Bad Moms – Box Office Review

When the trailer begins playing there are times we instantly know what we’re getting from a film and there are times we do not. In this particular case, I knew exactly what I was getting from the trailer and I was glad to walk into the theater, turn my brain off for a bit and just be able to laugh. So let’s dive in and take a look at my thoughts of “Bad Moms” in this box office review…

bad_moms_poster

The first surprise, almost immediate, was that the main character Amy played by Mila Kunis was not a single mother. She was married to a good for nothing man who offered little to the relationship or the family. From the previews I assumed she was a single mother and in fact she may as well have been because the husband offered zero support and only heightened her stress/frustrations. He’s caught jerking off to porn but it turns out that it’s not porn it’s actually a video chat with a girl across the country. And so, the story begins.

The overall story was, I felt, relatable because the characters express many frustrations, concerns, insecurities and emotions I have heard in real life from mothers. Now, being that I am clearly not a woman I can’t speak on the level of relatability but I feel that at least one of the women in this film will speak to mothers on a personal level, if even briefly. The stress for work, self, the home, the kids, the family and more is all discussed and made humorous as well as touching. You don’t dig much further than the surface for these characters but as I stated previously in this review, we knew that from the trailers.

2016-05-04t12-34-47-833z-1280x720-today-inline-vid-featured-desktop

The story wastes no time which was nice. In fact, I believe the story goes from a crawl to a sprint within the first act. The two mothers who are more reserved and professional turn into party-time, booze infused, dirty talking, morally questionable women in no time. It’s a race to claim freedom and become something from a personal disaster or a sheltered existence. These characters wasted no time and go so far as to have a humorous adventure at the grocery story while shopping for their family, or at least that’s the reason they went to that store to begin with. While this film deals with a few characters it’s “Amy” who drives the narrative and the coming of age tale is fulfilled. What starts off as a comedic look at the life of a woman who is trying to do it all evolves into the story of a woman who does what she can but in that she does all she can for her kids, her work and her personal life.

“Bad Moms” is in theaters now. If you want a fun comedic film that won’t tax your brain, go see this film. It’s funny, at times emotional, and possibly relatable for some women who are single mothers or mothers in a relationship that’s more of a relationshit. If you don’t like crude humor I’d stay away from this film but if your sense of humor knows little boundaries you’ll probably appreciate the comedy and you’ll probably never look at a hoodie the same way ever again. It’s almost hoodie season too which is a shame for those of us who enjoyed and laughed way too had during that scene.

bad-moms-825x580

Sausage Party – Box Office Review

There’s something to be said for the freedom that animation provides with regards to storytelling. What is possible on screen using live action is not always best and it might be animation as the key for particular stories told well, or well enough. So let’s dive in and take a look at my thoughts on the animated film “Sausage Party” in this box office review..

Untitled1_0006_sausage_party_ver2_xlg.jpg

This film starts off letting the audience know exactly what to expect. It’s a song about life as grocery store items and humans being the gods they long to be with. It veers into satirical goodness almost immediately as the German Food items want to kill the “Juice” items and it only grows from there. This film starts with absurdity and ends with food porn so fantastical if you aren’t offended you’ll be crying from laughter. This movie pulls no punches and finds a way to make light of even the big question, “What happens after we die?” It also examines life through two perspectives, one the food and the other the humans with “bath salts” being the only way to bridge the gap between the two worlds. It’s pure insanity and hilarious.

sausage-party-review_004-1500x844

The characters in this film are basic stereotypes that are exaggerated for the purpose of comedy. We are even treated to a douche, a literal woman’s female hygiene product, being the antagonist who acts like his namesake. If you’ve ever been to a nightclub or a pool party and met anyone who acts like “the douche” than you will find his character well written and humorous. We have a Jewish Bagel and Middle Eastern bread trying to cope with the fact they hate each other but must find a way to coexist in the small strip of shelf space that divides them. It’s fantastic.

949846 - SAUSAGE PARTY

Sausage Party” is theaters now! If you love comedies that make fun of almost everything you will enjoy this film. If you laugh at inappropriate jokes, crude humor and sexual innuendo this is the summer comedy for you. If you hold your religion or personal beliefs to closely to find humor possible, do not see this film. The jokes pull no punches and we are treated to a comedic look at life through the eyes of grocery store products and how life might be if we discovered there is no after life, only this life.

sausage-party-review_0014-1500x844

Florence Foster Jenkins – Box Office Review

The summer blockbuster season has come to a close and what better way to usher in the dramatic, character driven films of “Oscar” season than a Meryl Streep movie? “Florence Foster Jenkins” is based on the true story of a New York Heiress who dreamed of becoming an opera singer despite her wretched voice.  So let’s dive in and take a look at my thoughts on this film in this box office review…

Florence_Foster_Jenkins_(film)

It’s refreshing to see Hugh Grant back in the role I enjoy him performing. The classic gentleman is a personality that I have always enjoyed from his performances, when called for. He always shines when his character is a bit reserved but driven, caring and thoughtful. While he does entertain moments of base desire his character overall is remarkable once realized. The lengths we see him go to for his love is enough to make you feel a sense of warmth and by the end of the film you might be touched emotionally by his characters story. I was surprised by the relationship he and Florence had not knowing anything about the true story this is based on and I couldn’t appreciate him more by the end.

938

There’s plenty to be said for Meryl Streep’s performance as Florence because we are treated to a woman who is suffering, should be dead but survives her life because of passion. She lives on because of her hearts drive for music and the arts. That is what keeps her going and it’s the journey Streep takes us on as this suffering character who is purely a passionate being that is incredible. The interactions between characters is telling if you pay attention to her reactions. She is passion and the moment she senses any false emotion her expression and demeanor changes signaling to us the audience she is aware and feeling stifled, if not lied too. It’s her passion which inspires characters throughout the film, not her talents, to find something within themselves they might not have discovered otherwise.

ffj_05914r_sm2_wide-95880f1936399f93011df11c9fbd2fc757775d27-s900-c85

The overall story is a period piece set in New York City and the story does well to capture the time. I wasn’t distracted by minutia which can become overwhelming if done poorly in period piece films. I don’t want to be distracted by music that isn’t from that time or slang that represents modern day unless the piece is set in modern day. This film captured the 1940’s, including artists, slang and clothing style. I was completely taking in by this film.

florence

Florence Foster Jenkins” is in theaters now! If you enjoy character driven stories, or movies based on true events this will definitely wet your appetite for “Oscar” season. I did, at one point, wonder if people were cutting onions in the theater because I found myself getting a bit misty eyed towards the end. So, if you decide to enjoy this movie on the big screen you might ask the folks at the theater for the non-onion theater show times. It’s a touching film with a great cast and the story is about one woman’s passion for music and the arts and how that passion can inspire others, even strangers.

 

Cafe Society – Box Office Review

Woody Allen returns with a period piece set in 1930’s America. Allen has a unique way of creating characters that appear genuine and relatable in his films with a distinct style that is his very own. “Cafe Society” builds on this anticipated style and has some big names to help move the plot along. So let’s dive in and take a look at my thoughts in this box office review…

In my continued efforts of honesty I will admit that I am not a fan of most of the characters Jessie Eisenberg has played. That being said, I feel the nervous Jew who is trying to make it with women and in business was almost near perfect for him to portray. It was like the part was written for him and I found myself pleased with his performance. His delivery and timing of lines and even attitude felt natural. It was probably my favorite performance I’ve seen him give. Steve Carell on the other hand was a different experience entirely. Initially, it felt like his character was so two dimensional and fake it was almost unbearable. It isn’t until we see him seated in a restaurant with Kristen Stewart that he is acting as an idea of completeness and control instead of being genuine. There’s one scene in particular, again with Stewart, where he has to bounce between genuine and fake that is quite entertaining and humorous and it’s here that we see the true persona of his character only brought out by a woman. 

Steve-Carell-in-Cafe-Society

Corey Stoll was also fun to watch as he plays a jewish gangster/club owner who is, in his own peculiar way, helping his family. I would’ve been more surprised by his performance but after watching his performance as the villain in Marvel’s “Ant-Man” movie I was not caught off guard at all. It was interesting to see all the character personalities in this film and even later into the movie Eisenberg and Stewart have a conversation about how they have become what they initially thought they opposed. There’s an arc to each characters story within this film and I found myself entertained. 

Overall, the story begins with a boy who wants to make it on his own in a new town. Then it transitions into a love triangle filled with heartbreak and loss and then into the final chapter where we see each character facing life from new perspectives. The success or failure of this film rests entirely on the characters as this film is, truly, at its heart a character piece. This isn’t an summer action blockbuster and one might wonder why release a film of this nature so early into summer and not closer to the dramatic pieces that drop in Autumn/fall. It’s definitely not an Oscar contender but it’s dramatic appeal and character driven story certainly lend itself more to that time of year over summer blockbuster season.

la-et-cafe-society-20160511

“Cafe Society” is in theaters now! If you’re a fan of Woody Allen films I’d recommend you see this on the big screen. If the last or only Woody film you’ve seen was “Midnight In Paris” than you can probably Redbox or VOD it and get just as much from it. It’s a charming film that explores what it means to be a family, pursuing your passions, following your heart and finding true love. It’s not a great film and I doubt it will win any Oscars but it won’t ask a lot from you and will provide you occasional laughs. 

cafe-society-314x314

Star Trek Beyond – Box Office Review

Maybe it’s me, but I’m noticing a decent number of films this summer had absolutely terrible trailers. This latest edition of Star Trek was no exception. The motorcycle riding, modern music blasting, action packed madness that was the first trailer left many of us discouraged. The most recent films have certainly had their own voice as far as films within this franchise are concerned. So was the first trailer the accurate representation of Star Trek Beyond or, like Ghostbusters, did marketing just suck the excitement for no reason? Let’s dive in and take a look in this box office review…

star_trek_beyond_ver7

The film was directed by Justin Lin. His career has been serving mostly the action packed, car chasing, girls in practically no clothes, adrenaline fueled, nonsensical franchise, “Fast and Furious.” While this franchise has been entertaining at best, it’s building its fan base and theres more room for error when you’re creating new concepts instead of building on existing ones. The fans have already been gracious enough with the first two recent films by JJ Abrams considering how far of a departure they were from the beloved series… or have they? All in all, there are 200 entries of “Star Trek” in IMDB at the time I wrote this. Don’t believe me? Follow this link… I’m right because I can read. Now, can fans really be upset that the newest entry in an already extensive catalogue of films, tv shows, short films, games and more try to create it’s own unique style? Sure they can but I think it’s a bit short sighted. Let the creators create and realize who is creating. We knew going into this film it would be an action-fest because of Lin. So let’s move on.

star-terk-beyond-scotty-jaylah

The story was surprisingly creative as far as I was concerned. There were some pleasant twists and while there was a motorcycle chase scene, so what? It was a fun science fiction action adventure that was well written. It was a bit goofy at points and yes some scenes felt rushed but we only have so much time and the majority of the film I thought worked. I even appreciated how they used the modern music in the trailers as something actually justifiable in the plot of the film. I walked out of the theater smiling and all I could think was, another terrible trailer followed by an enjoyable film. I do not know who is responsible for marketing but some folks need to be reallocated to other positions.

STAR TREK BEYOND

The villain of this film was thought out and the twist with his character was definitely fun. I particularly enjoyed the characterization on the villain and Idris Elba delivers as only he can. The breathing, the pauses for words and emphasis and then as the movie progresses the evolution of his character and mannerisms were such a treat and the highlight for me. I still contend Idris Elba would make a fantastic Lex Luthor but that’s an entirely different blog.

Star-Trek-Beyond-Idris-Elba-As-Krall

Star Trek Beyond” is in theaters now! I definitely recommend you get out to the theaters and see this film on the big screen! It’s such a visual delight and the story is written so well that every dollar spent on this film will be worth it. This is the epitome of a summer blockbuster film. It’s a delight.

Ghostbusters – Box Office Review

The wonderful thing about reboots is that no matter what you think of the reboot you will always have the original. The 1966 Adam West Batman didn’t disappear because Ben Affleck is now Batman. We live in a time that allows us to enjoy the past and present while still being excited about the future. So was the Paul Feig reimagining of the beloved franchise “Ghostbusters” enjoyable or will it haunt movie goers as another failed reboot? Let’s dive in and take at a look at my thoughts in this box office review…

160708_MOV_Ghostbusters_light.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlarge

The cast of this film is fantastic. I’m not limiting “cast” to just the stars. I’m talking about the cast as a whole. The film starts with Zach Woods giving a tour of a haunted mansion in New York and only goes forward from there. If you aren’t familiar with Zach go back and watch “The Office” for a look at his comedic timing early on. His delivery of lines is done so well that even simple reactions were funny. From there we get to meet all the ghostbusters, their receptionist and even the Chinese food delivery guy “Bennie” played by Karan Soni (who you might remember as the taxi driver in the Deadpool movie earlier this year). This cast is packed with comedy goodness and that only makes this film more enjoyable.

The overall story was surprisingly more thought out than I was anticipating however I did feel like all of a sudden in the third act of the film everyone realized we need to up the risk factor. The movie is moving along at an even and delightful pace then suddenly, the world is in chaos. It felt a bit rushed towards the end but in all honesty that’s really my only complaint. The characters were great and even “Slimer” was entertaining despite the fact he appeared to be a hillbilly. That was kinda odd but I didn’t think too much on that during the movie and won’t here in this review.

ghostbusters-2016-reboot-remake-easter-eggs-original-movie-references-slimer

I am not familiar with Kate McKinnon or Leslie Jones at all. This film was my first introduction to them as actors and comedians. I was bothered by how Jones was portrayed in the trailers because she appeared to be a stereotypical hollywood movie black person which I’m not particularly a fan of because it feels a bit degrading as a main character to be so one dimensional. I am happy to report that her character is much more involved and developed in the film and the trailer does her an injustice. McKinnon had some of the best one liners in the film. One of my favorite comes towards the very end where she talks about who the new president is and how far into the future we are. Also, you can’t have Melissa McCarthy without her enduring some physical struggle/slapstick humor. Thankfully that only lasts for one scene and then her character is actually something to enjoy on screen.

ghostbusters-2016-kate-mckinnon

“Ghostbusters” is in theaters now! Overall, I enjoyed this movie a lot. It was a fun time in the theater and it mixes action and comedy very well. After seeing this movie one has to wonder if Paul Feig makes intentionally bad trailers to lower people’s expectations or if he just doesn’t realize how poorly made the trailers are for his films until it’s too late. Either way, go see this film on the big screen. The special effects are pretty solid and since I’m always honest in my reviews you might consider seeing it in 3D. I know that you’re probably shocked by that statement if you follow my reviews. You already knew how much I can’t stand 3D. However, I did see this in 3D and it was incredible. If you’re wondering why I saw it in 3D it’s because the only time I could get to the theater to see this film was for a 3D showing. I’m glad I went. It is remarkable in 3D and the movie itself is entertaining. It’s nothing like the original and it doesn’t have to be. It stands on its own and I’m looking forward to a sequel if one is made. Also, the cameos from the original cast are pretty fun.

ghostbusters-2016-movie-trailer-625x313

Secret Life of Pets – Box Office Review

This film had so much positive press and word of mouth before it even released in theaters. I heard children, teens and adults sharing their enthusiasm for this film and it felt like this film was going to perform well in theaters. The voice casting for this film is remarkable and that can only help raise the bar of excitement. So let’s dive in and take a look at my thoughts on “Secret Life of Pets” in this box office review…

The-Secret-Life-of-Pets-Trailer-3

If I could summarize this film with two words they would be, adorable & humorous. About twenty minutes into this animated movie and I was disappointed that I couldn’t be watching this with my dog, Austin the Dog. It’s the first time ever I have felt compelled to watch a movie with my dog. I’m fairly certain that means the writers and creative team behind this movie did their job well to make me think about my dog while watching their depictions of animals on screen. The captured essence of the animals was fabulous. When you see this film you’ll notice how each animal (dog, cat, bird, snake, gerbil, etc.) all have specific mannerisms particular to their animal. It was fun watching how the smaller animals maneuvered versus the larger ones. How the snake and birds moved around the downtown versus the dogs and cats.

feature-3

The cast in this film seem to have a background in comedy. Since there are so many talented actors lending their voices for this film I’ll recommend you follow the hyperlink to the IMDB page and see there. If they aren’t stand up comedians, they’re television actors who were part of successful sitcoms or comedy movie actors, primarily. It’s a great cast that all know how to work their voices to create feelings of excitement, curiosity, anger, fear, adoration and more. I find myself laughing along with everyone else in the theater so often. It was such a great moment to share with so many strangers who all just wanted a fun movie to laugh along too.

The-Secret-Life-of-Pets-Trailer-3-5

The story is layered pretty well, considering it’s a film about animals. The driving motivations behind each character is unique to that pet and while the movie has several it never felt crowded. Each one stands on their own and adds something fresh to the story and actually feels appropriate and not forced. Wether it’s a squirrel who exists simply to torment a dog or a hawk who is trying to befriend smaller pets instead of eating them, it all works.

l4nbuw85k0ix14k1bhfe

Secret Life of Pets” is in theaters now. If you have kids or not, this is a fun film to see in theaters. There’s a magic that occurs when you sit in a room with people and share laughter. You’ll feel that magic while watching this movie. If you love your pets, you’ll also appreciate this film. I walked out of the theaters smiling and felt a warmth in my heart from how good I felt after seeing this film and laughing so much. It’s definitely worth a big screen ticket price and could potentially be a fun date movie too if you both still maintain some level of child-like amusement towards the world at large. If not, just go find some kids and treat them to a movie. I’m kidding! Do not kidnap children to see a movie.

Swiss Army Man – Box Office Review

Occasionally a film comes along that looks so absurd you can’t help but look forward to seeing it. Additionally, when that film has two talented actors leading the film it only increased the excitement for seeing the adventure take place on the big screen. “Swiss Army Man” was exactly that for me. So let’s dive in and see if the film managed to live up to my expectations in this box office review…

CiIsOaJU4AAzcBX

First, we have Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe. These two actors have been delighting movie watchers for years. Also, Radcliffe went to work on his acting chops with live theater which only helps. Having these two talented actors star and lead the film was a stroke of genius. I’m not sure how the logistics of everything was worked to get these two to star in a movie that deals with a dead body who has special powers that come alive as he’s reanimated because of a suicidal mans love for a complete stranger. It all sounds as bizarre as it was on screen. All things considered, it was hilarious. I’m not sure another two actors could have the dynamic range required to go from suicidal and dead to delivering comedic lines about boners, farts, sex, boobs, forest dwelling, friendships, relationships and love.

thumbnail_24201

The story, as absurd as it was, actually had some redeeming qualities. If Paul Dano’s character is hallucinating the story is an introspective look at modern life, relationships and love. If he’s not hallucinating, it’s a buddy story that takes two opposing views and explores what it means to be a friend, find love and conquer the elements, including death. There’s a lot of great dialogue that explores the concepts of being alive and what exactly we have that makes us feel alive even in the midst of depression and suicidal weaknesses. If you can get past the ridiculous and hilarious moments on screen between a dead body and a live body, you might find this film to be charming, in a peculiar way.

1238893_Swiss-Army-Man

“Swiss Army Man” is in theaters now! If you enjoy movies that explore what it means to be alive, find love, conquer your fears and develop friendships all the while making fart jokes,  penis jokes, boob and butt jokes, sex jokes, death jokes and more this is the movie of the year for you. If you need more realism and don’t find sex jokes that funny, stay far away from this film. I found this film so funny I was literally crying from laughing so hard. It was a surprisingly delightful film that went further into what it means to be a human going through life than what I could’ve possibly expected.

 

The BFG – Box Office Review

Steven Spielberg decided to make a hybrid live action/animation adventure that is based off the popular children’s Book “The BFG” written by Roald Dahl. This film blends both computer generated characters and worlds with a young actor who is tasked with making us believe what we see on screen is real. So let’s dive in and take a look at “The BFG” in this box office review…

Article Lead - wide1007751788gnzuh0image.related.articleLeadwide.729x410.gnzm98.png1459937118723.jpg-620x349

To be honest, I never read the children’s book so I wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting myself into. I trust Spielberg and his ability to tell a story and create fantastical worlds and that was motivation enough to see this movie in theaters. The overall look of the film I enjoyed immensely. It’s vibrant and colorful, it’s dark and brooding and it’s warm and sunny. We’re treated to some creative worlds in this movie and each looks completely different than the other. If you pay attention to the design of these worlds you’ll notice tiny subtle specialities that make each room or location uniquely clever. The land of giants has the remains of what appears to be a fair ground. The house of BFG has clever bottles, boats, vegetation and more showing that he’s more than just a curious character who speaks different than everyone else. The orphanage is sterile and quiet. The streets of the town are cobblestone with dim lighting and each house has a similar but different look from each neighbor. The land of dream catching is dark but the dreams are colorfully vibrant, almost electric, in their appearance. Overall, the appearance of this film was the best part.

thumbnail_24205

The story is definitely for children. There isn’t much for adults in this film as the basic premise is just that, basic. The language is simple and the characters speak using exaggerated phrases that one might expect from uneducated giants who each represent something different. If you’re looking for a thought provoking story this isn’t it. Even the ending is humorous but simple. It’s written for children and the movie captures that quality. If you have kids under the age of 11 or 12 they will probably enjoy the story as it’s geared for young kids. As an adult you might appreciate the acting talents of Ruby Barnhill who is cast as the lead. Considering she acts mostly in a digitally created world I was impressed at her level of believability.

ruby-barnhill-in-the-bfg-movie-2016

The BFG” is theaters now! I recommend a big screen viewing if you have young kids. It’ll be a fun time at the movies for you and your family. It’s a fun story that isn’t offensive or inappropriate. It’s legitimately a fun film that explores the created worlds of Roald Dahl as only Spielberg can tell. Honestly, if this movie wasn’t made by Spielberg I probably would’ve skipped it. I’m glad I didn’t because the dream world was incredibly colorful and unique. If you don’t have kids you can probably skip this one unless you’re a die hard Spielberg fan. This film won’t ask a lot for you but it does require that you suspend that part of your adult brain that denies the fantasy worlds that exist from a child’s perspective. It’s fun but it’s not a great film. Again, if you have young kids they’ll probably enjoy the time spent with you at the movies and that will hopefully be enough.

Independence Day Resurgence -Box Office Review

It only took 20 years to make but we finally got a sequel to “Independence Day” folks. Internet buzz told me that the Hollywood press wasn’t given an advance screening, which is always a bad sign, so I didn’t have high hopes for this film. So let’s not waste 20 more years in this introduction and let’s dive in on my thoughts of “Independence Day Resurgence” in this box office review…

What a piece of garbage. I can’t recall seeing a film this bad in awhile. I mean, wow. Just an absolute pile of hot garbage. I was flabbergasted at how insufferable the plot was, the characters, the dialogue, the story but I was pleased with how good it looked. So, much like the attractive musical pop stars who look great and sound terrible, this… yes, this film was a musical pop star. All look, no substance.

Independence-Day-2-Resurgence-Super-Bowl-Ad

I shouldn’t feel this disgusted considering Roland Emmerich directed this stink fest. His last string of films were definitely lacking in everything but visuals. In all honesty, I should’ve walked into the theater knowing it was going to be lacking in everything but look, which it was. I mean, one of the main characters actually says the line “Here’s your first encounter” while shooting aliens. Kill me. The very beginning of the film we see two pilots screw up a landing and then magically figure out a way to stop the space station from collapsing on itself while shouting things like “but the engines are gonna blow” followed by some mess like “hold together” or “come on baby” and it was terrible.

Brent-Spiner-Independence-Day-Resurgence

Now there’s part of me that wants to believe there were moments of redemption in this movie. These were probably the moments which I slept in the theater. That’s right folks. I fell asleep not once but TWICE during this film only to wake up and see the exact same thing happening. This film felt like something that was made for television but got an insane budget and was pushed onto the big screen. It’s the science fiction space equivalent of a “Sharknado” film in my opinion. Just rotten to the core and such a waste of everyones time.

Independence Day Resurgence” is in theaters now! It shouldn’t be but it is. Don’t see this film unless you’re home and completely wasted out of your mind and can’t find the remote to change the channel. Then, you did that to yourself and you have to live with the consequences of your actions. If you’re into terrible science fiction films and enjoy mocking them, then this is the film for you! You can “Mystery Science Theater” the world out of this film. It’s ripe for jokes and sarcasm that is well deserved and earned. One can only wonder how much more disastrous they could’ve made this film had they waited 30 years instead of 20. Two thumbs down and flipping over tables to spill the popcorn.

Jeff-Goldblum-and-Liam-Hemsworth-in-Independence-Day-Resurgence