If there's one place were Owen Wilson feels at home, it's the 'Night At The Museum' set.
It's probably true when it comes to most family comedies that being involved is less stressful than a more serious drama, but Owen Wilson feels that doesn't ring more true than on the set of 'Night Of The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb'.
There may be a lot of chaos what with wild animals and cavemen running loose in London, but 'Night At The Museum' is a set that star Owen Wilson, who plays miniature cowboy Jedediah in the franchise, feels right at home on - mainly because of the stellar cast he has surrounding him. 'Working with Ben Stiller... we've worked together on a lot of things and for me it's just very familiar and very comfortable', he explains. 'And then Steve Coogan and Ben Stiller, that's who my scenes are usually always with... those guys just made me laugh.'
Now in its third instalment, it's clearer than ever that this franchise is based on one joke that has been stretched far beyond the breaking point. And not too cleverly at that. Fortunately, this movie retains much of the deranged idiocy that made the second part rather enjoyable. So it's watchable even if there aren't many new ideas, and even if filmmaker Shawn Levy is far too happy to settle for unnecessary digital effects work where a bit of character comedy would have been much more engaging.
Back on the job as a night watchman in New York, Larry (Ben Stiller) is now orchestrating the museum exhibits when they come to life to provide spectacular shows for visitors who think this is all a special effect. Even his boss (Ricky Gervais) isn't sure what's really going on. But when a glitch in the magical Ancient Egyptian powers causes chaos, Larry learns that he needs to travel to London so he can reunite Ahkmenrah (Rami Malek) with his father (Ben Kingsley), who's on display at the British Museum. Larry's teen son Nick (Skyler Gisondo) comes along, as do his revived pals Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams), tiny soldiers Octavius and Jedediah (Steve Coogan and Owen Wilson) and others. But in London, while sneaking around local night guard Tilly (Rebel Wilson), Larry's team awakens a statue of the knight Lancelot (Dan Stevens), who dives into their quest with rather a bit too much gusto.
Until Lancelot turns up, everything about the film feels oddly tired, from the starry cameos to effects work that strains to be clever. Then Stevens injects a badly needed jolt of blue-eyed charisma and warped comical timing that makes the rest of the movie rather good fun. Rebel Wilson's side-plot is also rather amusing, with some wonderfully ridiculous touches. And even the cameos get better, notably a scene on a West End stage that's genuinely inspired silliness. Coogan and Wilson offer some raucous banter to accompany everything that happens, and Stiller kind of hangs on for dear life. But the filmmakers don't really care about these characters; they're just trying to create something visually impressive that's also goofy fun.
Continue reading: Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb Review
The cast of 'Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb' all posed happily together at the New York premiere of the film, which is set to hit movie theaters on December 19th 2014.
Shawn Levy, Serena Levy, Sophie Levy, Tess Levy and friend - The European premiere of 'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb' held at the Empire Leicester Square - Arrivals at Empire Leicester Square - London, United Kingdom - Monday 15th December 2014
Ricky Gervais, who plays Dr. McPhee in 'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb', arrived at the New York premiere with partner Jane Fallon, fooling around with the photographers, cracking jokes and taking selfies.
Ben Stiller, Shawn Levy and Owen Wilson - Shots from the press conference for the movie 'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb' The Press Conference was attended by stars of the film such as Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Ricky Gervais in New York City, New York, United States - Friday 12th December 2014
Shawn Levy - Shots of a variety of stars as they arrive for the New York Premiere of 'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb' which was held at The Ziegfeld Theater in New York City, New York, United States - Thursday 11th December 2014
Ben Stiller, Director, Shawn Levy and Owen Wilson - New York Premiere of 'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb' at The Ziegfeld Theater - Arrivals at Ziegfeld Theater - New York City, New York, United States - Friday 12th December 2014
A sparky ensemble helps make this film entertaining even if the plot is simplistic and the themes very tame for a movie that is trying so hard to be anarchic. August: Osage County this isn't! Instead, it blends warm comedy, silly slapstick and a heavy dose of sentiment to tell a story that's engaging but never remotely surprising. But the terrific cast makes it well worth a look.
It opens as Judd (Jason Bateman) sees his life go from bad to worse: he catches his wife (Abigail Spencer) in bed with his boss (Dax Shepard), then learns that his father has died. Back home for the funeral, his mother (Jane Fonda) announces that she wants Judd to sit shiva, seven days of mourning, with his three estranged siblings: frazzled housewife Wendy (Tina Fey), frustrated Paul (Corey Stoll) and party boy Phillip (Adam Driver). Everyone in this family is dealing with relationship issues, so they all get involved in each others' lives again, even though none of them likes to talk about these things (except their hilariously over-sharing mother). So as Judd and Wendy reconnect with old flames (Rose Byrne and Timothy Olyphant, respectively), Paul and Phillip have to clarify things with their partners (Kathryn Hahn and Connie Britton).
Each of the various subplots touches on a big issue, although Jonathan Tropper's script never digs too deeply, relying on superficial comedy and simplistic emotion rather than anything too provocative. This is an odd approach for a film that is essentially trying to say that life is messy. Even the funeral and grieving are used more for laughs than emotion, as are old rivalries and perceived betrayals. Much of the brawling, insulting and teasing is genuinely funny, but only because the cast members have so much fun with it all. Bateman offers his usual likeable everyman, generating terrific chemistry with Fey, Stoll and Driver, as well as some jagged wit in his scenes with the always superb Byrne. And Fonda steals the show as an unapologetic woman who says the wrong thing at just the right time.
Continue reading: This Is Where I Leave You Review
Snaps of a variety of stars as they arrived at the Pink Party 2014 which is held to benefit Cedars-Sinai Women's Cancer Program which was held at Hanger 8
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
Following on from the discovery that New York Natural History Museum's exhibits come to life after dark, security guard Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is faced with a new problem. After confronting the curator, Dr. McPhee (Ricky Gervais), about the exhibits steadily losing consciousness, Daley and friends must travel to England to try to restore power to The Tablet of Ahkmenrah - the ancient artefact that grants life to the museum. In an adventure which spans the globe, Daley and company must meet up with new characters in an attempt to restore the magic before the figures lives end permanently.
Judd Foxman thought he had the perfect life with an enjoyable job, a pleasant apartment and a beautiful wife. However, he soon loses it all after bursting in on his boss in bed with his wife after an apparently lengthy affair. Unfortunately, things only seem to get worse when his sister phones him to tell him that their father passed away. He has to return home to his mother for the funeral where he meets the rest of his siblings and several old faces, but while most of them are hoping to make a quick exit, their mother has other ideas insisting that they spend a week at home in mourning. As awkward as it seems at first, Judd soon finds his pain to be easing with the support of his family and he soon starts to wonder if he wants a simple home life at all.
Continue: This Is Where I Leave You Trailer
This Wedding Crashers reunion has enough snappy dialog to keep us laughing even if the film itself feels like little more than a two-hour Google advert. Thankfully, Vaughn and Wilson are back on form after a number of flabby roles, and they keep the energy levels high enough to distract us from the fact that there's virtually nothing to either the character or the plot.
They play Billy and Nick, salesmen who are left unemployed when their company closes down. Nick finds a new job with his tattooed brother-in-law (Ferrell), but Billy talks him into ditching it for a summer internship at Google, where they join a mob of teen brainiacs in a battle for permanent jobs. Their ethnically diverse team of misfits (including O'Brien, Sircar and Raphael) is led by 23-year-old Lyle (Brener), and after a series of mishaps they begin to work together, surprising their aggressive rival (Minghella) and the intern programme director (Mandvi). Meanwhile, Nick flirts comically with Google exec Dana (Byrne).
This is a deeply lazy script that can't even be bothered to differentiate between the personalities of Billy and Nick, let alone anyone else on screen. Each person is defined by a couple of superficial characteristics, so there are no actual relationships between anyone. Billy and Nick aren't even allowed a hint of bromance. And it's simply insulting how the screenplay makes these two "old" men illiterate about both computers and culture (they've never heard of X-men?). Of course, they also teach the kids a lot about partying away from computer screens.
Continue reading: The Internship Review
Stars of upcoming comedy 'The Internship' - Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn - discuss life, careers and their funny new movie in an interview.
Asked what their favourite part about filming the new movie, Vaughn compares shooting the film at Google's HQ to visiting a chocolate factory: "It was pretty spectacular to be here."
The BBC drama starring Aidan Turner returns to BBC One on September 4th.
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