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“The Goods” is an unabashedly outrageous comedy about a team of hard-charging, harder-living, hardest-partying “mercenary” car salesmen who go from town to town for short-term sales promotions, racking up huge sales numbers, eating take-out, going to strip clubs, getting wasted, and having sex. They like to talk about how they don’t break the rules, but they bend them pretty far. They have each other’s back and don’t trust civilians (anyone who has settled down in one place). They behave immaturely but they think a lot of themselves, and we know this because they tell us. In very graphic terms.
I know what you’re thinking: Apatow, Sandler, or Ferrell?
It’s Ferrell (whose cameo is one of the movie’s highlights). Will Ferrell’s production company is behind this movie, which explains how it manages to be both nasty and genial. Jeremy Piven tweaks his “Entourage” character as Don Ready, a guy who can talk his way into or out of just about anything, including not just being allowed to smoke on a plane but being cheered by every passenger and flight attendant for each puff. Farrell regulars David Koechner, Rob Riggle, Kathryn Hahn (especially funny), and Craig Robinson are joined by “The Hangover’s” Ed Helms and Ken Jeong, the “look, I’m not really the stiff you think I am” James Brolin and Alan Thicke, and the “I define what is cool” Ving Rhames.
Humor can serve many purposes, and one of the most enduring is the chance to see someone say and do things we are not allowed to, and then get away with it, and then not get away with it. The guys who say offensive things are not as bad as the guys who do offensive things but are not manly enough to be profane. And that is the foundation of this film. It’s Ferrell’s viral sensation “The Landlord” made with (chronological) adults. This is slash and burn, shock and awe comedy and it’s cheery outrageousness makes enough of it work to, in Don Ready’s terms, make the sale.

This week, I’ll be reviewing “Young Victoria,” with Emily Blunt as the teenager whose reign as queen of England defined an era. It is produced by Sarah Ferguson, former daughter-in-law of Queen Victoria’s great-great-great-granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II. And there’s also the romantic comedy about an estranged couple who are stuck with each other in the witness protection program, “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” with Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker. But the big news this week is “Avatar,” now officially the most expensive film of all time, from James Cameron, whose last record-breaking budget led to record-smashing box office returns: “Titanic.” “Avatar” is a 3D animated story about a world of 10-ft blue creatures with tails and the humans who interact with them via computer-generated substitutes. That review will be up late Friday; the others on Thursday night.

I’m thrilled that one of my favorite Christmas movies is available on DVD for the first time from Warner Brothers. It is the Emmy-award winning The Gathering and it stars Ed Asner and Maureen Stapleton as the long-separated parents of adult children. He is a wealthy man who has devoted his life to his business. He asks her for help in bringing the family together for Christmas because he has learned that he is dying and this will be his last chance to see them. It has been digitally re-mastered for this DVD edition. The sequel, “Gathering II,” is also available on DVD but has not been re-mastered.
I am very fond of these holiday family gathering drama with old tensions and insecurities revived as family members gather for the holidays and this is one of the best. Every member of the family has some issue to resolve and the performances are exceptional, especially the brilliant Stapleton, who shows us her character’s strength and vulnerability. This is a bittersweet classic of the season.

The Broadcast Film Critics have announced our nominations, often the best predictor of the Oscars. I am hoping to attend the awards event, which will be broadcast on VH1 on January 15. I’ll be voting on these soon, so if you have favorites, let me know!
The BFCA consists of 235 television, radio and online film critics. It is the largest critics organization in the United States and Canada.
BEST PICTURE
“Avatar”
“An Education”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Invictus”
“Nine”
“Precious”
“A Serious Man”
“Up”
“Up In The Air”
BEST ACTOR
Jeff Bridges – “Crazy Heart”
George Clooney – “Up In The Air”
Colin Firth – “A Single Man”
Morgan Freeman – “Invictus”
Viggo Mortensen – “The Road”
Jeremy Renner – “The Hurt Locker”
BEST ACTRESS
Emily Blunt – “The Young Victoria ”
Sandra Bullock – “The Blind Side”
Carey Mulligan – “An Education”
Saoirse Ronan – “The Lovely Bones”
Gabourey Sidibe – “Precious”
Meryl Streep – “Julie & Julia”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Matt Damon – “Invictus”
Woody Harrelson – “The Messenger”
Christian McKay – “Me And Orson Welles”
Alfred Molina – “An Education”
Stanley Tucci – “The Lovely Bones”
Christoph Waltz – “Inglourious Basterds”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Marion Cotillard – “Nine”
Vera Farmiga – “Up In The Air”
Anna Kendrick – “Up In The Air”
Mo’Nique – “Precious”
Julianne Moore – “A Single Man”
Samantha Morton – “The Messenger”
BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS
Jae Head – “The Blind Side”
Bailee Madison – “Brothers”
Max Records – “Where The Wild Things Are”
Saoirse Ronan – “The Lovely Bones”
Kodi Smit-McPhee – “The Road”
BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Nine”
“Precious”
“Star Trek”
“Up In The Air”
BEST DIRECTING
Kathryn Bigelow – “The Hurt Locker”
James Cameron – “Avatar”
Lee Daniels – “Precious”
Clint Eastwood – “Invictus”
Jason Reitman – “Up In The Air”
Quentin Tarantino – “Inglourious Basterds”
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Mark Boal – “The Hurt Locker”
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen – “A Serious Man”
Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber – “(500) Days Of Summer”
Bob Peterson, Peter Docter – “Up”
Quentin Tarantino – “Inglourious Basterds”
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach – “Fantastic Mr. Fox”
Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell – “District 9”
Geoffrey Fletcher – “Precious”
Tom Ford, David Scearce – “A Single Man”
Nick Hornby – “An Education”
Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner – “Up In The Air”
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Barry Ackroyd – “The Hurt Locker”
Dion Beebe – “Nine”
Mauro Fiore – “Avatar”
Andrew Lesnie – “The Lovely Bones”
Robert Richardson – “Inglourious Basterds”
BEST ART DIRECTION
Dan Bishop – “A Single Man”
Rick Carter, Robert Stromberg – “Avatar”
John Myhre, Gordon Sim – “Nine”
Naomi Shohan, George De Titta, Jr. – “The Lovely Bones”
David Wasco, Sandy Reynolds Wasco – “Inglourious Basterds”
BEST EDITING
Dana E. Glauberman – “Up In The Air”
Sally Menke – “Inglourious Basterds”
Bob Murawski, Chris Innis – “The Hurt Locker”
Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua, James Cameron – “Avatar”
Claire Simpson, Wyatt Smith – “Nine”
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Colleen Atwood – “Nine”
Janet Patterson – “Bright Star”
Sandy Powell – “The Young Victoria ”
Anna Sheppard – “Inglourious Basterds”
Casey Storm – “Where The Wild Things Are”
BEST MAKEUP
“Avatar”
“District 9”
“Nine”
“The Road”
“Star Trek”
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
“Avatar”
“District 9”
“The Lovely Bones”
“Star Trek”
“2012”
BEST SOUND
“Avatar”
“District 9”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Nine”
“Star Trek”
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs”
“Coraline”
“Fantastic Mr. Fox”
“Princess And The Frog”
“Up”
BEST ACTION MOVIE
“Avatar”
“District 9”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Star Trek”
BEST COMEDY
“(500) Days Of Summer”
“The Hangover”
“It’s Complicated”
“The Proposal”
“Zombieland”
BEST PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
“Gifted Hands”
“Grey Gardens”
“Into The Storm”
“Taking Chance”
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“Broken Embraces”
“Coco Before Chanel”
“Red Cliff”
“Sin Nombre”
“The White Ribbon”
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
“Anvil”
“Capitalism: A Love Story”
“The Cove”
“Food, Inc.”
“Michael Jackson’s This Is It”
BEST SONG
“All Is Love” – Karen O, Nick Zinner – “Where The Wild Things Are”
“Almost There” – Randy Newman – “The Princess And The Frog”
“Cinema Italiano” – Maury Yeston – “Nine”
“(I Want To) Come Home” – Paul McCartney – “Everybody’s Fine”
“The Weary Kind” – T Bone Burnett, Ryan Bingham – “Crazy Heart”
BEST SCORE
Michael Giacchino – “Up”
Marvin Hamlisch – “The Informant!”
Randy Newman – “The Princess and the Frog”
Karen O, Carter Burwell – “Where The Wild Things Are”
Hans Zimmer – “Sherlock Holmes”