Tag Archives: Albert Brooks

Cinema Dispatch: The Secret Life of Pets

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The Secret Life of Pets and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures

Directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney

Is it finally out!?  OH THANK GOODNESS!!  Whether or not this movie is actually good, at least we no longer have to see those same trailers over and over and OVER again.  The marketing for this movie was absolutely insane and was in front of every damn movie I saw.  They played this so much that now I don’t like Downtown by Macklemore anymore.  THANKS A LOT ILLUMINATION ENTERTAINMENT!!  Still, it’s not always fair to judge a movie by how obnoxiously they market it, and I did see a little bit of potential here before that hope was snuffed by the sheer incessantness of the advertisements so maybe there’s light at the end of this tunnel!  Let’s find out!!

The movie is all about Max (Louis CK) who’s living a perfect life with his owner Katie (Ellie Kemper) who does her human stuff during the day but always comes back to find Max waiting for her.  One day however, she up and ruins the perfect setup they have going by bringing a new dog home with her named Duke (Eric Stonestreet) which is a shakeup that Max is not happy about for a myriad of reasons; the least of which being that this dog is HUGE and is probably not gonna be too friendly to the much smaller Max considering how territorial dogs can be.  Oh well!  They’ll learn to get along eventually, right?  Well I wouldn’t DREAM of spoiling this movie, but before anything like that can take place, they get into a huge fight in the dog park and are stuck in the middle of New York City without collars and are just unfortunate enough to keep running into either Animal Control Workers, or a bunch of Animal Revolutionaries led by the rabbit Snowball (Kevin Hart) who want the two of them dead for convoluted reasons.  While all that is going on, a bunch of pets at their apartment building band together to find Max and Duke before it’s too late!  The group is led up by a little Pomeranian named Gidget (Jenny Slate), and is made up of a cat named Chloe (Lake Bell), a few dogs in the building (Bobby Moynihan and Hannibal Buress), a small bird who I don’t recall having any lines but is apparently played by Tara Strong, a guinea pig named Norman (Chris Renaud) and a hawk named Tiberius who’s played by Albert Brooks as you would expect a vicious animal to be played by Albert Brooks.  Will Max and Duke manage to find their way home without getting murdered by humans or other animals in the process?  Will their friends manage to find those two or will they end up getting just as lost in the process?  Why do I get the feeling I’ve seen this movie already?

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Oh right!  The Producers.  Yeah, that’s what it is.

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Cinema Dispatch: Finding Dory

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Finding Dory and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Directed by Andrew Stanton

Well… I guess we’re back again.  Pixar has gotten pretty passé for me recently and making a sequel to my least favorite of their movies that ISN’T a rip off of Maximum Overdrive is probably not gonna be what ends up turning them around for me.  Still, the studio never makes a lazy movie (except for those G rated Christine films) so we can at least expect a certain level of quality from them, and maybe I’ll be a bit more receptive to their fish story this time around.  Does it manage to bring back that Pixar magic that has gotten kinda dull and played out recently?  Let’s find out!!

The movie takes place a year after the events of the first one (which I guess means this takes place in in the heydays of George W Bush and Nickelback) and since then Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) has been living with Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo (Hayden Rolence).  One day during their day to day life of… swimming I guess, Dory sees something that triggers a memory that had long been forgotten which is that she has parents and lost them many years ago; probably due to her short term memory condition.  Now that she’s aware that her parents are out there somewhere, she manages to rope Marlin and Nemo into going with her to the last place she remembers being at before losing them forever which was somewhere in California.  That somewhere just happens to be the Marine Life Institute which is a rescue center to provide care to, rehabilitate, and eventually release the sea creatures that they either catch or are sent to them for treatment.  As you’d expect, Dory manages to separate herself from Marlin and Nemo who have to then FIND her, and while they’re doing that Dory meets up with an octopus named Hank (Ed O’Neill) who is willing to help her find whatever exhibit her parents are in if she’ll do something for him.  See, Dory was sent to the medical wing and immediately got a tag put on her to send her to the Cleveland Aquarium because… I actually don’t know why come to think of it.  The tags are only placed on fish that are too sick to survive in the open ocean, so… is there gonna be a really sad third movie coming out in ten years?  Anyway, Hank wants to go to the Cleveland Aquarium but isn’t sick enough for them to send him off, so he’ll take her tag in exchange for carrying her around until they find her parents.  Oh, and they’re on a timer because the truck to Cleveland leaves in the morning so Hank is not in the mood to mosey about take their sweet time.  Will Dory manage to find her parents in this place?  What about Marlin and Nemo?  Are they gonna find her before… I guess something bad happens?  Will Pixar ever get to The Incredibles 2!?

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“That’s where my parents are…”     “Congratulations kid.  You found them.”     “Found what now?”     “Ugh…”

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Cinema Dispatch: Concussion

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Concussion and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures

Directed by Peter Landesman

Mr. Fourth of July is back with his latest attempt to win that Oscar after Ali, The Pursuit of Happyness, and 7 Pounds didn’t do a damn thing for him.  Well at least this one is a story that’s still fresh in people’s mind as it explores the events that led up to the NFL being in hot water over the dangers of head injuries and the consequences of not getting these issues treated in their former players.  Does William Smith Jr finally have the movie that will get him an Academy Award that he can shove in Leonardo DiCaprio’s face, or does the search continue for Will to find something that will prove once and for all what a great actor he is?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith) who happens to be on duty at a Pittsburg morgue the day that a former NFL player is found dead after long bouts of mental illness and medical problems.  During the autopsy, Omalu discovers some irregularities that lead to him eventually discovering a hereto unknown disease known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) that is caused by repeated blows to the head which is something that happens quite frequently to NFL players.  Clearly this needs to be explored further as it’s clear that other older players begin to exhibit extreme mental issues, but the NFL instead decides to bury the guys work and deny it incessantly.  Omalu though continues to push for more research and for the NFL to acknowledge the diseases existence, but to little avail at least at first.  Along his journey to get the truth out there, he starts to pursue a romantic relationship with a fellow churchgoer (Prema Mutiso played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and eventually meets a former NFL doctor (Julian Bailes played by Alec Bladwin) who knows first-hand what it’s like to see former players’ minds deteriorate.  With support from the medical community and his girlfriend along with the insider knowledge of Dr. Bailes, will Dr. Omalu get his way and save hundreds of people in the process, or is this a task too herculean for any one man to accomplish?

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“And the Oscar goes to… Will Smith.  I’ll get up looking shocked, kiss Jada on the cheek, and lightly job down there.  Gotta make sure to thank all my kids, thrown in a joke here and there…”

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