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Horrible Bosses

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Scott Roberts
Horrible Bosses
on Jul 11, 2011 at 2:46:00 pm

Predictable and formulaic, but also really funny.

It certainly isn’t the funniest movie I’ve ever seen, of course, but it continues a trend this year of comedy being probably the strongest genres of 2011 (even with Zookeeper coming out this week as well). Basically all the charm of Horrible Bosses comes from the gleeful chaos of the main characters. Jason Bateman is doing is normal under-appreciated workaholic schtick (that I don’t mind), Jason Sudekis is the lovable womanizing idiot, and Charlie Day is the lovable manic idiot. If you watch It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, you should already know how hilarious Charlie can be, and he doesn't disappoint in this film either. The real question here is why hasn't Charlie been doing movies for the last several years? He might be the most likable comedic actor working today.

Basically I don’t have that much to say about this film, other than I thought it was very funny. I guess if I really had to say so, it will ultimately be a forgettable film in the long run. But it’s definitely good for some R-rated laughs right now. And when I compare it to the other film I saw this weekend, The Tree of Life, Horrible Bosses does what every good film should, that Tree of Life failed to do: stay entertaining.

I would also like to say that this is the greatest thing Jennifer Aniston has ever done. And it was also the most attractive she’s ever been as well. I normally find her pretty boring. I think the Jennifer Aniston career-o-meter for me goes (in terms of her roles):

1. Horrible Bosses

2. Office Space

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3. Whatever else she’s been in.



Colin Farrell was also pretty funny as a sleaze ball, and Kevin Spacey ample as an evil jerk. Good casting and acting all around. Funny script, moves at a good pace, has nice momentum built up to the end, and ends before it drags on too long. It’s not the funniest movie of the year (Hangover 2, Bridesmaids, and Cedar Rapids are all better), but it gets the job done.

<iframe width="560" height="349" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/mh9cG5dzs-U" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe>


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Tim Wilson
Re: Horrible Bosses
on Jul 11, 2011 at 3:18:17 pm

Have you seen The Good Girl? I haven't seen Horrible Bosses yet, but I'd otherwise put The Good Girl at the top of my list of J. Anniston movies. She was terrific in that.

Even though there were some "real" actors in it (Jake G, John C Reilly, Tim Blake Nelson and Zooey Deschanel come to mind), it was a very, very low-budget hyper-indie - $5 million production budget, and frankly, kinda looks it, and only opened on FOUR screens....but you can tell that everyone there is in it for the love of the game. 81% fresh if anyone is keeping score.

While she was better in The Good Girl, and it was ultimately a better movie, there's no way it displaces Office Space at the top of any list that might conceivably have Office Space on it.

I'll also take any chance to pimp Colin Farrell in "In Bruges." It was the first role of his second career as a character actor, which I think will be even more fruitful than his time as a leading man, even in roles like In Bruges where he as in fact one of the leading men. The other was Brendan Gleeson, which should tell you something. Also my favorite Ralph Fiennes role, in a killer supporting turn.

Anyway, thanks for the report. Definitely looking forward to this one.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Horrible Bosses
on Jul 11, 2011 at 3:24:50 pm

Oh, I'd just like to be clear, I think Office Space is a FAR better movie than Horrible Bosses, but I just liked her character in Bosses more than her character in Office Space. I wasn't expecting so much raunch coming out her mouth in it. And she apparently took the change from her normal roles seriously, I read she INSISTED on changing her hair color for Horrible Bosses to separate her from her other roles. A Jennifer Aniston hair change is serious business.

I've never even heard of The Good Girl, but it's got a cast I can't really complain about, I'll have to look into that. But I can however, also vouch for In Bruges, I thought that was really good. And yes, Farrell, Gleeson, and Fiennes are all fantastic in it. Definitely an underrated flick.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Horrible Bosses
on Jul 11, 2011 at 3:51:26 pm

[Scott Roberts] "I've never even heard of The Good Girl"

Well, like I said, opened on 4 screens. Finished its theatrical run at $14 million -- a nice return on $5 million, with virtually no marketing behind it, but maybe less than Jen's salary on some other movies.

An odd duck, too. Written by Mike White, who also wrote Chuck and Buck, School of Rock and Nacho Libre, and a good number of episodes for both Dawson's Creek and Freaks and Geeks. This is nothing like any of those. You might say that one of its themes is depression driving action, rather than inaction, and just about everyone winding up worse for it. It's not gloomy by any means, but "black comedy" isn't overstating at all. And indeed, as you'd guess from the cast, some great comic bits, but Office Space it ain't.

I still dug it, but I don't want to oversell it any more than the studio did. :-)


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Mark Suszko
Re: Horrible Bosses
on Jul 12, 2011 at 4:48:27 pm

So, is it basically a male-centric reboot of "Nine to Five"? Because that's what it looks like to me in the promos. I think I'll wait to redbox it.

BTW, just ercently got around to seeign Colin Ferrell with Pacino in "The Recruit", lord, he was young in that, and ge did a really good job, I thought.


Since you brought it up, I remember being horrbily disappointed by "Nacho Libre". It really looked like it got beaten up with achair during the editing process, a good idea for a script, with a decent talent, that seems to have been mangled in production and post. There is weird contiunity stuff going on, like they had to cut around missing sections, parts are too long, the best parts are too short, the story has trouble finding where it wants to go, which is weird for a formula romcom picture. I bet there's a better movie hiding in the stories behind the scenes of making Nacho, than Nacho itself.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Horrible Bosses
on Jul 13, 2011 at 2:27:15 pm

If you've seen Napoleon Dynamite and/or Gentlemen Broncos (I'd advise against seeing Broncos), then you'd know that's just how the director of Nacho Libre (Jared Hess) makes his movies. It's sort of a bizarre nonsensical style that's comical in its "jump cutty", fragmented storytelling. A lot of people don't like it, he gets plenty of criticism, but that just seems how it is. I like(d) Napoleon Dynamite, and like Nacho Libre, though.


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Jeff Breuer
Re: Horrible Bosses
on Jul 13, 2011 at 3:13:25 pm

Finally got to watch "Horrible Bosses" and loved it. For me, it kept me entertained and laughing for the whole movie. One of the difficulties with comedy is competing with it's trailer. Most comedies strive to entertain us with some cheap laughs and after watching the two minute "Highlight Reel," we've seen the good jokes and are simply left with a second rate story and contrived characters and scenarios.

Horrible Bosses doesn't presume to establish great character arcs or tell a breathtaking story. But, it keeps things terribly entertaining for the whole movie. And for me that's enough for a good movie. The characters and their relationships were brilliant. The delivery of comedic material all around was fantastic. To me, a lot of the comedy felt spontaneous, which is really what you want in good comedy.

For me, this was the best comedy of the year. I thought Hangover 2 was predictable and lost all of the spontaneity of the fist. I haven't watched Bridesmaids yet, and I figured Cedar Rapids was just some straight to DVD junk because I missed it, but on your recommendation Scott, I watched the trailers and now I'm looking forward to watching it. Thanks for the heads up on that one!

Jeff


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Mark Suszko
Re: Horrible Bosses
on Jul 14, 2011 at 1:55:15 am

Well the editing was certainly messed up in a few places for continuity. There's an early training sequence in "Nacho" that leads to Jack Black getting a sunburned and bee-stung face. Some stuff happens, Jack is healed fromt he burns and bites. and quite later in the film, Jack is back in the same sunburned and bee-stung makeup and clothing, out of linear chronological sequence, and it's not some kind of flashback, it is literally patching over a hole in the story with parts from a different sequence.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Horrible Bosses
on Jul 14, 2011 at 2:28:13 pm

Oh, I didn't notice/don't remember that. But I'll take your word on it, and if that's the case, then yeah, that does sound like sloppy editing or planning!


[Jeff Breuer] "I figured Cedar Rapids was just some straight to DVD junk because I missed it, but on your recommendation Scott, I watched the trailers and now I'm looking forward to watching it."

I'm a big fan of Cedar Rapids. I just watched it again recently (it just came out on Blu-ray a few weeks ago), and I still liked it on the repeat viewing. It's not as outwardly funny as Horrible Bosses, but I think it's probably a better movie overall. While it does have a decent amount of great jokes, probably 60% of the jokes depend on whether or not you find John C. Reilly funny. Which I very much do.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Horrible Bosses
on Nov 26, 2011 at 5:28:57 am

Got to see Horrible Bosses this weekend on Redbox. Kevin Spacey just out-and-out OWNS a scene when he's in it. It's like the movie switched to a bigger budget and production values whenever he's got screen time.:-) I agree it was funny, the sexual harassment plot, not so much, and of course, since this is a comedy, they wimped out on killing Anniston's female character. I agree this was a mediocre idea, well-executed, by a cast with excellent comedic timing that knew what they were doing. Worthy of the vault, no. A fun way to kill a night, sure.


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