Tag Archives: Anna Kendrick

Cinema Dispatch: A Simple Favor

ASFCD0

A Simple Favor and all the images you see in this review are owned by Lionsgate

Directed by Paul Feig

I only got the trailer for this movie once and I was honestly not sure if it was a joke.  Not in the sense that I thought the trailer was FAKE, but more that I wasn’t sure if there was supposed to be some kind of ‘gotcha’ in this; like with A Deadly Adoption explicitly being an April Fool’s joke despite the film itself being rather straight faced about the whole thing.  To me it looked like a Tyler Perry thriller along the lines of Temptation or Acrimony, and the fact that it was directed by noted comedy director Paul Feig seemed like an indication that this was in some way a satire of that kind of movie, but it never really clued me on the punchline.  I guess that’s as good a way as any to go into a movie as I know it exists but have absolutely no clear sense of expectations for it which gives it a chance to truly surprise me.  Will it surprise me in the right way and turn out to be either a fun metatextual examination of the genre or just another great entry in it?  Alternatively, it could be an utterly confused mess of a movie with no clear idea of what it wants to be, but in any case, let’s find out!!

The movie follows Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick); a single mom who has more energy every single day than I could muster in a lifetime as she constantly finds something to do for her son or for his school despite it making all the other parents look bad.  One such parent is Emily Nelson (Blake Lively), though she has the advantage of not actually caring what other people think of her and actually finds something endearing about Stephanie after the two are forced to spend some time together as both of their sons are best friends.  She’s a bit caustic, maybe likes to use people a bit too much, and certainly has no problem deflecting all of her problems onto everyone else, but there’s something that Stephanie finds fascinating about her and they become best (if slightly unhealthy) friends!  That is until Emily calls Stephanie one day asking her to watch her son as she’s got an emergency at work and then just disappears.  No one knows where she went, not even her husband Sean (Henry Golding), and it seems that the authorities aren’t taking the case all that seriously.  I guess it’s up to Stephanie The Fixer to not only try to find Emily but to keep her family together in her absence which starts to make things a bit awkward between her and Sean and ESPECIALLY between her and Emily’s son.  Twists and turns are the name of the game here as more and more information is uncovered about Emily as well as Sean, which points to possible foul play or something equally sinister!  Will Stephanie uncover the truth of just who Emily is and will she like what she ends up finding out?  How much is she willing to put her neck out for this woman, and will she have to pay some serious consequences for her incessant snooping?  Most importantly, WHAT WILL THIS MEAN FOR HER COOKING BLOG!?

ASFCD1

“Welcome back to Cupcakes and Cold Cases!  A quick update; we haven’t located their head JUST yet, but we’re searching every nook and cranny!”

Continue reading

Advertisements

Cinema Dispatch: Table 19

TABLE19CD0

Table 19 and all the images you see in this review are owned by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Directed by Jeffrey Blitz

Table what now?  Has anyone heard of this movie before like a week ago?  Hell, did anyone see a trailer of this or is its target audience people who couldn’t see Beauty and the Beast because it was sold out but made the effort to get out of the damn house anyway so are going to see something else?  I don’t know about you, but that seems like a pretty niche market to go after!  Well just because no one has heard of the damn thing doesn’t mean it’s a BAD movie.  Hell, Shawshank Redemption was a HUGE flop and now it’s one of the most beloved and overexposed films of all time!  Okay, so this probably isn’t gonna be THAT good, but maybe it’ll still manage to be rather enjoyable.  Let’s find out!!

The table in question refers to a table at the wedding reception, and the nineteenth one is the LAST table in the hierarchy of wedding guests.  While all the important people are at the first few tables and all the REAL guests are in the latter ones, the ones who were invited but weren’t expected to show up were placed at the TABLE OF INFINITE SHAME!!  The guest list includes the brides former babysitter (June Squibb) which seems kinda mean spirited, a couple who worked with the one of the dads of the married couple many years ago (Lisa Kudrow and Craig Robinson), a family member who screwed someone out of A LOT of money (Stephen Merchant), and… some teenager (Tony Revolori).  Honestly, I don’t remember why he’s even there in the first place, but his shtick is that he’s horny all the time so maybe he’s on hand to fill a cliché quota.  ANYWAY!  There’s still one more person at the table.  The best friend of the bride (Anna Kendrick)!?  SAY WHAT!?  She’s ALSO the former Maid of Honor and is personally responsible for the seating arrangements!?  As it turns out, there was a major falling out, particularly in regards to the brother of the bride (Wyatt Russel), and while she ultimately decided to still go, she’s stuck with the losers and rejects who probably resent being considered losers and rejects.  Will shenanigans inevitably ensue now that a Molotov cocktail of resentment has landed at the table with people who pretty much have nothing to lose here?   Just what exactly happened between our heroine of sorts and the happy couple’s family?  WHAT ARE THEY GONNA DO TO THE WEDDING CAKE!?

TABLE19CD1

“We’re all in agreement.  The cake had it coming, and we will never speak of this again…”

Continue reading

Cinema Dispatch: Trolls

trollscd0

Trolls and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox

Directed by Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn

Ugh… I seriously do not care about trolls; either in general or the ones created by Thomas Dom which this new movie is supposed to be based on.  We already have two Smurf movies and another one on the way!  WE DON’T NEED A KNOCKOFF!!  Okay, I need to calm down.  Just because it’s a DreamWorks animated film based on a property I do not care about, doesn’t mean it’s going to be BAD.  Shrek was based on a book, and I liked that movie!  Okay… that was like fifteen years ago, but maybe they can pull off that same magic here as well!  Does this manage to be a fun adventure in a colorful world, or is this one hell of a bad trip?  Let’ find out!!

The movie begins with a whole backstory for the Trolls and the Bergens.  You see, boys and girls, Trolls are full of sunshine and happiness and like to sing, dance, and hug all the time.  Bergens on the other hand are grumpy and miserable like all of us in the REAL world, and apparently the only time they feel any semblance of happiness is whenever they’re eating Trolls.  I guess all that ecstasy the Trolls have to be taking in order to keep up their parties makes their flesh chock full of endorphins or something.  For the longest time, the Trolls lived in a tree right in the middle of the Bergin kingdom (seems like a bad idea if you ask me), but they escape with due to the valiant effort of their king (Jeffrey Tambor) and the ones the Bergens end up scapegoating for this is their Royal Chef (Christine Baranski) who is banished form the kingdom.  Twenty years later, the princess Poppy (Anna Kendrick) is set to become the queen of their new home, and she puts on the biggest party EVAR despite the protestations of the grumpy survivalist Troll, Branch (Justin Timberlake).  Sure enough, the revelry is enough to get the attention of the Chef, who’s been looking for the Trolls for the last twenty years, and she’s finally able to snatch a few of them to bring back to the Bergens and get back into the graces of their current leader, Prince Gristle Jr (Christopher Mintz-Plasse).  Poppy sends all the remaining Trolls to Branch’s doomsday bunker to stay safe, and Branch begrudgingly goes along with her to rescue her kidnapped subjects so that he can clear them out of his home as soon as possible.  You know!  Like that OTHER DreamWorks character who’s a lonely curmudgeon in a fantasy world!  Will Poppy and Branch find their friends before they’re boiled alive, chopped to pieces, or stuffed in a pie?  Just what does the Chef have planned once she gets back in the Bergens’ good graces?  Seriously, do these Trolls do ANYTHING other than party!?

trollscd1

“PLAY SOME GOD DAMN MUSIC, CUZ I’M ON SOME SERIOUS SHIT RIGHT NOW!!”

Continue reading

Cinema Dispatch: The Accountant

theaccountantcd0

The Accountant and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by Gavin O’Connor

Who is the Accountant?  More importantly, why should I care?  On the list of movies that I was looking forward to this year, this certainly isn’t one of them; not because the trailers looked BAD but because we’ve already got enough spy movies out there and we’re getting a Jack Reacher sequel next week that’s probably gonna be the best we can hope for this year.  Still, there could be something here if Ben Affleck signed on for it, and I guess it’s POSSIBLE the premise of someone with high functioning Autism being a super solider could be done gracefully, though I kind of doubt it.  Is this a fun and engaging action film to add to Ben Affleck’s increasing impressive résumé, or is he just desperate for something to get people to forget Batman v Superman, and he took the first crappy project that landed on his desk?  Let’s find out!!

The movie is all about Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) who is the enigmatic ACCOUNTANT!  Who is THE ACCOUNTANT!?  Well according to Treasury Agent Raymond King (JK Simmons) who will serve as our exposition-bot for this movie, he cooks the books for the most dangerous men on the planet and he needs to be stopped!  What Agent King doesn’t know though is that he’s ALSO Batman with a much more lax murder policy and can certainly hold his own if he ever gets betrayed by one of his shady business partners.  That doesn’t happen in the movie though.  Instead, he’s hired as an accountant instead of THE ACCOUNTANT by Lamar Blackburn (John Lithgow) who has NO IDEA who he just hired, and has him look over his company’s book since a low level employee Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick) found some irregularities.  These irregularities by the way are enough for the person who CAUSED the irregularities (i.e. stole a few bucks) to start sending out murder squads against everyone because of reasons.  Okay… well I guess THE ACCOUNTANT now has to fend off the bad guy’s henchmen (which include Jon Bernthal) and save Dana from being murdered… for looking at finical statements.  Whatever.  So just who is stealing money from the company and feels the need to send The Punisher to kill everyone who has ever looked at the company’s finances?  Will THE ACCOUNTANT go out on too far a limb to save this woman he just met a few days ago and give Agent King the lead he needs to find him?  Can someone please explain to me what the hell is going on here?

theaccountantcd1

The dude’s writing all this shit on the windows!  Isn’t it a bit late to try covering it up!?

Continue reading

Cinema Dispatch: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

MADNWDCD0

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox

Directed by Jake Szymanski

We all love Zac Efron, right?  Sure there was a point where everyone inexplicably hated him the same way that everyone hated DiCaprio after Titanic, but the guy is just bursting with charisma when he’s not merely bursting out of his clothes.  Still, he’s hit a bit of a rut recently where he’s either in an awful movie or he’s in a decent enough movie but isn’t asked to stretch very far, and I fear this might continue for a while considering how badly his sincere low budget drama We Are Your Friends ended up being received by everyone other than me.  This one looks to be a continuation of that trend where he’s playing yet another dumb guy with a stupidly hot bod, though maybe they can manage to do something interesting with that character rather than just regurgitate jokes we’ve seen him do for the last five years?  Yeah, I don’t have much hope either, but you never know!  Let’s find out!!

The movie is all about Mike and Dave (Zac Efron and Adam Devine); two brothers who may as well be spin-off characters from the Neighbors movies as both are in total broski mode as they are PROBABLY in their thirties by now (their age isn’t specified) yet are still trying to live life like they’re college douche bags.  They’re liquor salesmen but as far as I can tell they only have one client who buys their whiskey out of pity, and their apartment looks like the jock-pocalypse took place, what with the empty pizza boxes and indoor basketball hoop.  Their bubble is about to burst though, at least somewhat, they are confronted by their parents and younger sister Jeanie (Sugar Lyn Beard) who’s wedding is coming up and all of them, including the fiancé Eric (Sam Richardson), want them to shape up and act like adults rather than party animals.  How exactly do they expect these two knuckleheads to pull this off?  By getting dates of course!  Through a whole bunch of convoluted means, they end up meeting Alice and Tatiana (Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza), who are pretending to be nice and stable girls so they can bum a free vacation off of these two as the wedding will take place in Hawaii; a destination I’m sure was chosen for its natural beauty and rich culture and wasn’t an excuse for the actors to take a vacation (a well-known Hollywood scam known as An Adam Sandler Movie).  Of course, the bad girls can’t keep up the act for long which only leads to Mike and Dave getting all riled up and chaos eventually ensues!  Can everyone manage to keep their shit together, at least until after the two get married?  Will these four people thrown together through luck and manipulation manage to find… true love?  Why would the supposedly reasonable people ever think that this plan would work out?

MADNWDCD1

“We managed to find two people who wanted to go to Hawaii for free!”     “And we’ve only known them for a couple of days!”     “This was an AWESOME idea!”     “Pound it bro!”

Continue reading