Movie Review: The Boss – McCarthy’s Range is Stifled into Clichéd roles and Contrived Endings

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I have to admit I didn’t have high hopes for The Boss. Melissa McCarthy seems to be getting progressively worse at choosing movie roles. She started out great with Spy, floundered with Tammy, and now, the worst one yet, The Boss, truly underestimates her potential.

This time, Mellissa McCarthy plays Michelle Darnell, a woman who is sent to prison after she’s caught for insider trading. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart, not everyone she screwed over is so quick to forgive and forget. McCarthy is joined in The Boss by an all-star cast led by Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage and Kathy Bates. Directed by Ben Falcone (Tammy), the comedy is based on an original character created by McCarthy and written by McCarthy and Falcone.

Put bluntly, this isn’t a particularly good comedy. While the premise is interesting, if a bit overdone, it doesn’t pan out. The movie relies too heavy on sight gags and obvious jokes, missing the opportunity for a better, smarter comedy.

The bits are rehashed from other better movies. The Girl Scout fight, the mismatched buddy duo, the cold hearted business woman growing a heart, they’re all done to death tropes, warmed over for an audience who that laughing.

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It’s almost like McCarthy is holding herself back by letting her husband continue to write these movies for her. I’m sorry, but I don’t think his strengths lie in comedy. McCarthy is more than just sight gags and one liners. Unfortunately, her range is stifled into clichéd roles with contrived endings.

Melissa McCarthy carries the movie, that’s for sure. The only thing even remotely amusing about this is her. Even then, jokes that come on too strong and stay too long left this viewer not finding a chuckle worthy moment.

I wish we could see the McCarthy of Spy and Bridesmaids again, the one who didn’t rely on clichés but instead went for the unexpected joke. The one who surprised us by twisting the clichés, not leaning on them like crutches.

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This unfortunate film fell short of her talent and some of the problem might be her costars. While Kristen Bell plays well across from less dynamic personalities, in this role, she drowned. There was a secondary storyline involving her, but I really wasn’t invested enough to pay attention. She was nothing more than another inanimate object McCarthy bounced jokes off of.

Dinklage was another one that I just didn’t feel fit the role. How many times have we seen him play this character? I feel like in the past few movies I’ve seen him in, he’s always playing the button down business man who’s secretly shady. While he stands a bit better next to McCarthy than Bell does, even he’s overshadowed.

It’s a disappointing effort that’s slowly starting to turn me off all McCarthy films. It reminds me a bit of the demise of Chris Farley’s career, where he went from playing characters to clichés. As a result, not worth the watch.

WE GAVE IT: 2 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

2 Stars

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Movie Review: Draft Day (2014)

drafft day movie posterTense, Intelligent and Fun

Star Ratings

I’m not really a football fan, so I tend to avoid football related movies. If you’re like me, then I should tell you that Draft Day isn’t really about football. Instead, it’s more a behind the scenes look at the wheeling and dealing that makes football, and it is absolutely worth the watch.

In Draft Day, we meet Sonny Weaver (Kevin Costner), a general manager who has the opportunity to shape the Cleveland Browns into his dream team. His father, who was also the previous coach, has died and he now has the opportunity to trade up to the number 1 spot with Seattle. Of course, then he has to deal with the repercussions and that includes dealing with team owner Harvey Molina (Frank Langella) coach Vince Penn (Denis Leary) and even his own mother (Ellen Burstyn). There is literally no one who doesn’t have a strong opinion about his pick.

Let me say this again, I don’t like or even understand football, but I could still follow this movie. That’s because Costner plays such a great, self depreciating been-there-done-that character that he makes the movie worth watching.

I did feel that the movie was a bit too PG considering the subject. Let’s be honest, this is the NFL with its image scrubbed squeaky clean. The NFL was heavily involved in the making of this movie, so I doubt they would have approved anything that would have seriously undercut their image. The NFL actually went over the dailies of the movie and made cuts, which explains why they come out looking like utter Boyscouts.

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But this isn’t really a movie about football scandals. Again, it’s a movie about one man dealing with a high pressure job and handling everyone’s opinions on how he does that job. The NFL can be forgiven for trying to keep their image clean.
Costner has great chemistry with Jennifer Garner. Garner plays a fantastic, business savvy, football loving independent woman with a secret relationship with Weaver. The best part is they didn’t make her come across as a ball breaking cliché. Her character is likable and efficient, and she didn’t fall into the stupid ‘woman trying to prove herself in a man’s world’ trap. She is clearly knowledgeable and proves that effortlessly.

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There are some great football moments as well and fans of the game won’t be disappointed. The best part is, for those of us who don’t watch football, we become so emotionally invested in the characters that we actually care about the outcome of the game.
Draft Day isn’t a sports driven movie. It’s a character driven movie, and the characters make the movie. Costner shines like he hasn’t in a long time, and has more than made up for his last train wreck of a movie “3 Days to Kill.”
Draft Day is tense, intelligent and fun. This character driven drama can make even the most die hard non-fan of football care about the game. It was fast paced and filled with great, tense moments. This is a must watch for any football fan, and a fun watch for those who aren’t.
Heck, I might even watch a football game now.  Here is the Draft Day official Trailer:

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