After working for years as the US' most diligent mall security guard, Paul Blart (Kevin James) has finally earned himself a holiday. Traveling to Las Vegas with his family, Blart begins enjoying his vacation in one of the biggest casinos in the city. But his duty gets the better of him when Blart uncovers a strange plot to rob the casino, and springs into action. Armed with a new uniform and his trusty Segway, Blart brings together a diverse group of night-watchmen and security guards in an attempt to battle the robbers, proving that there really is no rest for some people.
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Wade Walker has been dating Grace Peeples for a year and he's desperate to meet the rest of the family, if only to ask her father for her hand in marriage. However, she still has major reservations about it given that her father is a formidable federal judge. When she jets off to the east coast for her annual family reunion in the Hamptons, Wade bravely follows determined to show his future father-in-law that he is good enough to join them as his daughter's future husband. Things don't go according to plan with an immediate personality clash and several major gaffes on the part of Wade, but he soon learns over the course of a very eventful weekend that there's more to this seemingly perfect family than meets the eye and he's prepared to stand up to them no matter what the consequences.
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A warm drama that drifts into light, goofy comedy, this film is too slight to be a classic, but its subtly sharp-edged script holds our interest and gives the cast something to work with. Frequently very funny, this is much more than just a story of an old man with a robotic sidekick, as it explores jagged family relationships and even features a lively caper subplot.
At the centre is Frank (Langella), who doesn't want to leave the rural home where he raised his now-adult children (Marsden and Tyler). Even as they have their own lives far away, they worry about him living alone, so his son buys him a robot assistant (voiced by Sarsgaard) whose only mission is to look after Frank's mental and physical health. Frank dismissively names it "Robot" and tries to ignore it until he realises that its prime directive allows it to help him secretly relaunch his cat-burgling career. His first target is to rescue the town library run by his old friend Jennifer (Sarandon), which is about to be turned into a high-tech social centre by a young businessman (Strong).
Director Shreier keeps the film's pace gentle, underplaying both the comedy and suspense while letting Langella indulge in an enjoyably grumpy scene-stealing performance. Frank may be losing his memory, but he is still sharp as a tack when it comes to planning a heist, especially with the help of Robot. And watching him build up the confidence to pursue Jennifer is enjoyable as well. Meanwhile, Sarsgaard nods to 2001's Hal in the way he invests Robot with deadpan humour and emotion. By comparison, none of the side characters has much to do since they haven't a clue about what Frank is up to.
Continue reading: Robot & Frank Review
You know you're in trouble when a madcap comedy is unable to even raise a smile. And it's worse when it strains to include a sentimentally emotional subplot without grounding anything in believable characters or situations. All that's left is a lot of corny toilet humour and eye-rollingly limp schmaltz. Even a decent cast can't rescue this one.
It all happens on one Halloween night in Ohio, when brainy 18-year-old Wren (Justice) and her oversexed pal April (Levy) plan to attend the party of the year hosted by the school hottie. But Wren's mother (Handler) runs off to her own party, leaving Wren in charge of her mischievous 8-year-old brother Albert (Nicoll), who hasn't spoken a word since their father died a year earlier. And Albert quickly ditches Wren, running off for an adventure with a lovelorn convenience store employee (Middleditch). To find him, Wren gets help from the nerdy Roosevelt (Mann), who has a crush on her.
The premise has potential, blending Adventures in Babysitting and Home Alone along with a bit of emotional subtext. But the screenwriters never make anything of it, instead indulging in startlingly unfunny slapstick, jokes about paedophilia and a sappy streak of half-baked sentiment. All of which means that the filmmakers waste their solid cast at every turn. Justice and Levy make an enjoyable if unlikely duo, while Nicholl is full of unpredictable energy. But the filmmakers manage to subdue the usually irrepressible Handler in a badly underdeveloped role that's still the most interesting thing in the film.
Continue reading: Fun Size Review
Popular high school chicks Wren and April can't believe their luck when they are invited to long-haired heartthrob Aaron Riley's much anticipated Halloween party. It appears Wren's only problem is to work out what her costume's going to be; that is until she's about to leave the house and her mother drops the bombshell that she's to babysit for her eccentric younger brother Albert while he goes Trick-or-Treating dressed as Spider Man. As if things weren't bad enough, while Wren and April are moping about missing the party, Albert disappears on his own. Anxious that her mother will find out she's been neglecting her responsibilities, Wren and April set out on a frantic search for Albert; who is being used an accessory by a man who has set out to avenge a broken heart; whilst swindling 'nerds' and suffering public humiliation along the way.
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The two are spotted in the White House by a gaurd who originally saw the girls at Watergate the night of the burglary. The two are taken to the infamous "West Wing" where they meet and fall in love with President Richard "Dick" Nixon, played by Dan Hedaya, and very well I might add. Unfortunetly Hedaya's very entertaining performance of Dick couldn't save this already ill-fated non-comedy.
Continue reading: Dick Review
The stinging wit of first-time screenwriter Tina Fey -- acerbic co-host of Weekend Update on "Saturday Night Live," and the show's head writer -- gives "Mean Girls" a zest and zing few high school comedies ever muster.
An outwardly stereotypical teen movie about the new girl in school (Lindsay Lohan) being torn between arty out-crowd real friends who initially welcome her and the catty, curvy, callous queen bees of the campus, who covet her knockout looks to bolster their ranks, it's a flick with a surprisingly subversive nature: Cady (Lohan) begins socially canoodling with the elitist "plastics" not because she wants to be popular, but because she wants to help bring them down.
Invited into the "cool" clique by Barbie-doll blonde Regina (Rachel McAdams, "The Hot Chick") and her clingy cohorts (Lacey Chabert and Amanda Seyfried), Cady reports back on their "Heathers"-like cruelty to her outcast pals, Janis the coal-eyed punker chick (Lizzy Caplan) and Damian the big, burly, proudly queeny teddy bear (Daniel Franzese).
Continue reading: Mean Girls Review
After working for years as the US' most diligent mall security guard, Paul Blart (Kevin...
A warm drama that drifts into light, goofy comedy, this film is too slight to...
Popular high school chicks Wren and April can't believe their luck when they are invited...
In this new 70s comedy opening just in time for the anniversary of Woodstock, we...
Martin Lawrence and Danny DeVito -- two stars with pretty shaky comedy credits of late...
Imagine a pair of bubble-headed teenage girls plunked down in the middle of "All the...
The stinging wit of first-time screenwriter Tina Fey -- acerbic co-host of Weekend Update on...