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The Duff Review


Excellent

Astute and genuinely funny teen comedies don't come along very often; this one starts with a smart script and lets the spirited cast run with it. Director Ari Sandel and writer Josh A. Cagan also acknowledge their debt to high school classics like The Breakfast Club (30 years ago) and Mean Girls (10 years ago) as they poke fun at the various types of teenagers within the school hierarchy. Of course, the focus here is a postmodern type, the "designated ugly fat friend", also known as the duff.

It's 17-year-old Bianca (Mae Whitman) who is horrified to learn that she's a duff. She's neither fat nor ugly, but her casual appearance makes her the most accessible one alongside her hot friends Casey and Jess (Bianca A. Santos and Skyler Samuels). Yes, she's the third Charlie's Angel. So Bianca sets out to change her status, enlisting the advice of sexy jock-next-door Wesley (Robbie Amell) in exchange for helping him with his chemistry homework. Her real goal is to build up some confidence so she can pursue the sweetly sensitive musician Toby (Nick Eversman). But Wesley's on-off girlfriend Madison (Bella Thorne) is the campus queen bee, and doesn't like him hanging out with a duff.

The cast and filmmakers have a great time playing with adolescent stereotypes, constantly undermining expectations while pointing out that of course everyone is actually a duff in one way or another. This sharply observant approach gives every hilarious exchange of dialogue a pointed kick. We can't help but laugh simply because we see ourselves in the characters, remembering that when you're a teen everything seems overpoweringly important. Whitman is superb as the brainy, cute girl who has refused to unleash the hottie within, and her spiky chemistry with the energetic Amell is great fun to watch. Although it's the adults who shamelessly steal their scenes, including Allison Janney in a layered role as Bianca's too-helpful self-help guru mother and an unusually restrained Ken Jeong as her journalism teacher.

Continue reading: The Duff Review

Picture - Allison Janney - Six-time Emmy... Los Angeles California United States, Wednesday 4th March 2015

Allison Janney - Six-time Emmy winner Allison Janney grabs a yoghurt in Beverly Hills - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 4th March 2015

Allison Janney
Allison Janney
Allison Janney
Allison Janney
Allison Janney

Picture - Allison Janney and Ari Sandel... Hollywood California United States, Friday 13th February 2015

Allison Janney and Ari Sandel - Los Angeles fan screening of THE DUFF at TCL Chinese 6 Theatres - Hollywood, California, United States - Friday 13th February 2015

Allison Janney and Ari Sandel
Bella Thorne, Allison Janney, Bianca Santos, Skyler Samuels, Mae Whitman, Robbie Amell, Nick Everman, Chris Wylde, Romany Malco, Ari Sandel and Ken Jeong
Allison Janney and Ari Sandel
Bella Thorne, Allison Janney, Bianca Santos, Skyler Samuels, Mae Whitman, Robbie Amell, Nick Everman, Chris Wylde, Romany Malco, Ari Sandel and Ken Jeong
Allison Janney and Ari Sandel

Minions - International Trailer


It's a wonder why the prehistoric tribe of Minions have managed to survive so long with limited access to their staple diet of bananas and very little in the way of intelligence. But they make it their life's work to follow and serve the most despicable of villains in return for their care - though, as time goes on, it seems there are fewer and fewer baddies left in the world, ever decreasing down to the Minion's own ineptitudes. From dinosaurs to vampires, Minions have always been loyal to the evil they serve, but after each tragic and accidental death, they are forced to move on. Stuck in a tight spot with no master to serve, they find themselves bored and depressed; that is until head Minions Kevin, Stuart and Bob decide it's time to set out on an adventure. Through blizzards and mountains, never-ending fields and deadly oceans they travel until they reach New York in 1968. They hitchhike to Orlando's annual Villain-Con and it's there they find their new mistress, Scarlet Overkill, and their only hope of saving Minion-kind.

Continue: Minions - International Trailer

Spy - Teaser Trailer


Susan Cooper works as an analyst for the CIA; rarely out where the action is and working entirely from the office, advising some of the organisation's top agents during their most deadly assignments. However, following a serious lapse in judgement at the hands of her partner during a bomb disposal mission, the agency are forced to enlist another member of the team to uncover the location of the nuclear weapon. Deciding now is the time to drop her boring persona and become the super keen spy she always wanted to be, Susan volunteers to go undercover - to much derision from her colleagues who barely know her name let alone her position in the CIA. She's allowed to prove herself on the task though, with no appropriate alternative, but can she show that Susan Cooper is just as deadly as her team?

Continue: Spy - Teaser Trailer

Picture - Allison Janney (r) and guest... Los Angeles California United States, Sunday 11th January 2015

Allison Janney (r) and guest - A host of stars were photographed as they took to the red carpet at the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards which were held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 11th January 2015

Allison Janney

Picture - Anna Faris and Allison Janney... Los Angeles California United States, Wednesday 7th January 2015

Anna Faris and Allison Janney - A variety of stars were photographed as they took to the red carpet for the 41st Annual People's Choice Awards which were held at the Nokia Theatre LA Live in Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 7th January 2015

Anna Faris
Anna Faris
Anna Faris
Anna Faris

Picture - Anna Faris and Allison Janney... Los Angeles California United States, Wednesday 7th January 2015

Anna Faris and Allison Janney - The 41st Annual People's Choice Awards - Press Room at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, Annual People's Choice Awards - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 7th January 2015

Anna Faris and Allison Janney
Anna Faris and Allison Janney
Anna Faris and Allison Janney
Anna Faris
Anna Faris

The Duff Trailer


The social pecking order of high schools has to be hard enough without discovering that, without your knowledge or consent, you have received a less than flattering label. When high school senior Bianca (Mae Whitman) is at a party, she discovers that she is supposedly a DUFF, or Designated Ugly Fat Friend. The revelation comes as a shock as she is neither ugly nor fat, and soon she discovers that she is in fact simply being labelled as such because she isn't as popular as some of the other members of her high school. Thus begins Bianca's popularity revolution, in which she fights to clear the name of anyone previously landed with the title of DUFF.

Continue: The Duff Trailer

Days And Nights Trailer


Elizabeth (Allison Janney), a young movie star is heading off to spend time with her family over Memorial Day in 1980s rural New England. She brings her partner, Peter (Christian Camargo) to meet her brother, Herb (William Hurt), her son, Eric (Ben Whishaw) and his girlfriend, Eva (Juliet Rylance, and the family doctor, Louis (Jean Reno). Throughout a whirlwind weekend, Stephen (Mark Rylance) tries to keep calm across the land where a majestic bald eagle is trying to raise its young, with the help of his wife, Alex (Katie Holmes). The dysfunctional family battle against each other as they struggle to find true happiness and unity before their personalities tear them apart for good.  

Continue: Days And Nights Trailer

The Rewrite Trailer


Keith Michaels once had it all; recognition and money from an award-winning screenplay and an attractive wife to share it with. However, now he's nearing middle-age and he no longer seems to have any of it. Sure, his famed movie is still a hit, but he's struggling to find any more work and now that he's sadly divorced, the only support he has is from his agent. Desperate to make ends meet, the agent offers him last resort; there's a teaching post vacancy at a small town university in Binghamton, available to teachers in screenwriting. With a Golden Globe hit under his belt, he's a sure-fire candidate for the job - but it's the last thing he wants to do. However, he soon finds the silver lining in that a string of attractive young students have applied to enrol on his course and he uses the opportunity to revel amongst young women, while doing as little work as possible. When he meets mature student Holly though, he's inspired to turn his spiralling life back around.

Continue: The Rewrite Trailer

Primetime Emmy Awards 2014 -Breaking Bad Predictably Dominates Drama


Bryan Cranston Aaron Paul Julianna Margulies Robin Wright Claire Danes Lizzy Caplan Kerry Washington Woody Harrelson Matthew Mcconaughey Anna Gunn Kevin Spacey Maggie Smith Joanne Froggatt Christina Hendricks Jon Voight Peter Dinklage Mandy Patinkin Allison Janney Diana Rigg Kate Mara Joe Morton Beau Bridges Robert Morse Dylan Baker Paul Giamatti

The Primetime Emmy Awards were held on Monday evening (25th August) in Los Angeles and there was stiff competition in every category although the results were ultimately highly predictable. 

Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad dominated the drama awards at the Primetime Emmys.

Read More: Forget Malcolm In The Middle, Three Serious Breaking Bad Ending Theories.

Continue reading: Primetime Emmy Awards 2014 -Breaking Bad Predictably Dominates Drama

Creative Primetime Emmy Awards 2014 [Pictures]


Allison Janney James Lipton Bryan Cranston Benedict Cumberbatch Martin Freeman HBO

The stars stepped out onto the red carpet for one of the glitziest ceremonies of awards season: the Creative Primetime Emmys.

Having previously won for NBC's political drama 'The West Wing' as White House press secretary C.J. Cregg, Allison Janney’s award for outstanding guest actress in a drama series for her role in Masters of Sex, which also stars Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan, was a particular highlight. 

Backstage, Janney highlighted that playing Margeret Scully was certainly challenging at times. "I felt that Margaret Scully challenged me in ways that I've never been challenged before as an actress on so many levels - on an emotional level, on a physical level - and having to do sex scenes was extraordinarily nerve-wracking and stressful for me and something that I didn't think I'd have to do at this age, frankly," she explained.

Continue reading: Creative Primetime Emmy Awards 2014 [Pictures]

Allison Janney Wins Fifth Emmy Award For 'Masters Of Sex' Role


Allison Janney

On Saturday night (Aug 16th) Allison Janney was awarded an Emmy trophy for her recurring role as the begrudging wife Margaret Scully in Showtime's period drama, 'Masters of Sex,' which stars Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan.

Michael Sheen
Sheen and Caplan in 'Masters of Sex'

This was the series' first Emmy win, and the 54 year-old actress's fifth. She was previously awarded four times for her role in NBC's political drama 'The West Wing' as White House press secretary C.J. Cregg.

Continue reading: Allison Janney Wins Fifth Emmy Award For 'Masters Of Sex' Role

Tammy Review


Grim

Melissa McCarthy is clearly in a rut: the title character in this film isn't very far removed from her previous roles in The Heat and Identity Thief. Yes, Tammy is another chubby slob who is on the road to some sort of epiphany, and along the way she realises that simply running a comb through her ratty hair might make her look more human. At least the film has a seriously strong supporting cast who almost make it worth a look.

Tammy (McCarthy) is sacked from her job at a fast-food outlet on the same day she discovers that her husband (Faxon) is having a fling with a neighbour (Tony Collette). In a childish rage, she runs home to her parents (Allison Janney and Dan Aykroyd) and then decides to keep running, taking her grandmother Pearl (Sarandon) along for the ride. Pearl has a dream to see Niagara Falls before she dies, but she's just about as immature as Tammy is, so they immediately start getting into trouble. Their antics include a series of incidents involving a jet-ski, flirting and more with a father and son (Gary Cole and Mark Duplass), robbing a burger joint and attending a raucous 4th of July party at the home of Pearl's wealthy cousin (Kathy Bates).

Tammy is even less worldly wise than McCarthy's previous variations on the character: she has never even attempted to grow up, so reacts to everything like a toddler. Aside from not being remotely funny, this is deeply annoying from the start. And even the characters around her don't laugh - they roll their eyes in exasperation. Then after establishing her as a relentless loser who brings misfortune on herself, the script (written by McCarthy and her real-life husband Ben Falcone, who also directs and appears as Tammy's boss) contrives to make Tammy sympathetic by portraying her as some sort of a victim. Meanwhile, she of course slowly begins to look less cartoonish simply because she changes her shirt and takes a shower along the way.

Continue reading: Tammy Review

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