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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dan's Discs--The Incredible Burt Wonderstone


When THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE was about to be released, I posted this.
Basically I was writing down my inner debate on whether or not I should venture to the cinema to check it out. I broke it down into a Pro and Con List:

The Pros: 

1. Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi and Jim Carrey .--- That's a quality Big 3. 
2. I enjoy Olivia Wilde, James Gandolfini and Alan Arkin. --- Nice Support Staff.
3. Don Scardino. --- He's from TV, but that TV was Directing/Producing '30 Rock'. 

On paper, we have a good movie. 
Carell always delivers.
Jim Carrey is making his comeback this year, with this and KICK-ASS 2.
So we "go to there" , right?
Not yet. 

The Con:

1. The reviews are not good.  Not Good At All. 

A 38% on Rotten Tomatoes pretty much means one thing: it's not funny.
The score is not because reviewers dislike Steve Carell.
In fact, they love him. 
Good comedy, usually gets recognized.

Comedies are venturing into harsh territory in the age of social media. If they are definitively hated by reviewers, that opinion can have serious repercussions at the box-office. I wanted to see THE INTERNSHIP, but less than three weeks after it's release it's already gone from all my local theaters. Same story with THE HANGOVER PART 3. It was supposed to be a blockbuster, but after it was savaged online, it disappeared quietly and quickly. 

I am not beholden to reviews, but when it was all said on done, I skipped the theater trip for WONDERSTONE, and waited for today's release. The film did terribly at the box-office, but hopefully it's high points will be enjoyed on DVD. I also had forgotten until today that this was one of James Gandolfini's last roles. He does have a few performances that were completed before his death and have not been released, but for now, WONDERSTONE is the answer to a trivia question. I have no idea if this movie is great, good or terrible, but with all of the comedic star power, I'm going to bet you won't regret dropping the $1.28 at a RedBox.

Can we still have great comedies?
Of course.
I thought THIS IS THE END was very funny and I have high hopes for THE HEAT, which comes out this week. Deftly, they have not allowed any reviews of THE HEAT to be posted yet, which is the right play in this new era. You want your best jokes and material to hit in the theater, not on somebody's computer. They have not saturated the trailers with every gag in the film. The jokes shown are relatively tame, and you know that the rest of the movie must be pretty wild because it is R-rated. If a comedy is really funny, it doesn't stay a secret for very long, but increasingly, if reviewers give it the kibosh, it might be in trouble at the box-office. However, you are always going to want to head to theater for a laugh, it's therapeutic. So once in a while, save the reviews until after you see it.

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