Tag: kristen schaal

The Boss

by on Apr.16, 2017, under Movie Reviews

the bossThe Boss sets up Melissa McCarthy as a leader in the corporate world, constructing her own empire. At her peak, she’s snobby, elitist and super-egotistical. But then, she gets caught for insider trading, ends up in prison, and in true Martha Stewart fashion, she re-emerges from the joint to rebuild her brand.

While not overly original, the film falls flat for a number of reasons. Normally, I like Melissa McCarthy but she seemed awkward in the lead role as she doesn’t play the corporate type in this context very convincingly. Another part of the problem is that she’s supposed to be the funny one at the same time playing against her straight-laced, hard working assistant portrayed by Kristen Bell. It was hard to find the funny at times and in other cases they tried too hard to make it happen.

Paul Feig wasn’t in on this one; McCarthy along with Ben Falcone (who also directed) were credited as writers. Unfortunately the script doesn’t really present anything but a formulaic approach and even with a strong cast, the film isn’t very funny or even all that compelling. I found my mind wandering while watching it.

In regard to the cast, there’s a good number of recognizable names here including Peter Dinklage, Kathy Bates, Kristen Schaal, Dax Shepard and Tyler Labine.

There’s plenty of other things to watch, like maybe watch Sausage Party a second time, like I’m doing right now…

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2

by on Jun.30, 2014, under Movie Reviews

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 picks up where the first film left off with our hero Flint Lockwood trying to make the world a better place with his inventions, only this time he’s trying to land a job working for his idol Chester V. Flint gets the opportunity to work for Chester V only to find out later that the motivations for him landing the job weren’t quite what he thought…

Flint finds himself back on his hometown island and learns that the invention that brought him fame (and ultimately a device he thought he had destroyed) is still working and has transformed the island into something of a reservation for new breeds of creatures based on different types of food. Fun! He also learns that his hero Chester isn’t quite the person he portrays himself to be and that his intentions aren’t exactly admirable.

This is obviously a movie geared towards kids but that adults will be able to enjoy as well. Cloudy 2 has a lot of the silly humor that the first film featured along with a storyline that’s nothing new but does what it’s supposed to do in terms of getting the audience through the plot points as it should. Yes, there’s a happy ending of course with the good guys winning and the bad guys getting their due. The dialog is written well and has plenty of laugh-out-loud moments along with some emotional moments.

The design and animation is a blast with some great animation and beautiful visuals. My favorites were the food creatures like the taco dinosaur and the hamburger spider monster. Good stuff.

The actors were all great lending their vocal talents to their 3D animated counterparts. The lineup includes Bill Hader and Anna Faris returning in their roles as Flint and Sam alongside James Caan, Andy Sawberg, Neil Partick Harris, Terry Crews, Kristen Schaal and Will Forte as Chester V (who seems to be somewhat modeled after both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates).

If you have kids or not and enjoy fun 3D animated films, there’s a good chance you like this one…

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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Dinner for Schmucks

by on Feb.04, 2012, under Movie Reviews

Here’s the setup: Paul Rudd’s character is trying to get a promotion to impress his girlfriend into marrying him. While working the corporate ladder, he discovers the seedier underbelly in the attitudes of those he’s aspiring to rise with. Not only does he have to kiss the right asses but he has to stoop down to playing a childish, mean game that involves inviting “extraordinary” individuals to dinner one evening for the sole purpose of making fun of them and crowing a king idiot. This all takes place without the contestants understanding the true nature of the event and the supposedly elite laughing at their guests while pretending to honor them.

Leading up to the event is where the story builds and the characters are introduced. After being faced with the dilemma of having to find his own guest for the dinner, Rudd’s character literally runs into Steve Carell through which event Rudd realizes he’s found his guest. So here’s where the conflict starts and doesn’t relent until about 3/4 way in.

Now they start to establish some of the schmucks with Carrell as the center piece. Granted he’s supposed to be annoying but I found him too much so to the point where some of the scenes were not only hard to watch but genuinely made me want to turn off or fast forward. It was hard to feel or even want to feel any sympathy for him. His rudeness, stalker-like qualities, and awkward weirdo vibe isn’t very fun or funny, perhaps that’s the point but it still doesn’t make it very enjoyable to watch.

Rudd too for that matter considering how much of a spineless dick his character is. Not only is he being a deceptive kiss ass but he lets everyone just kind of do what they want without doing much to prevent getting sand kicked in his face. It was a bit much when he had his car destroyed by a crazy ex when he could’ve simply drove off, that just seemed set up and kind of stupid.

Luckily by the time the dinner starts, there’s a shift. It’s when the characters start to arc that you not only start to feel sympathy but that they come off genuine, interesting, funny and a dare I say, endearing. When the truth comes out about the dinner and the mayhem ensues, the movie becomes a lot more enjoyable to watch, The mice segments at the end are a hoot and the redemption delivered by Rudd completes the upward trend and ends the movie on a high note.

Some good performances in here that include the talents of Zach Galifinakis, Jemaine Clement (from Flight of the Concords), Ron Livingston, Larry Wilmore, Bruce Greenwood, and Kristen Schaal. Jay Roach directs.

If you can sit through the first 3/4 of the movie, I think you’ll find the last 1/4 makes it worth the wait (hopefully).

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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