Tag Archives: Keegan-Michael Key

Cinema Dispatch: The Disaster Artist

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The Disaster Artist and all the images you see in this review are owned by A24

Directed by James Franco

I may not be as over the moon in love with The Room as plenty of other people are, and it has admittedly lost a bit of its charm once you realize just how misogynistic the whole thing is, but it certainly has my respect as being one of the more unique examples of a GOOD BAD MOVIE due in no small part to the auteur himself, Tommy Wiseau.  Now he’s far from the only ridiculously cocky creatives out there who write, direct, and star in what they perceive to be their one true masterpiece (*cough* Old Fashioned *cough*), but with Mr Wiseau there’s a genuine sense of mystery about the guy as many details of his origin are STILL unknown to this day (HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE IN THE INTERNET AGE!?) and his… shall we say UNIQUE brand of acting certainly sets him apart from many of the other low rent struggling artists out there.  No doubt there is a VERY interesting story to tell about this one guy, his one movie, and his friendship with co-star Greg Sestero, which the wannabe auteur himself James Franco has opted to do by adapting Greg’s book The Disaster Artist into a motion picture; one that he directs, produces, and stars in of course.  Will this examination of one of Hollywood’s biggest oddities be a worthwhile exploration of the creative process and what it truly means to be an artist, or are we just desperately trying to milk a novelty that had lost its luster many years ago?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the journey of two men; aspiring actor Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) and… I guess aspiring actor as well Tommy Wiseau (James Franco).  The two meet in an acting class where Greg finds the eccentric weirdo with bad hair and a worse accent rather endearing for his utter fearlessness and ability to throw himself out there in ways that Greg is still struggling to do despite his hopes of becoming an actor.  Because of Greg’s admiration for Tommy and Tommy’s love of being admired, the two move in together and work their way through Hollywood; getting small gigs here and there but nothing that will truly set them apart from the thousands of other working actors cluttering the streets of LA.  After a particularly rough string of bad luck, Tommy eventually starts writing his own movie and wants none other than Greg himself to be the co-star.  The Room is what he titles his masterpiece and he funds it himself with his seemingly unlimited supply of money but things go from awkward to unsustainable as Tommy’s ego and complete inexperience with the process starts escalating tensions with the cast and crew and even with his best friend Greg who’s trying to stick by him but is finding it hard and harder to deal with Tommy’s unpredictable behavior.  Can Tommy find it within himself to get past his issues and foster a good working environment for the only people in the world who are helping him achieve his dreams?  Will Greg stand by his best friend, or will he realize just how much Tommy is holding him back?  WILL THE WORLD EVER UNDERSTAND THE BRILLIANCE OF THIS ONE MAN’S VISION!?

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GENIUS!!

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Cinema Dispatch: The Star

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The Star and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment

Directed by Timothy Reckart

Man, Coco was such a good movie.  Too good in fact!  I need to find a way to bring myself down to Earth again if I want to be fair to any other movie coming out this year.  Wait, is that what I think it is!?  A POORLY ANIMATED RELIGIOUS FILM… WITH TYLER PERRY!?  JACKPOT!!  It seems that movie going audiences had the good sense to ignore this film to go see Coco instead which seems like an INCREDIBLY obvious move given how uninspired the trailers look, but let it never be said that I am not a fair critic and will try to give everything at least a CHANCE to try and impress me!  Okay, I know better than to hope much from ANY religious film not made by Darren Aronofsky (and even THAT is a bit of a crapshoot), but compared to some of the OTHER films in that category, there’s no way it could be THAT bad… right?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the misadventures of one Bo the Donkey (Steven Yeun) who remained aimless and nameless for most of his life working in a mill and only getting brief glimpses of the outside world.  His one dream though is to be part of the Royal Procession which… I guess is like a super lame parade or something?  Anyway, he’s given a chance to escape with his wise cracking friend Dave the Dove (Keegan-Michael Key) and he winds up hiding out with a newly married couple; one of whom seems to have gotten to the whole pregnancy thing a little early.  Yes, this hapless donkey winds up in the possession of Mary and Joseph (Gina Rodriguez and Zachary Levi) with the former giving him the name Bo and the latter being a total throwback to goofy nineties sitcom guys; as if the entire male cast of Friends was fused together into one not especially charming homunculus.  While this is going on, a trio of camels (Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, and Tracy Morgan) are carrying the Wise Men across the desert in search of the new king who’s due in just a few months and end up running into King Herod (Christopher Plummer) who doesn’t take too kindly to there being another king out there and sends his scariest brick shit house of a guard with two mix-matched attack dogs (Ving Rhames and Gabriel Iglesias) to go hunt down the happy couple and murder them to bloody chunky bits.  Bo the Donkey gets wind of this and decides to help these two out before running off to join the Royal Procession and even meet a friendly sheep along the way named Ruth (Aidy Bryant) who left her flock to follow the titular star to… whatever’s at the end of it (spoiler alert: it’s Jesus).  Will Bo the Donkey keep these two safe and deliver the savior unto us so that we all may be saved from the burning fires of Hell?  Will King Herod realize that sending only ONE dude to stop the only person who could challenge his throne was a really half assed approach to this problem?  Can animals be saved and accept Jesus Christ as their lord and savior?  I’m just curious what’s gonna happen to Bo once he dies considering how much he busted his ass (nyuk-nyuk-nyuk) to help Jesus out in the first place!

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“Companions before transubstantiation, AM I RIGHT!?”     “I’m pretty sure that’s not even a rhyme…”

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Cinema Dispatch: Why Him?

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

Directed by John Hamburg

Ugh… so just because Daddy’s Home was a decent movie means we’ll be getting raunchy sitcom movies every Christmas?  I’ve been dreading this movie since the first trailer came out; not just because of how bad it looks, but because it has two REALLY talented leads in it who both can be doing so much more than… whatever the this is supposed to be.  Oh well, I could be wrong.  After all, Daddy’s Home looked almost as bad as this film, and I ended up enjoying that quite a bit!  Can this be the surprise hit of the holiday season; even with Rouge One and Sing looing large over the multiplexes!?  I kinda doubt it, but let’s find out!!

The movie is all about the Fleming family; headed up by Ned (Bryan Cranston) and consisting of wife Barb (Megan Mullally), teenage son Scotty (Griffin Gluck) and grown up daddy’s girl Stephanie (Zoey Deutch). Without much warning, the family finds out that Stephanie has managed to land a boyfriend while at college and that she hadn’t bothered to tell them about him for months now, so OBVIOUSLY she has to drag them out to California just so they can meet him and of course this happens during the holidays so we can add that bit of tension on top of things.  When the family arrives they find that the man of Stephanie’s dreams is some dude nearly forty named Laird Mayhew (James Franco) who acts like he’s still in college and is never called out on his shit because he is LOADED.  Yeah, something about a monkey war game app which has to be Candy Crush levels of popular for him to be THIS rich, but it doesn’t matter.  The important thing is that this overzealous bohemian stoner has ensnared the heart of Ned’s baby girl, and while there’s not much he can do to stop this, he’ll be damned if he enables this.  That attitude comes to a head when Laird confides that he is going to ask Stephanie to marry him on Christmas Day and wants Ned’s blessing which he doesn’t get.  Not one to give up though, Laird promises to make this the best weekend ever and try to convince Ned that he’ll be a good husband for Stephanie and the best son in law ever!  Will Ned warm up to Laird’s unique ways of expressing himself and accept him for who he is?  Will the rest of the family fall in line with Ned, or will they be enticed by Laird’s limitless supply of money and video games?  Is anyone else finding this just the TINIEST bit creepy?

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“Hold on a minute pops.  I’m feeling a little frisky!”     “You do know you’re closer to MY age than HERS, right?”

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Cinema Dispatch: Storks

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Storks and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros

Directed by Nicholas Stoller and Doug Sweetland

Is this just the year of animated bird movies!?  First we have Angry Birds, now we have Storks… okay, it’s just two movies, but that still seems like too many!  I really didn’t know anything about this movie walking in, having only hear the title and maybe seen a poster, which is odd considering that this isn’t some straight to DVD crap from an unknown studio.  Maybe Warner Bros was keeping this one close to the chest, or maybe I’ve just been living under a rock this whole time.  Anyway, is this the follow-up to the LEGO movie that they’re hoping will prove their viability as an animation studio, or will this prove the Phil Lord and Chris Miller in the director’s chair was the only reason that was a success in the first place?  Let’s find out!!

The movie is set in a world where at one time (presumably throughout all of humanity’s existence up until a few years ago) Storks would receive letters from humans and then… I guess use those letters to create a fetus in some sort of machine that grows them to term in a matter of minutes.  It’s not clear how much control the parents have when deciding what kind of baby they want (no gay kids in MY family!) but regardless, the babies that are crafted in this ungodly mechanism are then delivered by the Storks all around the world.  At some point though, I guess the humans learned how to fuck which made the Storks rather redundant, so they decided to switch their operation from baby growing and delivery to basically become Amazon.  Okay… I have several questions about all of this already, but we should probably move on from there.  So when the movie picks up (which can only be about twenty years after they stopped delivering babies), the best Stork deliverer in the business Junior (Andy Samberg) is up for a management position as the current manager Hunter (Kelsey Grammer) is apparently going to the BOARD OF DIRECTORS or something… even though we never see anyone higher than Hunter in the company structure.  For Junior to get his new job though, he has to do one thing; fire Tulip.  Who is Tulip?  Sigh… okay, rewind a bit.  Apparently right before the Storks stopped delivering babies (maybe this was an inciting incident?) one Stork lost his damn mind after seeing how CUUUUUUTE his baby was and broke the baby’s personalized tracking thingy… which is some sort of GPS device that tells them where the baby goes… and it’s the only copy of that information… so the baby is an orphan now and the stork in question flies off AND IS NEVER SEEN AGAIN!  That baby is now eighteen (i.e. they’ve only stopped delivering babies for less than a generation) and FOR SOME REASON wasn’t brought to a human orphanage, but has instead been bumming around the packing facility this entire time doing odd jobs for the company.  To make a long story short; shenanigans happen, Junior and Tulip accidently make a baby with the decommissioned baby-maker (don’t ask), and they have to deliver it before anyone finds out what the hell he did and he loses his job.  For some reason Hunter wants to stop them rather than help them cover it up (does he WANT Junior to be in charge, or not!?), and of course we have to cut back to the kid who sent the letter wishing for a little brother (he’s gonna get a little sister instead, so maybe the human’s DON’T have that much control over what baby they get) and his issues with his parents being gainfully employed.   You ever get the feeling that the writers didn’t actually think anything through when they were writing a script?

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“Hey!  Isn’t it funny how you’re a bird, but your riding in a plane!?”     “Yup.  Hysterical.”     “I know, right!?”

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Cinema Dispatch: Don’t Think Twice

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Don’t Think Twice and all the images you see in this review are owned by The Film Arcade

Directed by Mike Birbiglia

I always like to see comedians (especially of the Stand Up variety) take a chance behind the camera, especially considering how many really great works that transition has produced.  Bobcat Goldthwaite’s been making angry and brilliant films since the nineties with people only noticing in the past decade or so how great thy are, and Louis CK made such an impact with his television series that it’s become the template for comedian focused shows since then (*cough* Real Rob, Maron, Lopez *cough*).  Now it’s time for Mike Birbiglia to take another stab at it, and while I didn’t see his first film Sleepwalk with Me, I’ve heard very good things about it and can only hope he’s improved since.  Does this insight into the world of improv comedy turn out to be the sleeper hit of the year, or is it destined be yet another victim of the Sophomore Slump?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follow the six members of a New York City improv group known as The Commune; some of whom have been there since it began in the late nineties, others came later, and some are rather fresh to the scene.  Miles (Mike Birbiglia) is the presumptive leader of the group as he has seniority and also teaches an improv class where a lot of the members came from, including Jack and Samantha (Keegan-Michael Key and Gillian Jacobs) who seem to be the rising stars of the group.  You’ve also got the other old timer Bill (Chris Gethard), the rich girl who wants to be taken seriously Lindsay (Tami Sagher) and the one who’s TOTALLY writing a novel and will finish it eventually Allison (Kate Micucci) to round out the crew.  Everything seems to be going fine and they’ve built up their own little life around the show they do a couple of times a week at this small theater, but then life as to throw a curve ball and things change once they find out the theater is shutting down.  Not only that, Jack and Samantha managed to secure auditions for NOT SNL (Weekend Live) which puts even further strain on their friendship; especially with Miles who tried out years ago but couldn’t make the cut.  Will these comedians be able to survive the changes that are being thrust upon them?  Can Jack and Samantha make that transition to the big leagues without burning out or losing their friends in the process?  Why can’t they ALL be winners!?

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“Anyone thought of some good material today?”     “meh.”

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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: Keanu

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

Directed by Peter Atencio

The day has finally come for these two titans of TV comedy to make the leap to the silver screen!  That’s ALWAYS a great idea, right?  Okay, so sometimes the transition from small screen to big screen can be a bit awkward, but the trailers for this movie have inspired a lot of hope in me and many others that this will turn out to be the exception rather than the rule for sketch comedians turned movie stars!  Can the duo pull it off, or is it back to Comedy Central to beg for another season of their show?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the misadventures of Rell (Jordan Peele) and Clarence (Keegan-Michael Key); cousins and best friends who must retrieve Rell’s cat Keanu from the clutches of villainy!  You see, Rell had just had a pretty bad break up and was spiraling into depression without much hope for a brighter future.  That is until a small kitten that’s as cute as a button wanders up to his doorstep; bringing with him a glimmer of light and new chapter in Rell’s life.  But where exactly did this cat come from?  Well, what Rell doesn’t know is that this cat belonged to a local drug dealer who’s entire gang was killed right before he himself was murdered; all done by two tough as nails, long haired, mute mother fuckers who did this… for some reason, and are now hell bent on finding that cat… for some reason.  Not only that, but while Rell and Clarence are out seeing a movie, Rell’s place gets broken into and Keanu is kidnapped by the Seventeenth Street Blips (a crew too badass for the Bloods or the Crips)… for some reason.  Honestly, don’t question why people want Keanu; just assume he’s too cute to NOT steal.  Anyway, Rell and Clarence now must go undercover as tough guys and gang bangers (two things they are quite far from being) if they have any hopes of infiltrating the Blips and getting the cat back.  Will they be able to fool the members of this crew and pretend to be hard long enough to get their cat back?  What about the two crazy-ass murderers looking for the cat?  How are they gonna fit into all this?  Wait, so this ISN’T a parody of John Wick!?

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“WHAT DID WE DO TO DESERVE THIS!?”     “YOU DID IT!  WHATEVER IT IS, I T WAS YOU!!”

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