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Echoing his witty writing style, Bill Bryson's memoir of his trek up the Appalachian Trail is adapted as a gently amusing comedy that combines big landscapes with sharp observational humour. Even though it centres on two old men, the film's message is almost identical to Reese Witherspoon's Wild, except that this movie never preaches at all. Instead, it meanders along with a wry smile and an ear for a snappy punchline.
Bill (Robert Redford) has moved back to America with his English wife Catherine (Emma Thompson) after living in Britain for 20 years. And now he feels the need to reconnect with his homeland. So he decides to hike the 2,100-mile mountain path from Georgia to Maine. Catherine insists that he takes someone with him, but the only volunteer is Katz (Nick Nolte), a wheezing ex-alcoholic with whom Bill deliberately lost touch. Even so, they set off on their walk, having a series of small adventures as they meet other hikers (including the hilariously too-perky Kristen Schaal), flirt with a hotel owner (Mary Steenburgen) and get into a bit of trouble when Katz has a romp with a married woman (Susan McPhail). They also encounter a couple of grizzly bears and find themselves trapped overnight on a narrow mountain ledge.
The question obviously isn't whether or not they complete the epic trek. No, this is a film about how self-discovery continues into old age, and so does the ability to discover new things in the world. Director Ken Kwapis makes the most of the picturesque landscapes, while including superb details that make the journey come to life. Although there are several sequences that were obviously shot in a studio with a fake backdrop and green-screen vistas. And some of the events along the way are badly contrived, dipping into silly slapstick. On the other hand, the running conversation between these two long-time friends is priceless.
Continue reading: A Walk In The Woods Review
Bill Bryson has been living in the UK with his English wife for a long time but now feels his retirement is wasted on the luxury of home comforts. Now after moving back to the US, he wants adventure, and what better way to get it than by hiking the 2,200 mile long Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. It's a glorious woodland walk for anyone, but it's rarely finished by even the most experienced hikers and the thought of this ageing man taking on the dangers of the trail frightens his kids and his wife. It seems Bill is deadset on this challenge, and while his wife can't stop him doing it, she can at least insist he be accompanied by a friend. Unfortunately, the only person crazy enough to join him is his fat, former alcoholic buddy Katz, whose probably going to be more of a hindrance than a help, but will at least be exposed to some much needed reflection... and a few hungry bears.
Continue: A Walk in The Woods Trailer
High school can be the worst time for some people, and for Greg Gaines (Thomas Mann), it turned out to be especially horrible. His parents inform him that his classmate, Rachel Kushner (Olivia Cooke), has been diagnosed with leukemia. The two make a fast friendship out of a mutual intention to not be sympathetic, but that plan doesn't work out as well as planned. Greg and his best friend Earl make 'bad films' in their spare time, and decide to devote a film to Rachel. Unfortunately, as they specialise in bad films, they struggle to make something that will truly honour her and cheer her up.
Continue: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Trailer
Nick Offerman is taking on one of the greatest characters in American literature.
Nick Offerman, the actor best known for playing Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation, is to play Ignatius J. Reilly from John Kennedy Toole's novel A Confederacy of Dunces. Offerman will lead a stage adaptation of the novel written by Jeffrey Hatcher.
Nick Offerman will star in a stage adaptation of A Confederacy of Dunces
The production, which begins at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston in November, follows the self-regarding Reilly who is also a colossal slob.
Continue reading: Nick Offerman To Play Ignatius J Reilly In 'A Confederacy Of Dunces'
After seven seasons, it’s time to say our teary goodbyes to Pawnee
It’s all over for ‘Parks and Recreation’ sadly, as the acclaimed series ended its seven season run last night, with final episode, ‘One Last Ride’. The comedy had received numerous accolades during its tenure on NBC, as well as amassing a devoted fanbase and helping elevate the careers of stars Amy Poehler and Chris Pratt.
Amy Poehler aka Leslie Knope
Appearing on ‘Late Night With Seth Meyers’ immediately after the final episode ended, the cast along with the show’s co-creator Michael Schur, dished on some of their storyline pitches which didn't end up making the final series.
Nick Offerman has directed a music video for Tweedy.
He's best known for playing the grumpy breakfast loving Ron Swanson on NBC's 'Parks and Recreation', but Nick Offerman has turned his hand to another profession: music video director. He's overseen the delightfully weird video for Tweedy's song, 'Low Key', which also features a host of celebrity cameos.
It's a different gig for the actor, usually seen in front of the camera
Tweedy is the latest project from Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy, comprised of himself and his son Spencer Tweedy. 'Low Key' is the first single from their first album, 'Sukierae', and the offbeat video shows them going door-to-door in attempts to sell their record to disinterested members of the public. Man of Steel actor Michael Shannon features as the assistant of the record label boss, whilst Melissa McCarthy, Conan O'Brien, Andy Richter and Chance the Rapper feature amongst the bemused homeowners who are visited by the band. There's also a very strange twist at the end of the video, but we won't ruin the surprise!
Continue reading: Nick Offerman Has Directed A Music Video And It's Full Of Celebrities
A knowing, very sharp script gives this comedy a very strong kick as it tells a story about interlopers in America's Christian subculture. It would have been easy to either take cheap potshots or veer into inspirational sentimentality, but the filmmakers cleverly navigate a middle ground that refuses to simplify either the morality or the message. It's a lively, entertaining romp with real bite.
The film opens in Austin, Texas, where Sam (Alex Russell) is stunned to learn that he won't graduate and go to law school unless he pays $9,000 in overdue fees. Then he gets an idea from a Christian youth group raising funds for a mission trip to Hawaii: why not start a charity funding wells in Africa and keep some of the cash for himself? He enlists the help of his three best friends (Miles Fisher, Max Adler and Sinqua Walls), and before they know it they're headlining major events to adoring crowds across the country. This rock-star life is very lucrative too, especially as they continue to learn better ways to convince the crowd that they're true believers. But as the moral high ground becomes swamped by all that cash, they begin to have their doubts.
It's clear that writer-director Will Bakke and cowriter Michael B. Allen know only too well what they're talking about, as the film cuts a razor-like swathe right through church culture, from repetitive worship songs and cliche-ridden prayers to Christian-targeted movies. Even more pointed is the way the film deals with the vast amounts of money that have essentially turned the fundamentalist church in America into a mega-corporation that knows exactly how to deploy right-wing political sloganeering to get their followers on their feet cheering. These issues are actually integral to the story, as Sam and his friends discover the secrets to helping Christians feel better about themselves as they part with their cash.
Continue reading: Believe Me Review
A consistently hilarious stream of in-jokes keeps the audience in fits of laughter even if there's virtually no plot to this follow-up to the 2012 hit 21 Jump Street. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum revive their amusing double-act to poke fun at sequels and franchises amid silly set-pieces and starry cameos. And it gives filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller their second terrific comedy of the year, after The Lego Movie.
Following their successful bust of a high school drug ring, undercover officers Schmidt and Jenko (Hill and Tatum) are assigned by their grumpy captain (Ice Cube) to infiltrate a university and track down who's dealing the new drug whyphy. But both get distracted by life on campus: Schmidt begins a romance with Maya (Amber Stevens), while Jenko finds his meathead soul-mate in football teammate Zook (Wyatt Russell). With their partnership in jeopardy, Schmidt and Jenko must refocus on a spring break trip to Mexico, where they discover an old nemesis (Peter Stormare) on the loose.
Using a non-stop series of gags about how follow-up movies are more expensive and less original, the filmmakers go about proving this hypothesis with amusingly overwrought sets and a chaotic, derivative narrative that has very little momentum. Meanwhile, they pack every moment of the film with witty humour that's played expertly by Hill and Tatum, who rekindle their chemistry with a steady barrage of gay double entendre that reveals the movie's true nature as a brom-com. On the other hand, neither the actors nor the filmmakers are willing to push things too far, so they settle for silly vulgarity instead of any black comedy or edgy humour.
Continue reading: 22 Jump Street Review
'Parks and Recreation' star Nick Offerman strikes some hilarious poses outside the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York following his appearance on 'The Late Show With David Letterman' as a paparazzo yells at him to 'make it sexy'.
Inventive visuals and a seriously deranged script make this animated adventure far more enjoyable than we expect, especially as it brings out the childish creativity in everyone watching. Filmmakers Lord and Miller are experts at finding offbeat comedy in the most surprising places (see Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs or 21 Jump Street). And this movie is often jaw-droppingly entertaining.
It's set in a Lego city where construction worker Emmet (voiced by Pratt) follows instructions to the letter. Like everyone else, he has been lulled into complacency by President Business (Ferrell), whose inanely catchy pop songs (the insanely hummable Everything Is Awesome!) and mindless TV shows (Where Are My Pants?) keep people from thinking creatively. He's also concocting an insidious plan involving a secret weapon called the Kragle. Then Emmet inadvertently discovers the Piece of Resistance and is declared "The Special" by the underground rebel alliance led by Wyldstyle (Banks) and Vitruvius (Freeman). With help from Batman (Arnett), a patched-up pirate (Offerman) and a groovy kitty (Brie), they go off-grid to save their civilisation, pursued by the president's vicious enforcer (Neeson).
As the story spirals from the city to the Wild West and Cloud Cuckoo Land, it develops an insane, free-wheeling tone that can't help but spark our imaginations. And the sassy 3D animation adds to this by evoking surreal stop-motion classics like Gumby or The Magic Roundabout while referencing other movies and playing merrily with iconic characters. Hill, Smulders and Tatum turn up as a trio of frustrated superheroes, while Daniels and Williams offer a bit of Star Wars silliness. All of the vocal cast members dive into their characters with energy, bringing out the warped humour and pulling us into the action and even some emotional moments.
Continue reading: The Lego Movie Review
Date of birth
26th June, 1970
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