Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Happy Birthday Will Ferrell!

Hello hello! I welcome you all back after a three-week sabbatical, which actually warrants an excuse. A legitimate one too. For the past two weeks, I've been in Washington D.C., the nation's capital, on a leadership conference that I was nominated for. I won't get into an extensive tangent that would involve fawning over my own accomplishments and worth that granted me this grand opportunity. All I will say is that I had an amazing time and that it was definitely one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life thus far. During this time, I spent one-hundred-six (106) hours occupied with various intellectually-stimulating activities, such as visiting an array of historical sites and enriching myself as a "leader". While I still possess most of my insecurities and obsessive-compulsive curses, I am thrilled to say that I am slowly improving with the help of my newfound friends. The best part of this entire trip, interestingly enough, was the social aspect of it all. (This is surprising considering how immensely shy I am, and how I am unwilling to get to know other people.) I became acquainted with several incredible people--intuitive scholars such as myself--and we formed bonds that I do not share with some people I've known my entire life. It's flabbergasting just how close you can get with a group of people in such a short amount of time. When the final day dawned upon us, we sincerely shed tears for one another's departures. If they happen to be reading this post (because I shared my blog with them, obviously), we will reunite in the foreseeable future, hopefully before this summer comes to an end.

Anyway, onto the point, right? Today marks the forty-sixth year of Will Ferrell's existence. Introducing this man in a post is close in caliber to introducing Hollywood legends like Robert DeNiro or Jack Nicholson. Maybe not exact or identical, but certainly close. In terms of comedy, Will Ferrell is definitely a legend in this generation of ours. I believe he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for comedy recently. Sure, it wasn't an Oscar--and, let's face it, it's doubtful that he will ever be even nominated for one of those silly things--but I'd say he is much more famous and much more well-liked than, say, Forest Whitaker or Adrian Brody. And those two fools won Oscars. (I mention them because they stole the honor from two actors who deserved the honor more than an actors' performances could have ever been worthy of the Oscar. That complex sentence meaning Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day-Lewis, respectively, were outrageously robbed.) There are countless films to praise in honor of Will Ferrell's birthday, including films he was involved in behind the camera and those films which resemble his type of comedy. The fact that he has a type of comedy truly signifies his indubitable value in this zany industry of cinema. Happy Birthday, Will Ferrell, you sexy devil.

Anchorman - I'm sure you are all familiar with what may be Will Ferrell's prized gem of a comedy. Taking place in the male-dominated newsroom of the seventies, Anchorman is a tale of the legend that is Ron Burgandy and his Channel 4 News Team. This dream team consists of Paul Rudd as the charismatic womanizer Brian Fantana; David Koechner as redneck drunk Champ Kind; and Steve Carell as the simply naïve moron Brick Tamland. They are truly the ideal comedic force, sharing incredible chemistry on-screen and playing off one another's strengths and humor. One of the best acting ensembles by far, and I am sure many of you would agree. Christina Applegate appears as Miss Veronica Corningstone, the co-anchor who puts the whole Channel 4 News Team in disarray, bringing forth the feminine revolution in the workplace and in the media. She is always a delight, both acting-wise and appearance-wise. She's adorable is what she is. The main attraction here, though, is Will Ferrell.
Ron Burgandy is probably his greatest achievement, for he has created one of the most hilarious characters in comedy of this century at the very least. His complete disregard for the actions of others supports his unbelievable ego from beginning to end; you can get his attention only if you begin by introducing himself to him and fawning over how great he is. You can really describe the genius of this character by quoting him, as there is no coherent way to do that. There are many, but I'll share just one that both describes him as a character and emphasizes Will Ferrell's comical skill: "I'm kind of a big deal." No supplemental exaggeration needed, I think. As one of the greatest comedies of the twenty-first century, it is completely rational for a sequel to be released. I know where I'll be December 20 this year: waiting for the legend to continue. (I don't do theaters.)

The Other Guys - This is definitely the funniest movie I have seen in a long time. I would say "one of the funniest movies of this century", but I already did that with Anchorman. What I will say may shock you: The Other Guys is the funniest movie of 2010. That isn't quite a grandiose compliment since it's only the funniest within a twelve-month period, but--it is incredibly funny. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg play officers Allen Gamble and Terry Hoitz, respectively, and like most cop comedies, they are near opposites. But don't the most-used formulas work out the best because they have been proven to be the best and the most-used? Just saying. I'm smiling just thinking of what I could possibly say about this movie. I'm literally replaying it all in my head, and there is an endless list of what is so fantastic about this movie. Seriously, it is fantastic. But words are not convincing at all, are they? Unless it's criticism. For some reason having something bad to say is more interesting. Like Anchorman, only a quote can really emphasize the brilliance of this film, but in this special case, I will insert an entire scene of hilarity.

That's just one percent of this film's ingenuity. What makes this film work better than the average cop comedy is the remarkable chemistry between Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. They are, unquestionably, the greatest comedic duo after Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. (It's a different kind of connection, of course, but nevertheless just as endearing.) The two are absolutely relentless in the laugh department, bringing tears to my eyes for how funny they are together. And for Mark Wahlberg to be on the same comic level as Will Ferrell? Well, that just shows where he is more valuable, don't you think? (Case and point: Ted.) I really hope that they make another comedy together, perhaps a sequel to The Other Guys because, quite frankly, that would be fucking awesome. In addition to sheer hilarity, the movie provides a dark message about the corrupt world of finance that we are hopelessly trapped in. If you decide to watch this fine piece of comedy, sit through the credits, because there are some interesting yet disturbing facts concerning the nation's CEOs and the poor workforce. One more quote: "We should call ourselves the 'Febreze brothers' because it's feeling so fresh right now."

Stranger Than Fiction - Like many comedic actors, most memorably and successfully being Jim Carrey, Will Ferrell has delved into the genre of drama. (He, also, appeared in a Woody Allen picture called Melinda and Melinda. Worth checking out.) Although the Golden Globes calls this a Comedy/Musical, it is the most serious film he has done thus far. I mention the Golden Globes promptly because Will Ferrell was, yes, nominated for his role as Harold Crick, an IRS auditor (boo) who becomes the subject of an author's book, which affects how he lives and how he will die. It is a very interesting concept for a film, and was supported by a cast of talented actors, including Will Ferrell himself. He is definitely a curious choice for the movie, considering his most recent film at the time was Talladega Nights. Who would have thought that he could pull off such a darker role? And he did give an excellent performance without having to shout or curse or make a fool of himself. I do not mean to demean his status quo of acting, just to distinguish this serious role from his sillier ones. The film is, once again, very enjoyable and made even more so by the extensive craft of Will Ferrell.

Elf - One of the quintessential Christmas movies, I could not not mention this delightful film. And it was directed by Jon Favreau no less! He directed Iron Man, so you know this is a good one. Here, Will Ferrell gives his one and only performance as a sincere, kind-hearted, innocent human who has been raised as an elf. His name is Buddy and he wants to be your friend, even if you are kind of a dick. Uncalled for, apologies. Throughout this "flick", he parades around the foreign New York City in search for his real father, Walter Hobbs (played by James Caan), who turns out to be a resident on the Naughty List. Of course, since this is such a cute little holiday picture, Buddy helps his father to be Nice and they all live happily ever after. What separates this from other Christmas movies is the oddly colorful tone of it. Whether it is Buddy's green suit or Will Ferrell's genuine and animated performance, I don't know. All I know is that this is one of the sweeter, non-corny holiday films for the whole family to gather around and enjoy! I think that's on the DVD/Blu-ray box. I should be in marketing. Like the culinary preferences of Buddy the Elf, this film is syrupy sweet and a breath of fresh air, entertainment-wise.

Night at the Roxbury - This is where it all began. Thanks to the connections he made working at Saturday Night Live--where he, in addition to several other fine comedians, created the golden era of the variety sketch television show--he was allowed to show off his comedic ability in a way that is far less crass and complex than how we know him today. Here, he plays Steve Butabi who, along with his brother Doug (played by SNL alum Chris Kattan), is desperate to gain entry into the alluring nightclub, The Roxbury, and then open a club of their own. Insultingly simple premise as it may sound, the film provides hefty amounts of laughs and that appealing nineties quality that you can find only in this era. The nineteen-nineties. Duh. Now, I've seen this movie far more than twice, ranging from when I was a wee lass to now, so my judgment may be biased in respect of nostalgic reasons. However, trying to be objective here, I must say that this movie displays much of the hilarious antics one can expect in Saturday Night Live fare. If you're a fan of the dumb comedy, here is your golden goose. Or ticket. When I first watched this, I originally thought that Chris Kattan would rise to the top to where Will Ferrell now reigns as the king of comedy. His performance required much more talent, and indeed showed much more talent, while Will Ferrell only mimicked his on-screen brother in a simplified, bone-head demeanor. Clearly, the joke is on me, for Will Ferrell has certainly flourished into the funny, skilled actor that I have just about flattered enough until his next birthday.

Will Ferrell: Comedic Genius, indeed.