Tag Archives: Todd Phillips

Review: The Hangover Part III

The-Hangover-Part-III-PosterWho hasn’t woken up with a hangover and said you’re never drinking again only to hit the bar a few days later? That’s fine for us, but Todd Phillips better keep his word. “The Hangover Part III” absolutely must be the end.

The Wolf Pack is back together again, but not for more wedding shenanigans, rather a funeral and a trip to a rehab facility. After Alan (Zach Galifianakis) literally gives his father (Jeffrey Tambor) a fatal heart attack, his mother, sister, and Doug (Justin Bartha) decide that it’s time for Alan to get some serious help. With Phil and Stu’s (Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms) support, they stage an intervention and head out to bring Alan to New Horizons. However, while en route, the Wolfpack is ambushed by Marshall (John Goodman) and his thugs. Marshall takes Doug as collateral while Phil, Stu, and Alan meet his demands – bring him Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong).

Part of the appeal of the original film was the fact that it focused on four real guys in the middle of a very relatable situation. It’s highly unlikely many have had an encounter with Mike Tyson’s tiger or made a quick $80,000 counting cards to pay off a gangster, but the idea of four guys getting so wasted during a bachelor party that they can’t even remember the crazy time they had is charming. But fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Back in 2009, the idea of one friend accidently roofie-ing his buddies was a novel scenario, but the sequel proved the concept didn’t have the appeal and flexibility for another go-around. It seems as though Phillips and co. recognized that issue because we get a different narrative here, but now we’re left with the problem that these characters just aren’t appealing or engaging enough to sustain any feature length scenario.

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Review: Project X

Forget the videogames that have your kids blowing people’s heads off; keep your teens away from Project X. Once you’re past your partying prime, Nima Nourizadeh’s directorial debut is a safe watch, but for those feeling out the high school party scene, this movie will only fill their minds with bad and ludicrous ideas. But then that begs the question, who is Project X even for? Really only a select few who can find enjoyment in an experience more than a story, and an experience that moves simply by showing you outlandish jaw dropping behavior. Well, I guess I have one foot in that demographic.

In honor of Thomas’ (Thomas Mann) birthday, his best buddy, Costa (Oliver Cooper), insists on throwing the biggest party ever. It just so happens that both Thomas’ birthday and his parents’ anniversary are on the same day and they’re heading out of town to celebrate, leaving their lovely Pasadena home free for the taking. A reluctant Thomas, an overzealous Costa and their friend JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown) set out to host the wildest night of their high school careers, a party that’ll undoubtedly go down in history and put them at the top of the social ladder.

The basic premise of Project X is one we’ve seen time and time again – school losers striving to make names for themselves. And, of course, our main trio consists of the typical misfits – the sweet geek Thomas, the trash talker Costa and the unassuming third wheel JB. Sounds a lot like Superbad, right? Yes, the guys really do fit right into that mold, but there’s nothing wrong with that, as they’re really just vessels to take us through the film’s big star, the party.

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Review: The Hangover Part II

The second the trailer hit, we knew The Hangover Part II was basically The Hangover, but in Thailand. While simply recycling a storyline is generally a cause for concern, that’s really the point of this film, otherwise we’d be getting some sort of odd spinoff or no sequel at all. The Hangover Part II could have failed on just about every cinematic front as long as the boys experienced a drug-induced night of debauchery followed by a hilarious attempt at recovery. Unfortunately, just like the memory of the wolf pack’s big night out in Thailand, funny jokes seemed to have simply slipped the filmmakers’ minds.

With Doug (Justin Bartha) happily married and sunburn-free, it’s Stu’s (Ed Helms) turn to tie the knot, albeit not to a Las Vegas stripper. This time around Stu’s keeping it classy and marrying a beautiful, family oriented woman named Lauren (Jamie Chung). The ceremony is to be held in Thailand where Lauren’s entire family, including her disapproving father and genius of a younger brother, Teddy (Mason Lee), will be on hand. Naturally, coming out to support the groom is none other than his buddies Doug, Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis).

Determined to keep things simple and problem-free, Stu opts out of sharing a beer beside a bon fire with his buddies and Teddy. However, at his fiancée’s urging, Stu heads out to the beach for just one drink. Phil proudly presents a six-pack of sealed beers, but, sure enough, something isn’t quite right and that one beer turns into yet another night Phil, Stu and Alan can’t remember. However, this time around, Doug makes it home safe and sound; it’s Teddy the trio manages to lose in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand.

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