Tag Archives: Josh Gad

Cinema Dispatch: Murder on the Orient Express

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Murder on the Orient Express and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox

Directed by Kenneth Branagh

I’m hardly what you’d call “well read” as most of my cultural education comes from television and movies followed by people TALKING about television and movies, so while I’m aware that there’s a book out there called Murder on the Orient Express written by someone whose work I should really get around to reading, I don’t actually know what the story is about nor who the killer is which I GUESS would make me the target audience for a slick Hollywood retelling of the story starring some of the most beloved character actors out there… and Johnny Depp.  I’m certainly excited to see this as I do love me a good mystery, and seeing a movie is ALMOST as good as reading a book… right?  Anyway, does Kenneth Branagh manage to successfully bring the Agatha Christie classic to the silver screen once again, or does the brilliance of her work get lost in the midst of his vision for the material?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins with the famed detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) solving yet another world class mystery in the heart of Jerusalem and is now ready to take a much deserved vacation to recharge his mystery solving batteries!  As luck would have it, he runs into an old friend named Bouc (Tom Bateman) who gets him a ticket on the one and only Orient Express which Bouc is the director of.  Sadly for Poirot’s plans of leisure, not only does the train get stuck in an avalanche but one of the passengers (Johnny Depp) comes down with a bad case of MURDER!  With only some minor cajoling from Bouc, Poirot begins to investigate The Case of the Stabbed Dude by looking into the pasts of all the other passengers (Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Olivia Colman, Lucy Boynton, Marwan Kenzari, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Sergei Polunin, and Miranda Raison) to see if there’s anything to connect one of them to the guy sleeping in a pool of his own blood.  Will Poirot uncover the criminal mastermind who was unfortunately enough to be sharing a train ride with the world’s greatest detective?  Just who was the man who got viciously murdered, and what could have motivated someone to commit such an act?  Wait… isn’t it a bit TOO convenient that the train JUST SO HAPPENED to get stuck after a murder is committed!?

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LOOK OUT, POIROT!  IT WAS THE TRAIN ALL ALONG!!

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Cinema Dispatch: Beauty and the Beast

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Beauty and the Beast and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios

Directed by Bill Condon

So Maleficent was good, as were the two Alice in Wonderland movies (WHAT!?  THEY ARE!!), but what exactly is Disney’s end goal in trying to burn through their entire catalog in search of reigniting nostalgic fans to spend money on these stories once again?  Sure, Mulan seems like a good idea, but they’ve got plans for live action adaptations of The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and even a Dumbo movie that’s been in development for almost three years now!  Before all that though, we’ve got this remake of the classic 1991 film which seems to be the most… shall we say FAITHFUL, of the bunch so far as the trailers seem to imply that it’s basically shot for shot.  Then again, they did bring Bill Condon on hand to direct who’s work includes Dream Girls and Chicago, as well as the ONE decent Twilight movie (*cough* Breaking Dawn Part 2 *cough*), so maybe there’s a bit more inspiration and creative flourish on hand than what we’ve been lead to believe from the marketing.  Is this the yet another success for the Mouse House and the new direction they’re taking with their non-Marvel and Non-Star Wars films, or is this just a lazy cash grab for a studio that can do much better?  Let’s find out!!

The movie is… well it’s Beauty and the Beast.  Do you NEED me to tell you what it’s about?  Ugh… fine.  There once was a prince (Dan Stevens) who was total jerk.  He rejected a beggar woman at his door which seems to be standard protocol in the Aristocracy, but this beggar was the one in ten thousand that you do not mess with as she turns out to be an Enchantress who puts a curse on the prince, his castle, and all of his servants.  The prince, who is now a furry, has to find true love before time runs out which is determined by a magic rose slowly dying in his room or else the curse will be permanent and he will have to live as his fursona for all time!  Now I wouldn’t think that would be TOO bad of an outcome (buff as all hell, no summer heat because the castle is in a perpetual winter, you don’t have to pay your servants anymore), but I guess it’ll do for a redemption arc.  More important than that though is the story of Belle (Emma Watson) herself who is a bright young woman from the local village that can’t wait to live a life of excitement, adventure, and proper bathing habits; none of which she can find as long as she stays there.  The village thinks she’s strange because she can read and stuff which makes her a bit of an outcast, but that doesn’t avert the local hottie Gaston (Luke Evans) from pursuing her with all his M’lady charms; backed up of course by his friend LeFou (Josh Gad) who’s just happy to be spending time with the big lug the same way Smithers finds working with Mr. Burns to be so rewarding!  When disaster strikes and Belle’s father (Kevin Kline) is locked up by The Beast for trespassing on his land, Belle agrees to take his place and stay in the castle… FOREVER!!  Admittedly not the BEST way to start a relationship, but maybe he can learn to stop acting like an uncouth animal from her example and maybe she can finally experience some of that adventure and wonder that has eluded her for so long.  I mean… she’s STILL a prisoner, but it is at least a really nice prison!  Will The Beast learn his lesson about giving poor people food (or was it finding love?) before it’s too late?  What will Belle do now that she’s trapped in a magical castle with talking furniture, and will she find a way to escape her captor?  Does anyone else think Ron Perlman should have been cast in this?  Thirty years later, and he can STILL pull it off!

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Oh don’t pout!  NO ONE is as good as Hellboy!

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Cinema Dispatch: The Angry Birds Movie

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The Angry Birds Movie and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures

Directed by Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly

After the disaster that was Ratchet & Clank, this COULDN’T be worse… right?  Honestly, with the track record that video game adaptations have, it’s not like a shitty movie based on a mobile game can tarnish their legacy any more than Street Fighter: Legend of Chun-Li did, which isn’t to say that I have any hope for this movie; just that it’s not in a position to do much damage.  Does this turn out to be an unexpectedly competent surprise, or just another awful adaptation to add to the pile?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the angriest bird in Birdville, or whatever this place is called, named Red (Jason Sudeikis) who has finally pushed the citizens of Bird-opolis to the breaking point!  After an “incident” gets out of hand involving a slightly messed up cake and cracked egg, Red is assigned to mandatory Anger Management which is led by Matilda (Maya Rudolph) and is attended by Chuck (Josh Gad), Bomb (Danny McBride), and Terence (Sean Penn); none of whom are particularly well adjusted.  That’s only the first half of the movie though.  Eventually, a ship chock full of pigs arrives at the Island of Birds and come offering friendship and gifts of the outside world!  Only Red can see that they’re up to no good though, but no one wants to listen to him because… well he’s an asshole.  Still, he manages to get Bomb and Chuck on his side enough so that they agree to go with him to find the LEGENDARY MIGHTY EAGLE who is said to watch over Bird-sylvania and aid it in its time of need.  Can red get over his anger issues long enough to do some real good for his fellow birds?  Can the LEGENDARY MIGHTY EAGLE save the town before the pigs enact their nefarious plan?  Have these birds never bothered to go off of their island!?  How have they never heard of pigs before!?

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“Whatever it is, I think we should worship it.”     “Don’t you think that’s a little extreme?”     “HERETIC!!”     “Don’t you mean… HAM-etic?”

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Cinema Dispatch: Pixels

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

Directed by Chris Columbus

You know, it’s actually not that bad.  No, I’m kidding.  This movie is absolutely dreadful.  I can’t imagine how you could have made this worse.  It didn’t give me a terminal illness so at least there’s that much, but this low effort cash grab by Adam Sandler and Chris Columbus is probably the worst thing I’ll see all year.  Yes, this is worse than Terminator Genisys.   How bad is it?  Well you probably already know if you’ve heard anything about this film, but let’s find out JUST how low Happy Madison can sink with this heinous train wreck of a movie!!

Pixels is about Sam Brenner (played by America’s favorite hack, Adam Sandler) who was a video game wiz during his childhood but never lived up to his potential as a… good video game player I guess, and is now a forty something loser who installs electronic equipment for rich people who can’t be bothered to plug in an HDMI cable.  Not that his JOB makes him a loser; It’s his entire personality and outlook at life that makes him one of those.  Sam is a smartass, doesn’t take responsibility for his own life choices, and blames everyone around him for his failures.  His best friend is the god damn President of the United States (Kevin James) yet he still treats him like the fat kid he used to know when they were younger.  Not in a “you’re still my best friend” sort of way, but in a “remember when I was cooler than you?” sort of way.  Anyway, this pathetic loser is going through his sad life until one day aliens start to invade the Earth and for reasons too convoluted to even bother describing here, they’re doing so in the form of arcade games from 1982 and earlier.  Because no one else in the world is as good as three guys who played games in the eighties (therefore conferring the idea that being a Gamer is an exclusive club of badasses who need a minimum level of skill and conformity before being granted the prestigious label), the President enlist Sam, another creepo friend of theirs called Ludlow Lamonsoff (Josh Gadd) and eventually Sam’s rival from his childhood Eddie Plant (Peter Dinklage) to fight the alien menace.

Can we get The Last Starfighter instead?  Hell, the Wing Commanders would be preferable to this.  The MOVIE version of Wing Commander.

Can we get The Last Starfighter instead?  Hell, the Wing Commanders would be preferable to this.  The MOVIE version of Wing Commander.

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