REVIEW: Weak second half, poor chemistry drag down ‘Spy Who Dumped Me’

“The Spy Who Dumped Me” is a movie that seemed fine, for a while. Then it kept going, and kept going.

Before getting into what didn’t work, though, a recap of the story. “The Spy Who Dumped Me” starts off with the main character Audrey (Mila Kunis) celebrating her birthday with her best friend Morgan (Kate McKinnon). However, the celebration is soured by the fact that Morgan’s boyfriend Drew just ended their relationship.

Because of her phone conversations with Drew, though, Audrey soon finds out that her ex-boyfriend is actually a spy working on a significantly important mission. As a result of her discovery, Audrey and Morgan are forced to go on the run, as they’ve become tied into the espionage world.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Weak second half, poor chemistry drag down ‘Spy Who Dumped Me’”

Advertisements

A Look At How ‘Mystery Men’ And ‘Unbreakable’ Were Ahead Of Their Time

“Avengers: Infinity War” continues to dominate the box office, now reaching a total of nearly $1.2 billion.

The theater tickets sold, as well as the great feedback from audiences and critics, is the latest example that we are in the superhero movie golden age. Since 2000, when the original “X-Men” came out and was followed by “Spider-Man” a few years later, the genre has been on an incredible upward trend.

“Infinity War” is just the latest highlight in a series of milestones that includes great films such as “The Dark Knight” and “Captain America: Winter Soldier.” Even comedy films based around the genre have popped up over the years to some solid success.

Continue reading “A Look At How ‘Mystery Men’ And ‘Unbreakable’ Were Ahead Of Their Time”

REVIEW: ‘Life of the Party’

Melissa McCarthy is a talented individual but there’s no doubt her track record with movies hasn’t been perfect. As a result, there is only cautious optimism when I walk into one of her features, such as “Life of the Party.” Fortunately, this one was actually a pleasant surprise.

McCarthy’s latest starring role is playing Deanna, a housewife who didn’t finish her college degree and is suddenly met with divorce papers from her husband. As she weighs her options, Deanna sees this life-changing event as an opportunity to go back to college and complete her archaeology degree.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Life of the Party’”

About REVIEW: ‘Blockers’ Is Funny As Both An Adult And Teen Movie

I’ve been burned by comedies before, by those that have been marketed to teens as well as the ones for adults. It was quite a pleasant surprise, then, that “Blockers” ended up being so good, having laughs come from both aspects.

The title should make the general concept here pretty apparent. The film takes place on prom night and follows three teen girls, Julie (Kathryn Newton), Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan) and Sam (Gideon Adlon). The three want to have a memorable prom experience, but their parents, Lisa (Leslie Mann), Mitchell (John Cena) and Hunter (Ike Barinholtz) are worried about them potentially having sex.

As a result, while the teens are having their own adventures at the prom parties, the trio of parents set off on a crazy mission to prevent any sexual activity from taking place.

Continue reading “About REVIEW: ‘Blockers’ Is Funny As Both An Adult And Teen Movie”

REVIEW: ‘Game Night’ Has A Fun Concept But Doesn’t Deliver Enough Laughs

With a cast like “Game Night” features, one would hope that a solid comedy can be found. Unfortunately, as a finished product, the movie isn’t a winner.

Primarily, the film is about a married couple, Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams). The two are immensely competitive and often hold game nights with their friends where they play anything from Scrabble to Charades.

Despite his competitiveness, though, the one person Max can’t seem to beat in competitions is his brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler). Brooks often tries to upstage Max and even hosts his own game night at his luxurious home, impressing many of Max’s friends. However, the game Brooks set up, a pretend murder mystery, ends up going wrong when a kidnapping occurs, leaving Max and his friends to solve real crimes.

“Game Night” is somewhat in the same category as last year’s film “The House.” More or less, it’s about putting law abiding, middle class people into crime situations and hijinks follow. While the concept does thrust the characters into some over-the-top situations, though, many of the comedic attempts are repeated too many times or have a ‘few and far in between’ symptom, with too much dialogue related to weak subplots.

For example, one of the married couples that attend Max and Annie’s game night spend much of their screen arguing over an incident that’s been used in other movies before and has very little payoff.

Additionally, “Game Night” gets dragged down by a series of twists that basically are set up as jokes. More or less, the joke is whether or not something is just set up as a game/prank or if it’s real. The problem is that “Game Night” just runs this into the ground by repeating it too many times.

I was also somewhat surprised that a movie called “Game Night” had very little related to games. I figured maybe the characters would have to play games as a ways to move forward or use their trivia knowledge, but that wasn’t really the case here. Instead it was just used as a setup.

The cast does help things, though. Jason Bateman is always reliable in comedies and it’s no different here. He also has a solid chemistry with McAdams, who’s also pretty good in the picture.

The best cast member, though, is likely Jesse Plemons, who really comes through playing the awkward neighbor. Once he’s in the film more, his character becomes one of the funnier people to watch.

The rest of the characters are a bit hit or miss, though, and the film may have benefited by reducing the amount of people on screen and narrowing the focus on just a few.

“Game Night” does fortunately have a fairly short runtime, clocking in at just an hour and 40 minutes, so it’s not a huge time commitment. Still, this isn’t one to rush out to the theaters for. Check it out on a rental if you want a simple comedy. 2.5 out of 5.

REVIEW: Streep, Grant Shine In The Fantastic ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’

Meryl Streep could very well get some award attention again for her performance but Hugh Grant shouldn’t be overlooked in this picture.

“Florence Foster Jenkins” follows the story of a real life New York City woman who was heavily involved in the area’s musical scene. While she knew and was on largely good terms with many of NYC’s musicians, artists and composers, though, she herself didn’t have the best singing talent.

The film picks up with her taking singing lessons in 1944 with help from her husband St Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant) and a young composer named Cosme McMoon (Simon Helberg). Despite her continued practice, though, Jenkins doesn’t particularly improve over time. However, Jenkins believes she’s a world class singer and it’s up to the film’s other character to help her continue to believe the product she’s putting out.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Streep, Grant Shine In The Fantastic ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’”

REVIEW: The Political Satire In ‘Sausage Party’ Works, Everything Else Not So Much

Director Greg Tiernan and actor Seth Rogen take animated pictures to a whole new level with this feature, mixing ideas of a raunchy comedy and a Pixar-like adventure.

The film takes place in a supermarket like any other and shows that all of the food and items in the store are sentient. Additionally, the products view humans as gods, meaning that when they are bought and taken out of the store they’re going to a sort of heaven.

Much of the flick revolves around the characters Franks (Rogen), a sausage and Brenda (Kristen Wiig) a bun. The movie picks up with them getting lost with other foods in the store when a mishap happens preventing them from being purchased. In the process, they start to learn some of the truth behind what the humans do.

Continue reading “REVIEW: The Political Satire In ‘Sausage Party’ Works, Everything Else Not So Much”

REVIEW: ‘Central Intelligence’ Starts Strong But Loses Energy As It Goes On

It’s another team up movie for Kevin Hart and this time around he’s joined by one of the biggest action stars in Hollywood.

In “Central Intelligence,” Hart plays a man who was once the most popular and active kid in high school, but is now stuck at a rather dead-end job as an accountant. His situation makes him less than eager to attend his upcoming 20 year high school reunion, but one day at work, he gets a message from Bob Stone (Dwayne Johnson).

Bob, who was also a senior when Calvin was in school, was bullied for much of his time there. However, that has turned around as Bob has become a jacked up super agent for the CIA. Calvin, unfortunately, finds this out the hard way as he’s dragged into an international operation by Bob to help him accomplish his mission.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Central Intelligence’ Starts Strong But Loses Energy As It Goes On”

REVIEW: Shane Black’s ‘Nice Guys’ Is A Fun Throwback To The 70s

Director Shane Black takes audiences back to the 1970s in “The Nice Guys,” a movie that brings together Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling.

The movie begins with Crowe’s character Jackson, an enforcer and Gosling’s character Holland, a private investigator, at odds with each other over a case.

Circumstances related to the case force the two into a team-up, though, and they get some help from Holland’s daughter Holly (Angourie Rice) along the way, too.

The mismatched buddy comedy is a genre that’s been around for quite some time, so it’s always nice to see one that brings a fresh take. “The Nice Guys” is exactly that.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Shane Black’s ‘Nice Guys’ Is A Fun Throwback To The 70s”

REVIEW: Key And Peele Deliver Laughs, But Don’t Escape Flaws With ‘Keanu’

Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key, a duo who brought a refreshing, sharp sketch humor show to Comedy Central, have finally taken the leap to the big screen in “Keanu.”

In their first team-up on the silver screen, Peele plays Rell while Key portrays Clarence. The two are average “everymen” who live relatively safe, good lives. The movie picks up with Rell who, while trying to get over a bad breakup, ends up finding a small kitten and names it Keanu.

After brightening his life for a while, Rell finds his home broken into and his kitten gone. In response, Rell and Clarence decide to try and find the cat. Unfortunately, it turns out that those that kidnapped the kitten was a dangerous Los Angeles gang, forcing Rell and Clarence to infiltrate that world.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Key And Peele Deliver Laughs, But Don’t Escape Flaws With ‘Keanu’”