Cinema Dispatch: A Simple Favor

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A Simple Favor and all the images you see in this review are owned by Lionsgate

Directed by Paul Feig

I only got the trailer for this movie once and I was honestly not sure if it was a joke.  Not in the sense that I thought the trailer was FAKE, but more that I wasn’t sure if there was supposed to be some kind of ‘gotcha’ in this; like with A Deadly Adoption explicitly being an April Fool’s joke despite the film itself being rather straight faced about the whole thing.  To me it looked like a Tyler Perry thriller along the lines of Temptation or Acrimony, and the fact that it was directed by noted comedy director Paul Feig seemed like an indication that this was in some way a satire of that kind of movie, but it never really clued me on the punchline.  I guess that’s as good a way as any to go into a movie as I know it exists but have absolutely no clear sense of expectations for it which gives it a chance to truly surprise me.  Will it surprise me in the right way and turn out to be either a fun metatextual examination of the genre or just another great entry in it?  Alternatively, it could be an utterly confused mess of a movie with no clear idea of what it wants to be, but in any case, let’s find out!!

The movie follows Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick); a single mom who has more energy every single day than I could muster in a lifetime as she constantly finds something to do for her son or for his school despite it making all the other parents look bad.  One such parent is Emily Nelson (Blake Lively), though she has the advantage of not actually caring what other people think of her and actually finds something endearing about Stephanie after the two are forced to spend some time together as both of their sons are best friends.  She’s a bit caustic, maybe likes to use people a bit too much, and certainly has no problem deflecting all of her problems onto everyone else, but there’s something that Stephanie finds fascinating about her and they become best (if slightly unhealthy) friends!  That is until Emily calls Stephanie one day asking her to watch her son as she’s got an emergency at work and then just disappears.  No one knows where she went, not even her husband Sean (Henry Golding), and it seems that the authorities aren’t taking the case all that seriously.  I guess it’s up to Stephanie The Fixer to not only try to find Emily but to keep her family together in her absence which starts to make things a bit awkward between her and Sean and ESPECIALLY between her and Emily’s son.  Twists and turns are the name of the game here as more and more information is uncovered about Emily as well as Sean, which points to possible foul play or something equally sinister!  Will Stephanie uncover the truth of just who Emily is and will she like what she ends up finding out?  How much is she willing to put her neck out for this woman, and will she have to pay some serious consequences for her incessant snooping?  Most importantly, WHAT WILL THIS MEAN FOR HER COOKING BLOG!?

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“Welcome back to Cupcakes and Cold Cases!  A quick update; we haven’t located their head JUST yet, but we’re searching every nook and cranny!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Hitman: Agent 47

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Hitman: Agent 47 and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox

Directed by Aleksander Bach

Are we really back here again?  Of ALL the video game franchises to get made into movies, of course we have to get ones based off a weak sauce Léon: The Professional.  The Hitman games have always been fantastic and unique experiences which are the reasons why the series has endured for so long, but the story was never the selling point.  Whatever lore was in those games just never connected with me and I never understood the point of making such a basic premise so complicated by including a cloning subplot and then an evil double at one point (I think) and whatever the hell else was going through IO Interactive’s heads when making those games.  Not only that, but they already TRIED to make this work and it sure as hell didn’t the first time around.  Why exactly are they bring THIS back to the silver screen when there are so many other games out there that aren’t already tainted by a poor adaptation?  Could it be because they were genuinely inspired to do better this time around, or is it just another cynical cash grab off a recognizable franchise?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins with a brief history of who the Agents are and how they were created which is strike one against this film, but we’ll get to that later.  Dr. Litvenko (Claran Hinds) basically made the Captain America Super Solider Serum for… reasons, and it leads directly to the Agent program which turns regular dudes (or clones maybe?) into unstoppable bad ass assassins who don’t feel emotion (*cough* bullshit *cough*) and always get the job done.  Dr. Litvenko however fears His own creations, and runs away to never be seen again.  The company who was bankrolling him is uber pissed and spends the next twenty years looking for him and the daughter he abandoned (because reasons) without much success despite having access to ALL the cameras ever, but maybe their progress is stalled because Agents (or maybe just 47 specifically, played here by Rupert Friend) are wrecking their shit on a regular basis.  Eventually though the evil organization called The Syndicate (I see they’ve continued the trend of shitty group names in this series a la The Organization) finds the guy’s daughter who JUST SO HAPPENED to finally show up on a single security camera, and so they track her ass down in Germany.

“Good news sir!  We finally found his daughter!”     “WE’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR TWO DECADES!!  YOU COULDN’T FIND HER ANY FASTER!?!?”     “Oh I’m sorry!  I’m not the ones who said to check EVERY SINGLE CAMERA ON PLANET EARTH!”
“Good news sir!  We finally found his daughter!”     “WE’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR TWO DECADES!!  YOU COULDN’T FIND HER ANY FASTER!?!?”     “Oh I’m sorry!  I’m not the ones who said to check EVERY SINGLE CAMERA ON PLANET EARTH!”

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