Director: Adam McKay
Writers: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay
Stars: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd
Will Farrell returns as the arrogant-yet-clueless news anchor who reassembles his old team (Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner) to work at the first 24-hour news network. The approach: throw several hundred gags at the screen and some of them will stick. Some land big laffs, while others just lay there…especially, later in the too-long film when the pacing starts to suffer. Even the big climactic cavalcade of cameos is full of familiar faces with a few finding funny. If you like absurd, irreverent and just plain wacky humor dominated by Farrell’s delivery and punctuated by his team’s comic contributions, then you’ll find plenty to enjoy. Stay thru the credits for one final feeble gag.
GAY ANGLE: The gay/vampire joke that was in the trailer has been eliminated, leaving only an unoriginal recurring closet gag.
Saving Mr. Banks
Director: John Lee Hancock
Writers: Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith
Stars: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Annie Rose Buckley
Emma Thompson is simply delightful as the stuffy British author of the Mary Poppins books, who comes to LA to meet with Walt Disney (Tom Hanks). He’s been trying for 20 years to obtain the rights and she’s staunchly determined not to give in. Playing parallel to this charming story is an emotional examination of her life as a girl and the flawed father she worshiped (Colin Farrell in an uncharacteristic sweet role). The team’s frustrating attempts at winning the writer’s approval are classic Disney magic: cheerful, earnest and genuinely funny. The childhood flashbacks, although beautifully shot, simply go on too long and drag down the pacing (and the light mood). Even so, adults will enjoy this tasteful and well-crafted glimpse into cinema history with an emotional core. Be sure to sit thru the credits til the “tape” runs out.
GAY ANGLE: Farrell is suprisingly sweet in this dramatic turn (and keeps his clothes on).
Jerry Williams reviewed movies for WTVR-TV for 14 years and for Style Weekly for 10 years. When he launched his own website in 1998 at TVJerry.com, he took his reviews to the Internet. Through those hundreds of reviews, Jerry kept his sexual orientation muted. So, he's excited to be adding "gay angles" to his postings for GayRVA.com.