DADDY’S HOME 2 (USA 2017)

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Daddy's Home 2 Poster
Trailer

Brad and Dusty must deal with their intrusive fathers during the holidays.

Director:

Sean Anders

Writers:

Sean AndersBrian Burns (characters)

 

One can tell that there is something wrong with a movie when the movie within a movie turns out to be more interesting than the movie itself.  In DADDY’S HOME 2, the families end up at one point stranded at a suburban cinema where a fake movie MISSILE TOW starring Liam Neeson is playing.  Neeson pays a character (voice only heard) that rescues his family from terrorists at all costs.  That fake film is heard for only a minute or two before director Anders turns the audience back to his nightmare Christmas movie – DADDY’S HOME 2

Moviegoers must have been very naughty during 2017 as Santa has rewarded them already with two awfully bad Christmas comedies – A BAD MOM’ S CHRISTMAS and now DADDY’S HOME 2.  DADDY’S HOME numero uno arrived on Christmas Day 2015 and went on to gross a remarkable $150 million domestically.  Thus arrives number 2 with Paramount hoping to do well again at the box-office.

The first film dealt with step-dad Brad (Will Ferrell) having to deal with his wife’s kids’ real father Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) showing up to undo all the values that Brad had instilled in his family.  HOME 2 ups the angst with the arrival of the dads’ dads in the form of Mel Gibson and John Lithgow.  Gibson has had quite the bad press and has been successful behind the camera (HACKSAW RIDGE, PASSION OF THE CHRIST) than in front of it.  Surprisingly, he is the funniest and best of the cast in the film, playing against his true character in life – a macho, gun-totting anti-feminist old goat.

Like all Christmas comedies, the usual disastrous set ups are there – the setting up of the electrical house decorations that go wrong (at least this one is quite elaborately done); the Christmas tree shopping; the snowball fight (not funny at all); the Christmas dinner; the feel good sentiment (it is only the children that count); the breaking of a hard heart (John Cena’s as the biological father of Dusty’s kid).  The worst of all is the film’s climax, which must rank as the corniest set-up of all time that takes place in a cinema theatre during a blackout.  There is a shameless promotion of the good of going to the movies where audiences are encouraged to turn to the next person to greet them.  

A few non Christmas setups are included – the most notable being the bowling segment where one son has the problem of throwing his bowling ball into the gutter.  It is a rather simple setup that turns out to generate only a few laughs, if any pity laughs.  The predictable shoplifting gag does not work either nor the revelation of the notes that Dusty’s girlfriend takes of Brad’s wife that turn out to be good ones.

DADDY’S HOME 2 might work for the undemanding moviegoer.  There were people applauding at he end of the film, but critics can only shrug at this early Christmas enterprise.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8shgJX14HQ

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1997 Movie Review: AUSTIN POWERS: The International Man of Mystery

 


AUSTIN POWERS : International Man of Mystery, 1997
Movie Reviews

Directed by Jay Roach
Starring: Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley, Michael York, Mimi Rogers, Seth Green, Will Ferrell
Review by Matthew Toffolo

SYNOPSIS:

A 1960’s hipster secret agent is brought out of cryofreeze to oppose his greatest enemy into the 1990’s where his social attitudes are glaringly out of place.

 

REVIEW:

It’s 2017 and Mike Myers needs a hit. Yes, he will always have his Shrek franchise, but he’s just a hired voice and it’s not the audience he is looking for. His last film, The Love Guru, was probably the worst film in 2008. It was that bad and you have to wonder if he’s lost his way.

Historically speaking in the land of the Hollywood movie industry where opening weekend box office results are the only thing that matter, whenever a star needs a hit he always goes back to his franchise series to make him a major player once again. So Myers will go back to his Austin Powers series eventhough they really concluded things in the last film. But Myers needs his hit so back to the franchise he goes that made him a star in the first place.

It’s 1994 and Mike Myers needs a hit. He’s finishing his Saturday Night Live run and understands that he’s never going to be a conventional leading man. He tried it in the underrated So I Married an Axe Murderer, 1993 and no one went to see it. His Wayne’s World series came to an abrupt end in the same year when no one went to see the sequel and no studio would ever greenlight Wayne and his sidekick Garth again. So Myers I’m sure wondered where he was headed. He seemed to be a talent not suited for the time his was living in. He was a man who created his own characters and needed to be a part of the entire creative process. Hollywood was only looking to hire actors with the conventional good looks and nothing more. Actors who just showed up on set whenever the call sheet told them to and went home when the director told them their day was done. Myers seemed caught between figuring out if he was going to be a writer or a performer as they kept telling him that he couldn’t do both.

Then the industry shifted a bit due to the developing independent film scene. These upstart production companies allowed a lot of freedom to the above-the-line creators of a movie and all of a sudden many talented people were presented to the mainstream. Creators who seemed to be very good at two or more jobs. And actors who were starring in the films that they wrote themselves. Hollywood always pays attention to success because there’s always a lot of money behind that success so they were now open to hearing new projects with actors who were also writers. Myers saw his window of opportunity.

So in 1996 while he was having a bath, Mike Myers created the Austin Powers character. The character that would make him a household name and give him a lot of creative freedom in the land of Hollywood for many years. At least until his bomb The Love Guru. Now he’s back to square one.

Austin Powers : International Man of Mystery was not a huge hit when it came out in May of 1997. In fact, many entertainment pundits assumed that this film would be a bomb. Mike Myers hadn’t been seen in almost 4 years and director Jay Roach was inexperienced and at the age of 40, seemed to be just a guy who would never really ‘make it’ in the industry. The opening weekend numbers were better than expected, but weren’t anything special. But week after week heading into the summer of 1997, Austin Powers never left the top 10 box office. Little by little the little film became the little film that could. Critics had mixed feelings about it, but the fans seemed to really enjoy it. And they were a mixed bag of fans. It had the young audience who enjoyed the catchphrases and sexy costumes. And it had the older audience who enjoyed the 60s James Bond parodies and other older pop-cultural references.

At the end of 1997, Austin Powers came out on DVD and VHS and people rented it in droves and was one of the top rented films for many weeks. And it was also a film that was bought in large doses at Christmastime. It was that movie that many people enjoyed watching again and again because of the many funny moments. And of course its studio saw the potential for a sequel and when they approached Myers about it, he always had it written and hoped to make it right away. Austin Powers 2 came out in 1999 and was the hit of the year and of course a third film was ready go to right after. All from an idea a guy had when he was having a bath.

When Austin Powers first came out I was one of the first people to see it because I was a big fan of Mike Myers for many years. It was a small crowd and not much laughter but I noticed a certain charm on screen that I never saw before. I remember my girlfriend at the time turning to me after the film and saying that she enjoyed it but didn’t think many people would see it.

This was a film that was very smart but also very stupid at the same time. Meaning, it had a lot of intelligent jokes and moments that many people only picked up after a second viewing. But it also gave us the lower-tier comedy of fart jokes and ugly naked people. It was giving up two types of comedies at the same time and there was a certain genius in how they pulled it off. And it’s these types of films that usually stand the test of time and set up franchises.

 

AUSTIN POWERS The International Man of Mystery

Happy Birthday: Will Ferrell

willferrell.jpgHappy Birthday actor Will Ferrell

Born: July 16, 1967 in Irvine, California, USA

Married to: Viveca Paulin (12 August 2000 – present) (3 children)

While he was in high school, Will made the daily morning announcements over the public access system in disguised voices. This is how he first became interested in performing.

 

 

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
1997
dir. Jay Roach
Starring
Mike Myers
Elizabeth Hurley
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1999
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starring
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STARSKY AND HUTCHStarsky and Hutch
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Winter Passing
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Stranger Than Fiction
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LAND OF THE LOST Movie PosterLand of the Lost
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dir. David Dobkin
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MOVIE POSTERELF
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dir. Jon Favreau
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MOVIE POSTERCURIOUS GEORGE
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dir. Matthew O’Callaghan
Stars:
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MOVIE POSTERTHE LEGO MOVIE
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dir. Phil Lord
Chris Miller
Stars:
Chris Pratt
MOVIE POSTERANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND CONTINUES
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dir. Adam McKay
Stars:
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MOVIE POSTERTHE INTERNSHIP
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dir. Shawn Levy
Stars:
Owen Wilson
Vince Vaughn
MOVIE POSTERTALLADEGA NIGHTS: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
2006
dir. Adam McKay
Stars:
Will Ferrell

 

Movie Review: ZOOLANDER 2 (USA 2016) ***

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zoolander_2ZOOLANDER 2 (USA 2016) ***
Directed by Ben Stiller

Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Penélope Cruz, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Christine Taylor

Review by Gilbert Seah

ZOOLANDER and ZOOLANDER 2 are milder versions of Sasha Baron Cohen’s BRUNO which are still pretty wild for most audiences unfamiliar with films like these that satirize the fashion/modelling industry.

It took a while, 15 years, since the first ZOOLANDER (2001) also directed by Ben Stiller hit the screens. It has been a long wait – the stars have grown older, and the plot makes use of the fact. Whatever goes on in the movie does not make much sense, but famous pop stars are being killed as they are protecting the Chosen One. “You can’t kill us all.” utters Justin Bieber, the 6th pop star killed in a year, before he kicks the bucket after posing on Instagram. Even Madonna has struck her last pose! Who is the Chosen One and who is the villain? As outrageous as the plot is, the twist is even more outrageous than anything found in any film in a while. Hilarious? It is in a way if one sits back and ponder over what has occurred. The script, by no less than 4 writers including Stiller, Justin Theroux (the writer of AMERICAN PSYCHO who also appears in the film as an evil DJ) is actually hilarious, though it might not seem so on first appearance. Perhaps ZOOLANDER 2 should be seen a second time to digest the mayhem on screen.

So, the not-so bright Zoolander (Stiller) is drawn out of recluse together with fellow model, Hansel (Owen Wilson). The villain is Mugatu (Will Farrell hamming it up, the most he can ever muster), engineering his escape from fashion prison. (Don’t ask!)

Not everything is original in the film. A lot of the jokes are similar to ZOOLANDER 1 and the ending sexy cat fight between two beauties, Penelope Cruz and Milla Jovovich, to the delight of all the males watching is way too similar to the scene from the French film (that did not get released here), OSS 117 NEST OF SPIES, directed by THE ARTIST’s Michel Hazanavicius.

The star cameo list is staggering. They include Bieber and real life fashion icons, Valentino, Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger and Anna Wintour. The trouble is that these icons are not immediately recognizable, but their names are emphasized at least so audiences know who they are. Of the recognizable star cameos, Susan Sarandon (doing a ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW routine), Milla Jovovich, Macaulay Culkin, Billy Zane, Katy Perry, Sting and Neil deGrasse Tyson strut their stuff, all playing themselves. But the best of these belong to Benedict Cumberbatch who surprises as he plays All, a transgender looking super model so full of himself that he marries himself.

ZOOLANDER 2 plays like a spy spoof as well as a satire of the fashion/model industry. Hate it or love it, my partner best described the film as “not that funny but sill entertaining.” Yes, and the film has lots of energy! But audiences not in the know might be totally bewildered at the goings-on!

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Movie Review: Daddy’s Home (2015)

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daddys_home_posterDADDY’S HOME (USA 2015) **
Directed by Sean Anders

Review by Gilbert Seah

DADDY’S HOME is advertised as a movie with a dad vs. a stepdad. And in the words of the movie, the audience is to be shown the difference between a dad and a father.

As the film opens, a mild-mannered stepdad, Brad (Will Ferrell) is married to his new wife Sarah (Linda Cardellini) and living with her and her two children. The two children are yet to confide in him and Brad tries his best to be a good dad – poor soul. Farrell actually makes his audience sympathize with his character. Then enters Dusty (Mark Wahlberg), the real father who weasels his way into staying at the house. His main aim is to win his wife, Sarah (Linda Cardellini) and kids back. And Brad is too naive to realize what is happening.
The above story is nothing really special to write home about. The script is pretty lame and does not have much room for twists in the plot. What transpires is predictable. Dusty wins his children’s affection and Dusty tries too hard. Brad eventually, because of his good naturedness wins Dusty’s heart and together make one healthy family with two dads. It is a film where two males do their best to make annoying kids happy.

It is hard to make an unforgettable comedy with such a lame story. There is no big villain, no end of the world scenario and no action sequences. But given the limitations, the film does contain a few really funny laugh-out loud segments.

The film’s subplots are not that funny either. One involves Dusty inviting a black handyman, Griff (Hannibal Buress) to stay with the family. Another has Dusty bringing a mongrel, who obviously hates Brad, as a gift for the kids. And another has Brad’s boss, Leo (Thomas Haden Church) always having advice or a story to tell to Brad. These generate a few chuckles at most.

The film’s funniest moment occurs when it goes totally ridiculous – a characteristic of Will Farrell’s type of comedy. Brad tells his stepson who is bullied that to solve the problem is not to fight back but to do something else like a dance-off, with the added benefit that both parties end up getting fit. The climax of the movie is a dance-off which thankfully is really funny and almost saves the movie.

DADDYS HOME ends up a family film with few lewd jokes, the only one being Brad’s impotency as a result of a dental accident. Farrell and Wahlberg have worked together in THE OTHER GUYS and make a good team, all things considered. Hopefully, they will team up again in a film with a better script.

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:www.wildsound.ca

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