It is every parent's dream come true when their child gets into college - especially when it's the one they've been hoping for. Scott and Kate Johansen are therefore thrilled when their daughter Alex gets into Buckley College. They only problem is, there is no way they can afford the school fees after spending the entire fund. Instead of telling Alex the truth and breaking her heart, they decide that they're going to get the money together no matter what they have to do. A solution arrives in the form of Frank, who introduces them to the world of illegal underground casinos and they decide to band together with their neighbours to make up the thousands of dollars worth of tuition by building the casino in the basement. They make terrible criminals and they run the risk of going to jail for a long time, but how far are they willing to go for the sake of their child's future?
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Daniel "Nardo", Jason and Evan are three best friends with a bromance that is unbreakable and on the stag night for Nardo's upcoming wedding to Tracy he admits that potentially she isn't 'the one' for him. To save him from making - what he considers - the biggest mistake of his life Jason bursts in to the wedding and stops them from getting married. This then leaves a heartbroken Tracy to honeymoon alone in Mexico away from Daniel.
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There isn't much originality in this rude female-led comedy, but its observations on single life are a nicely updated twist on the Sex and the City formula. The film is also often very funny, keeping the energy levels high while refusing to go down the usual narrative route in each of the loosely intertwined plot-strands.
It's set in New York, of course, where Alice (Dakota Johnson) is newly single and starting a new job. Her colleague Robin (Rebel Wilson) takes her under her wing, teaching her how to be single in the big city. Alice's sister Meg (Leslie Mann) is a maternity doctor who's suddenly feeling the need to have a child of her own. Then just as she becomes pregnant using a sperm bank, she meets the outrageously charming Ken (Jake Lacy), who she thinks might be too young for her. Meanwhile, Alice's neighbour Lucy (Alison Brie) is flirting with the womanising local barman Tom (Anders Holm) as she looks for her perfect man.
Yes, this is another movie in which women define themselves by their aching need for a man. This kind of undermines the "you have to be happy on your own" message, although at least the three main romantic-comedy plots don't fit into the usual cliched structure. The film is packed with frank, girly conversations, exploring how it feels to be single in a society in which coupling up is seen as the ultimate goal. So while commenting on every possible aspect of sex and relationships, the script also tries to say that it's perfectly fine to remain happily unattached. Thankfully, the cast is grounded enough to balance the comedy and romance in realistic situations. Johnson, Brie and Mann all deliver funny, revealing performances as smart women who make silly decisions. Wilson, by contrast, is mere comic relief in the same role she always plays.
Continue reading: How To Be Single Review
There's nothing clever about this deliberately rude and vulgar comedy, but certain audiences will find it absolutely hilarious. Never afraid to head straight into the cheapest, nastiest gag, director Dan Mazar and writer John Phillips throw their odd-couple stars into a series of riotously awkward situations, usually involving nudity. And even if it's not as funny as it ought to be, at least there's some meaning to the chaos.
Zac Efron plays Jason, a bright young Atlanta lawyer who takes after his workaholic father (Dermot Mulroney). But Jason's grandfather Dick (Robert De Niro) remembers a more interesting Jason, before ruthless ambition took over his life. So after Grandma's funeral, Dick asks Jason to drive him down to Florida a week before Jason is due to marry the high-maintenance Meredith (Julianne Hough). Jason quickly discovers that Grandpa is intent on sowing some very wild oats, detouring their journey through Daytona at spring break, where they meet a couple of girls (Aubrey Plaza and Zoey Deutch) who are up for pretty much anything. What Jason doesn't know is that Grandpa is doing all of this to remind Jason who he really is, and to show him how to enjoy life instead of control it.
The script sometimes lays on this message rather thickly in between a series of deliberately jaw-dropping gross-out sequences. Predictably, drugs and sex abound, and most of the jokes are so corny and ludicrous that they're not remotely believable. Everything that happens strains to shock the audience, which means that nothing is actually very shocking. But while the story has no tension at all, it also manages to grab hold of the audience simply because the characters are so vividly played by the fearless Efron and De Niro. Neither role is much of a stretch, but they dive into even the yucky and/or naked moments with gusto, developing some chemistry in the process.
Continue reading: Dirty Grandpa Review
When Alice finds herself single after her last relationship comes to an end, her friend Robin takes it on herself to remind Alice how to play the field and have fun! Robin knows if Alice gets caught up in a lul it'll take her much longer to recover, so she teaches Alice a few tricks to have fun and cheap nights out.
Whilst Robin means well, Alice's views on how to get over her breakup differ to her friends but eventually she comes to realise that Robin might have a point - so much so that her new way of life might just help a few more of her friends too. How To Be Single is a lighthearted take on a group of female friends who are all trying to deal with different life issues.
How To Be Single is produced by Drew Barrymore and is directed by Christian Ditter.
Dick Kelly has never been able to unwind, he's a retired army general and even though he has a foul-mouth, he lives a rather subdued life - well, far more subdued than he's like. After being given a new lease of life, Dick convinces his grandson to take him away, what Jason doesn't realise is Dick is planning a wild weekend at Daytona beach. The only problem with this is Jason is one week away from getting married to his bosses daughter and is perhaps one of the most unlikely people to ever visit somewhere like Daytona Beach.
On the way Dick and Jason make a few new friends. Dick is desperate to sow his wild oats whilst all Jason can think about is getting the trip over and done with. Jason despondently remarks that most grandads would be happy with 'toffee and socks' - alas not Dick.
Dirty Grandpa was directed by Dan Mazer who produced many of Sacha Baron Cohen's movies including Bruno, Borat and The Dictator. Mazer is also set to direct upcoming movie The Flash starring Ezrz Miller.
On the day of his new company's big launch, and young and successful entrepreneur suffers, and pays the price for his hubris. Jake (Nick Kroll) loses everything; not only his money, but also the money of a lot of other people. Forced to move in with his pregnant sister, Justine (Rose Byrne), and her husband, Danny (Bobby Cannavale), for around three months, Jake takes to baby-sitting, and has to learn to love his family once again. In the process of raising a child, Jake, Justine and Danny are all forced to grow up a little themselves.
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There's a decent premise to this action-comedy, but the filmmakers can't be bothered to put in the effort to actually make it funny or exciting. Instead, they sit back and hope that the fast-talking Kevin Hart holds our interest. Thankfully, he's quite a lot of fun to watch, creating a likeable character out of an utter moron and generating a few good laughs along the way as he bounces off the other characters.
Hart plays Ben, a videogame addict who wants to spin his career as a school guard into a place at the Atlanta Police Academy. His sexy fiancee Angela (Sumpter) has a brother, James (Cube), who's an undercover detective and wants Ben to prove himself worthy of his sister. So he takes Ben on a ride-along, which he and his partners (Leguizamo and Callen) set up as a series of humiliations. Then Ben inadvertently discovers a few clues in their ongoing case to find mythical arms dealer Omar (Fishburne). And what started as a joke becomes rather a lot more explosive.
Yes, the film is packed with the usual fiery explosions and massive car chases punctuated by Hart's non-stop comedy patter. Ben is the standard cocky, annoying idiot who we know will become someone completely different by the end of the movie (see Beverly Hills Cop, Rush Hour, The Heat, et al). But this allows us to engage with Hart from the beginning, and he finds some sharp humour along the way. Cube, on the other hand, never remotely convinces as a hardened cop; we know he's a big softy. And poor Sumpter, virtually the only female on-screen, struggles to add spice to a thankless role that plays out exactly as the formula demands.
Continue reading: Ride Along Review
Kelly and Mac Radner are a young married couple with a baby daughter who are starting to feel a little claustrophobic inside their family home and are desperate to get back into the party spirit. However, the phrase 'be careful what you wish for' couldn't be more apt when they watch a college fraternity move into the house next door. In a bid to get their new neighbours to keep the wild partying to a minimum, they attempt to welcome the seemingly friendly new arrivals. To no avail, however, as they end up having to call the police when one party gets out of control and find themselves subsequently being terrorised in all areas of their lives by the frat boys. Determined not to be victimised by a group of college kids, the Radner's respond with their own revenge tactics - but who will have the upper hand in the end?
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And the biting script never pulls its punches, leaping us laughing at the audacity while making a serious point.
Aladeen (Baron Cohen) is the pampered dictator of Wadiya, who travels to New York to tell the UN to stop nosing around his nuclear "energy" plants. But his Uncle Tamir (Kingsley) is plotting to kill him and replace him with a double who will sign a democratic constitution essentially selling the country to oil companies. Aladeen manages to escape, but no one recognises him cleanly shaven, so he teams up with health-food activist Zoey (Faris) and a countryman (Mantzoukas) to get his country back.
Continue reading: The Dictator Review
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