With an astute and very funny script, this quirky comedy is packed with entertaining characters and situations that continually catch the audience by surprise. Actor-filmmaker Desiree Akhavan's style is reminiscent of the TV series Girls (a show she has appeared on), as she plays a flawed young woman doing the best to get through her chaotic life in the big city. And there's a clear sense that she knows all to well what she's talking about.
Akhavan plays Shirin, a young woman who feels like life has dealt her a double-whammy: she's bisexual and Persian. Her Iranian parents (Anh Duong and Hooman Majd) prefer to avoid her sexuality, so they never acknowledge the fact that she is still reeling from her breakup with Maxine (Rebecca Henderson). And her brother (Arian Moayed) wants her to be quiet about it so he can marry his fiancee (Justine Cotsonas) before the family peace is disrupted. To get on with her life, Shirin rents a room with hipster roommates in Brooklyn and turns to her best friend Crystal (Halley Feiffer) for support. But without a job, her prospects are limited, so she finds some work through a stoner friend (Scott Adsit) and has a go at teaching filmmaking to 5-year-olds.
There isn't much of an actual plot here, just a series of life experiences that push Shirin one way or another. And all of them are hilarious. Intriguingly, the film builds up a sense of narrative momentum in the flashbacks that trace Shirin's relationship with Maxine, most notably the ways it is affecting her life after the breakup. Akhavan's script is packed with bristly dry comedy that's intelligent and surprisingly resonant. Even as the story touches on important issues like coming out to the family, it never feels preachy simply because it's so truthful.
Continue reading: Appropriate Behavior Review
Since the Disney-Marvel Union began, people have wondered if Disney was going to make their own adaptation of a Marvel property. Turns out, "their own adaptation" is rather different to the original.
After Disney bought Marvel, bringing the Avengers in-house, it didn't take long before producers started going through Marvel's extensive library of comic books in search of a property to develop into an animated adventure. 'Big Hero 6' is the first Disney-Marvel animation project. Although critics have wondered just how much Marvel is left in the movie.
Hiro and Baymax were redesigned to be more 'Disney friendly'
First published in 1998, 'Big Hero 6' was created by Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau in their spare time while they worked on another project. It's about a group of politicians and business owners who recruit and train a team of agents with superhuman powers for the Japanese government.
Continue reading: 'Big Hero 6' Further Merges Disney With Marvel
Fans of bright, flashy things will love this colourful, kinetic animated adventure, although anyone seeking originality or involving characters should probably look elsewhere. This is the first Disney animation based on a Marvel comic book, although they have essentially only retained the title and a vague semi-Asian setting. The result is a film that feels like something you've already seen before, with the usual Disney plot formula, characters and action beats, plus lots of sentimentality. At least it's witty and fast-paced enough to keep us entertained.
The futuristic setting is San Fransokyo, a slightly more Japanese version of San Francisco in which 15-year-old computer-geek orphan Hiro (voiced by Ryan Potter) lives with his Aunt Cass (Maya Rudolph). Both are shaken when Hiro's brother Tadashi dies in an explosion Hiro thinks he might have caused. Then he meets Tadashi's health-care robot invention Baymax (Scott Adsit), a cuddly inflatable creature who just wants to take care of Hiro. He goes along with Hiro's plan to turn him into a fighting machine that helps find the masked man who stole Hiro's microbot invention and actually caused the explosion. Baymax also helps Hiro assemble the Big Hero 6 team, adding Tadashi's nerd-inventor pals: goofy Fred (T.J. Miller), rebellious Go Go (Jamie Chung), nice-guy Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.) and girly Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez). Together they set out to stop the villain before he enacts his nefarious plan.
All of this is animated with bright colours and a snappy sense of the technology. There are several exhilarating set-pieces along the way as the young heroes work out their special powers by inventing all sorts of gadgets. But nothing about the script meaningfully deepens these characters. Each person on-screen is essentially one personality trait, while potentially colourful side roles (including Aunt Cass) are left badly undefined. What holds the interest is the superb interaction between Hiro and Baymax, mainly because of the obvious affection between them. And also because Baymax has all of the film's funniest lines.
Continue reading: Big Hero 6 Review
Sometimes it can be difficult to discover who you truly are. For Shirin (Desiree Akhavan), this is doubly true. Trying to balance the life of an ideal daughter her Iranian parents, keeping up with the social life and intrigue of Brooklyn and coming to terms with her own bisexuality, Shirin has had an awful lot on her mind, and has been out of work for months. As she fails at each of her own chosen lifestyles, Shirin slowly has to learn who she really is, before she can work on who she wants to be.
Continue: Appropriate Behaviour Trailer
Bill Murray shines in this story of a cynical grump whose life is changed by his friendship with a bright young kid. Writer-director Theodore Melfi makes an assured debut with this hilariously astute, emotional punchy drama, which may sometimes feel a bit over-planned but gives the audience plenty to think about. And along with Murray, the film has especially strong roles for Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts and promising newcomer Jaeden Lieberher.
It's set in a New York suburb, where the neighbourhood grouch Vincent (Murray) is already having a bad day when he discovers meets the perky family next door: Maggie (McCarthy) and her curious son Oliver (Lieberher). She has just fled from her unfaithful husband (Scott Adsit) and is working extra hours to make ends meet, so she reluctantly agrees to let Oliver stay at Vincent's house after school. Intriguingly, Oliver is one of the few people Vincent can bear to be around, aside from the pregnant Russian stripper Daka (Watts) and his lively cat Felix. And Oliver is like a sponge, happily soaking up Vincent's knowledge about things like swearing, fighting and betting on the horses. Oliver has no real idea that all of this makes Vincent a seriously unsuitable role model.
Yes, the central point is that good people are sometimes hard to spot. Vincent may smoke, swear, gamble and hang out with hookers, but he also has a deep soul that Oliver witnesses in the way he takes care of Daka, or how he regularly visits his wife in a nursing home even though she has long forgotten who he is. Melfi makes the most of this perspective, seeing everything through the eyes of perceptive young actor Lieberher. And Murray shines in a role that adds clever shadings to the actor's usual on-screen bluster. The interaction between Oliver and Vincent snaps with personality, and sharp roles for McCarthy and Watts offer meaningful wrinkles, as do other side characters such as Chris O'Dowd's schoolteacher.
Continue reading: St. Vincent Review
Vincent is living a life of hedonism in his retirement from the army. An avid smoker and drinker with few friends save for nightclub dancer Daka, he's hardly what you'd call a friendly neighbour. Nonetheless, a recently divorced Maggie has moved in nearby with her impressionable young son Oliver and she is desperate for a babysitter. Never one to judge a book by its cover, she enlists Vincent to take care of him while she's at work, and while he's not cut out to deal with children realistically, he could really do with the cash. Oliver learns a lot from Vincent, who pays him to cut his lawn and who helps him overcome his bulllies at his new school, while Vincent also learns a little from his new friend, who unwittingly shows him that there's a lot more left in life for him to enjoy.
Continue: St. Vincent - Clips
Everyone's favourite party crasher Bill Murray stood out in a brown suit, bright shirt, green tie and a brimmed hat at the New York premiere of his latest movie 'St. Vincent' in which he plays the grumpy, hedonistic neighbour of an impressionable young kid.
St. Vincent de Van Nuys is a broke former soldier with a serious alcohol and gambling habit. He has few friends apart from nightclub dancer Daka, but that's all about to change when some new neighbours arrive. Maggie and her young son Oliver have moved in, with the latter feeling a little alienated as one of the only Jewish kids at school as well as being smaller than everyone else. Vincent decides to take him under his wing in a bid to earn a little more cash as a babysitter, and Oliver soon warms to him despite his hedonistic life and generally poor childminding skills. Maggie is unhappy that Vincent is introducing him to strip clubs, dingy bars and the racetrack, but it soon becomes clear that Oliver is exactly what Vincent needs to finally get his life on track.
Continue: St. Vincent Trailer
Hiro Hamada is a young robotics virtuoso whose best friend is a large, balloon-like humanoid machine named Baymax which he designed at the San Fransokyo Institute Of Technology. However, having such expert knowledge in this kind of scientific field is bound to be dangerous and soon enough they find themselves under attack from a vicious enemy who sends his army of miniature robots after them. Going to the police proves fruitless, and so Hiro decides he must fight back. He designs a powerful suit for Baymax and joins a team of like-minded vigilantes who have been appointed by the government to save the world; they are Wasabi-No-Ginger, Honey Lemon, GoGo Tomago and Fred and together they form the ultimate superhero team. Hiro and his friends must uncover the villain's plot of destruction – without breaking curfew.
Continue: Big Hero 6 Trailer
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