There was nothing remotely notable about 2010's Grown Ups, and now we have a sequel that's even lazier. Without any actual plot to speak of, the movie merely strings together a series of unfunny scenes that include cheap gags and childish vulgarity but never a punchline. Sure, the scattershot approach might occasionally touch on recognisable situations, but there isn't a genuine laugh in the whole film.
After the reunion in the original movie, Lenny (Sandler) has moved back to his hometown with pals Eric, Kurt and Marcus (James, Rock and Spade). They're planning a big party just like in the old days, complete with a 1980s theme. But their children are getting older and have their own issues, including first dates and driving tests. And in Marcus' case, the kid is a teen thug (Ludwig) he only just discovered he had. But the real problem is that the guys have just sparked a turf war with a gang of idiotic fratboys from the nearby university. And now they have to prove once and for all who's really cool.
As with the first movie, you get the feeling that everyone on screen has somewhere better to be. There's no character development at all, since there are so many people spread across so many short scenes. Hayek, Bello and Rudolph are back as the guys' wives, but get exactly one thankless thing to do each. And it's not much better for the supporting cast of A-list cameo players like Buscemi (as a driving instructor), Lautner (as the fraternity leader) and so many more recognisable actors that you begin to wonder what dirt Sandler has on all of them.
Continue reading: Grown Ups 2 Review
Yet another spoof from Wayans and Alvarez, this movie isn't nearly as bad as it could have been (they also produced the resolutely unfunny Scary Movie 2 and Dance Flick). There's the germ of a clever idea here, mainly satirising the Paranormal Activity series in the context of a new relationship. But of course, they can't resist resorting to random pastiche and silly gross-out jokes instead of actually clever comedy.
Wayans plays Malcolm, a cheeky guy who is far too thrilled that his girlfriend Kisha (Atkins) is moving in with him. She's a little more reticent about it all, especially because she thinks there's a ghost creeping around the house. So Malcolm installs a security camera system, secretly hoping to videotape their sex life. As the paranormal shenanigans increase, their friends (Ubach and Daly) introduce them to a psychic (Swardson) and then a priest (Cedric). And it turns out that Kisha has a history with evil spirits.
Filmmaker Tiddes plays merrily with the found footage genre, shooting everything as if through a video camera, webcam or CCTV, while indulging in the format's voyeuristic possibilities. This gives the premise, of a couple moving in together, a smart kick. So it's very frustrating when some genuinely amusing scenes are interrupted for cheap toilet gags and only weakly comical set pieces. After setting things up, the screenwriters just get lazy and stop bothering to make scenes funny or engaging at all.
Continue reading: A Haunted House Review
Malcom and Kisha are a young couple who have just moved into the house of their dreams. However, it isn't long before both start experiencing paranormal activity on the premises and decide to install cameras around the house to catch any unusual footage on film. There turns out to be plenty of activity being picked up by the cameras such as other-worldly flatulence, thrown furniture and the couple being dangerously dragged and thrown about the house (which turns out to be surprisingly exciting). They enlist the help of various 'experts' including an outlandishly homosexual psychic, a pair of eccentric ghost busters and a group of their own thuggish friends. It soon becomes clear that the house isn't the thing that is being haunted as the spirit resides in Kisha, manifesting itself into a bizarre possession; Malcolm decides the only way to rid themselves of this dangerous force is an exorcism so he asks for help from a willing priest, Father Doug, who sets out to contact the Kisha's inner demon and save Malcolm's partner. not to mention their suffering sex life.
'A Haunted House' is the hilarious parody of 'found footage' horror flicks, in particular 'Paranormal Activity' and 'The Devil Inside'. It has been director and co-produced by Michael Tiddes in his feature film directorial debut and written by main star Marlon Wayans ('Scary Movie', 'White Chicks', 'Dance Flick') with the help of Rick Alvarez who has previously worked with Marlon as a producer in the past. It is set for release on January 11th 2013 in US movie theaters.
Starring: Marlon Wayans, Nick Swardson, Cedric the Entertainer, David Koechner, Essence Atkins, Dave Sheridan, Liana Mendoza, Jamie Noel, Affion Crockett, Marlene Forte, Robin Thede, Bobbie Lee, Damien Bray, Joel Kelley Dauten.
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In his early teens, the immature and irresponsible Donny Berger struck up a brief romance with his school teacher resulting in her pregnancy. When she is jailed for having a sexual relationship with a minor, Donny is forced to raise the child (who he names Han Solo) until Hans' eighteenth birthday. Twelve years later, Donny owes $43,000 to the IRS which he must pay to avoid three years in jail. He recognises Han Solo in a magazine under the new name of Todd Peterson and reads that he is the one of the youngest hedge fund managers in the financial industry and is engaged to be married. Todd's world is turned upside down when his father (who he had attempted to erase from his life completely) turns up the day before his wedding wanting to spend quality time with his son, while really seeking help with his debt problem. The reunion forces Donny to accept the consequences of his terrible parenting.
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Jack Sadelstein loves his family. He loves his wife, Erin and he loves his two children, Sofia and Gary. But the one family member he truly hates is his sister, Jill. Which is why Jack dreads Thanksgiving every year; it's the one time of the year where Jill travels up to see him to stay for a few days.
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Slackers Dwayne and Travis (McBride and Swardson) are fed up with pressure from Dwayne's militaristic father (Ward), and decide to bump him off to get his money. They hire a hitman (Pena), but need cash to pay him, so they kidnap pizza delivery boy Nick (Eisenberg), strap a bomb to his chest and force him to rob a bank in the next 10 hours. He enlists his pal Chet (Ansari) and, with little time to spare, off they go. But of course nothing goes as planned.
Continue reading: 30 Minutes Or Less Review
Danny (Sandler) is a plastic surgeon who has found that pretending to be in a bad marriage is a sure-fire way to seduce women. Then he meets bombshell nice-girl Palmer (Decker) and his plan backfires. He thinks there may be a future with her, but she wants to meet his wife to make sure it's over. So Danny gets his assistant Katherine (Aniston) to pose as his ex, inadvertently roping her eerily smart children (Madison and Gluck) into the improvised charade along with Danny's loser cousin Eddie (Swardson).
Continue reading: Just Go With It Review
Danny is a successful plastic surgeon who likes playing the field. Most guys who are practised in the bachelor world have a pick up line and Danny has come up with quite a unique way of attracting women; he tells them that he's in an abusive relationship and that his wife is horribly cruel to him. Danny finds it a massively effective way of hitting on women but when he meets Palmer, a girl he instantly falls for he doesn't even go down his usual route, it appears Palmer reciprocates his feelings but when she finds the wedding ring in his pocket, Danny finds himself repeating his much rehearsed speech but this time he tells her his marriage is over. Like all the others Palmer falls for Danny and his ways, but being a genuine person Palmer requests she meets his wife to clear the air.
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