‘Show Dogs’: An Alright Family Film

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Therese Gardner

Show Dogs, the combination of Miss Congeniality and Beverly Hills Chihuahua that nobody asked for.

In this movie, police dog, Max (voiced by Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), has to go undercover at a dog show with FBI agent Frank (Will Arnett) to catch an exotic animal smuggler and save a baby panda.

This movie was exactly what you would expect it to be, but it is a kid’s movie from a newer studio so expectations aren’t exactly high. I will say that I don’t feel like this is the kind of movie that is funny for both kids and parents. Most of the comedy was based on immature jokes that are really only funny for kids. It didn’t have the intelligent, well-thought-out humor of movies like Zootopia that works for any age.

This movie also did not have any kind of bigger message that other kids movies have to draw in the parents. The story really doesn’t have anything interesting or different to keep you engaged if you are above the age of 12.

This movie lacked the heartwarming charm of director Raja Gosnell’s other films like Scooby-Doo. I mean granted Scooby-Doo had the advantage of being about a beloved cartoon mystery gang, but the difference was that it had a likeable main character, interesting story, and compelling man and dog relationship that Show Dogs just lacked.

The one redeeming quality of this movie for me was that the actors really did try even though what they were given was absolutely ridiculous. Will Arnett and Natasha Lyonne, who played the FBI’s canine consultant (yes I am serious) Mattie, put all that they could into these absurd roles and made the emotions of these characters seem more real. The voice actors also did very well and their ridiculous voices were some of the funniest parts of the movie for me.

Show Dogs really is just your average kids movie. If you have a kid or a little sibling, this would be the perfect movie to take them to. However, if you were thinking about seeing this movie because you are a huge dog-lover just wait for Dog Days. Because you’ll be too busy cringing during Show Dogs to even enjoy all the cute dogs in the movie.


My Rating: 63%
Acting: 3.3/4
Cinematography: 1.5/4
Story: 2.5/4
Enjoyability: 2.8/4

Advertisements

‘Deadpool 2’ Shows Exactly What Superhumor Should Be

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

Deadpool is back at it again with his morbid sense of humor the entire world has come to love in Deadpool 2. This time, he comes with an even more complex story with long-term complications.

In this one, Deadpool (obviously still played by Ryan Reynolds) finds a new villain that he must defeat to save a little kid named Russell (played by Julian Dennison) – or “Firefist” if you ask him – as he struggles with, like, self-identity or something. Basically the X-Men version of puberty.

Regardless, Deadpool is as funny as ever. But it all started with something that most movies don’t put a ton of time in anymore – marketing. Deadpool 2 created dozens of alternate covers for its movie as well as replicas of other movies that were replaced with Deadpool himself. On the cover of War for the Planet of the Apes, Deadpool is seen riding the horse. It’s these marketing decisions that helped build the anticipation for this movie.

I have no complaints about the acting in this movie. Reynolds, the young Dennison, Morena Baccarin, Josh Brolin, and all the other actors/actresses’ portrayals of unique characters were executed excellently. They each brought a lot to the movie no matter how much or how little they appeared in it.

Deadpool is known for his dark humor, which he plays very well. From comparing the new villian Cable and Thanos to understating the power of Hawkeye, Deadpool really brings the shaded joys to the MCU.

Even the cinematography was awesome in this movie. They used tons of different sets and locations to show all the different situations Wade Wilson manages to get himself into while still keeping the feel of his universe.

Finally, the writers hit the bullseye with a story that really has the ability to hook the audience. It jumps around, sure, but a lot of superhero movies do that nowadays. And who are we to complain about that after watching The Avengers: Infinity War.

That’s right, if you liked that story, you have no place to say that Deadpool’s was bad.

Deadpool 2 was definitely better than the first. That, right there, is a huge accomplishment within itself. It incorporates the X-Men storyline better than the first (shipping Deadpool and Colossus with every piece of my soul), and the humor worked even more thought out, adding in constant pieces of attitude towards the MCU. It just knew how to build on characters they already had as well as add in ones that would benefit the story (Brad Pitt may or may not make a cameo appearance… go find out!). Deadpool 2 is easily one of my highest recommended movies of 2018 thus far.


My Rating: 91%

Acting: 3.6/4

Cinematography: 3.5/4

Story: 3.6/7

Enjoyability: 3.9/4

Melissa McCarthy is the ‘Life of the Party’

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Anthony Peyton

2018 really has been the year of pleasant surprises. Melissa McCarthy’s newest comedy ‘Life of the Party’ is genuinely laugh out loud funny, charming, and heartwarming, something I did not expect from the absurd concept of the film.

The film starts out with Deanna (Melissa McCarthy) finding out that her husband Dan (Matt Walsh) is in love with their realtor and divorcing her. Deanna then decides to better herself in the wake of this awful situation, by going back to college and finishing her Archeology degree at the same school she started it at, which also happens to be the same school her daughter Maddie (Molly Gordon) is attending.

A mom and daughter going to college together sounds pretty ridiculous right? But McCarthy and the rest of the cast are able to make it work effortlessly.

First of all, this movie is hilarious. Watching the pure and adorable Deanna going through all of these insane college antics, paired with McCarthy’s impeccable comedic timing is a true recipe for good comedy.

Also, while we’re on the topic of how funny this movie was, I have to talk about Maya Rudolph. She plays Deanna’s best friend Christine, and although she doesn’t play a very big role in the story, she steals the show of every single scene she is in. From the absurd things she says, her never ending support of Deanna, and the comedic genius that is Maya Rudolph every single scene she is in is absolutely hysterical.

Honestly, watching McCarthy and Rudolph together again reminded me of the days of Bridesmaids, and man was it great to see these two talented ladies working together on another film.

The part of this film that surprised me the most was how well the story worked because the concept really does seem like a recipe for cringing and eye rolling. But the plot actually ends up flowing very well. The way it is done makes you almost forget how ridiculous it is, and honestly made it feel plausible and nearly realistic.

I think what made the plot work so well was the open and honest relationship Deanna and her daughter Maddie had. It was so nice to watch this charming mother daughter relationship unfold and see how they were always there for each other in every way. It reminded me of my relationship with my mom which made me love it even more.
If you’re looking for a heartwarming and hilarious movie where you truly care about the characters, then go see Life of the Party. You won’t regret it.


My Rating: 83%

Acting: 3.7/4

Cinematography: 2.5/4

Story: 3.2/4

Enjoyability: 3.8/4

 

Film Forecast Friday: May 11th

On Friday, May 11th, we have….

  1. Breaking In
  2. Life of the Party
  3. Terminal
  4. The Seagull
  5. The Assassin’s Code

Liv’s Prediction:

The biggest movies opening this weekend have got to be Melissa McCarthy’s Life of the Party and Gabrielle Union’s Breaking In. One’s an action/thriller and the other a comedy both starring strong female leads. Without question, these films will do numbers at the box office.

Two other films starring female leads are Margot Robbie’s Terminal and Soairse Ronan’s The Seagull. Two indies with Academy Award nominated actresses – likely to be a hit amongst regular moviegoers, like myself.

Lastly, the new Justin Chatwin action film The Assassin’s Code might just end up being one of those movies you’re likely to see end up on Netflix after a week in theatres because no one knew it existed.

Therese’s Prediction:

Without a doubt, Life of the Party, starring Melissa McCarthy, will be the biggest film of the weekend. McCarthy never seems to disappoint when it comes to making people laugh, as she always exudes a certain underlying lighthearted charm within the characters she performs. Another big hit for the weekend will be Gabrielle Union’s Breaking In, as she fights for her family’s survival. With two strong, talented female leads headlining the biggest movies of this weekend, it sure will be an enjoyable weekend at the box office.

The next two films to premiere this weekend feature a couple of incredibly talented award nominated actresses. Terminal, starring Margot Robbie, and The Seagull, starring Soairse Ronan and Annette Bening, will definitely be a crowd favorite among movie viewers of all ages. This makes for a weekend filled with powerful and compelling female roles, which I am all here for.

The final movie of the weekend, The Assassin’s Code, starring Justin Chatwin is a crime thriller detective story that many people are probably unaware of and as a result will likely fall short at the box office with lower than expected views and poor ratings.

‘6 Balloons’ and its Unexpected Greatness

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Therese Gardner

As we all know, Netflix is the new outlet for films that may not have gotten the attention it needed. It’s great because when they slap that well known label on it then people are guaranteed to come across it. Not only are these stories given a bigger platform but, actors are given roles beyond being typecast in the same role. This is the case with the new Netflix drama, 6 Balloons.

When Katie (Abbi Jacobsen) attempts to throw a birthday party for her boyfriend, she’s disrupted by her heroin-addicted brother, Seth (Dave Franco), who is in need of a detox center. The two take an overwhelming journey around the city while also dealing with his toddler daughter.

The plot is as simple as any other film- simpler than most addiction-based films. But instead of it being in the perspective of the addicted, it’s in the perspective of the enabler. Katie’s life revolves around her brother’s issues as she takes him to detox and rehab centers only for him to relapse. She then ends up buying him drugs to help with his pain even though she knows he won’t actually get better. It’s a complex story with complex characters that you don’t normally see in cinema – even if these people exist in real life.

6 Balloons is strong in not only the plot, but also the acting. It’s headed by actors who are normally found in the genre of comedy. Broad City’s Abbi Jacobsen and The Disaster Artist’s Dave Franco are surprisingly successful in bringing these characters to life in the most authentic way. They’re the performances that we’ve always wanted from Franco and never expected from Jacobsen.

Franco doesn’t shy away from showing the glaring and harsh realities of being an addict who needs to stay high just to survive while Jacobsen gives us a spoonful of the truth and what the difference is between caring for someone and letting them continue their destructive habits. Not only were these roles a little daring but they were the perfect start for these actors to branch out and gain more recognition for their true range of talent.

6 Balloons is a powerful indie drama with actors that prove themselves to their regular audience and fans and a story that is just as gripping and meaningful as the movies on the bigger silver screen.


My Rating: 81%

Acting: 3.5/4

Cinematography: 3/4

Story: 3.5/4

Enjoyability: 3/4