Chaikin begins by shredding some of lawyerdom's most notorious facets -- the growth of frivolous lawsuits, ambulance chasers, and absurd warnings on products urging you not to ingest them -- then abruptly turns his attention to a group of aspiring lawyers who are set to take the Bar Exam in a few weeks' time. Here we witness the grueling preparations required for the three-day exam (including sample questions), and the strong likelihood that our subjects will not pass anyway: In California, the Bar has an average pass rate of just 39 percent. What, no more new lawyers!?
Continue reading: A Lawyer Walks Into A Bar... Review
Wendell Baker (Luke Wilson) has charm oozing from his pores but can't do much more than make friends with it. He makes fake IDs with his friend, Reyes (Jacob Vargas), for illegal aliens that just jumped the fence. Wendell also has a woman who loves him, but of course, he can't tell her he loves her back. That girl is Doreen (Eva Mendes), who runs into the arms of a grocery store owner (Ferrell) when Wendell gets sent away. When he returns, settled on getting his life straight and winning Doreen back. He is set up to work in an old folk's home, ample for his dreams of owning his own hotel one day. Trouble comes when he uncovers a scheme to fake old people's death and actually send them away to be slaves at a small farm house, owned by the mother of Neil King (Owen Wilson), the head nurse and a supreme sleaze bag. With the help of three wily retirees (Seymour Cassel, Harry Dean Stanton, and Kris Kristofferson), Wendell plans to win back the girl and uncover the scheme.
Continue reading: The Wendell Baker Story Review
Continue reading: Date Movie Review
There's no denying that Griffin has an easy confidence and a practiced style on stage. It's just that his material and delivery aren't superior enough to entice comedy fans to put their butts in movie theater seats. Even when Griffin's content is witty and thought provoking -- like his view of a short "racism-free" period after September 11 -- his windup and pitch just don't get you laughing out loud.
Continue reading: Dysfunktional Family Review
Scary Movie 3 sticks with the program: mind-bogglingly dumb characters hustle their way through spoofs of the industry's most popular recent films. It's no mistake that the roasted movies -- in this case: Signs, The Ring, and 8 Mile -- all pull in huge money and attract a young audience.
Continue reading: Scary Movie 3 Review
The premise is simple: a high school ugly duckling named Dizzy (Road Trip's DJ Qualls) turns it around and starts fresh at a new school, strutting like a badass and making a new personality for himself as a guy named Gil. The supposedly funny twist is that he gets his education in cool while hanging at a prison, taking lessons in toughness from Eddie Griffin (wasted in his short appearance), learning how to dance like a hipster from Horatio Sanz (also wasted), and getting a makeover from the stereotypical cross-dressing cons in the pen. In each scene, Decter and screenwriter David Kendall (big blame goes to him too) want to get right to the funny immediately - the only problem is that each attempt results in a vacant black hole.
Continue reading: The New Guy (2002) Review
The film stars Eddie Griffin as Undercover Brother, a modern day black man with a wild afro and everything a '70s man could want, including a solid gold caddy, platform shoes, and polyester bell-bottoms. Brother is recruited by the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. organization to help overpower the evil efforts of "The Man." The Man, along with henchmen "The Feather" (Chris Kattan) and "White She-Devil" (Denise Richards) are causing havoc with race relations between blacks and whites. In "Operation Whitewash," The Man has influenced black General Boutwell (Billy Dee Williams) to not run for President, but rather to open a chain of fast food chicken restaurants.
Continue reading: Undercover Brother Review
An "Austin Powers"-style blaxploitation spoof, "Undercover Brother" doesn't miss a single joke. Its title sequence alone -- a montage depicting the rise and fall of African-American culture (from Jesse Jackson and James Brown highs to Urkel and Dennis Rodman lows) -- is a laugh riot, in a sad-but-true kind of way.
So is the plot, about The Man, a megalomaniacal Caucasian corporate billionaire, trying to stop a Colin Powell-like black politician (Billy Dee Williams) from running for president ("He's so well-spoken," says a patronizing white news anchor). The Man has him kidnapped and brainwashed into opening a chain of fried chicken joints that will serve "nappy meals" instead. (Politically correct? What's that?)
There's only one man who can stop this evil plan: Undercover Brother, baby!
Continue reading: Undercover Brother Review
For its first 20 minutes or so, the big-geek-on-campus comedy "The New Guy" gets by on a semi-fresh twist of tiresome teen clique themes and a well-cast lead. DJ Qualls -- the 98-lb. walking weakling punchline from 2000's "Road Trip" -- plays a bottom-of-the-food-chain bully magnet who changes high schools and reinvents himself as a wiry, uber-cool bad ass.
But as soon as the kid gets comfortable with his new studly status (insert stock scenes of trampy cheerleaders here) and we've seen Qualls' entire comical cool-jerk repertoire, the movie plum runs out of ideas and putters along on fumes until the closing credits.
Lazy and simplistic, when "The New Guy" isn't beating long-dead genre horses (Qualls feels guilty, for about two minutes, about dissing his "real" friends for the in crowd), it's a blender-edited mish-mosh of abridged plot points. Our hero apparently teaches everyone in his new school to get along, but we don't see how he does it. Before long campus hotties are hanging off the arms of dorks, overweight guys and other former outcasts. No explanation there either. Qualls' dad (Lyle Lovett) and former school counselor (Illeana Douglas) think his new style and attitude are signs of a drug problem, but that story angle is abandoned after about 30 seconds.
Continue reading: The New Guy Review
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