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Bad Santa 2 Review

Weak

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with resolutely unsentimental emotion. So it's very disappointing that this 13-years-later sequel reassembles the cast then merely coasts on the vulgarity, never bothering to develop the characters or plot. It's just as rude, and it provides some solid laughs along the way, but the story never engages the audience, which leaves the movie feeling naughty but never nice.

Over these years, Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) has continued his slacker lifestyle into his early 60s. He still lives in Phoenix, and has continued to try to ignore the attentions of the sweetly naive Thurman (Brett Kelly), who has just turned 21. Then Willie's treacherous ex-cohort Marcus (Tony Cox) gets out of prison and approaches him with a big heist. Against his better judgement, Willie accompanies him to Chicago, where two nasty surprises await: the plan is to steal millions from a children's charity, and Willie's estranged mother Sunny (Kathy Bates) is organising the robbery. Annoyed, Willie instantly falls for the sexy Diane (Christina Hendricks), who is married to the charity's shifty boss (Ryan Hansen). Meanwhile, Marcus tries to seduce a security guard (Jenny Zigrino). And Thurman turns up unannounced.

It's depressing that, after years of talk about a sequel, this haphazard plot is the best the writers could come up with. Every element of the narrative is deeply contrived to merely string together a series of filthy jokes, rude insults, noisy sex and criminal slapstick. All of this would have been welcome if the comedy sprang from the messy relationships or personalities. But everything is so static and pointless that there's nothing to hold the audience's attention, aside from a number of witty gags that pop up out of nowhere. So at least there are a few solid laughs.

Continue reading: Bad Santa 2 Review

Billy Bob Thornton at the New York Premiere of 'Bad Santa 2' held at AMC Loews Lincoln Square, New York, United States - Tuesday 15th November 2016

Billy Bob Thornton, Brett Kelly, Christina Hendricks, Kathy Bates and Tony Cox
Billy Bob Thornton, Brett Kelly, Christina Hendricks, Kathy Bates and Tony Cox
Billy Bob Thornton
Billy Bob Thornton
Billy Bob Thornton
Billy Bob Thornton

Bad Santa 2 Trailer


Since we last met Willie T. Stokes, his life has had plenty of ups and downs; but mainly downs. He's still in touch with his curly haired friend, Thurman but he's the only person he really has in his life. Thurman is now fully grown and at the age of 21, he's now old enough to drink and he works at a sub sandwich shop. 

Thurman is just as naive as the last time we saw him but he has just as much faith in his buddy Willie as he ever has done. Willie can't help but still feel protective over the boy he helped save from bullies all those years prior. 

As for Willie's old partner Marcus, as far as Willie's concerned hopefully he's still rotting in jail after attempting to kill Willie. When Marcus gets in contact with our cranky aging ex-Santa, he's surprised to hear from him and even more surprised to learn of a new con Marcus tells him about which could be worth millions. 

Continue: Bad Santa 2 Trailer

Tony Cox - Actor Tony Cox best known for his comedic performances in Bad Santa, Me, Myself and Irene, Date Movie, Epic Movie and Disaster Movie, departs on a flight from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) - Los Angeles, California, United States - Monday 4th January 2016

Tony Cox
Tony Cox
Tony Cox
Tony Cox
Tony Cox
Tony Cox

Oz The Great And Powerful Review


Good

Like Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, this film shows the overpowering strength of Disney and producer Joe Roth, as they once again bury a gifted filmmaker and cast in an effects extravaganza that's strong on visuals but short on story. There are glimpses of Raimi's genius here and there, most notably in his eye-catching use of 3D. And the actors manage to inject a bit of spark into their family-friendly characters. But the plot and the relentlessly simplistic tone will only please children or undemanding adults.

At least it looks amazing. And like the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz, the film opens in black and white with a Kansas-set prologue, where the womanising conman Oscar (Franco) performs as the flashy magician Oz. Chased into a hot-air balloon by an angry husband, he is engulfed by a tornado and drops into the colourful land of Oz, where people are looking for a messianic wizard named Oz to save them from the witch who murdered their king. But which witch is the wicked one? Oscar first meets the naive Theodora (Kunis), who hasn't yet decided if she'll be evil or not, then her big sister Evanora (Weisz), the steely interim ruler, and then the too-good Glinda (Williams). And even though he's not a real wizard, he might have some tricks up his sleeve that can help.

The film mixes ideas from L Frank Baum's stories with references to the iconic 1939 film, plus much more epic landscapes of Oz recreated with eye-popping digital trickery. On the other hand, the plot is formulaic and predictable, with characters who are only superficially complex and are far too obvious in the way they interact, badly underestimating the sophistication of even very young children in the audience. But the real problem is that the film is focussed on visual spectacle rather than endearing characters. The sidekicks this time are a slightly creepy-looking flying monkey (Braff) and a feisty china doll (King), both rendered with elaborate motion-capture effects that never quite seem to be there on the set with the actors.

Continue reading: Oz The Great And Powerful Review

Tony Cox Thursday 13th December 2012

Tony Cox
Tony Cox
Tony Cox

Oz: The Great And Powerful Trailer


Oscar Diggs is a magician in a circus in Kansas who has about as much moral fibre as he has accomplishments to his name; that being none whatsoever. However, all that changes when he is magically transported to the land of Oz after his hot air balloon gets caught in a ferocious storm. He is about to have his ethics and his trickery put to the test after initially seeing the colourful and sparkling new world as a way of gaining the fortune he so longs for. Things change when he meets three beautiful witches Theodora, Evanora and Glinda who doubt his so-called magical powers are genuine but do believe he could still be great and powerful like the rest of Oz believe him to be if he saved the land from the wicked witch and became the righteous man he truly ought to be.

This vibrant Disney adventure has been adapted by director Sam Raimi ('The Evil Dead', the 'Spider-Man' trilogy) and screenwriters Mitchell Kapner ('Romeo Must Die', 'The Whole Ten Yards') and David Lindsay-Abaire ('Robots', 'Inkheart', 'Rise of the Guardians'). It has been based on the 1900 novel 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' by L. Frank Baum and serves as the prequel to the 1939 movie 'The Wizard of Oz'. Due for release on March 8th 2013. 

Directed by: Sam Raimi

Continue: Oz: The Great And Powerful Trailer

Oz The Great and Powerful Trailer


Oscar Diggs is an ethically-challenged circus magician who seeks fortune and recognition for his tricks and illusions. One day he and his top hat are sent away from his home of Kansas in a hot air balloon but are subsequently caught up in a destructive storm which takes them to the magical land of Oz. Oscar is in awe of the dazzling place and mysterious creatures and begins to see Oz as the path to prosperity. He soon discovers that this is not so when he meets three beautiful witches Theodora, Evanora and Glinda who rightfully doubt his competence in the field of magic despite the rest of Oz believing him to be the powerful wizard they have all been waiting for. His awe of Oz is soon diminished as he discovers troubles of huge proportions in the land and finds himself struggling to work out who is on the side of good and who is on the side of evil. He uses his expertise in the art of illusion and showmanship to become the great and honourable Wizard of Oz.

Continue: Oz The Great and Powerful Trailer

Tony Cox Friday 19th November 2010 The screening of 'The Warrior's Way' at the CGV Cinemas Los Angeles, California

Tony Cox
Tony Cox
Tony Cox

Tony Cox - Monday 23rd July 2007 at Arclight Cineramadome Hollywood, California

Tony Cox

Epic Movie Review


Weak
The stigma of "I've seen it all before" pervades Epic Movie in unexpected ways. Writers/directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer's previous credits, Scary Movie (as two of six writers) and Date Movie, tell you what you're in for: the skewering of some currently popular cinematic genre. Famous scenes will be re-shot, famous people lampooned, and there will be plenty of naughty bits. Experience might also alert you to the film's questionable quality. However, in a movie whose lifeblood is appropriation, borrowing, copying, and sullying (parody seems too sophisticated a description), it is surprising that Epic Movie feels tired not because it reminds us so often of the epics it sends up, but because it suffers from the faults of its "Something" Movie predecessors.As with Scary, Date, and Not Another Teen, Epic Movie takes for its plot a cobbled together version of the events of the films it lampoons. Thus, we first meet four orphans before they win a golden ticket to Willy Wonka's factory that leads to an epic adventure in Gnarnia (with a silent G, "for legal purposes"). First orphan Lucy (Jayma Mays) is the daughter of a Louvre curator who finds her golden ticket when clues around her father's dead body lead to, gasp, Da Vinci. Edward (Kal Penn) leaves his Mexican orphanage after a wrestler/monk tries to feed him a dead cat (apparently, Nacho Libre was an epic). Peter (Adam Campbell) is an X-Man with chicken wings, picked on in high school by Mystique (Carmen Electra) and LC (from the TV's Laguna Beach). The final orphan, Susan (Faune A. Chambers), represents the point at which the filmmakers just couldn't be bothered anymore. She was on a plane once, and so were some snakes.In as ambiguously defined and incredibly inclusive a category as "epic" there are ample opportunities for satirical sparks. And there are moments, fleeting as they are, such as Peter's exploration of the sexual shape-shifting possibilities of Mystique, when those opportunities are taken. More frequently, though, the order of the day is mere repetition. The Nacho Libre scenes and Snakes on a Plane sequence do nothing with the original material other than cast it with inferior actors. Later, aboard a more touristy "Black Pearl," SNL's Darrell Hammond is very good at impersonating Johnny Depp impersonating Keith Richards, but is given too little to do besides this. In all, the film lacks the perspective needed for effective satire. As with Date Movie, the filmmakers don't have much to say about the films they are dealing with. They simply present them to us in a burlesque fashion with a fart joke here and a rude word there.Worse still, the filmmakers have turned their attention too heavily to their back catalogue. There are the staple gratuitous slow motion bikini dancers, Carmen Electra is back, MTV references fill in where jokes cannot be found, and Jayma Mays seems with her dazed and confused performance to be channelling Scary Movie star Anna Faris. Rather than looking for things to say about the latest in epic films, they seek to appropriate a successful formula onto the latest box office successes. The movie is also entirely toothless. Discussing the film, Penn brags of how Friedman and Seltzer "ridicule" Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, in which he starred in 2004. Here, ridicule translates to a shot of a White Castle restaurant on the screen and Penn saying, "I have a feeling I have been here before." Perhaps this was my problem. I want some savageness in my satire, and Epic Movie is decidedly tame. As one who sat through The Da Vinci Code, X-Men 3 and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, I was expecting a suitably cruel counter attack. Instead, I got what I should have expected knowing the pedigree. In this latest and tiredest Friedman/Seltzer puff piece the law of diminishing returns persists.Lion for dinner? Let's go!

Bad Santa Review


Excellent
Director Terry Zwigoff launched a career with his debut film, Crumb, the disturbing yet fascinating documentary about cult comic book artist Robert Crumb. It's rumored that in order to get Crumb to agree to have a biopic, Zwigoff threatened to kill himself if Crumb refused to cooperate. Then the film festival hero went on to direct the fantastically negative, critically acclaimed Ghost World. From those dark beginnings comes Bad Santa, Zwigoff's idea of a Christmas movie, and it's nothing less than you'd expect. Finally, misanthropes have a holiday film of their very own.

In the role he was born to play, Billy Bob Thornton is the bad Santa, a.k.a. Willie Stokes, a chain-smoking, bourbon-guzzling con man who can't utter a sentence without a curse word. Willie and his little-person friend Marcus (Tony Cox) travel from city to city each holiday season, running the same scam: Willie and Marcus play Santa and elf for cut rates, and then Willie cracks the store/mall's safe on Christmas Eve, stealing enough money for them to skip town. But until the big Eve heist, Marcus has to keep the drunk, stumbling, foul-mouthed Santa from "boning" women in the dressing rooms and pissing himself in the Santa chair before passing out, so they can keep their jobs.

Continue reading: Bad Santa Review

The Hebrew Hammer Review


OK
It's the curse of the great-pitch movie: They can never live up to the premise. And the funny but sloppy The Hebrew Hammer has a premise to kill for. Mordechai Jefferson Carver (Adam Goldberg) is the hero of the title, a badass Orthodox Jew who makes a slight living as a private eye (his door reads "Certified Circumcised Dick") and prowls the streets of Gotham, striking fear into the hearts of anti-Semites and admonishing the kids to "stay Jewish." He rolls like Superfly in an extra-long Cadillac, fully pimped-out, but always observes the Sabbath and loves his mother, of course.

Every superhero needs a supervillain, of course, and this film's answer to that maxim is Andy Dick. Apparently psychotic from birth, Dick plays Damian, the racist son of Santa who kills his more tolerant father and sets about turning the North Pole into a sweatshop, banishing the non-Aryan elves and concocting a diabolical plan to destroy Hanukkah. Not surprisingly, this causes the Jewish Justice League (who hold court in a massive, Star of David-shaped building) no small amount of consternation, and they start casting about for a Jewish hero to fight Damian. Quickly discarding suggestions of Steven Spielberg and Yitzhak Perlman, they reluctantly settle on the Hammer, whom they'd drummed out of the organization long before.

Continue reading: The Hebrew Hammer Review

Bad Santa Review


Good

"Bad Santa" is one hilariously crass Christmas comedy -- and most certainly not for kids.

From the comical poor taste of running the title credit over a shot of a bitter, broken-down, booze-hound mall Santa (Billy Bob Thornton) upchucking in an alley behind a bar, to the antagonism-eroding friendship he strikes up with an overweight, none-too-bright, literally snot-faced kid (Brett Kelly) who follows him from a department store, this movie is fearlessly twisted and has only the slightest hint of traditional redemption.

But man, it is funny.

Continue reading: Bad Santa Review

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Tony Cox Movies

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Bad Santa 2 Trailer

Bad Santa 2 Trailer

Since we last met Willie T. Stokes, his life has had plenty of ups and...

Oz the Great and Powerful Movie Review

Oz the Great and Powerful Movie Review

Like Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, this film shows the overpowering strength of Disney and...

Oz: The Great And Powerful Trailer

Oz: The Great And Powerful Trailer

Oscar Diggs is a magician in a circus in Kansas who has about as much...

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Oz The Great and Powerful Trailer

Oz The Great and Powerful Trailer

Oscar Diggs is an ethically-challenged circus magician who seeks fortune and recognition for his tricks...

Epic Movie Movie Review

Epic Movie Movie Review

The stigma of "I've seen it all before" pervades Epic Movie in unexpected ways. Writers/directors...

Bad Santa Movie Review

Bad Santa Movie Review

Director Terry Zwigoff launched a career with his debut film, Crumb, the disturbing yet fascinating...

The Hebrew Hammer Movie Review

The Hebrew Hammer Movie Review

It's the curse of the great-pitch movie: They can never live up to the premise....

Bad Santa Movie Review

Bad Santa Movie Review

"Bad Santa" is one hilariously crass Christmas comedy -- and most certainly not for kids.From...

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