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Envy (2004)

April. 30,2004
| Comedy
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约麻聊城麻将A man becomes increasingly jealous of his friend's newfound success.


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约麻聊城麻将This movie has become one of my favorite comedies and I feel the need to express my opinion about it. I can understand if it's not your cup of tea, but I will never understand how anyone could HATE it; maybe audiences had certain expectations because of Jack Black and Ben Stiller. It has a simple yet very original plot for a comedy; I've never seen one quite like this. The whole cast is great. Probably Christopher Walken's best cameo-type supporting role; some may argue that he steals the show. Even the soundtrack is funny. It definitely has the potential to be a cult favorite. It is very quotable, especially Walken's lines. It is mainly a plot driven type of comedy, but still connects you to the characters along the way. So, ignore all the hate and watch it for yourself before you blow it off as crap.If this was your cup of tea, I also recommend these other comedies: Gentlemen Broncos, Napoleon Dynamite, Clear History, The Big Lebowski, Election, What About Bob?, Extract, And Super(Rainn Wilson)


Tim and Nick are neighbors who work at a company which makes sandpaper. It's not clear what they do but they wear suits and have offices, and they carpool together each day. Both men have a wife and kids. Nick is so annoying with all his ideas for inventions, and while they are usually ridiculous, one day he gets an idea that actually works. A spray can that eliminates what dogs do! There is a scientist (I assume he works at Nick's company) who actually comes up with the magic formula. The one question that is never answered in the movie is: where does it go when it disappears? On broadcast TV, the question may have been slightly different than the one in the original version. And I just know the original must have used one word far more than what I heard.Tim did not choose to invest in this ridiculous idea. That's okay. he and Nick are such good friends that he shares the wealth, as much as Tim tries to stop his family from being spoiled.Tim is quite envious of Nick, who built a huge mansion right across the street and has the best of everything. And yet he resists letting Nick share the wealth as much as he can, and the white horse Tim's kids love is a particularly serious problem as it does what Nick's invention can cure, only Tim won't use it. Or shouldn't have.Eventually everything falls apart for Tim, and that's when the movie really gets crazy. Tim has a big secret and the wacky J-Man to help him with a scheme to keep this secret from ruining his life even further--for a price. And you just know that whatever Tim tries to do, he will ruin his life even more and more, with hilarious results for the audience.Meanwhile, Nick's wife wants to run for State Senate.The big question we all want to know the answer to: Surely everything will fall apart for Nick too, right? And how will Tim get out of his mess? How far will J-Man go to bring Tim down? How far down can Tim go?Ben Stiller and Jack Black are both considered talented actors. Just not here. Neither man shows why they are so popular.Christopher Walken, on the other hand, stood out. J-Man is quite a character. At least for this type of movie. Let's just say he is superior to Captain Hook in that NBC live production. The weirder this movie gets, the weirder he gets.Amy Poehler does nothing for me but annoy under normal circumstances. She does even less here.But if all you want to do is laugh at something bizarre, and just escape from your own troubles, this just might work.Tim regretted not investing in what he considered a dumb idea. Someone probably should have had Tim's intelligence not to invest in another dumb idea, but I'm glad someone did.


"Envy" bombed at the box office in 2004, but that doesn't mean it's not worth watching (or owning). Jack Black and Ben Stiller play neighbors & best friends in Southern California who work at a sandpaper factory. Black strikes it rich with an invention and builds a vast mansion where his former home was. Of course, this stirs the envy of Stiller who gets mixed-up with an eccentric vagabond, played by Christopher Walken. Amy Poehler and Rachel Weisz play the wives.While "Envy" isn't very laugh-out-loud funny, it's consistently amusing and the story is good enough to maintain your attention. Walken stands out as the offbeat bum. What I like best is the film's originality; I really can't think of any other films like it. Maybe that's why it bombed. I also like the way "Envy" pokes fun at materialism and everything that goes with it, e.g. envy. In addition, it's nice to watch a comedy like this without overt sleaze and overkill cussing, like 2007's "The Heartbreak Kid" (I don't mind realistic cussing in movies, but when it's overdone it's neither impressive nor funny; it's just stoo-pid and smacks of lazy writing).Weisz and Poehler are as gorgeous as ever, but they're decidedly peripheral and the filmmakers never take advantage of their presence. Regardless, "Envy" is solid, original amusement.The film runs 99 minutes and was shot in Santa Clarita, L.A. & Culver Studios, CA, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.GRADE: B


约麻聊城麻将Given the talents of director Barry Levinson, actors Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Rachel Weisz, and Amy Poehler, I expected this movie to be good given who is working on it. I was wrong.The movie lacked pacing, originality, or wit. It felt like Stiller, Black, Weisz, and Poehler forced their performances. It felt like Levinson just decided after some takes to forget it. While it does have some moments, this movie felt kind of forced and Levinson just let the camera roll for too long.I know the people involved are much better than this movie turned out to be. This is worth checking maybe once if you are a fan of Barry Levinson or any of the actors involved.


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