February 21, 2007

Scoundrels all: director, writer and producers!

Reviewer: James van Maanen
Rating (out of 5): *½

While the reviews for the abysmal School For Scoundrels upon the film's theatrical release generally disapproved, us movie hounds could not help but notice certain names: Billy Bob Thornton, Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite, Just Like Heaven), Jacinda Barrett (who's almost always better than the bad movies she graces) and Sarah Silverman. Sure enough, the film actually begins rather promisingly, with low-key charm and the wit to try for a grin rather than a belly laugh. But then stupidity creeps in, gloms on and does not let go--right up to and including the atrocious climax, at which point there is not one iota of reality or belief left. It's as though the filmmakers suddenly said to themselves, about half way along, "Oh, now we need this character to change and do this." And so they just do it, with little or no further thought about consistency or veracity, again and again, until nothing and no one makes sense. This is perhaps THE film against which you can rightly measure all other bad comedies with big names and (relatively) big budgets, starting now and continuing through judgment day.

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Posted by cphillips at February 21, 2007 4:37 PM