Movie Review: “Delivery Man”

Starring
Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt, Cobie Smulders, Jack Reynor, Britt Robertson
Director
Ken Scott

It’s easy to see why Touchstone wanted to make “Delivery Man.” It has a ton of heart, and it honors the bonds and the importance of family. The catch is that it is an indie script through and through – though a flawed one at that – and the big-budget touches they add to it, namely Vince Vaughn doing that ‘look Ma no hands’ thing that he does, do not serve the material. Despite the outrageousness of the plot, it’s an intimate movie. A smaller scale would have worked wonders, but only to a point.

David Wozniak (Vaughn) is a terminable screw-up. He delivers meat for the butcher shop his father runs, and he is always late, always racking up parking tickets, and completely unreliable. (Also, he owes a loan shark $80,000, as if he weren’t already in enough trouble.) In the span of 24 hours, he discovers that his policewoman girlfriend Emma (Cobie Smulders) is pregnant, and that as a result of nearly 700 donations to a sperm bank when he was in his 20s, he is the father of 533 children. One hundred forty-two of these children want to meet him, and have filed a class action suit against the sperm bank to reveal his identity (he signed all of the documents under the name Starbuck). His lawyer friend Brett (Chris Pratt) takes the case, and gives David an envelope containing profiles of the 142 plaintiffs. Against Brett’s advice, David visits some of his kids anonymously, and tries to help them any way he can. When he sees the good fortune that his kindness provides, David’s life has purpose for the first time, but remaining anonymous quickly proves to be difficult.

Don’t let the trailers fool you: this is not some broad, wacky comedy, even if it’s based on a premise involving a sperm bank. David is essentially coming face to face with people who possess exaggerated amounts of his best and worst qualities (one’s a professional basketball player, one’s a junkie), and learning a hell of a lot about himself in the process. There are moments of levity here and there, but this is much more of a drama than it is a comedy, and it should be. To make too many jokes about this premise would be missing the point.

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Movie Review: “The Internship”

Starring
Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne, Max Minghella, Aasif Mandvi
Director
Shawn Levy

It’s been nearly a decade since Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson first teamed up for the R-rated comedy “Wedding Crashers,” and moviegoers have been clamoring for the pair to do another film together ever since. The reunion may have taken a little longer than expected, but it’s nice to see that they didn’t go the easy route with a “Wedding Crashers” sequel, even if their new movie falls well short of recapturing that same spark. “The Internship” isn’t nearly as bad as its trailers led me to believe, but while Vaughn and Wilson don’t waste any time in renewing their great onscreen chemistry, it’s still not very funny.

Billy McMahon (Vaughn) and Nick Campbell (Wilson) have built successful careers as salesmen, but when their company closes due to the economic crunch, they suddenly find themselves without a job and no real marketable skills to speak of. Analog dinosaurs living in a digital world, their futures look bleak – that is, until Billy gets the idea to apply for a summer internship program at Google. Though they clearly lack the general computer knowledge of most candidates, the company decides to take a chance on the two guys anyway. Placed into a group of fellow outcasts with poor social skills, Billy and Nick are quickly discounted as a couple of inept goofballs that are more trouble than they’re worth. But what they lack in technological savvy, they make up for in life experience, and that proves just as valuable when they compete in a series of team challenges for the chance to earn a job at the tech giant.

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The Light from the TV Shows: Even executive producer Vince Vaughn can’t liven up “Sullivan & Son”

When the DVD screener arrived for TBS’s new sitcom “Sullivan & Son,” I couldn’t help but notice that the packaging for the disc featured five words placed prominently above the title: “From Executive Producer Vince Vaughn.” For some, this wouldn’t necessarily be that big a selling point. Hell, it’s not even that big a selling point for me, and I consider “Swingers” to be one of my favorite films from the ’90s. It’s not that I don’t think Vince Vaughn’s funny. It’s just that, in addition to the fact that his comedy track record is far from 100%, the simple fact of the matter is that you absolutely cannot tell how funny a sitcom is going to be by its executive producers…and, boy, is “Sullivan & Son” proof of that.

“Sullivan & Son” starts Steve Byrne as Steve Sullivan, an NYC attorney who returns home to Pittsburgh with his new girlfriend, Ashley (Brooke Lyons), in tow in order to help celebrate the 60th birthday of his Irish-American father, Jack (Dan Lauria). The birthday celebration takes place in the bar owned by Jack and his wife / Steve’s mother, Ok Cha (Jodi Long)…and in case the name didn’t give it away, yes, Steve’s mom is Korean. During the evening’s celebration, Steve’s parents reveal that they’ve decided to sell the bar, a newsflash which sends Steve into a tizzy of reflection as he tries to decide if his current path in life is more important than keeping the bar in the family. Unsurprisingly, he decides on the matter, talking his parents into selling the place to him, and although this utterly infuriates Ashley, who’d already worked out a 12-step program to have the perfect married life with Steve, it’s a decision which nicely sets up the premise of the series.

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