Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay Reviews
What hurts the movie the most, for me, is that it's a really big retread of the first, but this time they take the shock humor to some extreme and sometimes really offensive levels. Some of it does work, some doesn't, but it is overkill regardless. I still give it a lot of credit however because it does tackle some actual issues, even if it mostly prefers to focus on the dumb humor.
This is a very stupid, vulgar, and predictable comedy, with some lame romantic comedy cliches and attempts at political satire, but you know what? It has some very funny moments. As a movie its not as good as the first one, but it certainly has more memorable moments (Emo Harold).
Much of the problem comes from whats been done to this film in relation to how the first one did things. This film certainly expands its scope to make it more of an epic stoner comedy, but much of the charm in the first film came from the relevant insight handled in a funny and appropriate manner. Here, the film basically works as a live action version of South Park in many scenes.
Still, it's hard not to laugh at what is going on in this movie. It also helps that Neil Patrick Harris is hilarious every step of the way for his amount of screen time. Rob Cordry goes out on a limb to make is character so stupid-goofy-racist that it works. And then there's a terrible Bush impersonator who actual makes it through to being fairly funny.
So much is pushed into this film that a good chunk of it sticks, therefore making it an acceptable comedy, which I laughed at a lot, even if I don't have the desire to go and see it again.
Chloe: You remember that time you stole that monkey and put it in Rosenberg's dorm room?
Kumar: Had I known that the monkey had AIDS I never would have done that.
Typically it's the same as the first.
There is some extremly funny moments in this one - especially when they meet George Dubya Bush. It's a good comedy for unserious time with friends. Still it's not a masterpiece and I've seen better comedies in my day.
It is a teenage comedy for kids who haven't realized such films already exist in better forms, although it is sure to earn a representative place in its genres history for its era-specific setting and references.
Nate's Grade: C-
Baby Mama - 2008 is becoming a year dominated by Tina Fey. She won three Emmys for her Best Comedy TV series [i]30 Rock[/i], including writing and acting, and her dead-on portrayal of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has branded the public perception of this political figure. [i]Baby Mama[/i] is a mildly entertaining comedy that works because of the finely honed chemistry between Fey and her former [i]Saturday Night Live[/i] co-star, Amy Poehler. The movie is at its best when these two women can play off one another. The banter isn't laugh-out-loud funny but provokes plenty of smiles and chuckles. The movie goes in an unforeseen direction in the third act that attempts to raise the stakes through drama, but it feels like a disappointing direction for what is essentially a female buddy comedy. The jokes flow at a steady pace and the movie has a great supporting cast of big names that know how to leave their mark, like Steve Martin as a daffy New Age CEO and Sigourney Weaver as a amazingly fertile boss.
Nate's Grade: B
The Other Boleyn Girl - The story of Henry the Eighth and his many wives is a tale full of romance, danger, betrayal, and sweeping historical changes; it's the most popular soap opera of its age. The 700-page book was naturally going to get slimmed down as a feature film, and [i]The Other Boleyn Girl[/i] feels a bit too streamlined for all the heavy historical events that take place. The production values are all top-notch and the story has some juicy moments. It presents an intriguing angle by showcasing the conniving rivalry between the Boleyn sisters (Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman). The acting falls under that period film gravity where the actors all speak stately and enunciate every syllable slowly, like they were testing out the sound for the first time. Portman is especially fun in a villainous role. Eric Bana is completely at odds with history as Henry VIII, but I suppose it would be harder for modern audiences to accept young nubile ladies vying for the affection of a huge, ugly man with a leg of mutton in his grip.
Nate's Grade: B
Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay - I was a big fan of the first outing to White Castle, a crude stoner comedy that also happened to be clever in its outrageousness. The [i]Harold and Kumar[/i] sequel returns the same writers but what the hell happened? The first film separated itself from its class of juvenile jokesters because it had charm and wit, but this mediocre movie just stumbles from one uninspired comedic setup to another. The boys get mistaken for terrorists and then the movie becomes a ramshackle road trip through America. The gags are lame and easily telegraphed. Regrettably, many jokes are reheated from the first film, like Kumar's fantasies involving an anthropomorphic living bag of weed. The presence of the hysterically gifted Neil Patrick Harris gives the film a boost but even NPH cannot save these less-than-stellar shenanigans. The comic set pieces don't add up together into something greater, and the only scene worth remembering is when the boys smoke weed with President Bush. You know you're in bad shape when even the gratuitous nudity feels tacky and boring.
Nate's Grade: C
Semi-Pro - Will Ferrell should just retire doing sports movies.
Nate's Grade: C-[/color][/font]