Tag Archives: Conrad Vernon

Cinema Dispatch: The Addams Family

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The Addams Family and all the images you see in this review are owned by United Artists Releasing

Directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan

I’ve actually been looking forward to this movie for quite some time.  Not in a BIG way, but everything I saw at first was very promising.  The new designs were quite good and the initial teaser seemed to have the right tone that retained what worked about these characters in the first place while making something that worked in a modern context.  After that though, once we got the trailers with more of the plot (and those terrifying human characters), the skepticism started to creep in and my enthusiasm waned as my attention turned elsewhere (*cough* Maleficient 2 *cough*) in the last month or so.  Still, a mediocre trailer is hardly a good barometer to how a movie will ultimately turn out (especially with so much of the marketing knocking it out of the preceding months), so were my negative feelings ultimately unfounded or did something go horribly wrong (and not in the good way) with this latest Addams Family venture?  Let’s find out!!

The Addams Family are a bunch of wealthy eccentrics who basically act like spooky monsters year round instead of just on Halloween.  The family consists of Patriarch Gomez (Oscar Isaac), possible vampire queen Mortitia (Charlize Theron), their daughter Wednesday  (Chloë Grace Moretz), their son Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard), Uncle Fester (Nick Kroll), Gomez’s mother (Bette Midler), the zombie butler who is IN NO WAY of any actionable resemblance to Boris Karloff known as Lurch (Conrad Vernon), and… I guess their OTHER butler who is just a hand called Thing.  Are they goths?  Murderous blue bloods?  If they were made in the mid nineties, would they all be Juggalos?  These are questions we may never get the answer to, but rest assured that whatever box they would most comfortably fit in, it’s one that will freak out the normies of the world whenever they happen to come in contact with them.  Said normies by the way are a bunch of nameless and nearly faceless upper middle class yuppies that built a community around the Addams family mansion and are just now realizing that there’s a spooky castle full of weirdos on top of the conspicuously nearby hill, and the head of the yuppies named Margaux Needler (Allison Janney) is none to please about it.  While this little pot of… I don’t know, spooky-phobia I guess, is brewing outside of the house, the Addams family itself is having a bit of tension as well as Gomez is trying to teach Pugsly a sacred family ritual known as The Mazurka but Puglsy seems to have no gift for it, and Morticia is trying to keep young Wednesday from falling into the wrong crowd; the kind that embraces unicorns, the color pink, and young pop stars.  Can the family stick together through these trying times both inside and out of the house?  Just how far will Margaux go to keep her little community nice and conformed now that this family has thrown a wrench in those plans?  Will The Addams family adjust to their new surrounds and join the rest of us in the living nightmare we all must suffer through under late stage Capitalism, or is that the wrong kind of terrifying for them?

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“A Panera Bread!?  AND a Chipotle!?”     “Ugh… it’s so GHASTLY commercial…”     “So is that GOOD ghastly, or BAD ghastly?”     “Well it’s BAD of course… but that’s actually good.  Because it’s bad…”

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Cinema Dispatch: The Boss Baby

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The Boss Baby and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation

Directed by Tom McGrath

Well gee, THIS sure looks like a gem.  Just… why?  Wasn’t Storks enough!?  How many baby movies do we NEED!?  Look, the trailers were terrible, the premise is hacky, and the casting of Alec Baldwin as a talking baby seemed like something you would do in a Saturday Night Live sketch.  Point being that NOTHING about this movie didn’t look like the cynical machinations of Hollywood hacks and I was not looking forward to it.  Still, movies have managed to surprise me in the past, and it’s not like this could be as bad as it looks… right?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins with little Timothy Templeton (Miles Chirstopher Bakshi) who’s the only child of Ted and Janice Templeton (Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow) and he loves all the attention that he gets because of it.  Unfortunately for Tim, daddy forgot their condom… I mean the secret agency of babies in the sky is sending down one of their agents (Alec Baldwin) and he now has to deal with a new boss in the house.  Get it?  Because babies are so BOSSY and DEMANDING?  Cheeky metaphor aside, it turns out that the baby is here for a specific reason and not just to fuck with Timmy.  Apparently the secret agency of babies in the sky are under threat by an incoming invasion of super cute puppies (okay…) and The Boss Baby ends up needing Tim-Tim’s help in order stop them.  If the duo can stop the super cute puppies (so I guess they have to kill them?), he’ll go back to the secret agency of babies in the sky, and he’ll go back to being an only child.  Can the siblings put aside their rivalry long enough to ensure they never have to see each other again?  Will The Boss Baby learn something about family on this ridiculous journey to destroy puppies?  Why… why does this movie want us to dislike puppies!?

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“This is clearly a case of Baby Displacement!  We need to form our own Baby Ethno-State in order to preserve the sanctity of our cuteness!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Sausage Party

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

Directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon

I’m pretty sure I’ve been hearing this movie for at least five years and Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have been trying to get this made for even longer than that.  I’m not sure how it took so much work to get this movie made as both of them are bankable stars and this movie ended up costing next to nothing (ten million is nothing in terms of Hollywood features), but regardless of whatever strife they had to work through, the day has finally come for us to see a movie about dicks, vaginas, and assholes being played by hotdogs, buns, and bagels.  Does this movie end up being a classy as fuck masterpiece for the ages, or was all that effort for naught and this is just a giant steaming load of lameness?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the misadventures of several food items in this one grocery store known as Shopwell’s, but for the most part our focus is on Frank the Sausage (Seth Rogen).  He’s living the perfect sausage life; namely staying fresh inside his package and praising the Gods every day in the hopes that he will be chosen to leave the store and enter the great beyond!  Well he’s also praying that he can nail that hot little number in the bun package, Brenda Bunson (Kristen Wiig), but he’s got to keep those urges in check.  After all, the Gods only want FRESH food that isn’t tainted with sin!  Now all the food in this store (and presumably all the other stores in the world) seem to all follow this belief system where the humans are Gods taking them to a promised land, but as we all know humans tend to be to total assholes and will end up eating them instead which is SUPER fucked up!  The day finally comes for Frank, his other sausage buddies (Carl and Barry played by Jonah Hill and Michael Cera), and Brenda as one of the Gods chooses them and they’re put in its holy shopping cart.  Of course, things don’t go quite as planned as the shopping cart runs into another one; splattering a lot of the food in a very gruesome manner and knocking both Frank and Brenda (along with a few other items) out of the cart and into the store… OUT OF THEIR PACKAGES!!  Now you may have assumed that the shopping carts collided due to bad luck.  Not quite so, as a jar of Honey Mustard (Danny McBride) had seen some shit and jumped out of the cart after telling the rest of the food how fucked they are, and that was the cause of the crash.  Why is this important?  Well there was one person listening the entire time, and that was Frank!  So on top of getting back inside a sausage package (along with Brenda who needs to find a bun package) Frank is on a journey to find out the truth and if what Honey Mustard was saying had any merit to it!  Can Frank discover the dark secrets that the world outside the grocery store holds?  Will this inevitably create a schism between him and Brenda, the latter of which still has faith in the Gods and their divine plan?  And what about Carl and Barry!?  WHAT THE FUCK IS GONNA HAPPEN TO THEM!?

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Oh, you know… probably nothing good.

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