It's a tradition older than The Land Before Time II – building direct-to-DVD franchises on the foundations laid by popular originals, including blockbuster titles like Home Alone, Ace Ventura and Bambi.
Michael Cera has established himself as the sensitive, self-effacing symbol of geek chic, whose trademark monotone seems at once unassuming and laden with irony. In Miguel Arteta’s Youth in Revolt, he cuts loose. Nobody will confuse Francois, his chain-smoking, mustachioed wild-man, with the sort of characters played by Jack Black, a master at embodying the untamed id. But it’s a refreshing change of pace.
Cera plays two roles here: Nick, a shy, retiring teen, and Francois, his rascal of an alter ego. Nick is polite, virginal and far too timid to land the girl of his dreams. That would be the lovely Sheeni (Portia Doubleday), who has a boyfriend but seems open to collecting another.
Fresh off the success of his recently renewed HBO series Eastbound & Down, which cast Danny McBride as a degenerate ex-baseball star whose boozing and athletic decline earned him a one-way ticket out of the game, director Jody Hill returns with yet another portrait of an unlovable loser in the mall cop-meets-Taxi Driver fantasy Observe and Report.