REVIEW: “DEADPOOL 2” (2018) 20th Century Fox

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So yes, in case somehow you’ve been stuck under a rock or living in Wakanda and you’ve missed all the wonderful promos leading into the release of this film, yes, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) as his alter-ego DEADPOOL are back for another round. And while the laughs and action are still there, your going to be hard pressed to find a movie more over the top than “DEADPOOL 2”. Director David Leitch takes this one to a whole new level entirely and it works namely because the violence here is just creative vs. all blood, guts and gore. And sure, it defies all logic most of the time, but you can’t help but laugh at the zingers being thrown at you left and right throughout and Reynolds’ charm is undeniable.

We come into the film with Williams having settled into something resembling normalcy, kinda right where you expected him to be – spending his days dispatching villains now that he can with those mutant healing powers – they allow him to recover from gunshot wounds or worse. His nights are spent with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), the love of his life. But some terrible things happen, leaving a depressed Deadpool to crash on the couch at Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters making for some hilarious camp X-Men jokes fall in to place.

We have a mix of some of the old friends, the CGI Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic), Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), Blind Al (Leslie Uggams), and of course our favourite taxi-driver-wanna-be-super-hero Dopinder (Karan Soni). But we also have a whole new fun group come into play, albeit for some it’s not for long journey – but Peter (Rob Delaney), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgård), Vanisher (Brad Pitt), Bedlam (Terry Crews), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), and Black Tom Cassidy (Jack Kesy) add a fun plot point to the whole film. They are all part of the newly recruited/dubbed ‘X-Force’ group, which seemed like a good idea at the time, but sadly and hysterically I might add, they are gone in quick succession. My personal favourite and one of the last standing through it all, is bad-ass Domino (Zazie Beetz), whose superpower is undeniably “luck”. Our villians could be one of three very different people at various times throughtout. Cable (Josh Brolin) comes into to try to kill Russell aka Firefist (Julian Dennison), who might or might not be ready to step into villian shoes in a big way, or can we call the creepy Headmaster (Eddie Marsan), the biggest villian of the film. That will be for you to decide and see what happens as telling more of this story just defeats the purpose of the fun you will have while watching it. Also, there are cameo moments galore and I hope no one ruins them for you beforehand because they are just plain fun! While I wasn’t crazy about this storyline in comparison to the first one, the one-line zingers are comedy gold. Pay attention as they go fast..very fast.

That being said, go into this movie knowing that it is a campy, corny, over the top superhero/action/comedy that is just about crazy shooting sequences and one-liners, and you’ll be fine. Do not go into this movie expecting deep plot, meaningful conversations among characters, or anything remotely resembling a serious action or drama movie – because that’s not what it’s all about. And yes, this one features the best post credits scene EVER – so don’t make the silly mistake of walking out when the film is over..stay for both sequences..you will be glad you did.

Grade: B+
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Media Review Screening: Monday, May 14, 2018 ~ Courtesy of 20th Century Fox
DEADPOOL 2 WILL BE OUT IN THEATERS NATIONWIDE/WORLDWIDE FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018

REVIEW: “LIFE OF THE PARTY” (2018) New Line/Warner Bros.

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‘LIFE OF THE PARTY’ is comedy about a recently divorced mother Deanna (Melissa McCarthy) who decides to go back to college to finish getting her degree after dropping out for motherhood in her junior year. She then ends up in her daughter Maddies’ (Molly Gordon) class and while Maddie isn’t so super thrilled about this fact, much to her surprise, her sorority sisters actually love it. Written and Directed by Ben Falcone, McCarthy’s real life husband (who of course has a bit part), along with Melissa also contributing to the writing portion. The movie is definitely a mixed bag – with only a few highlights and the rest of it to be almost painfully uneven, with hit-and-miss laughs along the way.

The high points of the film are definitely made and taken by McCarthy and her ‘going back to college’ adventure. Her character feels liberated for the first time in her life and truly sets out to find herself. Problem is, she begins partying with Maddie’s friends and sleeping with frat boy Jack (Luke Benward) who is half her age. She of course finds happiness, and her true self in the process.

The film is really funny in places, and when McCarthy plays off an 80’s dance contest and a hysterical dining scene, she is ON!!! – and there isn’t a lot of people who are better at pulling those moments off. Sadly, there isn’t enough of them and the film is completely not funny at all in other places. The odd turns it takes at times being even painful to watch, and then moments later it’s hilarious again. The supporting cast of Maya Rudolph as her best friend Christine and Stephen Root & Jacki Weaver as Deanna’s parents Sandy & Mike, add so much. But it’s the young supporting cast here of Maddie’s friends Helen aka ‘Coma Girl‘ (Gillian Jacobs), Jennifer (Debby Ryan), Amanda (Adria Arjona) & Debbie (Jessie Enis), that give some much needed spark with Jacobs leading the pack. And yes, there is a cameo performance by..(drum roll) Xtina – I mean..

I’ve seen a lot of comedies like this, and of course they’re hard to overly recommend, or discourage people from seeing as you’ve seen worse and you’ve seen better. It’s definitely good for at least some laughs, and a bit of feel good/positive vibes too.

Grade: C-
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Media Review Screening: Thursday, May 10, 2018 ~ Courtesy of Warner Bros.
‘LIFE OF THE PARTY’ IS OUT IN THEATERS NATIONWIDE/WORLDWIDE ON FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2018

REVIEW: “TULLY” (2018) Focus Features

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Let me preface this review by noting about the two previous films by the writing/directing duo of Ivan Reitman & Diablo Cody. “JUNO” – which I loved, and “YOUNG ADULT” – which I didn’t love so much. This is number three, and while I respect both of them, unless they were trying to make one of the most depressing movies about motherhood I’ve seen in sometime – I’m rolling with a great big WHAT? WENT? ON? HERE?

I realize many other critics are really liking this film so let me try to explain this as I saw it. “TULLY” centers around Charlize Theron as Marlo, a mother of two – soon to be three kids – who has to balance caring for them to the detriment of her own personal life and emotional well being. Marlo’s husband, Drew (Ron Livingston), is the epitome of the hands-off parent, either on the road for work or zoning out while playing video games in bed. Elsewhere, Marlo’s wealthy brother, Craig (Mark Duplass), and sister-in-law, Elyse (Elaine Tan), represent clichés of an equally deliberate kind – you know the type – that annoying couple that can afford to bypass parenting altogether because they can afford to. But then it’s Craig who provides his Marlo with the services of a night nanny (yes, it’s the first we’ve all heard of this type of job) Tully (Mackenzie Davis), and once Tully enters Marlo’s life, her world becomes magically better and the film’s secondary characters fade into the background and remain there. Tully is charming, but her relentless cheeriness and boundless compassion for Marlo belies something strange about her identity in the fact that she may, quite literally, be too good to be true. And this too-good-too-be-true nanny works tirelessly to shake Marlo out of her postpartum depression, Reitman begins to introduce magical-realist elements into the film—a nighttime excursion into the city, an somewhat amusing yet possibly one of the most uncomfortable bathroom breast-milk dumping scenes in film to date, that take us in his deliriously exhausted, weird lead character mindset.

Getting us to question the veracity of Tully’s existence is gimmicky enough, and then its resorts to using an overplayed and contrived narrative device to explain Tully’s inevitable departure from Marlo’s life. This my friends is the twist to the movie. Mercifully, the moment is matter-of-fact almost to the point that it doesn’t count as a “gotcha!” thing, but it still rankles. In the homestretch, the film unearths a number of issues that put us in the position of questioning the rejuvenated Marlo’s ability to be a good mother in the first place. But somehow addressing these concerns is avoided, sweeping them under the rug to clear the path for a happy ending that, as a result of such evasion, registers only as unintentionally disconcerting and giving me a huge disconnect to the entire film I just watched. It’s an unfortunate misstep in a film that initially suggests it’s a comedy – but with only a few sarcastic comedy jumps here and there – it’s again, mostly an almost tragically depressing drama.

I went to far as to asking some of the people that clapped after the film ended, what they saw that I might have missed. Turns out they were just clapping for clapping’s sake. As for performances, I did like Charlize quite a bit, and as a fan of Mackenzie Davis, she too excelled somewhat for me, even though in their whole parts together, they didn’t seem a great fit. Everyone else just seemed an after thought once the two leads took over. I didn’t hate this movie, I just truly had no idea what was going on as it didn’t seem to want to tell me. It just wanted to depress me. It’s also one I never want to watch again.

Grade: D+
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Review Screening: Thursday, April 26, 2018 ~ Courtesy of the PGA
“TULLY” WILL BE OUT IN THEATERS NATIONWIDE ON FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2018 // WORLDWIDE RELEASE TO FOLLOW MAY 2018