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MatchFlick Member Reviews
Mr. Woodcock
5 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Craig Gillespie

Written By:
Michael Carnes, Josh Gilbert

Cast:
Billy Bob Thornton, Seann William Scott, Susan Sarandon, Scott Adsit, Brad Beyer, Brent Briscoe, Jacob Davich, Kurt Fuller, M.C. Gainey, Craig Gellis, Googy Gress, Zia Harris, Evan Helmuth, Lyle Kanouse, Eric Lange, Gus Lynch, Kip Martin, Dan John Miller, Sharon E. Morris, Robert O'Connor, Amy Poehler, Anthony Reynolds, Melissa Sagemiller, Ethan Suplee, Stephen Taylor, Max Van Ville, Emily Wagner, Lisa K. Wyatt, Allisyn Ashley Arm, Carissa Koutantzis, Lindsay Ballew, Daniel Espeseth, Kavi Ladnier, Joshua Feinman, Logan Grove, Corbin Albaugh, Craig Anstett, Shannon Burwell, Bryant Carroll, Jacob Christopher, Michael D'Amore, Sean Dwyer, Van Epperson, Suzanne Friedline, Beth Gargan, Alec George, Dave Kuhr Trevor Laake, Marcel Lam, Ralph Lister, Michael Lodovico, David L.M. Mcintyre, Brian Nolen, David Pease, Victoria Profeta, Ty Rushing, Michael Santorico, Glenn Sauber, Josh Shada, Phillip Gramm, Kyley Baldridge, JD Piché, Sam Stefanski


 
Mr. Woodcock (2007)
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Movie Review by Jarrod
September 15th, 2007

Billy Bob Thornton, in 'Mr Woodcock', is much like his character in Bad Santa, utterly devoid of kindness, mean, cruel, and sadistic, harboring a deep resentment of children, and is thoroughly unpleasant, and doesn't care one bit whether anyone likes him or not.

He is a wonderfully versatile and complex actor, to see him in Slingblade, or even Friday Night Lights, and then watch him in Monster's Ball, where he plays a vile racist who finds redemption, in the arms of a black woman, after he has driven his son to suicide. Thornton is good at being an a**hole, and there are few words that describe Mr. Woodcock more accurately. He is a gym teacher, who likes to harass his students, especially the fat ones, clumsy ones, nerdy and shy ones, those who never do well in gym, and they are subjected to physical and verbal abuse. One of Woodcock's frequent targets is John Farley, who, as an adult, writes a bestselling self-help book, which makes him a celebrity.

This new, famous Farley (Seann William Scott) returns home to find that his mother Beverly (Sarandon) is actually dating Woodcock, much to Farley's horror. Farley wants revenge, and he also wants to drive Woodcock out of his mom's life, and Woodcock playfully taunts him, and is not easy to get rid of; he will stay for spite if for nothing else. Thornton dominates the film. He is fun to watch, and never reveals any degree of sentimentality, his tyrannical personality remains intact from the first scene to the last. Scott has come a long way since American Pie, but his career choices since then have been less than stellar, Dukes of Hazzard and Bulletproof Monk are shining examples of that, but here he is mostly effective, though he is always in Thornton's shadow, but they do work well together, especially the moments where they get to beat the crap out of each other. Sarandon has a solid supporting role, as a lonely woman who finds a man who seems to care about her, and she is not initially that receptive to her son's protests, since he is hardly around, and she perhaps sees a side of Woodcock that is not visible to the rest of us. However, 'Mr Woodcock' is billed as a comedy, and it is not that funny.

As one might expect, most of the humor is captured in the trailer, so if you watch that, then you have seen just about everything that might generate a laugh. Scott goes through some humiliating stuff, and Amy Poehler, as book publicist Maggie, throws out a few zingers here and there, and the title might inspire some giggles from the immature, but overall, 'Woodcock' is all about Thornton, and I enjoyed him most of all.

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