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
Zach Cooper has just moved to a sleepy town and is looking forward to getting to know his new neighbors. Hannah seems nice enough, but her father is less than willing to be welcoming; he also happens to be R. L. Stine, the author of the famous children's horror book series 'Goosebumps'. Late at night, Zach hears screams coming from their house and decides to check on his new friend - especially given how unstable her father seems. However, Zach is not prepared for what he's about to find inside the creepy abode. Sitting neatly within an old bookcase are locked volumes containing the 'Goosebumps' manuscripts and, curious as he is, he decides to open one of them. Unfortunately, as he discovers, that was really one mistake too many when he unwittingly unleashes those supposedly fictional monsters into the world.
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'This Is 40' is a spin-off of 2007 film 'Knocked Up' and surrounds the lives of husband and wife Pete and Debbie. Debbie is the sister of Alison, the woman who the 'Knocked Up' main protagonist Ben gets pregnant after a one night stand. Debbie's own tempestuous relationship with Pete is touched upon in this film when she and him separate briefly after she finds out he keeps disappearing at strange hours to play fantasy baseball thus finding an escape from married life. 'This Is 40' follows their marriage in more depth some years on. Debbie is turning forty and is generally depressed about life let alone her marriage, Pete is finding more ways to escape and their kids are going through difficult stages.
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In 1979 Ohio, Joe (Courtney) is struggling with the fact that his mother has died in an accident. But it's summertime, so he and his pal Charles (Griffiths) decide to make a zombie movie with their friends (Lee, Basso and Mills).
Enlisting the help of their hot schoolmate Alice (Fanning), they are shooting a scene when they witness a train crash and some suspicious ensuing military mayhem. Suddenly the town is under the control of a harsh general (Emmerich), while Joe and his friends know a lot more than he thinks.
Continue reading: Super 8 Review
Joe and his father, the deputy sheriff, live in the small town of Lillian, Ohio; the year is 1979 and like most kids their age, Joe and his friends have always been obsessed with the silver screen. When his friend Charlie asks him to help out on a film he's making with his friends, he willingly accepts. Joe's father wishes his son would take his head out of the clouds and focus on something more productive.
Continue: Super 8 Trailer
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Joe and his father, the deputy sheriff, live in the small town of Lillian, Ohio;...