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*** Official "BRUCE ALMIGHTY" Review Thread


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#1 of 11 Stephen Orr

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Posted May 17 2003 - 01:55 PM

Again, being associated with the military has its benefits. My wife and I just returned from our local base theater and a sneak preview of BRUCE ALMIGHTY, Jim Carrey's latest, and a return to the style of comedy we first saw in ACE VENTURA. This time, however, the comedy is not so crude (although there are a couple of absolutely laugh-out-loud rude scenes), and there's an underlying message about prayer, free will and what we truely need verses what we want.

Before I really start, I just want to say that we both went to see BA with expectations that it would be very sacreligious. Both my wife and I are devout church goers and workers, and were VERY pleasantly surprised at how respectful (and insightful)of God this film was.

Bruce Nolan is a Buffalo NY TV reporter who dreams of getting the anchor position at his station, as the senior anchor prepares to retire. Instead, he is relegated to covering fluff stories, and on the day he thinks he's getting his big break
the position is given to a rival reporter.
This causes Bruce to snap on air (very funny), and after he's physically tossed out of the station, a run-in with street toughs pushes him over his breaking point. In a conversation with his live-in girlfriend (a terrific Jennifer Anniston), he blames all of his problems on God, comparing him to a big kid sitting on an ant hill with a magnifying glass. After wrecking his car, Bruce challenges God to smite him, or at least come down and explain why things were happening to him.

Before long, Bruce does meet God (Morgan Freeman, perfect in the role), and as we've seen in the trailers, God gives Bruce his powers (although in a limited area). Bruce immediately does what any human would do, experimenting with, then exploiting, his powers for his own benefit. Problem is, many of the things he does have far-ranging consequences, and soon chaos reigns in Buffalo. Bruce soon finds out that being all powerful can be a lonely job, and that it will not necessarily give you everything you want.

There are some very, very funny things in this movie. My face hurt from laughing so hard,
especially during the on-air breakdown of the rival anchor - caused by Bruce.
most of the PG-13 stuff involves Bruce's first night of power and his seduction of his girlfriend. There are about 3 minutes of outtakes at the end, which are okay.

As a comedy with a pseudo-Christian message, it works to a certain extent. As a straight comedy, it's gonna be a hit. We give it Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image out of Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

#2 of 11 Robert Crawford

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Posted May 18 2003 - 08:58 PM

This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Bruce Almighty". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.



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#3 of 11 Patrick Sun

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Posted May 23 2003 - 01:37 PM

Funny 1st act, sentimental 2nd act, adequate 3rd act. There are a few gut busters, but I thought there was more material to mine from this situation.

The direction in the 1st act (mainly of the characters played by Jim Carrey (Bruce) and Jennifer Anniston (Grace) in their apartment) was pretty clumsy looking, the shot composition was just a little on the amaturish side.

Recommended as a matinee.

I give it 2.75 stars, or a grade of B-.
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#4 of 11 Arman

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Posted May 23 2003 - 03:53 PM

Bruce Almighty (B/B+) is a very entertaining and surprisingly engaging, non-preachy, non-blasphemous neither unnecessarily pretentious for a film (even for a comedy) that has the lead character (JC) meets "God" story. It is not all almighty film but it musters enough strength that I found the "Be the miracle" message quite effective.

The "Red Sea scene" is one of the funniest I've seen this year. rotfl

I liked & enjoyed watching Bruce Almighty more than Liar, Liar (B-), The Truman Show (B-) & Man In The Moon (B-). I hated/disliked all JC's other films including Dumb & Dumber, Masks, Ace Ventura series, Grinch, & Batman Forever.

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#5 of 11 BertFalasco

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Posted May 24 2003 - 03:45 AM

I thought the movie was cleverly done and I love scenarios where the main character gets shat on and then there is redemption.

It was very distinguishable to where the rising action , climax, etc were and I like that about a movie.

I'll await a discussion thread.

#6 of 11 Tim Glover

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Posted May 26 2003 - 05:43 AM

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Very funny!

A B.E.A Utiful movie! Posted Image

#7 of 11 OcieB

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Posted May 26 2003 - 09:33 AM

Compared to his other work, this was a dissapointment. The direction of this movie was very bad, and it left me with the feeling that something was missing; i got this the whole movie, even during the hilarious scenes.
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I have really enjoyed most films starring carey, especially The Truman Show(B+) and Man In the Moon(A-).

This movie reminded me of The Mask alot; in the sense that it could be a whole lot better.
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#8 of 11 Adam_S

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Posted May 27 2003 - 07:49 AM

Posted ImagePosted Image1/2 (out of four)

Bruce Almighty has a great premise, and as a comedy it's very good. it's not as fun as the brilliant Anger Management earlier this year, but it's still a good, if mindless way to spend an afternoon. And that's really my main reservation about this film, is that it touches on ideas but never begins to really explore them, there's a moment in the film that sums this up:
the TV is showing the floods that happened because of the moon change, but then the movie never comes back to this, it never addresses that these sorts of things need to be cleaned up (for the movies sake I assume that God did a cleanup like in the end of Dogma).
Now Bruce doesn't really seem to learn from this, other than losing his girlfriend he never really has to pay for the consequences of his actions. And for all that the film touts about free will, that ends up being the sort of sugar coated warm fuzzy teddy bear religion where you can do whatever you want and if you're a nice person everything will work out fine. You see there's the dark side to free will, and that is we can freely choose to do what we wish, but when we make that choice we also have to live with the consequences from the chain of events that every choice causes.

Bruce Almighty takes place in a world where problems are solved easily. Bruce went berserk on air and he's forgiven once he unearths a major story, likewise for the anchor he's competing with.

Ultimately I think that people that Hated Forrest Gump will hate this movie as well, they'll see the films as having similar messages about accepting fate, and to top it off Bruce Almighty suggests that people should remember the value of hardwork and being happy in their everyday life. How awful!

Of course that's not the message of the film at all. What the film is trying to get at is that God has to balance the concerns of the whole world against the demands of one individual, and if everybody got their wishes (not really prayers) then noone would be happy. And that we have the free will to screw up our relationships with each other and with God. and I love the scene when Bruce asks God how do you make someone love you without affecting free will.

I'm not going to slam the movie. It is enjoyable, it did make me think. A lot of what I thought about was that the concept could've been used differently (and without so much mugging for the camera Carry-shtick). However I feel that for the subject matter it was unnecessarily PG13 since it could easily be an excellent family film without the one f word (got a laugh yeah, but it's horrible way to get a laugh and sacrifice a family audience for a higher rating and the 'teen' audience), this is one film I would probably prefer the TV cut without the swear words (since teh sensuality wasn't too high, just funny stuff). To put it anthother way, the F word in this movie makes about as much sense as the F word would make in Back to the Future or Field of Dreams and similar 'family' films.

I think I really feel sorry for the original writer, because from my guess this was a good script originally and then was rewritten for Carrey-shtick (which I like, but it's not really appropriate here and he can act without it and would have done a better job for the film).

Entertaining, but ultimately empty of meaning.
 

#9 of 11 Scott Weinberg

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Posted May 27 2003 - 08:17 AM

Bruce Almighty Posted ImagePosted Image out of 5

At his best, Jim Carrey is one of the funniest men on the planet. At his most mediocre, he appears in Bruce Almighty - a limp, muddled and obnoxiously preachy little farce that has little going for it besides the 'everyman as God' schtick...and even that wears thin after 12 minutes.

Granted God's powers, what would you do? Immediately help to heal earth's man-made scars? Liberate far-away peasants who are tortured and killed by vicious dictators? Maybe rescue some puppies from a local shelter...

Whatever. You wouldn't spend your time looking up ladies' skirts and making people boobies bigger. That's what Carrey does here; the gags might be a little funnier if they weren't all jammed into the TV ads and trailers.

I'm not saying that a silly throwaway comedy need possess some deep and meaningful agenda; I was prepared to gloss over the stupid plot holes by approaching the flick as a sitcom.

But when Bruce Almighty's Act III schmaltz-fest kicks in, the film feels as schizophrenic as the audience feels insulted. One minute we're watching high-tech movie goofiness; without a hiccup the flick jolts into Maudlinville, population: Jim Carrey.

It's a concept so rich with ideas (Jim Carrey with godlike powers!) that you might think they wouldn't even need a screenplay.

Apparently the producers felt the exact same way. The jokes are delivered with a rhythmic sense of predictable familiarity, Carrey's trademark physical contortions are reined in to a nearly negligible presence, the lead's co-stars are constantly in danger of being upstaged right out of existence...and then there's the schmaltz.

Suffice to say that diabetics and cynics should stay far away from what goes on in the last 20 minutes of Bruce Almighty. Not just because it's saccharine-sweet and contrived to the point of lunacy; it's also a fairly atrocious section of filmmaking altogether. It's as if everyone involved knew they had a profitable flick and rushed to get the thing finished, hoping that the editor could craft some sort of cohesive finale.

It didn't work. Carrey does earn a few mild chuckles (particularly in the film's first 30 minutes) but the one-joke concept is beaten into submission quickly, often and loudly. But hey, one simple joke is enough to open a movie BIG these days - so why bother with anything extra?

There are several familiar faces in the supporting cast, some of whom may have had something noteworthy to add to the film. But an actor doesn't take a role in a Jim Carrey movie to get attention; they do it for a half-percent of the total gross.

#10 of 11 Neil M

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Posted May 31 2003 - 03:13 PM

This movie is a big mess. There are a few redeeming qualities but not enough to recommend it to anyone. I like the performances by Jennifer Aniston and Morgan Freeman. And I like the message it was trying to get across.

Here is what I didn't like. I'll start with the writers. They write one funny scene where he creates the news...

where the dog digs up hoffa's body and the news guys have marijuana in the van


then they follow it up with
A meteor crash!?!?!?


The writers showed some creativity one minute and absolutely none the next one. Also, did we need two scenes with Jim Carrey carrying a dog outside as it was peeing? There were a ton of missed opportunities as far as comedy is concerned.

Next, Jim Carrey was wrong for this role. Everthing he does in this has been done better in other movies. He brought nothing new here. In the scene where he gets revenge with the gang, I couldn't help but think of Me Myself and Irene and how much more I laughed at those revenges.

I think this movie would have been so much better if they took out the teenage comedy and made it something along the lines of It's a Wonderful Life. Just a light hearted comedy with a good message. I think it would have given Jim Carrey some respect as an actor.

I could go on forever about a lot of things but I do know that this was a disappointing movie for me and hardly anyone was laughing in a packed movie theater so I don't think I'm the only one. I rate this a Jim Carrey's worst movie, even lower than ace ventura 2, only for the fact that this had a great potential and was wasted to make a quick hollywood blockbuster. I don't recommend it at all.
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#11 of 11 Dave H

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Posted May 31 2003 - 04:41 PM

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A renter at best.