There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but entertain pretty much everyone in the audience, from kids who like fart jokes to adults who will enjoy the surprisingly sweet exploration of childhood friendship. Indeed, the central thrust of the film is resonant with meaning, which nicely grounds the outrageously colourful silliness.
The buddies at the centre are George and Harold (voiced by Kevin Hart and Thomas Middleditch), pranksters who keep the other students at their school doubled up in laughter. But of course this also makes them the primary nemeses of Principal Krupp (Ed Helms) and the class tattletale Melvin (Jordan Peele). In desperation, Krupp declares that he is moving George and Harold into separate classes. And in a moment of panic, the boys somehow manage to hypnotise Krupp into believing that he's Captain Underpants, the nutty superhero from the comics they draw in their treehouse. But as they're enjoying their power over the principal, a more threatening villain appears in the form of their humour-hating new science teacher, Professor P (Nick Kroll).
While the movie is a little too manic for its own good, there's plenty to enjoy here. Not only does the story work on a variety of levels, but it's animated in a range of visual styles, from the somewhat plasticky main story to more intriguing traditional animation, flip-books, pen and ink, comic strips and even sock puppets. Every scene is packed with unexpected twists and visual invention. Nothing about this movie sits still for long, bouncing through its wacky story without pausing for breath. And the knowing style of humour makes even the most vulgar humour disarmingly hilarious.
Continue reading: Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Review
When Ginnie introduces her boyfriend Martin to her father Mr. Gallo, it's safe to say he is left extremely unimpressed by Martin's career as a banjo player. Six months down the line, Mr. Gallo is back in Los Angeles, knocking on Martin's door asking after his daughter. Though Martin broke up with her a while ago, he does have a possible address for her and agrees to accompany Mr. Gallo to the place in question. They don't find the daughter but they do end up picking up one of her former roommates. This little mission of theirs turns out to be a lot more dangerous than Martin thought it would be, and he and Mr. Gallo ending searching for Ginnie for a whole night getting into all sorts of trouble; Mr. Gallo is suspiciously adept at and unfazed by fighting, and they even get themselves locked up in a police cell. That's bonding like we've never known it before.
Continue: All Nighter Trailer
There has never been a team quite like fourth-grade schoolkids George Beard and Harold Hutchins. When they are not wreaking havoc at their school with a variety of impressive pranks, they are writing and illustrating their very own comic book series based on their character Captain Underpants. Their fun is threatened, however, by their mean principal Mr. Krupp who wants to split up the 9-year-old besties for good to prevent any more mischievous antics. Determined not to be separated, they decide to hypnotize the teacher into being convinced that he is the real Captain Underpants. As hilarious as that may sound, the kids have a hard time looking after him as he gets into all sorts of trouble trying to save people. Then when a crazy scientist known as Professor Poopypants threatens to take over the world, the three of them must band together to defeat him.
Melissa McCarthy brings another of her improvisational alter-egos to the big screen with this energetic comedy. The first cause for pause comes because this is a reteaming with her filmmaker husband Ben Falcone, with whom she made the bizarrely unfunny Tammy, as opposed to the filmmaker Paul Feig who directed her to box office triumph with Spy and The Heat and an Oscar nomination in Bridesmaids. Yes, there's a significance difference.
This time she plays hugely popular financial guru Michelle Darnell, whose stardom ends abruptly when she is sent to prison for four months for insider trading. When she's released, everyone she stepped on as she rose to the top turns their back on her, and her nemesis/ex Renault (Peter Dinklage) is still determined to get revenge. The only person who will talk to her is former assistant Claire (Kristen Bell), so Michelle moves in with her family. Unable to restart her business, she also takes over the Dandelion Scout troup of Claire's daughter Rachel (Ella Anderson), pushing the girls to take aggressive measures to sell their cookies.
As always, McCarthy throws herself into the role, creating a vivid character who indulges in a lot of outrageously silly slapstick. As with Tammy, the humour centres more on abusive interaction and humiliation than actual wit. McCarthy and Falcone strain to get laughs from physical wackiness rather than anything based on the character, so the movie only ever feels mildly amusing thanks to its high energy. But there's nothing engaging about Michelle, and it's only in a few cute-warm scenes with the terrific Bell that the film springs to anything resembling life. Thankfully, her scenes with the likeable Tyler Labine (as a potential boyfriend) have a loose humour to them. And Dinklage is surprisingly amusing as the sputtering cartoonish villain, while Kathy Bates generates a few sparks as Michelle's sassy mentor.
Continue reading: The Boss Review
Buzz & Woody are back! Toy Story That Time Forgot is the latest instalment of the much loved Disney franchise. The toys have survived another Christmas and as usual, their toy family has expanded greatly. When Bonnie visits one of her friends' house for a play date the clan are introduced to a whole new toy menagerie one of a pre-historic nature - Dinosaurs! Up until now, the only dinosaurs they've known are Rex & Trixie. Rex is the loveable yet incredibly insecure Tyrannosaurus Rex, one of Rex's biggest fears is that he'll be replaced. Trixie is the bright and friendly Triceratops.
When Buzz and Woody are taken hostage by this new group of toys (who are unaware that they actually are toys) there future is put in danger as they must face off in gladiatorial combat - Woody armed with nothing more than a red crayon. Convincing this new playroom that they are in fact all toys isn't going to be easy, but Bonnie's toys know their future relies on it.
Since its inception in 1995, Toy Story has remained a family favourite, this was followed by a second and third film released in 1999 & 2010 respectively. There have also been two short movies, Toy Story of Terror! and this, Toy Story That Time Forgot. Toy Story 4 has been slated for release in 2018 and will be directed by John Lasseter and Josh Cooley.
Continue: Toy Story That Time Forgot Trailer
Echoing his witty writing style, Bill Bryson's memoir of his trek up the Appalachian Trail is adapted as a gently amusing comedy that combines big landscapes with sharp observational humour. Even though it centres on two old men, the film's message is almost identical to Reese Witherspoon's Wild, except that this movie never preaches at all. Instead, it meanders along with a wry smile and an ear for a snappy punchline.
Bill (Robert Redford) has moved back to America with his English wife Catherine (Emma Thompson) after living in Britain for 20 years. And now he feels the need to reconnect with his homeland. So he decides to hike the 2,100-mile mountain path from Georgia to Maine. Catherine insists that he takes someone with him, but the only volunteer is Katz (Nick Nolte), a wheezing ex-alcoholic with whom Bill deliberately lost touch. Even so, they set off on their walk, having a series of small adventures as they meet other hikers (including the hilariously too-perky Kristen Schaal), flirt with a hotel owner (Mary Steenburgen) and get into a bit of trouble when Katz has a romp with a married woman (Susan McPhail). They also encounter a couple of grizzly bears and find themselves trapped overnight on a narrow mountain ledge.
The question obviously isn't whether or not they complete the epic trek. No, this is a film about how self-discovery continues into old age, and so does the ability to discover new things in the world. Director Ken Kwapis makes the most of the picturesque landscapes, while including superb details that make the journey come to life. Although there are several sequences that were obviously shot in a studio with a fake backdrop and green-screen vistas. And some of the events along the way are badly contrived, dipping into silly slapstick. On the other hand, the running conversation between these two long-time friends is priceless.
Continue reading: A Walk In The Woods Review
Bill Bryson has been living in the UK with his English wife for a long time but now feels his retirement is wasted on the luxury of home comforts. Now after moving back to the US, he wants adventure, and what better way to get it than by hiking the 2,200 mile long Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. It's a glorious woodland walk for anyone, but it's rarely finished by even the most experienced hikers and the thought of this ageing man taking on the dangers of the trail frightens his kids and his wife. It seems Bill is deadset on this challenge, and while his wife can't stop him doing it, she can at least insist he be accompanied by a friend. Unfortunately, the only person crazy enough to join him is his fat, former alcoholic buddy Katz, whose probably going to be more of a hindrance than a help, but will at least be exposed to some much needed reflection... and a few hungry bears.
Continue: A Walk in The Woods Trailer
Did Ryan Murphy's "explosive" season finale deliver?
Last night saw the finale of the sixth season of Fox's hit musical series, Glee. Showrunner Ryan Murphy had promised an "explosive" ending and indeed gleeks of the world were handed a fair surprise or two. However, the thing that was decidedly non-explosive was the series' ratings, which equalled that of Ink Master on Spike and was dwarfed by The Deadliest Catch on Discovery.
Lea Michele's Rachel Made A Slight Adjustment To Her Acting Dreams In The 'Glee' S5 Finale.
Nevertheless, the series will plough on for one last season next fall and it looks like the troubled Fox show will keep it fresh by giving its characters a whole new set of opportunities. For example, Sam (Chord Overstreet) and Mercedes (Amber Riley) decided to call time on their relationship after Sam kissed another girl.
Continue reading: 'Glee' Season Five Finale Prepares For Time Jump To Last Goodbye
With new writers and directors, this frenetic sequel indulges in silliness with less substance than last time. It's a lot of fun, but also rather forgettable, like the movie's surprisingly unimaginative title (honestly, the sky was literally the limit here). So while we laugh at the constant barrage of jokes and the colourful visual mayhem, there's nothing to engage us on a more satisfying level.
It opens with a recap of the first film, then carries on immediately, as young inventor Flint (voiced by Hader) is thrilled that his idol Chester (Forte), head of super-cool mega-company Live Corp, is put in charge of cleaning up the food storm Flint started. With a secret plan to get his hands on Flint's invention, Chester evacuates everyone from the island community Swallow Falls and offers Flint a job at his headquarters in San Franjose, California. But back home the food has come to life and is threatening to attack the world, so Flint is sent to solve the problem, unofficially accompanied by his pals (Faris' weathergirl, Samberg's surfer dude, Bratt's cameraman and Crews' muscle-cop) and his fisherman dad (Caan).
These characters are so hilariously goofy that we can't help but enjoy the chaos as they return to the island, which has been transformed into a Jurassic Park-style jungle overrun by food-pun creatures like shrimpanzees, tacodiles and watermelephants. The animation is gorgeously detailed, with all kinds of visual gags to match the deranged verbal banter. And the snappy voice cast dive in with gusto. The new characters fit in perfectly: Forte is hilariously slimy, while Schaal (as his talking baboon assistant Barb) steals the show as the only person on-screen who has a story arc.
Continue reading: Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 Review
Flint Lockwood is a genius inventor who previously caused chaos in his hometown when he invented the FLDSMDFR (Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator) which turned water into food and nearly caused a tornado of spaghetti and meatballs to destroy the town. Now he wants to go back to Swallow Falls with his friends including his weather intern best pal Sam Sparks, his father Tim and his pet monkey Steve, because the food monsters he created are learning to swim in order to cross oceans and take over the world. On arriving, they find that the abandoned town is now home to Spring Onion giraffes, Shrimp-anzees, fla-mangos. As beautiful as this new land is, they soon find themselves involved in a deadly chase hotly pursued by man (and monkey!) eating giant cheese burgers. Will Flint invent a solution to save the world this time round? Or are they facing Burgergeddon?
The sequel to the 2009 animated comedy 'Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs' is now finally set to be released, this time directed by Cody Cameron ('Open Season 3') and Kris Pearn in his directorial debut and John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein ('Horrible Bosses', 'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone') coming on board for the screenplay. It will hit cinemas in the UK on October 25th 2013.
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