kristen bell

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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Film Review: The Boss

by Chad Liffmann on April 8, 2016

The Boss gets to a hilarious point, and then avoids it the rest of the way.

Troop Badass.

Troop Badass.

Melissa McCarthy has been a central figure in the female-led comedic renaissance in modern cinema. 2011’s Bridesmaids kicked off a constant flow of adult comedies featuring female leads, and the results have been great. That isn’t to say that female-led comedies were never produced before, but they were few and far between — about one to every ten male-led adult comedies (a guesstimate). The Boss is the latest entry in the new wave of such films, and while it’s not nearly as funny as others, it gleefully crosses the politically incorrect line on a few occasions while criticizing some of our society’s most antiquated views of women of all ages. And when it does, unfortunately not often enough, it’s hysterical!

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Film Review: Frozen

by Chad Liffmann on November 27, 2013

It’s worth visiting Frozen’s musical winter wonderland.

Characters chill in Disney's "Frozen"

Characters chill in Disney’s “Frozen”

Disney made a lot of smart moves with Frozen, the new animated family film being released just in time for the holiday season.  With snow/wintery elements at the core of its story, Frozen’s release is not only timed well at the beginning of the holidays, but is thematically (and seasonally) relevant.  Also, Disney had been toying with an adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen for over a decade, and rather than rush it out the gate, it appears that the studio took careful consideration for a worthwhile script and stellar musical accompaniment.  Finally, speaking of the music, Disney made a brilliant move by bringing in Robert Lopez, the Tony award winning composer behind the music for Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon.  With a Broadway style of musical energy driving the story along (at least for the first three quarters), Frozen is heartwarming fun with a very powerful feminine voice…one that would pass the Bechdel test with flying colors.

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