Date of birth
23rd July, 1973
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
Kathryn Hahn, Jeffrey Tambor, Jay Duplass and Amy Landecker seen at Jeffrey Tambor's Star Ceremony. The actor has been honoured with his own star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame - Hollywood, California, United States - Tuesday 8th August 2017
An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some very deep topics without flinching. It's essentially an impassioned plea to snap out of the way people in the West have been sleepwalking into consumerism and complacency. Viewers who believe that things are just fine will probably be troubled (or angered) by this movie, but those willing to think and have their beliefs challenged will find it entertaining and invigorating.
It opens in the American northwest, where Ben (Viggo Mortensen) is raising his six kids in the middle of a forest, teaching them to use their minds and bodies to think and survive. His wife is ill in hospital, and when she dies the kids insist on attending her funeral, even though her parents (Frank Langella and Ann Dowd) ask Ben not to come. So they pile into the family bus and head across country, stopping to visit Ben's sister and brother-in-law (Kathryn Hahn and Steve Zahn). This encounter and others along the road demonstrate just how far advanced Ben's children are, although they're not terribly well equipped to interact with general society. Eldest son Bodevan (George MacKay) has been accepted into all of the top universities, but hasn't a clue how to talk to a girl. And middle son Rellian (Nicholas Hamilton) is beginning to question the Bohemian lifestyle.
This is a fascinating exploration of a group of children whose upbringing has given them razor-sharp minds, leading them to political beliefs that are far outside the mainstream. The unsubtle connection is that the majority of the public are manipulated by corporate interests that put money ahead of everything else. Actor-turned-filmmaker Matt Ross smartly explores this theme from every angle, which makes the film easy to engage with. And it helps that the driving force of the plot is the emotional desire to say goodbye to a wife and mother.
Continue reading: Captain Fantastic Review
Bad Moms is an American comedy film that stars Mila Kunis as the main protagonist Amy Mitchell who appears to lead the perfect life, she has a good career, over - achieving kids and a lovely home. However all is not as it seems and Amy is at the point of breaking. She is over-worked and finds herself running late to all her appointments. In her quest to free herself from this rut, she joins forces with two other overworked mums to liberate themselves from their daily responsibilities and start living again.
Continue: Bad Moms - Red Band Trailer
A provocative drama wrapped in the skin of an adult sex comedy, this sharply written and performed movie is hugely entertaining even as it grapples with some big issues. The central themes here are notions of celebrity and sexuality, neither of which is nearly as clear-cut as the audience or characters think they are. And the script allows actors like Jack Black and James Marsden to do what they do best while undermining their usual personas with some edgy shadings.
Black plays Dan, the self-proclaimed leader of his high school class' 20-year reunion. He has always felt invisible, and is annoyed that he gets no respect from the reunion committee. Then he spots hot classmate Oliver (Marsden) in a TV advert and hatches a plan to increase his popularity by convincing Oliver to attend the reunion. He lies to his boss (Jeffrey Tambor) about needing to go to Los Angeles on business, and he gets carried away as the openly bisexual Oliver shows him the partying lifestyle, taking things far beyond where he thought his limits were. Back home, he can't admit any of this to his sharp wife (Kathryn Hahn) and begins to lose touch with his smart teen son (Russell Posner). Then when Oliver turns up, things get even more precarious.
Filmmakers Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul get everyone into this mess in the usual ways, with snappy dialogue, goofy antics and rather a lot of humiliating embarrassment for poor Dan. Then they do something interesting: they refuse to play it safe, taking a surprisingly complex journey through questions about everything from peer pressure and family dynamics to the illusion of fame and the unspoken spectrum of sexuality. So even though the characters aren't always likeable, and even though all of them make some questionable choices, they're unusually sympathetic because the astute script and performances make them thoroughly recognisable.
Continue reading: The D Train Review
While it's great to see M. Night Shyamalan return to the twisty horror genre, his use of found-footage leaves the film feeling like a decent premise with nowhere to go. Presented as a documentary made by a teenager, the movie is relentlessly uninteresting, only watchable because of a few mild jolts and a blackly comical freakishness. Otherwise, the characters are too thinly drawn, and the story too gimmicky.
It opens as a single mother (Kathryn Hahn) reconnects with her parents on Facebook after 15 years estrangement. Instead of going home to see them herself, she books a holiday with her new boyfriend and sends her teen kids, cynical Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and clownish Tyler (Ed Oxenbould), to stay with Nana and Pop-pop (Deanna Dunagan and Peter McRobbie). But as Becca and Tyler videotape the experience, they begin to worry about their grandparents' sanity. Maybe it's just old age, or perhaps they are "sundowners", pensioners who go a bit mad at nighttime. And as things get progressively bizarre, both of them begin to worry that perhaps there's something locked in the basement that Nana and Pop-pop don't want them to see.
Everything on-screen is shot on cameras supposedly wielded by Becca and Tyler, although several scenes are implausible or frankly impossible. Shyamalan does a nice job creating a creepy vibe, then throws things suddenly into the frame to make the audience jump. But there isn't a single moment of proper suspense, mainly because it's all played for laughs: as if senile old people are hilarious. Until they become menacing, of course. Shyamalan pushes this idea with a very heavy hand, attempting to manipulate the audience's response by slowly dribbling out revelations that aren't particularly clever or surprising. And through it all, there's the nagging sense that nothing about the script holds water, starting with a mother's willingness to send her kids on their own to stay with parents she has avoided for a decade and a half.
Continue reading: The Visit Review
Highly respected theatre director Arnold Albertson could not have made more of a mistake when he spends the night with a young and attractive escort named Izzy; now determined to become an actress, she turns up at auditions for his next big Broadway show the following day. To make matters even more awkward, his wife Delta is already cast in the upcoming play and Izzy's remarkable skill leaves him no choice but to take her on to avoid suspicion from the rest of the impressed cast. Unfortunately, it isn't long before Delta's co-star and ex-boyfriend Seth (who happens to still be in love with Delta) finds out about Arnold's brazen infidelity, and with this hanging over him, Arnold has no idea if show will go on if the truth comes out. Izzy is also causing a stir in other people's love lives; her therapist Jane has fallen head over heels for Arnold's playwright Joshua, but he only has eyes for Izzy. Who knew one girl could be so much trouble?
Continue: She's Funny That Way - Clips
Wacky enough to make us smile but never laugh out loud, this screwball comedy harks back to those nutty 1970s farces Woody Allen used to make about a group of neurotic urbanites. Actually, filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich used to make those kinds of movies too (1972's What's Up Doc is a classic). But he gives this film an oddly muted tone and uneven cast, which leaves it enjoyably silly even though it's never very funny.
It's set in a version of Manhattan where everyone sees the same shrink, eats in the same restaurant and stays at the same hotel, conveniently. Isabella (Imogen Poots) is working as a hooker, and her next john is Arnold (Owen Wilson), who offers her $30,000 if she gives up being a call girl after tonight and pursues her dream of becoming an actress. Then when she goes for her first Broadway audition, she's shocked to discover that Arnold is the director, and her costars would be his wife Delta (Kathryn Hahn) and leery actor Seth (Rhys Ifans), who knows what she used to do for a living. Another ex-client (Austin Pendleton) is obsessing because Isabella has vanished, so he visits the tetchy therapist Jane (Jennifer Aniston), who not only happens to also be counselling Isabella but is dating the playwright Joshua (Will Forte) who fell for Isabella at her audition.
The entanglement between these seven characters is recounted in flashback as Isabella is interviewed by a jaded Hollywood reporter (Illeana Douglas), so the film has a rather episodic structure as it traces each slapstick encounter between these people. With the plot so ludicrously convoluted, it's up to the actors keep us entertained, and they're a mixed bag. Aniston is surprisingly funny as the short-tempered psychologist who really should be in therapy herself, and Hahn gets the balance just right between the manic emotion and the darker comedy. Ifans has his moments as well, creeping around the corners of most scenes. But Poots never quite convinces in the focal role, while Wilson merely recycles his usual hapless routine and Forte gets lost in the shuffle as the token nice guy.
Continue reading: She's Funny That Way Review
By Rich Cline
Big summer blockbusters are so rarely optimistic that it's tricky to know how to take this movie, its utopian view of the future is a refreshing antidote to both dystopic-nightmare thrillers and those blood-boiling, doom-and-gloom documentaries about how the end of the world is nigh. Even more interesting is the idea that this movie is essentially based on Walt Disney himself, who believed creativity and invention were the key to a happy tomorrow. So it's a bit of a shame that everything feels so childish.
The story centres on the restless Casey (Britt Robertson), an almost frighteningly brainy teenager who's trying to keep Nasa from closing down the launch pad where her dad (Tim McGraw) works. Unknown to her, the eerily ageless young Athena (Raffey Cassidy) is watching, leaving a pin that's a key to a magical glimpse of a parallel space-age future. Investigating this, Casey travels to Houston, where she gets in trouble at a sci-fi collectible shop. Rescued by Athena, they travel to New York to meet Frank (George Clooney), a grumpy old man who was once a wide-eyed inventor like Casey and has known Athena since 1964. Together they work out a way to get back to Tomorrowland to confront its pessimistic leader Nix (Hugh Laurie), who seems to have accepted the fact that the world is falling apart.
The script briefly grazes against big ideas like global poverty and climate change, which gives the film a hint of weight to balance out a plot that is clearly aimed at a 10-year-old. It's all rather simplistic, which means it doesn't quite speak to grown-ups, although the positive approach can't help but catch the interest. Director Brad Bird (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol) keeps the imagery whizzy, with fabulous gadgets and thrilling effects work that beautifully imagines a city of the future. Plus a pretty cool Eiffel Tower revelation. He also makes sure that the characters' intelligence shines through, which allows Robertson and Clooney to inject a sparky sense of rivalry.
Continue reading: Tomorrowland Review
Cast and guests arrive at the opening of new Disney sci-fi adventure.
The 'Tomorrowland' premiere turned out a lot of stars on the red carpet this weekend, with George Clooney bringing along his wife (predictably - this couple seems joined at the hip!) Amal Clooney as well as her angel-faced teenage daughter Mia Alamuddin.
Mr. Clooney was his usual dashing self as he hit the premiere of his latest movie, Disney fantasy 'Tomorrowland', suavely dressed in a black suit and chest-bearing black shirt, while wife Amal took chic to a new level with a youthful black and pink number - complete with shades to block out those rays, of course.
A young brother and sister have travelled to their grandparent's house for a week long holiday. Over that time, they have had tremendous excitement and made their grandmother happier than she's been in years, according to their grandfather. When they head to bed on the first day, their grandfather informs them that bedtime is 9:30pm, and they aren't to leave the room after that time. They agree, as it appears to be a seemingly normal request, but they soon start hearing terrifying noises in the darkness. Now, trapped in a cabin out in the middle of nowhere, the children must unearth the secrets of their grandmother, and hopefully escape before it's too late.
Continue: The Visit - Teaser Trailer