‘Lay the Favorite’ is the worst bet in the movie house

Rebecca Hall stars opposite Bruce Willis in 'Lay the Favorite'
Rebecca Hall stars opposite Bruce Willis in ‘Lay the Favorite’

[rating=2]Starring:  Rebecca Hall, Bruce Willis, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Joshua Jackson, Laura Prepon, Frank Grillo, Joel Murray, John Carroll Lynch, and Corbin Bernsen
Director(s):  Stephen Frears
Writer(s):  D.V. DeVincentis

Lay the Favorite is a gambling term.  It is also the title of a memoir by a real-life woman named Beth Raymer that is now a film from director Stephen Frears and screenwriter D.V. DeVincentis.  If that sounds like a familiar pairing, it should.  They combined to bring Nick Hornsby’s excellent novel “High Fidelity” to the big screen.  That was an excellent collaboration.

Sadly, this was not.

Read more‘Lay the Favorite’ is the worst bet in the movie house

‘The Watch’ won’t make you look at yours

Jonah Hill, Ben Stiller, Richard Ayoade and Vince Vaughn in 'The Watch'
Jonah Hill, Ben Stiller, Richard Ayoade and Vince Vaughn in ‘The Watch’

The Watch is all about four guys who band together in an ordinary town in Ohio to solve a murder, keep their town safe, and in the minds of three of them, have a great time while doing those two things.  Whatever else The Watch may be, the most important thing to remember is that it passes the acid test for comedies.  It is funny.  Laugh out loud funny in places.

Read more‘The Watch’ won’t make you look at yours

Hilarious ‘Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story’ is just as good ‘unrated’

[rating=4]Starring: Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Rip Torn, Justin Long
Director(s): Rawson Marshall Thurber
Writer(s): Rawson Marshall Thurber

The team takes to the line in 'Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story'
The team takes to the line in ‘Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story’

Who’d have thunk that a moronic and demoralizing school-age sport could make such a funny movie?

Dodgeball is probably one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in years. Vince Vaughn hasn’t begun to annoy me just yet, and here he’s probably at his most charming. Ben Stiller is funny, even if he’s doing one of his oddball type characters, most of which I find stupid. I can’t think of any better compliment to give a comedy than to say that it’s just plain funny, and that’s what Dodgeball is from beginning to end.

Read moreHilarious ‘Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story’ is just as good ‘unrated’

‘Made’ is Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau at their best

Vince Vaughn (right) and Jon Favreau reteam in this killer comedy, 'Made'
Vince Vaughn (right) and Jon Favreau reteam in this killer comedy, ‘Made’

[rating=3]Starring: Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Peter Falk, P. Diddy
Director(s): Jon Favreau
Writer(s): Jon Favreau

Swingers was one of those movies that I wound up seeing more than a dozen times because the pay-cable channels just loved showing it. Now, they love showing lots of movies, and I don’t constantly tune in for them. But Swingers was funny, and I enjoyed the inside film jokes, as well as the obvious ones.

Read more‘Made’ is Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau at their best