Tag Archives: jim carrey

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective was the first real Jim Carrey movie. He starred in a few movies before this one (like Once Bitten and Earth Girls Are Easy), but this was the first movie where Jim Carrey got to be Jim Carrey and go crazy. And he changed the face of movie comedy forever with this gem. Jim Carrey stars as Ace Ventura, a pet detective trying to track down Snowflake, the kidnapped mascot of the Miami Dolphins. He has a crazy haircut, an affinity for animals, and a habit of making his ass talk.

Nobody in Hollywood can do physical comedy like Jim Carrey. He flails his arms and stretches his rubber face and can do a million different voices. He is one of a kind. Courtney Cox, Sean Young, Tone Lōc, and Dan Marino all do a decent job in their supporting roles, but this movie is nothing without Jim Carrey. But director Tom Shadyac deserves a lot of credit too. Shadyac does a great job of balancing out the comedic mayhem with an intriguing mystery. It could have been a forgettable comedy, but Shadyac gives the movie heart, and that gave the film longevity. It’s an undisputed classic. It launched Jim Carrey into superstardom. It’s no wonder that Jim Carrey would team up with him again for Liar, Liar and Bruce Almighty.

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is a milestone for a few reasons. It proved that unproven stars could create a blockbuster comedy franchise (The Hangover owes its existence to it).  It made dumb comedies smart again. And it gave the world Jim Carrey. It’s not a perfect movie, but it’s pretty damn close.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Bruce Almighty

Tom Shadyac (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Liar Liar) directs this religious comedy about a guy who criticizes God and gets all His powers for a week to see if he can do a better job. Jim Carrey is Bruce Nolan, a TV reporter who thinks he is better than he is. He doesn’t get a promotion and he has a hissy fit and he ends up with godlike powers that he uses for selfish reasons before learning not to be selfish and losing his godlike powers. People in Hollywood do a lot of drugs.

Bruce Nolan is a reporter who hopes to be an anchorman, but nobody takes him seriously because he does human-interest stories and flails about like Jim Carrey. He lives with his girlfriend Grace (Jennifer Aniston) and has a pretty decent life but he doesn’t seem to realize it and he complains all the time. His co-worker Evan (Steve Carell) gets promoted to anchorman and Bruce has a little breakdown and challenges God.

God arranges a meeting between the two of them, and Bruce meets God face to face. God looks a lot like Morgan Freeman. God gives Bruce his powers for one week. The only rules are that he can’t tell anyone that he’s God and he can’t interfere with free will.

Bruce uses his powers to get revenge on people who wronged him, to get laid, to get promoted, to get famous… he pretty much abuses his powers in every way possible. He becomes aware that he can hear people praying and asking for help. He starts to help them out but then he decides it’s easier to just say yes to their prayers rather than paying attention to what they are wishing.

Bruce’s actions have consequences. And he’s God, so his actions have really big consequences. Bad things start to happen, both in Bruce’s personal life and with the rest of the world. Grace leaves Bruce and Bruce tries to get her back, but he can’t interfere with free will, so his attempts to get her back don’t work.

Bruce eventually realizes that being God is kind of hard and maybe he shouldn’t be so critical. And wouldn’t you know it, but he gets a second chance with Grace. So you can do everything wrong and fuck up the world and still get a second chance at happiness because you deserve it, damn it.

This movie is funny and it made a lot of money, but it’s not one of Jim Carrey’s better movies. Religious comedies are a weird genre of cinema, but Life of Brian is the best one. Bruce Almighty is too family friendly to be funny.

They made a shitty sequel with Steve Carell’s character called Evan Almighty. I’m surprised they haven’t made a shittier sequel with Morgan Freeman’s character called God Almighty.

This movie has some good scenes, but Bruce isn’t a likeable main character. Grace should have left him. He is an asshole. He becomes totally powerful and uses that power to instinctively help himself. He is a selfish motherfucker and Evan deserved the raise over Bruce from the start.

If an ordinary guy became God, no doubt crazy shit would happen. And some weird stuff does happen in this movie, but they could have done a lot more. There are infinite ideas to explore and it seems like they were holding themselves back to be more of a kid’s movie. Tom Shadyac used to make movies where Jim Carrey talked out of his butthole… they definitely lost some edge.

Critically Rated at 9/17

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Man on the Moon

Milos Forman directs Jim Carrey in this biopic about the zany Andy Kaufman. Andy Kaufman wasn’t a comedian, he was a performance artist. He didn’t tell jokes; he had characters and tricks and would try to get real reactions from his audience. Is he entertaining the audience or himself?

When people defend Jim Carrey’s acting ability they usually name Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and/or the Truman Show. The fact is that there are a dozen actors that could have played the lead in those movies. John Cusack would’ve killed as Truman. Johnny Depp could have been Eternally Sunshining. The Majestic sucks; we don’t talk about that travesty. Man on the Moon works just because of Jim Carrey. Only Carrey has the ability to transform into the enigmatic Andy Kaufman. You forget that you are watching Jim Carrey. There are times in Truman or Eternal Sunshine where he kind of flails about and you remember that you’re watching Jim Carrey and not a movie. Jim Carrey is Andy Kaufman, you forget about Jim Carrey entirely.

Most biopics are about a very famous person, but Jim Carrey is more of a celebrity than Kaufman ever was. I was born in 1985, there’s no way I ever would have heard of Andy Kaufman if it weren’t for Jim Carrey reintroducing him to the world. Without Carrey, Kaufman might have been forgotten by my generation and the ones that follow.

The cast was great. Danny DeVito and Paul Giammatti play great supporting roles. Even Courtney Love turns in a good performance as the love interest. You can almost forgive her for killing Kurt. Almost. There are lots of cameos from celebrities in Kaufman’s life. David Letterman, Lorne Michaels, the cast of Taxi, and a bunch of other celebrities show up as themselves.

The whole movie is summed up in one simple scene. Andy is sick and dying and seeks out a psychic surgeon. He realizes that it’s just a scam artist pulling a fast one and laughs at the irony.

Kaufman was larger than life, a true original. He deceived the audience and loved messing with them. It didn’t matter if they loved him or hated him, as long as their emotions were real. Real responses and reactions make real art. The film covers a lot of Andy’s great moments, from his early standup, to his SNL appearances, to his antics as Tony Clifton, and to his final triumphant show at Carnegie Hall. When you finish watching it, you want to go online and find more of his bits and material. You want to learn more about Andy Kaufman, and that’s the sign of a successful biopic.

Critically Rated at 15/17

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