Jun 20 2014

Obvious Child

Living a rather Bohemian lifestyle as a comedienne, Donna (Jenny Slate) often speaks from the heart in her standup routine– occasionally a wince inducing behaviour. So, when Donna’s boyfriend leaves her for another woman, her spiral into depression could be fodder for great art, or it could destroy her all together. Fortunately, good friends and gentle Max (Jake Lacy) are there to lend support, but it’s Donna’s unwanted pregnancy with Max that seems to be at the head of her problems. Will Donna’s soul have the resilience to spring back, and will her heart ever open again?ObviousChild Turning lemons into lemonade, writer director Gillian Robespierre has created a comedic gem of fully rounded individuals, flawed and honest, sarcastic and painful all the while hilarious. Nailing the romantic comedy genre and then turning it promptly on it’s ear, while the content isn’t always pleasant, Robespierre shows us that “real” can indeed be funny, even when that means we’re watching our heroes suffer. Standout acting from Slate and Lacy sells the drama even further and at 84 minutes of runtime, there’s still room for just a little more, and that’s just right. Obvious Child is rated R.

Jun 13 2014

22 Jump Street

Having been so successful shutting down an illegal high school drug ring as undercover officers, Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill) are called upon again, but this time, a little older and a little wiser, their cover is as college students. Attempting to blend in with their fellow students the two are faced with new challenges of acceptance, gaining the trust of a local frat, becoming a football star, making sense of lousy sculpture art, and navigating college girls; all the while a new designer drug is spreading rampantly on campus. Find the source of the drugs, shut the operation down, and win the girl’s heart all without angering police Captain Dickson (Ice Cube), mission possible?22jump Fully accepting and embracing the flaws of a sequel, the thinly veiled references to Hollywood’s expectations sequels, budgets, plots, jokes, etc. are bold but on point and serve as a fine repeated poke in the eye to the motion picture business. And, while the plot and story is exactly the same as 21 Jump Street, the jokes stay sharp and fresh providing a number of laugh out loud moments. Continuing on the trajectory of the modern cinema comedy, situational awkwardness, dry wry sarcastic and sardonic wit rules as king. Acting from the ensemble let’s their charm and quirkiness shine through, human and fallible. If you liked the first one, you’re probably gonna like this, as advertised. 22 Jump Street is rated R.

Jun 13 2014

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Having made peace between humans and dragons the land of Berk appears to be a happy one. Now slated to become the up and coming town leader a conflicted Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon, Toothless, make a discovery that could change the balance between the species. Meanwhile, a new breed of dragon hunters is out to collect all the dragons in the land for Draco Bloodfist (Djimon Hounsou). It will take the combined efforts of Hiccup, Toothless, Astrid (America Ferrera), Snotlout (Jonah Hill), Fishlegs (Cristopher Mintz-Plasse), the twins Tuffnut and Ruffnut (T.J. Miller and Kristen Wiig), and the mysterious dragon rider Valka (Cate Blanchett) to keep order, but is it too late?dragontrain2 Impressive animation and attention to detail make for a visually strong sequel. Coupled with well thought out writing, and the doctor recommended ratio of comedy to drama Director Dean DeBlois has shaped a family pleaser that moves with purpose and efficient plotting; although, perhaps not the most emotionally intelligent film, all other systems appear to be on target. Getting the vote for the family entertainment budget this weekend we have a winner. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is rated PG.