Tag: jason bateman

Office Christmas Party

by on Jan.09, 2017, under Movie Reviews

office christmas partyThis is one of those movies that you go to just for the fun of seeing a movie like this. Your expectations go down, which can be nice, and you just sit back and let the entertainment wash over you. It’s also the kind of fun film you can go to family with during the holidays…

The premise is formulaic as one would expect with competing siblings who inherit a company from their father bump heads as to how the family business should be run. TJ Miller runs a failing branch of the company and wants to set up an office Christmas party to both rally the disgruntled employees who might be losing their jobs as well as win over the salesman of a major company with which a major contract could be scored that would save the day. His sister, played by Jennifer Aniston, is the uptight president of the company that wants to trim the fat by eliminating jobs and closing branches.

As you can imagine, the main event is the party and once it gets going, it gets really, really going. Every time you think they can’t take it much further, well, then the jousting with shopping carts and flaming christmas trees happens. Suffice it to say, things get pretty outrageous, the main characters learn lessons and everything turns out mostly ok for everyone. Overall it’s a enjoyable throwaway kind of film you can enjoy but will probably think viewing it once is enough.

The actors all hit their marks well playing their roles effectively. Noone is redefining the wheel here but they fit the typical characters they portray well. The lineup consists of many familiar faces including some from SNL with Kate McKinnon, Rob Corddry, Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, Courtney Vance, and Vanessa Bayer.

If you go into this film with no expectations other than just having a good time without a ton of substance, you’ll probably enjoy Office Christmas Party.

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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This Is Where I Leave You

by on Jan.04, 2015, under Movie Reviews

this is where i leave youThis Is Where I Leave You centers around the Altman family who are dealing with the death of the family’s father. Judd Altman is having a particularly difficult time as he discovers just before his father’s death that his wife is cheating on him with his boss. After learning of the father’s passing, the family gathers at the parent’s home to participate in a Jewish tradition known as a Shiva, which is basically a week of mourning as loved ones gather to show support. Ironically, the family’s not really Jewish…

Once the family gathers, the drama that follows this kind of situation comes along to expose all those raw nerves that sometimes is just part of being around your family. Each family member has their own issues of course, with Judd (played by Jason Bateman) leading the way in terms of bad luck. Luckily, there is some light at the end of the tunnel for the family as they work together through the mourning process and resolve some differences along the way.

This is your traditional family drama with some comedic moments along the way. No big surprises but some nice unexpected points here and there. The dialog is well crafted and suits the characters, cleverly written as well. While the premise isn’t original, the delivery has it’s own sense of style and convention. There’s even some metaphor thrown in there as well with the youngest member of the family seeming to be the only one who has his shit together (once you see the film, you’ll understand that I just made a really slick pun there).

The actors are all top notch. Jason Bateman plays the broken lead in a convincing way while Tina Fey shows range as the concerned, obsessive sister. Jane Fonda is as fun and fearless as ever and it was cool to see Timothy Olyphant play a role unsual for him as well as Fey’s handicapped ex. The entire lineup is strong all around and is rounded out by Adam Driver, Dax Shepard, Connie Britton, Corey Stoll, Rose Byrne and Kathryn Hahn.

I would recommend this one if you like family dramas with some comedy sprinkled in there too.

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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