Joel Murray

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Monsters University Review


Excellent

Pixar revisits the characters from 2001's Monsters, Inc. for a frat-house prequel. Which is kind of an odd setting for a kids' movie. The comedy is more focussed on action sequences than characters this time, so it's not nearly as satisfying. But it's still a lot of fun, thanks to a constant barrage of sharp verbal and visual gags.

When he was just a child, Mike (Crystal) dreamed about becoming a scarer, capturing the screams of human children to provide power to Monstropolis. So he's thrilled when he enters Monsters University, and takes his studies very seriously. By contrast, his roommate Randy (Buscemi) is more interested in partying, while classmate Sulley (Goodman) is lazily coasting on the legacy of his famed scarer dad. Then Mike and Sulley end up on the wrong side of Dean Hardscrabble (Mirren), who gives them one chance to stay in school: they have to win the Scare Games. But the only frat-house that needs them is made up of unscary misfits: nice-guy Dan (Murray), two-headed dimwit Terry/Terri (Hayes/Foley), naive five-eyed Squishy (Sohn) and furry philosopher Art (Day).

We never really doubt where this is going, but the filmmakers have a lot of fun along the way, and the story does take some surprising twists. Essentially, it's the same premise as Glee, with nerdy outcasts banding together to draw on their personal talents and show the cool kids that they're not losers. The script never really develops any of the side characters beyond one key personality trait, but the relationship between Mike and Sulley has a real kick of emotional resonance, superbly well-voiced by Crystal and Goodman. And the bromance between these two is even more enjoyable than all the colourful mayhem and snappy joking around.

Continue reading: Monsters University Review

Monsters University Trailer


All Mike Wazowski dreams of is graduating from the prestigious Monsters University and becoming one of the world's best scarers. However, college doesn't go as swimmingly as he'd hoped, especially when he crosses paths with the large, hairy and extremely arrogant James P. 'Sulley' Sullivan who is also majoring in scaring and becomes his roommate. They are constantly attempting to get one up on each other and their competitiveness puts them seriously under threat of getting removed from the University's Scare Program. In order to stay on the course and graduate, they must work as a team in the dangerous Scare Games alongside their not so competent friends, the Oozma Kappa. With Mike and Sulley being total opposites of each other, they each possess what the other is missing which makes them, in theory, the perfect dream team.

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Monsters University Trailer


Mike and Sulley haven't always been the best of friends that we know they were working at Monsters Inc. When they were amateurs and roommates both majoring in 'scaring' at the Monsters University, there was constant competition between the pair as Mike struggled to keep up with Sulley's natural big, hairy monster persona; Mike and his small physique and rather unscary retainer made him the favourite subject of mockery by Sulley and his friends despite their being in the same fraternity. It soon becomes clear, however, that they are better off together than alone while Mike has the brains and Sulley has the brawn. 

Continue: Monsters University Trailer

Monsters University Trailer


Professional 'scarers' at Monsters Inc., Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan (nicknamed Mike and Sulley) haven't always been so scary. 'Monsters University' tells the story of the duo's time at the University of Fear, about ten years previous, where they took their education in scaring children and often practised on each other with various college pranks that obviously united them in the end.

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Lay the Favourite Trailer


Vivacious ex-dancer Beth reaches gambler's paradise Las Vegas in the hope of becoming a cocktail waitress. She meets keen gambler Dink Heimowitz who immediately warms to her, seeing her for her true potential rather than the ditzy thirty-something-year-old that it is easy to assume she is. He invites her to join his team, who have found a way to work Vegas' sportsbook system, as a lucky charm apparently giving him a miraculous winning streak contrary to his wife Tulip who he sees as a jinx. Soon he starts to suffer a few consecutive losses and Beth becomes ever more fond of him forcing him to dismiss her leaving her heartbroken. She retreats to New York to her trusty Jeremy who loyally succumbs to her charms. He is working for an illegal but successful bookie, Rosie, who flies her to his Caribbean island to supervise his growing kingdom. Beth begins to realise the instability and danger of working for Rosie, and tentatively contacts Dink and Tulip for their help. They unite in an attempt to tackle the potential jeopardy that they all may just fall into.

Continue: Lay the Favourite Trailer

The Artist Trailer


George Valentin is a silent movie star in 1920's Hollywood. His latest film, A Russian Affair, opens to rave reviews and it seems that George has hit the big time. As he walks the red carpet, someone knocks into him.

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Hatchet Review


Weak
Touted as the next big thing in horror by everyone from Kane Hodder to Dee Snider, Adam Green's Hatchet comes pre-packaged by the director himself as a return to "Old-School American Horror." What does he mean by "old-school?" The facts that the main dismemberer in Green's film is played by Hodder, the man behind Jason Vorhees, and that Freddy Kruger himself, Robert Englund, makes a cameo in the early minutes of the film give it some street cred in the crowded world of iconic horror (Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street).

Green's agenda is to return the horror genre to a lean mixture of gore and humor, as well as reestablishing the notion of horror iconography. His icon is Victor Crowley, a double-decker-sized mutant hillbilly relegated to the swamps of New Orleans. As you might suspect, Victor finds himself in the mood for a festive homicide when a boatload of tourists on a haunted swamp tour get stuck near his burnt-out family shack. Soon enough, Victor begins tossing limbs and torsos every which way while impaling and mutilating any body that has the good fortune of staying in one piece. It becomes the charge of a vengeful girl (Tamara Feldman) and a nerdy so-and-so (Joel Moore) to escape Crowley's clutches, heartbeats intact.

Continue reading: Hatchet Review

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Joel Murray Movies

Monsters University Movie Review

Monsters University Movie Review

Pixar revisits the characters from 2001's Monsters, Inc. for a frat-house prequel. Which is kind...

Monsters University Trailer

Monsters University Trailer

All Mike Wazowski dreams of is graduating from the prestigious Monsters University and becoming one...

Monsters University Trailer

Monsters University Trailer

Mike and Sulley haven't always been the best of friends that we know they were...

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Monsters University Trailer

Monsters University Trailer

Professional 'scarers' at Monsters Inc., Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan (nicknamed Mike and Sulley)...

Lay the Favourite Trailer

Lay the Favourite Trailer

Vivacious ex-dancer Beth reaches gambler's paradise Las Vegas in the hope of becoming a cocktail...

The Artist Trailer

The Artist Trailer

George Valentin is a silent movie star in 1920's Hollywood. His latest film, A Russian...

Hatchet Movie Review

Hatchet Movie Review

Touted as the next big thing in horror by everyone from Kane Hodder to Dee...

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