Tag Archives: Jamie Foxx

Horrible Bosses (2011)

“Horrible Bosses” has a premise somewhere along the lines of the 1999 Mike Judge comedy “Office Space” but “Horrible Bosses” is more brazen, more over-the-top, and in my opinion, funnier. Although “Office Space” had some valid things to say about the ennui of working in a corporate firm, “Horrible Bosses” throws reason to the wind to deliver a hilarious but completely unrealistic story of a couple of immature guys who want to kill their heinous bosses.

Nick (Jason Bateman,) Dale (Charlie Day,) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) are a none-too-bright trio of friends who have one thing in common- their rude, crude, and downright evil bosses. Nick’s boss Dave Harkin (Academy Award Winner Kevin Spacey) is a manipulative, outrageously jealous psychopath, while Dale, a faithful partner to his fiance (Lindsay Sloane,) is sexually harassed by his whore boss Julia (Jennifer Aniston, playing against type, with side-splitting results.)

When Kurt’s kindly boss Jack Pellit (Donald Sutherland) dies, Kurt is stuck with Jack’s wildly irresponsible, insensitive, coke-snorting son Bobby (an overweight, hairpiece-donning, practically unrecognizable Colin Farrell.) When the men’s jobs become hard to bear, the witless three hire a ‘murder consultant’ (Jamie Foxx) to help them finish the job.

Even though I don’t find Jason Bateman to be a particularly interesting actor, he does fine here and is boosted by a funny script. Overall, the comedic acting is very funny, although the humor might be too crude for some people’s taste. Having a man be sexually harassed by his hot female boss is a creative idea, and the indifference of his friends is relevant too- in society, males are supposed to be the horny ones who are receptive to any sexual signals, wanted or unwanted, coming their way.

Like if a man has sex with a fourteen-year-old girl, he’s a pedophile, and she’s a victim. If a woman has sex with a fourteen-year-old male, he’s a… very lucky boy? It doesn’t make sense, and the film illustrates hypocritical gender politics as Dale copes with his unusual dilemma.

I really think Horrible Bosses’ script is extraordinary, I was laughing throughout. I think “Tropic Thunder,” “Pineapple Express,” “Knocked Up” etc. are really overrated, and it’s nice to see an American comedy movie that’s the real deal, i.e. a really funny mainstream comedy. I also think that Jennifer Aniston and Colin Farrell are better than people give them credit for, and they were hysterical here as two of the three horrible bosses.

“Horrible Bosses” is consistently funny and I recommend it to anyone who likes a good, slightly dark comedy. The cast is great and the dialogue is very quotable. Overall, it is a wildly entertaining diversion and should be watched by comedy lovers everywhere.

Django Unchained (2012)

“Django Unchained” is a blood-soaked, blackly funny, slavery-era extravaganza of a film, compliments of Quentin Tarantino. It is a movie populated with great actors delivering great dialogue, with some great gore and not one but two epic shoot-outs at the end to top it off.

Django (Jamie Fox) is a slave who was separated from his wife, Broomhilda Von Shaft (Kerry Washington) as punishment when the two tried to run away together from their plantation. Forced to walk shackled to a horse, under harsh winter conditions, Django is surprised to encounter eccentric “dentist” Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), who turns out to be a skilled bounty hunter.

King Schultz acquires Django under strange and bloody circumstances, and offers him a proposition: Django will earn his freedom if he helps King to identify three slavers who are wanted dead or alive. Thus begins a blood, unusual adventure as the two seek out outlaws and ultimately attempt to save Django’s wife from Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), a sadistic and insane slaveowner.

Christoph Waltz, who proved his acting chops playing opportunistic SS officer Col. Hans Landa in Tarantino’s 2009 film “Inglourious Basterds,” shines here as charismatic and mysterious King Schultz, who seems to have his own strange code of ethics.

Jamie Foxx is good and Kerry Washington excels playing a fairly uninteresting character, but the biggest surprise is DiCaprio. Nothing of 90’s heartthrob Leo is present as slimy, venomously evil Candie, like “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?” It’s a total transformation.

Some people might be disgusted by the sixth character: Stephen, a manipulative and subservient slave (Samuel L. Jackson), but I thought it was brave of Tarantino to introduce a black villain into a slavery-era film and show the shades of gray in race relations of that time.

There were certain parts of the movie I felt were a little excessive, for instance the KKK scene, which I felt dragged a little. The blood, too, could be a little excessive, but Tarantino without blood? Where would we be? Simply put, this will be a delight for fans of Quentin Tarantino, but people looking for a gentler, kinder, more sensitive movie will best look elsewhere.

Tarantino delivers as he always does: clever dialogue, creative shots, and gallons of blood. On a side note, although no movie could accurately portray the horrors of slavery, this film gets pretty far out of people’s comfort zone, which is more responsible for the controversy than any alleged racism. If you like Tarantino, you will like this strong entry into his cinematic universe.