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Directed by Jon Favreau.
Written by Jon Favreau.
Starring Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau. 
Release Year:  2001 
Review Date:  7/24/01 


Maybe you haven't heard about this film, so let me catch you up to speed.  Writer/director Jon Favreau made "Swingers" a few years ago, and that comedy is a staple of guy pop culture now and for years to come.  For his follow-up, he decided to stick to his guns and make a comedy very, very similar to "Swingers" and made sure to feature his buddy from the first film, Vince Vaughn.  Oddly, Favreau decided to stay small with this movie, so it is only in 19 theaters around the country right now, and it will go wider to 100 screens this upcoming weekend.  My friend Mike "The Yac" Iacovone called me up tonight since he wanted to check it out, and I happily came along.

And, while "Made" is not the classic that "Swingers" has become, "Made" is pretty funny on its own.  Plus, in this, the weakest of weak sister motion picture summers, you have got to take advantage of the few good movies left in the theaters.

"Made" follows two down-on-their luck Los Angelenos, Bobby (Favreau) and Ricky (Vaughn), as they stumble upon bit cash opportunity after bit cash opportunity.  Their luck changes for the better after initially getting jobs boxing and sweeping floors.  Enter a crazy older gent (Peter Falk) that gives them the chance to make big money by heading to New York City to complete--or, initiate, maybe?--a coke deal with a European rich guy.  Along the way, the twosome meet up with a Manhattan gangster named Ruiz (rapper Sean Combs, or Puff Daddy, or Puffy, or P-Diddy, or "The Killer of All Good Rap", or "I Never Heard a Song I Didn't Want to Sample"), bent on saying the word "fuck" more times than you have eaten meals this calendar year.

The plot is non-existent, so Favreau must have been banking on audiences laughing at the sheer hilarity of watching Vince Vaughn talk.

And man, is he funny in this movie.  In fact, if you go to see this movie, you can pretty much tune out any scene that doesn't feature Vaughn talking about something inane, or making fun of somebody, or sprinkling profanity like H2O on a hot summer day, or beating somebody up.  Vaughn is absolutely electric in this movie, and while no one will ever accuse him of acting, he is an exciting personality to watch.  "Jurassic Park II" swallowed him alive, what with the special effects and all taking away from Vaughn's high-wire talking ability.  But, here in "Made", all of that is stripped away and what you get--in its funniest sequences--is Vaughn talking to little girls about the real color of frogs, or how much money he is going to tip you to get him a nicer hotel room, or that he needs to be "strapped" when talking to other drug dealers.

If you loved "Swingers", you will surely get a lot out of this movie, although it is not as high on the cool scale as "Swingers" was.  Still, there is a lot to laugh at in "Made."

Rating:  $8.25 Show (barely)


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09