Tag Archives: Jim Carrey

Kick-Ass 2 (2013) Movie Review By Stephen McLaughlin

Kick Ass 2

Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writers: Jeff Wadlow (screenplay), Mark Millar (comic book)
Stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jim Carrey 

The much anticipated sequel to 2010’s KickAss came three years later after original. Director Matthew Vaughn switched his attention to the Kingsmen franchise and at one point was linked with Episode VII of the Star Wars Saga. Whatever the reasons for his step down from this sequel I’m unsure of. Jeff Wadlow would come in and do an okay job on a sequel that had lost its original Director, replaced two of its actors who were ever prominent in the original film and Jim Carrey’s odd disapproval of promoting gun violence in film (I’m sure he said he enjoyed the first film) topped with being 2 years too late we now had 16 year old Chloë Grace Moretz playing Hit Girl. A role as a 12 year old she excelled in and managed to gather a large following for her role in the original film as the violent and potty mouth babyfaced assassin. Sadly the chemistry between her and her on screen Father “Big Daddy” played by Nicholas Cage is missed here. If I had one gripe with the original it was killing his character off. Yes the final scenes in the original with Big Daddy were powerful and emotional but the relationship in the sequel was badly needed and evidently missed. 

So Kick-Ass 2 follows Kick-Ass’ heroics from the first film that other citizens are inspired to become masked crusaders. But Red Mist leads his own group of evil supervillains to get revenge, kill Kick-Ass and destroy everything he stands for and for the largest portion of the movie that is what happens. Aaron Taylor-Johnson slips back into the role easily as the scrawny misfit that is Dave Lizewski by day. It’s one of the positives about the film. The same can be said for Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Chris D’Amico. He is still the whiny spoilt brat with Daddy issues and a immature rage directed at Kick-Ass for his exploits in the first film. Sadly for me Chloë Grace Moretz comes across bored with the character in this sequel. At this point in her career she was beginning to branch out in other projects and saw a future over the Hit Girl Horizon. 

We are introduced to some new and inventive super heroes and villains really upping the ante in cast and characters. Some are hard hitting in Mother Russia some more deliberately funny and pathetic in the duelling couple “Tommy’s Mother and Father” to Clarke Duke’s Marty / Battle Guy who is desperate for a tragic origin story. But none comes more prominent than Jim Carrey’s Colonel Stars and Stripes which is based on two characters from the graphic novels by Mark Millar. Carrey is a fine addition to the cast and albeit possibly harming the films box Office with his anti-violence in films speech really is at the same time the saving grace in this sequel. His character is bold, honourable and stands out amongst the rest of the supporting characters.

The tone of the movie did it’s best to match the tone in the original and to a point managed this. I personally felt that the violence and gore in this movie was missing the point of the first film. It felt forced at times and to me that wasn’t what appealed to me in the first film. It was used when it had to be used. Here it appears in almost every scene. I also didn’t like the handling and disposal of Katie Deauxma (Lyndsy Fonseca) in Kick-Ass 2. She was after all the love of Dave’s life at this point and whether or not there was other reasons it was forced and unrealistic from an audience members point of view. It really served as a plot device for Kick-Ass and Hit Girl to have some romantic connection by the end of the movie, which I found strange and out of character for both of them. Todd and Marty are utilised more in the sequel with Marty’s Battle Guy and Todd’s Ass Kicker now played by Augustus Prew replacing the brilliant Evan Peters. I would say their scenes with Dave had the same magic of the first movie and to be fair their are some funny scenes and dialogue between them.

Overall Kick-Ass 2 is a disappointing follow up to a classic comic book movie that I hold high in my top films of the genre. The storylines was predictable and at times forced. The climatic battle in the warehouse was messy and disorientated at times and felt bloated. Barring the face offs between Dave and Chris and Hit Girl and Mother Russia the rest was forgettable. I will say that some of the fight scenes were as impressive as the first movie but sadly there is a disconnection between 1 and 2 here and seeing this in the cinema back in 2013 disappointed the life out of me. If you haven’t seen the sequel I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s a movie that they really shouldn’t have bothered making. Not terrible, but not good.

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Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond (2017) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

JIM AND ANDY

Director: Chris Smith
Stars: Peter Bonerz, Jim Carrey, Randall Carver 

Plot:  A behind-the-scenes look at how Jim Carrey adopted the persona of idiosyncratic comedian Andy Kaufman on the set of Man On The Moon (1999).

Running time: 1 hour 34 minutes

IMDB Score: 7.9

Why I watched it: I’m a sucker for the making of, when it comes to movies.  I love hearing stories about the art and the business of making films and hearing about the characters in front and behind the camera.

Thoughts: People forget that the film “Man On The Moon” was not a huge hit, Andy Kaufman was a weird and different comic, no one was sure what his deal was and then you add Jim Carrey playing him and all beats were off.  I had read stories about Carrey really getting into it with Jerry Lawler and that Carrey had gone full method in his performance.

What I liked: This is a different documentary, I’m not really sure what the purpose is.  Showing backstage filming from a movie that’s 18 years old is odd in it’s self cause the only reason to show it is to show how far Jim Carrey took the role.  It’s an interesting watch but for me it’s a character study of Jim Carrey, not so much Andy Kaufman cause the focus is on Carrey playing Kaufman.

Now the fun it this is that the studio never released this cause it made Carrey look like an asshole (his own words) so of course this is a fun behind the scenes look that we don’t often get.  Carrey doesn’t seem to care and that seems to be his thing now cause publicly Carrey appears to be a train wreck, he’s done strange things in real life and on social media and he seems not to care.

The thing that got me was seeing a man playing a guy playing another guy cause Tony Clifton shows up which is a character Kaufman use to do and become him, so Carrey does that to.  I think it’s important to know Andy Kaufman was way ahead of his time and also he was a comic’s comic, many people consider him a legend where the casual fan saw him as a strange guy. So Carrey is meta before meta was a thing and in full method acting mode, look many actors have done this but Carrey really pushed it.

I enjoyed listening to Carrey honestly it sounded like someone in therapy, you have to give him credit cause he’s honest here and it doesn’t seem like he’s playing a part while talking about it.  Half of the film is modern day Carrey talking about what we’re seeing and explaining his thoughts and why he did what he did.  It’s an insight into not only acting but celebrity.

What I didn’t like: I wish we would have gotten a bigger scope here, no one else talks about this, we see director Milos Forman and the cast in footage from the making of the film but no one talks about it now like Carrey does so to me this documentary is more about Carrey than the film or Andy Kaufman. Carrey talks about his film career and other movies and references them, so it’s more about him.  Which is fine but the title of the film is Andy & Jim.

Also seeing him being this honest at times it’s hard to watch cause you wonder what Carrey’s state of mind is like, he’s gone through a lot of weird shit and the funny thing is even though he talks about being famous and other stuff I don’t think I learned anything new about him.  When he talks about not wanting to be Andy anymore you just wonder if anyone pulled him aside and said look it’s a role you’re still you.  They also side step the tole it took on him and his personal life.  This is a short film at just over 90 minutes, I felt we had some other things to focus on but it seemed clear Carrey had control over the content.

Final thoughts: I very interesting film, seeing an actor but himself under the microscope was fascinating to watch both Kaufman and Carrey are different cats that for sure.  One thought kept going through my mind, can you imagine Kaufman on social media.

Rating: 7/10

Man on the Moon (1999) Movie Retro Review by John Walsh

MAN ON THE MOON

Director: Milos Forman
Writers: Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski
Stars: Jim Carrey, Danny DeVito, Gerry Becker

The Milos Forman directed Man on the Moon from 1999 has been back in the spotlight once again in the last week with the reveal of the behind the scenes documentary, Jim and Andy. I’m a massive fan of Jim Carrey, had watched this film before, but decided to rewatch it again after being surprised with the announcement of the aforementioned documentary’s forthcoming release.

It’s a biopic and a bloody good one at that. It follows the eventful life of eccentric entertainer Andy Kaufman. This man was perhaps the closest living embodiment of Marmite humanity has ever had, which for anyone that hasn’t been acquainted with the stuff, is a beef extract paste that you either love or hate. I love the stuff personally, which is fitting because I also happen to enjoy the uniquely odd blend of often cruel humour, art and entertainment that Mr. Kaufman championed.

Taking the helm of portraying the man was, as mentioned, the magnificent Jim Carrey. Kaufman was a real hero of Carrey’s, a fact that’s instantly palpable from the first scene onwards. He went deep into this character, going fully method, refusing to leave the character during the entirety of the film. This didn’t go at all smoothly, as I said the real man was eccentric and abrasive at the best of times, and it’s that very fact which has stopped the behind the scenes footage from being released for nigh on twenty years.

The film itself does an excellent job of charting out his career. From the painfully awkward moments of his standup beginnings under the guise of Latka in small bars and clubs, his most popular time in the hit show Taxi, right through the upper echelons and subsequent troughs of his career. Such as the famous (or infamous) breakthrough ‘Mighty Mouse’ appearance on SNL. And listen, don’t think for a moment that Man on the Moon is a gush fest either because it isn’t. It doesn’t hold back or try to portray him as anything other than the deeply troubled genius of a performer that he was.

It happily displays all his flaws and stubborn insistence on being something of a pioneer at the time, even if it meant pushing the boundaries of art to breaking point. For instance, the creation of the obnoxious and divisive Tony Clifton (a schizophrenic act that’s still going to this day) and his reciting of the Great Gatsby, complete with posh English accent to an unimpressed and ever dwindling audience or the prolonged wrestling tour, during which he wrestled dozens of angry women that he ripped into at will and the ensuing kayfabe beef with Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler.

Likewise, it also explores his personal life, oddly platonic, but romantic relationship with Lynne Margulies (who he met on the wrestling tour) and his strong belief in transcendental meditation, showing his interaction with Indian gurus on several occasions. One such interaction even hints at one of the latter being the inspiration behind the aforementioned Mighty Mouse act and the vitally important, awkward silence which surrounded it. It also touches upon the tragic circumstances of his death and the odd conspiracy theories that surround it. Many to this day still believe he faked it.

Carrey is on tremendous form in this one. His performance, looks and mannerisms is/are eerily bang on. He received plenty of flak from certain circles about overacting and hamming it up, an opinion which I vehemently disagree with. You just have to check the comparison videos on Youtube to see how close he got and he clearly has the passive Kaufman down. It’s perhaps possible that he was asked to dial it up during certain scenes, but overall he did an incredible job of portraying a unique and complex man.

Other noteworthy performances would be Danny DeVito as George Shapiro and Paul Giamatti as Bob Zmuda. The former actually worked with and knew the real Kaufman from his time on Taxi and was enjoyable as the agent/manager. Interestingly enough, they got all the original members of that show to return for this film, including a certain Christopher Lloyd.

Ultimately though, this film is going to illicit the same response as the man its portraying. I feel like it will split viewers down the middle. You’ll either love it and enjoy the intense journey it takes into the life of Kaufman. Or maybe you’ll hate it, find it hard to get on board with the humour or art and consequently find the entire thing an uninteresting borefest. That’s certainly the split reaction it garnered in my household. One thing can’t be denied though. It’s beautifully directed, has a great story, features an Oscar worthy performance from Carrey and has a great R.E.M. heavy soundtrack. That’s certainly good enough for me.

I’d normally give a recommendation, but my best suggestion for this one is to try the first twenty or thirty minutes, see how you feel and take it from there.

Rating: 4/5