Tag: Michael Pena

Hidden Netflix Gems – Everything Must Go

Hollywood has a rich history of well-known comic actors taking on more serious and weighty roles, from Robin Williams to Ben Stiller to Jim Carrey, and now Will Ferrell, in what is probably his very best performance to date. Everything Must Go bears a strong resemblance to Stiller’s work in Noah Baumbach‘s Greenberg, or Adam Sandler‘s in Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Punch-Drunk Love, in its portrayal of a flawed but basically good-hearted man going through difficult times and coming out better for it. The difference between Ferrell and Sandler, of course, is that Ferrell’s comedies generally don’t suck.

Ferrell plays Nick Halsey, an alcoholic who loses his job at the beginning of the film and, after an ill-advised revenge against his boss, Gary (Glenn Howerton), returns home to discover that his wife has left him. Not only that, she has locked him out of the house, frozen their joint bank account, and left all of his possessions out on the front lawn. Nick is understandably upset, and reacts in the defeated way that has apparently become his life’s standard recourse: he buys a lot of beer and camps out in his La-Z-Boy on the lawn for the night. In the morning, having exhausted his beer supply and unable to find his car keys, he borrows a bicycle from his twelve-year-old neighbor, Kenny Loftus (Christopher Jordan Wallace), and heads down to the convenience store for more beer while Kenny keeps an eye on his stuff.

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The Lucky Ones

Neil Burger’s “The Illusionist” was one of the most underrated films of 2006, so it’s a bit disheartening to see his latest movie, the post-9/11 war drama “The Lucky Ones,” suffer a similar fate. Though it’s not nearly as good as his previous effort, the film is still better than a majority of the movies just like it, mostly thanks to its talented cast. Tim Robbins, Michael Peña and Rachel McAdams star as three U.S. Army soldiers who have just returned to the country after their latest tour in Iraq. When a blackout grounds all the flights out of New York, however, the trio decides to rent a car and make the cross-country trip back home together, despite having just met hours before. What follows is a journey of self-discovery, as they must all come to terms with the way the war has changed their lives. Unfortunately, the average moviegoer got so burned out with post-9/11 fatigue that “The Lucky Ones” never got a proper theatrical release. It only seems fitting, because “Grace Is Gone,” the movie it’s most like, received the exact same treatment. Still, if pro-solider embarrassments like “Home of the Brave” and “Stop-Loss” can find an audience, then surely “The Lucky Ones” deserves one too.

Click to buy “The Lucky Ones”

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