Film Review: LONG SHOT (USA 2019) ***1/2

Long Shot Poster
Trailer

When Fred Flarsky reunites with his first crush, one of the most influential women in the world, Charlotte Field, he charms her. As she prepares to make a run for the Presidency, Charlotte hires Fred as her speechwriter and sparks fly.

Director:

Jonathan Levine

Writers:

Dan Sterling (screenplay by), Liz Hannah (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »

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Movie Review: Neighbours 2 (USA 2016) ***1/2

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

bad_neighboursNEIGHBOURS 2: SORORITY RISING (USA 2016) ***1/2
Directed by Nicholas Stoller

Starring: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Clara Mamet, Selena Gomez

Review by Gilbert Seah

NEIGHBOURS the Seth Rogen comedy with Zac Efron as a frat neighbour was one of the best comedies of 2014. It featured the funniest sequence in a comedy that year – the Robert De Niro segment in which Efron, Dave Franco and gang all dress up as De Niro to taunt Rogen and wife for calling the cops the night before to lodge a complaint about their party.

NEIGHBOURS 2 has tough shoes to fill. But thanks to good writing from a script credited to 5 writers, the sequel makes it. Jokes like the air bags and the Dean Carol Gladstone character (Lisa Kudrow) from the first film are brought back into the sequel. If a few jokes do not work, one can be sure another couple will in a few minutes. With hardly any time for the audience to take a breather, NEIGHBOURS 2 comes across as intense as the dressed up clown that shows up at a tailgate party, a segment that is almost as funny as the De Niro sequence.

The success of this film lies a great deal on the comedic potential of both Efron and Chloe Grace Moretz. Efron plays the older frat member, now graduated and unable to find a decent job and living space while Moretz plays his younger female version looking to party all the time. Teddy Sanders (Efron) helps her at first in renting her sorority house that just happens to be next to the house that Mac (Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) is selling. But Teddy switches to Mac’s side to help him evict the sisters sorority. It is a fairly simple plot but with plenty of comedy potential, with the setups well staged. Efron has proven his mettle in comedy as in the first NEIGHBOURS and the recent DIRTY GRANDPA. Efron can even be funny in moments demanding the audience to show sympathy for his character. Teddy, for example, shows genuine puzzlement on why eggs get hard whereas pasta gets soft when dunked in boiling water, Moretz, however, has the straighter role. Her character serves to anchor the story. Her sorority sisters, Beth (Dope’s Kiersey Clemons), and Nora (Beanie Feldstein) and other sorority members are left with the task of providing the laughter.

NEIGHBOURS 2 also lifts comedy to a level of political correctness. The gay jokes are largely positive, with Teddy’s best friend, Pete (Franco) coming out and getting married to his new husband. On the female side, the sisterly bond fosters positive feminism while male chauvinism (such as in the depiction of girls as whores in colleges) is frowned upon. There is also a comedic discussion on the difference between a male teen vs. a female teen losing his or her virginity.

While NEIGHBOURS 2 is funny enough, its desperation to top the original is obvious. The film grabs at any opportunity for a joke, even to have didoes dressed as princesses to get a laugh. The result is the film looking a bit ‘all over the place’ compared to the more focused original despite the almost equal high to hit miss laughter ratio.

 

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Happy Birthday: Seth Rogen

sethrogenHappy Birthday actor Seth Rogen

Born: Seth Aaron Rogen
April 15, 1982 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Read reviews of the best of the actor:

ANCHORMANAnchorman
2004
dir. Adam McKay
starring
Will Ferrell
Christina Applegate

ConstantineThe 40 Year Old Virgin
2005
dir. Judd Apatow
starring
Steve Carell
Rogen

KNOCKED UPKnocked Up
2007
dir. Judd Apatow
Starring
Rogen
Katherine Heigl

SUPERBADSuperbad
2007
dir. Greg Mottola
Starring
Jonah Hill
Michael Cera

Pineapple ExpressPineapple Express
2008
dir. David Gordon Green
Starring
Rogen
James Franco

Kung Fu PandaKung Fu Panda
2008
Directed by Mark Osborne
John Stevenson
Voices by
Jack Black
Dustin Hoffman

Zack and Miri Make a PornoZack and Miri Make a Porno
dir. Kevin Smith
Starring
Rogen

Elizabeth Banks

Horton Hears a Who!
2008
Directed by Jimmy Hayward, Steve Martino
Voices by
Jim Carrey
Steve Carrell

tv POSTERARRESTED DEVELOPMENT SEASON 4 TV SHOW PILOT
2013
Creators: Mitchell Hurwitz

FANBOYSFanboys
2009
dir. Kyle Newman
Starring
Sam Huntington
Kristen Bell

OBSERVE AND REPORT Movie PosterObserve and Report
2009
dir. Jody Hill
Starring
Rogen
Anna Faris

FUNNY PEOPLEFUNNY PEOPLE
2009
dir. Judd Apatow
Starring
Adam Sandler
Rogen
Leslie Mann

MONSTERS VS ALIENSMonsters VS Aliens
dir. Rob Letterman
Conrad Vernon
Voices by
Rogen
Reece Witherspoon

The Green HornetThe Green Hornet
dir. Michel Gondry
Stars:
Seth Rogen
Jay Chou

PaulPAUL
dir. Greg Mottola
Stars:
Simon Pegg
Nick Frost

KUNG FU PANDA 2KUNG FU PANDA 2
dir. Jennifer Yuh
Stars:
Jack Black
Angelina Jolie

movie posterDONNIE DARKO
2001
dir. Richard Kelly
Starring:
Jake Gyllenhaal
Jena Malone

MOVIE POSTER50/50
dir. Jonathan Levine
Stars:
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Seth Rogen

MOVIE POSTERFOR A GOOD TIME, CALL
2012
dir. Jamie Travis
Stars:
Ari Graynor
Lauren Miller

MOVIE POSTERTHE GUILT TRIP
dir. Anne Fletcher

Stars:
Seth Rogen
Barbra Streisand

MOVIE POSTERTHIS IS THE END
2013
dir. Evan Goldberg
Seth Rogen
Stars: James Franco
Jay Baruchel

MOVIE POSTERNEIGHBORS
2014
dir. Nicholas Stoller
Stars:
Seth Rogen
Zac Efron

MOVIE POSTERYOU, ME AND DUPREE
2006
dir. Anthony Russo
Joe Russo
Stars:
Kate Hudson
Owen Wilson

Movie Review: KUNG FU PANDA 3 (2016)

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

kung_fu_panda_3KUNG FU PANDA 3 (USA/China 2016) ***
Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni

Starring: Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, J.K. Simmons, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu

Review by Gilbert Seah

The third of the KUNG FU PANDA animated features provides more of the same. However, being family fun entertainment, critics should not be too hard on the filmmakers. As long as KUNG FU PANDA delivers a safe product, everyone especially a less discerning audience should not complain.

The first one in the series that is a Chinese co-production, Fox obviously has an eye for the large Chinese market. There is a Chinese version with Chinese dubbed voices. The previous two films grossed more than $600 million each and this $120 million production should beat those records. To be super safe, the script by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger have added many more pandas into the film – in the form of a secret panda sanctuary.

Po finally gets to meet his real biological father in this film. The segment of their meeting, as shown in a promotional clip before is the funniest of the film. Of course, his adoptive father, Mr. Ping (James Hong) the goose who wants to open his own dumpling stall is incredibly jealous. Po is brought to a Panda sanitary where he trains panda students in martial-arts. Po also meets Mei Mei, an overly eager panda, who had been promised to Po through an arranged marriage when they were children. But the main plot involves an evil ancient supernatural spirit called Kai begins terrorizing China and stealing the powers of defeated kung fu masters. Now in the face of incredible odds, Po must learn to train the village of clumsy, fun-loving pandas to become a band of Kung Fu Pandas.

Added to the film are new characters like Po’s (Jack Black) biological father, Li Shan (Bryan Cranston) and Mei Mei (a brilliant Kate Hudson), a female panda who has the hots for Po. Hudson does a marvellous job resulting in the audience wanting to see more of Mei Mei. The villain of the piece is Kai (Oscar winning J.J. Simmons) who adds a some humour to his role. His voice is easily recognized from the low tones. The usually Po gang is still present. So, for those KUNG FU PANDA fans, Viper (Lucy Liu), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Crane (David Cross) and even Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) are back.

The climatic fight between Po and Kai is ok but nothing too exciting nor out of the ordinary. But the antics of Po is enough to entertain despite the relatively weak plot.

The Chinese influence in this entry is clearly evident. There is more oriental folklore, more oriental colours and more oriental architectural drawings. This entry is also the most colourful of the three with the animation at its peak. The ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ song is also given a Chinese slant. Hans Zimmer hits with the overall musical score.

KUNG FU PANDA 3 should be a big hit. At the end of the promo screening, kids can be seen in front of the screen imitating the martial-arts moves of their hero, Po.

 

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com