Christine Baranski

Mediocre sequel deserves a lump of coal         

The Bad Moms (from l., Kathryn Hahn, Mila Kunis, and Kristen Bell) get into the Christmas spirit in one of the film’s 8,000 (oh, I mean five) montage sequences.

With A Bad Moms Christmas, writer/directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore try in vain to recapture the success of Bad Moms, their smart, funny, and truthful comedy from last year about overextended and overwhelmed modern day moms. They should have left well enough alone; not every picture needs a sequel or to be the start of a franchise. A Bad Moms Christmas is not nearly as funny as the original, and just feels like a painfully obvious and rather weak extension of the filmmakers’ initial idea. [read the whole post]

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Film Review: Into the Woods

by Carrie Kahn on December 25, 2014

The cast is great/The film is good/Into the woods/To go to the movies!

The Baker (James Corden) and his Wife (Emily Blunt) venture Into the Woods.

The Baker (James Corden) and his Wife (Emily Blunt) venture Into the Woods.

Director Rob Marshall, who was nominated for an Oscar for his film version of the musical “Chicago” back in 2003, returns this holiday season with another big screen adaptation of a Broadway hit musical. This time he takes on Steven Sondheim’s storied (pun intended) 1987 mega-hit Into the Woods, an extraordinarily entertaining mishmash of several of the Grimm Brothers classic fairy tales. Produced by Disney, the film had been the subject of widespread speculation that the darker edges of the Sondheim/James Lapine fantasy might be smoothed too much. Purists need not worry, however; Marshall’s version retains the mature themes and disquieting tone of the original, and has the added benefit of a terrific cast.

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