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Showing posts with the label Comedy

FREAKY

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School bullies are the least of Millie's (Kathryn Newton) problems when she comes face-to-face with serial killer The Butcher (Vince Vaughn). During the confrontation, the pair magically swap bodies thanks to an ancient dagger in the maniac's possession. Now in the psychopath's body, Millie discovers she only has 24 hours before the switch becomes permanent. After convincing her friends Nyla (Celeste O’Connor), Joshua (Misha Osherovich) and object of her love Booker (Uriah Shelton) of the dire situation, they set out to stop The Butcher and get her female form back before he piles up new victims at Blissfield High. Chills and laughs collide in this fresh take on body-swapping. Although an uncomfortable mix at times, director/co-writer (along with Michael Kennedy) Christopher Landon largely succeeds at blending horror and humor. The son of actor Michael Landon, he honed his directorial skills most recently on "Happy Death Day" and "Happy Death Day 2U" and

THE WAR WITH GRANDPA

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Widowed Ed (Robert De Niro) moves in with daughter Sally (Uma Thurman) and son-in-law Arthur (Rob Riggle). While granddaughters Jennifer (Poppy Gagnon) and Mia (Laura Marano) are delighted, grandson Peter (Oakes Fegley) must give up his bedroom to grandpa. Relegated to the creepy attic for living quarters, he wants his room back. With neither side willing to budge, the battle for the bedroom begins. Humor, sight gags and Robert De Niro keep this family comedy moving along. Based on Robert Kimmel Smith's novel of the same name, the screenplay by Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember dives quickly into "Home Alone" territory. The pranks come fast and furious, with many being malicious. Director Tim Hill ("Hop") does manage to lighten things up around the mayhem while delivering a heartfelt message about relationships. As usual, Robert De Niro is the main attraction. But Oakes Fegley (2016's "Pete's Dragon") is an impressive match for the iconic star. Their

ON THE ROCKS

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Author Laura (Rashida Jones), struggling with writer's block on the next promised book, begins to suspect there's trouble in her marriage. While she stays home taking care of two young daughters, husband Dean (Marlon Wayans) is off on many trips with employee Fiona (Jessica Henwick) trying to make his business succeed. Little things, like late nights at the office, lead Laura to fear infidelity. She turns to her retired art dealer father, the debonair playboy Felix (Bill Murray), for advice and help. Together, they set out to find clues and end up bonding. Director/writer Sofia Coppola ("Lost in Translation") takes us on an enjoyable lightweight romp. Rashida Jones (TV's "Angie Tribeca") carries the lead well as a distraught woman, but it's Bill Murray who runs away with this film. At age 70, the iconic star is still charismatic in his own familiar way. The scenes he's not in are less satisfying. This is not the fault of the cast surrounding him.

THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD

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On stage, David Copperfield (Dev Patel) recounts his life from birth to aspirations of becoming a writer. His carefree countryside youth with his widowed mother Clara (Morfydd Clark) changes after she marries the cruel Mr. Murdstone (Darren Boyd). The new stepfather beats him and eventually sends the boy to work in his London bottle factory. Bad working conditions and news of his mother's death send the young Copperfield escaping back to the country. Living with his wealthy Aunt Betsey (Tilda Swinton) and eccentric distant relative Mr. Dick (Hugh Laurie), life improves. But there are many ups and downs before his dream can be realized. Charles Dickens' novel gets a refreshing cinematic revamp in this lively period piece. Director/writer Armando Iannucci ("The Death of Stalin" and TV documentary "Armando's Tale of Charles Dickens"), with screenplay help from Simon Blackwell, manages to satisfyingly condense the lengthy book. The essence of Copperfield rem

THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND

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In his mid-20s, Scott Carlin (Pete Davidson) is still having trouble coming to grips with the tragic death of his firefighter father when he was seven. He's living with his ER nurse mother Margie (Marisa Tomei) and younger sister Claire (Maude Apatow), who's about to leave home for college. Scott has aspirations of becoming a tattoo artist and opening the first tattoo restaurant, but is content with taking drugs with buddies Oscar (Ricky Velez), Igor (Moises Arias), Richie (Lou Wilson) and a relationship with childhood friend Kelsey (Bel Powley). When his mother gets a boyfriend, firefighter Ray (Bill Burr), trouble ensues. Scott can't stand mom's new love interest. Told to move out, he is forced to re-evaluate his life. SNL's Pete Davidson is a commanding presence in this appealing comedy/drama. He may be playing himself, but

BLOW THE MAN DOWN (2019)

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Death and dark secrets hang over the small fishing village of Easter Cove, Maine. The passing of Mary Margaret Connolly (Linda Shary) is difficult on her daughters Priscilla (Sophie Lowe) and Mary Beth (Morgan Saylor), who are left with financial and personal troubles. When an encounter at a local bar goes terribly wrong for Mary Beth, the more responsible Priscilla must help her younger sister out of the dilemma. As the siblings attempt to solve their problems, the town's mysteries are revealed. Directors/writers Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy successfully venture into Coen brothers' territory with this delicious feminist film noir. Sophie Lowe and Morgan Saylor deliver strong

LONG SHOT

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Recently unemployed journalist Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) gets a big break when he reunites with his first crush, and former babysitter, Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) - the U.S. Secretary of State who's about to make a run for the presidency. She hires Fred as her speechwriter. Not exactly a snappy dresser, he  doesn't fit in with Charlotte's staff or her upscale lifestyle. But this mismatched pair somehow connect during a global trip to advance the rising politician's agenda. Romance blossoms and problems arise. Chemistry between the stars and a humorous script make

THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS

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Young orphan Lewis Barnavelt (Owen Vaccaro) goes to live with his uncle Jonathan (Jack Black), who happens to be a warlock with a magically creepy old house. There's a dangerous clock hidden in the walls that will have dire consequences if it's not found. Jonathan and witch neighbor Florence Zimmerman (Cate Blanchett) enlist Lewis' help in finding the elusive timepiece before something bad happens. The clock is ticking. A witchy brew of laughs and chills energizes this family Halloween treat. Produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, it feels like one of his films. But it's directed by Eli Roth, who wanders from

A SIMPLE FAVOR

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Widowed single mom Stephanie (Anna Kendrick), a mommy vlogger with a growing audience, finds a new best friend in Emily (Blake Lively) - the mother of her young son Miles' (Joshua Satine) schoolmate Nicky (Ian Ho). When Emily suddenly disappears, Stephanie is determined to find out what happened. She teams up with the missing housewife's distraught husband Sean (Henry Golding) and seeks help from her online viewers. As the puzzle unfolds, complications arise. Pitch perfect performances from Anna Kendrick and

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN

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Pressured by the demands of work, an adult Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) has little time to devote to his wife Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and daughter Madeline (Bronte Carmichael). But when his childhood companion Winnie the Pooh (the voice of Jim Cummings), a stuffed toy bear, magically turns up in London, Christopher gets the chance to return to the Hundred Acre Wood and the joys of his youth. Whimsical characters and an uplifting story put some bounce into this nostalgic family film. Blending the adult life of Christopher Robin with

OCEAN'S 8

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Released after almost six years in prison, Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) has been planning a big heist in the tradition of her legendary conman brother Danny. Enlisting the help of her ex-associate Lou Miller (Cate Blanchett), she gathers a team to extract a 150 million dollar diamond necklace that will be worn by famous actress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) at the Met Gala event. The expert group includes fashion designer Rose (Helena Bonham Carter), jeweler Amita (Mindy Kaling), street con artist Constance (Awkwafina), skilled fence Tammy (Sarah Paulson) and hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna). Together they must pull off the impossible to take the prize. An engaging cast steals the spotlight in this

DEADPOOL 2

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Wade Wilson/Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) gathers a team for what he thinks is a worthy cause. The mission: save young mutant Russell (Julian Dennison) from the clutches of Nathan Summers/Cable (Josh Brolin), a cybernetic soldier from the future who wants to terminate the kid. There are complications along the way. The irreverent R-rated humor that made 2016's "Deadpool" such a refreshing spin on the genre returns in this juiced-up deadpan sequel. While not as