comedy, movie, movie review, romance

November 5th, 2018 Movie – So I Married An Axe Murderer

so i married an axe murderer

Ahh, the memories of this movie. I remember watching Saturday Night Live back during my junior high/high school days and so I was very familiar with Mike Myers and his comedy. My friends and I had gone to see Wayne’s World when it came out in theaters and so when a new Mike Myers movie was announced, we decided we would go see it in theaters as well. Granted, this was done during the time period that I was in town, as I had moved to a different state when So I Married An Axe Murderer came out but the point is that I still have fond memories of seeing this with my friends. Now lets see if those fond memories carry over to the movie itself.

The plot: Charlie MacKenzie is hanging out at his usual beatnik club with his friend Tony Giardino, who comments about Charlie always breaking up with his girlfriends over perceived faults simply because he is afraid of commitment. The next day, Charlie stops at a butcher shop to pick up some haggis to bring to his parent’s house for dinner and he meets Harriet, the woman that owns the shop. At his parent’s house, Charlie’s mother, May, is upset to learn about Charlie’s latest break up, then starts telling him about a honeymoon serial killer called Mrs. X, who has killed three husbands on their honeymoon. Meanwhile, his father, Stuart, is telling Tony about various conspiracy theories he believes in, while constantly deriding his younger son William about the size of his head. A few days later, Charlie stops by the butcher shop as it is busy and offers to help Harriet out, to which she agrees. The two start bonding as they work and after Harriet closes the shop, they go out to dinner. As they are walking along, some sailors comment about Harriet in Russian and Harriet responds back, revealing that she speaks Russian. As they continue talking and asking questions about each other, they end up at Harriet’s home. Harriet goes to make them some tea and Charlie comments on some of the items she has in her home, especially the collection of martial arts weapons and gear. Charlie and Harriet end up sleeping together and during the night, Harriet is dreaming and screams out the name Ralph and when Charlie questions her about it, she tells him that Ralph is a female friend. Charlie gets up to leave in the morning but seeing someone in the shower, decides to surprise Harriet only to discover that it is Harriet’s sister Rose. After apologizing, Rose reads a note that Harriet left for Charlie and questions Charlie about what he did with Harriet and tells him to be careful. The next day, Charlie is telling Tony how he feels about Harriet and asks him to make sure he doesn’t screw this one up, to which Tony says he will try. Charlie and Harriet continue to get closer and Charlie starts getting antsy but is still committed to having Harriet join him at his parents for dinner. As May shows Harriet some of Charlie’s baby pictures, Charlie uses the restroom and sees his mothers copy of the Weekly World News on the toilet. Realizing that the murder victims bare some semblance to some of what Harriet said about her past, Charlie starts getting suspicious that Harriet might be Mrs. X. Charlie tells Tony his suspicions but Tony feels like Charlie is just making up another excuse to break up with a girl. As Charlie continues to pester him to look into it, Tony relents and has a colleague check into the matter but she tells them that all of the supposed victims are simply reported missing, along with their wives. Charlie still gets suspicious and when he hears that the body of the third victim had been discovered, he decides to break up with Harriet. Charlie feels bad about the break up, as he really did love her. When Tony calls Charlie to tell him somebody turned themselves in and confessed to the murder, Charlie races over to Harriet’s home to apologize but she says that he blew his chance with her. Charlie doesn’t give up, having the club band perform outside her apartment while he recites a poem he wrote about her and Harriet forgives him and agrees to give him another chance. As the renew their relationship, Harriet receives a visitor and she introduces Charlie to her female friend Ralph, whom Charlie is excited to meet. At Charlie’s parents’ 30th wedding anniversary, Charlie asks Harriet to marry him and she says no at first but as Charlie’s father toasts Charlie, thanking him for the party and wishing him the same happiness that he and May have had, Harriet agrees to marry him. Charlie and Harriet get married and as Charlie talks with Tony, Tony says he is proud of Charlie and wonders how Charlie could have thought that Harriet was a killer, dismissing the fact that she sings “Only You”, which is what Mrs’ X’s first husband was famous for singing. Charlie and Harriet head out for their honeymoon but while they are gone, Tony’s captain tells him that his suspect has admitted to other murders and is simply someone that confesses for the attention. Tony sends Harriets picture to associates of the Mrs’ X victims and they all confirm that she was the wife to all of the victims. Tony tries contacting Charlie but when the phones are down due to a storm, he charters a flight to their hotel but the pilot falls asleep during the flight and Tony yells at him to land the plane. Tony is able to contact Charlie and warn him about Harriet before the storm knocks out the phones again and he attempts to commandeer a car to get there. Meanwhile, Charlie tries to avoid being alone with Harriet but the hotel staff constantly force them together before forcing them into the Honeymoon Suite. Inside, Harriet admits that she has been married before and Charlie tells her he knows, then grabs a nearby axe to fend her off. Harriet struggles with Charlie over the axe and he ends up locking her in the closet. As Charlie goes to try and phone for help, he sees a note on the desk telling Harriet he is leaving her, just as Rose tries to kill him. Rose yells at Charlie that he took her sister from her just like all the others but she will kill him and Harriet yells at Charlie to run. Charlie climbs out the window onto the roof but Rose follows after him and continues to try and kill him. Meanwhile, Tony shows up at the hotel and after breaking into the Honeymoon Suite, frees Harriet from the closet only to move to arrest her. Harriet tries to explain what is happening and as they head outside, they see Charlie on the roof and Tony races back upstairs to help him. Rose attacks Charlie but as he grabs the axe and struggles with it, Rose ends up going over the edge of the roof. Charlie manages to hold onto her long enough for Tony to grab her and Tony arrests her and takes her away while Charlie and Harriet embrace as they watch them drive away.

So I Married An Axe Murderer met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 56% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics all seemed to enjoy Myers comedy and how the movie seemed to spoof classic marital murder mysteries but felt that it lacked focus in it’s idea. While shooting scenes in the butcher shop, Nancy Travis was distracted by Mike Myers’ antics and accidentally cut off the tip of her middle finger on her left hand when chopping vegetables with a kitchen knife. Travis kept shouting “Cut! Cut! Cut!” which she meant literally, although the crew initially thought she was referring to the term for stopping the shooting of a scene. A local doctor sewed it back on.The movie was a dud at the box office, earning $11.5 million off of a $20 million budget.

This isn’t a great comedy movie but it was a really good indication of how funny Mike Myers really could be. The acting was ok, with Mike Myers really carrying the movie on his back, playing both Charlie and Stuart MacKenzie. Anthony LaPaglia (Tony), Brenda Fricker (May) and Alan Arkin (Tony’s Captain) were also good in their roles but Nancy Travis honestly seemed kind of bland and Amanda Plummer (Rose) wasn’t much better. The story honestly did feel like it was a spoof of something Hitchcock would have made. The whole woman that had been married multiple times, only for her husband to mysteriously vanish, and her latest fiance suspects her to be a killer really does sound like a Hitchcock movie. Adding the comedy to it did kind of hurt the mystery angle of the movie but did make the characters seem more human, or at least more realistic. The comedy was mostly Mike Myers being goofy, which he is really good at. So it’s a fun movie to watch but it isn’t going to be on any lists of the greatest comedies of all time.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Standard
action, comedy, movie, movie review, sports

January 21st, 2018 Movie – Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby

talladega nights

There are always going to be those movies that people will talk about or quote. Sometimes they are more dramatic or serious movies but usually, they tend to be comedies. That is definitely the case with today’s movie, as I know several people that like to quote various lines from this movie. My first introduction to this movie was not in theaters, but at a friends house after it came out on DVD, and was told to come watch it during a group movie night because it’s funnier with our friend Chris laughing at it (and I will admit his laugh is funny in it’s own right). Anyways, I enjoyed the movie and decided to pick up my own copy on DVD so let’s have some laughs with today’s movie, Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby.

The plot: Years ago, Reese Bobby is speeding down the highway while his wife Lucy is going into labor. They pass the hospital because Reese is interested in driving faster and when he stops to turn around, Lucy ends up giving birth to their son, Ricky. 10 years later, Reese shows up at Ricky’s school for career day, making it the first time he has seen Ricky since he was born. After Reese is thrown out of the school, Ricky runs out after him and Reese tells Ricky, “If you aint first, you’re last.” before getting in his car and driving off. In the present day, Ricky Bobby and his best friend Cal Naughton Jr. are working on the pit crew for the Dennit Racing team. While racing in Talladega, the car’s driver leaves the car to use the restroom, claiming they are in last place so it doesn’t matter anyways. Realizing that they will lose their sponsor if they don’t get the car back on the track, the crew chief, Lucius Washington, asks if anyone there wants to drive fast and Ricky volunteers. After getting in the car and driving on the track, Ricky manages to finish in third place, prompting Larry Dennit Sr. to make Ricky Bobby the team’s new driver. With Ricky Bobby becoming Nascar’s hottest new star, the team gets a new sponsor and Ricky convinces Dennit to sponsor a second car, with his friend Cal as the driver. Ricky marries a fan named Carley after she shows him her boobs and they end up having two kids, Walker and Texas Ranger, and live in a large house with Carley’s father Chip. As time passes Larry Dennit Jr ends up taking control of the racing team and has issues with Ricky’s racing style, where he either wins or crashes trying. As Ricky and his friends celebrate their most recent win, they are interrupted by Jean Girard, a French Formula One racer who has just been signed onto the Dennit Racing Team. As Ricky and Girard get into a confrontation, Girard gets Ricky in an armbar and threatens to break his arm unless Ricky says that he loves crepes but even though Cal and his crew make an argument that would allow to save face, Ricky refuses and tells Girard to go ahead and break his arm. The next week at Lowes Motor Speedway, Girard breaks Ricky’s track record during the qualifying, prompting Ricky to tell Lucius to get his car ready to race, despite the fact that his arm is still in a cast. During the race, Ricky manages to catch up to Girard but is unable to pass him. Ricky calls on Cal to help him pass using a drifting/slingshot maneuver but Cal’s engine blows. Ricky eventually wrecks while trying to pass Girard, who wins the race, and as the paramedics tend to him, Ricky starts running around the track in his underwear, thinking he is on fire. At the hospital, Cal and Lucius go to check on Ricky and think he is paralyzed when they see him in a wheelchair but the doctors say he is fine and it is all in his head. As Cal and Lucius try to talks some sense into Ricky, Ricky stabs himself in the leg with a knife to prove he is paralyzed, then screams in pain when he realizes he isn’t. Cal and Lucius want Ricky to take things slow while getting ready to go back on the track but Ricky wan’t to go ahead and get started. However, on his first attempt at driving Ricky only goes 26 miles and hour, and when he gets out of the car, starts acting like he is on fire again and takes his uniform off, prompting Dennit to fire him and have Cal replace him. When Ricky returns home, he finds that Carley, desperate not to become poor, has decided to divorce Ricky and marry Cal, prompting Ricky to end his friendship with Cal. Ricky moves into his mom’s house with his two sons and ends up taking a job as a pizza delivery man but loses his license after hitting a woman’s shopping cart and a police officer so he is forced to use the bus or a bicycle for his deliveries. One day he delivers a pizza to a hotel only to find Reese there, who had ordered the pizza so he could talk to Ricky, but Ricky punches him then walks away. When he talks about the encounter with his mom, Lucy tells Ricky that she told Reese where Ricky was as she knew that he would be able to help Ricky get back into racing. Ricky reluctantly agrees to have Reese help him and Reese proceeds to try to get Ricky to overcome his fear of driving fast, one way involving putting a live cougar in the car and telling Ricky to get in there with it. Meanwhile, Lucy has had enough of Walker and Texas Ranger acting like hooligans and begins trying to reform them. As Reese’s lessons continue, one day he tells Ricky that he placed a kilo of cocaine underneath the car and called the cops, forcing Ricky to choose between driving fast or going to jail. Ricky starts driving with the cops chasing after him and when he realizes that he is going over 100 mph, he starts screaming out in joy as he works to avoid the cops. After getting away from the cops, Ricky goes to remove the cocaine from underneath the car only to learn that it was just Lucky Charms, with a note from Reese asking if it felt good to be going fast again. Ricky gets his license back and keeps the cougar, which he names Karen, and decides that they should have a nice family dinner but Reese causes a scene and gets thrown out of Applebees. When Ricky chases after him and says he started racing and won the races because of him, Reese tells him he was high when he said that and should have picked a better role model to follow. Feeling dejected, Ricky decides to give up racing when he runs into his old assistant Susan, who convinces him to get back into racing as he was meant to drive fast. After she is done talking, Ricky realizes he is attracted to Susan and they end up making out on the table. Ricky gets Lucius and his pit crew back together and shows them the car they have to work with and Lucius says he and the crew will work on getting the engine rebuilt so it can race. Ricky heads over to see Girard to tell him that he is coming for him and Girard wishes him luck, saying he only came to America to race Ricky in the hopes he would beat him so that he could go on to live out his dreams with his husband. The next day, Ricky is shown the new engine, with Lucius telling him that several teams donated some parts, and Susan explains the new paint job on the car, saying that Ricky doesn’t need corporate sponsors as he is out there racing for himself. Before the race starts, Ricky approaches Cal and Carley and apologizes to Cal for not valuing their friendship like he should have, causing Cal to start doubting what he has done. As the race commences, Ricky starts making his way up the pack until he catches up to Girard but he us unable to pass him. Dennit orders Cal to take out Ricky but Cal refuses and instead, gets ahead of Ricky so that he can use the slingshot maneuver to pass Girard. Angered by what Cal did, Dennit orders the driver of the Wonder Bread car to take out Cal, which causes a huge wreck that takes out every car on the field except for Ricky and Girard. Ricky and Girard keep racing and end up crashing into each other during the last lap. After their cars finally stop tumbling, Ricky and Girard get out of their cars and then start running towards the finish line, intent on finishing the race, with Ricky winning the race, but both drivers are disqualified for leaving their cars. Due to being in third place at the time of the crash, Cal is declared the winner and afterwards, he grabs Ricky and they repair their friendship. As Ricky is leaving, Carley approaches him and says she is willing to go back to him but Ricky refuses and says he would rather be with Susan. As Ricky, Susan, Lucy, and the boys leave, they find Reese sitting on his car and when he asks Ricky who he won the race for, Ricky says it wasn’t for him and that he just went out there to drive as he knew his family would love him no matter how he did. Ricky then suggests they go to Applebees so that Reese can get thrown out again and they all get into Reese’s car and head off together.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby met with mostly positive reviews from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 71% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Though it occasionally stalls, Talladega Nights’ mix of satire, clever gags, and excellent ensemble performances put it squarely in the winner’s circle.” Wonder Bread, Old Spice, and Perrier were not charged for the product placement in the movie but Wonder Bread and Old Spice did promote the movie through back-end deals. The movie was a box office success, earning $163 million off of a $72.5 million budget.

Every time I watch this movie, I still hear Chris’ laugh, which makes me laugh even more. This is a very funny movie and definitely something that can make you laugh when you need it. The acting was really good, with Will Ferrell (Ricky) and John C. Reilly (Cal) making for a great comedic duo, but everyone was really good in this movie. The story was pretty good, with some serious moments added to the more ridiculous parts to balance out the movie. The humor was a mixture of various styles, with some more adult or risque than others, but I enjoyed the occasional slapstick that was thrown in. A great comedy and one that is well worth watching.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Standard