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|Index||59 reviews in total|
I gotta say, I was surprised (as I'm sure The Goods' many detractors
will be) by how much I laughed during this movie. The jokes were silly
and often in the background. And funny.
I am really not sure what made me laugh so hard. I think it boiled down to the fact that The Goods is a good ol' raunchy comedy, but with a twist: It seems to be aimed at adults who have lived life a bit, not the Superbad crowd. (FWIW, I do not see the humor in Superbad. I tried. Twice. Couldn't get all the way through it. But was glad I had tried, because it allowed me to laugh out loud at one of the jokes in The Goods.) I am curious if there are older people (over the age of 40, let's say) out there who also dig the film.
As for Pivens' performance, I thought it was weak in the dramatic parts, but this is a comedy, so no harm no foul, and I understand that the dramatic story is there because producers feel it's necessary.
All the players were hilarious. I thought maybe the psycho WW2 vet was a bit over the top, but he did play that part well.
This is normally not my kind of movie -- cheap, raunchy humor is not my bag. I went on a whim and was pleasantly surprised.
It's something to note since not too many other reviews will point it
out that the director of The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard is Neal
Brennan. Who is Neal Brennan? For about the last decade and a half he
was the white-guy collaborator, super-close in fact, with Dave
Chappelle. Now that their collaboration has fallen apart after
Chappelle's walk-away from his show, Brennan is now left to put his own
career forward. If The Goods is a sign of where his career might be
headed... he still has some ways to go. But it's a decent start: he can
definitely let his actors go totally wild and is able to capture plenty
of jokes and wacky characters along the way... and also, sometimes, not
really at all.
Plot? What plot? It's so thin that you'd need Nicole Richie standing by it for comparison. Oh sure, there's character development, sort of, where we see Don Ready (Jeremy Piven), super hot-shot car salesman and his crew of hot-shot car salesman, come to a small town to help a fledgling car dealership for one weekend to avoid getting bankrupt and/or taken over by the dastardly competition plus a "Man-Band" (over thirty boy band) headed by Ed Helms. The rest of the movie's story focuses on this rag-tag group of characters and their one-track adventures, and Ready's whole "finding-himself" saga which includes facing the fact that he's an a-hole who wanders from town to town without any connections personally or acknowledging that he might have a son (who isn't really, by the way, another 'joke'), and the ultimate goal that you know is going to come around, with a twist or two perhaps.
This is a true throw-a-dart-at-a-board comedy where the filmmaker and writers just keep the gags going and going on. It's not just Brennan pushing it either, since Will Ferrell (who appears in one of the funniest scenes in the movie as an angel visiting Ready to give him a boost as a former salesman) produced it, and it has that crazy anything-goes style. What works? This will be subjective, 100%. You can't go into this knowing what to expect even if you think you'd like 'this' kind of movie, meaning a movie with lots of (very) R-rated comedy and actors that those of us who see these movies recognize (Craig Robinson, ken Jeong, Helms, Rob Riggle). Some may dispute if Rob Riggle playing a 10 year old man-child is funny (or the female salesman who keeps hitting on him) or if James Brolin's gay thing for another salesman is funny, or if Helms as a guy in a "Man-Band" going completely obvious is funny.
Some of this, in fact, is. But if I had one problem really overall it was Jeremy Piven. I have a feeling you either really go with this guys work or you don't. I don't, at least not anymore. To describe his performance as Ready is as simple as saying that he walked off the set of Entorage and didn't get out of character except to switch from talent agent to car salesman. It's old-hat by this point, and it's something that Piven has had for a lot of his career going back to PCU. If someone else had played this character it might have been funnier, or more interesting, but with Piven his obvious streak in this film becomes obnoxious, and even funny lines are overplayed as if "hey, this is FUNNY". This can be a problem sporadically in the film as well (one of the characters, for me, that had this was the WW2 veteran car salesman), but none so more prevalent than Piven.
On the opposite side of this is Ving Rhames, who gives a surprisingly funny comic performance as a mack-daddy who's had sex with hundreds of women... but has 'never made love' and finds his possible match with a political-science major stripping to make ends meet. It's a sign of subtlety that the film lacks otherwise. The Goods is an in-your-face * broad* comedy that keeps the jokes flying like a fast food joint. I don't fault the film for trying, but it will be at best a cult curiosity as opposed to something fans of 'this' kind of comedy fully embrace (the Will Ferrell school of crude absurdity to a tee). 5.5/10
After reading so many bad reviews and angry critiques by many people who have only heard certain lines out of context and have not actually watched the entire film, I was surprised and thoroughly pleased to be laughing out loud throughout this entire movie. After a slightly slow start with few jokes in the first ten minutes setting up the story and characters, they finally arrive at the car lot and the story then immediately develops into a very funny final eighty minutes. It is a comedy with an ensemble cast of actors featured in numerous Ferrell/McKay movies with plenty of good-natured humorous satire of needless prejudices that will be familiar to anyone who has watched Chappelle's Show and was able to grasp the satire behind it. Rather than setting up one big gag for the end, the movie has countless visual jokes, hidden background details and subtexts, and quotable lines of funny dialogue layered so thick that multiple viewings will still be enjoyable. This is far superior to Brennan's first film, the unfortunately only mildly humorous Totally Awesome, and features significantly better casting, directing, editing, and production skills. I was concerned that it would be another letdown, but this movie far exceeded my expectations and I look forward to watching it again and noticing even more funny things because some of the funniest details are said immediately after another joke and may be missed because of laughter or are humorous small visual details. This type of layered comedy is known from Anchorman, Caddyshack, Step Brothers, Super Troopers, and Chappelle's Show, so if you liked those then you will be able to appreciate all of the funny lines and jokes from the varied and great cast and all of the humorous details carefully interwoven into this film. Will Ferrell was amazing as a character more crass than ever before and veteran actors Alan Thicke and Ving Rhaymes surprise with their character-breaking roles. Ed Helms and Rob Riggle were my main reasons for wanting to see this film and they do not disappoint when on camera, but I was a skeptical viewer pleased to find that the film was thoroughly funny from start to finish no matter who was on camera in a particular moment. This is what Totally Awesome should have been and exactly what a contemporary comedy should be.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard stars Jeremy Piven as Don Ready, a
character not all that different from Ari Gold who he plays on
but maybe a little more over the top. He's considered a
"mercenary" car salesman; he doesn't work for one auto dealership.
Instead, he prefers to go from one dealership to another for brief
periods of time when one of them is in dire need of a renegade salesman
who can turn things around.
James Brolin plays Ben Selleck who owns a flailing dealership and decides to hire Don Ready for his upcoming Fourth of July sale. Don is having his daily breakfast at a strip club when he receives the call. He gathers up his crew who travel with him wherever he's needed. Don even hires the strip club dj and some strippers to liven things up at the big holiday sale. As I was watching this movie, I thought of how cool it would be to actually have a dj and strippers at a car dealership. I'm pretty sure it would get me over there to check out some cars.
The film has some very good jokes, especially in the first half of the film. It wears a little thin in the second half when they get into a slump and Don loses his focus. He even starts to fall for Selleck's daughter although she's already engaged to a grown man who sings in a boy-band. I guess they had to have somewhat of a story arc as there's not any kind of complicated plot here. Overall, most of the gags work because they're pretty over-the-top just as The Hangover was. This even has some of the same stars from that movie in this one. As a small bonus, Will Ferrell shows up for a brief but rather funny cameo. The film clocks in at just 90 minutes which is perfect for a comedy of this nature, any more than that would have been dragging it out.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Maybe I'm a bit spoiled because I saw this the day I rented
Adventureland and The Hangover.
I don't mind when a comedy uses gimmicks to construct a plot or tell a story but only if they're funny. I enjoyed Anchorman and every other Will Ferrell movie that did that, but the gimmicks in this movie aren't funny. Further more, these bits contradict each other and make the viewer confused. For example: There are 2 introduction scenes for Don Ready. Neither of which are funny but the second does develop his schtick.
Even after it's been reiterated several times, and shown (on the airplane) how good of seller Don Ready is, why does he need a pep talk from his buddy before motivating the sales team? Why did the Ed Helms character come in during dinner and mention that he has to go to practice then leave with his finacee even though he was leaving for practice? I could go on, but let me say that the biggest problem is the movie should never have happened. Why would the owner of car dealership (who wants to get out of the business) make a bet that he could sell all the cars on the lot so that he can keep his dealership? Didn't make sense to me either.
Neal Brennan should never direct again. The only thing I will ever watch that involves Neal Brennan is a new season of the Chapelle show.
Plot? Who says a comedy needs a plot? Apparently no one ever told Andy
Stock or Rick Stemson, but that doesn't seem to matter much. The Goods
is an absolutely hilarious look at the irreverent business of selling
used cars that hasn't been addressed this well since "Cadillac Man" or
They picked the perfect cast for this side splitter. Jeremy Piven is one of those guys who can pull off the two-dimensional character with finesse. His portrayal of Don Ready is the perfect lead for this cast of unlikely car salesmen trying to save the failing dealership. Ving Rhames plays his role with audacity, as do both Kathryn Hahn and David Koechner, all three exceptional comedians in their own right.
Seeing Alan Thicke and James Brolin in the film, along with Wendie Mallck, reminds us that older actors may not take the stage often, but when they do, they know their stuff. While their roles are brief, they are exceptional and add the right amount of balance to the film.
All in all, while I don't see this film walking away with any Oscars, it is an entertaining adult comedy with some great lines and a few scenes so ridiculous they are priceless. The kiddies need to be in bed or out playing in the yard though. Rated a serious R of language and nudity. Oh, don't forget to keep your eyes peeled for a cameo by the ever hot Gina Gershon.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ben Selleck (James Brolin) is about to go down with his business Selleck Motors. He does not have a plan what to do to save his company and decides to hire Don Ready (Jeremy Piven) and his group of professional sellers to help his business stay open. After Ready has his spiel and help sell 71 cars in the first day Stu Harding (Alan Thicke) and his son Paxton (Ed Helms) show up to make a deal with Selleck to buy his lot from him. Before that Ready makes a deal with him to sell the rest of the cars on the lot to save from selling his business he agrees to let it pan out before making any hasty decisions. Ready thinks Blake (Jonathan Sadowski) is his son after hearing how his father left him and his mother and has a crush on Selleck's daughter Ivy (Jordana Spiro) who is engaged to Paxton. This movie is filled with a lot of comedic actors, but also has a great message when you get all the quirks out of it. You even see an appearance from Will Ferrell who is the old owner that Ready worked for. Ed Helms who is currently on the show the Office, plays a funny character and does a great job. He has a lot of things going for him I think. It's funny and I'm sure you will be laughing at most of the jokes in this one.
Gone are the days when a comedy with a premise as simple as this, would
have made me laugh uncontrollably at every instance of humour. It's
either I've grown older and more cynical, or have totally lost my funny
bone. I'd reckon that it's more of the former, as I still laugh just as
hard when I revisit comedies done by the Zucker Brothers time and
again, which measured by my personal yardstick, goes to show that the
comedies these days lack a certain oomph. Watching this was a
reminiscence of an era that I'm still missing, where comedies really
gave audiences some bang for their buck with jokes that will send you
What filmmakers like director Neal Brennan would reckon is funny, is the constant dropping of F-bombs and turning everything possible into a sexual innuendo, be it hitting on the gays, or treading so finely on pedophilia, which I suppose to him is meant to be funny with a female cougar scouring quite unsuccessfully a boy who's trapped in a man's body.
The flimsy plot on which the laughs are built upon, involve a used car business founded by Ben Selleck (James Brolin), who has seen better days, and is now threatened with foreclosure. His sales force, made up of the likes of a senile drill sergeant (Charles Napier) and a madcap korean (Ken Jeong rising to some prominence these days), spells doom especially when they lose customers more than keep and sell them something. Hence extreme times like this meant to engage an external, proved consultant, and that's Don Ready (Jeremy Piven) and his team of Jibby Newsome (Ving Rhames), Brent Gage (David Koechner) and Babs Merrick (Kathryn Hahn).
Part of the fun here I suppose is how each character has to exorcise their personal demons and issues, especially with members of the Selleck family. For Don, it's the prospect of acknowledging a long lost son whom he had unknowingly left behind, and the wooing of Ivy Selleck (Jordana Spiro), who is engaged to boy band leader Paxton Harding (Ed Helms from The Hangover). Then there's Brent who has to keep Ben Selleck himself off his back given the latter's newfound sexual desire. Babs is trying to hit on man-child Peter Selleck (Rob Riggle), a 10 year old trapped in a 30 year old body. And Jibby just wants to make love. Right. Jeremy Piven also lacked that cocky charisma to have carried his character off, and unfortunately for him too that the last act have him moping and whining more than the cocksure seller that he supposedly is.
There's nothing you won't already predict in the narrative as it unfolds and coasts along from joke to joke with its cardboard characters, some of which do work, but most falling flat on its face. Nothing surprising will turn up as you'll see all incoming development from a mile away, right up to the finale. The saving grace may just be Will Farell's uncredited appearance together with two gospel angels who don't mince their lyrics, but other than that, The Goods should have tried harder to live up to its tagline in putting bums on seats - I got an entire hall to myself!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Trying to be a raunchy and crude comedy in the vein of "The 40-Year-Old
Virgin," "Knocked Up" and "The Hangover," the newest Paramount Vantage
release, "The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard," just manages to end up
being raunchy and crude.
Directed by Neal Brennan (in his feature film debut, although he has helmed several episodes of the "Dave Chappell Show"), "The Goods" tells the story of a failing used car dealership in Temecula, CA. (I've actually been there) and the efforts of its owner, Ben Selleck (James Brolin) to save it by hiring a group of "mercenary" salespeople.
These include Brent Gage (David Koechner, "Taladega Nights," "SNL"), Jibby Newsome (Ving Rhames, "Mission Impossible"), Babs Merrick (Kathryn Hahn, "Step Brothers," "Revolutionary Road") and the leader, David "The Goods" Ready (Jeremy Piven, "Old School," "Smoking Aces").
Ready is cool, sure and super confident (he even talks a flight attendant into letting him smoke on board an airplane in flight). But beneath this calm exterior, he hides a deep and troubling secret. Ah, the plot complications of a wafer-thin story line.
The current sales staff is so inept, that one wonders why they even got into auto sales to begin with. There's a goofy Korean guy (Ken Jeong, Mr. Chow in "The Hangover"), a wimp (Tony Hale, Emmett Milbarge in the TV series, "Chuck") and an elderly racist who calls everyone a "queer" and punches out customers (Charles Napier, "Annapolis," "The Manchurian Candidate"). It's no wonder the place is going down the toilet.
By holding a special three-day July Fourth blowout sale, though, Ready hopes to sell every car on the lot and save Selleck's livelihood. His group then takes over, orders new TV spots made, sets up an Astro-Jump for the kiddies and brings in a DJ who refuses to take requests (Craig Robinson, "Zack and Miri Make a Porno," Darryl in "The Office").
The blitz seems to work and the amped-up staff sells 71 vehicles on the first day, but complications occur and soon the owner of a competing dealership (Alan Thicke, "Growing Pains") is trying to buy Selleck's lot. It seems that Thicke's son, Paxton (Ed Helms, "The Hangover," "The Office") - who is part of a boy band and is dating Selleck's daughter, Ivy (Jordana Spiro, P.J. Franklin in the cable series, "My Boys") - needs a big space to rehearse his group in (a used car lot?!)
Yes, there are F-Bombs aplenty, comic violence tossed about and the sex and sleaze are ratcheted up, but the film really only provides four or five solid laughs and a number of little guffaws.
A small amount of unnecessary pathos is injected and the subplots - Newsome wants to find true love with a stripper, Ready feels guilty about the "Kirkie" and Merrick is horny for a 10-year-old boy (in the body of Rob Riggle, "The Hangover") - are not amusing in the least, and the last one is downright uncomfortable.
One of the funniest sequences, however, concerns a crowd rioting when Eric Bice (brother of "American Idol" contestant, Bo Bice) fails to show up at a concert and Ready tries to take his place.
Basically an updated, dirty version of 1980's "Used Cars" (with Kurt Russell and Jack Warden) with little of the humanity or hilarity of that picture. Too bad there's no cash available for this clunker.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (2009): Dir: Neal Brennan / Cast: Jeremy Piven, Kathryn Hahn, David Koechner, Ving Rhames, James Brolin: Comedy about potential, which is something this film lacks. A bunch of misfits assemble to help a car dealership from going bankrupt. Simple, formula and contains one of those laughless sentimental endings that is enough to make someone dose themselves in gasoline. Directed by Neal Brennan with an ensemble cast that had no better offers so they agreed to this sh*t. The cast includes Jeremy Piven, Kathryn Hahn, David Koechner, and Ving Rhames all wasted. Piven plays the lead and there is nothing likable about the lout he portrays here. There is a car from Smokey and the Bandit featured in the dealership and the film had the potential to provide a cameo by Burt Reynolds to buy the car. Instead it gives in to a turnover scheme that lacks laughs and leaves viewers glancing at their watches. Somewhat resembles Used Cars where Kurt Russell worked at a dealership. Seeing that car will allow viewers to go home and watch their copy of Smokey of the Bandit thus allowing themselves to see a better comedy. There is little to laugh at here accept that somebody green lit it and provided the funds to have it made. The result is a film that deserves to be placed on the ground and backed over with a used car for not delivering the goods let alone selling hard. Score: 3 / 10
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