Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the Parents so wildly popular, as this comedy pits two very different men against each other. And while it's never terribly clever, at least James Franco and Bryan Cranston are imaginatively cast as opposite forces. So audiences in search of escapism will find plenty to chuckle at as things spiral ludicrously out of control.
Cranston plays Ned, who travels with his wife Barb (the fabulous Megan Mullally) and teen son Scotty (Griffin Gluck) to Silicon Valley to spend the holidays with older daughter Steph (Zooey Deutch) and meet her boyfriend Laird (Franco). What they don't know is that Laird is an internet millionaire with absolutely no filter in how he interacts with people. Almost everything he says is inappropriate, and yet it's so honest that it's disarming. Still, Ned and Barb aren't too happy that their daughter is so serious about dating this guy. And with the help of his sidekick Gustav (Keegan-Michael Key), Laird goes completely over-the-top to impress them.
Much of the humour is of the gross-out variety, with the main running gag centring on an actual toilet. But at least the jokes aren't about embarrassment this time; they're about the clash between people who prefer to keep their true feelings bottled up inside and someone who can't help but be real, despite the fact that he shocks everyone he meets. This makes each person a little more complex than expected, and gives the actors some texture to work with, even though the script never bothers to even crack the surface. And while Cranston and Franco have more obvious comedy set-pieces to contend with, the film is stolen by Mullally and Key in roles that are more subtly hilarious and broadly amusing, respectively.
Continue reading: Why Him? Review
Stephanie has always been a very intelligent girl and both her parents were joyous when she managed to get into Stanford University; wishing to catch up with their little girl over the holidays, Ned, Bard and their teenage son Scott all get in the car and travel to see Stephanie.
Stephanie is really happy to see her family and she can't wait to introduce them all to the new man in her life and their equally enthusiastic to meet him. All this changed quickly when they first manage to cast eyes on Stephanie's beloved. Laird Mayhew is a young billionaire who made his fortune through tech - though he clearly had a good business mind, Laird, is loud constantly swears and often shares WAY too much information.
Ned and Barb are far from taken with Laird even though their daughter confirms her love for him and explains that his heart is in the right place. Laird loves Stephanie and is eager to commit to his beau. In a bid to convince the Flemings that he is a suitable partner for his daughter, Laird begins wooing Barb and Scott. Ned on the other hand will not be won over as easily, he's convinced that Laird is completely wrong for his daughter and will go to extreme lengths to make sure Stephanie Fleming never becomes Mrs Mayhew.
Continue: Why Him? Trailer
There's nothing particularly original about this animated comedy adventure by Nicholas Stoller (Neighbors). It has the standard fast-paced snarky tone and too-frantic imagery, but the script is smarter than average, dropping deranged lines of hilarious dialogue into every scene. This gives the conversations an improvisational quality that keeps the audience laughing all the way through, unsure what might happen next.
It's set 20 years after the storks decided that there wasn't enough money in delivering babies, so they shifted to delivering parcels instead. The boss Hunter (voiced by Kelsey Grammer) is now planning to become board chairman, so he brings in his protege Junior (Andy Samberg) as the new boss. To prove himself, Junior needs to sack Tulip (Katie Crown), an annoying human who was left behind when the old business closed. Unable to do this, Junior transfers her to a back mailroom where no one will notice her, except that she inadvertently fires up the baby factory by answering a request from Nate (Anton Starkman) to bring a brother to his parents (Jennifer Aniston and Ty Burrell). So now Junior and Tulip need to deliver this infant before Hunter finds out.
While the plot is fairly predictable, the way it plays out is riotous. The film is a barrage of random asides, unexpected twists and loveably ridiculous characters. A smarmy corporate spy called Pigeon Toady (Stephen Kramer Glickman) is amusingly smarmy, while a pair of bickering arctic wolves (Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele) add some snarling suspense, even though they're too funny to be scary. Everything is so energetic and colourful that it's difficult to mind that the plot makes very little logical sense. And the loose style of vocal performance gives the whole film a zing of comical anarchy.
Continue reading: Storks Review
Over the centuries Stalks have been entrusted to create and deliver human babies to their new families. Junior's father has built up a successful business with just those deliveries but profits aren't what they used to be and now Junior's father has decided to branch out into package delivery.
Junior is set to inherit the family business and all he has to do is get through the next 24 hours but his ride goes anything but smoothly after he accidently creates a new baby by mistake. Junior asks for help from Tulip, the only human working at Stalks & Co. Tulip is an orphan who's always wanted to find her real mother and father but in the meantime takes delight in helping others fulfil their dreams.
Along the way, Tulip, Junior and their special care package run into all sorts of problems, they're being chased by Pigeon Toady who thinks he knows an unauthorised baby is about to be imminently delivered and also a pack of stealthy wolves who can't decide if they want to eat or adopt the baby.
Continue: Storks Trailer
There's nothing particularly memorable about this frantic animated romp, which adapts the iconic phone-app game into a movie using a rather corny plot. But the film is so random that it can't help but get the audience laughing. Youngsters will be delighted by the brightly coloured wackiness, while adults will chuckle at the steady stream of grown-up visual and verbal gags, many of which are frankly surprising to find in a children's movie.
It's set on the isolated Bird Island, where the residents have never learned how to fly and believe they are the only life in the sea. In their tight-knit community, Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) is an outcast because of his too-independent thinking. He's ordered to take anger management classes with groovy guru Matilda (Maya Rudolph), where his fellow students are the hyperactive Chuck (Josh Gad), the hulking Terence (Sean Penn) and the explosive Bomb (Danny McBride). Then a pig named Leonard (Bill Hader) arrives on the island, introducing new technology like sling shots and trampolines and planning a big party. But of course he has a much more nefarious intention that only Red can see. In need of help, Red takes Chuck and Bomb in search of the mythical Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage), the only bird on the island who can fly.
There's a slightly nagging sense that Donald Trump wrote this script (it's about a guy who's ignored as he obnoxiously shouts about the dangers of letting strangers into the community, then is proved right). But the film is so utterly ridiculous that it's impossible to take this rather dodgy theme seriously. What's even more odd is how much of the humour is aimed at grown-ups, including innuendo, puns, gross-out gags and unexpected violence, most of which will go over young viewers' heads. But it's so unfocussed that the only response is to laugh in disbelief that someone thought a joke so near-the-knuckle was appropriate for a kids' movie.
Continue reading: The Angry Birds Movie Review
Angry Birds Movie is a screen adaptation from the popular game in which we follow the journey of its main protagonist Red's (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) life from him being bullied at school to his feelings of exclusion in later life. The film is set on an island that is populated with flightless birds whom are mostly happy with their life on the island except Red who suffers with keeping his temper under control.
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Keegan-Michael Key , Jordan Peele - Los Angeles premiere of 'Keanu' at the ArcLight Cinerama Dome Theatre - Arrivals at ArcLight Cinerama Dome Theatre - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 27th April 2016
Red lives on a sun-kissed tropical island full of plenty of other vibrant flightless birds. And while all of his friends and neighbours seem to be enjoying life, he is having a far less enjoyable time. He's just extremely quick to anger, very slow to forgive and struggles to be friendly to just about anyone. Thus, he is forced to undergo anger management therapy to control his emotions before his hostility really gets out of hand. On attending his first group session, he meets the fast-talking faster-moving Chuck and the shy but quick to explode Bomb and together they attempt to conquer their stress. But upon the arrival of some suspicious looking pigs led by Leonard, Red and his new friends are the only ones who seem to be suspicious of their unlikely visitors.
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Count Dracula seems to have really changed his ways, embracing humans and allowing them to stay at his monster-filled Hotel Transylvania after taking a shine to his daughter Mavis' new human boyfriend Johnny. Now the pair have a child together named Dennis, and despite having vampire in his blood, he doesn't seem to possess any monster ability of any kind. When Mavis and Johnny take a break to visit the latter's parents, she asks her dad to babysit her son - but that probably wasn't the best idea. In charge of young Dennis, Dracula enlists his friends Frank, Murray, Wayne and Griffin to train him up to be a real monster, and take him on a trip of their own. But when Mavis finds out what they're up to, she's less than happy and makes to come home. But she's not the only one; Dracula's father Vlad is making a surprise visit, and he's not going to be happy that the hotel is filled with humans.
Continue: Hotel Transylvania 2 Trailer
Big summer blockbusters are so rarely optimistic that it's tricky to know how to take this movie, its utopian view of the future is a refreshing antidote to both dystopic-nightmare thrillers and those blood-boiling, doom-and-gloom documentaries about how the end of the world is nigh. Even more interesting is the idea that this movie is essentially based on Walt Disney himself, who believed creativity and invention were the key to a happy tomorrow. So it's a bit of a shame that everything feels so childish.
The story centres on the restless Casey (Britt Robertson), an almost frighteningly brainy teenager who's trying to keep Nasa from closing down the launch pad where her dad (Tim McGraw) works. Unknown to her, the eerily ageless young Athena (Raffey Cassidy) is watching, leaving a pin that's a key to a magical glimpse of a parallel space-age future. Investigating this, Casey travels to Houston, where she gets in trouble at a sci-fi collectible shop. Rescued by Athena, they travel to New York to meet Frank (George Clooney), a grumpy old man who was once a wide-eyed inventor like Casey and has known Athena since 1964. Together they work out a way to get back to Tomorrowland to confront its pessimistic leader Nix (Hugh Laurie), who seems to have accepted the fact that the world is falling apart.
The script briefly grazes against big ideas like global poverty and climate change, which gives the film a hint of weight to balance out a plot that is clearly aimed at a 10-year-old. It's all rather simplistic, which means it doesn't quite speak to grown-ups, although the positive approach can't help but catch the interest. Director Brad Bird (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol) keeps the imagery whizzy, with fabulous gadgets and thrilling effects work that beautifully imagines a city of the future. Plus a pretty cool Eiffel Tower revelation. He also makes sure that the characters' intelligence shines through, which allows Robertson and Clooney to inject a sparky sense of rivalry.
Continue reading: Tomorrowland Review
WARNING THIS IS THE RED BAND TRAILER.
The Griswolds return to Walley World - only this time, the family is led by young Rusty Griswold and his wife and kids. The grown up Rusty is determined to pull his family together with a family vacation to the Walley World theme park, hoping it will help him bond with his sons and improve his marriage. He wants to re-live the good times he had as a kid, though his own children are less than happy about the trip. As it turns out, this generation are about to face just as much mayhem on the second vacation as Rusty and his folks did on the first; including sewage springs, awkward questions and messy car journeys.
A sequel to the original 1983 film based on John Hughes' story 'Vacation '58' - famously first published by National Lampoon magazine - the new 'Vacation' sees Clark and Ellen Griswold's son re-visiting his childhood. The new film has been directed and written by 'Bones' star John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein (screenwriters on 'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone') in their directorial feature debut and also sees the return of original actors Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo. The movie is scheduled for release in the UK on November 13th 2015.
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