Thursday, April 30, 2020

Ace Ventura When Nature Calls

I'm pretty certain I watched the first movie more than this one.

Is it bad? No, I don't think so. I did enjoy parts of it, and while it's not one of the better films this week there's good elements to it. Okay so Ace Ventura is recruited to travel to Africa to discover the whereabouts of a sacred animal to a small village before all hell breaks loose, we start off with a decent but sort of pointless parody/homage to Cliffhanger and we end on a kind of humorous ending. Apparently both the director and Jim were kind of against a sequel to the first movie, and really didn't want to do it but were contractually obligated to do so, but Carrey gives an enthused performance and not pulling a Sean Connery in You Only Live Twice, and the production is half decent with good shots of Africa landscape and animals. The comedy isn't as strong as the first time around, and if I'm being really honest it's the weakest comedy we've seen this week but isn't all bad at all, I mean for God's sake it gaves us the leg spear scene. I can't really call it a mystery this time around cause who has the means and motive to pit two villages against each other? Hmm, well it's either two australian poachers, the owner of a zoo, or the rich asshat white guy. And we don't even have to play Blue's Clues cause you're already really smart. And I know this gets brought up a bit so here we go, does the film reinforce stereotypes of native african people? To a dumb white kid, I didn't see too much that irked me, I mean yeah one group is called headhunters and for all I know could be talking in a language so fake it makes Klingon sound plausable so what do I know, and even Jim Carrey and the director were concerned about it before the movie premeired but I didn't see anything incredibly racist or horribly offensive, and I thought Maynard Eziashi and Sophie Okonedo were the standout performances besides our star, I just really liked seeing them. I'd give it 2.5 stars, 6.5/10, it's not imperative you see this movie unless you really need more Ace Ventura in your life. But it's an okay movie, and even if it's just to be seen once in your life, sure why not, go for it. Last film of this week will be an odd choice, the movie which almost killed Jim Carrey's career just one year after he got super famous, so stay tuned and I'll tell you about it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Ace Ventura Pet Detective

Yeah, it's my favorite. What a twist!

I'm pretty sure this was the first Jim Carrey movie I saw, might have been Batman Forever but I'm hedging my bets on it being this one. And I could be here all damn day telling you how much I love it, I was reciting lines left, right, and center through the whole thing and had a total blast with it, so it's gonna get the best rating even if I'm very nostalgically biased towards it. I can't even imagine how big the movie was in 1994, seeing as how I wasn't born yet but I can certainly imagine! I mean Jim got a one-two punch with The Mask and Dumb And Dumber, but this was just a knockout for that year. And while it is undoubtedly a comedy first it still has crime elements, with Ace Ventura the world's best and only pet detective called in to retrieve the Miami Dolphin's mascot and figure out who kidnapped the poor creature and why. Incredibly basic plot that I can attest that even a small child can understand, and to be fair the mystery/detective parts are handled well and keep you invested until the end. But the comedy is what gets people coming back, and Jim Carrey is on top form in this, though I've loved his performances in the previous movies of his that I've reviewed, this is just next level. I actually found out recently that Carrey built his Ace persona around birds, the colorful hawaiian shirts, the absurd yet glorious hair, the exaggerated neck movements, I certainly see it now. To be honest, his comedy hits every time for me in various degrees, from a quick smile to hard laughs, and I'll be honest his schtick never got old for me. These 3 movies I reviewed were the big ones for me, watched them constantly and never got tired of the antics, and while I've grown and my taste and sensibilities have changed there's still a part of me that loves these movies. But Jim isn't the only one who is good in this, Courtney Cox is fun and has quite good chemistry with Jim, Sean Young hasn't aged a day since Blade Runner and is friggin' fit as hell in this movie, I even liked seeing Tone Loc again though bless him I don't think he's been in much since the 90s. So cast is great, comedy is a blast, the crime solving aspects are handled well, and it even made football tolerable to me. Is there anything I don't like? Well I can see one thing about a certain aspect of the film that might not have aged well, if you know you know, and while I certainly can totally understand where people are coming from and even agree with them on points, I can also say that people shouldn't take it too seriously to the point you can't enjoy the movie. I'd blame more the individual for taking a certain mindset away from this movie than the movie itself, because the director and cast absolutely meant no ill will, but I totally get a bit of the concerns. Does it hurt the score? No. Do I think people should take a chill pill and not make everything an issue? Yes. All in all, it's still a favorite of mine, and not even like a guilty pleasure I unironically love Ace Ventura, I think it's a very funny and entertaining movie and I'll no doubt keep watching it in the future and just as a bonus I'm gonna review the sequel too. But in the meantime, 4 stars! I dare even give it an 8/10, and I'll see you next time when nature calls.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Dumb And Dumber

Now it's getting good.

You know, I forgot how raunchy this movie is at times, like I laughed at the more outrageous comedy bits and didn't get half the jokes when I was younger but looking at it now it was a bit of an eye opener. I mean the same goes for The Mask so I was a bit of a filthy kid. I will say however the comedy is actually not half bad written at times, you think it'd just be slapstick physical comedy but there's some genuine funny bits of dialogue and the performances are what made this film so popular. I mean let's be honest, if this movie starred anybody else it would have come and gone in the blink of an eye so I have to give huge props to Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels not only because of the way they potray the comedy but their chemistry is a strong point of the movie for me. So we follow fledgling fools Harry and Lloyd as they trek across the country to return a lost briefcase to a young woman that Lloyd met at the airport, yet again another Jim Carrey movie where he gets swept away in this crime drama stuff. First the gangsters in The Mask and now a kidnapping ransom in this, it sort of seems like two different movies being mixed but it doesn't do a bad job at it in either cases. The Mask was just crazy entertaining antics tethered along by the plot, but here the comedy permeates the foreground from beginning to end credits with plenty of different scenarios that pop up throughout their journey. I would say I did like the film and the jokes better this time around, though of course I hold no hate for The Mask. Man, 1994 was a big year for Jim Carrey, he got not one or two big movies but 3 of them, with the last being Ace Ventura which we'll get to tomorrow, not many actors have that sort of breakthrough with vast audience appeal, and those are treasured comedy movies of the 90s to many, myself included. I was kinda shocked at how good the movie was a certain points with quite a gorgeous shot at one point and a surprisingly emotional performance delivered by Carrey. No joke, when Lloyd breaks down and says he's sick of being nobody Jim was on the verge of tears cause it was how he felt about his life. Those tears are real with little acting involved, and my God that hit me like a ton of bricks when I first learned that. I still have a soft spot for the man, he was my idol when I was a kid, I wanted to act because of him and try to make people laugh as often as I could, and hell the love hasn't waned much if you saw my Sonic The Hedgehog review where I flat out said he's the best part of the movie period. Yes his films might not be acclaimed, but I have respect for the man and his performances, he's a comedian first and always finds a way to make me laugh. I think Dumb And Dumber is a good movie, it's very entertaining and at times super funny even if it is ridiculous. I like the jokes, I like the setting, the soundtrack once again is pretty dang good, and I just had a good time with it. I don't know if there's a term for comedy films like how action films are called popcorn flicks, because it's not really shut your brain off entertainment but I would say this is a movie perfect to watch with friends and drinks as you admire the comedy of errors before you. 3 stars, 7/10 once again, and I can't wait for tomorrow as we look at by far my favorite Jim Carrey movie ever.

Monday, April 27, 2020

The Mask

Not a bad start at all with being back.

I remember a time when I worshipped The Mask, like one of my favorite movies ever, could quote and recreate the scenes every day, loved Jim Carrey in it, the whole nine yards. So how does it hold up after not watching it for more than a decade? Not half bad to be honest, granted it's by no means a great movie but it certainly isn't bad either. It certainly has one of the most relatable characters in my eyes with Stanley Ipkiss who is a super nice and very funny guy who happens upon a mask (apparently worn by Loki but I don't think Tom Hiddleston could pull it off) that can transform him into an exaggerated, manic, love starved alter ego as he meets a performer at a nightclub played by Cameron Diaz as hijinks and comedy ensue. There's quite a bit to like and even appreciate with this movie, usually people would say oh The Mask is just another 90s movie that constantly uses CGI when it's not necessary and it dates the film, which is far from the truth, yes there is CG and very cartoon-y CG at that but I feel it genuinely works in this movie mainly because with such an exaggerated character I don't expect it to look real! It looks silly at times but it's one of the few instances where CG is used to convey comedy through over the top motions, so I'm totally 100% fine with the effects and I like the fact the movie only uses it when necessary. I think the cast, in particular Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz, all do fine work and take the roles as seriously as they need to, though it is safe to say Jim and Cameron do the best of them all. Oddly this was Cameron Diaz's first movie role and she does quite well in this, though good God does this movie just oggle the hell out of her, I mean it's not gratuitous but boy howdy does this movie love to show off some cleavage. Hmm, maybe there were more reasons why I liked this as a kid....uh, anyway Jim Carrey is the man and I genuinely like him more as Stanley than the Mask but you can tell he's having fun playing this Jekyll and Hyde character, and apparently when Carrey got the script he said this was a role he was born to play. To which I agree, his fluid body motions and voice inflections provide a good source of comedy, and he's well I just have to say it, kind of adorkable as Stanley. Just a very lovable shy guy with a penchant for cartoons and is a hopeless romantic. I relate to that a bit too much. I got to say the music really took me for a trip combining very sweeping orchestral pieces and a damn fine jazz soundtrack, and the visuals are kind of interesting too with very run down dark streets lit by neon signs I mean the film kind of has a look of it's own, sort of Dick Tracy meets the '89 Batman movie. And I really did not know about the comic origins of this character until about 15 years later, I mean sweet Jesus if you have a weak stomach stay the f*** away from the comics, cause that is some hardcore stuff. I can admit this is entertainment fluff and I don't have a problem with it, yeah you could argue it's for kids but I can see adults getting a bit of a kick out of it too. A good 3 stars from me, 7/10, a decent start to the week and it brought back some happy moments. And now it's party time, P-A-R-T. Y? Because happy birthday to me!