By Shane Sellar
Horrible Bosses 2
When kidnapping someone, it’s important to ensure that your ransom demand fits inside of a briefcase.
Fortuitously, the kidnappers request in this comedy doesn’t exceed size restrictions.
An industrialist (Christoph Waltz) promises to partner with novice inventors, Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day), but ends up stealing their brainchild.
With outside help (Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx), they retaliate by kidnapping his son (Chris Pine), who unexpectedly convinces them to extort more money from his overbearing father than originally planned.
But even with a well-rehearsed plan they still find themselves accused of murder.
The uncalled-for sequel to the semi-funny original, HB2 finds the same cast and same crude jokes returning for a second go-round with inferior results.
While it has glimmers of good performances, the lacklustre script and unlikable leads makes this follow-up a regrettable venture.
Incidentally, killing your boss when you’re self-employed is suicide.
The Theory of Everything
The reason women dig guys in wheelchairs is because they get to board the plane first.
Mind you, it could be the intellect of the mobilized virtuoso in this drama that attracts the opposite sex.
Shortly after meeting Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones) at Cambridge, astrophysics student Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) succumbs to ALS, and slowly begins losing control of his muscles.
Despite a bleak prognosis, Jane stays with Stephen, and the two defy his two-month life expectancy indefinitely.
Years on, their marriage, their children and Stephan’s bestseller begin to drive a wedge between the pair – as does his weakening health and his wandering eye.
A mesmerizing romance complemented by elegant cinematography and two formidable performances, The Theory of Everything is a poignant adaptation of Jane’s own book about her marriage to the famed theoretical physicist.
Incidentally, how does GPS have so many voice options but Stephen Hawking still only have one?
The reason actors prefer stage work is because they get a cut of whatever falls out of the audiences pockets.
And that loose change could really help the struggling Broadway show in this drama.
Determined to molt the avian super-hero image that made him famous, Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) writes, directs and stars in a play drastically different from his onscreen work.
But when his lead is replaced by a difficult stage legend (Edward Norton), Riggan feels upstaged and out of his element.
With open night looming, and early reviews unfavourable, Riggan lashes out at those around: his daughter (Emma Stone), his friends (Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts) and the costumed hallucination of his alter ego: Birdman.
A satirical attack on superhero movies, social media, and the general public’s palate, Birdman may boast a brilliant cast and inspired direction but it’s lost in its own self-importance.
Besides, if it weren’t for superhero movies kids would never learn they couldn’t fly.
Dumb and Dumber To
When searching for the child you never knew you had start looking in the places that you’d normally hang out at.
But as this comedy points out, not all offspring share their parents’ affinity for underground dogfights.
Waking from a self-imposed vegetative state, Lloyd (Jim Carrey) reunites with his best friend Harry (Jeff Daniels) after 20 years.
Unfortunately, Harry’s failing kidney threatens their reunion unless they can locate the daughter (Rachel Melvin) Harry unknowingly had with Fraida (Kathleen Turner).
When they learn she’s headed to Texas with a million-dollar idea, the duo hit the road with a nefarious family friend (Rob Riggle) in hopes of obtaining her liver and the priceless invention.
The long awaited sequel to the Farrelly Brothers’ 1994 hit, this unnecessary revival is forced and unfunny, with the actors looking as old and uninspired as the archaic jokes they’re reenacting.
Besides, who the hell wants a girl’s kidney?
A degree in journalism guarantees you a bright future in an unrelated field.
Conversely, no degree secures the self-starter in this thriller the lead story every morning.
Lou (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a motivated night owl with sociopathic tendencies looking for a career that compliments his antisocial lifestyle.
When he meets a freelance photojournalist (Bill Paxton) who sells graphic news footage to the highest paying network, he finds his calling.
With camcorder, police scanner and navigator (Riz Ahmed) in tow, he sells questionable footage to an unethical news director (Rene Russo).
But when he films a murder, he starts manipulating the story to get the biggest pay-off.
A seedy commentary on the fear mongering perpetrated by the media for ratings, Gyllenhaal’s off-putting performance is only part of what makes Nightcrawler so superlative.
Incidentally, before filming a car crash make sure to take a selfie with the trapped victims.
If everyone was interviewed liked a celebrity, accident victims would have to walk the Mani Cam runway.
Thankfully, the interviewer in this comedy sticks to soft interviews… until now.
Determined to make a show that matters, TV producer Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen) and shallow talk-show host Dave Skylark (James Franco) decide to interview North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un (Randall Park).
When Kim’s handlers accept, the CIA (Lizzy Caplan) asks them to assassinate the troublesome tyrant after their interview.
However, Dave’s budding friendship with the despot threatens their secret mission and US security.
Pulled from wider theatrical release after North Korean threats and a Sony Pictures Entertainment hack, The Interview isn’t as scandalous as expected, but it does exceed comedic expectations.
With Franco’s endearing dimwittedness stealing the show, The Interview finds the duo returning to, as well as refining, their buddy-comedy format.
Besides, if pap journalists started interviewing world leaders wars would become red carpet events.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
If it weren’t for bad days you would have no reason to yell at your kids after work.
Thankfully, every family member in this comedy is suffering.
For his 12th birthday, born loser Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) wishes that his father (Steve Carell), mother (Jennifer Garner), sister and brothers would all experience a bad day.
Magically they do: his mom’s typographical error threatens her career; his sister becomes contagious before a school performance; his brother fails his driver’s test; and his dad catches fire.
Meanwhile, Alexander learns that it’s not the day that determines your fate but your attitude towards adversity.
Based on a 1970s kids’ book, this updated adaptation is tough to say but easy to swallow.
Thanks to its competent cast, uncomfortable family encounters and its clever, kid-friendly script, Alexander is a surprise classic.
Incidentally, I thought every day you spent with your family was a bad day.
With a reputation for impaling as well as sucking on his victims, the real Dracula was most likely a Transylvanian prostitute.
However, this fantasy/horror movie maintains that he was a supernatural nobleman.
To save the sons of his kingdom, including his own, from the clutches of the Turkish sultan (Dominic Cooper), Prince Vlad (Luke Evans) strikes an accord with a vampire (Charles Dance) and gains the use of his powers for three days, including flight, strength and command over bats.
But if during that time he succumbs to the accompanying bloodlust he will remain a creature of the night forever.
The most compassionate and selfless version of Vlad the Impaler to date, this bloodless re-imagining of Bram Stoker’s inspiration for Dracula is de-fanged and sanitized.
More superhero than son of the Devil, Dracula Untold is a bungled interpretation.
Besides, the only historical character who could fly was Jesus.
The worst thing about playing with a spirit board is your friends will finally learn you’re illiterate.
Luckily, the friends in this horror are all able to discern written messages from beyond.
Laine (Olivia Cooke) and her friends (Daren Kagasoff, Bianca A. Santos, Douglas Smith, Ana Coto) use her childhood Ouija board to reach out to their deceased friend Debbie (Shelley Hennig), who mysteriously committed suicide.
Making contact with a spirit they believe to be Deb, the friends slowly realize the entity leaving them messages – sans Ouija board – is not their friend at all.
In fact, it’s the restless soul of a mother murdered by her daughter.
With a script as flimsy as a Ouija board, this no thrills thriller from Hasbro fails to conjure up scares, or any reason to care about these one dimensional characters.
Furthermore, Ouija boards should only be used to order ghost pizza.
The ideal leisure pursuit for a retired hit man is assisting retirement communities with their mercy killings.
Mind you, the pensioner in this action movie is too busy with revenge killings.
Following his wife’s (Bridget Moynahan) funeral, former mob enforcer John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is accosted by Iosef (Alfie Allen), the son of his former boss Viggo (Michael Nyqvist), who kills his dog and steals his car.
To protect his son from Wick’s legendary wrath, Viggo puts a bounty on Wick’s head that attracts the hit man’s contemporaries (Adrianne Palicki, Willem Dafoe) to the party.
They, along with Viggo’s other cronies, might just come close to matching Wick’s lethalness.
From stylized shootouts to choreographed hand-to-hand, this fresh take on the standard vengeance tale is relentless in its delivery of kinetic violence, snappy dialogue and sad faces from Keanu.
Incidentally, Wick’s unwillingness to stay retired is why millennial hit men can’t get a job.
With their long cannon shafts, tanks are widely considered the penises of the battlefield.
That’s why the armoured vehicle in this action movie is crammed full of testosterone.
In the heart of occupied Germany, Sgt. Collier (Brad Pitt) and his armoured tank division (Shia LaBeouf, Jason Isaacs, Michael Peña, Jon Bernthal) receive a green replacement, Norman (Logan Lerman), for their deceased gunner.
Inexperienced in both war and women, Norman’s new roommates give him a crash course as they push further inland.
But when a landmine downs their Sherman, the stubborn Sergeant refuses to abandon the tank, even with 300 Nazis marching directly towards them.
A candid and unapologetic portrayal of life inside of a metal beast, Fury’s manly cast and machine-gun machismo works alongside its cruelty and pathos to deliver a flawed but unforgettable experience.
Incidentally, it’s rare to see this many dudes living together without a Foosball table.
He’s an Attitude Problem Solver. He’s the…