Archive for August 24th, 2018

24th August
2018
written by Adam

On the mean streets of L.A. where puppets and humans have found a way to co-exist, albeit, it’s a strained relationship, the members of an 80’s kids television program are mysteriously turning up dead. Hot on the case are Detective Connie Edwards (Melissa McCarthy) and her former partner now P.I., Phil Philips (Bill Barretta), who happens to be a puppet. Caught up somewhere in Sucrose and High Fructose, the seedy underbelly of puppet sex trade, back alley gambling, and mafia type hits, there’s a story to be told and a mystery to unfold, in puppet noir, this is that story. Written by Todd Berger, and Directed by Brian Henson, the son of puppeteer and Muppet creator Jim Henson, it’s all about blue comedy and a low bar set for this “Henson Alternative.” But let’s get right to the meat of things shall we? How is it? Well, in short, it doesn’t suck, but it ain’t The Great Muppet Caper either. Now, I realize there will probably be hoards of folks who cry foul and swear that Brian is dragging his father’s legacy through the mud for easy raunch and chuckles, and maybe that’s true, but maybe also consider that puppeteers and muppeteers are theatre people just the same, a crowd not exactly known for being quiet, demure, or without sexuality. And, what we have here is a manifestation of that Loki-esque Muppety Jester, except without the fetters of an MPAA PG rating. So, get over your lofty ideals for a second on this one and remember Muppets were always for adults first, and oh, by the way, kids love em too. Sure, does the blue humor run thin towards the end, of course it does and I’m not saying the film couldn’t have benefit from a wider range of comedic writing, but, coming in at a brief 91 minutes (of which the last 10 or so are credits) welcomes aren’t exactly overstayed either. And, with a human cast of comedy pros including Maya Rudolph, Elizabeth Banks, and Joel McHale a few more human chuckles are certainly possible. Bottom line, you already know if you’re going to enjoy this film, low bar set and all, admit it, you know…..you know. The Happytime Murders is rated R.

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24th August
2018
written by Adam

Safe-cracker and thief, Henri Charrière (Charlie Hunnam), is wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to life in the prison camps of New Guinea. Making fast friends with the wealthy and clever fellow inmate Louis Dega (Rami Malek), plots to escape are quickly hatched; but, putting plots into action is a whole other matter. Between years of solitary confinement and malnourishment finding freedom may be a foregone conclusion, will the duo ever find their way from Devil’s Island? Based loosely on the memoirs of Henri Charrière and directed by Michael Noer this measured pace of a prison break drama certainly does manage to paint the droll life of an inmate condemned to New Guinea, unfortunately, that is to say for all of it’s adventure and suspense potential, the follow through of the swing just isn’t there, leaving us with a rather flat account of what might have transpired. And, while the ensemble holds up their end of the bargain in this equation, one can only make magic from words on a page if the words were really truly magic to begin with, in this case, perhaps some of the magic was lost in translation? Still, with a lengthy run time of two hours and thirteen minutes there’s a place for this type of film, somewhere between “Sunday afternoon matinee” and “folding laundry in the winter,” but maybe, don’t go out of your way to catch up with this one right away. Papillon is rated R.

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