THE NUT JOB 2: NUTTY BY NATURE (quick) review

I blame you, parents of America. You could spot a good animation movie, so you had to take your kiddies to see something that will rot their brains and the rest of the world is punished as a result. The words I want to say, I can’t, because I don’t want to use foul language in my family-friendly film reviews. But just know that I’m thinking of the worst of the worst for y’all.

THE NUT JOB (2014) was a poorly animated film with some bad jokes and writing. I may not remember a whole ton of the bad humor, but it was a chore to sit through. I think the only thing I really appreciated was the mute blue rat. Since he had no voice actor, the animation was what made him work sometimes. Beyond that, it wasn’t a funny movie and serves to just shut your kids up for an hour and a half.

All this time, I had hoped that a sequel would never had been made, but nope, too much wishful thinking, I guess. I think it’s just me, but the animation looks… improved, but not by much. While I don’t think I’ll enjoy this movie, Mr. Feng the kung fu mouse I suspect will be the best part.

Well, here’s the voice talent. Starring, we have Will Arnett (LEGO BATMAN [2017], NINJA TURTLES 2 [2016], and MONSTERS VS. ALIENS [2009]), Katherine Heigl (UNFORGETTABLE [2017], NEW YEARS EVE [2011], and KNOCKED UP [2007]), Bobby Moynihan (THE BOOK OF HENRY [2017], THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS [2016], SISTERS [2015], and the upcoming TV revival series DUCKTALES [2017]), and Jackie Chan (KUNG FU PANDA 3 [2017], THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM [2008], RUSH HOUR [1998], and upcoming films THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE [2017] and THE FOREIGNER [2017]). In support, we also have Maya Rudolph (THE EMOJI MOVIE [2017], POPSTAR [2016], and IDIOCRACY [2006]) Isabela Moner (TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT [2017] and MIDDLE SCHOOL [2016]), Peter Stormare (JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 [2017], CONSTANTINE [2005], and THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK [1997]), and professional voice actors Tom Kenny (SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS [1999- ongoing], STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS [2008-2015], FOSTER HOME FOR IMAGINARY FRIENDS [2004-2009], and upcoming film SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS 3 [2019] and TV movie ROCKO’S MODERN LIFE: STATIC CLING [2018]), and Kari Wahlgren (DC animated film JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. TEEN TITANS [2016], video game INJUSTICE 2 [2017], and TV show RICK AND MORTY [2013- ongoing]).

Now for the crew. Directing and co-writing is Cal Brunker, known for ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH (2013) and the upcoming THE NUT JOB 3 (2019). Co-writing alongside Brunker are Bob Barlen (ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH) and Scott Bindley (stuff I’ve never heard of). Finally, composing the score is Heitor Pereira, known for DESPICABLE ME 3 (2017), THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE (2016), CURIOUS GEORGE (2006), and upcoming animated films THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2 (2019) and SCOOBY (2020).

Overall, nope, not looking forward to this. Just please make Chan funny and I’ll be happy… er, enough.


The Nut Shop is working out great for the animals, led by their hero Surly (voiced by Will Arnett). They’re fed and lead happy lives. There’s just one problem. Andy (voiced by Katherine Heigl) believes that the animals have grown too complacent and are losing their natural instincts and her attempts at reteaching them the ways of gathering and storing food in the wild keeps failing. But one fateful day, the Nut Shop explodes and their lazy days come crashing down and they have no choice but to relearn their instincts. Of course, that becomes complicated too when the city’s mayor Muldoon (voiced by Bobby Moynihan) wants to tear down the park in order to create his amusement park Libertyland. If the animals want to save their home, they must band together and fight for their home.



Here’s the improvements: slightly better animation (though not by much), a running gag with silencing Heigl from going into a song and dance, and Jackie Chan as a kung fu mouse, and by extension the rest of the mice. That’s about it.

Other than that, Surly is still an unlikable and selfish, Andie is flat and uninteresting, making their relationship highly questionable, the jokes are horrendously unfunny, the set-up terribly forced for no rhyme or reason, subplots that last a total of five minutes, and of course having to watch dogs vomit and then proceed to eat it made this an automatic hate for this movie.

I don’t have too much to say. Like I said, the kung fu army of mice was the best part of the movie, so I wouldn’t mind watching those scenes again, but as for the rest of the film, HARD pass. Make your kids wait for Disney’s COCO (2017) this November 22. There’s nothing to gain from watching this.

My honest rating for THE NUT JOB 2: NUTTY BY NATURE: 2/5




Oh my god, I am so very excited to see this. Oh, not because I think it’s going to be a legit good movie. No, no, no. Quite the opposite. RottenTomatoes has this at a 6% (as of 7/29/2017) and IMDb has it at a 1.5/10 (as of 7/29/2017). Yeah, I laugh when I see these ratings, but I know one I go in, this movie will make me mad beyond belief. And why shouldn’t it? It basically looks like INSIDE OUT (2015), but such a knock-off discount that even the 99 cent store wouldn’t sell it at half price. It takes place in our phones and our emojis are content with their lives, except one specific “meh” emoji, that actually has several emotions, but has to only use… the one he’s known for? Already this premise has me asking questions. Whatever, who cares?

Here’s the voice talent. T.J. Miller (DEADPOOL [2016], BIG HERO 6 [2014], HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON [2010], and upcoming films GOOD: LAST OF THE ENFORCERS [2017] and READY PLAYER ONE [2018]), James Corden (TROLLS [2016], INTO THE WOODS [2014], BEGIN AGAIN [2013], and upcoming films OCEAN’S EIGHT [2018] and the animated PETER RABBIT [2018]), Anna Faris (KEANU [2016], TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT [2011], and TV show MOM), Maya Rudolph (MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA [2017], POPSTAR [2016], BRIDESMAIDS [2011], and the upcoming animated THE NUT JOB 2: NUTTY BY NATURE [2017]), and Patrick Stewart (LOGAN [2017], X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST [2014], and TV show STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION).

Now for the crew. Directing and co-writing is Tony Leondis, known for IGOR (2008) and LILO & STITCH 2 (2006). Alongside Leondis, making a red flag total of three writers, we also have Eric Siegel (a bunch of TV shows) and Mike White (BEATRIZ AT DINNER [2017], NACHO LIBRE [2006], and SCHOOL OF ROCK [2003]). Finally, the composer for the score is Patrick Doyle, known for A UNITED KINGDOM (2017), THOR (2011), DONNIE BRASCO (1997), and the upcoming MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (2017).

Overall, someone kill me to save me.

This is my honest opinion of: THE EMOJI MOVIE


Gene (T.J.  Miller) is supposed to be a “Meh” emoji. Thing is, he’s discovered that he has multiple emotions to convey. He’s about to have his first day as an emoji on his owner’s phone, but freaking out when he’s selected, he makes the wrong face, which causes him to be labeled as a malfunction. Desperate to avoid being discarded, he and a newfound friend, the unused Hi-5 (James Corden), track down someone named Jailbreak (Anna Faris), who can take him to an app that will fix him and make him a normal “Meh” emoji.


Nope, I’m not wasting any effort on this review. If no effort was going to be attempted to make this movie original, then I have no reason to put in effort for this review.

All I will say is that it’s a knock-off of WRECK-IT RALPH (2012), with a hint of INSIDE OUT, and it’s painful.

No joke is funny. It’s just a long string of obvious phone puns. The world itself barely makes any sense, every character is annoying, and… I can’t keep going with this poor excuse for an animated movie for kids.

I am assuming that if you take your children to see this movie, you’re punishing them. Please avoid this film at all costs. If you give them money, they will make a sequel and that’s something both kids and critics alike really don’t need in their lives.

My honest rating for THE EMOJI MOVIE: 1/5




Alright, so in order to talk about this movie, I’d better get to talking about what I think of the franchise as a whole.

I liked DESPICABLE ME (2010). It was a heartfelt, yet silly, animated movie. Plus, as anyone can tell you, I’m a sucker for adoption stories. It was cute, it was fun and funny. As I said, it was good.

DESPICABLE ME 2 (2013) wasn’t… bad. There was a charm factor to it, but it definitely didn’t have the same emotional weight that the first film had. A cute enough movie to warrant a sequel, I suppose, but there were just a few too many subplots.

Next up was the inevitable MINIONS (2015). Their own spin-off slash prequel shouldn’t have been a surprise considering the popularity of the little yellow guys. But to be honest, I didn’t think it was that bad. I enjoyed that little Minion with his teddy bear and I did think there was a genuine heart to the movie. Plus, I enjoyed Sandra Bullock as the villain Scarlet Overkill. But yeah, I said that is wasn’t “that bad,” meaning that I didn’t think it was good. It was still laced in way too many bad and unfunny jokes, and in an animated comedy, that’s sort of a necessity. But as it went, I didn’t hate it.

Now for this one. Once again, I don’t think it’s going to be very good. Why? Unknown brother. Of course there is. And his name is Dru. Really…? Already, Gru is borderlining on annoying, but what made him work in the first one was that he had a well-defined character and a great character arch. Had that not been the case, he’d be right up there with Olaf from FROZEN (2013). I can’t imagine that Gru will have the same arch, or certainly this new shoe-horned brother. Also, calling it out, I think the villain will annoy me too, and even the Minions this time around. Seriously getting tired of seeing Minion butt. Although it does tickle me that they’re rebelling against Gru for not being a villain anymore.

Well, here’s the voice talent. Starring, we have Steve Carell (CAFÉ SOCIETY [2016], EVAN ALMIGHTY [2007], OVER THE HEDGE [2006], and upcoming biopic BATTLE OF THE SEXES [2017] and video game adaptation MINECRAFT [2019]), Kristen Wiig (MASTERMINDS [2016], THE MARTIAN [2015], TV show THE LOONEY TUNES SHOW, and the upcoming animated DreamWorks film HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3 [2019]), Trey Parker (TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE [2004], BASEKETBALL [1998], and TV show SOUTHPARK), and Pierre Coffin (MINIONS [2015], DESPICABLE ME 2 [2013], DESPICABLE ME [2010], and the upcoming MINIONS 2 [2020]). In support, we have Miranda Cosgrove (YOURS, MINE, & OURS [2005], SCHOOL OF ROCK [2003], and TV show ICARLY), Dana Gaier (DESPICABLE ME 2 and DESPICABLE ME), Nev Scharrel (known for shorts and TV shows), Julie Andrews (DESPICABLE ME, THE PRINCESS DIARIES [2001], and THE SOUND OF MUSIC [1965]), and Jenny Slate (GIFTED [2017], THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS [2016], and TV show PARKS AND REC).

Now for the crew. There are three directors: Kyle Balda (MINIONS, THE LORAX [2012], and the upcoming MINIONS 2), Pierre Coffin (MINIONS, DESPICABLE ME 2. and DESPICABLE ME), and Eric Guillon, making his co-directorial debut. Congrats, sir. Co-writing the script are Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, both known for THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS, HORTON HEARS A WHO! (2008), BUBBLE BOY (2001), and both are slated to write the upcoming THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 (2019) and Daurio is slated to also write MINIONS 2. Finally, co-composing the score is Heitor Pereira (THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE [2016], IT’S COMPLICATED [2009], CURIOUS GEORGE [2006], and the upcoming animated film THE NUT JOB 2: NUTTY BY NATURE [2017], and Scooby-Doo remake SCOOBY [2020]) and Pharrell Williams (HIDDEN FIGURES [2016], THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 [2014], and DESPICABLE ME).

Overall, this definitely won’t be the best Despicable Me movie, but I’m hoping there will still be enough humor and heart to carry it enough to make it a bearable experience.

This is my honest opinion of: DESPICABLE ME 3


Gru (voiced by Steve Carrell) and his wife Lucy (voiced by Kristen Wiig) have been fired from the Anti-Villain League after failing to capture the nefarious Balthazar Bratt (voiced by Trey Parker). Not long after, Gru receives a letter from a long-lost twin brother he never knew he had named Dru (voiced by Carrell). When they meet, Gru finds out that Dru is a wannabe villain and wants to pull a heist with Gru, despite him leaving his villainous ways behind.


Alright, alright, it’s not as bad as I thought. I’m not wrong about it not being the best of the franchise, but it’s got some good in it to make it enjoyable enough.

First, the negative. If you thought Gru’s voice was annoying, you’re going to get it double because Dru is not any less ear-bleedingly obnoxious to listen to. Again, the reason why his voice was tolerable in the first film was because he had legit character arch that was compelling and had heart. The second film is basically taking that heart away for a half baked romantic comedy, which wasn’t nearly as interesting. Now we have a forced discovery of a twin brother who isn’t nearly any more tolerable, nor is he an interesting character. He’s this rich and successful guy who somehow knows that his entire family heritage is villains and wants in on the action and infamy, despite not knowing that Gru put his villainy behind him. On paper, it doesn’t sound that bad, but the presentation of the character is annoying and doesn’t have the same emotional gravity that the first one had. Together, Gru and Dru are loud, never a quiet moment, it’s a chore to sit through.

And Agnes (voiced by Nev Scharrel) didn’t make too much sense to me this time around. I mean, this complaint is pretty mild by comparison to any scene being shared with Gru and Dru, but… here it is. I know she’s a little girl, at that age where she has a right to think that unicorns exist. So when she’s at this festival and meets a bartender who tells her a story about seeing a unicorn in the woods, she gets excited and looks for one. The conclusion of this little adventure is a little goat appearing that has one horn and Agnes thinks it’s a unicorn. Right because it’s white… stands on four legs… has one horn, not even on its forehead mind you, which is on the side of its head where a goat’s horns would be… and suddenly she thinks it’s a unicorn. Like I said, I’m aware that Agnes is a little girl, but… no, even when I was her age, I knew the difference between a horse and a goat. Maybe this is supposed to be the blossoming of a dim-witted personality that she’ll adopt in a sequel, or something, but it’s a little weird that she doesn’t know the difference.

Actually, come to think of it, that could kind of work. When she reaches Margo’s (voiced by Miranda Cosgrove) age and she still believes in mythical creatures and uses Gru’s high tech resources to hunt them down for cuddling purposes, even though no one believes her and tries to talk her out of wasting resources and time. That’s got some comedic possibilities. That’s not where this franchise will go, but that’d be interesting.

Other pointless plot threads include some boy having a crush on Margo that isn’t mutual, the minions quit due to no more villainous activity and wind up in prison, which is forgettable, we don’t get enough screen time with Balthazar Bratt, and a wasted use of Slate’s talent as the new boss of the Anti-Villain League, who has incredible little screen time, and that sums up my primary issues with the movie, which are consistent throughout.

I think about the only thing I actually liked about Dru was that he was incompetent as a villain. In any other movie, I feel like he’d be written as significantly more talented and threatening as a villain and Gru would be jealous of his abilities and eventually conspire against him. Thankfully, that’s not the case. The writers were smart enough to hold true to the given plot and rolled with it without trying for too many surprises and twists and turns, which I found refreshing.

Bar none my favorite moments in the movie are when Lucy is trying to connect with Margo, Edith (voiced by Dana Gaier), and Agnes as their step-mother. While I thought that she was such an unfunny tool in the second film, I love her character here as she tries to set a good example, but constantly finds herself in a position to beat up people, or causes more problems for the girls. To be frank, I’d have rather kept the focus on her trying to be a mom to the girls than Gru and Dru trying to be brothers. There’s emotional weight to that and does have a sweet resolution to it, but it’s clearly what the movie should have been about. Plus, feminism and “girl power” is all the rage these days, so a movie about a step-mom teaching her three step-daughters to be resourceful, self-sufficient, cautious, and tough, while finding a balance of learning to be compassionate, open to receive and offer help, and all that good stuff that women and little girls should learn. But nope, it’s the misadventures of the dual performance of Steve Carrell. … Woo…


Overall, I can’t say that this was awful, or even really that bad. It’s not very good, what with a long string of unfunny jokes, the painful inclusion of Dru, and some questionable subplots and character choices. But where the movie works the best is when Lucy is trying to win the hearts and minds of the three girls and leaving me hopeful with certain possibilities for any future installments. If you wanted to bring your kids to see it, I’d say it’s fine for them. There’s better kids movies out there, but this won’t harm them any. But if you’re an adult movie-goer and thought this was cute, eh, watch the first one again. It’s highly superior. I neither strongly recommend it, nor do I exclaim to stay away.

My honest rating for DESPICABLE ME 3: 3/5




Starring: Owen Wilson (MASTERMINDS [2016], MIDNIGHT IN PARIS [2011], MARLEY & ME [2008], and the upcoming SHANGHAI DAWN, due out… who knows when), Bonnie Hunt (ZOOTOPIA [2016], THE GREEN MILE [1999], JUMANJI [1995], and the upcoming TOY STORY 4 [2019]), and Larry the Cable Guy (A MADEA CHRISTMAS [2013], WITLESS PROTECTION [2008], and DELTA FARCE [2007]). In support: Nathan Fillion (PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS [2013], WONDER WOMAN [2009], TV show CASTLE, and the upcoming video game DESTINY 2 [2017]), Chris Cooper (LIVE BY NIGHT [2016], THE MUPPETS [2011], and THE BOURNE IDENTITY [2002]), Armie Hammer (FREE FIRE [2017], THE BIRTH OF A NATION [2016], and THE LONE RANGER [2013]), Kerry Washington (DJANGO UNCHAINED [2012], LAKEVIEW TERRACE [2008], and TV show SCANDAL), and Lea DeLaria (TV shows ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK and ONE LIFE TO LIVE)

Directing: Brian Fee, making his directorial debut. Writing: Kiel Murray (CARS [2006]), Bob Peterson (FINDING NEMO [2003]), and Mike Rich (SECRETARIAT [2010], RADIO [2003], and THE ROOKIE [2002]). Composing: Randy Newman (MONSTERS UNIVERSITY [2013], SEABISCUIT [2003], JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH [1996], and the upcoming TOY STORY 4 [2019]).


Lightning McQueen (Wilson) is still as popular as ever and still considered a champion after all these years. But then a harsh reality settles in when a rookie racer named Jackson Storm (Hammer) starts surpassing him in speed and starts winning the races. Sadly, he’s also a jerk to Lightning and eventually, Lightning’s inability to keep up causes him to spin out of control and he experiences a horrible crash. Though out of the game for a few months, Lightning is determined to decide for himself when he quits, not the voiced of those who think he should. After signing on to a new sponsor, headed by Sterling (Fillion), promising to train him to the point of being just as fast as Storm, with the help of the young and eager trainer Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), whose training methods frustrate Lightning as a big race approaches that will determine his staying power in the sport of racing.


It’s surprisingly better than I thought, but… yeah, it’s still just okay. I admit that there is a certain level of poetry to see a career and proud racer learning to accept his age and growing increasingly aware that his time may be coming to an end, but wanting to end on his own terms, not because others are telling him too. It can be surprisingly brutal, so when McQueen is determined to prove his worth, it is pretty easy to get sucked in to his story. Sadly though, the movie is mired in predictability and a ton of lame and unfunny jokes. The moment a certain plot point crops up, you know exactly where the story is going to go. Even though it’s handled well, the rest of the movie getting to that point simply feels like filler. By no means bad, it’s still not consistently written well like Pixar’s previous work. While being the most memorable and poignant of the Cars films, it’s still not up there with Pixar’s greats.

My honest rating for CARS 3: 3/5




Starring: Demetrius Shipp Jr. In support, we have Kat Graham (ADDICTED [2014], DANCE FU [2011], and TV show THE VAMPIRE DIARIES), Lauren Cohan (THE BOY [2016], and TV shows THE WALKING DEAD and CHUCK), and Danai Gurira (TV show THE WALKING DEAD and upcoming films BLACK PANTHER [2018] and AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR [2018]).

Directing: Benny Boom (S.W.A.T.: FIREFIGHT [2011]). Writing: Jeremy Haft (STREET KINGS 2: MOTOR CITY [2011] and GRIZZLY MOUNTAIN [1997]), Eddie Gonzalez (STREET KINGS 2: MOTOR CITY), and Steven Bagatourian. Composing: John Paesano (ALMOST CHRISTMAS [2016], video game MASS EFFECT ANDROMEDA [2017], animated film SUPERMAN/ BATMAN: APOCALYPSE [2010], and upcoming films MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE [2018] and PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING [2018]. Cinematographer: Peter Menzies Jr. (GODS OF EGYPT [2016], THE INCREDIBLE HULK [2008], LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER [2001], and the upcoming animated film PETER RABBIT [2018]).


Tupac Shakur (Shipp Jr.) started off as a normal kid growing up with his lawyer mother Afeni (Gurira) and his younger sister. But when the kids are forced to live in California, Tupac quit school to earn money to take care of his sister. He started rapping and didn’t take long before he was signed on to his first studio. In just a couple years, he became one of the most controversial and popular rappers in the 90’s.


I wish I could say this movie got me into the life of one of the most popular rap artists of all time, but… it’s a movie I feel like I’ve seen a dozen times over, particularly in STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON (2015), or in better films like MOONLIGHT (2016). While that acting is good, particularly Graham as a young Jada Pinkett Smith is the spitting image of the younger version of the real-world woman, and Shipp Jr. does bring a ton of energy to the role he’s been given, it just doesn’t do anything particularly new. Give COMPTON a little credit, you can argue that it came out around the time when police brutality was getting a ton more media attention in recent years, and could be interpreted as a call-to-arms against that kind of bullshit. This movie is just a standard biopic. Plus, I’m going to be on Jada Pinkett Smith’s side and say that it’s tasteless for the film-makers to throw in a poem that she never knew existed until years after Tupac’s death all in the name of a forced, directionless, and unimpactful romance subplot. It’s not the worst, I suppose, but I couldn’t get into it.

My honest rating for ALL EYEZ ON ME: a weak 3/5




Starring: Scarlett Johansson (GHOST IN THE SHELL [2017], THE JUNGLE BOOK [2016], HER [2013], and the upcoming AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR [2018]), Jillian Bell (FIST FIGHT [2017], OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY [2016], and 22 JUMP STREET [2014]), Zoë Kravitz (ALLEGIANT [2016], MAD MAX: FURY ROAD [2015], X-MEN: FIRST CLASS [2011], and the upcoming FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM 2 [2018]), Ilana Glazer (THE NIGHT BEFORE [2015] and TV show BROAD CITY), and Kate McKinnon (GHOSTBUSTERS [2016], TV shows SNL and THE VENTURE BROS, and upcoming animated film FERDINAND [2017] and animated TV series THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS RIDES AGAIN). In support: Demi Moore (WILD OATS [2016], CHARLIE’S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE [2003], and G.I. JANE [1997]), Ty Burrell (FINDING DORY [2016], MUPPETS MOST WANTED [2014], and TV show MODERN FAMILY), Colton Haynes (SAN ANDREAS [2015], and TV shows ARROW and THE GATES), and Paul W. Downs (TV show BROAD CITY), who also co-wrote the script.

Directing and co-writing: Lucia Aniello. Composer: Dominic Lewis, known for FIST FIGHT, MONEY MONSTER (2016), and THE DUFF (2015). Cinematographer: Sean Porter, known for 20TH CENTURY WOMEN (2016) and GREEN ROOM (2016).


Jess (Scarlett Johannson) is a city counselor, and about to get married. Her best friend from college, Alice (Jillian Bell), has planned a fun weekend in Miami, Florida to celebrate, along with their other friends Blair (Zoë Kravitz), Frankie (Ilana Glazer), and Pippa (Kate McKinnon). After a wild night of drugs, drinking, and dancing, they return to their rented home and hire a stripper. Unfortunately, Alice accidentally kills the man and the ladies panic and try to figure out what to do next.


Yup, didn’t like it. Raunchy comedies and I rarely get along, and this is no real exception. Far too many jokes are sex or drug related and I just can’t laugh at this brand of shock humor when it’s been done countless times before with no real variation. Even if there is a joke done in a different way, that doesn’t automatically mean comedy. While I do admit that there are a couple legit surprises that I didn’t see coming, and some of the reaction shots can be humorous, making this arguably my favorite movie that McKinnon’s been in, none of this really prevents the movie from being bad. It’s by no means the worst – can’t be too mad at a movie that I knew wouldn’t be funny to me – but I don’t see myself seeing this movie again. Only see this if you do like raunchy meaningless comedy, but even then, I think there’s funnier and better comedies out there.

My honest rating for ROUGH NIGHT: a weak 3/5



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Directing and co-writing: Johannes Roberts (THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR [2016]) Co-writing: Ernest Riera (THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR). Composer: tomandandy (SINISTER 2 [2015]), RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION [2012], and THE HILLS HAVE EYES [2006]). Cinematographer: Mark Silk.


Loving sisters Lisa (Moore) and Kate (Holt) are on vacation in Mexico, mostly because Lisa is getting over a bad break-up because she’s apparently too boring. In an effort to spice up her life and show her boyfriend up one, Kate drags Lisa in a cage dive to see sharks. However, not long after they get submerged and see three great white sharks, the cable to their cage snaps and the crane breaks off the boat and the three young women plummet to the ocean floor. With no communication to the surface, rapidly depleting oxygen, and bloody wounds attracting the sharks, it becomes a series of desperate gambles to stay alive.


I wanted to like this, I really did. But I do not. I honestly don’t know how this movie is feature-length. Leave the cage, get eaten by a shark. Stay in the cage, hang out, be safe, let search and rescue do its job. This movie shouldn’t be very long. But it’s one of those movies where you’d be justified in screaming at the screen, “Oh nah, girl, don’t do it!” “Bitch gonna get eaten!” This movie is so poorly written that I an curious if I could make a drinking game out of it: take a shot for every time Moore says, “Please be careful,” “I am so scared,” “No, please, don’t go.” Seriously, someone try this out for me when it comes out on Blu-Ray. There is great atmosphere, and some chilling visuals I give it that. But the story falls flat when it comes to characters that are annoying and an ending that feels like such a slap in the face of the viewers, I can’t recommend this movie to anyone. No, not the worst. I didn’t think I’d like it, but it’s not good.

My honest rating for 47 METERS DOWN: a weak 3/5




Starring: Sally Hawkins (PADDINGTON [2014], BLUE JASMINE [2013], JANE EYRE [2011], and upcoming films PADDINGTON 2 [2017] and GODZILLA: KING OF MONSTERS [2019]) and Ethan Hawke (THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN [2016], BOYHOOD [2014], DEAD POETS SOCIETY [1989], and the upcoming VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS [2017]).

Directing: Aisling Walsh. Writer: Sherry White. Composer: Michael Timmins. Cinematographer: Guy Godfree


Set during the 1930s in Marshaltown, Nova Scotia. Maud Dowley (Sally Hawkins) is an arthritic woman with a talent for simple paintings. Unable to take care of herself, she sets out to look for a job to provide for herself. As fate would have it, a local impoverished fish peddler Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawk) is looking for a woman to take care of his small house while he’s out on his rounds trying sell fish and wood. She takes the job and though their relationship is beyond rocky, the two eventually strike up a complex relationship, leading to an imperfect but loving marriage, all the while the local townsfolk flock to their home to buy her increasingly popular paintings.


It kills me to do a quick review on this movie, but I’m paralyzed on what to say about it other than… it’s one of the best romance films of the year. Both Hawkins and Hawke are phenomenal and flawlessly bring to life a relationship that is so unconventional, so complex and complicated, yet so tender, meaningful, and beautiful that I can’t help but gush. With gorgeous landscapes, cute, but memorable artwork, and unforgettable performances, this is one of those few reminders that a movie doesn’t need to have the biggest drama or greatest of stakes to be compelling, or to overly dramatize to make interesting. All it needs is to give you a raw and passionate look into the life of a woman who may not have changed the world, but definitely changed and warmed the hearts around her. And wiping away the tears in my eyes, I happily say that this brilliant films warmed mine.

My honest rating for MAUDIE: 5/5



Unlike a lot of kids, I actually never read the books this movie is based on. Can’t exactly explain why. I always had an interest, but I never made the time or any real effort to read them. So, to be completely honest, I have no idea what they were about. I actually assumed it was about a little kid with superpowers who saved older kids from whatever was terrorizing them.

I see that the movie is very different from my preconceptions. It looks like it’s about two kids who are notorious pranksters. One day, they go too far and their mean principal threatens to keep them apart in separate classrooms to prevent their diabolical schemes. Genuinely afraid to be apart, they hypnotize their principal via ridiculously random magic ring into believing that he is the kids’ personal superhero creation, Captain Underpants, who goes around fighting crime and monsters that don’t exist, until a real threat comes along for him to save the day.

I have to admit… I don’t think this looks good. I mean, I can appreciate DreamWorks keeping the animation the same style as the books, but man, I do not buy these voice actors as kids. Even if the movie happens to be really good, which I’m not holding my breath for, Kevin Hart and Thomas Middleditch will distract the living daylights out of me for how much they do not sound like kids. Look, I know Hart is a short dude with a high pitched voice, but he still doesn’t sound like a kid. He sounds like a high-pitched voiced adult. But hey, I’ll keep my mind open. DreamWorks has done amazing work in the past. But for every few great films, they’ve got one bad one too. Initial thoughts are: not a good movie.

But let’s take a look at the voice talent. As previously stated, we have Hart (THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS [2016], GET HARD [2015], GRUDGE MATCH [2013], and upcoming films JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE [2017] and RIDE ALONG 3, due out… who knows when), Middleditch (THE BRONZE [2016], THE CAMPAIGN [2012], TV show SILICON VALLEY, and the upcoming GODZILLA: KING OF MONSTERS [2019]), as well as Ed Helms (VACATION [2015], THE LORAX [2012], and THE HANGOVER [2009]). In support, we have Nick Kroll (SING [2016], and TV shows THE LEAGUE and PARKS AND REC), Jordan Peele (STORKS [2016], WANDERLUST [2012], and TV show KEY AND PEELE), and Kristen Schaal (THE BOSS [2016], and TV shows BOBS BURGERS and THE LAST MAN ON EARTH).

Now for behind the scenes. Directing is David Soren, known for TURBO (2013). Penning the screenplay is Nicholas Stoller, known for STORKS, MUPPETS MOST WANTED (2014), and THE MUPPETS (2011). Finally, the composer for the score is Theodore Shapiro, known for COLLATERAL BEAUTY (2016), INFINITELY POLAR BEAR (2014), and DIARY OF A WIMPY KID (2010).

Overall, not terribly thrilled to see this, but here’s to hoping it’s better than it’s letting on.

This is my honest opinion of: CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE


Harold (Thomas Middleditch) and George (Kevin Hart) are a pair of kids who are the best of friends. They make comics together, their favorite creation being the crime-fighting Captain Underpants, and try to have as much fun as possible. This isn’t easy when they’re at school, which is run by their evil principal, Mr. Krupp (Ed Helms). They combat his authority by pulling off pranks. He’s been unable to get them in trouble due to a lack of proof. However, the inevitable happens and the two boys are about to be separated into different classes. In an act of desperation, Harold attempts to hypnotize Krupp using a magical toy ring… and it miraculously works. They turn Krupp into their comic creation Captain Underpants and he gets loose, trying to fight crime with super powers that he doesn’t have.


While I wasn’t wholly wrong about this movie, I’d be lying if I said was completely right. It’s no Kung Fu Panda or How to Train Your Dragon, it’s perfectly fine for what it is: a harmless kids movie.

Because the movie is painfully clear that it’s meant for kids, the humor is exactly that: kiddie humor. So most of the jokes aren’t especially funny. It’s just tolerable. Thankfully, DreamWorks had the foresight not to go all NORM OF THE NORTH (2016), but keeps the humor pretty innocent. I think maybe there was one fart joke that wasn’t too bad, and a surprising lack of potty humor. Instead, the jokes are pretty much what you’d expect them to be. The kids hypnotize their principal into turning into their undergarment clad superhero and laugh at him as any kid would, and the guy acting all goofy. Again, thankfully, it’s written in a way that isn’t annoying. It’s not written funny, for the most part, but it’s not obnoxious.

Even the plot has been kind of done before. Not the superhero bit, of course, but the whole, “We’re fun-loving kids in a school that hates fun and we’re the rebels who want the rest of the kids to have fun too.” MIDDLE SCHOOL (2016) did that and you can argue that FIST FIGHT (2017) did it too to a degree, albeit it’s the teachers struggling to deal with unruly teens. Give the movie some credit, that’s not the focus of the story and they do segue into a more exciting story. But even that’s been done before too: unleashing a goofy adult that young people need to rein in and pretend they’re related, like in JUMANJI (1995). Once again though, it could have been worse.

The movie also does try to have a moral at the end: find something to laugh at yourself about. I can’t lie, I like that moral and it’s pretty unique in a kids movie. The problem is that the rest of the movie doesn’t really back it up. The movie starts off about pranks and learning to lighten up, then it turns into a silly superhero movie, and it’s only at the end where the moral is brought up. But even then, it’s not really enforcing its moral. The kids are still laughing at the teacher’s name and spent a good chunk of time making fun of it in a self-made comic book they made. These kids never make fun of themselves or point out their own flaws. So the moral is completely confused and ultimately pointless.

Is there anything that’s funny? Well, I did like a few jokes in the beginning. You might recall from the trailer when the two kids try to leave their principal’s office only for him to press a button and then a high tech lockdown initiates, preventing their escape. By the end of the dramatic lockdown, George says, “Wow, that’s an expensive door.” But this is followed up with Mr. Krupp smugly saying something like, “Do you like it? I had a choice to spend school funding on a magnetically sealed door, or keep the theater-arts department open. I think I made the better choice.” I admit, I laughed at that. There’s another sequence where, if I remember correctly, Captain Underpants has turned the entire front of the school into an amusement park of sorts and Harold and George are like, “What do we do?! We have to stop this!” A shot of kids having fun goes by and then you see Harold and George going through a sugar rush, clearly enthralled by the festivities at some point. And pretty much anything when Professor Poopypants comes in. Yup, Kroll steals the show on this one. One line that just came back to me was when Poopypants has got these kids in a bind and he’s about to sap their ability to laugh at anything, the kids try to appeal to his good nature by saying something like, “Dude, you gotta lighten up and learn to laugh at yourself,” or something to that effect. And then Poopypants exclaims, “Oh really, Oprah?!” Again, I laughed quite a bit on that one. There’s also this running gag with this lady on hold. That was funny too.

That’s… kind of it, actually. It’s not like a good DreamWorks movie like How to Train Your Dragon where adults could go in without kids and get something out of it. No, you’d want to bring your kids for this one. It’s a movie for them and it works fine for what it’s supposed to do: keep ’em entertained, which it will do effectively. The animation is fine, and fast-paced, so it’s never boring. It’s colorful and competently made, so it’s not completely devoid of imagination. Personally, if you wanted to see a better version of this that both kids and adults would enjoy, LEGO BATMAN (2017) is the way to go. But if your kids are itching to see it, go ahead, it’s harmless and not painful to sit through. But if you’re an adult hit with nostalgia who grew up with the books unlike me, I’d say wait for a rental. It’s not exactly worth a theater viewing. Not bad, not that good, just… meh. I’m not the target demographic, so it is what it is.




Um… yeah.

What’s with this movie? This looks like it should be a Youtube short, not a theatrical release. I mean, really now? Hey, I’m all down for a “wtf” movie like this, but this is a little more out there, even for “out there” movies.

And look at this cast! Jason Schwartzman (THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL [2014], SAVING MR. BANKS [2013], and I HEART HUCKABEES [2004]). Lena Dunham (DON’T THINK TWICE [2016], THIS IS 40 [2012], and TV show GIRLS). Reggie Watts (PITCH PERFECT 2 [2015] and TV show ADVENTURE TIME). Maya Rudolph (CHIPS [2017], THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE [2016], SISTERS [2015], and upcoming films THE NUT JOB 2 [2017] and THE EMOJI MOVIE [2017])?! Susan god damned Sarandon (THE MEDDLER [2016], TAMMY [2014], and THELMA & LOUISE [1991])?! Am I high?! Did someone throw some coke in my popcorn or something?! How did this line-up of talent get roped into this?!

Now for the team that put this together. Writing and directing is Dash Shaw, making his feature-length debut. Congrats, sir. Finally, the composer for the music is Rani Sharone, known for TV movies, documentaries, and shorts.

Overall… I have no idea how this is going to be. I feel like the animation style will bug me, but as I keep saying, a good story is more important than most anything else.

This is my honest opinion of: MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA


The story follows Dash (voiced by Jason Schwartzman). He is a typical school-hating sophomore. He works on the school newspaper, writing ridiculously stupid articles that he thinks are brilliant alongside his best friend, Assaf (voiced by Reggie Watts). Well, Assaf wants to cover real stories, and when he suspects that the paper’s editor Verti (voiced by Maya Rudolph) has a crush on Assaf, who seems to have a crush, and wants Assaf to cover those stories solo, Dash feels betrayed and publishes a spiteful article about Assaf out of jealousy. After getting this stunt put on his permanent record, he attempts to fudge it, only to find blueprints for the new gymnasium and an inspection document that says its construction does meet the proper codes. As a result, the construction causes seismic activity and the high school, which sits on the edge of a cliff, gets thrust into the ocean, and as the school sinks, people start dying and Dash and company must race to the top of the school building in hopes of finding help.


Yeah, my opinion didn’t change much now that I’ve seen it. I still have no idea how this movie got to be on the big screen. Is it bad? Kinda. Do I dislike it? Not really. I just don’t think I understand why I saw it in a movie theater instead of on Youtube.

Alright, so some positives. I can’t deny that there’s a bit of a charm factor to the… “Dr. Katz” animation style. You know, the spazzing outline of the characters. I don’t know if I can explain why I don’t have a problem with it. Maybe it’s an acknowledgement that it doesn’t look like anything else out on the market right now and due to its different look, I welcomed it. There are some pretty trippy visual moments, as well as a funny enough animated fight scenes, and over the top violence of dead or dying people. I’m sure not hoping that this style catches on and more movies get made like this, but as a one-shot, I liked it more than I didn’t.

But there’s not many positives to draw on, in my opinion. The voice acting from everyone is noticeably dull. Everyone delivers a monotoned line like they’ve been doing better voice work and this movie was the last session of the day and they’re tired. Even in situations that call for some emotion, it’s just not there. I’m also not sure where the humor is. If you watch the trailer, there’s a quote from a critic saying “One of the funniest movies I’ve seen this year” or something to that effect. But… I have no idea where that humor is. “My legs are caught under this bookcase!” “Oh no! I’ll have to amputate!” “Dude, just lift the bookcase!” “Oh… right… okay.” I see comedy attempted to be written, but this example is the kind of humor that’s written. It’s not funny. There’s by no means immature humor, so I’m grateful that this movie didn’t stoop that low with its own writing, but I can’t imagine how many people busted a gut watching this when the dialog sounds like it was written by a teenager.

To make matters worse, as a result of the bland voice-acting, the movie is ultimately boring. While I stand by the visuals being interesting enough in some areas, hell, I feel like this would be a fun video game to play through, there’s still nothing to keep you emotionally vested into the main characters. If any of the main characters died, you wouldn’t give a single crap. Dash isn’t likable, the side characters are uninteresting, and since this is supposed to kind of be a character-driven story, it doesn’t work. So unless the visual style of the movie is all that you care about, then half your enjoyment is cut to ribbons.

It’s hard to be utterly angry with the film as it’s too boring to get mad over, but as a whole, it doesn’t really work. I’m not entirely upset that I saw it, as I can appreciate the attempt to put out something new and different, but I can’t imagine seeing this movie again. I don’t recommend it, unless you’re an animation junkie, then maybe you’ll find something of value here. Clocked in at an hour and fifteen minutes, it’s mercifully short, so not a whole lot of time will be wasted if you check it out, but wait for a rental if it’s something you just have to check out.

My honest rating for MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA: a weak 3/5



Well… who’s ready to see “Smurfs 3”!?

Oh fine, fine. It’s not a sequel, but aren’t you surprised that it isn’t? While I’ve never actually seen the films – only Youtube’s Nostalgia Critic’s reviews of them – I don’t feel compelled to see them. The first one seemed like an atrocious rip-off of other films with no real originality to speak of and… wasn’t even really about the Smurfs. It was about Neil Patrick Harris’ character and had a bunch of business-talk that no kid would ever care about. The sequel, from what I understand, is arguably worse in that it was mean-spirited and probably almost ruined young Jacob Tremblay’s chances at being a semi credible kid actor. Thank the lord for ROOM (2015). But as bad as the movies have been received, that never stopped the parents from taking their kids to see them. Each movie made money, so it’s a wonder why this new Smurfs movie isn’t a live-action sequel. A sequel was in the works, but got cancelled. I would say that we should be grateful, but we now have this one.

What’s wrong with this one, you might ask? It’s clearly going back to the animated fantasy setting that the original 80’s cartoon was known for, so isn’t that worth some merit? I guess it would be if the movie looked any good. Or worse, if they didn’t give you all the reason in the world to not see it by giving away its twist in the second trailer. Aside from that, the movie doesn’t look very good. The jokes look like they’re going to fall flat and the characters annoying. But if they’re going out of their way to make it feel more like a real smurfs movie, then it can’t be that awful.

Voice talent. Let’s get cracking. Starring, we have Demi Lovato, known for the Camp Rock movies, and TV shows GLEE and FROM DUSK TILL DAWN: THE SERIES, Rainn Wilson, known for SUPER (2010), JUNO (2007), TV show ADVENTURE TIME, and the upcoming film MEG (2018) and TV show STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, and Joe Manganiello, known for KNIGHT OF CUPS (2016), SABOTAGE (2014), TV show TRUE BLOOD, and the upcoming film THE BATMAN, due out… who knows when. In support, we have Mandy Patinkins, known for THE PRINCESS BRIDE (1987), and TV shows HOMELAND and CRIMINAL MINDS, Julie Roberts, known for MONEY MONSTER (2016), OCEANS ELEVEN (2001), and NOTTING HILL (1999), and Michelle Rodriguez, known for FURIOUS 7 (2015), AVATAR (2009), RESIDENT EVIL (2002), and the upcoming film THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS (2017).

Now for behind the scenes. Directing, we have Kelly Asbury, known for GNOMEO & JULIET (2011), SHREK 2 (2004), and SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON (2002). Co-writing the script are Stacy Harman, known for TV show THE GOLDBERGS, and Pamela Ribon, known for TV show SAMANTHA WHO?. Finally, the composer of the music is Christopher Lennertz, known for BAD MOMS (2016), TV show SUPERNATURAL, video game MASS EFFECT 3, and the upcoming film BAYWATCH (2017) and video game SCALEBOUND.

Overall, I can’t say I’m looking forward to it. It looks like it’s really meant for little kids and not really packing anything new or exciting.

This is my honest opinion of: SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE


Smurfette (voiced by Demi Lovato) is still trying figure out what makes her unique, but having little success in doing so among the other Smurfs, despite her being well-liked. But her creator, the sorcerer Gargamel (voiced by Rainn Wilson) is still looking for the Smurfs so he can enhance his magic. But one fateful day, near the forbidden forest, Smurfette catches sight of a creature that looked suspiciously like a Smurf. Despite Papa (voiced by Mandy Patinkins) saying that they can’t go, Smurfette and her friends decide to venture into the unknown in search of what makes Smurfette who she is and possibly find the fabled “lost village.”


While I’m sure it’s much better than live-action films, this is still not a very good animated movie. Certainly not the worst, but… eh.

Alright, so obviously I must have at least a couple good things to say, right? Actually, yes I do. First off, the movie is mostly, devoid of immature, thirteen-year-old humor masquerading as adult humor. No cat testicle humor, thank the Lord. The animation isn’t the worst and is pleasant to look at in certain scenes. Plenty of bright colors to keep the eyes engaged. The movie isn’t completely devoid of creativity. I won’t understand the function of a glow-in-the-dark bunny or how evolution took that kind of turn for them, but hey, fantasy affords a great deal of leeway in explaining stuff. But most importantly, because of the suspension of stupid and lazy humor, the movie does mostly have a sense of innocence to it. For the most part, this is a fine enough movie to show your kids. They won’t really get anything of value from it, but it’s not bad for them, per se.

But I think my favorite thing about the movie is the addition of female smurfs. In fact, with the exception of a couple characters, they’re a lot of fun and aren’t just there as punchlines for “girl” jokes. They contribute to the story, they’re an organized force to be reckoned with and I enjoyed watching them on screen. Also, Rodriguez in a kids movie. Can there be anything so far from the usual genre she’s associated with? Of course, can’t get too far from the norm as she does play the one lady Smurf that’s tough as nails and the true-to-form warrior. I was entertained to say the least when her character was on screen.

But beyond the compliments… it’s not impressively written.

First off, if the Smurfs’ names are due to the personality traits they exhibit, why is Clumsy so cowardly? Clumsy doesn’t mean you’re timid. It doesn’t even imply it. This is a consistent distraction throughout the movie, and it doesn’t help that he’s the most annoying character. He falls into that lazy character-writing where, “If he’s loud, he must be funny,” kind of writing. I’m no comedy writer, folks, but if I had a guess what “comedy-writing 101” entailed: stop making your characters scream. It’s not funny.

Also, as commendable as this movie is by expanding the Smurfs… “lore” by including a lost village of all-female Smurfs, it does feel a little too “girl power” to see that they’re the only ones who know how to fight and the boys are either passive, incompetent, or inexperienced. Ironic, considering how many adventures they’ve had avoiding Gargamel.

Speak of the devil, Gargamel is not funny either. Less obnoxious than Hank Azaria was in the live-action movies, from what I’ve seen, but it’s not exactly the biggest improvement either. I mean, the animation is there. He’s energetic, fast-moving, and he’s got funny emotions, so you want to laugh at him. But it’s the dialog that he’s given that kills everything. I never saw the original show, so I have a difficult time comparing this to that, but, yeah, none of his lines are funny. Something of an insult to Wilson as he has been a funny dude in the past. It’s a little sad when your primary villain is less funny than his dialogless cat side-kick.

Overall, the movie falls pretty flat. I won’t call it awful, but it’s obvious it’s meant for little kids and to shut them up for an hour and a half. I can’t imagine any adult caring about this, but I bet enough kids will get a kick out of it. I don’t recommend this in theaters. Save it for a rental if your kids are still giving you a hard time by the time it comes out, but if you never saw it, you’re not missing out.

My honest rating for SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE: a weak 3/5