Ultimate Decades 2021 Blogathon Kick-Off: Bridesmaids (2011) Review

Hello, friends!

I’m excited to be the first to welcome you to the sixth annual Ultimate Decades Blogathon, hosted by Kim from Tranquil Dreams and myself! In the past, the Ultimate Decades Blogathon focused on a specific decade, from the 1970s all the way to the 2010s. Rather than revisit those decades again, the format this year is slightly different. Instead of spotlighting a single decade, the the Ultimate Decades Blogathon is now focusing on films released in years that end in the same digit as the current year. Since this year is 2021, all the films in this blogathon were released in years that end in 1. Exciting, right? I think the participants this year have really outdone themselves and chosen some great films from across the decades. Now, to kick things off, I will share my review of a film that came out just last decade. Without further ado, here is my review of the 2011 Paul Feig comedy Bridesmaids.

Bridesmaids movie posterSynopsis
Jillian (Maya Rudolph) asked her best friend, Annie (Kristen Wiig), to be the Maid of Honor in her wedding. Annie finds competition in Helen (Rose Byrne) for Jillian’s attention.

When a film features an all female ensemble, you would be forgiven if you expect a sappy love story about the women trying to catch themselves a man. If you went into Bridesmaids with that expectation, you would be wrong. Bridesmaids takes inspiration from films like The Hangover and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, showcasing that women can at time be just as crude as men. However, Bridesmaids never tries to be like similar films featuring ensembles of male buddies and sets out to show that female relationships do not revolve around β€œtrying to find the one” as many movies before would have you believe.

The script, written by Annie Mumolo and star Kristen Wiig, is what sets Bridesmaids apart from other female ensemble movies at the time. While vulgar and crude, which is not uncommon in comedy films (especially in the late 2000s/early 2010s), Mumolo and Wiig still manage to make it feel unique. Since this is a movie about women written by women, the relationships between the female cast feel like actual relationships. There’s a true feeling of genuineness to the characters and their interactions between each other. Like many comedies, the script takes something simple, like being a bridesmaid, and puts it under a magnifying glass, exaggerating the experience yet still keeping it relatable. While there were female-led comedy ensemble movies before Bridesmaids, they saw varied success. This film feels like it marked a turning point, proving that the comedies written by and starring women can be just as funny and entertaining as those written by and starring men.

Along with the script, the cast is absolutely stellar. Wiig seems to play off everyone around her. Her scenes with Rudolph feel like the pair have been friends since childhood. Wiig and Rose Byrne, who plays her rival for Lily’s attention, are an absolute hoot when they are together. Wendi McLendon-Covey plays the worn-down mom to perfection. The Office alum Ellie Kemper channels her inner Erin and is adorably awkward. I am a huge fan of the British television show The IT Crowd, so seeing Chris O’Dowd was a special treat. However, the stand-out performance to me was Melissa McCarthy. In one of her first feature film roles, she knocks it out of the park. Every scene of hers is laugh-out-loud funny and her comedic timing is impeccable. It’s not hard to see why her film career took off after starring in this movie. Even though there are many characters, Bridesmaids manages to balance them, providing enough screen time for the supporting characters to feel relevant but still enable the leads to stand out.

I thought Bridesmaids was GREAT πŸ˜€ Written by Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig and directed by Paul Fieg, it opened up the door for modern-day female-led comedies, showing that female-led comedies can be raunchy too and not just reserved for sappy love stories. What’s more, the characters are extremely likable and the entire cast is outstanding. At 10 years old, Bridesmaids has aged like a fine wine, and keeps getting better with every viewing.


Cast & Crew
Paul Feig – Director
Kristen Wiig – Writer
Annie Mumolo – Writer
Michael Andrews – Writer

Kristen Wiig – Annie
Maya Rudolph – Lillian
Melissa McCarthy – Megan
Rose Byrne – Helen
Wendi McLendon-Covey – Rita
Ellie Kemper – Becca
Chris O’Dowd – Rhodes
Rebel Wilson – Brynn
Matt Lucas – Gil
JIll Clayburgh – Annie’s Mom
Jon Hamm – Ted
Tim Heidecker – Dougie

Tomorrow, my co-host Kim will post her entry on her site in part two of the Ultimate Decades Blogathon 2021 kick-off.

As the blogathon progresses, you can check out this compilation page on Kim’s site to view all of the entries.

Until next time, cheers!

Paul Review

Paul movie posterSynopsis
Graeme (Simon Pegg) and Clive (Nick Frost) are two friends who are traveling the American west visiting UFO hot spots. Their holiday takes an unexpected turn when they run into Paul (Seth Rogan (voice)), an alien on the run from Agent Zoil (Jason Bateman).

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have been a part of some pretty unique films to say the least, just look at the The Cornetto Trilogy. This time, they take the reins as the writers of Paul. The pair really let their nerd-flag fly as there is a clear love for nerddom and science-fiction put into it. However, that is only a small part of what makes this an enjoyable film.

Pegg and Frost nail the nerd-type with ease, probably because they could be considered nerds themselves and bring that energy into their characters. If I remember correctly, in an interview I saw for this film’s release, Pegg said this was a love-letter to the comic-con faring, cosplay wearing, movie marathoning group of people (I might have paraphrased that last little bit but you get the point) and it shows. There are plenty of quotes from science-fiction favorites like Back to the Future, Star Wars, Aliens and more that are sure to please genre fans. The movie pokes fun at the nerd stereotype but at the same time, there is a reverence for them, much like Galaxy Quest. It’s a good balance that is difficult to find in movies.

The cast consists of several comedy veterans. Besides the aforementioned Pegg and Frost, Jason Bateman plays Agen Zoil, the primary agent chasing Paul. He plays it very straight-faced, not visibly reacting to how the people around him are acting. It’s a very typical Bateman role but one he does so well. Joe Lo Truglio, one of my personal favorites from the television series Brookly Nine-Nine, and Bill Hader play a set of almost-dim-witted agents who are assigned to help Agent Zoil. Together they have some pretty good moments, although they might not be the most memorable of the film.

I’ve repeatedly said that my sense of humor leans heavily towards the raunchy, tongue-in-cheek style comedy and this film delivers on that. When you see Seth Rogan and Kristen Wiig on the cast list, you can expect nothing less. It’s definitely not for everyone but there are plenty of probing jokes and f-bombs sprinkled throughout. Wiig’s character, Ruth, especially curses a lot since she is β€œpretty new” to cursing, only starting after meeting Paul. I don’t know why but I find her cursing inexperience absolutely hilarious.

I’ve talked about the cast a lot but that’s really what makes this movie work. The movie never takes itself too seriously and caters to its audience perfectly. Everyone in the cast knows what type of movie they are making and lean into their parts easily. When the cast is having fun, it shows and in turn makes the film more enjoyable for the audience.

I thought Paul was GOOD πŸ™‚ It’s clearly aimed a specific audience but there is plenty for others who don’t fit the mold as well. The cast is really what drives this film. The humor might not be for everyone but you are going to find that in all comedies. If you’re looking for a fun and raunchy comedy, then Paul is the film for you.

Favorite Quote
Paul: Hey, there, sleepy face!
Ruth: Fuckeroo. That was the best titty-farting sleep I have ever had.


Cast & Crew
Greg Motolla – Director
Simon Pegg – Writer
Nick Frost – Writer
David Arnold – Composer

Simon Pegg – Graeme Willy
Nick Frost – Clive Gollings
Seth Rogan – Paul (voice)
Kristen Wiig – Ruth Buggs
Jason Bateman – Agent Zoil
Bill Hader – Haggard
Joe Lo Truglio – O’Reilly
John Carroll Lynch – Moses Buggs
Jane Lynch – Pat Stevens
Jefferey Tambor – Adam Shadowchild
David Koechner – Gus
Jesse Plemons – Jake
Sigourney Weaver – The Big Guy
Blythe Danner – Tara Walton

If you’re interested in joining the Ultimate 70s Blogathon, you can find all the information here.

Lightning Review: Sausage Party

Sausage Party movie posterSynopsis
All food in the super market want to go to the Great Beyond, the perfect world outside of their store. For Frank the sausage (Seth Rogen (voice)), this means finally getting the chance to be with his girlfriend, Brenda the bun (Kristen Wiig (voice)). When a jar of honey mustard (Danny McBride (voice)) returns from the Great Beyond, shaken from the experience, Frank sets out on a journey to find out what really happens when food goes out the super market doors.

That synopsis is a huge misrepresentation of the film. I cannot even begin to really describe Sausage Party. At first, it may seem like a food version of Toy Story but that could not be any more false. The similarities end after the anthropomorphism of the characters. This film is exactly what I expected after watching the previews: vulgar, juvenile, disgusting, and sexual innuendos everywhere, which is right up my alley as someone who has the mental maturity and sense of humor of a 15-year-old. However, Sausage Party ignores any sensible lines and instead flies miles past them. I can’t recall how many times I thought to myself, “did they just go there?” Then the next scene thought it again. I don’t think my jaw has dropped so many times while watching a movie before. It’s like every scene tried to out what-the-fuck-did-they-just-do the last. Then in the last five minutes, the director said “fuck it” and the movie devolved into pure, insane absurdity. I think it is safe to say that I have never seen a film like this before and I haven’t determined yet whether or not I mean that in a good way.

I thought Sausage Party was GOOD :-). I had a really hard time deciding on what to rate this. On the one hand, I laughed. A lot. But in the other, it is very obscene, pushing the boundaries even for me. In the end, I laughed and got enjoyment from it, which is what I want out of a movie. Although, I wouldn’t mind neuralyzing myself and forgetting I ever saw this film. If I ever see Sausage Party again, it will be too soon.


Cast & Crew
Greg Tiernan – Director
Conrad Vernon – Director
Kyle Hunter – Screenplay
Ariel Shaffir – Screenplay
Seth Rogen – Screenplay / Story
Evan Goldberg – Screenplay / Story
Jonah Hill – Story
Christopher Lennertz – Composer
Alan Menken – Composer

Seth Rogen – Frank Wienerton / Sergeant Pepper (voice)
Kristen Wiig – Brenda Bunson (voice)
Jonah Hill – Carl (voice)
Bill Hader – Firewater / El Guaco / Tequila (voice)
Michael Cera – Barry (voice)
James Franco – Druggie (voice)
Danny McBride – Honey Mustard (voice)
Craig Robinson – Mr. Grits (voice)
Paul Rudd – Darren (voice)
Nick Kroll – Douche (voice)
David Krumholtz – Kareem Abdul Lavish (voice)
Edward Norton – Sammy Bagel Jr. (voice)
Salma Hayek – Teresa del Taco (voice)
Scott Underwood – Twink / Gum / Krinkler’s Chips / Pizza (voice)
Lauren Miller – Camille Toh

How to Train Your Dragon 2 Trailer

Official Synopsis: The thrilling second chapter of the epic How To Train Your Dragon trilogy brings back the fantastical world of Hiccup and Toothless five years later. While Astrid, Snotlout and the rest of the gang are challenging each other to dragon races (the island’s new favorite contact sport), the now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace.

I have only recently seen How to Train Your Dragon, but that doesn’t mean I am any less excited for its sequel.Β  The animation of the first film was amazing, and this looks as gorgeous as ever.Β  We saw the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless develop previously, and they have clearly grown even closer, but I don’t think it will be a big focus this time around.Β  I am more interested to see how the relationship between Hiccup and Astrid has developed since the end of the last film.Β  Even just in this trailer, it seems much of the comedic elements (both dialog and Toothless’ actions) that made Dragon so enjoyable is retained.Β  A good sequel raises the stakes, and this appears to do just that.Β  Drago seems like a worthy threat to not just the dragons, but all of Berk.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 hits theaters June 13, 2014.Β  Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Jonah Hill, America Ferrera, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse all reprise their roles from How to Train Your Dragon.Β  They are joined by new comers Djimon Hounsou, as Dragon, and Cate Blanchett, as Valka.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 movie poster

How to Train Your Dragon Review

How To Train Your Dragon movie posterSynopsis
Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) aspires to be a dragon hunter like his dad, Stoick (Gerard Butler), and his fellow vikings. But when he discovers an injured dragon, the two become unlikely friends and discovers that there is much more to dragons than he expected.

When my friend told me How to Train Your Dragon was probably the best animated movie ever made, my reply was, β€œThat’s a bold statement.” I mean, how can you beat the heart of Toy Story or the cleverness of Shrek? But he insisted. After finally watching it, I must say he isn’t far off. It’s not the best animated movie in my opinion, but it is definitely up there as one of my favorites.

First off, the film starts with a bang. The opening scene does well to both set up the conflict between the vikings and the dragons, as well as introduce all the main characters. It’s a giant set piece that would give most action movie openings a run for their money. There are explosions. Lots and lots of explosions.

The producers could not have picked a better voice cast for Dragon. Baruchel’s dry tone and sarcasm fit with his character perfectly. Butler was born to play a viking. He does fantastic as both the tough dragon slayer and the loving father. Other voices include Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, TJ Miller, and Kristen Wiig.

Mintz-Plasse’s character, Fishlegs, is large and round, the complete opposite of what you would expect from his voice. Fishlegs is the dragon guru, and rambles off stats Dungeons and Dragons style. Miller and Wiig play the twins Tuffnut and Ruffnut, respectively, who attempt to out-annoy each other. Ferrera voices Astrid, a girl trying to prove she is just as tough as the boys. And Snotlout, played by Hill, spends the entire movie to to impress Astrid. My favorite, though, is Fergurson’s Gobber, the one-armed, one-legged teacher who believes that trolls β€œsteal your socks, but only the left one.”

With an ensemble of great comedic actors, it’s only natural that the dialog would be funny, too. The best stuff happens when this group is all together and they can riff off each other. They come of with some pretty clever banter. But what is even more impressive is the movie’s use of visual gags. When one of your two main characters is a mute dragon, it can be difficult to crack jokes. But Dragon proves that you don’t need words to be funny.

Animation technology is continually progressing, and it is important for animation studios to adapt and improve along with it. With that said, this film is one of the best looking animated features I have seen. What sets it apart from previous animated movies is the attention to detail and the use of lighting. Contrasts are utilized very effectively, really giving a sense of depth.

On a quick note, the score, composed by John Powell, is amazing. It adds that extra touch to an already awesome film.

If I were to have one gripe with the film, it would be the father-son dynamic between Stoick and Hiccup has been used over and over in film. Stoick is the tough dad who has a soft spot for his son; Hiccup is the physically weak kid who tries to follow in his father’s footsteps but fails to keep up with the high expectations from being his son. This is the driving force for countless movies and their success has been varied. Dragons, however, utilized this clichΓ© to great effect, so I can’t knock it too hard.

Anyone who enjoys animated movies should check out How to Train Your Dragon. A great cast, amazing animation, and funny dialog and visual gags makes this film one of the best animated films of the last few years.