Archive for April, 2012
Having met at a New Year’s Eve party and detected instant chemistry with each other, Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) initially made a great couple. Able to laugh at the difficulties of their relationship and carefully navigate each other’s rough patches the two seemed to be on the right track for marriage, kids, the whole lot. But, shortly after their engagement new curve balls are thrown their way. Violet is accepted into school in Michigan, Tom in turn quits his job as a Sous Chef at a wildly popular restaurant in San Francisco to follow her. It was only supposed to be a two year deal, she said. Now, two years in that deal could get extended indefinitely crushing Tom’s dreams of culinary excellence and still there’s no wedding. Watching his best friend Alex (Chris Pratt) and sister in-law to be Suzie (Alison Brie) soaring in their own marriage, Tom begins to feel trapped and broken; and now, the dashing and sophisticated Professor Childs (Rhys Ifans) appears to be making a move on Violet. Will Tom and Violet ever get married let alone even stay together, and what about each partner getting to follow their dreams? Written by Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller and Directed by Stoller the comedy comes quickly and honestly in this otherwise conventional romantic comedy—and I liked it. Segel and Blunt fit together perfectly, but I’m also beginning to believe that either actor could probably be paired with any other actor alive and still make a believable couple, together they’re even better. The rest of the cast rounds things out nicely including the comedic stylings of Lauren Weedman, Kevin Hart, Mindy Kaling, Randall Park, Jim Piddock and Brian Posehn. Again though, with the combination of the writing and the afore mentioned actors, you’ve got a winning combination. Drawing heavily on the belief of truth in comedy, not consistently going for the cheap easy laugh, and comedic actors that know how to elevate each other great things are destined to happen. Another date night winner where men can keep their dignity. The Five-Year Engagement is rated R.
Based loosely on the contents of Steve Harvey’s book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, several friends, Dominic, Jeremy, Zeke, Michael, and Alex (Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Terrence Jenkins, Romany Malco, and Chris Brown) realize their girlfriends are following Harvey’s teachings to control the dating game and get the men to “behave.” Upon this discovery, the men decide to fight fire with fire and turn the odds back in their favour, but this comes with a price. Finally, when the gloves come off and the hand to hand combat of love and dating gets down and dirty, who will stick it out and who will cut loose, and what will the women, Mya, Candace, Lauren, and Kristen (Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Taraji P. Henson, and Gabrielle Union) learn? Sounds kinda hokey and potential for plenty of pitfalls right? Surprisingly, up until the last quarter, the film somehow manages to navigate between entertainment and utter destruction. With splashes of racially driven humor, the majority of the film’s comedic engine actually runs on purely situational and honest observation on men and women. And, with the subtext of Harvey’s teachings in the mix, a decent blend of comedy and infotainment seems to have been met. The last quarter of the film feels a little too convenient for my tastes, and still, I do wish the overall film came to a conclusion maybe 20 minutes earlier, so it goes. Overall consensus, decent acting for the material, Chris Brown’s comedy shines without outshining the rest of the cast, and the overall film would make a good matinee/date movie where guy’s can keep their dignity in tact. Think Like a Man is rated PG-13.
Deep in the jungles of Tanzania a crew of documentary film makers set on watching the behaviors and social structure of Chimpanzees make an almost unheard of discovery in one group chimps. Whilst learning valuable social and survival skills a three year old chimp named Oscar is separated from his mother, the situation looks bleak. Without the assistance of others in the group Oscar faces almost certain death; that is, until an unlikely foster parent takes Oscar under his wing— Freddy, the alpha male of the whole group. But the challenges of the jungle don’t stop with adoption, rival chimp leader Scar and his warriors are poised for a jungle takeover and now that Freddy is pre-occupied with Oscar, the table is set for war, but who will win dominance of the jungle? Narrated by actor/comedian Tim Allen children and parents will find the overall storyline interesting and entertaining without overstaying its welcome albeit it’s a little light on scientific exploration of the species as the cutesy narration at times was a little much. Yet, in several instances there were a few ah-ha moments that were truly surprising and revealing as to how closely related we humans are to chimps, an interesting mirror to be looking into or lens to be looking through as the case may have it. Aside from the narration issues, comes the next question, why is it that Disney films tend to so often deal with matricide, loss of mother figures, absent mothers, or evil stepmothers? What’s the deal Disney? Not that this makes the film any less watchable or enjoyable, I’m just curious about the trend. Interesting. Still, a fun matinee for parents and the little ones, Chimpanzee is rated G.