‘Fun with Dick and Jane’ is fun (2005)


So I am a huge fan of Jim Carrey, while generally speaking…no one else is. I have spoken to many people about this very fact, and it always comes back with the same response. They apparently hate the guy. I grew up with Carrey though, and he turned into my idol growing up, so I’ll watch anything he is in, and for the most part, I will love it. “Fun With Dick and Jane” is one of those movies I have seen countless times and just never tire of it. So it’s time to actually review it. Don’t be surprised if it is a bit biased.

 His name is Dick Harper (Jim Carrey), and he has just been promoted to Vice President of Communication at Globodyne. His boss, Jack McAllister (Alec Baldwin) has Dick go on Money Life to explain the quarterly projections, but little did he know that Globodyne has been stealing money and giving it to the wealthier, subsequently making stock at Globodyne worthless, leaving Dick without a job. As it turned out, getting another job proved more difficult than imaginable, and when their home goes through foreclosure, Dick and his wife Jane (Tea Leoni) snap, and decide to get into the life of crime to keep his family together.

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 A good majority of what follows in this film is a montage of Dick and Jane on their mission of crime, watching as each offense escalates, as their hunger for money deepens. The main part of the movie, the most important part is the heist near the end of the film. In that respect it really feels like a reason just to put in jokes before getting to the point. I’ve seen that before and typically hate it, but I think it works simply because I love the comedy…and that’s where I differ from most critics.

 Jim Carrey is acting like his plain old self that he has done countless times before, yes. Is it really a crime to love that, though? Some of my favorite movies growing up with was “Ace Ventura“, “Liar, Liar“, and “Dumb and Dumber“. Carrey is an expert in his craft, and absolutely no one can pull off what he can. He has been called the funniest man on the planet by a number of magazines on countless occasions throughout the years. I can attest to that. You can expect to find a lot of physical humor, thanks to good ol’ Jim, but not a whole lot of other kinds of humor. Tea Leoni replaced Cameron Diaz, but I honestly believe Tea was the right choice, as Jim and Tea have awesome chemistry.

 I also like the story. Based around a parody version of the classic corporate fraud cases such as Enron, WorldCom, and Tyco, the Globodyne story laid down a pretty solid foundation for Dick and Jane’s decline into insanity. The crimes, and how they go about them are pretty hilarious and can still incite a good chuckle out of me. The only problem I had reviewing this film was the plot. There was a cause, effect, and resolution, sure, but there is no solid plan as to what they are trying to do in the big picture other than the very end. So when the film finally ends up getting into the important part, it feels rushed. The end is intelligently written and concise, and if they gave it just another half hour, I guarantee the film would have gathered a better reception.

 Luckily, I enjoyed this film solely because I absolutely love the majority of Jim Carrey’s films. There are a precious few that I’m not so much of a fan of, but most of them I can’t wait to see. I can say, with a smile on my face, that I own this film and have forgotten how many times I have seen this movie. It’s fun, hysterical, and just a pleasure to watch.  Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’m giving this a little bit of a biased judgment, but I can’t help it.


His scars run deep in ‘Edward Scissorhands’ (1990)

Nowadays, if you were to ask a random person how they felt about Johnny Depp’s collaboration with Tim Burton, you’d most likely get a number of mixed responses. Some say that they aren’t a team to be messed with, that they have perfect chemistry and Depp can play anyone in the phone book. Others will say they have played that tune far too many times, and we are done with it. The rest would probably say who cares? Well in the long run, their collaboration was made famous by “Edward Scissorhands”.

 Our story begins with Old Fart Kim (Winona Ryder) telling her granddaughter the strange and curious tale of a man who had scissors for hands. His name was Edward (Johnny Depp), and Edward always had scissors for hands, because he is a robot (that’s honestly something I did not remember). His father/creator (Vincent Price) created a pair of actual hands to replace the scissors, but the scissors cut up the hand, and his father after he had a heart attack, leaving Edward all alone. He was found in his attic by a lady selling Avon one day, who brought him to a proper home in the town. In town, Edward really gets a good use out of his predicament, and learns about love and the things that are really important.

 It isn’t long before Edward meets Kim (Winona Ryder), who he quickly begins to develop feelings for her. We are then met with the age-old question…..how can these two be together when everything is against them?

 This film had a lot to do with being your own person, and even a monster doesn’t have to resort to everybody else’s expectations of them, that everybody has their own gifts, and it is clear that the initial image of a man with scissors may be scary, but images can be deceiving.

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 To give the film contrast, the part of the city with the majority of the town is filled with an extremely  vibrant array of bright colors, while everything revolved around Edward is dark and grisly, and just looks dead. When comparing this to Tim Burton’s newer films like “Dark Shadows“, they did miss out on the contrast to balance the film out.

 This is one of the very few movies that derives it’s most basic ideas out of apparent thin air that I absolutely love. I mean, who in the world would think up a man with scissors for their hands? I guess that’s Tim Burton for you. One thing I thought could have made the movie a little bit better is to have the fact that he is a robot be an end reveal instead of a random fact. Back then, it would have been one of the first movies ever that had an end twist. That being said, it worked out splendidly.

 Johnny Depp really is a multi-talented actor, and he did awesome in this movie. In fact, this may be his highest standing achievement in his acting profile among other very good roles.  Winona Ryder? She did okay in this film. Her role was obviously not incredibly memorable. She also wasn’t the greatest actress to play the older lady in the beginning and end, but at least that was only a small and trivial part of her character’s role. I also want to point out that it was pretty awesome that Vincent Price played a part.

 This is partly a Christmas-oriented film, and with November comes all the holiday-themed films. In that respect, this movie is a great and appropriate movie, even if I do think the first week of November is far too early to even be thinking of Christmas (which I do). At any rate, this is a great movie.