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Ride Along 2 Review

Terrible

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following up their lacklustre 2014 action-comedy with a film that's even lazier. While the first one at least had a sense of pacing, with humour that sometimes tipped from idiotic to mildly funny, this movie wastes its cast and premise on a series of witless action sequences, dopey slapstick and contrived relational touches. It's only watchable because Hart is able to make the most undemanding audience members chuckle now and then.

After proving that his video-gaming skills were useful in police work, Ben (Hart) has completed police academy and is working as a rookie, shadowing tough-guy detective James (Cube), whose sister Angela (Tika Sumpter) is marrying Ben in just a week. But before that happens, James and Ben head to Miami to follow a lead in a drug case they're working on. Alongside local tough-girl detective Maya (Olivia Munn), they track down a hacker (Ken Jeong) who has proof that local philanthropist Antonio (Benjamin Bratt) is actually a notorious global black market dealer. To prove that, they have to dive into a series of car and boat chases, plus heists and shootouts that never seem to go the way anyone expects.

The underlying story is exactly the same as the first film: James is trying to prove that Ben is an idiot, while he is actually softening James' rough edges. The difference here is that they know each other a bit better, so are more effective at getting under each others' skin. This means that they're even less likeable than before, and even Hart's non-stop comical chatter is more annoying than it is amusing. There are moments when Hart adds a tiny detail that elicits a smile from viewers, and some of his physical antics are so ridiculous that it's difficult not to giggle, but most of that is simply because it's unbelievable that the filmmakers thought any of this was genuinely funny.

Continue reading: Ride Along 2 Review

'Ride Along 2' World Premiere

Benjamin Bratt - 'Ride Along 2' World Premiere at the Regal Cinemas South Beach at Regal Cinemas South Beach - Miami Beach, Florida, United States - Wednesday 6th January 2016

Benjamin Bratt
Benjamin Bratt and Talisa Soto
Benjamin Bratt
Benjamin Bratt

U.S. Premiere Of 'Trumbo' - Arrivals

Talisa Soto , Benjamin Bratt - U.S. Premiere of 'Trumbo' at Samuel Goldwyn Theater - Arrivals at Samuel Goldwyn Theater - Beverly Hills, California, United States - Tuesday 27th October 2015

Talisa Soto and Benjamin Bratt

Ride Along 2 Trailer


These guys give a new meaning to the term brother-in-law. After an eventful case that left James and Ben lucky to be alive, James relaxes his attitude about Ben and finally gives him his blessing to marry his sister Angela. Not only that, but Ben is now officially able to join James in Atlanta's police department having just graduated from the police academy. However, Ben hasn't changed much, and still makes dumb decisions, bringing a lot of embarrassment on to James. He's as jumpy on the trigger as always, with his nerves making him a bumbling but formidable partner, but you can't really blame him this time around when he's got a wedding to plan. If life wasn't stressful enough, the soon to be brothers are forced to team up with Miami PD to uncover a major drugs operation. The only question is, can Ben keep his cool long enough to solve the case? Or will his mistakes screw everything up this time?

Continue: Ride Along 2 Trailer

Kelly Macdonald Joins Cast Of Gervais' Netflix Movie 'Special Correspondents'


Kelly MacDonald Ricky Gervais Eric Bana Benjamin Bratt

More details have emerged about Ricky Gervais' forthcoming Netflix project Special Correspondents, with the news that Kelly MacDonald, best known as the character Margaret in HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire', will be taking a lead role in the satirical comedy, TheWrap has heard.

Kelly Macdonald at the 21st Annual SAG AwardsKelly Macdonald will star with Eric Bana in Special Correspondents

The film, which is written and directed by Gervais, will star Eric Bana as Frank, an arrogant New York radio journalist whose decadent lifestyle hasn't exactly complemented his career. With his job on the line, he goes to the extreme lengths of fabricating front-line war reports from the comfort of his own Manhattan home.

Continue reading: Kelly Macdonald Joins Cast Of Gervais' Netflix Movie 'Special Correspondents'

Filming Of U.S. Television Show '24: Live Another Day' Continues In London

Benjamin Bratt - Filming of U.S. television show '24: Live Another Day' continues in London. In these scenes, Steve Navarro (Benjamin Bratt) can be seen firing a machine gun at Jack Bauer (Keifer Sutherland), Jack returns fire from behind beer barrels - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 13th May 2014

Benjamin Bratt
Benjamin Bratt
Benjamin Bratt and Kiefer Sutherland
Benjamin Bratt
Benjamin Bratt
Benjamin Bratt

Benjamin Bratt Filming TV Series '24'

Benjamin Bratt - Benjamin Bratt talking on his mobile phone on location filming Fox network TV series '24'. - London, United Kingdom - Monday 12th May 2014

Benjamin Bratt
Benjamin Bratt
Benjamin Bratt
Benjamin Bratt
Benjamin Bratt
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Premiere Of '24: Live Another Day'

Benjamin Bratt, William Devane, Tate Donovan and Mary Lynn Rajskub - Premiere of '24: Live Another Day' held at Old Billingsgate Market - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 6th May 2014

Benjamin Bratt, William Devane, Tate Donovan and Mary Lynn Rajskub
Benjamin Bratt

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 Review


Good

With new writers and directors, this frenetic sequel indulges in silliness with less substance than last time. It's a lot of fun, but also rather forgettable, like the movie's surprisingly unimaginative title (honestly, the sky was literally the limit here). So while we laugh at the constant barrage of jokes and the colourful visual mayhem, there's nothing to engage us on a more satisfying level.

It opens with a recap of the first film, then carries on immediately, as young inventor Flint (voiced by Hader) is thrilled that his idol Chester (Forte), head of super-cool mega-company Live Corp, is put in charge of cleaning up the food storm Flint started. With a secret plan to get his hands on Flint's invention, Chester evacuates everyone from the island community Swallow Falls and offers Flint a job at his headquarters in San Franjose, California. But back home the food has come to life and is threatening to attack the world, so Flint is sent to solve the problem, unofficially accompanied by his pals (Faris' weathergirl, Samberg's surfer dude, Bratt's cameraman and Crews' muscle-cop) and his fisherman dad (Caan).

These characters are so hilariously goofy that we can't help but enjoy the chaos as they return to the island, which has been transformed into a Jurassic Park-style jungle overrun by food-pun creatures like shrimpanzees, tacodiles and watermelephants. The animation is gorgeously detailed, with all kinds of visual gags to match the deranged verbal banter. And the snappy voice cast dive in with gusto. The new characters fit in perfectly: Forte is hilariously slimy, while Schaal (as his talking baboon assistant Barb) steals the show as the only person on-screen who has a story arc.

Continue reading: Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 Review

US Box Office: The Conjuring Haunts R.I.P.D. During Its Opening Weekend


Vera Farmiga Patrick Wilson Lili Taylor Ron Livingston Jeff Bridges Ryan Reynolds Steve Carell Steve Coogan Miranda Cosgrove Benjamin Bratt Kristen Wiig Russell Brand

The Conjuring, opening this weekend, gained $41.5 million. Another lower budget film beat off the likes of R.I.P.D. which, according to reports, cost more than $130 million to make.

Vera FarmigaVera Farmiga at the premiere of Bates Motel, L.A. 

Warner Brother's haunted house horror, which stars Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel); Lili Taylor (Hemlock Grove); Patrick Wilson (Prometheus) and Ron Livingston (The Time Traveller's Wife), follows two paranormal investigators as they attempt to help The Warrens overcome a malign presence which lurks in their seemingly idyllic country house. 

Continue reading: US Box Office: The Conjuring Haunts R.I.P.D. During Its Opening Weekend

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 Trailer


Flint Lockwood is a genius inventor who previously caused chaos in his hometown when he invented the FLDSMDFR (Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator) which turned water into food and nearly caused a tornado of spaghetti and meatballs to destroy the town. Now he wants to go back to Swallow Falls with his friends including his weather intern best pal Sam Sparks, his father Tim and his pet monkey Steve, because the food monsters he created are learning to swim in order to cross oceans and take over the world. On arriving, they find that the abandoned town is now home to Spring Onion giraffes, Shrimp-anzees, fla-mangos. As beautiful as this new land is, they soon find themselves involved in a deadly chase hotly pursued by man (and monkey!) eating giant cheese burgers. Will Flint invent a solution to save the world this time round? Or are they facing Burgergeddon?

The sequel to the 2009 animated comedy 'Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs' is now finally set to be released, this time directed by Cody Cameron ('Open Season 3') and Kris Pearn in his directorial debut and John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein ('Horrible Bosses', 'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone') coming on board for the screenplay. It will hit cinemas in the UK on October 25th 2013. 

Click here to read: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 Movie Review

'Despicable Me 2': Early Reviews Round-Up


Steve Carell Miranda Cosgrove Benjamin Bratt Steve Coogan Kristen Wiig Russell Brand

Despicable Me 2, the sequel to the first 2010 film, is due to be released in cinemas on Wednesday. Early critical reviews have been largely positive. Keith Uhlich of the New York Times said the franchise has improved since the last film and that it is "delights more often than it disappoints".

Steve Carell
Steve Carell at the Despicable Me 2 premiere, L.A. 

Whilst most of the critics have enjoyed the film there are others who criticised Universal Pictures for its lack of originality. Ryan Gilbey of The Statesman said the film is "a completely redundant follow-up to the perfectly delightful 2010 original". Others have drawn comparisons with Monsters University, claiming Despicable Me 2 "has more laughs in the first 5 minutes" than Monsters managed in 90 (according to Roger Moore of McClatchy-Tribune News Service). 

Continue reading: 'Despicable Me 2': Early Reviews Round-Up

Despicable Me 2 Review


Good

With the same teams of writers and directors, this sequel sticks closely to the winning formula of the 2010 original: pile on so much snappy humour and colourful wackiness that no one will worry about the plot. So the film is sweetly engaging and relentlessly hilarious, but there's nothing particularly inventive or memorable about it.

After discovering his less villainous side, Gru (Carell) is now trying to go legit with his sidekick Dr Nefario (Brand) and their horde of mischievous yellow minions. Gru is also enjoying the challenges of being a father to his lively adopted daughters Margo, Agnes and Edith (Cosgrove, Fisher and Gaier). Then he meets the undercover spy Lucy (Wiig) and her boss Silas (Coogan), who ask for his help hunting down the bad guy who stole a secret government chemical. Gru reluctantly takes the job, and his suspicion falls on Eduardo (Bratt), not because he looks just like former fellow villain El Macho, but because Margo is in love with his surly teen son (Arias).

As before, the film mixes cute family sentimentality with wacky cartoon slapstick in which everyone gets smashed, pounded and blown up but emerges unscathed to face the next bit of outrageous mayhem. The violent undercurrents are sometimes a little disturbing, especially when children are talking about murder, but the movie's wildly ridiculous tone constantly reminds us to stop taking anything seriously. Thankfully, we're constantly distracted by the whizzy, action-packed animation, which makes especially witty use of the 3D.

Continue reading: Despicable Me 2 Review

A Week In Movies: World War Z Breaks Out, Madonna Steps Out, Despicable Cast Speaks Up


Brad Pitt Felicity Jones Madonna Steve Carell Miranda Cosgrove Kristen Wiig Benjamin Bratt Pharrell Williams Leonardo Dicaprio Martin Scorsese Will Ferrell

World War Z

Filming on Brad Pitt's apocalyptic zombie epic World War Z started two years ago in Britain and Malta, and audiences are finally getting to see the results this weekend. Critics are being hard on the film, but the box office will have the last word.

The Edinburgh International Film Festival kicked off this week with the premiere of Breathe In, the new drama from Drake Doremus (Like Crazy), who walked the red carpet with star Felicity Jones. There will be nearly 150 new movies screened in Edinburgh over the next 10 days, along with parties every night with the filmmakers and stars.

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: World War Z Breaks Out, Madonna Steps Out, Despicable Cast Speaks Up

Snitch Review


Good

Dwayne Johnson tries to flex his acting muscles in this smarter-than-usual action movie, based on a true story that gets under our skin. He's never played someone as fragile as this, which is fascinating even if the film ultimately can't resist cranking up the action while turning rather preachy.

Johnson plays John, a construction company owner whose bright 18-year-old son Jason (Gavron) is caught in a drugs sting by an undercover agent (Pepper). Jason is facing 10 years in prison, and offered a way out if he can finger another drug dealer. But he doesn't know any, since he was set up himself. So John makes a deal with a federal prosecutor (Sarandon) to find a big dealer himself. He convinces reluctant ex-con employee Daniel (Bernthal) to work with him, contacting a local dealer (Williams) before going after the kingpin (Bratt). But of course things get increasingly dangerous the deeper they go.

While Johnson's acting chops aren't terribly subtle, he's such a charismatic screen presence that we are fully engaged with him from the start. The tender scenes between him and Gavron add weight to the whole story, while the tetchy connection between him and Bernthal keeps the film on a knife edge. By contrast, Sarandon and Pepper are pretty much just scene-stealing sharks using innocent people to do their dirty work.

Continue reading: Snitch Review

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