Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bad Grandpa (2013)

Director: Jeff Tremaine

Writers: Spike Jonze, Johnny Knoxville, Fax Bahr, Adam Small, Jeff Tremaine

Composer: ???

Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Jackson Nicoll, Greg Harris, Georgina Cates, Kamber Hejlik, Jill Kill, Madison Davis, George Faughnan, Grasie Mercedes, Marilynn Allain, Jack Polick, Spike Jonze, Catherine Keener

More info: IMDb

Plot: 86-year-old Irving Zisman takes a trip from Nebraska to North Carolina to take his 8 year-old grandson, Billy, back to his real father.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Maybe.

If you didn't laugh from anything in the trailer (especially the beauty pageant bit) then this movie isn't for you.  For everyone else, it's just as funny as the trailer and there are a lot of laughs in an hour and a half with the biggest ones in the middle at the male strip club (the smack sound of grandpa's nuts slapping between the male stripper's legs is hilarious) and at the end with the beauty pageant.  I was impressed at how consistently funny the picture was.  One thing that surprised me is that there's a plot that strings all of these mini adventures together.  As thin as it is, it works well.  The movie also has heart. Knoxville's grandpa, Irving Zissman, is a sweet guy despite what he says and you can easily see that Knoxville is having a wonderful time at it.

How about that Jackson Nicoll as the grandson, Billy?  This kid's adorable and funny as shit.  He gives a natural performance that you'll love.  In movies like this (BORAT (2006) and BRUNO (2009) come to mind) I find myself trying to figure out the logistics of duping the people as they do on screen.  You can't just show up at someone's wedding reception and destroy the champagne and cake table.  They had to have arranged it in advance but I can't help but wonder exactly how they went about it as I'm watching it unfold. It doesn't take away from my enjoyment in the least but that's how my brain works sometimes.  In the end, it was a fun ride and I was most pleased that the picture exceeded my expectations which were based solely on the trailer.

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