Kathryn Hahn

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: Bad Moms

by Carrie Kahn on July 29, 2016

The moms may be Bad, but their film has its moments

Exhausted and overextended moms Amy (Mila Kunis, l.), Kiki (Kristen Bell), and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) decide to cut loose.

A few weeks ago, we learned that Mike and Dave need wedding dates, and now today, in Bad Moms, we find that some stressed out moms need to cut loose. In the summer’s second booze-soaked, raunchy-but-sweet comedy to open this month, Josh Lucas and Scott Moore, the co-writers of the Hangover trilogy, also pick up the director’s reins to bring us this similarly over-the-top, often very funny film that has a lot of predictable heart under its R-rated laughs.
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Sundance 2015 Spotlights: Six Feature Films

Sundance

The Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT, closed last Sunday, February 1st, and the award winners were announced that day; they can be found here.

Spinning Platters Sr. Film Reviewer Carrie Kahn continues her coverage of Festival films, so you can know what to look for in the coming year – and what to avoid – as many of these titles are purchased and widely distributed

As a reminder, we are using our patented Viewing Priority Level (VPL) Guide to advise you accordingly:

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This family puts the fun in ‘dysfunction’

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Sister and brother Wendy and Judd (Tina Fey and Jason Bateman) take a time-out together.

Director Shawn Levy, whose previous efforts include the funny but lightweight Night at the Museum and the mediocre Google commercial (er, film) The Internship might not seem like an obvious choice to bring Jonathan Tropper’s more literary serio-comic novel This is Where I Leave You to the big screen. But Levy has the good fortune to be working with a screenplay written by Tropper himself, as well as an extraordinary cast of both up and coming and tried and true talent. This collaboration has yielded one of the year’s most highly enjoyable pictures. [read the whole post]

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Film Review: Bad Words

by Chad Liffmann on March 14, 2014

Charming, crude, and rudimentary.  R-U-D-I-M-E-N-T-A-R-Y.

Jason Bateman acts like a child.  A naughty naughty child.

Jason Bateman acts like a child. A naughty naughty child.

(Click here to see my video interview with Jason Bateman)

There is something delightfully sadistic about taking an innocent and formal pastime such as the national spelling bee and flipping it on its head through vulgarity and unabashed crudeness.  Bad Words, which has already drawn comparisons to 2003’s Bad Santa, manages to find that coveted happy zone in which the audience can cheer on an antihero, even when the antihero engages in some truly despicable acts.  Star Jason Bateman, who also makes his film directorial debut with Bad Words, knew that a relatable lead character with a story to tell (and legit motive) would be just as important to the success of the film as the level of crudeness.  Hats off to Mr. Bateman for pulling it off, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else who could.

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Here’s a secret: Stiller’s adaptation not bad

Ben Stiller's Walter works up the nerve to have a conversation with Kristen Wiig's Cheryl in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

Ben Stiller’s Walter works up the nerve to have a conversation with Kristen Wiig’s Cheryl in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

Ben Stiller, directing his first feature since 2008’s very funny Tropic Thunder, hasn’t made a great film with The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, but it’s a very pleasant diversion with a few genuine laughs, a sweet storyline, and some spectacular cinematography. Stiller’s film is the first to try to adapt James Thurber’s classic 1939 New Yorker short story of the same name since the 1947 Danny Kaye version. Here, though, working from a script by Steve Conrad (who also wrote the generally well-received The Pursuit of Happyness), Stiller doesn’t try to faithfully adapt the story so much as use elements of it to create an updated, brand new version. [read the whole post]

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