Date of birth
21st September, 1965
1st January, 1970
Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for a holiday romp that once again provides a few solid laughs. Alas, it's also just as unambitious, never pushing its characters very far or coming up with anything terribly original. But filmmakers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore know that sometimes audiences just want dumb entertainment.
In the week before Christmas, Amy (Mila Kunis) has reached breaking point with all of her motherly responsibilities. So she's delighted that her boyfriend (Jay Hernandez) and kids just want to have a mellow holiday. Then her hyper-demanding mother (Christine Baranski) arrives with enormous plans that Amy's meek dad (Peter Gallagher) quietly goes along with. So Amy turns to her best friends Kiki and Carla (Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn) for help. And they've also been invaded: Kiki's far-too-involved mother (Cheryl Hines) arrives for three weeks, while Carla's biker-chick mom (Susan Sarandon) is a gambling addict in need of cash. So Amy, Kiki and Carla team up to take back control of Christmas.
Continue reading: A Bad Moms Christmas Review
It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness. This movie is wilfully goofy but feels oddly irrelevant, focussing on a colourful central character who never quite seems like a real person. Woody Harrelson pours plenty of energy, humour and emotion into the title role, but it's difficult to identify with this optimistic curmudgeon. Still, quite a few moments are genuinely hilarious.
Harrelson plays Wilson, a guy who can't resist saying whatever he thinks, even though it annoys pretty much anyone within earshot. He over-shares with strangers, complains constantly about everything and refuses to stop offering unwanted advice. In his mind he's making the word a better place, but his life is a mess. And when his father dies, he realises that he has no friends left aside from his dog Pepper. Leaving Pepper with a neighbour (Judy Greer), Wilson tracks down his ex-wife Pippi (Laura Dern) and is shocked to learn that she gave birth to his daughter after they split up, giving the baby up for adoption. So Wilson goes on a quest to find the now 17-year-old Claire (Isabella Amara), barging into her life in the hope of rescuing his own.
There are very few characters in this film who can bear to be in the same room as Wilson, a man with no manners who has no idea that he is rubbing everyone the wrong way. And for the audience, it's not much better to be in his presence for the length of this 94-minute movie. Harrelson is charming, but the script has Wilson veering from giddy to angry to cruel and back, which is a serious challenge for the actor to play consistently. That Harrelson manages it is no mean feat. Opposite him, Dern and Greer are terrific as his long-suffering foils. And Amara takes every opportunity to steal scenes out from under her veteran costars.
Continue reading: Wilson Review
Wilson (Woody Harrelson) may not be the most likeable of fellows; he has a penchant for startling and offending strangers with his overly honest opinions; but he considers almost everyone as a friend he just hasn't met yet. His gregariousness, however, didn't save his relationship with his estranged wife Pippi (Laura Dern) when she left him 17 years ago, and since then he's been on a quest to save himself from his crushing loneliness. Things seem to take a turn for the better when he discovers that Pippi put a daughter named Claire (Isabella Amara) up for adoption around the time that they broke up, and he sets out to find her and become the father that he's always wanted to be. He drags a reluctant Pippi along with him, but is he just trying to force a happy family on two unwilling figures that don't really want anything to do with him?
Continue: Wilson Trailer
By Rich Cline
While zombie rom-coms aren't original (see Shaun of the Dead or Warm Bodies), this take on the genre has such a deadpan tone that it feels refreshingly unpredictable. While the plot sometimes seems like it's going to spin completely out of control, writer-director Jeff Baena (who wrote I Heart Huckabees) holds it together with clever twists and turns and smart, witty dialogue. And the terrific cast helps balance the humour and horror with a hint of emotional depth.
It opens as soulful teenager Zach (Dane DeHaan) is grieving about his recently deceased girlfriend Beth (Aubrey Plaza), who was killed by a snake bite. As Zach and Beth's parents (John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon) help each other get over the shock, they are startled when she arrives back home as if nothing happened. Utterly unaware that she's undead, Beth can't understand why Zach is looking at her strangely, while her parents become super protective, refusing to let her outside for fear that someone will spot a dead girl walking around. Then Zach begins to notice that Beth isn't the only person in town who has come back to life. And when he runs into old friend Erica (Anna Kendrick), Beth's jealousy seems to trigger a full-on zombie invasion.
By focussing on the warped relationships between the characters, the film keeps the audience both involved and entertained. The humour is a mix of bone-dry dialogue and riotously nutty visual gags that escalate as the story progresses. And there are constant wrinkles in the plot, such as how Beth conveniently can't remember breaking up with Zach before she died. Or how Zach's gung-ho brother (a scene stealing Matthew Gray Gubler) reacts to the growing threat of the walking-dead. And by combining real heart with silly comedy and even some genuine scariness, filmmaker Baena manages to make some sharp observations about both love and grief.
Continue reading: Life After Beth Review
Cheryl Hines was welcomed into the Kennedy family over the weekend.
Congratulations to Cheryl Hines and Robert F. Kennedy, who just tied the knot in Massachusetts! The high-profile pair had the ceremony at the Kennedy Compoundon Cape Cod in Hyannis Port, because that’s just how you celebrate a new member of the Kennedy family – with luxury and a massive guestlist.
Cheryl Hines looks visibly moved and excited as she arrives at the wedding tent.
Zach is a total mess following the sudden death of his girlfriend Beth and turns to her equally grief-stricken parents for support. However, when they stop contacting him, he becomes confused by their evasiveness and begins to suspect their daughter is still alive. Sure enough, there's a hole in the ground by her presumably previously occupied grave and she appears to have resurrected from the dead. Zach doesn't know what to think, but when he sees her looking just the same as she did before she died, he is overcome with emotion and decides to tell her everything that he wished he'd said before she passed. However, their happy ending is quickly cut short when Beth starts displaying increasingly erratic behaviour - such as biting and eating a man. Realising that she's a zombie complicates things for Zach, who'll give anything to keep her around but struggles to cope with her newfound brutality.
Continue: Life After Beth Trailer
Robert Kennedy Jr and Cheryl Hines - Robert Kennedy Jr. and girlfriend Cheryl Hines enjoying Independence Day together in Hyannis Port - Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, United States - Thursday 4th July 2013
Cheryl Hines spotted shopping for golf clubs
Keri Russell had a certain low-key, empathetic quality as the sensitive coed on the WB series Felicity, but nothing about that whispery, earnest role indicated she could carry a movie herself, especially as a different character altogether. In Waitress she plays Jenna, an unhappily married young woman who channels her frustrations into the creation of fantastic pies, and taps a reservoir of star quality; it takes considerable charisma for an actress to likably cuss out her unborn child (she doesn't fantasize about a son or a daughter; she writes the child letters that start with "dear baby").
The film, written and directed by the late Adrienne Shelly, opens with Jenna discovering this pregnancy, and despairing over the fact that it ties her to her surly, controlling husband Earl (Jeremy Sisto). She dreams of escape plans, squirreling away tip money from her titular job and soliciting advice from her two friends and co-workers, while peevishly and secretly attending doctor's appointments with Dr. Pomatter (Nathan Fillion). In the back of her mind, Jenna seems to know that keeping secrets and extra cash may not be enough; her escape is attempted through a series of half-measures.
Continue reading: Waitress Review
A car with a mind of its own meets a screenplay with no mind to speak of in Herbie: Fully Loaded, Disney's brainless but painless effort to reintroduce its overhauled Volkswagen Bug to a new generation of gearheads. And while party gal Lindsay Lohan is a significant visual upgrade over original Love Bug stars Buddy Hackett and Dean Jones, Herbie has the same sophomoric physical gags and safe family humor tucked under his hood.
Lohan plays Maggie Peyton, the only daughter born into a family known for producing stock car drivers. Dad (Michael Keaton) calls the shots from the pits, brother Ray (Breckin Meyer) crashes cars on a weekly basis, and Maggie goes unnoticed until the day she comes into contact with a possessed VW Beetle that feels the need for speed. Together with her best friend and fellow mechanic, Kevin (Justin Long), Maggie starts entering local races, where she accidentally humiliates NASCAR Nextel Cup champ Trip Murphy (Matt Dillon) and sets the stage for a showdown race at the California Speedway.
Continue reading: Herbie: Fully Loaded Review
Every time Lindsay Lohan and Disney join forces to updatea kiddie movie from the studio's slap-dash period of the 1960s and '70s,they've come away with a winner. 1998's remake of "The Parent Trap" showed a savvy sense of humorwhere the original was merely cutesy-poo. 2003's hilarious "FreakyFriday" expanded on its predecessor's body-swapconcept to hit the nail on the head of mother-daughter relationships. Nowcomes "Herbie: Fully Loaded," a witty and creative follow-upto the dumb but endearing "Love Bug" movies about a race-crazyVolkswagen Beetle that comes to life.
Lohan plays fresh college grad Maggie, a speed demon groundedfrom racing by her struggling NASCAR-driver father (Michael Keaton) aftera bad crash in an illegal street race. For her graduation present, Daddytakes her to a junkyard to pick out a fixer-upper car, and she reluctantlychooses a rusty 1963 Volkswagen Beetle with a forgotten history and waymore personality than Maggie bargained for. The moment Maggie turns thekey in Herbie's ignition, the little Bug takes off like an excited puppy-- with his passenger screaming her head off -- and the pair end up ata backwoods body shop where Herbie gets a make-over and Maggie gets a loveinterest (Justin Long).
While looking for parts at a car show, Herbie and Maggiefall into an impromptu street race, which leads to a nitrous-fueled desertshowdown for pink slips, then a demolition derby ("10 cars enter,one car leaves!" chants the crowd in a "Mad Max" tribute)and -- after some serious souping-up with a roll cage, fat tires, a spoiler,and passing mention of a rules loophole -- a shot at NASCAR glory.
Continue reading: Herbie: Fully Loaded Review