this isn't the American version of The 400 Blows or anything--one of the movie's setpieces features Brennan tea-bagging Dale's drum set (and if you don't know what tea-bagging is... well, you will after seeing this movie). All in all, Step Brothers combines the adolescent humor of producer Judd Apatow (Superbad, Knocked Up) and the comic chemistry of Ferrell and Reilly (who previously costarred in Talladega Nights)--fans of either will find plenty to enjoy. --Bret Fetzer
Stills from Step Brothers (click for larger image)
|The Producers (Deluxe Edition)
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A "startling, stunning, outrageous [and] breathtaking debut" (Los Angeles Times) from acclaimed writer/director Mel Brooks (Young Frankenstein, Spaceballs), this Oscar®-winning* comedy combines "pure pell-Mel lunacy [and] wild, ad-lib energy [into an] uproariously funny" (Time) film! Low-rent Broadway producer Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) and his high-strung accountant, Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder), discover that, with the help of a few gullible investors, they can make more money on a flop than on a hit! Armed with the worst show ever written ("Springtime for Hitler") and an equally horrific cast, this double-dealing duo is banking on disaster. But when their sure-to-offend musical becomes a surprise smash hit, they find themselves in the middleof a Broadway blitzkrieg! *1968: Original Screenplay
Mel Brooks's directorial debut remains both a career high point and a classic show business farce. Hinging on a crafty plot premise, which in turn unleashes a joyously insane onstage spoof, The Producers is powered by a clutch of over-the-top performances, capped by the odd couple pairing of the late Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder, making his screen debut.
Mostel is Max Bialystock, a gone-to-seed Broadway producer who spends his days wheedling checks from his "investors," elderly women for whom Bialystock is only too willing to provide company. When wide-eyed auditor Leo Bloom (Wilder) comes to check the books, he unwittingly inspires the wild-eyed Max to hatch a sure-fire plan: sell 25,000 percent of his next show, produce a deliberate flop, then abscond with the proceeds. Unfortunately for the producers (but fortunately for us), their candidate for failure is Springtime for Hitler, a Brooksian conceit that envisions what Goebbels might have accomplished with a little help from Busby Berkeley.
Truly startling during its original 1968 release, The Producers does show signs of age in some peripheral scenes that make merry at the expense of gays and women. But the show's nifty cast (notably including the late Dick Shawn as LSD, the space cadet that snags the musical's title role, and Kenneth Mars as the helmeted playwright) clicks throughout, and the sight of Mostel fleecing his marks is irresistibly funny. Add Wilder's literally hysterical Bloom, and it's easy to understand the film's exalted status among late-'60s comedies. --Sam Sutherland
- The Producers
- Nathan Lane
- Mathew Broderick
- Uma Thurman
- Will Ferrell
|Wedding Crashers (Unrated Widescreen Edition)
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Brand: New Line Home Video
In this hilarious box office hit, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson have perfected the art of wedding crashing but when one of them actually falls in love their sacred rule, "never leave a fellow crasher behind," may be broken!
With Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as a pair of brazen wedding crashers, this buddy/romantic comedy milks a few big laughs from its foolproof premise. Under the direction of David Dobkin (who previously worked with Wilson on Shanghai Knights), the movie ranges from bawdy romp to mushy romance, and that tonal identity crisis curtails the overall hilarity. But when the well-teamed costars are firing on all pistons with fast-paced dialogue and manic situations, belly laughs are delivered at a steady clip. Things get complicated when the guys infiltrate the family of the Treasury Secretary (Christopher Walken), resulting in a romantic pair-off between Vaughn and the congressman's oversexed daughter Gloria (Isla Fisher) while Wilson sincerely woos another daughter, Claire (Rachel McAdams), who's unhappily engaged to an Ivy League cheater (Bradley Cooper). Walken is more or less wasted in his role, but Jane Seymour and Henry Gibson make amusing appearances, and a surprise guest arrives late in the game for some over-the-top scene-stealing. It's all a bit uneven, but McAdams (considered by some to be "the next Julia Roberts") is a pure delight, and with enough laughs to make it easily recommended, Wedding Crashers will likely find its place on DVD shelves alongside other flawed but enjoyable R-rated comedies that embrace a naughtier, nastier brand of humor with no need for apologies. --Jeff Shannon
On the DVD
The "Uncorked" edition of Wedding Crashers adds about 8 minutes of footage to the theatrical release. Of chief interest are extended beach and bathroom scenes between Vince Vaughn and Isla Fisher, and Vaughn's extended confession to Father O'Neil (Henry Gibson), but there are also new scenes featuring Keir O'Donnell as the eccentric Todd and Ellen Albertini Dow as the potty-mouthed grandmother. This edition is billed as unrated because it wasn't resubmitted to the MPAA, but the sexier bathroom scene and coarser confession aren't particularly raunchier than the original film, and there's no additional nudity. You can watch the Uncorked edition once to see the new footage, but for subsequent viewings you'll probably choose to stick with the theatrical release, which is also included on the DVD.
Bonus features consist of two very good commentary tracks, one by director David Dobkin and another by Vaughn and Owen Wilson. Dobkin's is more technically informative, and he specifically discusses why the added scenes were originally cut. Vaughn and Wilson are a little more subdued than might be expected, but they share some laughs, recall some material that was left out, and wander into irrelevant territory such as football and Wilson's dog. Other features include four deleted scenes with optional commentary by Dobkin, and two featurettes covering the making of the film (including the logistics of staging five different weddings, and interviews with the "magic and balloon consultant") and Vaughn and Wilson's meandering discussion of "the rules" of wedding crashing. For a more organized recap, there's a 24-screen text-only list of all the rules. The opening menu is clever, but slow to load after you've watched it the first time. --David Horiuchi
Vince Vaughn's Movies
Why We Love Rachel McAdams
Owen Wilson's Movies
The Return of Crass Comedy
The 40-Year-Old Virgin
|Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
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One's got a sophisticated, suave and debonair con act. The other's got...well, an act. Together, Steve Martin and Michael Caine are Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and they're absolutely ruining the Riviera in this "hilarious battle of wits and double-crosses" (Boxoffice) that "couldn't be more delightful" (The Wall Street Journal)! Martin is Freddy Benson, a smalltime conman sleazing his way through Europe on whatever handouts he can scam. Caine is Lawrence Jamieson, an impeccably dressed and high-minded artiste who thinks Freddy is giving himand all con mena bad name. At first, Lawrence agrees to help Freddy spruce up his talents and his wardrobe. But when it becomes apparent that the Riviera isn't big enough for the both of them, they make awinner-take-all wager over the fortunes of a naive American soap heiress (Glenne Headly): the firstone to "clean her out" can make the other clear outand keep the Riviera and its unsuspecting tourists to himself!
Freddy Benson (Steve Martin) is a crass, loud American. Laurence Jameson (Michael Caine) is a suave, urbane European. Their common ground is that they both are confidence men, and they meet in a train compartment as Benson is scamming his way across Europe, taking advantage of women's generosity. The two are forced into a rivalry, which culminates in a wager to see who can be the first to bilk $50,000 out of American heiress Janet Colgate (Glenne Headly). Their game of one-upmanship is, of course, brought to ridiculous heights as things progress. Written by Paul Henning (the mind behind such TV shows as Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is an uneven but funny mix of Martin's physical comedy and Caine's oily charms. Martin's first role as cohort is to assume the persona of Ruprecht, the "special" younger brother intended to scare off potential brides. As Ruprecht, he comes off as a cross between The Andy Griffith Show's Ernest T. Bass and Jerry Lewis; hilarious as it is, it doesn't quite fit with the rest of the film. Once the wager is on, though, Martin slips into his overly earnest mode as an American military man suffering from hysterical paralysis, with Caine as a psychologist who takes on his case. All in all, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (a loose remake of the 1964 film Bedtime Story with David Niven and Marlon Brando) is a droll, intelligent comedy, short on knee slappers but long on comic situations and characterizations. --Jerry Renshaw
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Always looking for action, five over-enthusiastic, but under-stimulated Vermont State Troopers raise hell on the highway, keeping motorists anxiously looking in their rear view mirrors. Between an ongoing feud with the local cops over whose you-know-what is bigger and the state government wanting to shut them down, the Super Troopers find themselves patrolling the boundaries of good taste as they hilariously and unwittingly skid towards solving the crime of their lives.
The fine art of handing out a freeway speeding ticket gets a deviously funny twist in this smart-alecky farce written and performed by the comedy troop Broken Lizard (consisting of Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske). These pranksters in patrol cars (led by their long-suffering commander Brian Cox) are little more than overgrown frat boys in a campus rivalry with the brawling Vermont bullies of the local police force, and they know how to have fun on the highway patrol. This skit-like collection of comic moments clumps from one scene to another like a variety show, but the gags are more hit than miss, thanks largely to terrific ensemble work and inspired motorist mind games. With a nod to such 1970s comedies as Animal House and Caddyshack, this "boys in blue just wanna have fun" farce is hardly sophisticated, just clever, raucous fun. --Sean Axmaker
|Talladega Nights - The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (Unrated Widescreen Edition)
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Will Ferrell stars in this film about NASCAR. Extras include deleted scenes, gag reel, extended cut with never-before-seen footage, additional deleted scenes, outtakes, and more.
Sweet baby Jesus, we thank you for blessing Will Ferrell and Adam McKay with the talent to create a NASCAR comedy as hilarious as Talladega Nights. The so-called "Ballad of Ricky Bobby" is hardly flawless in fact it's not always firing on all cylinders but with comedy star Ferrell and director McKay still hot from the success of their previous comedy hit Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, most of this 108-minute spoof of oval-track racing is so knee-slappin' funny that you can't help but surrender to the stupidity.
Obviously, Ferrell's the shining star, and his portrayal of lead-footed pit-crew-member-turned-#1 NASCAR champion Ricky "I Wanna Go Fast" Bobby (how can you not love that name?) is spot-on perfect, righteously spoofing the entirety of NASCAR culture without insulting its oft-ridiculed roots in redneck bootlegging of a bygone era. You could even argue that Talladega Nights is truer to NASCAR than Tom Cruise's Days of Thunder, and it's certainly more entertaining, especially when you add John C. Reilly as Ricky's life-long pal, teammate, and eventual rival Cal Naughton, Jr. (together they're nicknamed "Shake 'n Bake"), and Sacha Baron Cohen (from Da Ali G Show and Borat) as gay French "Formula Un" driver-turned NASCAR rival Jean Girrard, to a stellar cast including Molly Shannon, Greg Germann, Amy Adams and Michael Clarke Duncan.
Sure, it's mostly a showcase for Ferrell's loud, over-the-top antics and nonsensical non sequiturs (like cameo appearances by Elvis Costello and Mos Def), but with Ferrell behind the wheel, Talladega Nights rolls into victory lane with fuel to spare, and there's one final bit of comedy (with a tip of the hat to William Faulkner) for those who sit through the credits. --Jeff Shannon
Stills from Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby(click for larger image)
More NASCAR and Talladega Nights at Amazon.com
NASCAR on PSP
Our NASCAR Store
NASCAR The Imax Experience
Speed, Guts, and Glory Book
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Other Will Ferrell Films
The Best of Will Ferrell
|More Films by Will Ferrell |
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