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!?
The Secret Life of Pets and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures
Directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney
Is it finally out!? OH THANK GOODNESS!! Whether or not this movie is actually good, at least we no longer have to see those same trailers over and over and OVER again. The marketing for this movie was absolutely insane and was in front of every damn movie I saw. They played this so much that now I don’t like Downtown by Macklemore anymore. THANKS A LOT ILLUMINATION ENTERTAINMENT!! Still, it’s not always fair to judge a movie by how obnoxiously they market it, and I did see a little bit of potential here before that hope was snuffed by the sheer incessantness of the advertisements so maybe there’s light at the end of this tunnel! Let’s find out!!
The movie is all about Max (Louis CK) who’s living a perfect life with his owner Katie (Ellie Kemper) who does her human stuff during the day but always comes back to find Max waiting for her. One day however, she up and ruins the perfect setup they have going by bringing a new dog home with her named Duke (Eric Stonestreet) which is a shakeup that Max is not happy about for a myriad of reasons; the least of which being that this dog is HUGE and is probably not gonna be too friendly to the much smaller Max considering how territorial dogs can be. Oh well! They’ll learn to get along eventually, right? Well I wouldn’t DREAM of spoiling this movie, but before anything like that can take place, they get into a huge fight in the dog park and are stuck in the middle of New York City without collars and are just unfortunate enough to keep running into either Animal Control Workers, or a bunch of Animal Revolutionaries led by the rabbit Snowball (Kevin Hart) who want the two of them dead for convoluted reasons. While all that is going on, a bunch of pets at their apartment building band together to find Max and Duke before it’s too late! The group is led up by a little Pomeranian named Gidget (Jenny Slate), and is made up of a cat named Chloe (Lake Bell), a few dogs in the building (Bobby Moynihan and Hannibal Buress), a small bird who I don’t recall having any lines but is apparently played by Tara Strong, a guinea pig named Norman (Chris Renaud) and a hawk named Tiberius who’s played by Albert Brooks as you would expect a vicious animal to be played by Albert Brooks. Will Max and Duke manage to find their way home without getting murdered by humans or other animals in the process? Will their friends manage to find those two or will they end up getting just as lost in the process? Why do I get the feeling I’ve seen this movie already?