Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for a holiday romp that once again provides a few solid laughs. Alas, it's also just as unambitious, never pushing its characters very far or coming up with anything terribly original. But filmmakers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore know that sometimes audiences just want dumb entertainment.
In the week before Christmas, Amy (Mila Kunis) has reached breaking point with all of her motherly responsibilities. So she's delighted that her boyfriend (Jay Hernandez) and kids just want to have a mellow holiday. Then her hyper-demanding mother (Christine Baranski) arrives with enormous plans that Amy's meek dad (Peter Gallagher) quietly goes along with. So Amy turns to her best friends Kiki and Carla (Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn) for help. And they've also been invaded: Kiki's far-too-involved mother (Cheryl Hines) arrives for three weeks, while Carla's biker-chick mom (Susan Sarandon) is a gambling addict in need of cash. So Amy, Kiki and Carla team up to take back control of Christmas.
Continue reading: A Bad Moms Christmas Review
Almost pathologically buoyant, this brightly colourful animated comedy is so cheeky that it's impossible to dislike. The plot may be thin, and the wackiness a bit too full-on, but every moment is packed with smart verbal and visual jokes. This rapid-fire energy keeps us laughing all the way through, while the lively song score has us humming along and wishing we could get up there and dance.
It's set in a garish fantasy world in which sweetly happy trolls are locked in a mortal battle with gloomy bergen who think the only way they can achieve happiness is to eat a troll. It's been 20 years since the trolls escaped to form a secret forest community, so they throw a party to celebrate. Led by Princess Poppy (Anna Kendrick), the festivities feature so much music, glitter and hugging that the bergen's Chef (Christine Baranski) spots their location. The paranoid troll Branch (Justin Timberlake) had warned that this might happen, and sure enough Chef sweeps in and grabs a handful of trolls to take back to bergen King Gristle (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). Feeling responsible, Poppy sets out on a quest to rescue them, and Branch grudgingly accompanies her. They also get help from the lovelorn bergen scullery maid Bridget (Zooey Deschanel).
There isn't a moment in this story that carries even a hint of actual suspense, but the action scenes are still exhilaratingly madcap, and the darker moments along the way generate proper emotion. Thankfully, the lesson is so painfully obvious (you don't need to eat a troll to be happy!) that the filmmakers don't bother hammering it in. Instead, they fill every scene with deranged wit, ridiculous gags and lively character detail.
Continue reading: Trolls Review
It's taken a long time for this stage musical to make it to the big screen, and while director Rob Marshall once again fails to give the story a sharp focus (see also Chicago and Nine), he at least lets the music and characters shine. Originally staged on Broadway in 1987, this musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine is a gleeful mash-up of fairy tales that continues on past the "happily ever after", eventually turning rather dark and emotional.
Once upon a time, there was a Baker and his Wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt) who learn that they can't have children because the Witch (Meryl Streep) next door has cursed them. She offers to break the spell if they collect a cow, a cape, a slipper and a lock of hair. Meanwhile, Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) annoys his mother (Tracey Ullman) by selling the family cow for a handful of "magic" beans; Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford) dodges a leery Wolf (Johnny Depp) following her through the woods; Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) sneaks to the festival to meet the Prince (Chris Pine) against the wishes of her nasty stepmum (Christine Baranski); and Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy) defies her mother by letting her hair down for a Prince (Billy Magnussen). After knotting together, each plot strand resolves happily. Until the next day.
This is very much a story of two halves, with the sharp, snappy, hilarious first act contrasting strongly against the rather disturbingly grim and grisly second act, as everyone's story unravels to reveal each character's deep neediness. What makes this show so clever is the way it undermines the usual fairy-tale happiness of most stories, cautioning that this artifice is actually a problem for children. While the songs are all clever and thoroughly engaging, none of them is particularly hummable on first listen, but each is packed with witty wordplay and serious subtext that gets under the skin.
Continue reading: Into The Woods Review
When a Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are unable to have children due to a curse, they are advised by a witch (Meryl Streep) to venture into the woods in order to find a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn and a slipper as pure as gold. Along the way, they become intertwined in the stories of 'Jack and the Beanstalk', 'Little Red Riding Hood', 'Rapunzel', and 'Cinderella', in this original story based upon Grimm's classic fairy tales.
Continue: Into The Woods - Extended Trailer
When a Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are cursed by a witch (Meryl Streep), they discover that they are unable to have children. The couple embark on an adventure into the woods in order to recover the magical objects required to break the spell and allow them to begin a family together. Over the course of their journey, they encounter iconic fairy-tale characters and motifs from stories like Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel and Cinderella. They also steadily learn valuable lessons about responsibility and being careful what they wish for.
Continue: Into The Woods - Alternative Trailer
Take a sneak peak of forthcoming musical fairytale flick 'Into The Woods' in this short featurette, featuring comments from the stellar ensemble cast and crew. Among them are stars Emily Blunt, James Corden, Chris Pine, Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp, as well as director Rob Marshall ('Chicago'), author of the book James Lapine and composer Stephen Sondheim ('Sweeney Todd').
Continue: Into The Woods - Featurette
Christine Baranski Christine Baranski - ‘The Good Wife’ star, Christine Baranski was seen leaving a car before catching a plane from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) wearing a stylist pink blazer - Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 26th August 2014
When a Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are cursed by a witch (Meryl Streep), they discover that they are unable to have children. The couple embark on an adventure into the woods in order to recover the magical objects required to break the spell and allow them to begin a family together. Over the course of their journey, they encounter iconic fairy-tale characters and motifs from stories like Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel and Cinderella. They also steadily learn valuable lessons about responsibility and being careful what they wish for .
Continue: Into The Woods - Teaser Trailer
'Breaking Bad', 'True Detective', 'Orange Is the New Black' and 'Veep' scored big at the 30th Television Critics Association Awards (TCAs) on Saturday (19th July). But can the awards give us any hint as to who will win at the Emmys in August?
The 30th Television Critics Association Awards (TCAs) was held on Saturday (19th July). The ceremony was held at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Los Angeles. With the 66th Primetime Emmys looming, have the TCAs given us some clues as to who is likely to win on 25th August?
Breaking Bad won Outstanding Achievement in Drama for the second year in a row.
Nicole (Aniston) is a New York journalist who's so busy with a breaking story that she neglects to turn up for a court date and ends up on the bail-jumper list of bounty hunter Milo (Butler), her ex-husband. Their stormy marriage didn't last long, and Milo is happy for the chance to get some revenge. But he's being chased by the goons (Coster and Garland) of an Atlantic City loan shark (Moriarty). Meanwhile, Nicole also has a lovelorn colleague (Sudeikis) and a vicious henchman (Greene) after her.
Continue reading: The Bounty Hunter Review
Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...
Almost pathologically buoyant, this brightly colourful animated comedy is so cheeky that it's impossible to...
When a Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are unable to have children...
Take a sneak peak of forthcoming musical fairytale flick 'Into The Woods' in this short...
Aniston and Butler mysteriously rustle up just enough chemistry in this simplistic rom-com to make...