Ever since he was a little boy, Maximo has been interested in living the high life, but certainly not in working for it. He decides to marry a rich older woman, in the hopes that she'll die soon and leave him her enormous house and her money. But after 25 years, she's still alive and kicking - that is, kicking him out. She dumps him for a younger man, forcing him to abandon his life of luxury and move in with his sister Sara, who happens to be actually making something of her life. She gets increasingly frustrated by Maximo's attitude, but her young son Hugo takes an unlikely shine to his homeless uncle. Thus, Maximo decides to try and bag himself another grandmother by helping Hugo get closer to his rich classmate, whose grandma Celeste is a widow with billions in the bank. However, as time goes on, he starts to realise there's more to life than riches, and that love is far more valuable than he could ever have realised.
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Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package, this lively romp is entertaining enough to amuse the audience even when it veers off the rails. It helps that Jack Black is on board, giving one of his more energetically charged performances, and that the script peppers scenes with smart gags. But an over-reliance on big special effects weakens the movie's big climax, and the breathless pace is sometimes exhausting.
Black plays Stein himself, a reclusive author and over-protective father who lives in a small town with his daughter Hannah (Odeya Rush). Then single mother Gale (Amy Ryan) moves in next door with her teen son Zach (Dylan Minette), who is immediately intrigued by Hannah. Despite Stein's warnings, Zach and his new school friend Champ (Ryan Lee) sneak into the house to find out more, opening one of the novelist's manuscripts in the process. Out pops an abominable snowman, who proceeds to wreak havoc in the town. And the next literary escapee, the sadistic ventriloquist's dummy Slappy, is even worse. He sets about releasing all of Stein's fictional monsters into the real world, unleashing chaos on a massive scale. But Zach has an idea that may stop the mayhem.
Screenwriter Darren Lemke and director Rob Letterman have a great time bringing the maximum level of pandemonium to this small town, with a range of outrageous creatures that are both comical and scary. These are rendered in rather obvious digital animation, including a gang of militarised garden gnomes, a slimy blob, zombies, werewolves and a gigantic praying mantis. But the cartoonish sheen is undercut intriguingly by some genuinely tense moments, mainly because Slappy is properly menacing. Black provides Slappy's gleefully sinister voice while hamming it up on-screen as Stein. Minette and Rush are fine as the usual bland youthful heroes with a cute hint of romance between them. And more textured acting is provided in small roles by Ryan, Jillian Bell (as Gale's airhead sister) and Ken Marino (as a lovelorn colleague).
Continue reading: Goosebumps Review
David is a night guard for a company that sells armoured vehicles (known as Loomis Fargo & Company) in North Carolina; and he's not exactly what you'd call a genius. Desperate for a lifestyle away from his routine, low paid job, he sets up a massive heist; intending to break into a vault containing millions of dollars with his co-conspirators Kelly and Steve. They manage to make off with more than $17 million, making it one of the largest bank heists in American history (technically so, as most of the money belonged to the bank). Initially, the police have no leads and David hopes that using the money for something good will redeem him in the eyes of God. The FBI has other ideas when it becomes clear whose behind the robbery.
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Veronica Mars spent her teenage years as a private eye alongside her detective father. Despite achieving a private detective's license at the age of 18, she plans to walk away from that part of her life now having seemingly had her fill of solving grisly murders. Now older and wiser, she has made it as a formidable New York lawyer, to the immense pride of her father. However, her new start is interrupted when she is called back to her hometown of Neptune during a high school reunion. Her former boyfriend Logan Echolls has been accused of murdering someone for a second time, despite her proving his innocence to a first murder as a teenage sleuth. Will her eye for detail and supreme intelligence prevail once again and help her solve another mystery, or has she lost her touch?
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After playing comical sidekicks in rom-coms like No Strings Attached and What Happens in Vegas, Lake Bell emerges as a rising-star filmmaker with the smartest, funniest comedy of the year. Winner of the screenwriting award at Sundance, this script is painfully hilarious, drawing on the characters' personalities to take us into a previously unseen side of the movie industry. It's also a rare Hollywood movie that refuses to shy away from anything.
We're talking about voiceover artists here, specifically those who provide the rumbling commentary for movie trailers. The late Don LaFountaine was the voice behind all of those iconic "In a world..." trailers, and now a studio wants to revive them for a new epic quadrilogy. The top contender for the job is Sam (Melamed), a veteran who decides to let his protege, the egotistical womaniser Gustav (Marino), have the job. Then Sam's voice-coach daughter Carol (Bell) throws her hat in the ring, which is unthinkable because a woman has never narrated this kind of trailer. She prepares for the audition with the help of a love-struck sound engineer (Martin), but is distracted by issues between her sister and brother-in-law (Watkins and Corddry) and the fact that her dad's new girlfriend (Holden) is younger than she is.
Bell juggles all of these plot strands brilliantly as a writer, director and actor, generously giving her costars the most riotously funny dialog while Carol pings around between them. And since we see everything through her eyes, she emerges as a hugely engaging woman who is smart, skilled and also likeably flawed. Every performance is natural and amusing, with the kind of astutely witty dialog actors can really sink their teeth into. And there are some uproarious cameos along the way, including Offerman as a wry colleague, Davis as a studio head, Longoria as a vocal client and Diaz as the star of a Hunger Games-style saga.
Continue reading: In A World... Review
Lake Bell, who is usually cast as the quirky best friend in the majority of films she's in, comes into her own in this independent comedy about a struggling female voice over artist. She asks the question 'why are female voices so rarely used on film trailers?'
Lake Bell revealed in an interview with Yahoo! Movies that she was trying to address more than an inequality in the film industry with her new movie In A World, if we subconsciously associate power and a sense of omnipotence (which is needed for narrating film trailers) with manliness, thus culturally its preferable for us to hear a man narrating. Or that "resonance" makes it "easier and more authoritative to hear".
Another reason for doing the film is Bell's own strident stance on the power of speech and intonation she uses the insipid use of "sexy baby talk" as an example emphasising the importance of using your voice as it "is such a profound tool for communication and how you are perceived".
That all sounds terribly deep and philosophical yet that's not how it comes across in the trailer with Bell showing off her vocal skills (the Russian Star Wars impression is something to look out for).
Continue reading: 'In A World'...Where Lake Bell Talks About Voices [Trailer]
Carol is a successful vocal coach with an extraordinary talent for accents, even training the likes of Eva Longoria for acting roles. However, her one ambition remains practically unattainable - to become a voiceover star. With her father, a talented master of voiceovers himself, showing little confidence in her because of the fact that she is a woman along with her own struggle to sound foreboding and intimidating, Carol seems destined to coach people on accents for the rest of her career. Can Carol coach herself to become one of very few voiceover legends, or will her own talent fail her at the last hurdle?
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After marrying Seth Rogen in 2011, Lauren Miller got to work writing a screenplay for the film 'For A Good Time, Call.', and started personally writing to stars asking for them to cameo. One response left her in tears.
Lauren Miller, the wife of film funny man Seth Rogen, was reportedly reduced to tears by the message from Ari Graynor, accepting a role in her movie. Miller co-wrote the upcoming film, 'For A Good Time, Call.', and decided to send out personal notes in order to ask stars to appear in cameos. Amongst these stars were director Kevin Smith and comedian Ken Marino. Yet the acceptance note she received from Graynor reportedly brought tears to her eyes.
Miller, who married Rogan in 2011, spoke to 'New York Magazine' to discuss the notes, saying: "I tried to be funny in those letters, but the letter I sent to Ari was more emotional, about how I've admired her work for years, and she has this incredible ability to be over-the-top funny yet retain this vulnerability and sexiness, even if she's pulling gum out of a toilet."
Continue reading: Seth Rogen's Wife Brought To Tears By Note From Ari Graynor
When their over-extended Manhattan lifestyle falls apart, George and Linda (Rudd and Aniston) head to Atlanta to regroup at the home of George's rich brother (Marino) and his medicated wife (Watkins). But on the way they stop at a B&B in Elysium, a countryside commune that sparks their imagination of a possible new life. Led by forgetful founder Carvin (Alda) and self-important guru Seth (Theroux), George and Linda are surprised at how well they fit in.
But this free-spirited, free-loving society starts to strain their relationship.
Continue reading: Wanderlust Review
Maximo Park return with their first full length studio album in nearly four years as they release 'Nature Always Wins'.
Yes, I know, it's far too early to call out contenders for the Top Ten Albums of 2021 but, if 'In Quiet Moments' by Lost Horizons doesn't feature...
Wolf Alice make a long awaited return ahead of the release of their third album with a new single and video, 'The Last Man On Earth'.
Tom Odell returns with new song, 'numb', his first single in nearly two years.
Way, way back in the February of 1980 one twenty year old Bryan Adams released his eponymous debut album, paving the way for the start of his...
As the second month of 2021 gets ever nearer we take a look at the new releases that are set to delight our ears over the coming weeks.
Ever since he was a little boy, Maximo has been interested in living the high...
Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package,...
David is a night guard for a company that sells armoured vehicles (known as Loomis...
Veronica Mars spent her teenage years as a private eye alongside her detective father. Despite...
After playing comical sidekicks in rom-coms like No Strings Attached and What Happens in Vegas,...
Carol is a successful vocal coach with an extraordinary talent for accents, even training the...
An unusually sharp script makes this silly comedy thoroughly enjoyable, even when it tips over...