Like comfort food, this movie has very little nutritional value, but it sure goes down smoothly. This is one of those shamelessly delicious-looking films that makes our mouths water at the tasty dishes that are lovingly created on-camera. And it also has an array of deeply likeable characters, witty cameos and sparkling dialogue to keep us smiling. So who cares that nothing unexpected happens from start to finish? This is a movie we sit back and enjoy without worrying about the appearance of a plot twist.
The title character is Carl (played by writer-director Jon Favreau), the chef at a top Los Angeles restaurant that is stuck in a rut because the owner (Dustin Hoffman) refuses to change anything on the menu. When a snooty food critic (Oliver Platt) criticises Carl for his tired and predictable cuisine, Carl's reaction sparks an angry Twitter war. In a fit of anger, Carl quits his job then hatches a plan to get back to his roots while bonding with Percy (Emjay Anthony), his pre-teen son with spicy ex-wife Inez (Sofia Vergara). So Carl and his sidekick Martin (John Leguizamo) take Percy to Miami to refurbish food truck and drive back to California, along the way building a reputation and perfecting their Latin-infused menu.
Since a complex plot would just be distracting, this film coasts on the charisma of its likeable cast, throwing in lively side roles for the likes of Scarlett Johansson as a restaurant colleague, Bobby Cannavale as a fellow chef and most memorably Robert Downey Jr. as Inez's hilariously nutty ex. Everyone is relaxed and effortlessly funny, which makes the interaction feel amusing and never remotely forced. While this is easily Favreau's most assured work as a director (that's including the first two Iron Man movies), this is also his most generous performance too. He infuses the whole film with easy-going charm.
Continue reading: Chef Review
Carl Casper is a chef working at one of the top restaurants of Miami. Food is his ultimate passion in life and so he is utterly heartbroken when his boss forces him to cook a 'safer' menu, bypassing his usually ambitious creations. The change came about when it was found that a formidable food critic would be visiting the establishment, but, as it turns out, the menu switch was a bad idea and Carl doesn't take his subsequent criticism very well at all. After reading his bad review and going viral, he sends out a badly judged post over Twitter and is thus forced to leave his post at the eatery. Instead, he sets up his own food truck, delivering his food on wheels to anyone willing to try a new culinary experience, and along the way uses it to reconnect with his young son and ex-wife.
'Chef' is brilliant comedy about self-discovery, passion and drive. The movie's main star, Primetime Emmy nominated Jon Favreau ('Cowboys & Aliens', 'Iron Man', 'Elf', 'Zathura: A Space Adventure'), was also responsible for the direction, production and screenplay and it made its premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in March. It is due for UK release on June 18th 2014.
Carl Casper is a well-known chef from Miami who works in a trendy LA restaurant much lauded by critics. However, when one particularly formidable critic shows up to taste Casper's food, his culinary creativity is thrown into question when his boss requests he make something a little more 'safe' than his usual creations. Unfortunately for Casper, he doesn't take criticism too well and loses his cool in a tirade which is captured on film and subsequently goes viral across all social mediums. Now jobless and unsure of his own passions, he returns to Miami to set up a food truck by the name of El Jefe Cubanos in a bid to regain some of his ingenuity and, of course, respect. The journey also sees him reconnect with his wealthy ex-wife and young son as the family attempt to rebuild the bonds between them.
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Puss (Banderas) is a notorious outlaw looking for a way to clear his name and repay an old debt when he hears that redneck thugs Jack and Jill (Thornton and Sedaris) have some magic beans that can be used to find a golden-egg-laying goose. Then he discovers that sexy thief Kitty Softpaws (Hayek) is also after them. And worse yet, she's working with Humpty Dumpty (Galifianakis), Puss' childhood cohort who once betrayed him. When Humpty convinces Puss that he's now a good egg, the trio makes an elaborate plan to get the beans together.
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As Fernanda enters her final year at Tanner Hall, a rundown boarding school in New England, she is met by some surprising changes within her group of peers. A friend from her childhood joins the school. Victoria, an alluring trouble causer brings a whole new challenge to her school.
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Puss in Boots first appeared in Shrek, sent by Princess' Fiona's father King Harold to kill the ogre; however, he fails in doing this and instead becomes friends with Shrek and in particular with Donkey, helping them and their friends on various quests around the kingdom of Far Far Away.
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Charlie and Dan (Travolta and Williams) are old pals and partners as sports publicists. Charlie is a relentless bachelor, teasing Dan about his impulsive, brief Vegas marriage to Vicki (Preston) eight years earlier. What neither of them knows is that Vicki gave birth to Dan's twins (Ella Bleu Travolta and Rayburn), and now she needs him to watch them for two weeks. Nutty antics ensue as these cute kids upset these men's life, dragging them off for a weekend camping trip and of course slowly winning them over in the process.
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Teens Needy and Jennifer (Seyfried and Fox) have been best pals since childhood, but their friendship has now shifted: Needy likes everyone and has a nice-guy boyfriend, Chip (Johnny Simmons), while Jennifer is the school's ice-queen babe. One night their favourite band Low Shoulder is performing at a local bar, and Jennifer has her eye on the singer (Brody). But he decides to sacrifice her to gain musical success. The problem is that she's definitely not a virgin, and her voracious hunger for boys takes a nasty turn.
Continue reading: Jennifer's Body Review