“The Big Wedding” (Comedy: 1 hour, 29 minutes)
Starring: Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams
Director: Justin Zackham
Rated: R (Sexual innuendo, profanity, violence, nudity and sexuality)
Movie Review: Alejandro and Missy are getting married, but their families will not make this an easy weekend, especially for Alejandro, whose adopted parents are Don (De Niro) and Ellie (Keaton). Don and Ellie are now divorced, they agree to pretend their married again to appease Alejandro’s biological mother, Madonna (Patricia Rae), who is overly religious and very against divorce. This ruse makes for an interesting wedding, but it is a terrible movie script.
“The Big Wedding” is a big flop. If any one bought a wedding gift for this couple, they should take it back — after throwing it at the happy couple.
The premise for this comedy is asinine. The plot is silly, and several subplots are scattered-brained ideas that make all characters too relevant. This dilutes the plot as no character really stands out as this film’s lead.
De Niro, Keaton and Sarandon are talented actors, but they can’t save this pitiful screenplay. As long as these actors have been in movies, they had to know they were in something awful.
Heigl’s character appears annoyingly depressed for unresolved reasons. Topher Grace parades around as if he is in “The 40 Year Old Virgin” (2005). Barnes plays a character with Latin American roots; apparently, producers could not find a Hispanic actor for his part. Seyfried is bland. To add to the calamity, Robin Williams plays a reverend. Lord help us.
These characters are a cast, yet they interact as if in different films. Their lines fall flat. The actors deliver them with as much tact as a clown performing brain surgery while juggling.
The script is goofy material. It has no focus, an eclectic mess. Two monkeys and a typewriter could produce better.
Grade: F (Standby for the big divorce.)
“Pain & Gain” (Crime/Comedy: 2 hours, 10 minutes)
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie and Tony Shalhoub
Director: Michael Bay
Rated: R (Profanity, crude sexual content, thematic elements, violence, drug usage, nudity and gore)
Movie Review: A trio of Miami bodybuilders, Daniel Lugo (Wahlberg), Paul Doyle (Johnson) and (Doorbal), kidnap Victor Kershaw (Shalhoub), a wealthy entrepreneur. The bodybuilders plan to extort wealth from Kershaw, ultimately stealing his life. Their plans go awry when their attempt to kill Kershaw fails. Their efforts to finish the job complicates matters.
More than a decade later, Michael Bay finally gives audiences something compelling for once after multiple “Transformers” films. “Pain & Gain” is an adaptation of actual events as written in magazine articles by Pete Collins. It is unbelievable. It definitely proves life is stranger than fiction.
Bodybuilders, an ill-mannered businessman, a wealthy porn producer, gym owner, a stripper, a nurse and private detective are part of this intriguing, weird plot. It is difficult to believe this film’s basis is actual events. Oddly enough, it works.
The film is funny. As the moments become more complicated for the main characters, the plot becomes more comical. This is what makes the film entertaining, despite its unbelievably.
Wahlberg, Johnson and Mackie work here. They provide plenty of good entertainment. Each man delivers a unique portrayal. Shalhoub is especially good as the repulsive victim.
The film scores its points by simply exhibiting something outrageous that it unsuspectingly entertains. The story is plain odd, but that is its strength. This story is true. It inspires laughs. When the film ends, it is just as unbelievable as when it started. This matters little. “Pain & Gain” is a wild ride worth every minute.
Grade: B (Gain plenty laughing at their pain.)