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'Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day' follows its roots, and sets its sights squarely on the family market.
It's taken quite a while for a film adaptation of the beloved children's book to appear, perhaps because its title is rather cumbersome: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. But there the full title is on posters (with commas) and across the screen (without them), although it could be argued that the story hasn't been adapted with quite as much reverence.
‘Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’ is based on the book from 1972
Originally published in 1972, the award-winning book by Judith Viorst won a shelf-load of awards. The film adaptation, by first-time screenwriter Ron Lieber, flips the story around: now it's not Alexander who's having such an awful day: he has wished his bad luck on everyone around him instead.
There's nothing wrong with this bright and goofy family comedy, but there's nothing much to it either. As a bit of mindless entertainment, the film is smart and funny enough to keep audiences entertained, spinning a swirling vortex of bad luck and wacky slapstick around one lively family. But it's utterly weightless, without even a hint of an edge, and anyone who loathes either nutty physical gags or sappy sentimentality should steer well clear.
Everyone in the audience can understand how Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) feels: he's fed up with the fact that no one notices that his life is just one humiliation after another, so on his 12th birthday he wishes that his family would have a taste of his misfortune. Sure enough, everything that can go wrong does. Dad Ben (Steve Carell) has to take the baby with him to an important job interview; mom Kelly (Jennifer Garner) has a work event go horribly wrong; teen brother Anthony (Dylan Minnette) struggles to make prom night special for his demanding-diva girlfriend (Bella Thorne); and middle sister Emile (Kerris Dorsey) gets ill on opening night of the school play she's starring in. On the other hand, Alexander's day isn't so bad, as he finally catches the eye of cute girl Becky (Sidney Fullmer).
The plot is laid out as a series of minor calamities that escalate to crazed proportions as the day goes on, but only until the screenwriter decides to have mercy on the characters and let them bond to face the mayhem. Frankly, this is such a wildly happy family that nothing about the film is believable: their problems exist strictly for laughs. Thankful, most of the set pieces are genuinely funny due to the up-for-it actors, who make the most of their characters and the connections between them. There's also a terrific stream of cameo roles for comedy aces like Megan Mullally (Will & Grace), Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie) and Donald Glover (Parks and Recreation). Dick Van Dyke even makes a witty appearance as himself.
Continue reading: Alexander And The Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day Review
Jane Hayes has, what some might say, an unhealthy obsession with Jane Austen's novels and all things from the Regency era. She's infatuated with Mr. Darcy from 'Pride and Prejudice' - of whom she has a cardboard cut-out portrayed by Colin Firth from the 1995 Emmy winning BBC series - and has filled her bedroom with all manner of Austen-themed memorabilia. After discovering an ultimate Austen experience in England, she puts all her life savings into making the trip there, immersing herself completely in the Regency style excursion and finding her Mr. Darcy. However, it soon becomes clear that living without modern amenities is almost unthinkable and the paradise she imagined is far from bliss. Although she starts to contemplate that she may have wasted all her life savings, she does meet a potential love interest, though he may not be what she was looking for.
Continue: Austenland Trailer
When we last saw East Great Falls' Class of '99, they were celebrating the wedding of classmates Jim Levenstein and Michelle Flaherty. Several years later, Jim and Michelle have a two year old son and have settled into a comfortable routine.
Continue: American Pie: Reunion Trailer
Terrence McDonagh is a cop who's not really known for his courageous acts but when he sees a man drowning in a cell, he jumps to save him. His act of bravery might have won him a promotion to lieutenant but it's also left him with a bad back injury.
As his back becomes more of a problem McDonagh develops a serious drug problem, turning to any dark alley to find relief. Bribery and stealing drugs put into evidence become part of the norm for him, the most stability in his life comes from a relationship he has with a prostitute called Frankie but when he finds her beaten by a client, he takes matters into his own hands. Working in a drug induced state becomes more of an issue for McDonagh. Whilst trying to solve the murders of six Senegal immigrants it appears his personal life and current case will cross paths.
Directed by: Werner Herzog
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer, Xzibit, Brad Dourif, Fairuza Balk, Shawn Hatosy, Jennifer Coolidge, Tom Bower, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Denzel Whitaker, Michael Shannon
But things are changing in the animation scene. The freshness of CG has worn away, and audiences are no longer wowed by flashy technology alone. Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles has raised the bar on both animation excellence and story-telling savvy to a level that will be hard to top in coming years. If such early hits as Toy Story or Antz premiered today, it's unlikely they would wow the crowds nearly as much as they did on their initial releases. It's a tough time to be an animated film.
Continue reading: Robots Review
After reinventing the sex comedy in 1999's American Pie, AP2 had a high bar to live up to, and miraculously, it has done so. It actually outdoes the original (by a mile) when it comes to juvenile and crude humor. And the sex gags... jeez, the dick jokes come rapid fire, one every minute. It ain't Woody Allen, but damn if it isn't utterly hysterical.
Continue reading: American Pie 2 Review
But will you guess that a major subplot will blatantly (and explicitly) rip off The Rocking Horse Winner? Or that MacLaine will spew a monologue about rubbing manure on her breasts? Wow. How could you?
Continue reading: Carolina Review
Somehow a rumor got started that "American Pie" was a daring, ribald, laugh-a-minute movie. The positive advance buzz on this thing -- essentially that it's a high school "There's Something About Mary" -- has been incredible, and completely untrue.
The reality is that it's nothing more than "Porky's" for the internet set or a wet dream episode of "Saved By the Bell." It's the regrettable return of the high-profile, low-brow sex comedy, aimed at idiots and hormone-driven teenage boys -- the kind of movie in which all high school girls are easy (even the angelic virgins) and hottie Swedish exchange students doff their duds at the slightest provocation and happily flop on their backs for the school's biggest dorks.
The plot, in one line of dialogue, is this: "Here's the deal -- we all get laid before we graduate."
Continue reading: American Pie Review
After using her coincidentally convenient knowledge of hair care products to acquit a murder suspect in "Legally Blonde," one-dimensionally ditzy Harvard Law grad Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) has become a naively sanguine congressional aide for the insipid sequel "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde" -- and once again her dumb luck masquerades as unsuspected smarts.
With Elle in Washington to lobby against animal testing by cosmetics companies, the plot turns on her ability to win over two bitterly conservative senators -- not with reason, facts or even charm, but simply because one of them happens to be a sorority sister (they have a secret dance instead of a secret handshake) and another has a big male Rottweiler who just happens to fall in love with Bruiser, her little male Chihuahua, during a walk in the park.
Yes, that's right -- this feebly scripted, Barbie-brained, Gucci-accessorized so-called comedy actually climbs up on a designer-pink soapbox of social consciousness to preach in platitudes about both animal rights and gay rights. Advocates in both camps should feel insulted.
Continue reading: Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde Review
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