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Posts tagged “Zac Efron

Neighbors sees the other Franco steal the spotlight

neighbors-poster-2-e1398974217242Kelly (Rose Byrne) and Mac (Seth Rogen) were content to settle down in their nice and quiet neighborhood with their newborn child, until the house next door was taken over by a rowdy fraternity. Teddy (Zac Efron) is the President, Pete (Dave Franco) is his right hand man and chapter vice president, and the duo is quick to attempt to win over their new neighbors.  But after a string of sleepless nights due to insanely loud parties, Mac calls the cops, who promptly out him as the complainant to the frat…then the war begins.

The premise for Neighbors is as simple and generic as revenge comedies go, the antics keep building and building to preposterous levels that stretch the lengths of believability and eventually ignore any sense, logic or reason all together. Often the one difference that makes comedies like this work is the chemistry between the film’s leads and Rogen and Efron do have great chemistry on screen, but this time it’s the supporting parts of their duos who steal the show. Byrne shows a great knack for comedy, getting to play against her normal type and her Kelly instigates more than enough trouble. But the real standout is Dave Franco who practically rips the screen away from Efron every time they appear together. His performance is the highlight of the film. (more…)

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That Awkward Moment lasts all 95 minutes (Blu-ray review)

that_awkward_moment_ver6_xlgJason (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.

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‘Parkland’ misses the mark on DVD

parkland-movie-poster-4Dallas. November 22, 1963. 12:38pm. Wounded President John F. Kennedy is rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where a frantic trauma team struggles in vain to save him. Precisely forty-eight hours later, the same personnel would attend to the President’s mortally wounded assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. Adapting Vincent Bugliosi’s acclaimed non-fiction book Four Days in November, first-time writer-director Peter Landesman gathers a star-studded cast (including Zac Efron, Paul Giamatti, and Academy Award-winners Billy Bob Thornton and Marcia Gay Harden) to deliver an ensemble based procedural drawn from the accounts of the medical staff, investigators, and the ordinary citizens who witnessed the world-changing events first-hand.

Now in stores on DVD, audiences will not find anything new or integral to the JFK Assassination in Parkland, this is not that film. Instead it remains content to merely play out and display the actions of the bystanders of that act. Parkland does manage to present better on the home screen though as the benefits of home viewing, being able to step away easily and pause when required, greatly helps the watchability of a film that felt dull and overlong in theaters. Not everything works though as the film features a story thread involving the secret service agent who originally interview Oswald months before that either needs to be more fleshed out or excised all together as it remains very underdeveloped and awkward. This is a straight procedural in every sense of the word, there is little character history or backstory that is explored, just the events of the 4 days are displayed.

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TIFF 2013: Parkland

PARKLANDDallas. November 22, 1963. 12:38pm. Wounded President John F. Kennedy is rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where a frantic trauma team struggles in vain to save him. Precisely forty-eight hours later, the same personnel would attend to the President’s mortally wounded assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. Adapting Vincent Bugliosi’s acclaimed non-fiction book Four Days in November, first-time writer-director Peter Landesman gathers a star-studded cast (including Zac Efron, Paul Giamatti, and Academy Award-winners Billy Bob Thornton and Marcia Gay Harden) to deliver an ensemble based procedural drawn from the accounts of the medical staff, investigators, and ordinary citizens who witnessed the world-changing events first-hand.

You will not find anything new or integral to the JFK Assassination in Parkland, this is not that film. Instead it remains content to merely play out and display the actions of the bystanders of that act. The film in many regards just sits there as it does little to draw the audience into the proceedings, other than what the audience brings to it. The film also features a failed story thread involving the secret service agent who originally interview Oswald months before that either needs to be more fleshed out or excised all together as it just sits hanging through most of the film as an afterthought.

 

The film features some decent performances, Paul Giammati, James Badge Dale and Marcia Gay Harden are all great, and one terribly unconvincing and terribly dull performance from Zac Efron. Sadly Efron is front and center here as one of JFK’s surgeons and in the midst of the other more seasoned performers sticks out like a sore thumb. And it’s that thumb that nearly ruins the whole experience.