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The fabulous Lily Tomlin finally gets the lead role she deserves in this smart, engaging comedy-drama. Like her title character, the film itself refuses to play nice, tackling big issues like abortion and the strain between mothers and daughters without ever simplifying the topics or the people involved. The plot may feel a bit contrived, and the entire movie rather lightweight, but it's thoroughly entertaining. And the subtle approach to the big themes gives it a strong kick.
Tomlin plays Elle, a mature woman who has just broken up with her girlfriend Olivia (Judy Greer) for no real reason. Then her young granddaughter Sage (Julia Garner) turns up asking for money to terminate her pregnancy. Elle doesn't have the cash, but offers to help her find it, so they head off into Los Angeles in her rattling 1955 Dodge, visiting the unborn baby's stoner father (Nat Wolff) and some of Elle's colourful old friends (Elizabeth Pena, Laverne Cox and Sam Elliott). But both Elle and Sage are terrified that they might ultimately need to get in contact with Sage's workaholic mother Judy (Marcia Gay Harden), the daughter Elle never knew how to talk to.
The layers of mother-daughter interaction in this film are fascinating, and played with riotously jagged chemistry by the gifted cast. Tomlin punches every witty one-liner perfectly, capturing Elle's life-loving spirit and also her weary exhaustion at the way the world keeps changing around her. Tomlin finds terrific angles in each of Elle's relationships, drawing out Garner's wide-eyed yearning, Greer's steeliness and Harden's professional bluster. Each of the side roles feels like a fully formed person with a life of his or her own, which gives context to the humour and makes the entire film feel more weighty and meaningful.
Continue reading: Grandma Review
After her sister Shannon returns to Fresno, California following her stint in rehab for sex addiction (which in turn came after she was fired as a schoolteacher), Martha takes it upon herself to help her get a fresh start. She invites her to stay with her and gets her a job as a hotel maid in Fresno Suites where Martha also works. It isn't long before Shannon relapses big time, and her failure to maintain responsibility results in her accidentally killing a hotel guest, who also happens to be an Olympic hammer-thrower. She manages to persuade Martha to help hide the body, but before they can get very far they are discovered by a couple named Ruby and Gerald - and they want $25,000 in three days to stay quiet about the incident. The only option they have is to commit more crime, and so they rob a sex shop in order to flog the stock and make up the money. They're hardly professionals and they'll be lucky to escape this mess scot free, but maybe Shannon can finally learn to think about others before herself.
Continue: Addicted To Fresno Trailer
The increasingly stale Marvel formula gets a blast of fresh air in this rollocking adventure movie, which combines a steady stream of character-based comedy with action sequences that are integrated seamlessly into the plot. Like last summer's Guardians of the Galaxy, the film departs from the usual tired structure to joyously tell a story that's more than pure escapism.
Released from prison after a stint for burglary, Scott (Paul Rudd) is struggling to restart his life when he has an unexpected encounter with Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), an inventor who needs his help. Hank's technology company is being steered away from his original vision to help mankind by his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) and his protege Darren (Corey Stoll), who see a chance to make a lot of money by selling Hank's ideas to the highest bidder. Hank's biggest breakthrough is a suit that shrinks the wearer down to ant-size, allowing for all kinds of unexpected possibilities. Pushed into a corner, Scott starts learning how to master the suit. But his ex-wife (Judy Greer) is now engaged to a cop (Bobby Cannavale) who's keeping his eye on Scott.
One of director Peyton Reed's main challenges was to sell the whole idea of an insect-sized warrior, and he does that fairly effortlessly, revealing an increasingly cool series of possibilities in each action sequence. These set-pieces emerge organically from the story, combining comedy and exhilaratingly coherent action to push the narrative forward. One of the best moments is an encounter with one of the Avengers (Anthony Mackie's Falcon), which offers a strong hint about how Ant-Man can liven up the franchise as a whole. And the climactic sequence is an inspired collision of mind-bending effects and inventive humorous touches (Thomas the Tank Engine nearly steals the whole film). Plus two post-credit stings for the fanboys.
Continue reading: Ant-Man Review
Elle Reid may be tough, but she's struggling coping with a recent break-up with her girlfriend. If that wasn't enough to contend with, her 18-year-old granddaughter Sage has just shown up at her house, and she needs over $600 immediately. She's pregnant and Elle's financial situation isn't at its best, but she's determined to do everything she can to help her granddaughter. She takes her on a roadtrip to recover cash from Sage's ex-boyfriend - and while her method of extracting money could be more polite, Sage is glad of her company when she manages to obtain it. Elle gives Sage a lesson in tough-talking as she continues to tour the country selling her possessions and begging cash of some old friends. When the pair arrive to see Sage's mom, it's another story; she's a high-flying business woman and the complete opposite of her mother and daughter - and it's clear to see why Sage chose Elle to help her out.
Continue: Grandma Trailer
With studios afraid of anything new or original, it's not surprising that the dinosaurs are back on-screen nearly 15 years after the rather disappointing Jurassic Park III. The good news is that this film has a clever script and solid characters to go along with the first-rate digital work. So even if the effects kind of take over the movie in the final act, it's still a great ride.
The massive island resort Jurassic World has been running safely for a decade off the Costa Rica coast, so it needs ever-scarier attractions to bring in visitors. The owner Masrani (Irrfan Khan) has been instructing his top scientist (BD Wong) to genetically engineer a bigger, scarier species, and he's come up with a beast called Indominus rex. Park manager Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) has her doubts, but her velociraptor trainer Owen (Chris Pratt) is downright furious when he finds out. Sure enough, just as Claire's nephews (Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson) arrive for a visit, the I-rex escapes and threatens the 20,000 visitors on the island.
The screenplay sets everything up in fine disaster movie style, with quickly explained back-stories to add some emotional undercurrents to the big-scale chaos. There's also, of course, a requisite villain in the form of the meathead Hoskins (Vincent D'Onofrio), who thinks dinosaurs could be used by the military and welcomes this catastrophe as a chance to prove his point. Thankfully, the cast dives in with gusto, adding hilarious personality touches to every scene. Pratt is terrific as the swashbuckling action-man, nicely set against the feisty Howard, who trumps him by doing all her action scenes in heels. Simpkins and Robinson have a lively adventure all their own that adds to the film's overall appeal. And there are superb side roles for the talented likes of Omar Sy, Judy Greer and Jake Johnson that add both humour and emotion.
Continue reading: Jurassic World Review
Luckily for the human race, dinosaurs were wiped from the face of the Earth millions and millions of years ago after a deadly asteroid struck the globe. But what would the world be like if that meteorite missed the planet, sparing the colossal creatures much loved by children? While the thought might be somewhat terrifying, this is a story about a young Apatosaurus named Arlo who's not such a danger to his fellow Earthlings. After a family tragedy, Arlo finds himself shaken and confused and winds up injured, only to then find himself far away from home. Troubled but determined, he sets out on formidable journey to find his way back to his family again and on the way meets a young human boy, who he is quick to befriend. If you thought dinosaurs couldn't be compassionate and make awesome friends, you were so wrong.
Continue: The Good Dinosaur - Teaser Trailer
When John Hammond first created InGen and prepared Jurassic Park, it was a colossal failure. When Jurassic World was later opened for the public, a lot had been learnt from Hammond's mistakes, and the new amusement park opened without any problems. But when visitors began to dwindle, something drastic had to be done. Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), the park operations manager has organised to have a hybrid dinosaur created, and needs the dependable and knowledgeable Velociraptor trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to ensure the enclosure is safe for the new dinosaur. But when it eats its twin, and Grady arrives to inspect it, the Indominus rex breaks free, bringing havoc and destruction in its wake.
Continue: Jurassic World - Clips
The park is officially open! Twenty two years after the disastrous attempt to bread dinosaurs for an amusement park, another attempt was made and saw great success. The problem is, due to dwindling visitors, the management have had to try something new with the exhibits. Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), the park operations manager, heads out to speak to Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), the velociraptor trainer. Due to his successful handling of the animals, she believes that he is the perfect person to check the new enclosure, and ensure that it is up to standard. But when someone has dedicated their life to earning the respect of the raptors, they have no idea what needs to be done with the Indominus rex. No one does.
Continue: Jurassic World - Clip And Trailer
Elle Reid is an ageing poet recovering from a broken heart following her break-up with her long term girlfriend. When her troubled 18-year-old granddaughter Sage turns up on her doorstep one day, she thinks she finally has the distraction she needs. However, Sage needs $600 and Elle, now being pretty much broke, can't give it to her. Instead, she offers to drive her around on a long road trip to recover cash from various friends and ex-boyfriends; though it's not only cash they find on the way. Numerous secrets are uncovered and old conflict is resurfaced, and Sage is forced to face responsibility and start becoming an adult. At the same time, Elle knows it's time for her to start thinking about the most important things in life, accept the troubles of her past and stop living under the 'tough woman' guise.
Continue: Grandma - Clip
When you need someone to break into a place and steal something, a career cat burglar is your best bet. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is in jail, which isn't the best start, but when Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) needs a thief, Lang is still his man. Pym was once a miniature superhero known as Ant-Man, yet when Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) takes over his company and tries to mass-market the powerful Ant-Man suits, Pym hires Lang to break in and steal the suit back. From there, he must become the Ant-Man - no matter how much he hates the name.
Continue: Ant-Man Trailer
Date of birth
20th July, 1975
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The fabulous Lily Tomlin finally gets the lead role she deserves in this smart, engaging...
After her sister Shannon returns to Fresno, California following her stint in rehab for sex...
The increasingly stale Marvel formula gets a blast of fresh air in this rollocking adventure...
Elle Reid may be tough, but she's struggling coping with a recent break-up with her...
With studios afraid of anything new or original, it's not surprising that the dinosaurs are...
Luckily for the human race, dinosaurs were wiped from the face of the Earth millions...
When John Hammond first created InGen and prepared Jurassic Park, it was a colossal failure....
The park is officially open! Twenty two years after the disastrous attempt to bread dinosaurs...
Elle Reid is an ageing poet recovering from a broken heart following her break-up with...
Casey Newton loves inventing and all things scientific, but she's definitely got a problem with...