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Death at a Funeral (2010)

April 19, 2010

VERDICT:
4/10 Closed Caskets

Wasn’t expecting much, didn’t get much. One of those deals.

Death at a Funeral is about a guy who’s put in charge of hosting his father’s funeral while the rest of his extended family does their unintentional best to make the day a living a hell by feeding each other hits of extra-strength acid, taking care of angry old uncles in wheelchairs and figuring out how to avoid being blackmailed by a horny dwarf.

Man, Walter and The Dude had it figure out. Cremation really is the way to go.

So despite that it’s sitting a yard away from me in its Netflix slip as I write this, I still have yet to see the original Death at a Funeral that this movie is based off of. I swear I’ll get around to it, I pinky swear, but it looks like I’ll be saving the comparison piece for another day. Though considering that this is written by the same guy and also features Peter Dinklage as the said horny dwarf, I’m just gonna go ahead anyway. Going out on a limb here and assuming that I’m probably not missing out on any big plot twists.

Now, this here is the latest effort by director Neil LaBute, and I hope I’m not the only one out there who’s wondering why in the hell this is the latest effort by director Neil LaBute. This is the guy who broke into the scene is a big ol’ way ’97 with In the Company of Men, this guy was an edgy mother effer back in the day and I was expecting some major things from him a good decade or so down the road. But alas, now he’s the guy behind Lakeview Terrace and the bear-suit-boxing epic shitheap of a remake that is The Wicker Man, and it makes me sad.

Granted, this isn’t that bad by any means, but the point is that the dude seriously needs to up his game.

I actually don’t have a whole lot to say about this movie, but the best compliment I can give is that it plays to the strengths of its cast. You’ve got Tracy Morgan being Tracy Morgan which is always pretty entertaining, Danny Glover being all old and curmudgeonly and saying, “I’m too old for this shit,” because everyone likes a good Lethal Weapon reference every now and again, and…well, I guess that’s about it. Those two are pretty funny, and other folks like Luke Wilson and James Marsden have their moments, but that’s about all I’ve got.

What I wasn’t expecting is how awkward this movie was to watch, about as awkward as watching a wake hypothetically go up in the flames of a most ridiculous set of circumstances. Maybe this isn’t foreboding well for how I’m gonna react to the first movie, but I’m keeping an open mind (they must have remade it for some reason). But occasionally it works and is easy to play along with, but then you get a scene where Danny Glover literally takes a dump on Tracy Morgan and I gotta wonder, “Really?

Rule #1 with poop jokes: DON’T. SHOW. THE. POOP. That’s just gross.

Write that one down, kids. You’re our future.

The truth is, I wasn’t crazy to see Death at a Funeral to begin with, but it did have enough chuckle-inducing moments in it to elevate it from its tentative verdict as a 3 and make for a decent enough way to spend an afternoon. Something tells me the original’s the one to see in this situation and I’ll probably forget I even saw this by tomorrow’s review, but for a remake, it could have been worse.

Peter Dinklage should really just change his name to Miles Finch already.

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2010 7:13 am

    I really wanted to see this also, but I have seen bad reviews, but not terrible. That’s kind of what is saving me from not seeing it. Nice Review, like the comment on Miles Finch!

    • April 19, 2010 11:27 am

      Haha, thanks. Actually ran into the guy twice in NYC, seems like a cool enough dude, not an angry elf in the least.

  2. April 19, 2010 9:20 am

    Think will avoid this one. I’ve seen a couple of clips and not that keen on it, to be honest.
    Also, you’re not missing a whole lot from original Death at a Funeral. The guy at my movie store said it was brilliant and that everyone who worked there, loved it, but I thought it was only okay!

  3. April 19, 2010 9:21 am

    P.S. I don’t know if you’ve been tagged by someone else for this “10 Movie Facts” meme thingy, but just to let you know, tagged you anyway:)

    • April 19, 2010 11:27 am

      Woohoo! Thanks! Appreciate it and I’ll get crackin’ right away.

  4. nothatwasacompliment permalink
    April 19, 2010 10:50 am

    i hated the original of this with a passion and have no plans to see this remake.

    just thought i’d throw that out there…

    • April 19, 2010 11:03 am

      hahaha, wow. I plan on watching it after work today. Getting some interesting feedback here.

  5. April 20, 2010 2:22 pm

    Video movie….woe be unto the chuuumps that pay full price …… (no offense Aiden—well, maybe a little offense)

  6. April 21, 2010 1:01 pm

    So I take it this isn’t the best comedy since The Hangover? Maybe that Roger Ebert guy should check his facts.

    And yea, poop jokes aren’t funny when you make em gross like that. Sheash. What are people thinking?

    • April 21, 2010 1:13 pm

      Yeah, I saw that review. He must have been in a great freakin’ mood that day.

  7. Joe Wilhelm permalink
    April 25, 2010 4:06 pm

    I wasn’t meaning to see this in the theatres but my friend had to see it for a review for the paper he writes for so I tagged along. I agree that the movie wasn’t great, in fact it’s basically a “rent it” type of movie. I must say I was pleasantly surprised it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. For me I really enjoyed the subplot with James Marsden, Zoe Saldana, and Columbus Short. I feel these three stole the spotlight off of Chris Rock and Martin Lawerence.

    Nice review and I have to agree with prior comments that the Miles Finch was a nice touch.

    • April 25, 2010 9:51 pm

      Yeah, definitely not worth seeing in theaters, especially since it’s the exact same script as the original and the original’s better. Glad you liked it all the same, wasn’t a terrible movie either. And thanks for visiting the site, man!

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