Cleaning Out The DVR Yet Again #22: Ride Along 2 (dir by Tim Story)


(Lisa recently discovered that she only has about 8 hours of space left on her DVR!  It turns out that she’s been recording movies from July and she just hasn’t gotten around to watching and reviewing them yet.  So, once again, Lisa is cleaning out her DVR!  She is going to try to watch and review 52 movies by the end of Sunday, December 4th!  Will she make it?  Keep checking the site to find out!)

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A friend of mine recently posted this on Facebook: “Name your vagina by using the last movie you watched!”  While everyone else was able to answer with “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Christmas Vacation,” and “Zombeavers,” I was forced to answer “Ride Along 2,” because I watched it last night.  If only I had held off on watching Ride Along 2, I could have answered Moana.

Oh well…

ANYWAY — I recorded Ride Along 2 off of HBO on November 11th.  The main reason that I recorded it was because, at the time, I was panicking over the fact that the year is nearly over and there’s still a lot of 2016 releases that I haven’t seen.  You know me.  I’m a cinema completist and I like to see everything.  As a result, I’ve been recording every single 2016 movie that I come across on cable, even if the film in question is one that I really didn’t have much interest in actually watching.

Like this one for instance…

Ride Along 2 is the latest entry in the ever-growing Ken Jeong Gets Kidnapped genre of action comedies.  At some point in the future, film historians will wonder why Ken Jeong was always either getting abducted or arrested in violent comedies.  I imagine that they’ll devote most of their time to studying The Hangover films and Community but they’ll still find some time to consider Ride Along 2.

In Ride Along 2, Ken Jeong is abducted by two Atlanta detectives who have come to Miami to investigate his boss, murderous drug lord Antonio Pope (Benjamin Bratt).  The two detectives are James Payton (Ice Cube) and his future brother-in-law, Ben Barber (Kevin Hart).  Of course, it’s really not important that one of them is named Payton or that the other one is named Ben.  Ultimately, they are Ice Cube and Kevin Hart.  Payton is tough and no-nonsense.  Ben is short and outspoken and given to histrionics.  Needless to say, the plot is mostly just an excuse for Kevin Hart to get on Ice Cube’s nerves.

And it’s all pretty predictable.  There’s really nothing in Ride Along 2 that you haven’t already seen in a hundred other action comedies, including the first Ride Along.  So, how much you enjoy this film is going to depend on how much you like Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, and Ken Jeong.  (And I guess it might help if you’re a Benjamin Bratt fan as well.  Are there Benjamin Bratt fans?)  And, I will say this.  Nobody glowers with quite the skill of Ice Cube.  Ken Jeong may play the same role a hundred times but he knows what he’s doing.  And Kevin Hart is actually a good actor, even if his films rarely give him a chance to show the full depth of his ability.

Ride Along 2 is predictable and kinda forgettable.  It didn’t do much for me.  But, at the same time, it’s thoroughly nonpretentious and totally inoffensive.

I still think Moana is a better name, though…

Trailer: Despicable Me 2 (Official)


DespicableMe2Finally, we have the first official full trailer for the sequel to 2010’s surprise animated hit Despicable Me. The first two trailers were more teasers and sort of more like Minion-centric showcases.

This official trailer now brings back the rest of the cast and actually gives us an idea as to what could be the story for the sequel. It looks like Gru has been recruited by an Anti-Villain League to take on a new villain. Oh, there’s more Minion hilarities to be seen as well.

MINIONS.

Despicable Me 2 is set for a July 3, 2013 release date.

Lisa Marie Defends The Hangover, Part 2 (dir. by Todd Phillips)


Right now, all the little mainstream critics are busy hating on The Hangover, Part II

Check out Christy Lemire from the Associated Press: “Giving the people what they want is one thing. Making nearly the exact same movie a second time, but shifting the setting to Thailand, is just … what, lazy? Arrogant? Maybe a combination of the two” 

And then there’s Roger Ebert (or L’Ebert as the asskissers at Awards Daily used to call him) who apparently took a break from ranting about politics to actually do his job: ‘The Hangover: Part II plays like a challenge to the audience’s capacity for raunchiness. It gets laughs, but some of them are in disbelief.”

Last night, despite not feeling all that great, I went and saw The Hangover, Part II and you know what?  I enjoyed it.  So there.

Yes, The Hangover, Part II is basically the exact same film as The Hangover except now Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis awaken from their hangover in Bangkok instead of Las Vegas.  Also, it’s not the groom that’s missing.  It’s the bride’s younger brother.  Oh, and Ed Helms has sex with another prostitute but it’s not Heather Graham.  No, it’s definitely not Heather Graham.

Otherwise, it’s pretty much the exact same film, a copy so exact that a character gets shot at around the exact same time that a different character got shot in the previous film.

But, honestly, so what?  The people paying money to see this film know what they’re getting into when they buy their tickets.  Helms, Galifianakis, and Ken Jeong are still funny in their respective roles, Bradley Cooper is so fucking sexy I don’t even know where to begin, and there’s a cute little monkey in the movie too.  Is it as good or as funny as the first one?  Of course not but did you think it would be?  The film made me laugh and, especially when I’m not feeling well, making me laugh is more than enough to win my heart.

As for the mainstream critics — well, before you take their word for it, just remember that Roger Ebert loved The Conspirator and raved, “Not many films this smart can be made.”  I rest my case.

(By the way, here’s a link to my review of the worst film of the year so far, Robert Redford’s The Conspirator.)