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Movie Musings: Will Ferrell is Funny in Numbers and another G.I. Joe Movie

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Aug 06, 2010 | 5:01am EDT

Movie Musings

G.I. Joe1. G.I. Joe Is Going to Happen Again?

When originally pondering this thought I was of the mind that another attempt at G.I. Joe was lunacy. The first one 1) probably lost money while 2) setting the screenwriting industry back a decade. It was a complete mess, devoid of laughs, missing the plot, a pretty solid example of how a screenplay written in crayon would turn out. So, I figured, why would they return to that mess? But the more I ruminated on it the smarter the move became. Because, come to think of it, they couldn't possibly do worse. They've hired the writers from Zombieland, and those guys have already proven they can write a script. Plus, everyone's expectations will be so low that if they get through the film without making us grimace it will be considered a rousing success.

It's kind of brilliant actually, like failing your first driving test by driving the Ford F-150 through the glass doors of7-11 so that the next time you show up you won't even have to know how to parallel park. Anything short of having to deploy the airbags will come off like a charm. Your move, Tatum. We're all pulling for you.

Christina Aguilera2. About Those Predictions ...

Six months ago I said Christina Aguilera would get nominated and win an Academy Award for her performance in Burlesque. My reasoning was solid; The Academy loves when artists from other mediums give acting a shot, and Aguilera would bring it an entirely different demographic for Oscar to feast upon. It was a can't miss plan. Then I saw this trailer:

And now I feel like I could use a "takeback" please. Don't say "no takebacks!" I didn't realize they'd have Christina playing the girl from Coyote Ugly, only without John Goodman stepping in as her dad. That trailer is a nightmare. I hope they didn't pay someone money to come up with that. I now realize fully the method of my mistake. I bet on a first time director. There's no chance of a firstie bringing home a project this big, and so the relevance of that November release date is now null and void. It's going to be this year's version of Nine, only with Cher instead of Daniel Day-Lewis. No soup for us.

The Other Guys3. Will Ferrell Works When He Goes Ensemble.

When historians finally get around to looking at the career of Will Ferrell they are going to instantly realize something that's taken me about a decade to figure out. Will Ferrell is at his best when he's metaphorically passing the ball. He's like a comic Steve Nash, he can't score all the points, but he can set guys up like no other. Anchorman and Old School thrive when he's surrounded by talent he can bounce his ideas off of. Step Brothers and Blades of Glory falter when the film relies on Ferrell to provide all the funny in various scenes. No, Will Ferrell can't carry a film, but if you've got him and three other stalwarts playing in a scene you're going to be all set. As such, The Other Guys works. Wahlberg, Keaton, The Rock, Sam Jackson, Steve Coogan, and Eva Mendes all carry their fair share of the load, allowing Ferrell to set them up for deeper and funnier punchlines. It’s well worth a watch.

Step Up 3-D3. Finally, A Movie That Should be in 3-D!

We were burned by The Last Airbender and Clash of the Titans charged us too much money for what was intended to be a 2-D product. But Step Up 3-D? Go ahead, you pass the test. Dancer's hands fly out at you, water splashes toward you, the film was clearly filmed with 3-D in mind. It's a gimmick, sure, but no one is looking for a dance movie built on much in the way of drama. It's an inherently physical medium, and one that readily translates into the third dimension. There are only two films I'd pay extra to see in 3-D this year. And the other one involves a pretty heavy dose of piranhas.

On that note, I hope you have a weekend devoid of piranhas. Unless you're into that sort of thing.

Check out last week's Movie Musings here

Laremy is the lead critic and senior producer for a website named Film.com. He's also available on Twitter.
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