Archives for posts with tag: Alan Arkin

When I was a kid, I never wanted to be a magician, so maybe I can’t appreciate “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” (2013). I hate to use reviewerspeak, but Steve Carell stars in an uneven movie that follows a formulaic plot (dude was a star, now a has-been, hits rock bottom, tries to find his mojo, hijinks ensue, gets the girl, learns something about himself, blah, blah, blah). Jim Carrey, who I think is generally gross, plays Burt’s rival, a generally gross illusionist. There are funny parts, but there’s also an unlikeable, coarse edge that too many comedies have these days.

I say it all the time, but I have to praise filmmakers who can pull suspense from a true story. I mean, you already know how it turns out. Take “Argo” (2012). You already know the Americans hiding in the Canadian embassy get out, yet you constantly worry that they won’t. Why? Ben Affleck creates a sympathetic character as a flawed CIA agent trying to rescue them. And John Goodman and Alan Arkin are a fantastic diversion as Hollywood players selling the fake movie that is Affleck’s cover story. I think it’s safe to say Affleck has recovered from Bennifer.

There’s a thing about comic geniuses. Once they get their official Comic Genius Certification, they start making sucky movies, because nobody can tell them “no” anymore. Kind of like how Prince keeps saying he has thousands of songs recorded in his studio vault, but he’s been putting out crap for 25 years. Anyway, Mike Myers is a comic genius. And long before he became “The Love Guru,” he made a little comedy called “So I Married an Axe Murderer” (1993) which is dark, hilarious and stars Myers in two different roles. It will immediately make your list of “cult favorites.”