Now on Blu ray and DVD, Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” sees the entire Muppets gang embarking on a global tour that includes Berlin, Madrid, Dublin and London. But, as usual, mayhem follows the Muppets as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper to stela the crown jewels. This nefarious plot is headed by Constantine—the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit—and his dastardly sidekick Dominic (Ricky Gervais). Meanwhile, Kermit is detained behind bars by Nadya (Tina Fey), as Ty Burrell tracks all the shenanigans as Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon.
Back in 2011, Jason Segel teamed up with writer Nicolas Stoller, songwriter Bret McKenzie and director James Bobin to reintroduce the Muppets to a new generation, while showing audiences who grew up on them exactly why they loved them as much as they had as children. The sequel brings back everyone minus Segel, which sadly leaves Muppets Most Wanted without a heart to its story, reducing the follow up to a series of sketches and cameos strung together with a threadbare plot that feels like The Muppets reimagined with a Family Guy mentality. To top it off the lovable Walter who was at the center of the previous film has been relegated to a ‘barely existing’ supporting role, something the film itself actually calls out.
After being set up as the cause of a terrible accident in a street race driver, causing the death of his friend after a fiery crash on a bridge, Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul), a financially struggling custom-car builder and street-racer, spends two years in jail obsessed with gaining justice and revenge. Upon his release he borrows the fastest car his workshop ever built and sold, with a passenger Julia (Imogen Poots) in tow, and sets out to enter a secretive and extremely high-stakes race known as The DeLeon. As it just so happens the reigning and defending champion of the Deleon, Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper), is also the other racer who was on that bridge that fateful day.
Straight off the final season of the hugely successful series “Breaking Bad” Aaron Paul lands his biggest leading man role to date with “Need for Speed”, and he certainly seems to be the man for the job. Need for Speed looks to win over the ‘gearhead’ crowd, an audience that has been dissatisfied with the new caper style film that the “Fast and Furious” franchise has leaned towards, by filling Need for Speed with some of the fastest and insanely expensive cars available. Furthermore, as a stark contrast to the Fast films all of the driving and crashes are shot practically, without the aid of digital effects, as director Scott Waugh has assembled perhaps one of the greatest stunt driving teams ever. The work pays off on screen as the stunt work looks fantastic and the film carries a throwback feel that harkens back to the work of legendary stunt co-ordinator/director Hal Needham.
The sixth , and 2nd last, season of HBO`s True Blood introduces several new story lines that threaten what little sense of normalcy remains in Bon Temps. After the explosive events of Season 5 finale The Authority is in flames, and the vampire`s lifeline True Blood is in short supply. Bill (Stephen Moyer) must find a way to come to terms with his newfound powers after emerging reincarnated from a pool of blood. Meanwhile Louisiana’s governor, in league with an old foe, has declared war complete with novel anti-vamp weapons and a high-tech internment camp established to wipe out the vampire race forever. Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Jason ( Ryan Kwanten) are faced with their own challenge as they must steel themselves for their long awaited encounter with their parents’ killer, the mysterious and ancient Warlow, as he comes looking for his prize.
Loosely based on the classic 16th century Chinese novel of the same name, Journey to the West (full title Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons in China) is more of a prequel to the classic tale than a straight adaptation. The story centers on Xuan Zang (Zhang Wen), a Buddhist trying to protect the public from demons, his emerging feelings for the lovely Miss Duan (Shu Qi), a fellow demon hunter who helps him repeatedly, and ends with Zang’s trans-formative encounter with the Monkey King (Bo Huang).
Filled with Director Stephen Chow’s signature over the top CGI slapstick style, Journey to the West lacks the Chow in the starring role, which he usually assumes for most of his directorial efforts, and the film misses his charm and energy immensely. Wen lacks the madcap energy that Chow would bring to the role, which isn’t to say he’s terrible, he’s just very bland. This is accentuated by the best performance in the film from the gorgeous Shu Qi as his would be lover/saviour who just oozes charm and sass. Her performance elevates the supporting role she is saddled with and the misgivings of the scripting of her character.
Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) lives life through his daydreams, but when his job at the iconic Time Magazine (along with that of all of his co-workers including the beguiling Cheryl played by Kristen Wiig) is to be phased out for the new all-digital edition, Walter must jump to action in the real world. Walter embarks on a global trotting adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined, in search of the one man who may be able to bring closure Walter’s final days at Time.
A passion project of director/star Ben Stiller’s, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a visually stunning piece of work that has a strong heart to the story and a really likeable cast. Stiller is great as the goofy dreamer Mitty and Wiig shines as the single mother that becomes his object of affection. The pair has some solid chemistry between the pair and that helps ground the film through all of its flights of fancy. The film features a glorified cameo from Sean Penn that works very well, and Adam Scott’s turn as the villain of the piece is full of awkward awesomeness. (more…)
We catch up with Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) after he has left San Diego for New York City with his now wife and co-anchor Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) and their son Walter Burgundy. But when legendary anchor Mack Tannen (Harrison Ford) decides to retire, he promotes Veronica to full time lead anchor and fires Ron. Ron’s shot at redemption comes not long after from Freddie Schapp (Dylan Baker), an executive producer at the fledgling Global News Network, the world’s first 24 hour round the clock news channel. Ron proceeds to reunite the news team of Champ (David Koechner), Brick (Steve Carell), and Brian (Paul Rudd) and brings them to New York where fame and fortune change everything.
Anchorman 2 is less a movie than a series of thinly connected sketches. Fortunately, a lot more of the gags are successful than not and contain many laugh out loud moments. Playing into this is the fact that director Adam McKay likes to simply let the camera run, evidenced by the fact that there was enough material to release an entirely different ‘super-sized’ version in theaters and on this Blu-ray on top of an extended and theatrical cut. McKay doesn’t appear to do much directing here at any point, all of these actors have been cultivating these characters for nearly a decade now. (more…)
Jason (Zac Efron) is womanizer that always bails out of a relationship just as it gets serious. But when one of his best friends Mikey’s (Michael B. Jordan) wife asks for a divorce, all while sleeping with her divorce lawyer, Jason sees it as an opportunity to get his boys back together and hit the clubs. Along with Daniel (Miles Teller), the three best friends make a pack to stay single together and just have fun. But then Jason meets Ellie (Imogen Poots), who just might be the first girl who’s perfect for him, Daniel starts fooling around with gal pal Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis), and Mikey starts a secret last ditch attempt to win his wife’ s affection back.
That Awkward Moment is a film full of awkwardness and wasted talent. The normally engaging and accomplished Miles Teller and Michael B Jordan seem to be pulled down by the anchor that is the lackluster performance of Zac Efron. The wooden Efron sticks out like a sore thumb, and considering the adorable Imogen Poots can never not be loveable, it makes the chemistry between the two of them almost non-existent. Poots may be the only one who is really trying here as Teller seems to treating the film like summer school -constantly goofing off, adlibbing and riffing – and Jordan seems to have a constant “what am I doing here” look on his face. Any chemistry that the trio possess off-screen is lost in translation, which will make the prospects of the new Fantastic Four film with Teller and Jordan very interesting.