The Burbs (Erin: 4 Stars, Bret: 3.75 Stars)

What a momentous review for the RockMovieProject! Not only do we debut another room of the house — the common area — but we also finish up the B’s!

Seems fitting that The Burbs should follow Bruce Almighty in the RockMovieProject as both films try to achieve the same goal — to entertain the audience and make them laugh — but go about it in such different ways.

As covered in our previous review, Bruce Almighty is what is generally known as a “high-concept” comedy. The pitch to the studio probably went something like this: “Jim Carrey is a down-on-his-luck guy who is given God’s powers as a means to teach him how good he has it.”

One sentence tells you everything you need to know about the movie. It’s relatable in the most minor sense — that most of us have felt a tinge of “grass-is-greener” syndrome in our lives — but, to the best of our knowledge, God doesn’t seem to delegate very often.

That Big Momma’s House got two sequels tells you everything you need to know about Hollywood.

That is where we are with Hollywood at this point. If it’s not a remake, a reboot or an adaptation of a TV series, book or comic, chances are good it’s a high-concept comedy.

The Burbs is the antithesis of all of that. It’s not Citizen Kane, but it’s a refreshingly original film that is entirely relatable.

It’s basically a story about a bunch of men with too much time on their hands acting like children; who among us can’t relate to that?

There’s no body-swapping, God doesn’t give any of them his powers, and there is no real moral to the story, it’s just a bunch of guys acting like idiots and it’s fantastic.

It doesn’t rely on silly gimmicks to entertain because it’s just the slightest exaggeration of how the real world works and that, more than anything else, makes it funny and enjoyable.

We’ll get down from our soap box before we fall, but please know that this was one our favorite movies of the Project so far.

Well-written and perfectly cast — without any real notable actors outside of Hanks and Fisher —  The Burbs is a refreshing, dark comedy that we highly recommend. It actually feels a lot like a happier, more realistic Tim Burton movie, in all honesty.

Let he who has not found a human femur in his backyard cast the first stone.

Hilarious bits throughout, including a ton of tongue-in-cheek horror movie cliches, but probably our favorite parts are the throwaway lines and moments (Ray eating the sardine on the pretzel, the commando neighbor snacking on animal crackers on his roof, etc.).

Bret highly regrets giving it just 3.75 Stars while Erin delivers a shocking 4-Star review for a film she had never seen before.

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