John Hamburg

John Hamburg

John Hamburg Quick Links

News Pictures Video Film RSS

Why Him? Review

Good

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the Parents so wildly popular, as this comedy pits two very different men against each other. And while it's never terribly clever, at least James Franco and Bryan Cranston are imaginatively cast as opposite forces. So audiences in search of escapism will find plenty to chuckle at as things spiral ludicrously out of control.

Cranston plays Ned, who travels with his wife Barb (the fabulous Megan Mullally) and teen son Scotty (Griffin Gluck) to Silicon Valley to spend the holidays with older daughter Steph (Zooey Deutch) and meet her boyfriend Laird (Franco). What they don't know is that Laird is an internet millionaire with absolutely no filter in how he interacts with people. Almost everything he says is inappropriate, and yet it's so honest that it's disarming. Still, Ned and Barb aren't too happy that their daughter is so serious about dating this guy. And with the help of his sidekick Gustav (Keegan-Michael Key), Laird goes completely over-the-top to impress them.

Much of the humour is of the gross-out variety, with the main running gag centring on an actual toilet. But at least the jokes aren't about embarrassment this time; they're about the clash between people who prefer to keep their true feelings bottled up inside and someone who can't help but be real, despite the fact that he shocks everyone he meets. This makes each person a little more complex than expected, and gives the actors some texture to work with, even though the script never bothers to even crack the surface. And while Cranston and Franco have more obvious comedy set-pieces to contend with, the film is stolen by Mullally and Key in roles that are more subtly hilarious and broadly amusing, respectively.

Continue reading: Why Him? Review

Why Him? Trailer


Stephanie has always been a very intelligent girl and both her parents were joyous when she managed to get into Stanford University; wishing to catch up with their little girl over the holidays, Ned, Bard and their teenage son Scott all get in the car and travel to see Stephanie.

Stephanie is really happy to see her family and she can't wait to introduce them all to the new man in her life and their equally enthusiastic to meet him. All this changed quickly when they first manage to cast eyes on Stephanie's beloved. Laird Mayhew is a young billionaire who made his fortune through tech - though he clearly had a good business mind, Laird, is loud constantly swears and often shares WAY too much information.

Ned and Barb are far from taken with Laird even though their daughter confirms her love for him and explains that his heart is in the right place. Laird loves Stephanie and is eager to commit to his beau. In a bid to convince the Flemings that he is a suitable partner for his daughter, Laird begins wooing Barb and Scott. Ned on the other hand will not be won over as easily, he's convinced that Laird is completely wrong for his daughter and will go to extreme lengths to make sure Stephanie Fleming never becomes Mrs  Mayhew.

Continue: Why Him? Trailer

Zoolander 2 Review

Good

With virtually the same blend of wit and idiocy as the 2001 original, this fashion-scene comedy is funny enough to spark some solid laughter in between the gags that fall flat. The punchlines are simple and the characters paper thin, but this world is so ripe for parody that the rather awkward mix of in-jokes and satire can't help but hit the bullseye every now and then.

Things haven't been great for top supermodel Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) over the past 15 years. His reading school collapsed in tragedy, sending him to live as a "hermit crab" in the wilds of northern New Jersey. And with a facial injury, his cohort Hansel (Owen Wilson) has retired in the wasteland of Malibu. Then Italian designer Atoz (Kristen Wiig) summons them to Rome, just as Interpol agent Valentina (Penelope Cruz) is investigating a series of popstar murders that seem linked to Derek's past. Teaming up with Valentina, Derek and Hansel track down their old nemesis Mugatu (Will Ferrell), reconnect with Derek's long-lost son (Cyrus Arnold) and discover a sinister conspiracy.

Stiller directs the film as if it's the next instalment in the Da Vinci Code saga, complete with shadowy secret rituals and ominous chase sequences. But the dialogue remains utterly ludicrous, as this "ridiculously good-looking" duo go through their individual existential crises, clueless that the world has moved on without them. Stiller and Wilson reprise the hang-dog charm that made the characters so likeable the first time round. Although this time Derek gets some emotional depth, while Hansel plays the action hero. Ferrell and Wiig camp it up to the rafters in their colourful roles, while Cruz vamps through the film in bombshell love-interest mode. Her deadpan performance might actually be the funniest thing in the movie. And each scene is packed with big-star cameos, some of which are genuinely amusing.

Continue reading: Zoolander 2 Review

John Hamburg Sunday 24th April 2011 John Hamburg and Joan Hamburg Opening night of the Broadway production of 'Born Yesterday' at the Cort Theatre - Arrivals. New York City, USA

John Hamburg
John Hamburg

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

John Hamburg Wednesday 15th December 2010 The World Premiere of 'Little Fockers' held at the Ziegfield Theatre - Arrivals New York City, USA

John Hamburg
John Hamburg

I Love You, Man Review


Very Good
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to come up with the plot for a romantic comedy. After all, most follow the same basic recipe: boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back, the end. I Love You, Man was born when someone tossed a gimmick into the formula. The film doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it does turn the ingredients upside down, and it's quite refreshing.

Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) is a mild-mannered Los Angeles real estate agent, and his girl is Zooey Rice (Rashida Jones). They have been dating for less than a year, but are madly in love. As the movie opens, Peter proposes, and Zooey accepts. Immediately, she calls her friends to celebrate. This makes Peter realize that he has no buddies to call; he doesn't even have anyone to be his best man.

Continue reading: I Love You, Man Review

John Hamburg Friday 6th March 2009 attends a private screening of 'I Love You Man' New York City, USA

John Hamburg

Safe Men Review


Very Good
See what Sam Rockwell and Steve Zahn looked like before they both let their hair go insane. This very little-known (and just plain little) indie comedy is extremely witty and often perverse. Even without the humor, the film is worth seeking out to see all the other roles by up-and-comers (at least at the time), including Paul Giamatti and Mark Ruffalo. The nutty premise involves two wannabe singers (Rockwell and Zahn) who are mistaken for safecrackers and threatened into doing a series of safecracking jobs. Not a single serious moment ensues. Excellent.

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

Zoolander Review


Very Good
In Zoolander, the world's most successful, influential and intellectually-challenged male model Derek Zoolander wonders, "Is there more to life than being really really really good looking?" Obviously, the film's creator and star Ben Stiller asked a similar question when crafting a feature-length movie out of his hilarious VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards short-film subject: Can there be more to this film than being really really really silly? No, of course not, and it never aspires to be anything more.

Much like Derek, Zoolander is a sweet simpleton of a movie. It's not complex in either its social commentary or its comedy, and it never produces any gut-busting laughs (except maybe a scene when Derek's model roommates all die in a tragic "gasoline fight" accident -- a riotously funny take-off of Tommy Hilfiger ads). But it has a satisfying handful of strong chuckles, wild characters and performances, and mildly harsh potshots at the fashion industry to keep you amused. Better yet, this exaggerated version of the original three-minute skit is only blown out to an efficient 95 minutes -- just enough time to string together its goofball plot without exhausting the gag.

Continue reading: Zoolander 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

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

John Hamburg

John Hamburg Quick Links

News Pictures Video Film RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Actor


Suggested

Foo Fighters Issue Statement After Ticketing Chaos For London Gig

Foo Fighters Issue Statement After Ticketing Chaos For London Gig

Many ticket-holders couldn't get into the O2 Arena show on Tuesday night (September 19th) because they didn't bring photo ID to match their booking.

Advertisement
How The Music Industry Is Honouring George Michael This Year

How The Music Industry Is Honouring George Michael This Year

An album re-release, a new song and a documentary mark the singer's legacy this year.

Angela Bassett Promises

Angela Bassett Promises "Absolutely Amazing" 'Black Panther' Movie

The film will be the first in the Marvel Cinematic Universe led by a person of colour.

David Harbour Looks Incredible In The First Image From 'Hellboy'

David Harbour Looks Incredible In The First Image From 'Hellboy'

The actor plays the titular hero in the forthcoming adaptation.

Advertisement

John Hamburg Movies

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

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

Why Him? Trailer

Why Him? Trailer

Stephanie has always been a very intelligent girl and both her parents were joyous when...

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

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

Little Fockers Movie Review

Little Fockers Movie Review

While this second sequel to Meet the Parents features the same comedy of embarrassment and...

Advertisement
Meet the Fockers Movie Review

Meet the Fockers Movie Review

Will Teri Polo be remembered for any other movie aside from Meet the Parents and...

Zoolander Movie Review

Zoolander Movie Review

In Zoolander, the world's most successful, influential and intellectually-challenged male model Derek Zoolander wonders, "Is...

Along Came Polly Movie Review

Along Came Polly Movie Review

Maybe Ben Stiller should take a break. Not a big one. Just a little breather....

Duplex Movie Review

Duplex Movie Review

You've seen the funny trailers and are so encouraged by Ben Stiller's presence that you're...

Meet the Parents Movie Review

Meet the Parents Movie Review

Pity poor Greg Focker. Not only is the man employed as a male nurse...

Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.