The Wedding Ringer and Mr. Turner: from the ridiculous to the sublime

May 06, 2015- Permalink

Today’s reach into the mailbox goes from the ridiculous to the sublime as I get a chance to look at the comedic talents of Kevin Hart in The Wedding Ringer and the Academy Award nominated cinematography of Dick Pope in Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner. We were sent DVD review copies of these titles by Sony.

In The Wedding Ringer, Kevin Hart plays Jimmy Callahan, a best man for hire, a niche job that helps the less socially connected groom come off as a star on his big day. In this raunchy comedy, Hart gets hired by Doug Harris (Josh Gad) who is getting ready to marry Gretchen (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting). Along the way, Callahan actually befriends Harris, just as Harris begins doubting his bride-to-be is actually “the one.”

First time director (and co-writer) Jeremy Garelick intersperses the predictable physical gags with some glimmers of chemistry between Hart and Gad, manages to set Cloris Leachman on fire and tosses Cuoco-Sweeting on to the pile of forgettable bridezilla roles that could have been played by anyone other than The Big Bang Theory star.

While The Wedding Ringer may be an OK diversion on a rainy day, it’s probably not a must have for your home entertainment library.

From there we swing over to Mr. Turner, director Mike Leigh’s look at the life of eccentric British landscape painter J. M. W. Turner, played here by actor Timothy Spall.

Turner’s a larger-than-life character and while Spall handles the chore of portraying the man, cinematographer Dick Pope handles the task of showing off the man’s work and he handles the task of showing off the artist’s explorations of light and color with such skill that it earned him an Academy Award nomination.

This critically-acclaimed film is definitely worth getting your hands on. Sadly, I only got a DVD review copy. If you really want to see Dick Pope’s cinematography in all its glory, go grab the Blu-ray version.