Tag Archives: Warner Bros

Cinema Dispatch: The House

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

Directed by Andrew Jay Cohen

While everyone else was looking forward to yet another Spider-Man movie or that new Thor film, I was waiting on bated breath for the new Will Ferrell comedy!  Now sure, the guy hasn’t been at the top of his game lately, but more often than not he still manages to have a certain amount of charm and charisma that keeps his more mediocre movies at least somewhat entertaining (*cough* Daddy’s Home *cough*) so at the very least his presence usually means I won’t be tearing my seat up in frustration while sitting in the theater.  What really sold me on this movie though is that it co-stars Amy Poehler who along with Kaitlin Olson is one of the most underrated comedians out there and really SHOULD be headlining big blockbusters along the current greats like Kevin Hart and Melissa McCarthy.  Not only that, but the premise was actually pretty interesting with its sights firmly aimed at the ridiculousness of college tuition fees and the burden it places on students who want ta chance at great opportunities and the parents who are stuck with the extortionist bills.  Being one of those unlucky bastards still paying off his student loans, I can certainly relate!  Does this movie manage to take full advantage of its extremely talented cast and solid premise to deliver one of the funniest films of the year, or have the filmmakers squandered a fantastic opportunity to make something great?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins with the mild mannered middle class Johansen family, made up of Scott, Kate, and Alex (Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, and Ryan Simpkins), taking a tour of Alex’s dream college that they can JUST barely afford since she won a local scholarship for being such a good student.  Of course, the city council led up by Bob Schaeffer (Nick Kroll) has decided to divert the scholarship funds towards making a gaudy and impractical local swimming pool (complete with water slides and a food court) w which gives Scott and Kate only three months to come up with tuition money or else Alex can’t go to college.  Fortunately, they have a friend named Frank (Jason Mantzoukas) who’s teetering on the edge of total instability after his wife left him and comes up with an idea to not only make them the money they need for Alex’s education but to get him some extra cash so the bank doesn’t foreclose on his house and hopefully get his life back on track enough to win over his soon to be ex-wife.  The plan?  Use his absurdly large house to set up an illegal casino for all the local housewives and working dads (and vice versa) to unwind and lose a shit load of money!  If Scott and Kate can just hold it together for a month, they can make just enough money to pay for Alex’s tuition and close up shop before the one cop in town (Rob Huebel) or even that asshole Bob Schaeffer find out what they’re doing.  Can Scott, Kate, and Frank keep things from getting out of hand in the high stakes world of illegal gambling?  Look, we’ve ALL seen Casino so it can’t be THAT hard, right?

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“SOMEONE GET AN ICE PACK!!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Wonder Woman

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

Directed by Patty Jenkins

You know what they say!  FOURTH TIME’S THE CHARM!!  After three rather disappointing attempts by Warner Bros to turn the DC Universe into a viable competitor to the MCU, we’re at the last one before the big team up movie that could make or break this franchise going forward.  Don’t forget, the post Justice League movies are still in pre-production at this point with a lot of them either losing directors or still trying to find one.  If this movie AND Justice League turn out to be duds, it wouldn’t be the most out there idea for Warner Bros to finally pull the plug.  On top of that, this is the first Wonder Woman film ever made (outside of a TV movie starring Cathy lee Crosby) despite being very popular since her creation in 1941 and the fact that Superhero movies have been a big market; even before the MCU.  Heck, if someone was willing to make a Steel movie back in 1997, then surely we should have gotten a Wonder Woman film before now!  Needless to say that there is A LOT of pressure on this film to not just be good, but to be GREAT in order to justify its own existence for some people (probably the same people who had a problem with the casting in the latest Ghostbusters movie) and to clean up the mess that the three other movies left for her.  Can Wonder Woman live up to her name and show the world how to do this right, or has DC and Warner Bros managed to give us yet another disappointing slog that  could have been so much more?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins on the magical island of Themyscira; home to the Amazons who have isolated themselves from the rest of the world and are led by Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) who is dead set on keeping these rules in place.  However, her daughter Diana (Gal Gadot) proves to be much more than her mother gives her credit for and they are constantly clashing over her desires to be a true Amazon warrior that protects people over her mother’s insistence on keeping her safe.  Fate manages to bring all this to ahead however when a World War I pilot named Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) somehow manages to crash land in the waters near Themyscira which leads to the regiment of German soldiers chasing him to attack the island.  In the ensuing conflict, her mentor and aunt Antiope (Robin Wright) along with several others are killed but Themyscira is kept safe.  Diana’s eyes have been opened however and now she has no choice but to take Trevor back to where he came from and to fight the evil that has taken over the world.  She believes the war itself to be the work of the God of War Ares and hopes that by destroying him that the war can come to an end, and while Trevor knows a bit too much about humanity to buy this explanation, she IS gonna give him a ride home and she knows her way around a sword, so he agrees to take her to the front lines if she takes him back home.  Is it truly the work of a God that has turned these countries against each other, or will Diana have to learn the hard way just how terrible humans can be?  What plans do the German General Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston) and a master chemist Doctor Isabel Maru (Elena Anaya) have in store to turn this war on its head and to crush The Allied Powers?  Are we gonna get a bunch of losers talking crap about this movie because it stars a woman.  The answer to that is yes, but the IMPORTANT question is… should you care?  No.  The answer to that question is no.

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“Would you look at just how many fucks I give!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Everything, Everything

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

Directed by Stella Meghie

I understand that not all movies are going to be for me, and one of the genres where this is most true is the bittersweet romantic drama; hence why I have yet to review a Nicholas Sparks movie on here.  For the most part, this also applies to coming of age teen films like Paper Towns, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and The Fault in Our Stars; none of which I’ve seen even though I’ve heard MOSTLY good things about them.  Will this manage to stand out from the pack the same way The Edge of Seventeen did for me last year, or will this be a bitter reminder of why I’ve been avoiding these for the most part?  Let’s find out!!

The movie is all about the life of Maddy Whittler (Amandla Stenberg) who has Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, also known as SCID.  Basically, her immune system is so weak that she can’t fight off ordinary germs and viruses, so she has to stay in the specially designed sterile house that she and her mother (Anika Noni Rose) have lived in since she first discovered Maddy had this disorder.  Everything seems to be going fine with her finding ways to pass the time and even having a nurse visit her fairly often (Ana de la Reguera), but all that changes when a boy moves in next door!  The strapping young lad is named Olly Bright (Nick Robinson) and they immediately hit it off despite not being able to get close to each other; otherwise he’d probably kill her with his dirty boy diseases.  That said, having opened Pandora’s Box so to speak has made it harder for Maddy to just keep on living her life the way she’s been doing up to this point, and she wants to see more!  Will Maddy risk her life just to experience the rest of the world; albeit for a very short time?  Will Olly be able to accept Maddy despite all the barriers that built between them?  Didn’t John Travolta already make this movie like a hundred years ago?

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“And before you ask, no.  I do not have a plastic ball I roll around in.”

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Cinema Dispatch: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

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King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros. Pictures

Directed by Guy Ritchie

I don’t know about you, but the definitive King Arthur movie was already made by Monty Python in 1975, so unless Charlie Hunnam is gonna be fetching shrubberies for the Knights who say Ni I’m gonna have a hard time taking this movie seriously!  Okay, so clearly we’re not gonna get a movie as good as Holy Grail (which admittedly is an impossibly high bar to set), but I did like The Man from U.N.C.L.E. well enough which was Ritchie’s last film, and while I never got around to seeing the Sherlock Holmes movies I hear they’re solid as big budgeted adaptations that favors style over substance, even if they did get overshadowed by the BBC show once that became a hit.  The point is, we haven’t had a good King Arthur movie in quite a while and Ritchie is usually reliably competent with this kind of bigger than life myth making material, so maybe he’ll have a chance of clearing that very low bar set by the likes of Antoine Fuqua’s King Arthur movie and A Kid in King Arthur’s Court.  Can this movie manage to at least be better than those?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins long before Arthur becomes king; namely when his dad Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana) was ruling shit and killing dark wizards!  It’s just too bad that the guy had to have a brother because as we all know, the only purpose they serve in medieval stories is to kill the current king and assume the throne!  That’s just what Vortigern (Jude Law) does here, but little Arthur just barely manages to escape after being drifted down a river on a small boat (I think we’re mixing our mythologies here).  He’s found in a nearby village, grows up in a brothel, and turns into Sexy Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) who for some reason has no idea that he’s ACTUALLY the rightful king of… wherever the heck they are.  They keep referring to it is as Londinum, so I guess it’ll become Camelot in the sequel.  ANYWAY!  You can’t keep a hero from fulfilling his destiny, and he manages to pull the sword from the stone (similar to how Link pulls the Master Sword out of the Temple of Time) which gets everyone under Vortigern’s thumb hunting his chiseled ass down so they can finally kill the Born King once and for all!  Along the way, Arthur teams up with a mage (Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey) who is NOT Merlin but close enough, Sir Bedivere (Djimon Hounsou) who replaces Terry Jones’s mustache with a goatee, and several others; some of whom are from the original stories and other who are clearly not.  Can this rag tag group of Merry Men… I mean Honorable Knights, take down the deceitful king once and for all?  Will Arthur face his responsibilities and destiny with grace and composure, or will he first have to run away from them like any good Joseph Campbell hero?  Did anyone proof read this script before shooting it, or was everyone on board with the giant elephants, anachronistic dialogue, and the random excursion to Monster Island?

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“With this sword, I shall become The Avatar and control all four elements!!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Unforgettable

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

Directed by Denise Di Novi

A lot of people seem to enjoy this recent upswing in Steamy Thrillers, but while I can certainly see the appeal of them in a trashy sort of way (more so When the Bough Breaks than The Perfect Guy), they always seem to have an element in the story or a fundamental conceit that rubbed me the wrong way.  This new entry into the genre looks to have the same issues while also having the unfortunate drawback of no Morris Chestnut, but the casting is interesting to say the say least so maybe there’s something to this.  Can this rise above its trashy peers to be the ULTIMATE trash film, or is it trashy in the less fun sense of the word?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows Julia Banks (Rosario Dawson) who just moved in with her boyfriend and soon to be husband David Connover (Geoff Stults) which seems like a dream come true and is the perfect opportunity for her to put her past behind her which involves some shit headed abuser named Michael (Simon Kassianides) who is now VERY far away considering she’s now on the other side of the country.  Of course, her good luck doesn’t last for long as she’s now caught in the cross hairs of Tessa Connover (Katherine Heigl) who’s David’s ex-wife and is none too happy about it; particularly when it comes to her daughter Lilly (Isabella Rice) who now has to spend time with Daddy’s Girlfriend.  Tessa, the controlling and vindictive person that she is, makes it her mission to not only get Julia out of the picture as quickly as possible, but to do it in the most crew and vindictive ways possible and to worm her way back into David’s arms in the process.  Just how far will Tessa go in her quest for vengeance, and will Julia be able to withstand the pressure?  Will David come to Julia’s aid when the heat gets turned up, or will he buckle under the circumstantial evidence that Tessa piles up against her?  Was this some sort of long lost sequel to Fatal Attraction that was shelved twenty years ago!?  It certainly FEELS that dated!!

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“Would you fuck me?  I’d fuck me, but ONLY after a PROPER cleaning first.”

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Super Recaps: Riverdale Chapter 8 (The Outsiders)

Riverdale and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros Television Distribution and The CW

Episode directed by David Katzenberg

We’re back from the two week hiatus of Riverdale, and while I may be one of the more critical voices out there of the show, I’m honestly glad that it’s back.  The last few episodes have been a marked improvement and the show has been on an upward swing in general since SHE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED has packed her backs and skipped town, and even when the show is at its WORST… well at least it gives me something interesting to write about!  Has the show come back from its break rearing to go and ready to prove itself, or are we in for more of the same old same old?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with a rather helpful recap of what’s been going on for the last few weeks, and not just the PREVIOUSLY ON RIVERDALE one we get every episode.  Jughead is basically summarizing the Jason Blossom /Polly Cooper love affair with some brief snippets of the both of them together before they were ripped violently apart.  Of course, if you’re just reading this then you don’t GET to see the pretty pictures, but I’ll do my best to summarize as it HAS been a few weeks since we’ve last done this song and dance.  AHEM!  Jason Blossom disappeared on the Fourth of July and was found several weeks later with a bullet hole in his head.  He was trying to run away with his pregnant girlfriend Polly who was sent to a Girl’s Home for… I guess being pregnant, but the TRUE reason is that the Coopers and the Blossoms have a Hatfield/McCoy generations long pissing match going on and her parents wanted her out of sight and out of mind.  Jason’s plan was two-fold.  Number one, sneak Polly out of the facility, and number two, deliver some drugs (given to him by the local gang known as the Southside Serpents) to an address upstate so he can have a decent amount of cash to start their new life.  Well, as famed Prussian General Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke once said, “no plan survives contact with a bullet to the head” so now it’s up to the denizens of Riverdale (mostly Betty and Jughead) to figure out who pulled a Romeo and Juliet on these two.  Now I like the way they present these details in this opening bit, but there is a part of Jughead’s narration that’s throwing me off.  The series keeps pushing this point that the Coopers are some sort of ultra-controlling and outwardly perfect dynasty within the Riverdale community, and I just don’t see it.  I mean sure Betty and Polly’s mother (who I delightfully refer to as Lemon Mom) certainly ACTS like that’s the case, but there’s never been a demonstration of clout or even that much opulence (the same way the Blossoms have been portrayed) to have this make any sense.  Hell, I don’t even know what their dad’s JOB is, let alone if it’s anything important, and Lemon Mom is a journalist… for a local newspaper.  Oh, well SAY NO MORE!  DON’T CROSS THESE PEOPLE!

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It’s like the Reynolds Family before Frank lost all sense of decency.

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Super Recaps: Riverdale Chapter 7 (In a Lonely Place)

Riverdale and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros Television Distribution and The CW

Episode directed by Allison Anders

We’re back with another episode of The Incredible Jughead!  Just like Bruce Banner, our nominal hero of this show (Archie certainly isn’t the star of this) can’t stay in one place for too long as trouble follows wherever he goes.  That, and his last house got torn down, so we should probably get that resolved before too long as well as the whole POLLY WENT MISSING thing from last week.  Does this episode manage to tie up some of the loose ends that have been left dangling as we enter the second half of the season, or will this show double down on making things as needlessly complicated as possible (*cough* Lodge Industries *cough*)?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with… honestly, what looks to be a better show but I guess I’m supposed to find this hilariously dated instead.  It’s a dream that Jughead is having where he looks a bit closer to his comic counterparts and they’re playing Lambs in Clover by Jack Strachey; a song that you probably don’t know by name but you’ll recognize immediately when you look it up.  First, Ren and Stimpy were doing this kind of twisted domesticity set to Lambs in Clover over two decades ago and were doing it WAY better, so I’d hardly call this edgy or even that subversive.  Second, while I will grant them that Jughead has basically looked the same since the 1940s, it’s not like the series was hermetically sealed in the golden age of Boomer Americana!  The series grew over the decades and kept up with the times, and while there were places where it took longer than it should to catch up to society, taking a shot like this feels like mocking Batman for wearing purple gloves which he hasn’t worn since before World War 2.  Granted, I know more about the comics than most people, but then I always thought the public perception of the series was late sixties youth culture; not mid-fifties suburban paradise!!

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“This is not my beautiful house!  This is not my beautiful wife!”

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