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Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...Ed Helms!

08.03.2015

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This is Movie Jail, a unique maximum security prison that houses some of the worst writers, directors, actors and producers from Hollywood and beyond. Their crimes? The offenses vary from convict to convict but most of these inmates have contributed negatively to the film world to some capacity* and his or her misdeeds have covered a long enough period of time that the authorities had to intervene. In each column a defendant is put on trial, arguments are made, and then it is up to YOU, the jury, to decide if the person is guilty or not guilty of crimes against cinema. Their lives are in your hands, dude.

The Defendant

Ed Helms

The Case

The Prosecution: Vacation, The Hangover Part III, We're the Millers, The Hangover Part II, The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, with Vacation getting panned by critics and underperforming in its opening weekend, the prosecution has decided to put Ed Helms up for Movie Jail.

Although he had a four-year run on The Daily Show and had minor roles in movies such as Evan Almighty and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Mr. Helms' film career didn't really start until 2009's The Hangover. But since then, the actor has mostly starred in negatively movies, including both of The Hangover follow-ups. Mr. Helms cashed in on the success of the first movie and got a pay increase for the sequels, but the prosecution doubts returning for two more movies actually helped his career.

The prosecution also knows that there are many who just don't think he's that great of a comedic actor, and works best in supporting roles. However, even when he has been cast in non-lead roles, it's been in lousy-to-mediocre films, like We're the Millers. Mr. Helms is set to star in another reboot/remake as Detective Frank Drebin in a new The Naked Gun movie, but after Vacation's poor showing with critics and softer than expected box weekend debut, maybe he should reconsider taking the role.

If Mr. Helms isn't careful, he could get stuck doing direct-to-DVD comedies for the rest of his career. While the prosecution doesn't think the actor needs to be locked up for life, we do believe he should spend a month or two in prison for his bad movie choices.

Vacation Ed Helms Christina Applegate

The Defense: Stretch, They Came Together, Jeff, Who Lives at Home, Cedar Rapids, The Hangover

Ladies and gentlemen, my client has made a few crappy movies, but the defense doesn't think he should be held accountable for their bad reviews. Mr. Helms is a very reliable comedic actor, and he's done a lot with his smaller roles, most notably (in the defense's opinion, anyway) as Karl-with-a-K in Stretch.

But the actor has also been just as good in lead roles. Cedar Rapids and Jeff, Who Lives at Home both feature great performances by my client, but, unfortunately, neither film made huge waves at the box office. Some have pegged Mr. Helms as the next Steve Carell, since both got their big breaks as Daily Show writers/correspondents. However, even though my client starred in The Hangover trilogy, unlike Mr. Carell, he still hasn't found his The 40 Year-Old Virgin yet, a film that not only showcases his comedic skills as a solo lead, but is also a big hit with critics and at the box office. Maybe Mr. Helms was hoping Vacation would be that movie, but things don't always go as planned, and again, he's not the reason why the film has received terrible reviews.

Perhaps Mr. Helms should be a little bit more selective when choosing acting roles, but since he's not an A-lister and has done very solid work on both the big and small screen, the defense doesn't believe he belongs in Movie Jail.

Stretch Ed Helms Patrick Wilson

IN CLOSING...

What should we do with The Hangover star? Are you sick of his schtick, and think he deserves to go to Movie Jail? Or is it still too early in his career to put the actor behind bars? Is Ed Helms GUILTY or NOT GUILTY?

*The cases for and against a defendant going to Movie Jail by the author are not necessarily his views and opinions but they are some of the beliefs that one would use to effectively make an argument for both sides. Not quite a devil's advocate but you get the point. Anyway, this is all in fun so don't take it too seriously. We have a separate jail for those people called "Troll Tower" and believe me you do NOT want to go there.

WHAT SAY YOU, GUILTY OR NOT?

The Hangover Part II Ed Helms

LAST WEEK'S VERDICT

Smokey and the Bandit Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds charmed his way into landing a NOT GUILTY verdict in last week's trial. While many jury members agreed that Mr. Reynolds hasn't been passionate about acting for a long time, most said they didn't want to toss him in prison because of his contributions to the film world, with a few saying Smokey and the Bandit alone should keep him out of Movie Jail.

PREVIOUS VERDICTS

GUILTY Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Vince Vaughn, Tim Burton, The Farrelly Brothers, Michael Bay, Jessica Alba, Ice Cube, Gerard Butler, Halle Berry, Marlon Wayans, Julia Roberts, M. Night Shyamalan , Katherine Heigl , Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tyler Perry, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Ashton Kutcher, Happy Madison Productions, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Willis, Paul W.S. Anderson, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brett Ratner, Rob Cohen, Renee Zellweger, Shia LaBeouf, Renny Harlin, Diane Keaton, McG, Demi Moore, King Joffrey (Game of Thrones Special), David Spade, Spike Lee, Kevin James, Joel Schumacher, Ehren Kruger, Chris Rock, Mark Steven Johnson, Mickey Rourke, Ashley Judd, Uma Thurman, Josh Duhamel, Saw Franchise (Halloween Edition), Zach Braff, Sam Worthington, Melissa McCarthy, The Wachowski Siblings, Kate Bosworth, Garry Marshall, David Goyer, Akiva Goldsman, Avi Arad, Damon Lindelof, Hayden Christensen, Dennis Dugan, Sharon Stone

NOT GUILTY Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Nic Cage, John Travolta, Oliver Stone, Ben Stiller, Jim Carrey, Wes Craven, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Rodriguez, Kristen Stewart, Roland Emmerich, Kevin Costner, Sandra Bullock, Hilary Swank, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Smith, Channing Tatum, Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Anna Faris, Robin Williams, Charlize Theron, Ray Liotta, Jason Statham, Paul Walker, Will Smith, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, Johnny Depp, Ryan Reynolds, Milla Jovovich, John Singleton, Jon Voight, Jack Black, Brian De Palma, Jerry Bruckheimer, Nicole Kidman, Justin Timberlake, Freddy Krueger (Halloween Edition), Johnny Knoxville, Orlando Bloom, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dan Aykroyd, Sylvester Stallone, Gavin Hood, Jason Lee, Jennifer Garner, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kate Beckinsale, John Cusack, Chris Columbus, Clive Owen, Terrence Howard, Andrew Niccol, Drew Barrymore, Steve Martin, Joel Silver, Michelle Rodriguez, Kiefer Sutherland, Dario Argento, Susan Sarandon, Dennis Quaid, Rob Reiner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mel Gibson, Pierce Brosnan, Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman, Ivan Reitman, Stephen Sommers, Shawn Levy, Jai Courtney, Ridley Scott, Peter Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Luc Besson, Jason Reitman, Mila Kunis, Jennifer Connelly, Sienna Miller, Ben Barnes, Simon West, Len Wiseman, Brendan Fraser, Megan Fox, Neal McDonough, Cameron Crowe, Katie Holmes, Elijah Wood, Tarsem Singh, Reese Witherspoon, Burt Reynolds

UPDATES: Robert De Niro, Nicolas Cage and Roland Emmerich, Jim Carrey, Robert Rodriguez and Gerard Butler, Jessica Alba, Julia Roberts and The Farrelly Brothers, Ben Stiller, Tim Burton and Shia LaBeouf, Johnny Depp, Kevin Smith & Chris Rock

Extra Tidbit: Who should stand trial next week? Share your suggestions for actors, directors and writers below with your verdict!
Source: JoBlo.com

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11:23PM on 08/04/2015

Jail for a little while.

Ed Helms is jumping the gun too soon...he needs to star in movies with a strong co-star before branching off for solo comedies like Vacation...I don't think he is strong enough to lead a movie....like the article says..he is better as a supporting actor. I think he should get thrown in jail for a few months.
Ed Helms is jumping the gun too soon...he needs to star in movies with a strong co-star before branching off for solo comedies like Vacation...I don't think he is strong enough to lead a movie....like the article says..he is better as a supporting actor. I think he should get thrown in jail for a few months.
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8:20AM on 08/04/2015

Not Guilty....

He can't be a leading man, have no idea how he gets this job, but he's not dynamic enough to hold a film together. With saying that, he's been funny in what's been decent, but what isn't, is forgettable.
He can't be a leading man, have no idea how he gets this job, but he's not dynamic enough to hold a film together. With saying that, he's been funny in what's been decent, but what isn't, is forgettable.
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1:06AM on 08/04/2015

Guilty

Sure he hit it big with The Hangover films, but he just doesn't cut it as a leading man. He is better as a supporting character. Seems like a really cool guy though, liked him in Stretch & Cedar Rapids, but not much else.
Sure he hit it big with The Hangover films, but he just doesn't cut it as a leading man. He is better as a supporting character. Seems like a really cool guy though, liked him in Stretch & Cedar Rapids, but not much else.
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7:34PM on 08/03/2015
Not Guilty.

But how did this whole article get written without his biggest bomb not even mentioned once, Evan Almighty?
Not Guilty.

But how did this whole article get written without his biggest bomb not even mentioned once, Evan Almighty?
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9:14PM on 08/03/2015
It WAS mentioned.
It WAS mentioned.
2:40AM on 08/04/2015
Funny because it was a typo "he had a minor role in Evan Almighty", they meant Bruce Almighty because Ed was the definitive lead star in it's sequel 'Evan Almighty'.
Funny because it was a typo "he had a minor role in Evan Almighty", they meant Bruce Almighty because Ed was the definitive lead star in it's sequel 'Evan Almighty'.
11:27AM on 08/10/2015
Steve Carell had a minor role in Bruce Almighty and was the lead in Evan Almighty. Ed Helms had a small role in Evan Almighty as "Ark Reporter" and did not appear in Bruce Almighty.
Steve Carell had a minor role in Bruce Almighty and was the lead in Evan Almighty. Ed Helms had a small role in Evan Almighty as "Ark Reporter" and did not appear in Bruce Almighty.
2:28PM on 08/03/2015

Not Guilty

The guy should stick to indie films and more twisted, comedic roles (ie Stretch). He is funny with the right material.
The guy should stick to indie films and more twisted, comedic roles (ie Stretch). He is funny with the right material.
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1:07PM on 08/03/2015

Guilty

I thought We're The Millers was pretty good...but he was worse thing about the film. Seems he only really fits in supporting roles and even then hes usually the most awkward thing about the movie. Stick him in jail for a couple months but hes no Sandler to get an extended sentence.
I thought We're The Millers was pretty good...but he was worse thing about the film. Seems he only really fits in supporting roles and even then hes usually the most awkward thing about the movie. Stick him in jail for a couple months but hes no Sandler to get an extended sentence.
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+0
12:36PM on 08/03/2015
Guilty. Fucking hate this guys acting.
Guilty. Fucking hate this guys acting.
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12:35PM on 08/03/2015
I loathe Ed Helms. He's one note and not funny. He will never be a leading man. He also has a punchable face!
I loathe Ed Helms. He's one note and not funny. He will never be a leading man. He also has a punchable face!
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12:08PM on 08/03/2015

Nice Guy

But Guilty. From the occasional comedic awkward silence or comedic comment, he's not funny.
But Guilty. From the occasional comedic awkward silence or comedic comment, he's not funny.
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12:08PM on 08/03/2015

Nice Guy

But Guilty. From the occasional comedic awkward silence or comedic comment, he's not funny.
But Guilty. From the occasional comedic awkward silence or comedic comment, he's not funny.
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11:31AM on 08/03/2015

Community Service?

I'm surprised that so many people liked Cedar Rapids and that it was included in the defense, I didn't laugh once. Ed Helms seems like a super nice guy, but I've always felt he doesn't deserve a career in show business. The first thing I saw him in was The Office, and he didn't seem to add much to the show. It seemed like he was playing a PG version of Jack Black at times (Rigigigoo and such).
I'm surprised that so many people liked Cedar Rapids and that it was included in the defense, I didn't laugh once. Ed Helms seems like a super nice guy, but I've always felt he doesn't deserve a career in show business. The first thing I saw him in was The Office, and he didn't seem to add much to the show. It seemed like he was playing a PG version of Jack Black at times (Rigigigoo and such).
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11:20AM on 08/03/2015

Not guilty

Cedar Rapids and Jeff.. are two of my favorite independent movies of the last years, so not guilty for me..
Cedar Rapids and Jeff.. are two of my favorite independent movies of the last years, so not guilty for me..
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-1
11:10AM on 08/03/2015

Career average: 5.4/10.

Not Guilty. He doesn't seem to be quite sure of how to use his talent, but he does have it. He was great playing the loveable loser in CEDAR RAPIDS. He was good playing the whipped boyfriend in THE HANGOVER, but someone (maybe him?) thought it would be a good idea for him to constantly shrill in THE HANGOVER PARTS II & III. He was annoying at first in THE OFFICE because he was meant to be. After his character got a redemption, he was just another cast member. He got more story-arcs than
Not Guilty. He doesn't seem to be quite sure of how to use his talent, but he does have it. He was great playing the loveable loser in CEDAR RAPIDS. He was good playing the whipped boyfriend in THE HANGOVER, but someone (maybe him?) thought it would be a good idea for him to constantly shrill in THE HANGOVER PARTS II & III. He was annoying at first in THE OFFICE because he was meant to be. After his character got a redemption, he was just another cast member. He got more story-arcs than necessary (including a certain spot everyone wanted) because he was a star by that point. He was threatening enough in MEET DAVE, but not in WE'RE THE MILLERS because he was playing him as a loveable loser. I can't comment on THE LORAX because I saw it in Spanish.

Next week: Candice Bergen, Jessica Biel, Alan Cumming, Elisha Cuthbert, Danny DeVito, Matt Dillon, Kelsey Grammer, Melanie Griffith, Don Johnson, Angelina Jolie, Jamie Kennedy, Ben Kingsley, Eugene Levy, James Marsden, Amanda Peet, Sean Penn, Kelly Preston, Meg Ryan, Barry Sonnenfeld, Barbra Streisand, Nick Swardson or Patrick Warburton.
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11:06AM on 08/03/2015

Not guilty

...but just barely.
...but just barely.
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11:01AM on 08/03/2015

Not Guilty

According to you, the man is good half the time. That's actually pretty good odds. The Hangover aside, I think Helms is best suited to more indie fare. He was terrific in Cedar Rapids, good in Jeff, Who Lives at Home, and inspired in Stretch. I don't think he's terribly suited to broad comedy. His best work outside of The Daily Show and The Office is in some pretty twisted movies.
According to you, the man is good half the time. That's actually pretty good odds. The Hangover aside, I think Helms is best suited to more indie fare. He was terrific in Cedar Rapids, good in Jeff, Who Lives at Home, and inspired in Stretch. I don't think he's terribly suited to broad comedy. His best work outside of The Daily Show and The Office is in some pretty twisted movies.
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10:33AM on 08/03/2015

Not guilty

The sample is too small and he was clearly the third actor billed in the Hangover movies, so it's not the breakout role he needs. He may not be a leading man but we'll see.
The sample is too small and he was clearly the third actor billed in the Hangover movies, so it's not the breakout role he needs. He may not be a leading man but we'll see.
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9:30AM on 08/03/2015

Guilty

2yr sentence until he can collaborate with the right crew again. btw, the fact that his role in The Office wasn't mentioned by either side (his best work for his kind of comedy imo) is a travesty!
2yr sentence until he can collaborate with the right crew again. btw, the fact that his role in The Office wasn't mentioned by either side (his best work for his kind of comedy imo) is a travesty!
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12:51PM on 08/03/2015
It's called "Movie Jail." The actor is on trial for his crimes in film, not for his performances on television.
It's called "Movie Jail." The actor is on trial for his crimes in film, not for his performances on television.
2:32PM on 08/03/2015
BrokenDreamer: TV shows have been considered valid arguements in several previous trials.
BrokenDreamer: TV shows have been considered valid arguements in several previous trials.
11:37AM on 08/10/2015
Why have they been considered valid arguments, though? It is Movie Jail, so that should not include TV. Besides, there are actors who have succeeded in television and failed in movies, and had to return to TV because of it. An example of that is Taylor Kitsch, who was great as Tim Riggins on Friday Night Lights but couldn't make it as a Movie star. They are different mediums, and one can be barred from movies and find a home in TV. Look at M Night Shyamalan: his movies have been awful, but
Why have they been considered valid arguments, though? It is Movie Jail, so that should not include TV. Besides, there are actors who have succeeded in television and failed in movies, and had to return to TV because of it. An example of that is Taylor Kitsch, who was great as Tim Riggins on Friday Night Lights but couldn't make it as a Movie star. They are different mediums, and one can be barred from movies and find a home in TV. Look at M Night Shyamalan: his movies have been awful, but he got involved in Wayward Pines, which has been well received.

Besides that, Ed Helms was ANNOYING on The Office. I love that show, but he was probably the worst part, especially after Steve Carell left and he took over as manager. He was at his worse during the final season, when Andy decided he wanted to be an actor. I absolutely despised his performance in the episode where he learned "Plop" was dating Erin. His behavior was childish. Even if you include The Office, it does not help his case. It hurts it.
8:16AM on 08/03/2015
Guilty. Never like him and never find him funny. Even as a guest star role in the second season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine wasn't funny either.
Guilty. Never like him and never find him funny. Even as a guest star role in the second season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine wasn't funny either.
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