Monday, April 18, 2011

Cedar Rapids - Movie Review

Cedar Rapids (R) 86 minutes B-
Cedar Rapids: the Las Vegas of the midwest

Starring Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Kurtwood Smith, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Stephen Root and Sigourney Weaver

Na├»ve and sheltered insurance agent Tim Lippe (Ed Helms) has never ventured outside his hometown of Brown Valley, Wisconsin. But after the unfortunate death of his company’s number one salesman, Tim must attend the annual insurance convention in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where the goal is to win/bring home the coveted “Two Diamonds” award for excellence.  

Reluctant to leave his comfort zone and cougarlicious girlfriend (played by Sigourney Weaver), Tim realizes this is a chance to rise above his own mediocrity.  Yet, when he arrives  in Cedar Rapids Tim takes an unforeseen walk on the wild side that includes: falling in love with a prostitute, having sex with a married woman, smoking crack, participating in extortion, and getting drunk every night (reminiscent of the character Ed Helms played in The Hangover).  Needless to say the man child becomes a man by the time he leaves "Cedar Crapids".   

Essentially this is a good indie film; a little uneven and not as funny as I expected, but one that stuck with me for days afterwards.  Everyone in the cast was good, with the exception of Anne Heche, who was great as the vivacious strawberry blonde vixen seeking escape from her mundane home life.  Cedar Rapids is the type of racy indie comedy that fans of the genre will love, while others might find it slightly overblown.  
Bonus DVD Review
Hannah Takes the Stairs (NR) 83 minutes  B-
Use to be a sweet girl 

DVD Release Date: April 2008
Starring Greta Gerwig, Kent Osborne, Andrew Bujalski, Ry Russo-Young, Mark Duplass, Todd Rohal

Hannah is young, pretty and self-absorbed.  She's insecure, slightly immature and craves lots of attention.  If this sounds annoying to you don't watch this film- you'll hate it! If this reminds you of yourself or someone you know, it might be worth your while. 

Hannah Takes the Stairs is improvised, highly experimental, raw and realistic; it's definitely not for general audiences.  Mumblecore fans rejoice!

1 comment:

Bryon said...

Everyone is wants Tim to loosen up and let go but when I found out Joan is married I knew things in this movie weren’t going anywhere I would like to go. I tried to ignore that though and enjoy the Karaoke at least. I really didn’t expect the O’ Holy Insurance song; he sang really well too. When I came across this on Blockbuster’s website I thought “hey, this looks great” but I couldn’t find the message by the end other than don’t be afraid of failing. Honestly the only redeeming quality is that the movie was free because I got my 3 month subscription to DVD’s by mail from Blockbuster as a new DISH Network customer. Even though I’m an employee of DISH I still got the free membership.