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Cinema Dispatch: Trolls

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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!?

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

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Cinema Dispatch: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

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Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures

Directed by Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone

Weird Al got a movie, Oingo Boingo got a movie, and now The Lonely Island have one.  I’m sure you can point to ten awful musician movies for every good one, but there are some all-out classics in that very strange sub genre.  The aforementioned UHF is a lot of fun, Forbidden Zone is an absolute classic, hell, let’s go ahead and throw in The Blues Brothers and Walk Hard: The Dewy Cox story while we’re at it!  True, the musicians in question for those movies are known more for their comedies than their music, but you can pretty much say the same thing about The Lonely Island!  Does this mockumentary into the absurd world of pop stardom turn out to be the perfect update to the Spinal Tap formula, or are these guys not up to the task of stretching their material out for an entire movie?  Let’s find out!!

The movie is presented to us as an documentary into the life of Conner 4 Real (Andy Samberg) whose debut solo album (Thriller, Also) was a record smashing hit and launched him into super stardom after he left The Lonely Island… I mean The Style Boyz.  We start the movie on the eve of the release of his second album which has a pretty amazing title (CONNquest) but it turns out to be a finical and critical flop.  From then on, we follow Conner as he tries more and more desperate moves to salvage the fledgling album and boost his ticket sales while also coming to terms that he may not be as good as he thinks he is (or at least as good as his Yes Men tell him he is).  Along with him on this journey is his DJ Own (Jorma Taccone) who was one of The Style Boyz back in the day, his manager Harry (Tim Meadows) who’s trying to juggle Conner’s insane ego with his duties of keeping their empire afloat, and many others who make up the eclectic group of misfits that Conner surrounds himself with.  Can he manage to find his creative spirit once again and come back stronger than ever, or will he hit rock bottom as he slowly begins to isolate those who are trying to help him.  Oh who am I kidding?  It will probably be both!

POPSTARCD1

“Would you fuck me?  I’d fuck me.”

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