Category Archives: United States

Pick or Pan of the Week: “Horrible Bosses”

horrible bossesPICK Horrible BossesA comedy directed by Seth Gordon with a hilarious ensemble cast, including Charlie Day, Jason Bateman, and Jason Sudeikis, which tells the harebrained but highly entertaining story of three unhappy friends who enlist the help of a shady ex-con to devise a “foolproof” scheme that will rid themselves of their insufferable employers…for good.

Hossible Bosses has a super dark premise, the pace is uneven, and the humor is lewd, crude, and highly offensive, but even still, the film is undeniably relatable and packed with punch. Plus, the cast is fully equipped with loads of energy and top-notch comedic timing. The jokes may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this outrageous farce definitely delivers the just desserts topped with tons of fun.

Check out what Ben Kendrick of ScreenRant.com has to say about Horrible Bosses. What do you think? 

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Filed under Comedy, United States

Pick or Pan of the Week: “Mr. Popper’s Penguins”

pan Mr. Popper's PenguinsPAN Mr. Popper’s PenguinsA family comedy directed by Mark Waters, starring Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, and Angela Lansbury which tells the hackneyed story of an ambitious business man who has no idea what’s really important in life. Well, that is…until he inherits 6 waddling roommates who transform his posh bachelor pad into a polar ice cap, create some general, kid-friendly mayhem, and teach him valuable life lessons…you know the drill. 

Mr. Popper’s Penguins nestles nicely into the syrupy family fare genre; many of the jokes may fall far south of hilarious, but the film is still cute enough for kids and schmaltz-loving adults to get a kick out of it. The film’s primary weakness, which ironically is also its biggest strength, is Carrey’s show-stealing performance. In these types of films, the adorable animals are supposed to take center stage…and it’s not like the arctic birdies aren’t trying  – they tap dance to “Ice Ice Baby” for cryin’ out loud! Yet in almost every scene, Carrey manages to upstage them, which doesn’t serve his character all that well since he’s supposed to be cold and unfeeling. Oh well, I guess…at least he’s entertaining.

Check out what Twitch Film has to say about Mr. Popper’s Penguins. What do you think?

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Filed under Comedy, United States

“Everybody’s Fine” Trailer Review: Can the American Remake Live Up to the High Quality of the Italian Original?

Trailer Review: The ironically titled Everybody’s Fine is a remake of the 1990 Italian film Stanno Tutti Bene directed by Guiseppe Tornatore. The original is a bittersweet charmer of a film packed with plenty of heart and complex emotions, but it remains to be seen whether Kirk Jones’ adaptation will succeed at capturing the refined lyricism of its precursor.

Everybody's FineWith an all-star cast including Robert De Niro, Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale, and Sam Rockwell, Everybody’s Fine is a two-generational drama about a suburban father who embarks on a difficult path of self-awareness while trying to reconnect with his four adult children.

In an uncharacteristically subdued role, De Niro plays the mild-mannered Frank Goode, a recent widower and retired telephone-factory worker who has tirelessly strived to give his kids a better life. But now, as adults, Frank’s children all live miles apart and have become too preoccupied with their personal lives to spend much quality time with their dear old dad.

So, after his wife’s death, Frank elects to reach out to his scattered brood of progeny by inviting them to a weekend family get-together. Unfortunately, Frank’s reconciliation plans are foiled when, one by one, all of his children cancel on him without saying why. This is the point when Frank decides to pack his bags and set out on a grand journey across the country to pay a surprise visit to each of his offspring.

Frank’s first stop is New York City to see his son, David, a struggling artist who does not appear to be home. The trailer shows Frank (who is apparently cellphone-less) forlornly sitting on David’s stoop engaged in a little appendage show-and-tell with a prostitute. After New York, Frank travels to Chicago to see his daughter, Amy (Kate Beckinsale), an advertising executive living a picture-perfect life (or so it seems). Next, Frank is Denver-bound to visit his classical musician son, Robert (Sam Rockwell), who turns out not to be the conductor he led his father to believe he was. And finally, Frank finds himself in Sin City, where his most welcoming of children, daughter Rosie (Drew Barrymore), works as a dancer.

Everybody's FineOver the course of his expedition, it becomes apparent that Frank’s children have a few secrets about their lives, and presumably David’s whereabouts, that they would rather not disclose to their father, given his health and elevated expectations for each of their accomplishments. The trailer makes a point of highlighting this issue by stressing the recurring presence of the telephone wires that Frank ran for a living, which serve as an ironic visual motif for a family with communication difficulties.

As is evidenced in the trailer, Everybody’s Fine presents plenty of lovely moments for each of the children’s characters to shine. But as charming as Beckinsale, Rockwell, and Barrymore appear to be in their roles, the trailer makes it clear that the film’s main focus is on the evolving patriarch, Frank.

It is refreshing to see De Niro in this tenderly crafted and very relatable role, which will no doubt make every audience member want to reach out to their own father to tell him how much he is loved. Yet, as heartwarming and endearing as the trailer portrays the film to be, it also really hams up the cheese factor. As a result, the trailer imparts the impression that the remake of Everybody’s Fine is going to be far more conventional and predictable than the original and will probably leave the audience wishing for a tic-tac to eradicate the film’s schmaltzy aftertaste.

Check out the trailer for Everybody’s Fine. What do you think? 

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Filed under Dramedy, United States

Pick or Pan of the Week: “Midnight in Paris”

Midnight in ParisPICK Midnight in ParisA rom-com written and directed by funny man Woody Allen, starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, and Marion Cotillard which tells the enchanting tale of a young, engaged couple, whose family’s business has lead them to the French capital. Gil (Wilson), a frustrated screenwriter who is enamored with Paris in the ’20’s, dreams of writing the great American novel à la Hemingway or Fitzgerald. Gil’s prickly fiancé, Inez (McAdams), however, isn’t nearly as interested in historical nostalgia and ends up taking more of a fancy to Paul (Sheen), an arrogant pseudo intellectual. But that’s alright, because when the clock strikes twelve, Gils gets a first-hand taste of the Paris that he so adores.

Midnight in Paris may not have as much staying power as some of Allen’s earlier work, but this effervescent gem of a film is chock full of charm and does for the city of lights what Allen previously did for the Big Apple in Manhattan. That is, he transforms Paris into so much more than just the film’s scenic backdrop; he gives the city a pulse and turns it into just as much of a scintillating player as any one of the characters in the film.

Check out what Peter Martin of TwitchFilm.com has to say about Midnight in Paris. What do you think?


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Filed under Rom-com, United States

Pick or Pan of the Week: “Something Borrowed”

Something BorrowedPAN Something Borrowed A rom-com directed by Luke Greenfield, starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson, and John Krasinski which tells the story of a love triangle between good girl Rachel, Rachel’s best friend, Darcy, and Darcy’s fiancé , Dex, whom Rachel has been secretly crushing on since law school. Also thrown into the geometic love nest is Rachel’s confidante and Jiminy Cricket, Ethan, and Darcy’s stalkerish gal pal, Claire, who is jonesing for a bonesing from Ethan. Hmm…I guess that makes Something Borrowed more of a love pentagon than a triangle.

At any rate, Something Borrowed holds no more weight than the foam on top of your morning latte. Kate Hudson can add yet another notch to her rom-com slumming bedpost, as she is entirely unlikeable in her role as the narcissistic Darcy. And Ginnifer Goodwin isn’t much better in her portrayal of Rachel, who is played out to be a complete a doormat, hovering on pathetic. John Krasinski is the film’s only saving grace, with his comedic prowess proving that bad movies can happen to good people.

Check out what Matt Goldberg of Collider.com has to say about Something Borrowed. What do you think? 

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Filed under Rom-com, United States

Pick or Pan of the Week: “Prom”

PAN PromPAN PromA comedy directed by Joe Nussbaum, starring Aimee Teegarden, Thomas McDonell, and Siu Yin Chang which unfolds the intertwining stories of several teenagers as they precariously approach one of the most significant transitional periods of their lives, leaving high school to enter adulthood. And, oh yeah, prom is kind of a big deal too.

As a sugar-coated Disney flick, Prom has a gooey cliché  center and is sprinkled with a cast of Promketeers.  The teenage stereotypes are immediately apparent, as the Prom ensemble makes the Brat Pack look well-fleshed out and thoughtful.  At best, the characters in this chaste and lackluster film vaguely hint at what real teenagers are like. Bottom line: just say ‘no’ if you get asked to this Prom.

Check out what the Cinenerd has to say about Prom. What do you think?



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Filed under Comedy, United States

“Our Family Wedding” Trailer Review: A High-Flying, Culture Clash Comedy

Our Family WeddingTrailer Review: From Director Rick Famuyiwa comes Our Family Wedding, the story of newly engaged couple, Lucia and Marcus, whose marital bliss is interrupted before it even has a chance to commence by the high-flying tempers and egos of their clashing families. This nuptial comedy stars America Ferrera, Lance Gross, Forest Whitaker, Carlos Mencia, and Regina King.

Lucia and Marcus are young, in love, and engaged. As a twosome, they couldn’t be happier. They are about to find out, however, that when you marry someone, you tie the knot with their entire family.

After returning home from college, the happy couple invites each of their families out to dinner to announce their engagement. What should be a joyous occasion turns out to be a complete disaster as the two highly competitive alpha fathers (Mencia and Whitaker) immediately butt heads. The madcap events that ensue make it anyone’s guess as to whether Lucia and Marcus will be able to survive their engagement long enough to actually make it down the aisle.

With two overbearing dads and a wedding-planning stage-mom, the only sensible one in the mix is Marcus’ dad’s best friend, Angela, who is able to successfully keep a level head even when the you-know-what starts to hit the fan.

Our Family WeddingThe trailer for Our Family Wedding starts off by introducing the audience to both Lucia and Marcus along with each of their families. Right away, it becomes evident that these two groups of relatives are not going to be as much like peas in a pod as they are like lemon juice and paper cuts.

From the trailer, Ferrera, Gross, and King all appear very charismatic, but it is the performances made by Whitaker and Mencia, which serve as brilliant comedic foils for one another, that steal the show.

The trailer for Our Family Wedding does a superb job of setting the stage for this film to have plenty of familial strife layered with a profusion of humor and heart. And if a scene encompassing two machismo father figures dealing with a very frisky, Mexican wedding goat is any indication of this film’s level of hilarity, then audiences should be in for a real tickle-your-funny-bone kind of treat.

Check out the trailer for Our Family Wedding below. What do  you think?


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Filed under Comedy, United States