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Non-Review Review: Identity Thief

It must be very difficult to balance the demands of a road-trip comedy. You need two solid leads with a definite sense fo chemistry, but with enough conflict between them to keep things interesting. You need a compelling objective for at least one of the characters to strive towards. You need a tightly-constructed scenario which rules out any easy use of mass-transit. You need a cast of quirky supporting characters to give the movie a distinct flavour, and to occasionally do a bit of heavy-lifting if you decide to develop your leads.

Identity Thief seems to realise this, but it fumbles a bit in the execution. Too many plot points and characters feel too convenient, inserted to either pad out the movie’s runtime or to construct a reasonably believable set of statistics to force the plot into motion. Identity Thief almost seems to try too hard to justify itself and to meet those requirements of a road movie. It’s best when it focuses on the two lead characters, even if it does overplay its hand slightly. It’s not a bad little comedy, but it’s not an especially strong one either. There are a few light chuckles, bu the film mostly runs on the charm of its two leading characters.

Not quite a breakout hit...

Not quite a breakout hit…

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Non-Review Review: Extract

I’m honestly not quite sure what to make of Extract. Ironically for a movie about a factor producing flavour additives, the movie seems lack a flavour of its own. Is Mike Judge’s effort a quirky and eccentric anything-goes laugh-out-loud fest, or is it a more conventional cookie-cutter comedy? The film seems to fluctuate between the two extremes, at times playing incredible safe and yet occasionally swinging for the fences, adding to a vaguely disjointed feeling to the whole thing.

Meeting of the bored...

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Non-Review Review: The Change-Up

This movie was seen as part of Movie Fest, the rather wonderful film festival organise by Vincent and everybody else over at movies.ie. It was well worth attending, and I’m already looking forward to next year. Good job all.

Body swap comedies are pretty much a subgenre unto themselves. There’s a fairly standard formula, much like the conventional romantic comedy, but the success or failure of a given movie rests pretty much entirely on the execution of that formula. It’s finding the wit and energy to inject into a familiar structure, to produce an interesting and compelling result. It’s been done with considerable frequency. However, The Change-Updoesn’t really generate enough laughs consistently to make a memorable addition to this category of comedy.

Just kidding around...

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Non-Review Review: Horrible Bosses

“You can’t win a marathon without putting some bandaids on your nipples!” Dave Harkin, the “psycho” boss of Nick Hendricks, insists throughout the movie. It’s curious, because Horrible Bosses feels like a movie pacing itself for a marathon – and that’s not a bad thing at all. It’s consistently funny, with the humour spread evenly over most of the runtime. It’s hard to point to particularly brilliant sequences that had the audience in stitches, but instead the room was constantly giggling throughout. It’s a solidly entertaining comedy, which makes the most of a clever premise and superb cast, even if it does falter just a little bit as it reaches the finish line.

Spacey is boss...

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Non-Review Review: State of Play

Ah, the good old conspiracy thriller theory movie is alive and well, it would appear. For those not quite up-to-date on Hollywood’s fascination with sequels, remakes and adaptations, State of Play is a remake of the classic BBC miniseries of the same name. Following an old-fashioned investigative reporter as he attempts to investigate the death of a Congressman’s aide, he finds himself getting drawn closer and closer to a lion’s den of corruption and defense contractors. It’s a solid conspiracy movie elevated by superior performances that doesn’t really live up to its potential.

Russell Crowe attempts to explain the plot twists of State of Play to a confused Ben Affleck...

Russell Crowe attempts to explain the plot twists of State of Play to a confused Ben Affleck...

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