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Cedar Rapids
BLU-RAY disk
Aug 8, 2011 By: Jacob Riley
Cedar Rapids order download
Director:
Miguel Arteta

Actors:
Ed Helms
John C. Reilly
Ann Heche
Isiah Whitlock Jr.

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Tim Lippe has never known anything but the small town he was born and raised in so when his boss sends him on his first insurance convention he has no idea what's in for him in Cedar Rapids. Luckily for him he soon finds himself under the wings of three convention veterans, all of whom love to have a little too much of a good time and they make it their sole mission to get Lippe to cut loose.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
CEDAR RAPIDS accomplishes the impossible, it makes it seem cool to be an insurance salesman. I know! Who'd have thunk it!? It manages to be a fresh take on the classic out of his element small town guy in the big city by adding some serious comedic chops to what should honestly be one of the most boring events on the face of the earth, an insurance salesman convention, and mine it for comedy gold.

The cast is stellar, you get some proven veterans like John C. Reilly mixed in with the rising talent of Ed Helms, who plays Tim Lippe, along with a great supporting cast including Ann Heche, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Root (OFFICE SPACE), Isiah Whitlock Jr. ("The Wire", remember that!) and a surplus of quality cameos. It is Ed Helms that really shines through, though, in what is his first starring role and he embodies the lovably awkward and naive Tim Lippe perfectly, he may be turning into a character actor but he nails it here. Helms is great and easily carries the beginning of the film on his shoulders but when John C. Reilly's Dean Ziegler gets thrown into the mix CEDAR RAPIDS begins firing on all comedic gears and doesn't slow down until halfway through the credits. My favorite scenes in the film, however, is owned by Isiah Whitlock Jr., I won't spoil it here but you'll know it when you see it. If you're wondering Ann Heche holds her own with the boys or if she is just a female placeholder let it be known that it's more often than not that the boys are trying to keep her.

Despite CEDAR RAPIDS being a comedy that quickly gets out of hand (in a good way) there are a few serious moments that come out of nowhere, a couple of them are pretty dark, especially when Lippe starts debating his own conscience and ethics, some of them are very sincere and heartfelt and it is a credit to the actors that they can so quickly switch off the comedic tone for these brief but pivotal moments without them feeling forced.

It is the mixture of these characters and the unlikely but somehow entirely believable Vegas-like atmosphere of CEDAR RAPIDS that make this movie not only work but make laugh-out-loud funny. Every now and again a serious moment curve-ball will hit you but the situation will immediately and expertly be defused and you'll be right back to busting your gut again. CEDAR RAPIDS works on a higher level then R-rated comedies generally attempt to do and while it may stumble a bit in the end to leave us with something of a message that is all secondary to how much you'll laugh, spoiler alert: it will be a lot.
THE EXTRAS
This being "THE SUPER AWESOME EDITION" CEDAR RAPIDS Blu-ray there is a wealth of great special features!

Deleted Scenes: Six clips that hit the editing floor but will still make you laugh.

Gag Reel: John C. Reilly messing up, 'nuff said.

Convention Connection: Interviews with the films stars.

"Mike O'Malley - Urban Clogger": A behind the scenes look at Mike O'Malley learning how to "clog," a bit that ended up out of the final cut of the movie making this extra hilarious.

Tweaking in the USA: A featurette about the filming of the "drug house" scene.

"Wedding Belles" - Crashing a Lesbian Wedding: I'll just leave this one to your imagination, enjoy.

Top Notch Commercial: A fake insurance commercial about a bow-hunting accident, you'll laugh.

Theatrical Trailer

Fox Movie Channel Presents - Direct Effect Miguel Arteta: An interview with the director

Fox Movie Channel Presents - Writer's Draft Phil Johnson: Johnson discusses the real-life inspirations for the film's script.

BD-Live Exclusive: Ed Helm's Mad Chopper Skills: Watch Ed Helms flying his remote control helicopter between takes. Actually pretty impressive, have you ever tried flying one of those things?! They're surprisingly difficult.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
"What happens in Cedar Rapids stays in Cedar Rapids."

CEDAR RAPIDS is a pleasant surprise with a robust cast for an indie-comedy that is at least worth the rental. It should appeal to everyone's sense of humor since it ranges from refined to dick jokes and even throws in a rare refined dick joke or two. If you happen to be an insurance salesman this is a must watch, go get it now so you can pre-func for your next convention, dare to be super awesome.
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