Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story that's funny but never particularly clever. It's an enjoyable bit of escapist entertainment, mixing some sharp gags in between the more obvious jokes. But while the script makes a feeble attempt to poke fun at over-the-top machismo, it indulges in relentless gender stereotyping.
Now best buddies, co-dads Dusty and Brad (Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell) decide to combine their families to celebrate Christmas this year. Then Dusty's estranged tough-guy dad Kurt (Mel Gibson) turns up, as does Brad's more touchy-feely father Don (John Lithgow). This raises issues for both Dusty and Brad, who are clearly chips off the old blocks. They may be united in their love for their kids (Owen Vaccaro, Scarlett Estevez and Didi Costine), but old rivalries spark as they take the family to a huge mountain cabin with their wives (Alessandra Ambrosio and Linda Cardellini). What follows is a combination of wacky slapstick and various forms of sabotage as Dusty and Brad's bromance is put through the wringer.
None of this is remotely original, with elaborate set-pieces that feel like they've been lifted wholesale from other holiday comedies. And the plot is never remotely surprising either. But the actors have chemistry, and invest some sparkiness in their characters. Much of the antics centre on the clash between Gibson and Lithgow, who play up the aggression and sweetness, respectively. It's badly exaggerated, but the actors throw themselves into the roles, and the interaction between the three generations is nutty enough to keep the audience chuckling even through some rather stupid gags. The filmmakers seem to think that crazed conflict is hilarious, but actually the funniest moments are when Walhberg and Ferrell are working together to approach a problem.
Continue reading: Daddy's Home 2 Review
It’s part of modern life that divorce and separation is part of many families and a lot can't even form civil friendships. When Brad Whitaker met his wife Sara and her two children he thought that he'd been given the instant perfect family - for the most part, he had! Though Megan and Dylan were a little reluctant to take to Brad, with time and much persistence, both kids warmed to their mum's new husband.
Brad is kind, friendly and a real family man, just like his father. Megan and Dylan's birthfather, Dusty, on the other hand isn't quite as mild mannered as the latest addition to the family and when Dusty announces that he's going to come visit the family, Sara is far from impressed. What starts out as animosity toward one another soon develops into an admiration for both their strengths.
Though many wouldn't have guessed it, now Brad and Dusty are great friends! As the winter holidays come around, both Dusty with his partner, Karen and Brad and Sara decide that the family will all get together for one big holiday celebration. The kids are thrilled with the decision, as is the entire family, but the mood soon changes when Dusty receives a phone call from his dad, Kurt. The family unit has just got a little bit bigger and Dusty really isn't sure how his rough and ready father is going to appreciate the new Dusty or their larger family arrangement. If that wasn't enough, Brad's father also joins the team.
Continue: Daddy's Home 2 Trailer
Brad is a good-natured and very correct radio executive who has also wanted to have children of his own. Since marrying his beautiful new wife, his dream comes true when he becomes the stepfather to two delightful children named Megan and Dylan. As much as he tries to be a father to them, however, they are not entirely filled with respect for him; something that becomes a problem when their real father Dusty Mayron phones up out of the blue. He's everything Brad isn't; handsome, super cool and a total god in the eyes of his children. When Dusty moves back over to spend time with his children, he and Brad find themselves battling each other for the kids' affections, doing everything they can to out-do each other in parenting. Can these two completely different souls ever become friends? Or will they remain parental rivals forever?
Continue: Daddy's Home Trailer
Marvel fans will love the action mayhem in this Avengers sequel, but everyone else will vividly feel the fatigue that has descended over this franchise. After the bright spark of originality in last summer's Guardians of the Galaxy, we're back to the same tired formula involving terrific actors battling for screen time in between gratuitous, brutal action sequences that are so digitally animated that they're technically cartoons.
The film opens in the middle of the action as Captain America (Chris Evans) leads Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye (Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner) to recapture an Asgardian sceptre. Tony then discovers that the sceptre could be useful for Ultron, his artificial intelligence project to create a global peacekeeping force. But this goes badly wrong as Ultron (James Spader) springs to life and decides instead to obliterate humanity to make space for his population of smart machines. So the team races from America to Africa, Korea and Eastern Europe, facing off against Ultron and his super-powered twin cohorts Pietro and Wanda (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen), who of course defect to the Avengers. They also get help from a human-computer entity called The Vision (Paul Bettany).
Yes, there are a lot of characters in this film, and writer-director Joss Whedon is exceptionally good at giving each of them something to do, both dramatically and in the thick of the action. These brief moments of humour and emotional depth are what make the movie enjoyable, giving the solid actors some meaty material to play with.
Continue reading: Avengers: Age Of Ultron Review
Oprah obsessed Alice Klieg suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder which causes her to be socially awkward, impulsive and stubborn, and she's about to find out that money truly can buy you anything. After winning an impressive $86 million in the lottery, her first port of call is a major TV station, where she pitches an idea for hosting her own talk show. They offer her a slot at a cool $15 million, and she subsequently decides to stop taking her medication and pursue fame and recognition. The only problem is, she sucks at hosting her own show. The producers know they have to do something to save their embarrassment over this fiasco of a deal, but with Alice stuck in her own world and resolutely ignoring advice from friends and family, there's not a lot they can do to help her.
Continue: Welcome To Me Trailer
Warner Bros. greenlights a 'Scooby Doo' live action reboot.
A brand new Scooby Doo movie has been given the green light by Warner Bros. just days after the announcement that the original Shaggy voice actor, Casey Kasem, had passed away. Whilst it's unlikely that the two headlines are anything more than a coincidence, the movie news is bound to receive a greater interest from those looking to remember the life of the radio star and actor.
The studio is said to be "starting from scratch" to create a brand new incarnation of the well-loved kid's mystery series, according to Deadline. Though very few details are known at this stage, the new movie will follow in the same vein as its predecessors in that it will be live action instead of animation.
Many will remember Warner Bros.'s two noughties live action reboots of the classic animated show, Scooby Doo and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. The first of the two movies was an instant hit, earning $275m worldwide but its widely-panned, Razzie-winning, 2004 successor fell short of that figure by $90m and the series was halted.
Continue reading: New 'Scooby Doo' Movie Announced In Wake Of Casey Kasem Death
After a tour of duty, Kelli (Cardellini) is home with her husband Mike (Shannon) and their two young daughters. She dives right back into her factory job, but something doesn't feel right. After a couple of setbacks, she discovers that Mike has been having an affair with Cara Lee (Swencionis). And when she has her driving licence taken away and is court-ordered to rehab, Kelli's rebellious streak kicks in. It's there that she meets Bud (Slattery), a jaded fellow war veteran who refuses to play by the rules.
Continue reading: Return Review
Kelli is a soldier who spent fifteen months on a military tour in Afghanistan. She is eager to return to normal life in Ohio and to reunite with her husband and their children. She initially greets them with joy and returns to her previous job at the factory, happy to be settling back into a normal routine.
Continue: Return Trailer
Zoiks! Like, man, some ghoulish fiend is turning party-hearty spring breakers into straight-laced zombies on the amusement park resort atoll Spooky Island! And for once you'll never guess (well at least not right away) who will be unmasked as the villain in the gleefully goofball live-action version of "Scooby-Doo."
Self-spoofing yet devoted to its inspiration, this campy comedy ex-cartoon escapade may be edited with a fire axe and aimed mainly at kids, but screenwriter James Gunn (a veteran of underground spoof studio Troma Films) and director Raja Gosnell ("Big Momma's House") know who the hardcore "Scooby" fans are. They're grown-ups who have fond memories of the Saturday morning cartoon about an oddball foursome of post-teen detectives and their bark-talking dog, but who have since come to realize how stupid it was.
Liberally sprinkled with humor that only adults will get -- like the winking implications that cowardly hippie Shaggy (played to squeaky-voiced perfection by Matthew Lillard) is a major stoner -- the movie assumes a working knowledge of "Scooby-Doo" and is very smart about being deliberately stupid. It makes sport of the TV show's repetitive plots ("I'd have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!"). It pokes fun at the characters' personalities (perpetual damsel-in-distress Daphne, played with ditzy aplomb by Sarah Michelle Gellar, has become a black belt). And it's clever enough to know what parts of its source material worked and what didn't.
Continue reading: Scooby-Doo Review
Scooby and Shaggy save the day in "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed" -- or to be more precise, they save the movie. The scaredy-cat dog and his whimpering stoner sidekick get all the laughs (and all the "eeewww!" gags), with such disparity that it's as if a different screenwriter (with half the wit) wrote the balance of the movie.
Alas, James Gunn (who wrote the first "Scooby" movie and last week's clever but dumbed-down "Dawn of the Dead" remake) penned the whole thing -- even the paid product placements for Burger King and the 15-minutes-of-fame sing-along cameo by "American Idol" winner Ruben Studdard.
Continue reading: Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed Review
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