'Move on, there's nothing to see here'

Posted: Thursday, June 04, 2009

This column was going to be a review of "Dance Flick," the new spoof movie from the Wayans family. I had been looking forward to singing their praises for rescuing the spoof genre from the untalented hands of the non-Wayans who have been cranking out the unfunny train-wrecks like "Disaster Movie" and "Superhero Movie" for the past several years.

On Sunday night those hopes disappeared quickly. I was one of three folks in attendance, so I assumed word of mouth had not been great for a film in just its second weekend of release. The word of mouth won't get any better here.

There were one or two mildly entertaining moments, but "Dance Flick" made 83 minutes drag. That's impressive. Maybe it was Wayans overkill, I don't know. Maybe when Keenen Ivory, Shawn, Marlon, Craig and Damien got together for their screenwriting meetings they were simply having too much fun to realize their script sucked. Or maybe when they added Damon Jr., Kim, Chaunte, Michael, and Cara Mia to the cast they had pretty much embraced the fact they were just making a movie for the Wayans and by the Wayans.

Whatever the case, just move on because there really is nothing to see here. The spoof genre is not back. And "Dance Flick" will mercifully vacate Juneau tonight anyway.

Onto things, even if only by default, with more promise:

"Up," Pixar's latest, is in the valley. "Up" was my other choice for this column. Oops.

Will Ferrell, who was the lone guest on Monday night for the first "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien," is funny again. "Semi-Pro" is a distant memory. He was classic Will Ferrell with O'Brien, showing his comedic wit, goofy musical talents and general charm.

Of course, if "Land of the Lost" is awful (it starts tomorrow) then he will immediately drop back to "Semi-Pro" status. That said, the movie based on the old Saturday morning TV show looks like it has potential. Never mind the fact that I thought "Dance Flick" had potential. Danny McBride at Ferrell's side does give real reason for hope, though. I'll take those two over the entire Wayans family tree.

The other new release tomorrow is the one I've had my eyes on for several weeks, ever since the first trailer won me over. I have since seen the same trailer for "The Hangover" in four or five different theaters with four or five different audiences; each one has laughed heartily. Todd Phillips directs, and while he doesn't have the names he directed in "Old School" (Ferrell, Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn), "The Hangover" does boast three talents in Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis. Cooper is definitely on the rise, Helms is blossoming as Andy Bernard in "The Office," and Galifianakis is an understated comedian that always fits in nicely. Throw in Las Vegas, a bachelor party and a collective hangover the next morning where they have misplaced the bachelor (Justin Bertha) and have no idea what transpired the night before, and you have "The Hangover."

Not sold? That's cool. I'm checking it out this weekend for next week's review. I'll sell you then. The Wayans have left me so starved for real laughter that "The Hangover" would have to be really bad, like "Dance Flick"-bad, in order to disappoint.

Today is about waving "goodbye" to the Wayans family and getting ready to enjoy two actual comedies with actual laughs. If you aren't in the mood to laugh, hold out until next Friday. John Travolta, Denzel Washington and director Tony Scott will be here soon.

• Check out Carson's movie blog at www.juneaublogger.com/movies.

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