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'Zoolander 2' Co-Writer Justin Theroux Responds To Criticism Over Benedict Cumberbatch's Character


Justin Theroux Benedict Cumberbatch Ben Stiller Owen Wilson

Zoolander 2 co-writer Justin Theroux has the defend the film against critics who have called for it to be boycotted over Benedict Cumberbatch’s character. Cumberbatch’s character Ali was accused by some of being ‘transphobic’ when the film’s trailer hit last month and an online petition was launched calling for a boycott of the film.

Justin Theroux Zoolander 2 co-writer Justin Theroux

Speaking to The Wrap about the petition, which has so far received over 21,000 signatures, Theroux said: “I don’t even know what to make of it, because it hurts my feelings in a way. I take great care in the jokes I write, and the umbrage being taken is out of the context of the scene.”

Continue reading: 'Zoolander 2' Co-Writer Justin Theroux Responds To Criticism Over Benedict Cumberbatch's Character

'Zoolander 2' Breaks Record For Most Watched Comedy Trailer


Ben Stiller Owen Wilson Penelope Cruz Will Ferrell Justin Bieber Benedict Cumberbatch

Zoolander 2 is still months away from hitting cinemas, but it’s already broken a record thanks to its trailer. The comedy, starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, is released on February 2nd, but fans have been viewing its trailer so much that its made the record books.

Zoolander 2Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller and Penelope Cruz in Zoolander 2.

According to studio Paramount, the Zoolander 2 trailer is now “the most successful comedy trailer launch of all time”, having been viewed over 52.2 million times. The two-and-a-half minute clip was released on November 18th and even including a glimpse of Justin Bieber, who will cameo in the film.

Continue reading: 'Zoolander 2' Breaks Record For Most Watched Comedy Trailer

Petition Calls For Boycott Of 'Zoolander 2' Over 'Harmful' Trans Character


Benedict Cumberbatch Ben Stiller Owen Wilson

Just days after its first trailer hit, the upcoming Zoolander sequel has come under fire due to Benedict Cumberbatch’s character. Cumberbatch plays an androgynous model named Ali in the film, but some LGBT activists have labelled the portrayal ‘a 'cartoonish mockery' of transgender, androgyne and non-binary individuals’.

Benedict Cumberbatch in Zoolander 2Benedict Cumberbatch’s Zoolander 2 character is the subject of an online petition to boycott the movie.

The petition was started on change.org by Sarah Rose, has has so far received over 7,500 signatures. It reads: ‘In the Zoolander 2 trailer, an androgynous character played by Benedict Cumberbatch is asked by Zoolander and Hansel if he is a ‘male or female model’, and if they ‘have a hot dog or a bun’.’

Continue reading: Petition Calls For Boycott Of 'Zoolander 2' Over 'Harmful' Trans Character

Zoolander 2 - Trailer Trailer


Derek, Hansel and some other familiar faces are back in Zoolander 2! After offering their services to 'The Derek Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can't Read Good and Wanna Learn to Do Other Stuff Good Too' Derek and Hansel find themselves pining for a time when they were the biggest names in fashion. Only a few years might've past but the fashion industry is a very different place and one that's left them FAR behind.

When an Interpol agent finds a unique pattern to a series of deaths - some of the world's most beautiful people - she knows that Derek Zoolander is the only one who can help catch the killer. Pop stars including Demi Lovato and Lenny Kravitz have all been found dead with a certain look alluding to Blue Steel on their face.

Zoolander 2 is the follow up to the 2001 film and it once again sees Stiller team up with Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell. The film was written by Ben Stiller and Justin Theroux and will be released in cinemas from February 2016.

Ben Stiller And Owen Wilson Snap Selfies In 'Zoolander 2' [Posters]


Ben Stiller Owen Wilson

'Zoolander' returns next year (finally, we've waited long enough) and it seems Hansel and Derek have updated with the times and adopted the selfie craze that we all know and love in the brand new poster for the upcoming 'Zoolander 2'. So you can stop worrying about your all-important ambi-turn.

Ben Stiller in Zoolander 2 trailer'Zoolander 2' is coming in 2016

Modelling is a serious business, so naturally your posing has to be on point at all times - even if it's yourself taking the picture. At least, that's the philosophy of Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson's characters, who both gave a furrowed brow, duck-face pout to their smart phones in one of the new posters. Their dress sense is as outlandish as ever, Ben in a black sequined jacket and Owen - sporting an on trend curly bob - in a white fur number. 

Continue reading: Ben Stiller And Owen Wilson Snap Selfies In 'Zoolander 2' [Posters]

Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb Cast Pays Tribute To "Integral" Robin Williams


Robin Williams Ben Stiller

The cast of Night At The Museum: Secret of the Tomb has paid tribute to cast member Robin Williams who died earlier this year. Speaking to People Magazine, the film’s stars celebrated the life and performance of their late co-star whose suicide in August devastated Hollywood.

Night at the Museum Robin Williams and the cast of Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

In what would be one of his final film appearances Williams reprised his role of President Theodore Roosevelt in the third instalment of the comedy franchise.

Continue reading: Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb Cast Pays Tribute To "Integral" Robin Williams

A Week In Movies: Sony Gives In To Hackers, Night At The Museum 3 Holds Dual Premieres, Spectre Shoots In London And Trailers Promise Action And Romance This Spring


James Franco Seth Rogen Ben Stiller Owen Wilson Ricky Gervais Daniel Craig Sean Penn Shailene Woodley Carey Mulligan

The Interview

The big movie news this week has been Sony's decision to cancel the release of the James Franco/Seth Rogen comedy The Interview due to threats made by a hacking group. The film had already held its Los Angeles premiere, attended by Franco and Rogen, costar Diana Bang and cowriter-director Evan Goldberg, who were photographed on the red carpet. But the New York premiere was cancelled, as was all press and any plans for a theatrical or home video release.

Photos - Los Angeles Premiere Of 'The Interview'

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Sony Gives In To Hackers, Night At The Museum 3 Holds Dual Premieres, Spectre Shoots In London And Trailers Promise Action And Romance This Spring

While We're Young Trailer


Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts) are a middle-aged married couple struggling to keep up with their quickly ageing bodies and still feeling like they're in their twenties. They're tired of pretending to be grown up and the thought of having children becomes an evermore difficult decision. Filmmaker Josh soon meets a 25-year-old couple named Darby (Amanda Seyfried) and Jamie (Adam Driver); a couple that still have their whole lives ahead of them and bathe Josh and Cornelia in a comforting wave of nostalgia. Cornelia has reservations about spending their time with people so much younger than them, but it soon becomes clear that their presence has given Josh a new lease of life and made them realise that they don't have act the age they're expected to act, and they are free to let go to; that is, at least, until Josh is diagnosed with arthritis.

Continue: While We're Young Trailer

Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb - International Trailer


Larry Daley, the former security guard at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, is facing his biggest challenge yet. While he's used his exhibit friends coming to life at night, they are normally very well-behaved during the new sunset opening hours, but it seems something's started making them a little crazy. The magic of The Tablet of Ahkmenrah seems to be waning, putting them at risk of being still forever. Larry must find a way to restore the tablet before it's too late, and so he decides to venture to the Natural History Museum in London to find out how to fix it. There, Larry and his ancient friends face enormous snakes, dinosaur skeletons and bronze lions that are all coming to life, as well as the feisty head of security Tilly.

Continue: Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb - International Trailer

The Final Projects Of Robin Williams


Robin Williams Ben Stiller Bob Odenkirk Simon Pegg

The death of acting legend and comedic master, Robin Williams, has prompted many tributes from colleagues, friends, family and fans to pour in from around the world as people come to terms with the loss of an icon. The 63-year-old versatile star of such classics as Mrs Doubtfire and Good Will Hunting was found dead at his home on Monday 11 August in what has now been confirmed as suicide by asphyxiation.

Robin Williams
Robin Williams was 63 when he took her own life

His untimely death has left many devastated that they will no longer be able to frequently witness his talent with the potential for a Mrs Doubtfire sequel now unlikely to come to fruition. There are, however, four films as yet unreleased in which Williams stars and will be seen on screen.

Continue reading: The Final Projects Of Robin Williams

Mickey Rooney Dies Aged 93: Remembering The Child Star And Screen Legend


Mickey Rooney Ben Stiller

Mickey Rooney, star of the big screen for 88 years, has passed away aged 93 after a long illness, according to Variety. He died on Sunday in the company of his family in his North Hollywood home, Los Angeles police have reportedly confirmed. Skilled in comedy, drama, singing and dancing, Rooney was regarded as the consummate entertainer and enjoyed a prolific career on stage and screen.

Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney, The New York-Born Screen Legend, Has Died Aged 93.

Margaret O'Brien, who had recently been working with the actor on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, said "He was undoubtedly the most talented actor that ever lived. There was nothing he couldn't do. Singing, dancing, performing [...] all with great expertise. Mickey made it look so easy. He seemed fine through the filming and was as great as ever," she said in a statement.

Continue reading: Mickey Rooney Dies Aged 93: Remembering The Child Star And Screen Legend

A Week In Movies: Stiller And Williams Film In Rainy London, While Trailers Debut For Brosnan, Owen, Rio And Maleficent


Ben Stiller Robin Williams Judi Dench Pierce Brosnan Clive Owen Billy Crudup Karen Gillan Lana Del Rey Angelina Jolie

filming scenes for Night at the Museum 3

In the lull between big awards shows, media attention turns to Super Bowl halftime performances and adverts, while award-nominated actors and filmmakers travel around the world to squeeze in their next projects before Bafta and Oscar nights. Judi Dench is in India filming The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2 with the reunited cast from the original. Chiewtel Ejiofor is in New Zealand filming something top-secret. Cate Blanchett is taking a well-deserved holiday. Meanwhile, Ben Stiller and Robin Williams have been snapped on the streets of rain-swept London filming scenes for Night at the Museum 3. We braved the British weather to snap the filming in action.

We got our first glimpse of the comedy-drama A Long Way Down this week, with a new trailer that plays up the film's black humour and warm emotion. Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots play four people who meet as they're planning to end it all by leaping from a London skyscraper. In the media circus that follows, they make a pact to live for at least one more month. It looks funny and rather sweet, with the terrific cast on great form. It's out in March. Watch 'A Long Way Down' Trailer here.

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Stiller And Williams Film In Rainy London, While Trailers Debut For Brosnan, Owen, Rio And Maleficent

'The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty' - Ok, So It's Either Great, Or Terrible.


Ben Stiller Kristen Wiig

Ben Stiller's movieThe Secret Life of Walter Mitty - based on James Thurber's classic story - has severely divided critics ahead of its release on Christmas Day. Back in October, we speculated on the possibility it being too avant-garde for Hollywood based on the strength of the trailer and with a 37% score on Rotten Tomatoes, it seems Stiller's project hasn't quite worked out (at least most people don't think so).

Ben Stiller Secret Life of Walter MittyBen Stiller in 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty'

"It's too airless, too perfect, a dream of connection with humanity that flees contact with actual people," said Tom Shone of The Guardian.

Continue reading: 'The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty' - Ok, So It's Either Great, Or Terrible.

Video - 'The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty' Cast Pose Together At New York Film Festival - Part 2


Ben Stiller and Kristin Wiig, who play the lead characters in the new comedy 'The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty', pose together at the New York Film Festival Centerpiece Gala Presentation held at the Film Society Lincoln Centre.

Continue: Video - 'The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty' Cast Pose Together At New York Film Festival - Part 2

Reality Clearly Bites For Ben Stiller, He's Kicking Off A Sitcom


Ben Stiller Jerry Stiller

Ben Stiller will fulfill a producer role as NBC reimagine the 1994 cult comedy, Reality Bites. The film, which starred Stiller as well as providing his directorial debut, was released in 1994 and gained a cult following years after its release, Deadline report.

Reality Bites seemed to capture a generational issue: fresh out of college and struggling to get a job. “Although it never became the definitive document of Generation X, Reality Bites is a touchstone for anyone just out of college and stuck with more ideals than job prospects, not to mention a head full of bad-TV trivia,” explained Rolling Stone at the time.

And in these times of austerity - youngsters out of school are finding employment space – a show based on such a dilemma could be perfectly timed. Co-producing with Uni TV are Stiller’s Red Hour Television and Double Feature Films, the company run by Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher – both worked on the 94 movie.

Continue reading: Reality Clearly Bites For Ben Stiller, He's Kicking Off A Sitcom

'The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty' Trailer Released: Ben Stiller Goes On An Adventure


Ben Stiller Kristen Wiig

In this year's adventure comedy, The Secrey Life of Walter Mitty, Ben Stiller plays the titular Mitty who is a timid photo manager for a magazine. His mind wanders all over the world as he passes time living vicariously through his fantasies and daydreams, until a pretty co-worker (Kristen Wiig) catches his eye who he'd like to ask out but is too shy. However, when a photographic negative goes missing, Mitty makes an unusually spontaneous decision and embarks on a real-life adventure that takes him beyond his wildest imagination.

Ben Stiller
Ben Stiller Demonstrates His Filmmaking Versaility In ...Walter Mitty.

The film is indirectly based on the 1939 short story of the same name from the My World and Welcome to It collection by author James Thurber. Zoolander actor Ben Stiller both directs and stars in this year's exciting novel adaptation and remake of an existing 1947 film inspired by Thurber's book.

Continue reading: 'The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty' Trailer Released: Ben Stiller Goes On An Adventure

Greta Gerwig Gives Performance Of A Lifetime In 'Frances Ha' [Trailer]


Greta Gerwig Noah Baumbach Ben Stiller

Noah Baumbach's new move Frances Ha is easily one of the best reviewed movies of the year. A 93% fresh score on review aggregating website Rotten Tomatoes sees in climb inside the year's Top 20, though most critics agree that Greta Gerwig's performance as an apprentice dancer in New York is the year's best.

Shot in black and white, this overtly cool indie-flick tale follows Frances and her best friend Sophie. When the latter moves out of their shared apartment to live with another friend, Frances is forced to figure her life out. 

There's shades of Greenberg here, though whereas Ben Stiller was the focus in that movie (despite Gerwig stealing every scene), it is the 28-year-old from New York who maintains her position as one of the world's finest actresses. 

Continue reading: Greta Gerwig Gives Performance Of A Lifetime In 'Frances Ha' [Trailer]

A Week In News: Reese Witherspoon Busted, Jennifer Lawrence's Hair And Justin Bieber's Monkey


Reese Witherspoon Jennifer Lawrence Justin Bieber Dwayne Johnson Seth Macfarlane Ben Stiller

Dodgeball 2 – Yeah You Heard, It’s The Return Of The Underdog


Ben Stiller Vince Vaughn

Fans of the Stiller school of comedy should pop muzzles over their easily impressed faces, as Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story will resurrect itself in the form of a sequel. The name? Well it’s Dodgeball 2 of course.

It’s not really surprising that a sequel has been ordered. What is surprising, though, is that it’s taken this long to come to fruition. The film was a huge hit in the box office, and made more than 114 million US dollars in the States. “It's really hard to get most movies made," Ben Stiller said about the current state of the industry. "Especially independent films, and even just regular, mid-range budgeted dramas. The genre movies and sequels are obviously what becomes the thing." He’s not wrong there. 20th Century Fox can guarantee in increase on the first film’s gross, given everyone who went to see it at the cinema will want to catch the sequel, and taking into account inflation. It’s a sure-fire winner, and one that the film’s stars Stiller and Vince Vaughn were just waiting to cash in on.

Ben StillerYou might know him as White Goodman - Stiller

Continue reading: Dodgeball 2 – Yeah You Heard, It’s The Return Of The Underdog

Ben Stiller Thursday 15th November 2012 26th American Cinematheque Award Gala honoring Ben Stiller at The Beverly Hilton Hotel

Ben Stiller
American Cinematheque Award Gala, Ben Stiller and The Beverly Hilton Hotel
American Cinematheque Award Gala, Ben Stiller and The Beverly Hilton Hotel
American Cinematheque Award Gala, Ben Stiller and The Beverly Hilton Hotel
American Cinematheque Award Gala, Ben Stiller and The Beverly Hilton Hotel
American Cinematheque Award Gala, Ben Stiller and The Beverly Hilton Hotel

Eugene Levy, Ben Stiller and Martin Short - Eugene Levy, Ben Stiller, Martin Short Thursday 15th November 2012 during the 26th American Cinematheque Award Gala honoring Ben Stiller at The Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hillls

Eugene Levy, Ben Stiller and Martin Short
Eugene Levy, Ben Stiller and Martin Short
Eugene Levy, Ben Stiller and Martin Short
Eugene Levy and Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor - Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor Friday 16th November 2012 26th American Cinematheque Award Gala honoring Ben Stiller at The Beverly Hilton Hotel

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor
Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor
Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor
Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor
Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor
Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor

Ben Stiller Saturday 10th November 2012 'The Ben Stiller Show' reunion, held at The Paley Center for Media - Arrivals

Ben Stiller
Ben Stiller
Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller Thursday 18th October 2012

Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller Monday 23rd July 2012 Los Angeles premiere of 'The Watch' held at The Grauman's Chinese Theatre - Outside Arrivals

Ben Stiller
Ben Stiller
Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor - Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor Monday 23rd July 2012 Los Angeles premiere of 'The Watch' held at The Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor
Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor
Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor
Ben Stiller
Ben Stiller
Christine Taylor and Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller Friday 20th July 2012 signs autographs as he leaves a studio

Ben Stiller
Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor - Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Thursday 7th June 2012 New York Premiere of Dreamworks Animation's Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted at the Ziegfeld Theatre.

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor
Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor
Ben Stiller

Kristen Wiig, Ben Stiller and Central Park - Kristen Wiig and Ben Stiller Tuesday 5th June 2012 seen on the set of their new movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty in Central Park

Kristen Wiig, Ben Stiller and Central Park
Kristen Wiig, Ben Stiller and Central Park
Kristen Wiig, Ben Stiller and Central Park
Kristen Wiig, Ben Stiller and Central Park
Kristen Wiig, Ben Stiller and Central Park
Kristen Wiig, Ben Stiller and Central Park

Tower Heist Review


Weak
With a high concept and a lazy script, there isn't much to this caper comedy at all. But it does have a few solid laughs scattered here and there, mostly in random one-liners that make up for the lacklustre plotting and strained slapstick.

After billionaire Arthur Shaw (Alda) is sent to prison for fraud, the manager of his insanely posh Manhattan apartment building, Josh (Stiller), is furious that his staff's pensions have been lost. So he teams up with his employees (concierge Affleck, chef Sidibe and lift operator Pena), a disgruntled ex-tenant (Broderick) and a local crook (Murphy) to steal back what they're owed. But they have to be careful, because an FBI agent (Leoni) is poking around Arthur's penthouse. And then there's the question of where all of those stolen millions are hidden.

Continue reading: Tower Heist Review

Video - A Relaxed Ben Stiller Signs Autographs In New York


Actor Ben Stiller (Night at the Museum; Madagascar; Zoolander) is seen signing autographs outside the NBC studios after appearing on the 'Today Show'. Before taping his appearance, the singer is seen entering the studios, wearing sunglasses and headphones and looking a little scruffy. On his way out of the building, however, he looks more relaxed and he smiles at the photographers as he leaves.

Ben Stiller rose to fame playing kooky model Derek Zoolander. In addition to his film roles, Ben made a guest appearance in popular children's cartoon 'Phineas and Ferb', alongside his wife ChristineTaylor

The Muppets Trailer


Underneath the famous Muppet Theatre, oil has been discovered. Tex Richman, an oilman, finds out and plans to demolish the theatre so he can start drilling. Walter, Gary and Mary are three friends who also happen to be huge fans of The Muppets. They plan to stage what they call 'The Greatest Muppet Telethon Ever', so they can raise $10 million to stop the destruction of the Muppet Theatre.

Continue: The Muppets Trailer

Little Fockers Review


Weak
While this second sequel to Meet the Parents features the same comedy of embarrassment and vulgarity as its predecessors, it also takes a strange sideways step into machismo that leaves it feeling rather joyless.

As their twins (Daisy Tahan and Colin Baiocchi) are about to turn 5, Greg and Pam Focker (Stiller and Polo) are planning a big birthday party involving both of their sets of parents. While Pam's intense dad Jack (De Niro) is pressuring Greg to be a family leader, her mom (Danner) tries to keep the peace.

Meanwhile, Greg's parents (Streisand and Hoffman) are on separate quests of their own. But it's Pam's ex Kevin (Wilson) who really stirs things up. As does a drug rep (Alba) who gets a bit too close to Greg.

Continue reading: Little Fockers Review

Megamind Review


Excellent
A snappy script and superior voice work make this animated action-comedy much more fun than expected. Even though the premise and visual style are similar to both The Incredibles and the more-recent Despicable Me, this film has an attitude all its own.

An orphan from a destroyed planet, Megamind (voiced by Ferrell) has been pushed into the role of the villain of Metro City. His only superpower is his intellect, with which he creates outrageous gadgets to battle his lifelong nemesis, the publicly adored Metro Man (Pitt). When one plan actually succeeds, Megamind and his sidekick Minion (Cross) take over the city, but are bored without someone to fight. So he decides to create a new superhero. Meanwhile, he starts to fall for Roxanne (Fey), a journalist who hates him.

Continue reading: Megamind Review

Meet The Parents Little Fockers Trailer


Our favourite dysfunctional family returns to the screens once again in Meet The Parents Little Fockers. It's 10 years on since Greg and Jack first met, and after finally marrying his daughter and raising two children with her, Jack seems to finally be accepting Greg for who he is; however it doesn't seem Jack's ever going to be 100% happy with his son-in-law, when he finds out Greg is short on money and working for a drug company Jack becomes dubious about Greg and if he'll ever be a strong enough man to lead his family.

Continue: Meet The Parents Little Fockers Trailer

Greenberg Review


OK
There's a terrific character profile buried within this meandering, awkward film. The actors create superbly rounded people, but the slow pace and seemingly aimless script make it rather maddening to watch.

While her boss Phil Greenberg (Messina) and family are on holiday, Florence (Gerwig) is taking care of their home and dog. And she also ends up taking care of his brother Roger (Stiller) when he comes to stay in the house. Roger is obsessive-compulsive and not very good at relationships. He gets in touch with his old pal (Ifans) and his newly single ex (Leigh), but is unable to avoid falling for Florence along the way. This doesn't go too well at all, mainly because Roger can't think through anything clearly.

Continue reading: Greenberg Review

Greenberg Trailer


Watch the trailer for Greenberg

Continue: Greenberg Trailer

Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian Review


Weak
Shawn Levy has no soul. Perhaps put another way, he is one of the few filmmakers working today who lacks the requisite motion picture magic to make his fantastical ideas sing. Now that's nothing new to anyone who's seen his hamfisted hackwork in such incoherent remake comedies as Cheaper by the Dozen and The Pink Panther. He's also the Nachos, Flanders Style of visionaries, unable to bring a lick of wonder to his tedious kid flick Night at the Museum. Now he's back with another baffling, sure-to-be crowd pleaser, and while Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian has much better effects than the prior outing, the story -- and some of the casting -- seems geared toward destroying any amount of visual goodwill accrued.

It's been a few years since Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) worked as a night watchman at the Museum of Natural History in New York. He has since become a highly successful infomercial pitchman. When he learns from the statue of Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams) that most of his favorite exhibits, including the miniatures of cowboy Jedediah Smith (Owen Wilson) and Roman Emperor Octavius (Steve Coogan), are being "decommissioned" and taken to the Federal Archive in DC, he's sad. A late night phone call from his "friends" has him headed to the nation's capital and breaking into the Smithsonian. There, he discovers Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria), evil brother of Ahkmenrah (Rami Malek), who wants a fabled golden tablet so he can take over the world. With the help of Gen. Custer (Bill Hader) and Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams), Larry must stop the resurrected despot and save the day.

Continue reading: Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian Review

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Review


Weak
To a film critic, the mainstream is like a ravenous shark with a defective hypothalamus. As long as Hollywood seeds the entertainment waters with chum, the masses will feed and feed until their dead, lifeless eyes roll back in their head. Examples of this baffling binge and purge are released every year -- inexplicable, unexplainable crowd-pleasers like Wild Hogs, Norbit, and Night at the Museum. Now comes Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, the even louder, more obnoxious sequel to Dreamworks' loud, obnoxious CG original. This is a film about more: More already dated pop culture references, more digitally-rendered eye candy, more abject pandering to a seemingly easy-to-satisfy demographic.

After being stranded on the tiny, titular African island, our four heroes -- egomaniacal lion Alex (Ben Stiller), hypochondriac giraffe Melmen (David Schwimmer), smart alecky zebra Marty (Chris Rock), and lovelorn hippo Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) -- are finally headed home. On a junk airplane refurbished by those pesky penguins, self-proclaimed King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen), along with his right-hand advisor Maurice (Cedric the Entertainer) will take the quartet back to New York. Of course, things don't go as planned, and everyone ends up in the middle of a wildlife preserve in Africa. There, Alex meets up with his dad (Bernie Mac), mom (Sherrie Shepherd), and conniving Uncle Makunga (Alec Baldwin). When the fun-loving feline fails at the tribe's right of passage, however, it's clear these big city critters need to get back to Manhattan, and fast.

Continue reading: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Review

Tropic Thunder Review


Excellent
Is it possible for a movie to be too "inside?" Can its farcical focus on the very industry that supports it have the ability to reach beyond the studios and the suits to become a memorable mainstream hit? That's obviously what Ben Stiller is hoping for with his new showbiz satire Tropic Thunder. As much an attack on the pompous and privileged stars that are the center of contemporary cinema as it is on the bloated and often unwieldy way they earn their keep, this may be the first popcorn comedy that plainly -- and repeatedly -- bites the hackneyed hand that feeds it.

For three Hollywood heavyweights, the film adaptation of Vietnam vet Four Leaf Tayback's (Nick Nolte) war bestseller is rapidly spiraling out of control. Action hero Tugg Speedman (Stiller) is having a hard time digging up the requisite emotion, while Australian Method actor Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr.) actually has some "controversial" plastic surgery to up the authenticity. Pulling up the rear -- literally -- is fat funnyman Jeff Portnoy (Jack Black). After appearing in a collection of crude yet profitable comedies, the borderline junkie wants to go legit. Along with rapper Alpa Chino (Brandon T. Jackson) and bit player Kevin Sandusky (Jay Baruchel), these celebrities fall victim to Tayback and director Damien Cockburn's (Steve Coogan) scheme to add realism to the project. The plan? Take everyone into the Asian jungle and shoot it, guerilla style. The problem? A deadly drug cartel.

Continue reading: Tropic Thunder Review

The Ruins Review


Very Good
Watch out, Martha Stewart! Not even your garden tools can stop the predators in The Ruins, a Hollywood adaptation of Scott Smith's novel. They aren't mummies, pharaohs, or cannibalistic tribesman, but killer flowers: They may seem innocent, but when reaching out to touch them, watch out for razor-sharp teeth and toxic venom.

No, this isn't a comedy like Little Shop of Horrors, but a shocking and disturbing experience that slaughters any comedic notions audiences may have after realizing they're watching a movie about killer flowers. Does the sight of a girl cutting herself open and pulling plants from her wounds make you cringe? Then prepare for one of the most unsettling horror films of the year.

Continue reading: The Ruins Review

The Heartbreak Kid (2007) Review


Very Good
While sibling filmmakers Bobby and Peter Farrelly have done enough over the years to sustain their joint career -- which, in this fickle industry, should be lauded -- the two have never come close to duplicating the monumental success of their 1998 hit There's Something About Mary.

Perhaps a reunion with Ben Stiller rekindled a little of that Farrelly fire. because The Heartbreak Kid, a remake of the Charles Grodin-Cybill Shepherd comedy from 1972, is the brothers' most deliberate effort to recapture that Mary magic.

Continue reading: The Heartbreak Kid (2007) Review

Blades Of Glory Review


Very Good
Somewhere along the line, it was theorized that Will Ferrell as an athlete is inherently funny. Fortunately for Blades of Glory, which continues the sports farce oeuvre he began with Kicking and Screaming and Talladega Nights (and will extend with the upcoming Semi-Pro), that assumption appears to be correct.

Blades begins with the backstory of figure skating prodigy Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder). Plucked from an orphanage and given his last name by creepy entrepreneur Darren MacElroy (William Fichtner), Jimmy is groomed to become a champion. His only competition is the exquisitely named Chazz Michael Michaels (Ferrell) who brings the swagger only a self-proclaimed sex addict can to the sport.

Continue reading: Blades Of Glory Review

Night At The Museum Review


Weak
Right around the time a monkey urinates on Ben Stiller's head, I came to terms with the fact that Shawn Levy's high-concept comedy Night at the Museum would choose the lowest road possible as it searched for scatological humor.

That Levy -- the pandering director responsible for this year's atrociously unnecessary Pink Panther installment -- would stoop to such levels doesn't surprise me. No, I'm more upset that it took me so long to begrudgingly accept that what could have been inspired fluff for the whole family is, in fact, is a silly parade of slapstick antics aimed at audience members age eight and under.

Continue reading: Night At The Museum Review

Ben Stiller, Q&A, Night at the Museum


Ben Stiller - Q&A -  Night at the Museum

Ben Stiller plays a well-meaning dreamer who is down on his luck and short of cash in the ingenious action-adventure comedy, NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM. A divorced dad, he reluctantly takes a post as a night security guard at New York's Natural History Museum. It seems like a dead-end job, but proves to be life changing and challenging in ways he could never have imagined. When the lights go down and the last visitor leaves the museum, a strange magic takes hold and all the exhibits come to life - from prehistoric animals to gladiators and cowboys. The film also stars Robin Williams and movie legends Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney.

Continue reading: Ben Stiller, Q&A, Night at the Museum

Tenacious D: The Pick Of Destiny Review


OK
If Tenacious D's lyrics are to be believed, then the two-man super group is the universe's greatest rock band.Comprised of dueling acoustic guitarists Jack Black and Kyle Gass, the D fills albums with harmonious and ridiculously clever odes to their own awesomeness. Their rock operas would make excellent B-sides for Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell album. Indeed, the band belongs on a triple bill with '70s monsters of melodic metal Black Sabbath and Queen.A feature-length comedy about Tenacious D's origin has been in development for years -- Black was spilling plot details to me in 2003 during our interview for The School of Rock. Now that I've seen the finished piece, I have no idea what took them so long.The Pick of Destiny script, credited to Black, Gass, and director Liam Lynch, appears to have been written on Taco Bell wrappers after late-night gordita runs. A stoner comedy, it imagines the leads as the next Cheech and Chong, mixing in a healthy dose of the Blues Brothers as the duo embarks on a musical mission from God (there's even a car-crunching police chase late in the film).Before they can achieve their destiny, though, the musicians need to pay their rent. Since guitar virtuosity is their only commodity, the D enters a local battle of the bands and hunkers down to write the world's best song. When a guitar tech (Ben Stiller) clues them in to the existence of a legendary guitar pick carved from Satan's tooth, Black and Gass hit to road in search of the dark inspiration.Without a legitimate story, Pick should take an instant stage dive, but the natural chemistry between J.B. and Kage keeps the film from stalling. They're an adorable couple, wedded in the church of unholy matrimony. And musically, the D can back up its boasts of supremacy. The film's best asset is the Pick soundtrack, a power-chord symphony backing up Black's stadium voice, which would test the rafters in vast amphitheaters.But there isn't enough plot to fill 90 minutes (there's barely enough to fill nine), so Pick stages flabby filler sequences involving ditsy sorority girls, a rainbow-surfing Sasquatch (John C. Reilly), and a Russian vagabond (Tim Robbins) determined to steal the pick of destiny for himself. Sure, the movie's half-baked. But there's a very good chance the audience is, as well.Consider yourself rocked.

School For Scoundrels Review


Good
In School for Scoundrels, director Todd Phillips (Road Trip) proves that his truest virtue is also his greatest vice. Most comedies made in Hollywood today are stuffed to the gills with joke after joke after joke, with seemingly little regard for whether the humor actually works. In the bizarre logic of studio filmmaking, a lame joke is better than no joke at all. Phillips takes the opposite tack in his films. He's more concerned with the quality of laughs than with the quantity of them. His best effort, Old School, is a riotously funny movie with a surprisingly conservative sprinkling of jokes. It's a model of comic efficiency. Every bit works and every gag hit its target. However, there's a dark side to this approach. The slightest miscalculation in the quality of a joke can lead to long stretches without so much as a chuckle or even a smirk. And it's this problem that unfortunately afflicts School for Scoundrels.

Scoundrels gets off to a sluggish start as it introduces its main character, Roger (Jon Heder), a geeky New York City meter maid (meter butler?) whose life is falling apart. He gets robbed at work. His boss is unsympathetic to his problems and his coworkers ridicule him. He regularly humiliates himself in front of his gorgeous neighbor, Amanda (Jacinda Barrett). And even his volunteer work is a disaster, as his Little Brother asks to be assigned to someone else. Heder channels the inner nerd that carried Napoleon Dynamite to its stratospheric success, but the script doesn't provide enough originality or comic punch to bring his character to life. The opening 15 minutes are flat, dimensionless, and largely laugh-free.

Continue reading: School For Scoundrels Review

Starsky & Hutch Review


Excellent
How gratifying to laugh at a movie starring Ben Stiller again. Not just occasional chuckles, as in Duplex or Along Came Polly, but big, genuine, generous laughs. A solid, well-timed comedy can be such a relief; Starsky & Hutch is no more than that, but that's part of its charm.

This charm may not be entirely expected. After all, it is (1) an adaptation of a 1970s cop show, (2) arriving maybe a decade after the peak of seventies nostalgia, (3) assembled by director-writer Todd Phillips (Road Trip, Old School), whose previous movies were only funny to the extent that the actors could overcome his aimless, slapdash staging (Will Ferrell, no problem; Breckin Meyer, less so).

Continue reading: Starsky & Hutch Review

Pauly Shore Is Dead Review


OK
Well, I guess when your career has reached the nadir that Pauly Shore's has, directing a mockumentary about your own death is the sensible thing to do. In the extremely descriptive Pauly Shore Is Dead, Shore finds himself in present-day career hell (and living in his mother's house after the abysmal failure of his FOX sitcom), so he fakes his own death in order to drum up interest in his career. Later, Shore is discovered alive (after a brief resurgence in "posthumous" popularity), only to find the news of his revival met with disappointment... and legal proceedings.

Shore's movie isn't terribly amusing -- as the single joke wears paper-thin over its 80 mercifully short minutes -- but Shore does pull off a serious coup in recruiting several dozen major celebrities -- Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Vince Vaughn, Pamela Anderson, and more -- to appear in the film as themselves, alongside some lesser-known but equally curious picks -- Heidi Fleiss, Roco Suave, Tommy Chong, and Todd Bridges, to name just a few.

Continue reading: Pauly Shore Is Dead Review

There's Something About Mary Review


Excellent
Sure it's ridiculous. Sure it's in generally poor taste. So what? That's what makes There's Something About Mary so good.

If you've seen the trailer, you know the story: Ted (Ben Stiller) finally gets to go out with Mary (Cameron Diaz) to the prom and is stymied by a freak zipper accident, sending him into years of therapy to wonder what-coulda-been. Thirteen years later, we find that he's not the only one fixated on Mary... as no fewer than five suitors appear to win her heart.

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Permanent Midnight Review


Bad
Well, there's nothing like missing a fad by a few years to show how really behind the curve you are. Permanent Midnight, the new film about the rise and fall... well, mostly the fall... of TV writer Jerry Stahl should prove to be the final nail in the short-lived, and now painful-to-watch, genre: the drug movie.

Perhaps best known as the chief influence behind the TV show ALF, Midnightis a simplistic retelling of Stahl's tell-all autobiography. Ben Stiller, the only remotely passable part of this film, plays Stahl with gusto, but twenty minutes of Stiller going berserk as a strung-out junkie are more than enough.

Continue reading: Permanent Midnight Review

Meet The Fockers Review


OK
Will Teri Polo be remembered for any other movie aside from Meet the Parents and its sequel?

The answer is irrelevant and really doesn't matter at all. It's just something that struck me during one of the many lulls in the surprisingly uneven and marginally entertaining Meet the Fockers. Trust me: You'll have plenty of time to ponder this and other cinematic riddles when you're watching Fockers.

Continue reading: Meet The Fockers Review

Reality Bites Review


Very Good
Back in 1994, Reality Bites was branded by everyone from marketers to critics as a movie that encapsulated a generation - more specifically, Generation X, who were around college graduation age (including myself). And seeing as Lelaina (Winona Ryder), the movie's heroine, kicks off this trendy flick with her valedictorian graduation speech, it's no wonder so many "slackers" (as we Gen X-ers were labeled, thanks to another "iconic" film released just a few years prior) felt so spoken to by its quippy dialogue and great characters, and why everyone else tended to label Reality Bites a film symbolic of its lost generation.

The reality of Reality Bites is that it's simply too lightweight a romantic comedy to succeed at being emblematic; and, as far as I can see, it never was really meant to carry such heft. This directorial debut of then-green Ben Stiller portrays twenty-somethings floundering in dead-end jobs, nursing big dreams, or simply trying to find themselves as they enter the real world. In the least, it's a slice of life; and at its best, it's an often funny and very endearing little movie.

Continue reading: Reality Bites Review

Madagascar Review


Good
It's a testament to how great animated filmmaking has become that Madagascar is just a pretty good movie. If it had been released in 1995, audiences would have been stunned at the animation, the storyline, and the fun celebrity voices. Now, it's been-there-done-that and, "Oh, when is Shrek 3 coming out?" and consistent, legitimate Oscar talk for Pixar.

Of course, there are worst ways to spend your Memorial Day weekend than to share in the adventures of four wild animals at the Central Park Zoo. The zoo's star, Alex (voiced by Ben Stiller), is a headlining lion who loves being the limelight. His best friend, Marty (Chris Rock), a zebra, yearns to go beyond the zoo's walls and return to the wild. At the duo's side is boisterous, level-headed hippo, Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) and hypochondriac giraffe Melman (David Schwimmer).

Continue reading: Madagascar Review

Mystery Men Review


Very Good
"Hey now, you're an all-star, get your game on, go play..." then sit back and watch America's newest superheroes screw up, in this summer's new comedy, Mystery Men. In this Tim Burtonesque film by Kinka Usher, a ragtag band of superheroes set out to rescue Captain Amazing (a Superman comparable played by Greg Kinear) from the evil clutches of the criminal mastermind, Cassanova Frankenstein (Geoffrey Rush).

Mystery Men is one of the funniest films I've seen all year. It combines the hilarious randomness of films like Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, with a satirical twist that today's audiences are sure to appreciate. Now don't get me wrong, Mystery Men is no masterpiece, but it made me laugh (a lot) and that's what the film is about. Mystery Men scores high in all areas. It has an entirely kooky and original plot fueled by crack up dialogue, mesmerizing scenery, (which is reminiscent of the Batman movies) and an awesome cast.

Continue reading: Mystery Men Review

Keeping The Faith Review


Weak
It truly is the oldest joke in the book: "A priest and a rabbi walk into a bar..." Okay, so you've heard this one. Well now you can watch the movie of the joke!

Keeping the Faith may not be quite that bad, but it's nothing to, ahem, preach about. Setting the film up with all the trappings of your classic, neurotic, New York relationship comedy, Faith wants to be a wry When Harry Met Sally... tale of opposites attracting and love conquering all. Oh, the opposites aren't the rabbi Jake (Ben Stiller) and the priest Brian (Ed Norton) -- that might actually be a movie worth watching. The kink in this picture is Jenna Elfman's Anna, the old childhood friend of Jake and Brian, who swishes into town and promptly falls in love with our rabbi.

Continue reading: Keeping The Faith Review

Along Came Polly Review


Weak
Maybe Ben Stiller should take a break. Not a big one. Just a little breather. Along Came Polly is the first of his four 2004 releases, and it feels like a project coasted through between commitments, some freelance rom-com work to fill the few weeks where Owen Wilson or Janeane Garofalo are busy. Stiller could play Reuben Feffer, an over-cautious risk-management specialist, in his sleep, and Jennifer Aniston's work as the titular Polly -- down-to-earth yet worldly, always late and allegedly loveable -- feels almost remedial after her participation in The Good Girl. And oh, the plot turns they must suffer through! Reuben's marriage falls apart; he asks Polly out on the rebound; their personalities clash; there's even a variation on that old bit where the girl reads something mildly insensitive that the boy never meant for her to see; did Aniston, I wonder, find motivation for this scene from its appearance on Friends years ago?

The thing is, on paper this movie doesn't seem like a pointless timekiller -- or at least like such a forgettable one. The writer-director is John Hamburg, who previously worked with Stiller as a writer on Zoolander and Meet the Parents, two projects that make particularly good use of the actor's talent for silliness and embarrassment, respectively. And there's a fairly crack supporting cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alec Baldwin, Hank Azaria, and Debra Messing. The lack of inspiration and the accompanying clichés about the value of "taking risks" and opposites attracting, then, are like a supernatural force, weighing the movie down. Like gravity, but more persistent.

Continue reading: Along Came Polly Review

Zero Effect Review


Excellent
Story of an anti-hero: Darryl Zero is a drugged-out P.I.... but he's brilliant. Great roles for Pullman and Stiller. Written and directed by Larence Kasdan's son.

If Lucy Fell Review


Excellent
1996 is shaping up to be a great year for comedy. If Lucy Fell is the fifth romantic comedy I've reviewed this year, and it is the fourth to get my [][][][] rating (no other genres have reached this high in 1996, according to my archives).

So, am I getting soft for romances? Maybe so, but the quality of American comedy writing really seems to be on the rise. If Lucy Fell was written, directed, and stars one of our most promising up-and-comers, Eric Schaeffer, whose docu-comedic first (independent) film, My Life's in Turnaround, was a sleeper hit in 1994.

Continue reading: If Lucy Fell Review

Flirting With Disaster Review


Excellent
You know, I was in a real downer of a mood when I went to see Flirting With Disaster, but, incredibly, the raw comedy of this film could only cheer me up. And I thought I was a cynic....

The sophomore effort of writer/director David O. Russell (whose first film, Spanking the Monkey, was a real jaw-dropper by virtue of its title alone) is a comedy/romance that somehow captures the feel of both a home movie and an acid trip together. On the surface, the story of Mel Coplin (Ben Stiller) and his search for his birth parents is a tried-and-true tale. In reality, Flirting With Disaster has more twists than a French braid and as much comedy as, well, as much brash and uncompromising comedy as anything else has given us this year.

Continue reading: Flirting With Disaster Review

Duplex Review


Weak
You've seen the funny trailers and are so encouraged by Ben Stiller's presence that you're certain Duplex will prove itself to be a latter-day Meet the Parents.

I feel for you. I thought the same thing. But it's only a few short minutes into Duplex when you realize just how wrong you were. Two things clue you in to the lackluster experience to come. First is an animated pre-credits sequence that shows a cartoon Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore haplessly looking for a home. One knee-slapper vignette even puts them in a shack in the Sahara desert! Man, that's funny!

Continue reading: Duplex Review

Meet The Parents Review


Extraordinary
Pity poor Greg Focker. Not only is the man employed as a male nurse with an unfortunate name, but he's about to meet his girlfriend's parents in order to ask dad for her hand in marriage. Only dad is about as humorless as, say, Robert De Niro. And poor Greg can't do anything right to save his skin.

It all reminds me, with flashback-like intensity, of meeting my own father-in-law-to-be, a guy so stern he makes De Niro look like Jim Carrey. Picture Ben Stiller as Focker (or me) and De Niro as himself, and, like magic, you've got yourself one hell of a comedy that will see few equals this year or any other. (Note to Dr. Carder: This is just a joke that I know you'll laugh about because we have such a great relationship! See you this Christmas!!!)

Continue reading: Meet The Parents Review

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story Review


Weak
Each summer, a handful of big budget blockbusters vie for box office supremacy at theaters across the country and around the globe. This year is no exception, as Spider-Man, Harry Potter, and Shrek duke it out for the top draw, another, less prestigious fight will take place. And I can already tell you that Dodgeball is a strong contender for the title of this summer's biggest throw-away movie.

From the word go, Dodgeball has a few fundamental weaknesses that would make the movie itself -- not just its storyline -- a true underdog story. First off, it's a Ben Stiller vehicle. And like most Stiller vehicles, it more closely resembles a tricycle than a car. Second, and perhaps most importantly, it's written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, the creative genius behind the 2002 comedy Terry Tate: Office Linebacker.

Continue reading: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story Review

Your Friends And Neighbors Review


Good
What does anyone in Hollywood know? You can make a movie with absolutely no likeable characters.

Neil LaBute does exactly that with this highly anticipated follow-up to In the Company of Men, a film so anti-humanity it's practically a sequel.

Continue reading: Your Friends And Neighbors Review

Madagascar Review


OK
Somehow, somewhere I lost the notes I took during thepress screening of "Madagascar," and I didn't realize it untilI sat down to write this review some two weeks later. But having spentthe last hour jotting down everything I could recall about the computer-animatedcritter comedy, I've managed to confirmed one thing I do remember thinkingat the time: "Madagascar" is largely forgettable.

A screwball adventure about four animals who escape fromtheir supposedly cushy captivity of the Central Park Zoo and eventuallyend up lost in the wild, "Madagascar" has good energy, fairlysteady chuckles for kids (fart jokes and spit-takes galore), and a fewout-loud laughs for adults, mostly stemming from hilarious homages to moviesfrom "Chariots of Fire" to "AmericanBeauty" to "Planet of the Apes."

But eliciting more than a passing interest in the creaturecharacters and their escapades is another matter. While the animation iscreatively stylized (the animals have blocky toes, spiraled nostrils andamusing flexibility), their personalities have no panache because theirvoices lack verve.

Ben Stiller provides a little ho-hum egoism as pamperedlion Alex, who becomes panicked about coping with life on a tropical islandwhere the foursome crash-lands after falling overboard from a ship takingthem to a Kenya preserve. ChrisRock voices antsy zebra Marty, whose itch toexplore leads the critters into entertaining episodes in Times Square andGrand Central Station before they're captured and put on that ship in thefirst place. David Schwimmer and Jada Pinkett-Smith are a hypochondriacgiraffe and a sassy hippo who get more than they bargained for by searchingManhattan for the runway zebra.

Continue reading: Madagascar Review

The Royal Tenenbaums Review


Very Good

Thick with director Wes Anderson's unique brand of laughing-on-the-inside irony, "The Royal Tenenbaums" is a bittersweet comedy of bourgeoisie dysfunction in a family of failed prodigies.

The Tenenbaum children each excelled so extraordinarily in their youth that life as adults might be disappointing even if being abandoned by their petulant, pejorative father (Gene Hackman at his grumpy greatest as Royal Tenenbaum) hadn't caused them all to crash and burn psychologically.

Pouty, introverted misery junkie Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow) was an acclaimed playwright in 9th grade. But now in her early 30s, she's moving back home because ennui has taken over her mirthless marriage.

Continue reading: The Royal Tenenbaums Review

Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy Review


Weak

There is a sub-genre of comedy that Saturday Night Live alumni seem to specialize in which I've decided to dub the "wouldn't it be funny if" movie. The defining characteristics are as follows:

1) Begin with flimsy, 25-words-or-less premise. (Wouldn't it be funny if Will Ferrell wore a bad wig and a bushy mustache to play a phony-baloney male chauvinist news anchor in the 1970s?)

2) Expand on this premise and explore its comic possibilities only to the extent of creating an endless supply of sophomoric sex jokes. (Wouldn't it be funny if Christina Applegate played the country's first female news anchor, who threatens Ferrell's insecure manhood?)

Continue reading: Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy Review

Mystery Men Review


Weak

If nothing else, "Mystery Men," a chaff on the "Batman"-style event movie, has impeccable timing. The unbridled superhero genre has never been more ripe for spoofing, and this picture has an superior satirical pedigree, what with its cast that includes those hippest heir apparents of comedy royalty, Ben Stiller and Janeane Garofalo.

Adapted from the Dark Horse comic book of the same name, the movie's protagonists are a sad sack band of part-time, wannabes heroes with monikers like The Shoveler (mild-mannered William H. Macy, donning a golden spade); the silverware-wielding Blue Raja (Hank Azaria, in a bad fortune-teller get-up); the Invisible Boy (Kel Mitchell), whose powers only work when no one is looking; The Spleen (Paul Rubens of "Pee-Wee" fame), who boasts near-lethal flatulence; The Bowler (Garofalo), whose translucent, supernatural ball contains her dead daddy's skull; and Mr. Furious (Stiller), whose alleged power is his violent and very short temper.

These not-so-super friends are called into action when Champion City's real savior -- a corporate sellout called Captain Amazing (a superbly conceited Greg Kinnear), whose rubbery costume is plastered with more ads than NASCAR jumpsuit -- is captured by the wildly nefarious, feral-eyed and disco-lovin' baddie Casanova Frankenstein (Geoffrey Rush, on an all-you-can-eat scenery diet).

Continue reading: Mystery Men Review

Keeping The Faith Review


Very Good

A deftly updated homage to the screwball comedy stylings Howard Hawks, George Cukor and Billy Wilder, "Keeping the Faith" acknowledges right away that its plot, about two men of the cloth falling in love with the same girl, sounds like a lame bar joke.

It opens with the fantastic and versatile Edward Norton ("Fight Club," "American History X") playing a spiritually conflicted -- and at the moment, completely sauced -- Catholic priest, pouring his soul out to a patient bartender. "So there's this priest and this rabbi, and they're best friends, see...," he slurs into his beer.

The rest of the story goes something like this: Ben Stiller co-stars as the padre's rabbi rival for the affections of the magnetic Jenna Elfman, a long-lost friend from their shared Brooklyn childhood who pops back into their lives 20 years later, all grown up, sexy, sweet and irresistible.

Continue reading: Keeping The Faith Review

Starsky & Hutch Review


Bad

Owen Wilson has a smarmy-cool, utterly natural screen persona of wicked, crooked smiles, cheeky ad-libs and ironically understated wisecracks. He never strays far from this trademarked character, but no matter who he's playing -- petty criminal ("The Big Bounce"), crooked cowboy ("Shanghai Noon"), severely dysfunctional pop novelist ("The Royal Tenenbaums") -- he seems like a guy it would be fun to hang out with.

Ben Stiller, on the other hand, has fallen into a terrible rut as an insufferable prat. Whether he's a caricature of a romantic failure ("Along Came Polly"), a caricature of a dim-bulb fashion model ("Zoolander") or a caricature of a nervous son-in-law ("Meet the Parents"), he never strays far from the same brand of off-putting, uptight dorkiness masked in mock-cool-guy pouts and tedious moments of deliberately cheesy slow-motion (say, while dancing like a dork, strutting like a dork or running like a dork). He seems like a guy you wouldn't want to spend two minutes with if you could at all help it.

Wilson has been a breath of scene-stealing fresh air in several Stiller vehicles (especially in "Zoolander" and "Meet the Parents"), but their yin-and-yang routine hits a wall in "Starsky and Hutch," a lifelessly stale parody-remake of the none-too-great-in-the-first-place 1970s cop show.

Continue reading: Starsky & Hutch Review

Meet The Fockers Review


Unbearable

If the thought of seeing Robert DeNiro strapping on a homemade rubber breast to feed a coddled baby sounds side-splittingly hilarious to you, then "Meet the Fockers" may be worth running out to see in theaters.

But if you're more pained by the idea of watching a formerly great actor embarrass himself in an infantile, desperately uncreative sequel that will do anything for a cheap laugh, just imagine 2000's "Meet the Parents" remade with the comedy sensibilities of a 12-year-old. That way you won't have to sit through Ben Stiller's sixth nearly identical performance this year.

Seemingly tired of his own worn-out schtick, Stiller half-heartedly mugs for the camera in anxious, eyebrow-stitching baby faces as he nervously introduces his retired-hippie parents, Bernie and Roz Focker (Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand), to DeNiro's Jack Byrnes, the intimidating ex-CIA spook who is soon to be his father-in-law. But other than making Stiller's folks embarrassing polar opposites of stiff, serious straight-man DeNiro (Hoffman is full of hugs, Streisand teaches tantric sex to septuagenarians), "Fockers" just recycles plot points from its predecessor (DeNiro interrogates and spies on Stiller throughout) and culls obvious jokes from the uncomfortable circumstances.

Continue reading: Meet The Fockers Review

Zoolander Review


Good

"The fashion industry has been behind every major assassination in the last 200 years," says a bearded and scruffy, conspiracy-mad David Duchovny in Ben Stiller's ludicrously amusing "Zoolander" -- and only the world's most vapid male model can break his brainwashing and to put a stop to it all.

No, not Fabio. "Too smart," says the Karl Lagerfeld-like leader of a shadowy international syndicate of couture designers, while picking "a beautiful self-absorbed simpleton who can be molded like Jell-O" to kill the prime minister of Malaysia. I mean, the man plans to end slave wages for sweatshop garment workers in his country. He simply must be stopped!

Enter pouty, super-superficial mannequin man Derek Zoolander (Stiller). Desperate to rescue his career after losing the Male Model of the Year Award (insert oh-so-VH-1 ceremony here) to his up-and-coming rival, the dreaded, sexy surfer stud Hansel (Owen Wilson), Derek is ripe for reprogramming. Hired by the industry's designer de jour -- played by Will Ferrell in a poodle wig, charcoal eyeliner and a leather corset -- Derek is brainwashed to snap at a runway show for a new line of homeless bum-inspired ready-to-wear, called Derelicte (that's derelict with an "e" on the end). Ferrell has invited the Third World leader to sit in the front row.

Continue reading: Zoolander Review

Meet The Parents Review


OK

Imagine asking Robert De Niro for his daughter's hand in marriage. (Shudder!) Now imagine he's an ex-CIA agent who keeps a lie detector in his basement. (Eek!) Now imagine you're Ben Stiller.

Now you see where "Meet the Parents" gets all its best laughs.

A middling comedy-of-the-uncomfortable escapade in which casting is the key, "Parents" stars Stiller as Greg Focker, a very nervous boyfriend spending a nightmare weekend at the childhood home of the girl he loves (Teri Polo).

Continue reading: Meet The Parents Review

Ben Stiller

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Ben Stiller

Date of birth

30th November, 1965

Occupation

Actor

Sex

Male

Height

1.70






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Ben Stiller Movies

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

Brad's Status Trailer

Brad's Status Trailer

Not everyone gets to the place they thought they would get to in life. Nothing...

The Meyerowitz Stories New And Selected Trailer

The Meyerowitz Stories New And Selected Trailer

Harold Meyerowitz (Dustin Hoffman) is a celebrated New York artist, whose quick-temper and filter-less conversation...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

With virtually the same blend of wit and idiocy as the 2001 original, this fashion-scene...

Zoolander 2 - Relax Trailer

Zoolander 2 - Relax Trailer

Though Derek and Hansel have left the world of fashion modelling behind them, a part...

Zoolander 2 - Trailer Trailer

Zoolander 2 - Trailer Trailer

Derek, Hansel and some other familiar faces are back in Zoolander 2! After offering their...

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Zoolander 2 - Teaser Trailer

Zoolander 2 - Teaser Trailer

After a disastrous return to the fashion industry following his retirement, which almost ended in...

While We're Young Movie Review

While We're Young Movie Review

Writer-director Noah Baumbach once again taps into a specific point in life with astute observational...

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Movie Review

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Movie Review

Now in its third instalment, it's clearer than ever that this franchise is based on...

While We're Young Trailer

While We're Young Trailer

Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts) are a middle-aged married couple struggling to keep...

Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb Trailer

Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb Trailer

Larry Daley, the former security guard at the American Museum of Natural History in New...

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Trailer

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Trailer

Following on from the discovery that New York Natural History Museum's exhibits come to life...

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Movie Review

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Movie Review

One of those swoony American dramas that explores life in all its wondrousness, this film...

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