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Quint considers THE LOVE GURU and GET SMART. Which one will deliver the goods this weekend?

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. This week I’ve seen both comedies hitting screens tomorrow. First I saw Peter Segal’s GET SMART starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway and a day later I saw Mike Myers’ return to film, THE LOVE GURU. Let’s start with GET SMART. My background with the original show isn’t extensive, but I watched episodes in random order on Nick At Night as a kid. It was Get Smart, The Monkees, Green Acres, Bewitched and Mr. Ed for me. It helped that my parents loved Get Smart (while my mom was a huge Monkees fan… and the other shows were up to me to watch by my lonesome). I loved Don Adams on the show, loved his delivery and loved the playful gags. I haven’t revisited the show since my childhood, though. I didn’t realize how much nostalgia I had for it until I was sitting in the theater and the orchestral version of the TV Theme song came on during the opening credits. Warner Bros have done a lot of con coverage of this film. I’ve seen pieces of the movie in San Diego and San Francisco at Comic-Con and WonderCon and even had an edit bay visit with Peter Segal a few months back. It’s a little difficult when you see so much footage out of context to judge the final film. I had seen perhaps 80% of the jokes in the movie by the time I saw the full film, so stuff that worked on me the first time around I still liked, but it wasn’t fresh. You get that when they play a trailer over and over and over again sometimes and you recognize funny moments, but if it’s the 5th or 6th time you see a joke it’s bound to not be as funny. That’s not me excusing jokes falling flat, by the way. They still worked for me, it’s just not the same as seeing them all fresh. What was fresh to me was the chemistry between Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway. If the casting of the movie had gone a different route then I’d probably be here today saying that this film is forgettable, another one to add to the pile of TV turned movie bad ideas. But all across the board Segal cast the film with great personalities. Terence Stamp as Siegfried is great… menacing, elegant… and yes, cartoony. Giving him Borat’s naked fat friend for a sidekick was a great addition. They also fill CONTROL’s HQ with interesting people including Dwayne Johnson as Agent 23, who is all swagger and charisma in the movie, Terry Crews, David Koechner, Masi Oka and Patrick Warburton who has a very bit part coming in at the end of the movie in a way that actually has me wanting a sequel. But there are three people the movie hinges upon: Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway and Alan Arkin. If those three had turned down the movie, then the rest would have crumbled. It’s not about the story here… it’s pretty standard stuff… fish out of water, bad guy holds the government up for ransom, hero must stop bad guy and henchmen. What makes the film work is watching these characters play and if the audience is having half the amount of fun Carell and Hathaway are obviously having up on the screen then it’s a win win scenario. And Alan Arkin makes everything gel. I’m so glad he plays a bigger part in the movie than just “cut to: CONTROL HQ.” If they make a sequel, I hope it involves Arkin more, bringing him in to be the third part of Carell and Hathaway’s team. Carell plays his part with much ease. Sure, it’s not all that different from what you’d expect from him, but it’s so much better seeing him in this world than someone trying to imitate Don Adams or someone who has half the comedy charisma that Carell has. He gives us a few nods to Adams (some of which you’ve seen… the “missed it by… that much” line from the trailer), but doesn’t make his role a caricature. Anne Hathaway… le sigh… Gorgeous, funny, ass-kicking. She’s everything that Barbara Feldon embodied in the TV show, but in a whole different way. They couldn’t have found a better 99. All in all, it’s a fun flick with a cast that should demand your attendance just by itself. Now let’s look at THE LOVE GURU… Listen, I like Mike Myers’ schtick. WAYNE’S WORLD was a big deal in my household as a young teen. I copied his lines and repeated them enough to get yelled at by mom to “stop talking about monkeys flying out of your butt!” And I saw all the Austin Powers movies in the theater. I liked the first one, loved the second one and was lukewarm on the third. I love the second one because of the introduction of Verne Troyer more than anything else. I wasn’t rooting for this one to fail… I chuckled at the first trailer when most were pinching their nose… mostly because midget jokes always, always, always work for me… but the end result is a movie that fell flat to me. It’s just an awkward movie. The jokes don’t fall flat as they just make you feel like you should be laughing because Myers is trying really, really hard. And because so much of it is typical Myers (not a bad thing, in my book) it feels a little like the Uncle at the reunion who got a laugh from his horny monkey joke at the last get-together so he does it again this year. You don’t want to make him feel bad, so there’s a polite laugh, but you know the second he starts it’s going to be a little painful watching him try so hard. Jessica Alba is cute, but vacant-eyed in the film. The only time she had any life was the crazy Bollywood dance number nods that open and close the film and that’s just because of she looks hot in the get-up, I think. I did laugh during the movie, I won’t give you the impression that I did not. There are two kinds of jokes that always, always work for me. Midget jokes and Fart Jokes. Always. I even laughed at the midget jokes in the last Uwe Boll turdfest. Unfortunately, the laughs I had in this one were few and far between. It’s far from the worst thing I’ve ever seen, but it’s completely forgettable… at least it was for me. Justin Timberlake, Verne Troyer and Romany Malco try their best, but the material’s just not there. Stephen Colbert, as a fresh-out-of-rehab announcer and Ben Kingsley as Guru Pitka’s cross-eyed mentor are probably the only ones who come out of this movie clean, sailing on their own rather large comic timing and talent. If you want a laugh this weekend go with Carell and Co. -Quint quint@aintitcool.com



Readers Talkback
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  • June 19, 2008, 3:58 p.m. CST

    roo?

    by McDee

  • June 19, 2008, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Ben Kingsley's in this?

    by palimpsest

    Oy vey.

  • June 19, 2008, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Austin Powers

    by Mattyboy122

    First one is funny, the second one is basically a remake of the first (but with mini-me and Fat Bastard) and the third one isn't as funny, but it gets points for trying something different. Kinda similar to the Indy franchise, except not nearly as good (in the sense that one sequel practically remakes the first film while another sequel goes off in a different direction to mixed reactions (at the time, at least)). Anne Hathaway is a hottie, though, so I might see Get Smart. Plus I smell what the Rock is cookin'.

  • June 19, 2008, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Myers Shoulda Made the Sprocket's Movie

    by kevinwillis.net

    He didn't, and then he did . . . The Cat in the Hat? Ouch. Now, apparently, this. I still bet I'd like watching The Love Guru about fifty times better than The Happening, tho.

  • June 19, 2008, 4:11 p.m. CST

    "You're a midget."

    by kevinwillis.net

    I laughed at that line in the trailer. It may all be recycled, but some of it's still funny.

  • June 19, 2008, 4:20 p.m. CST

    But did "Everyone Laugh"

    by Olsen Twins_Fan

    at your jokes after the movies?

  • June 19, 2008, 4:27 p.m. CST

    fuck the faux smart

    by bacci40

    i dont care what brooks says, the studio just payed for his retirement...that movie is not get smart, just like the new steve martin in a black moustache and bad french accent is not the pink panther...FUCK HOLLYWOOD....WHEN IS SAG GOING ON STRIKE...DEATH TO HOLLYWOOD, DEATH TO THE ECONOMY, DEATH TO CALIFORNIA...thank-you, i feel better now

  • June 19, 2008, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Damn You Michael Bay

    by MCMLXXVI

    Damn You Michael Bay

  • June 19, 2008, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Guru - Get Smart connection

    by spudwas

    How ironic these two movies opening the same time. Larry Storch (F-Troop) was once on the TV show "Get Smart" playing a villain call "The Groovy Guru." The episode was called "the Groovy Guru" in 1968. 40 years later...together again!

  • June 19, 2008, 4:32 p.m. CST

    Family reunion analogy

    by Heckles

    Excellent. That is exactly what this movie seems like. I take it you can't say "everyone laughs" at this one. Nope, no laughing for everyone indeed. No sir. [Everyone Laughs]

  • June 19, 2008, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Pond

    by Quint

    I don't say the film sucks. It doesn't. What I said is what I said, despite how you want to read something else into it. But if you think I was just trying to cover up a negative review for some reason, feel free to believe what you want. I genuinely liked the movie, believe it or not. If I didn't, I would have said it. I have no loyalty to one side or the other, I just want to see them make good movies.

  • June 19, 2008, 5:08 p.m. CST

    Take out "r" and SMART

    by Kankennon

    And you have GET THE LOVE GUU. <p> While you're at it, remove all other characters other than Anne Hathaway and Jessica Alba. Start out with a friendly girl spat that grows into an outright catfight. The girls start to go at it and end up ripping each others clothes off in the sexy struggle. They lose focus about why they're fighting and start to kiss and fondle each others exposed body parts... <p> And then I wake up and realize I'm sitting in the theater watching Mike Myers or Steve Carell mug to the camera and pine for what could have been...and for the loss of that extra $10 in my wallet...

  • June 19, 2008, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Alba has been vacant-eyed since birth

    by Liberty Valance

    I don't care how hot she is right now, I look forward to the day when her beauty withers and we never have to see her again. Has there ever been an ectress more devoid of talent?

  • June 19, 2008, 5:15 p.m. CST

    *actress

    by Liberty Valance

    Fuck this antiquated 20th century message board and its lack of an edit button!

  • June 19, 2008, 6:01 p.m. CST

    Ok.....

    by rogueleader66

    Why is it if someone enjoys a movie that is generally thought of as "bad" it means they have low standards for their entertainment? I seriously doubt that there is anyone on this site who doesn't have a "guilty pleasure" movie that they enjoy to watch, knowing it's crap and knowing they would get crap for liking it. On top of all of that, we get the usual group of naysayers who pre-judge movies before seeing them. Now don't get me wrong, I have said plenty of things about movies that have not come out yet, but I still reserve final judgement until I see it, if I in fact decide to see it. I guess what I am trying to understand is why people call movies crap or garbage, or cinematic turds before they see them. Please enlighten me as to how anyone can know a movie will suck before they see it. I have seen plenty of movies pre-judged on here and then a lot of the naysayers saw the film they pre-judged and liked it. I am not judging anyone in any way shape or form, I am simply trying to understand how you can be so decisive on a movie not having seen it.

  • June 19, 2008, 6:01 p.m. CST

    Ok.....

    by rogueleader66

    Why is it if someone enjoys a movie that is generally thought of as "bad" it means they have low standards for their entertainment? I seriously doubt that there is anyone on this site who doesn't have a "guilty pleasure" movie that they enjoy to watch, knowing it's crap and knowing they would get crap for liking it. On top of all of that, we get the usual group of naysayers who pre-judge movies before seeing them. Now don't get me wrong, I have said plenty of things about movies that have not come out yet, but I still reserve final judgement until I see it, if I in fact decide to see it. I guess what I am trying to understand is why people call movies crap or garbage, or cinematic turds before they see them. Please enlighten me as to how anyone can know a movie will suck before they see it. I have seen plenty of movies pre-judged on here and then a lot of the naysayers saw the film they pre-judged and liked it. I am not judging anyone in any way shape or form, I am simply trying to understand how you can be so decisive on a movie not having seen it.

  • June 19, 2008, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Sorry for the double post

    by rogueleader66

    Damn touch pad, damn i hate these things gotta get a mouse for this laptop.

  • June 19, 2008, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Pond

    by Quint

    I understand what you're saying, but there are a ton of movies that I'd call character movies that depend fully on who is cast and not how the plot moves. Not to compare the two, but Big Lebowski is such a film. You recast that movie and it falls apart. Get Smart is in no way as great as Lebowski, but you get what I'm saying. Sometimes the fun is watching certain people play in the same sandbox and that's what makes Get Smart worth seeing. How does that make it a bad movie that I'm trying to cover up?

  • June 19, 2008, 6:25 p.m. CST

    Quint - Midget Movie Hookup

    by MediaNerd

    Have you seen the movie "The Terror of Tiny Town"? If not, you must add that one to the Movie a Day list. Its an All Midget-Musical Western.

  • June 19, 2008, 6:45 p.m. CST

    You lost me at "FART JOKES"

    by unclemeat

    For me, they're the worst kind of jokes. If fart and midget jokes are the best things about this movie, I can't (and honestly don't want to) imagine the worst ones. I'll go with Maxwell Smart, thank you...

  • June 19, 2008, 7:03 p.m. CST

    I'm going with Get Smart

    by andrew coleman

    That looks really funny and I love both leads. Guru trailers make me cringe and not laugh.

  • June 19, 2008, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Didn't know P. Warburton was in this film

    by kobain

    Please let it be Hymie!!!

  • June 19, 2008, 7:09 p.m. CST

    who does james caan play?

    by jig98

    he was on the original show at one point. and it's his first film role since leaving las vegas. {no, not the nic cage pic.} zing!

  • June 19, 2008, 7:16 p.m. CST

    ahh just checked imdb

    by kobain

    Patrick Barburton IS Hymie... DUH! how could he have been anyone else by Hymie?

  • June 19, 2008, 8:32 p.m. CST

    Yes, but a trailer doesn't show 80%...

    by Dolph

    ...of a movie, and a trailer is all most people will have seen. Just review the movie! I can't imagine reading a press review: "I‘d seen 80% of the movie so I already knew most of the jokes." Step above that man, it's lazy.

  • June 20, 2008, 5:48 a.m. CST

    I saw Carell's "Dan in Real Life" and it was fantastic!

    by chien_sale

    I can't believe this movie was not more successful. I hate people.

  • June 20, 2008, 9:24 a.m. CST

    i wont spoil it *wink wink*

    by ArcadianDS

    but seriously, is it even possible to mention Patrick Warburton in this movie and not have it spoiled already?<p> But yeah - that was inspired casting.

  • June 20, 2008, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Great Cast for Get Smart but...

    by ConcreteParakeet

    It just doesn't look funny. It is a damn shame because they have really cast this remarkably well.If you don't get that Smart is a political satire as much as a spy spoof then you really don't "get" Smart.By approaching this strictly as a goof on spies you're really not seeing the big picture and making it into an action comedy is really not getting it.Don't blame Brooks and Henry because this was written and shot before they came on board apparently after a lawsuit. I see that cast though and dream of what might have been. Warburton as Hymie is as inspired as the rest of the casting but next time get better writers. And why make it an origin story? With Max as an analyst? That's just stupid and makes no sense.Hopefully, they don't give him father issues like every other movie has these days.

  • June 20, 2008, noon CST

    I've been sick of Guru for weeks now

    by liljuniorbrown

    From American Idol to the MTV Movie awards, I feel like I have watched atleast three or four hour long commercials for this shit in the last month. The look and sound of the charector are so annoying it's just not funny to me. I kind of feel the same way about Sandlers Zohan,but something tells me I will watch that shit pile then complain about it later. Thank God for Ben Stiller and Jack Blacks return from comic death in Tropic Thunder. I think the comedy to beat this summer will be Step Brothers, it looks amazing.

  • June 20, 2008, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Best example of "Dependent on cast"??

    by Darth Macchio

    Easy. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.<p>I heard at one point Robin Williams was tied to it...ugh...horrible. Carrey owned the role, made it his, and made the movie hilarious. Anyone else and it would have been atrocious. There are others but that sticks out every time I think of it.

  • June 20, 2008, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Oh and doesn't just the word 'Guru' imply..

    by Darth Macchio

    ..suckage? Seriously, has there ever been a movie with a Guru in it, much less be a word in the title, that wasn't complete shite?<p>Only exception I can think of is the Guru guy in "All of Me" with Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin ("Backinda bowl! Backinda bowl!!")