Specs: Both Widescreen (1.85:1) and Full-screen versions,
English 5.1 Dolby Surround, Spanish and French Dolby Surround,
English and Spanish subtitles
Scene: Tim Allen's first squash game with the big boys.
it's a Fox film, Joe Somebody has the feel of a '70's
Disney movie, given a little tweak for the 21st century.
Whether that's good or bad is up to your personal taste,
but at worst it's harmless, and, as Sarah Stanek pointed
out in her review of Blood
Work, it's hard to find movies that you're comfortable
watching with your parents. This tame Tim Allen vehicle
qualifies, telling a pretty simple story that actually benefits
from the presence of Jim Belushi. Let that judgment sit
plays Joe Sheffer, a guy going through a pretty low patch
in his life. Emotionally dulled by his recent divorce, Joe
toils as a media specialist at a large pharmaceutical company.
Though his work is supposedly exemplary, he's been passed
over for a promotion. All he has is his spot in the seven-year
employee company parking lot and the utter adoration of
his daughter (Hayden Panettiere).
then on "Take Your Daughter To Work" day, Joe loses one
of those last shreds of dignity. Company a**hole Mark McKinney
(Patrick Warburton, criminally underused as usual) cuts
Joe off for his parking space, even though McKinney doesn't
belong in that lot. When Joe confronts him, McKinney slaps
him down a few times, sending Joe on a downward spiral into
drugs, guns, and explosives.
no, it just sends the good-natured Joe into a couple of
pints of Ben & Jerry's, until a company counselor (Julie
Bowen) encourages him to really figure out what he wants
- a re-match. Word spreads through the company that the
suspended McKinney is going to get his comeuppance, and
suddenly Joe Shlepper becomes (drum roll, please) Joe Somebody.
the way there's conflict with his theatrical ex-wife (Kelly
Lynch) and her dim bulb new boyfriend (The State's
Ken Marino), with an unsurprising romance between Allen
and Bowen. While still done gamely, it's Formula 101.
keeps the movie from sinking into utter predictability is
Belushi as Chuck Scarett, a retired action film star now
making ends meet as a karate instructor. As Producer Brian
Reilly points out, Belushi sort of is that guy, ABC
sitcom notwithstanding. Long underrated as an actor (but
overrated as a comedian), Belushi has a world-weariness
that adds just the right note of cynicism. It's also clear
that the screenwriter liked this character best, as he gets
the best lines and seems the most like a real person.
disc has all the requisite extras, but really, this is not
a movie that will make you stampede for the commentary.
Surprisingly, a couple of the deleted scenes are as funny
as what made it into the movie, though an attempt at a running
gag with Marino fails, mainly because of flat acting on
the sketch comedian's part.
a slightly unusual behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood,
the fight choreography short reveals just how much thinking
goes into the little things in production. And how much
work these actors did for roles that still don't seem all
that physical. As is often the case, the gravity with which
the fight director treats himself is a little funny, considering
you might not want this on your shelf, it's definitely one
you can buy for your mom or dad and then borrow.
Joe Somebody from Amazon.com