Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, Donald Sutherland, Ioan Gruffudd, P.J. Byrne, Lindsay Sloane, Celia Finkelstein, Julie Bowen, Isaiah Mustafa, Wendell Pierce, Ron White, Bob Newhart
Written by: Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley, Jonathan M. Goldstein, based on a story by Michael Markowitz
Directed by: Seth Gordon
MPAA Rating: R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language and some drug material
Running Time: 100
Date: 07/08/2011

Horrible Bosses (2011)

3 Stars (out of 4)

A Piece of Work

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Director Seth Gordon (The King of Kong, Four Christmases) has the good sense to simply step aside here, letting his ensemble cast goof around and bounce off of one another like so many rubber balls.

Nick (Jason Bateman) is forced to suck up to a maniacal CEO (Kevin Spacey), hoping for an elusive a promotion; Dale (Charlie Day) is engaged to be married, but works for a sexy, sexually aggressive dentist (Jennifer Aniston); and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) finds his dream job at a chemical plant threatened when the boss' cocaine-addicted son (Colin Farrell) unexpectedly takes charge. After work, the three friends share their woes, and come up with the idea to murder all three horrible bosses. They hire a "consultant" (Jamie Foxx) and begin preparing for their homicidal plan. But it's not long before things go horribly, hilariously awry.

Each character finds a nice niche and runs with it; Bateman plays the straight man, Day is the dumb one, and Sudeikis finds a nice middle ground. The villains are clearly having a terrific time; Aniston is at the top of her game, and Spacey is on familiar territory. Only Farrell seems to be trying something new here with broad comedy, and it fits him well (it appears, judging by the bloopers at the end, that some of his scenes did not make the final cut, which is a shame). Especially cathartic for today's luckless job-seekers, the humor is highly raunchy, but the movie has enough inventively playful moments between characters to make the movie memorable well past the summer. It has many genuine belly-laughs, rather than the usual surprised chuckles, and it keeps its momentum going.

New Line released a three-disc set, starting with a Blu-Ray edition of the "totally inappropriate" cut, which runs 8 minutes longer than the theatrical cut. A second Blu-Ray disc includes the theatrical cut, plus the bonuses: mostly interviews with the cast and crew, and a featurette on the soundtrack. A third disc is a DVD with the theatrical cut only. There's also a digital copy.{subid}&url=hitlist.asp?searchfield=marvel
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