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80s Fueled Family Fun | Review of ‘Despicable Me 3’

By Cynthia Ayala

“Gru meets his long-lost charming, cheerful, and more successful twin brother Dru who wants to team up with him for one last criminal heist.” — IMDB

Fun and zany probably sums it up best. Despicable Me 3. Sure, the original will always be the best because it was original, but the heart isn’t lost from the original. The story expands as the story has the group discover a whole new family member. Turns out Gru has a brother, it’s Dru. Dru has the hair, and money, and a mansion. Talk about sibling rivalries. But he reveals some hidden secrets to the family legacy.
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Hilariously Good | Review of ‘Ghostbusters’ (2016 Film)

By Cynthia Ayala

Ghostbusters starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones & Chris Hemsworth
Columbia Pictures
Image Credit: ScreenRant

Following a ghost invasion of Manhattan, paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates, nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann, and subway worker Patty Tolan band together to stop the otherworldly threat.


Now I know that there has been so much stupid controversy over this film but let me just say this: all of that is utterly stupid. I’ve seen the original, I love the original, and to be quite frank, while this movie may be a reboot with an all-female cast, it’s hilarious. These women are funny, they have the right chemistry with one another and they bring their own creativity to this film. These actresses are not trying to be the original cast, while their parts may mirror the original cast, they bring something new to the characters, something new to the Ghostbusters franchise. Even Chris Hemsworth‘s character is different than the original Annie Potts character from the original. They are very different because the actors are being themselves, they are bringing their own unique hilarity to the film rather than rehash what was already done spectacularly, and in my book, that’s awesome.
Continue reading Hilariously Good | Review of ‘Ghostbusters’ (2016 Film)

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013 Film) | Movie Review

By: Cynthia A.

Directed By: Ben Stiller

Screenplay by: Steve Conrad

Based on The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber

Starring: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn & Sean Penn

Walter Mitty is a negative assets manager (photographs) at Life magazine who frequently daydreams of fantastic adventures, and has a crush on his coworker Cheryl. Photojournalist Sean O’Connell, who works closely with Mitty concerning his submissions, has sent him a package containing his latest negatives and a wallet as a gift in appreciation of Mitty’s excellent work. Furthermore, that package contains a special photograph, negative 25, that he says in writing captures the “Quintessence” of Life and that it should be used for the cover of the magazine’s final print issue as it converts to online status. Unfortunately, that specific negative is missing from the package and Mitty is forced to stall the obnoxious corporate transition manager Ted Hendricks handling the downsizing. Using the other negatives as clues, Mitty searches for O’Connell, a journey that leads him to be true to himself and allow him to live the life of an adventure outside his wildest daydreams.

Wow.  Ben Stiller was brilliant in this movie, not only proving himself as an actor but also as a director.  Stepping away from this comedic roots to attach and ground himself in something more substantial, he was able to combine comedy and drama into this movie effortlessly, showcasing the growth of his character and capturing all his doubts, dreams and strengths in one combined motion.

The movie is about Mitty who is a man who lives in his head, day by day, daydreaming about the extraordinary rather than do extraordinary things, or even anything.  He is so fixated on being the responsible man who keeps to himself that he isn’t living.  But then he takes the leap, literally, and goes on this extraordinary journey.  It’s a message for all of us to step out of our heads and to take a risk once in a while, to take a leap of faith and live our lives instead of just dreaming of living.  It blended reality and fiction together and was heartwarming, hilarious and the acting was truly phenomenal.

Ben Stiller should be applauded for his outstanding performance and directing ability.  He was able to get at the heart of the movie, at the heart of the meaning behind the movie, captivating audiences and giving the comedic breaks in the movie a substantial tone that would reach more audiences.  As stated above, Be Stiller really proved himself as a director and an actor.  Of course, the rest of the cast was amazing.  Each of them really brought this movie to life, giving viewers real life characters stuck in a very real situation, showing how each of them prevail, how each of them survive and live.

But beyond all that, the message behind the movie, to live your lives and look inside for who you really are and be true to that person.  ★★★★ (A+)

Despicable Me 2 | Movie Review

image Directed By: Pierre Coffin & Chris Renaud

Screenplay By: Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio

Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, Steve Coogan & Ken Jeong

The former villain Gru, now father of three girls, simply wants to lead a semi-normal family life as he puts his villain days behind him. But when a secret weapon is stolen, the Anti-Villain League recruits him and teams him with one of their own putting him undercover to solve the mystery and recover the weapon.

Hilarious and adorable. This movie was just as good as the first one with a different story that follows Gru and he continues to be a father to three young girls. But as a single father and as a bachelor who is reluctant to date, the girls are still without a mother, making for a very heartfelt movie.

The way the plot progressed and the way that the movie was done was great. It was, like already stated, hilarious. Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to find and stop a villain who has stolen a top-secret developmental serum that has evil side effects. Gru who was once the villain is now the person who has to stop the villain, and his minions are of no help whatsoever. Nevertheless, those minions, they are just too adorable!

What this movie had additionally was the amount of heart in it. There was as much as there was in the first movie, progressing off of what was already there and established in thefirst movie, but then developing even more so in this movie to build the dynamic between the characters and show just what a family is really made out of.

Simply adorable and heartfelt. Oh and the attacking chicken, yeah that was great. ★★★ (A)

Ben Stiller Looks Dazed And Confused In First Secret Life Of Walter Mitty Image

By: Nick Venable

"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"When “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” first made its way into my life in elementary school, the literature textbook we were using had artwork that depicted Mitty as a nervous man with glasses, kind of like a Woody Allen from anywhere other than New York. And by the time I saw the Danny Kaye version, the image embedded into my brain could not be detached. And so when Ben Stiller was set to take on the role, it caused both excitement, given Stiller’s gifts with physical comedy, and trepidation, given Stiller’s gifts of being in severely unfunny movies occasionally. But I thought it might at least vaguely alter my perception of Mitty as a character.

But as we can see from the first official photo from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, courtesy ofThe Los Angeles Times, Stiller isn’t stepping outside his physical appearance comfort zone for this one. He’s standing out in the middle of a barren nowhere by the looks of it, wearing beat up jeans and holding a bag and skateboard. I’m not sure if the skateboard and rocks are supposed to imply extreme sports in a contrasting setting, but I certainly hope not. I guess it’s asecret.

Bland picture or not, Walter Mitty is looking to be one of 2013’s more interesting year-ending comedies. Stiller stars as a LIFE Magazine proofreader whose real-world nebbishness is flipped around in his mental fantasy life, which involves him searching for a missing image taken by a photographer played by Sean Penn. The film also stars Kristen WiigPatton OswaltAdam Scott, and Kathryn Hahn. So even if it isn’t the funniest, it’s got some of the funniest people in it.

Viewers can unwrap Mitty’s secret when the film releases on Christmas Day 2013.

Source: Cinema Blend

Black Swan Screenwriter Adapting Bestselling Thriller Syndrome E

By: Nick Venable

Syndrome_E_35523The destructive power of art can be a fascinating theme, although more so in the case of something like Dorian Gray than the Pawnee Indian murals onParks and Recreation. The international bestselling novel Le Syndrome E, written by French author Franck Thilliez, follows that theme, describing the deadly effect a rare film has upon those who watch it. Combined with a police procedural plotline, the novel reads like a combination of The Ring and Se7en, two of my favorite films of the last twenty years.

Paramount Pictures and Indian Paintbrush Productions are set to bring an adaptation of the novel stateside, with Black Swan screenwriter Mark Heyman will be taking on script duties, according to Deadline. Film Rites’ Steve Zaillian and Garret Basch will be producing, along with Steven Rales and Mark Roybal, who were both executive producers on recent films likeMoonrise Kingdom and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.

The novel is the first in a series and follows Lucie Hennebelle, a female detective hunting down an extremely rare and intensely violent film from the 1950s that is filled with subliminal images that cause those who come into contact with it to meet their maker a little earlier and bloodier than they otherwise would have. Hennebelle joins up with Paris detective Inspector Franck Sharko to figure out how the film is connected to a group of five murdered men, and soon find themselves caught up in the middle of an international mystery, twisting the story through politics, religion and neurological science, tackling the very notion of humanity and how it can be used negatively.

Heyman, whose career started as an assistant to director Darren Aronofsky, will have a busy year ahead of him. He’s already written The Skeleton Twins, a death-cheating dram-com with Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, and Bill Hader, as well as the adaptation of the Max Barry genre-mashing novelMachine Man, which tells the tale of a man whose titanium body customization makes him a target to interested parties.

Source: Cinema Blend

Sean Penn In Talks To Join Ben Stiller In The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

By: Kelly West

Sean Penn In Talks To Join Ben Stiller In The Secret Life of Walter Mitty image

Sean Penn’s acting career consists largely of dramas, so it’s a little surprising to hear that the Tree of Life star is in talks to play a supporting role in an upcoming comedy starring and directed by Ben Stiller. It’s surprising, but no less intriguing.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is actually a remake of a loose adaptation of a short story by James Thurber. The 1947 film, which stars Danny Kaye, followed Mitty, a daydreaming writer who imagines himself to be a hero. In addition to directing the remake, Stiller is set to play Walter Mitty. From what Deadline reports about the premise, it sounds like the comedy will make an adjustment to the title character’s profession, making him a magazine photo manager, as opposed to an editor. The site posted word of Penn’s potential involvement in the comedy, saying that he’s in talks to play a “small but pivotal supporting role” in the film. Other than that, the only specific mentioned on the part is that he’s a photographer.

Not only is Walter Mitty described as a comedy, but the film is already well stocked with comedic actors. In addition to Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Shirley MacLaine and Patton Oswalt are on board to star. Penn’s background may consist mainly of dramas, with recent films like Milk, The Tree of Life and the upcoming Gangster Squad under his belt, but Penn has revealed us his goofier side before. Most memorably, he played the dimwitted surfer Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgmont High, and then of course, there was his guest starring role in Friends. Given how little we know of the role he might play in Walter Mitty, it’s hard to say if it’s a serious part, or if he’ll be contributing to the laughs. Either way, Walter Mitty already has a solid cast going for it, and Penn’s involvement, regardless of how “small” the role is would certainly add to that.

Source: Cinema Blend

Emily Blunt Is Tom Cruise’s Co-Star For All You Need Is Kill

Emily Blunt Is Tom Cruise's Co-Star For All You Need Is Kill imageIt’s a good day to be Emily Blunt. She’s got the low-key comedy Salmon Fishing in the Yemen in theaters now, the big-name comedy The Five Year Engagement opening the Tribeca Film Festival this week, and the trailer for her upcoming thriller Looper now online shows off even more of her range. And now word has broken at Variety that not only has she been picked to star opposite Tom Cruise in the futuristic thriller All You Need Is Kill, but she’s one of the top choices to star opposite Johnny Depp in Rob Marshall’s remake of The Thin Man.

Got all that? Let’s start getting into details with All You Need Is Kill. Director Doug Liman recently revealed that it would likely be his next project once Tom Cruise’s schedule allowed for it, and with Blunt now in talks for the co-starring role, they indeed seem ready to move ahead. Cruise stars as a soldier killed in a war against aliens who finds himself living the day of his death over and over, Groundhog Day-style. As another soldier fighting opposite him, Blunt is probably the Andie McDowell of this movie, but since the circumstances sound so different it’s unlikely the role will be nearly that simple.

As for The Thin Man, also a Warner Bros. project, Blunt had been on the shortlist of potential co-stars revealed a few weeks ago, and now she’s apparently one of the finalists, alongside Kristen Wiig and Emma Stone. All three seemed to have the most obvious comedic skills of the actreses on that shortlist, and any seem like a reasonable update of Myrna Loy’s classic performance as Nora Charles, but there’s still the question of how Depp will fare with that kind of quick-witted comedy. Don’t let the huge age disparity among these actresses bug you though– Loy was a full 13 years younger than the original Nick Charles, William Powell. OK, so Depp is a full 25 years older than Emma Stone, and 15 older than Blunt, but we’re just going to assume Edward Scissorhands can get away with it anyway.

It’s unclear when any of these films will be ready to go into production, or how they’ll fit into Blunt’s plenty busy schedule, but the moral of the story is that she’s on the rise. If you’ve been delighted by her work ever since The Devil Wears Pradaas I have, this is nothing but a good thing.