The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with resolutely unsentimental emotion. So it's very disappointing that this 13-years-later sequel reassembles the cast then merely coasts on the vulgarity, never bothering to develop the characters or plot. It's just as rude, and it provides some solid laughs along the way, but the story never engages the audience, which leaves the movie feeling naughty but never nice.
Over these years, Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) has continued his slacker lifestyle into his early 60s. He still lives in Phoenix, and has continued to try to ignore the attentions of the sweetly naive Thurman (Brett Kelly), who has just turned 21. Then Willie's treacherous ex-cohort Marcus (Tony Cox) gets out of prison and approaches him with a big heist. Against his better judgement, Willie accompanies him to Chicago, where two nasty surprises await: the plan is to steal millions from a children's charity, and Willie's estranged mother Sunny (Kathy Bates) is organising the robbery. Annoyed, Willie instantly falls for the sexy Diane (Christina Hendricks), who is married to the charity's shifty boss (Ryan Hansen). Meanwhile, Marcus tries to seduce a security guard (Jenny Zigrino). And Thurman turns up unannounced.
It's depressing that, after years of talk about a sequel, this haphazard plot is the best the writers could come up with. Every element of the narrative is deeply contrived to merely string together a series of filthy jokes, rude insults, noisy sex and criminal slapstick. All of this would have been welcome if the comedy sprang from the messy relationships or personalities. But everything is so static and pointless that there's nothing to hold the audience's attention, aside from a number of witty gags that pop up out of nowhere. So at least there are a few solid laughs.
Continue reading: Bad Santa 2 Review
Time to learn what Kathy Bates' character has to do with all of this.
The third episode of 'American Horror Story: Roanoke' has arrived and we finally learn the story behind the violent haunting of Shelby and Matt's North Carolina farmhouse. However, little Flora is still missing and things are getting personal. You'd think it would be time to leave the area, but these characters are made of sturdier stuff.
American Horror Story: Roanoke
Episode one introduced this season's concept: 'My Roanake Nightmare'. It's basically a televised documentary about Shelby and Matt's paranormal experiences where they are played by Lily Rabe and Andre Holland in the interview segments and Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr. in the reenactments. Angela Bassett plays Matt's ex-cop sister Lee.
Since we last met Willie T. Stokes, his life has had plenty of ups and downs; but mainly downs. He's still in touch with his curly haired friend, Thurman but he's the only person he really has in his life. Thurman is now fully grown and at the age of 21, he's now old enough to drink and he works at a sub sandwich shop.
Thurman is just as naive as the last time we saw him but he has just as much faith in his buddy Willie as he ever has done. Willie can't help but still feel protective over the boy he helped save from bullies all those years prior.
As for Willie's old partner Marcus, as far as Willie's concerned hopefully he's still rotting in jail after attempting to kill Willie. When Marcus gets in contact with our cranky aging ex-Santa, he's surprised to hear from him and even more surprised to learn of a new con Marcus tells him about which could be worth millions.
Continue: Bad Santa 2 Trailer
Melissa McCarthy brings another of her improvisational alter-egos to the big screen with this energetic comedy. The first cause for pause comes because this is a reteaming with her filmmaker husband Ben Falcone, with whom she made the bizarrely unfunny Tammy, as opposed to the filmmaker Paul Feig who directed her to box office triumph with Spy and The Heat and an Oscar nomination in Bridesmaids. Yes, there's a significance difference.
This time she plays hugely popular financial guru Michelle Darnell, whose stardom ends abruptly when she is sent to prison for four months for insider trading. When she's released, everyone she stepped on as she rose to the top turns their back on her, and her nemesis/ex Renault (Peter Dinklage) is still determined to get revenge. The only person who will talk to her is former assistant Claire (Kristen Bell), so Michelle moves in with her family. Unable to restart her business, she also takes over the Dandelion Scout troup of Claire's daughter Rachel (Ella Anderson), pushing the girls to take aggressive measures to sell their cookies.
As always, McCarthy throws herself into the role, creating a vivid character who indulges in a lot of outrageously silly slapstick. As with Tammy, the humour centres more on abusive interaction and humiliation than actual wit. McCarthy and Falcone strain to get laughs from physical wackiness rather than anything based on the character, so the movie only ever feels mildly amusing thanks to its high energy. But there's nothing engaging about Michelle, and it's only in a few cute-warm scenes with the terrific Bell that the film springs to anything resembling life. Thankfully, her scenes with the likeable Tyler Labine (as a potential boyfriend) have a loose humour to them. And Dinklage is surprisingly amusing as the sputtering cartoonish villain, while Kathy Bates generates a few sparks as Michelle's sassy mentor.
Continue reading: The Boss Review
From the legendary Academy Award-winning animation house Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Arrietty, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya), comes the haunting and touching tale When Marnie Was There. A beautiful story about ever-lasting friendship based on the beloved young adult novel of the same name by Joan G. Robinson. When Marnie Was There is another superb addition to Ghibli's well-loved catalogue, receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature this year.
Michelle Darnell is one of the most successful businesswomen of her age. She's loud, boisterous and upset MANY people on her way to the top.
To Michelle, she's made it. She's made billions and she has everything -materialistic - that she needs. However, when the businesswoman is arrested for insider trading, she can't even begin to grasp the changes that are going to happen in her life.
Penniless, sent to jail and alone, Michelle's life has gone from an all-time high to the lowest point she's ever experienced. After being released from jail, she's sure that she'll be ready to reinvent herself as America's latest reformed sweetheart but having offended so many people in the past, finding people to help her along the way won't be easy.
Continue: The Boss Trailer
Some pulled out makeshift signs, while others went the high fashion route.
This week has been a rough time to live on Earth in general, but the raw wound is still the horrific attack that took place in Paris. Even the stars walking the Golden Globes red carpet had to acknowledge the tragedy and show support.
Amal Alamuddin showed her support with a badge, adorning her Dior ensemble.
Many of them did so by wearing the Je Suis Charlie slogan on their arrival at the show. Amal Clooney said that she was wearing Dior, "customized in solidarity with the French people who've gone through a terrible week," according to Elle magazine. A "Je suis Charlie" badge was displayed on her purse, while her husband, George Clooney, also wore a similar button, according to ABC News.
Continue reading: Stars Show Support For Charlie Hebdo On Golden Globes Red Carpet
The cast of season 4 is taking shape with Jyoti Amge's most recent addition.
Jyoti Amge, who became known as “the world’s smallest woman” has been cast in the fourth season of American Horror Story, which bears the somewhat questionable subtitle Freak Show. Creator and showrunner Ryan Murphy announced the news on his own Twitter, posting a picture of Amge, posing with AHS star Jessica Lange.
Kathy Bates in American Horror Story
The show begins each season with an entirely new setting and premise and the series regulars play different roles each time. The previous season centered around a school for young witches, with traditions stretching back to the Salem witch trials and explored themes like feminism, racism and the civil rights movement. Season 5 will feature a carnival theme and be set in the 1950s.
Neil Patrick Harris revealed on Friday (18th July) that he is a fan of 'American Horror Story' and would like a role on the upcoming series 'Freak Show'. Ryan Murphy has responded to Harris' interview and claimed he has a 'Freak Show' role Harris would "love".
Could Neil Patrick Harris be heading for American Horror Story's Freak Show? Ryan Murphy certainly seems willing for the How I Met Your Mother actor to join the cast!
Neil Patrick Harris is a huge fan of American Horror Story.
Don't turn out the lights for this season! 'American Horror Story' ups the game with grisly new season 'Coven'.
The third season of Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy's grisly horror series American Horror Story begun with a suitably bloodcurdling episode of enslavement and torture.
Kathy Bates stars as slave killer Madame LaLaurie
Not that we didn't expect it to, but the first episode of 'American Horror Story: Coven' entitled 'Bitchcraft' was enough to scar any unsuspecting first time viewer for life! Of course, those who have in fact been exposed to the horror of season two 'AHS: Asylum' will be generally desensitised to all things petrifying, disgusting and not to mention controversial.
Continue reading: 'American Horror Story: Coven' Looks To Be Another Shocker Season
Michelle Dockery joined the cast of Downton Abbey at last night’s 64th Primetime Emmy Awards Reception. According to the Daily Mail, the upmarket dinner, held in North Hollywood, was “overrun” with cast members from the British show but Dockery stood out from the crowd, looking stunning in a demure black and white floral dress and gold shoes. Her make up was subtle and simple and her hair was tied loosely back at her neck; she looked every part the British beauty; a fitting image for the lead actress in the revered British drama.
Dockery has been nominated for the Outstanding Lead Actress award at the forthcoming Emmys and is hotly tipped to be walking away with the gong on Sunday night (September 23, 2012). It won’t be an easy win for Michelle though. She may be becoming an increasingly popluar figure in the US but she still faces fierce competition from home-grown favourites Glenn Close (for her role in Damages), Kathy Bates (for Harry’s Law), Claire Danes (Homeland), Elisabeth Moss and Julianne Marguilies (The Good Wife). Some of Michelle’s cast members are also expected to do well, including Joanne Froggatt, who has been nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Froggatt was also looking stunning last night, though she opted for a much bolder look, teaming an orange shift dress with a pair of nude heels.
The Emmy Awards considered to be the ‘Oscars’ equivalent for television; they’re a big deal for the US TV industry and last night’s reception dinner was awash with stars of the small screen. The ceremony, which takes place on Sunday night, will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.
Continue reading: Michelle Dockery Leads Downton Abbey Cast At Emmy Awards Reception
This documentary is precisely what it's title purports to be, an in-depth and instructive look at movie editing that literally spans 100 years of film history, from The Great Train Robbery to Cold Mountain. Through interviews with a copious number of directors and editors, The Cutting Edge covers everything from basic editing techniques like the matching of cuts to modern editing theory as inspired by MTV and The Matrix. The film goes into extreme detail in parts, like when we get to see James Cameron's trick of removing one frame per second out of Terminator 2 to give it more momentum and realism. It's all a little bit insidery and self-congratulatory, but the movie works far more often than not. Any film buff will find it hard not to like.
Continue reading: The Cutting Edge: The Magic Of Movie Editing Review
As the opening credits roll, we meet Stacy (Brittany Murphy), a young college grad heading out into the exciting world of low-budget television production. She dreams of one day working with her childhood idol, Diane Sawyer. And her mother loves Carly Simon. I don't know why the part about Carly Simon is important, but it's a recurring theme throughout the film. If her mother ever actually got any screen time, perhaps the Carly Simon thing would become at least marginally relevant to the story. But no dice. Even so, we're treated to several inexplicable Carly Simon moments that have nothing to do with anything, really, and don't add anything of substance to the film.
Continue reading: Little Black Book Review
After a generation on hiatus, the crazy, ensemble-cast chase comedy is back with an MTV vengeance in "Rat Race," a cornball marathon between a dozen second-tier stars vying for a $2 million booty.
The gimmick: To entertain his high-rolling clientele, a Las Vegas hotelier -- played by John Cleese with a slightly insane, toothy-dentured grin -- recruits an oddball assortment of zealous casino tourists to dash across the desert to New Mexico in search of a bus station locker where the loot has been stashed. The runners think it's all a zany promotion for Cleese's resort, but in the penthouse billionaires from all over the world are placing high-stakes bets on who will get there first, just for rich-guy kicks.
The players: Jon Lovitz is an chintzy, unemployed soccer dad who red-lines his minivan while dragging his family along, on the pretense of a job offer so he doesn't get chewed out for ruining their vacation. He catches hell anyway when the car breaks down outside a "white power" roadside attraction and they steal Hitler's limo to complete the pilgrimage.
Continue reading: Rat Race Review
Jules Verne might have a hard time recognizing his source material in the Jackie Chan action-comedy adaptation of "Around the World in 80 Days," but for non-purists, it's easy to forgive the many liberties taken in this funny, fleet-footed summer-matinee romp.
Although the ostensible main character is still screwball Victorian inventor Phileas Fogg (lanky Steve Coogan) -- who wagers against the stuffed shirts of the English scientific establishment that he can circumnavigate the globe in the titular time period -- this version of the story more literally revolves around Passepartout (Chan), Fogg's valet who has his own reasons for traipsing across continents.
Passepartout has stolen a jade Buddha from a Bank of London vault in order to return it to its rightful place: his native village in China. Fogg is his ticket to safe passage -- or so he thinks.
Continue reading: Around The World In 80 Days Review
The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...
Gilly Hopkins is a little girl who's full of gumption and an attitude to boot....
Melissa McCarthy brings another of her improvisational alter-egos to the big screen with this energetic...
From the legendary Academy Award-winning animation house Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Arrietty, The Tale of...
Michelle Darnell is one of the most successful businesswomen of her age. She's loud, boisterous...
Stet is just 11-years-old and struggling to come to terms with his mother's death. He...
Melissa McCarthy is clearly in a rut: the title character in this film isn't very...
Tammy's life seems to have just become an unfortunate string of events having been dismissed...
Brian is a highly ordinary pet photographer who clashes with formidable Croatian crime kingpin Vadik...