Day 191: The Secret Life Of Pets (2016)

the-secret-life-of-pets-56378a2078351The film I chose for today is one of the most highly anticipated animated films of the summer and I have been waiting for The Secret Life Of Pets since I first saw the trailer. Have you ever wondered what your pets do when no one is around? Do they just sit there and wait for you for are they are up to something when you’re not around? For Max (Louis C.K.) his owner Katie (Ellie Kemper) is his whole entire life and he is content waiting for her to come home every night. Well one night Katie brings hoe an unexpected guess in the form of a big shaggy rescue dog named Duke (Eric Stonestreet). The battle that ensues between the both of them causes them to be lost in the city with a frighteningly psycho bunny (Kevin Hart) after them while it’s up to their friends to come to the rescue. The film also stars Jenny Slate (Zootopia) as Gidget, Albert Brooks (Finding Nemo) as Tiberius, Lake Bell (Children’s Hospital) as Chloe, Dana Carvey (Wayne’s World) as Pops, Hannibal Buress (Daddy’s Home) as Buddy, Bobby Moynihan (Sisters) as Mel, Michael Beattie (Minions) as Tattoo, and the film was directed by Yarrow Cheney (The Iron Giant) and Chris Renaud (Despicable Me 2).

secret lifeI don’t know what anyone else in the world is saying about The Secret Life Of Pets, but I am here to tell you that it may have dethroned Zootopia as my favorite animated film of the year. I still have to see Finding Dory to fully make the call as to what my favorite animated film is, but this movie rocks. The thing that was great about this film is that for the most part the animals act exactly like how their breed or kind would. This was a film that I couldn’t stop laughing from seeing a cat act like a typical cat to the jokes that were delivered with precision. There are some scenes in the film that can be depressing and you’ll see for yourself, but for the most part the film is fun. One of the scenes I was looking forward to the most was the scene with the poodle and his love for System Of A Down. The only thing I can say is that the scene kind of comes and goes pretty quick. So be prepared for it, but it’s also not his only scene. One of the real highlights of the film for me was when Pops (voiced by Dana Carvey) shows up cause his sense of humor is very morbid which is sometimes typical of the elderly. “Hey Pops, How are You.” says one of the characters to which Pops replies, “I’m Paralyzed.” That’s how morbid he can get. The film is a lot of fun to watch and I had a lot of laughs. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade because it rocks. Check it out in theaters every where now.

Day 161: Zoolander 2 (2016)

square_0Over the past couple of years, we have seen Hollywood transition from remakes to now coming up with sequels some 15 to 20 years or so after the original films (e.g. Dumb And Dumber Too). That is definitely the case with today’s film Zoolander 2 which brings back Ben Stiller (Mystery Men) as everyone’s favorite male model. The world has changed over the last fifteen years and someone is trying to kill off all the beautiful people in the world forcing Derek Zoolander and Hansel (Owen Wilson) out of hiding. Together the two of them will travel to Rome to find Derek’s son and help fashion police officer Valentina Valencia (Penélope Cruz) find whoever is behind these heinous crimes before the fashion world is ruined forever. The film also stars Billy Zane (Titanic) as Billy Zane, Justin Bieber as himself, Sting as himself, Kiefer Sutherland as himself, Jon Daly (The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty) as Agent Filippo, Christine Taylor (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story) as Matilda, Will Ferrell (Daddy’s Home) as Jacobim Mugatu, Justin Theroux (American Psycho) as Evil DJ, Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element) as Katinka, Kristen Wiig (Despicable Me 2) as Alexanya Atoz, Kyle Mooney (Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising) as Don Atari, and Fred Armisen (Easy A) as VIP.

MV5BMTUzMDU2MTkxNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTgyMTgzNzE@._V1_I think there should be a window of time that you have to come out with a sequel to a film because 15 years is a long time to wait to do one. That’s why I felt the Dumb And Dumber sequel suffered because they waited too long and comedy changes over time. What was funny in 1994 isn’t funny in 2014 or in this case what was funny in 2001 isn’t necessarily funny in 2016. This may have been a really funny film if it was released in 2002 or 03, but not 15 years after the fact. I have to admit that I liked the overall story of the film and I loved a lot of the acting in the film, but it just wasn’t laugh out loud funny in my opinion. One of the most annoying characters in the film is hipster Don Atari (Mooney) and I suppose I should be commending him cause isn’t that the point after all, hipsters are annoying. The always beautiful Penélope Cruz was definitely a nice addition to the cast of beautiful people, but it just wasn’t enough to save the picture. One thing I didn’t understand was the point of the orgy (made up of Kiefer Sutherland and others) unless I am missing something from the first film. As much as I don’t like Justin Bieber, he was a good sport to die in the opening minutes of the film and what a glorious death it was for the Bieber. The film isn’t boring, it’s just not that funny if you get what I am saying. As I said before, it’s a film that would have been funny if it came out 10 years ago, but they waited too long to strike. I am going to give the film an B- only because it’s better than Kindergarten Cop 2.

Day 133: Band Of Robbers (2015)

borI am a huge fan of independent filmmaking for the reason that I feel you are allowed to be more creative then if you were working for a big studio. I also feel that sometimes Indie films can be better and that is why I chose to watch Band Of Robbers for today’s film. Band Of Robbers re-imagines our classic tale of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by making them adults and bringing them to today’s world. Tom Sawyer (Adam Nee) is a bumbling cop who can’t seem to let go of the idea of buried treasure that he and Huckleberry Finn  (Kyle Gallner) have been chasing since they were kids. Finn has just been released from prison and is looking to go straight until Tom convinces him that the treasure is still out there. The two will embark on one heck of adventure that we surely will not forget even if it means breaking the law! The film also stars Matthew Gray Gubler (The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou) as Joe Harper, Hannibal Buress (Daddy’s Home) as Ben Rogers, Melissa Benoist (Supergirl) as Becky, Daniel Edward Mora (Harsh Times) as Jorge, Stephen Lang (Avatar) as Injun Joe, Eric Christian Olsen (Fired Up!) as Sid Sawyer, Johnny Pemberton (21 Jump Street) as Tommy Barnes, and the film was directed by Aaron Nee and Adam Nee.

bor 2As far as the film is concerned, I actually thought that the film was very enjoyable to watch. It wasn’t one of those films that was laugh out loud funny, but rather that it was an enjoyable to watch kind of funny. A lot of the content in the film was kind of predictable at times, but you didn’t mind that with this film. I loved how they divided things up into chapters, but sometimes the titles of the chapters kind of gave away what was going to happen in that sequence. Kyle Gallner in my opinion is an underrated actor who doesn’t get enough credit which is just my opinion like I said. I thought he was terrific, but the real star of the show was definitely Adam Nee who kind of plays this guy who is unwilling to let go of his childhood because what was going to be a great moment then escaped him. So, he has a hard time letting that go because he is afraid of regret even if it means getting his friends in trouble along with him. That is essentially the element that I loved about this film because we all sort of hang on to something that we didn’t get to accomplish because we were forced to grow up. Well maybe not all of us! Hannibal Buress is awesome, Matthew Gray Gubler was a great addition to the team, and Stephen Lang was great as the infamous protagonist Injun Joe. The film is available right now on Netflix as we speak and I think it’s worth checking out. That is why I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.

Day 10: Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Spider-Man_3,_International_PosterInstead of doing Super Sunday on the other blog, I am bringing it here for a film that I sort of boycotted back when it was first released (I’ll explain my reasoning below). Spider-Man 3 was the third and last installment of the Sam Raimi (Evil Dead)/Tobey Maguire Spider-Man series. Things appear to be going quite well for Spider-Man (Maguire) as all the residents of New York love and appreciate him and he has the girl of his dreams in Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). That all begins to change when a strange black entity from another world appears and bonds with Parker. It starts to drive certain urges in Spider-Man that we are not used to seeing from him as he battles new villains and some new problems because of it. The film also stars Topher Grace (That 70’s Show) as Eddie Brock, James Franco (Pineapple Express) as Harry Osborn, Thomas Haden Church (Daddy’s Home) as Sandman, Bryce Dallas Howard (50/50) as Gwen Stacy, Rosemary Harris (Spider-Man) as May Parker,  J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) as J. Jameson, James Cromwell (The Green Mile) as Captain Stacy, Dylan Baker (Trick ‘r Treat) as Dr. Curt Conners, and Elizabeth Banks (Zack & Miri Make A Porno) as Miss Brant.

spider-man-3-imageThe reason I avoided this film to be perfectly honest back in 2007 was that I was frankly sick of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man and I did not agree with the casting choice of Topher Grace as Eddie Brock a.k.a. Venom. Topher Grace just wasn’t my first choice to play a bad ass villain, but nevertheless they went with him and I decided to check it out today. While this is definitely not the best film of the Sam Raimi three, it’s definitely not the best of all the Spider-Man movies that have come out including the two Amazing Spider-Man films. The film was just all over the place and there is this one sequence that was just unnecessary  and it’s when Parker is walking down New York like he’s John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. That had to be the cheesiest moment of the whole film, but there are some redeeming values in the film. I wasn’t completely disappointed with the way Venom looked and Topher Grace was OK. I was impressed with him through most of the film when he was just that annoying Eddie Brock trying to top Peter Parker at The Daily Bugle. I loved the film’s choice for Gwen Stacy in Bryce Dallas Howard as she brings beauty to the role and the battle scene towards the end was pretty good as well. One thing they messed up on was the film seemed to abandon the subplot between Parker and Osborn who has basically ruined Parker’s life. After he regains his memory, he goes on a hellbent mission to destroy Parker, but after a little tussle in the lab, it’s over just like that? There’s also one more problem towards the end that I had, but I won’t give that away. So, let’s just say it has something to do with the Sandman. It’s definitely a film that could have been so much more than it was, but Raimi dropped the ball on this one. I am giving the film an C+ for a final grade.

Day 7: Daddy’s Home (2015)

paramount_daddyshome_smallFor today’s film, I traveled to my local theater to check out two men that make a hilarious unlikely combo come together for the first time in five years. Of course, I am talking about Will Farrell (Old School) and Mark Wahlberg (Fear) who star together once again for the first time since The Other Guys in the comedy Daddy’s Home. Farrell plays a radio disc jokey named Brad, who is desperately seeking the affection from his stand offish step children. Despite adhering to his wife’s warnings, Brad invited the children’s real dad over the house in the macho Dusty Mayron (Wahlberg) a man who just oozes machismo. Brad’s plans begin to fall apart once Dusty comes to town and the two compete for the children’s affection in this battle of wits. The film also stars Linda Cardellini (Grandma’s Boy) as Sara, Thomas Haden Church (Killer Joe) as Leo Holt, Scarlett Estevez (Lucifer) as Meagan, Owen Vaccaro (A Product Of Me) as Dylan, Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire) as Dr. Francisco, Hannibal Buress (Neighbors) as Griff, Jamie Denbo (Yes Man) as Doris, and Mark L. Young (We’re The Millers) as Dental Hygienist.

daddys-homeYou can definitely not go wrong when trying to decide what movie to see and Wahlberg and Farrell’s names are attached to it. I have to agree with a friend of mine who made the statement that he enjoys seeing Wahlberg more when it comes to comedies. He was awesome in films like Date Night, Ted, The Other Guys, Pain & Gain, etc. So, it was a natural move for me to see this film because Walhberg and Farrell kept me entertained and laughing throughout the whole film. You add in the combo of the kids and Hannibal Buress as a handy man that moves in unexpectedly and you have a great combo that didn’t disappoint. You also cannot forget the addition of physical comedy which was plenty and awesome in the movie. Of course, it was great to see Linda Cardellini in the film, but there were a couple of cameos in the film that made me lose my mind. I am going to give you the spoiler alert because if you do not want to know any info then do not continue. It lost my mind when I saw Bill Burr in the film and then to top that, they thrown in WWE wrestler John Cena who has a habit of appearing in comedies lately (Sisters, Trainwreck). John Cena appearing could leave it up for a sequel, but I doubt they’ll do one. Wahlberg and Farrell make a great combo and we have evidence to back it up, it’s just a matter of when we’ll see them on screen again. I am going to give the movie an B+ for a final grade.