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Get Smart Tag

Get Smart (2008)
Starring: Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Arkin
Director: Peter Segal

purchase this DVD (Amazon)

In the ’90s, the direct-to-video market was the realm of ex-stars like Corey Feldman, making indirect sequels to forgotten franchises like License to Drive and Meatballs, but the increasing affordability of kickass home-theater systems, and the seemingly infinite possibilities of hi-def formats — not to mention a widening gulf between movie ticket prices and what they actually deliver — have helped level the playing field between the box office and the rumpus room. This year, more than one studio has announced plans to ramp up their direct-to-video output; in the short term, this means you can expect to see sequels to horrible movies like Without a Paddle on the shelves at Best Buy, but in the long run, it just might lead to more stars making moderate-to-big-budget movies for the home market.

Which brings us to Get Smart, which was released to theaters over the summer — and did well, grossing over $100 million — but is a perfect rental if there ever was one.

This isn’t to say Get Smart is a bad movie; actually, I enjoyed it quite a bit more than I thought I would, and laughed often. It’s an endearingly stupid film, which makes perfect sense, given that Steve Carell has built a career out of playing endearingly stupid men, and it’s an update on a television series based on the premise that even an incompetent blowhard can be a superspy. Basically, what it does is take Michael Scott from The Office, give him the skills of an assassin, and set him loose in the Russian countryside with Anne Hathaway. More often than not, it’s a lot of fun.