Theatrical Releases: Horrible Bosses 2 & Penguins Of Madagascar
“Horrible Bosses 2” is the sequel no one asked for but got anyway. Not that the first installment wasn’t good, but who would have thought there needed to be a second one. Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman, and Charlie Day return, this time with a few new horrible bosses in the form of Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz. With only one trailer that came out right before the release date, I know very little about the premise of this one, but if it is even close to the last one, it will be a decent time at the movies.
The trailer for “Penguins Of Madagascar” cracks me up every time, especially the scene where the main penguin is eating cheesy puffs very loudly while someone is trying to talking, consistently interrupting him. What makes this film even more of a draw is that the team that made the “Madagascar” films actually wanted to make the “Penguins” film first, but the studio did not have enough faith in it to greenlight it. Three movies later and now they are ready to push this one. Hopefully it lives up to its trailer.
“Antarctica: A Year On Ice” is breathtaking, just from the trailer alone. With unequivocal views of the frozen land, including amazing imagery of the Northern lights and of the wildlife surrounding the area that these people live it, there is always something magical about films located at the poles. Telling the story of people that have set out to make this their life’s work, the voice-over narration is actually very positive and refreshing, offering some very insightful musings that I am sure are quite plentiful in the film itself.
Being praised as one of the most original and scariest films of the year, “The Babadook” is actually a throwback to classic horror. Finding a strange book called “The Babadook” while reading to her son one night, a stressed and single mother finds herself dealing with a paranormal entity in her home to which she continuously tries to write off as nothing. But when she can no longer sleep at night and is at her wits end, she must finally face the demon. Completely original, I do have to admit it was not entirely scary but does have a strong creepy presence that never quite goes away.
“Curfew” was my favorite short film during the 2013 Academy Award season and now a film based on that short has been released entitled “Before I Disappear”. Just like the short, this feature is written by, directed by, and starring the Academy Award winner Shawn Christensen. Also and almost more importantly, the young Fatima Ptacek reprises her role as Sophia, who really was one of the major factors in the short being my favorite. The premise follows as such: just as Shawn’s character is about to kill himself, his sister calls and asks him to pick up his niece. The rest of the night is the both of them growing together and changing the course of their lives.
Just to be clear, this is a Lifetime Original Movie. Apparently bringing the “internet sensation to life,” “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever” is exactly what you would imagine it to be. One little girl can hear the thoughts of Grumpy Cat and tries to produces the best Christmas ever. As much as I strongly support Aubrey Plaza’s career, this is definitely not a step in the right direction. Despite her knack for not being excited about things, her voice does not lend itself to being a grumpy cat, but I am guessing that anyone else that mattered was not willing to take a step down for this.
Do I think everyone should live forever? Probably not. If the scientific breakthrough existed to keep everyone alive, would I take part? Absolutely. Most people, if asked, do not want to die and “The Immortalists” brings to the surface the scientists working on such a breakthrough and actually saying that they are not that far away from finding a proverbial “fountain of youth”. To think this could happen in my lifetime is unbelievable, but thinking about overpopulation and dwindling resources makes me fear for the natural cycle.
“Remote Area Medical” is about a troupe of traveling physicians that offer medical help the communities where there are a large majority of people in need. Apparently places in America need these services more than Third World countries, which I tend not to believe. But I do feel good about people helping people, and this documentary has plenty of that. When people cannot afford to go to the dentist, or the doctor, or the optometrist, having a service ready and able to help is life-changing I am sure.
“Walt Before Mickey” is not a documentary. It is a re-dramatization of Walt Disney’s life from a child to his first studio jobs. There are some recognizable faces, including Jon Heder (“Napoleon Dynamite”) but the trailer for this film feels more like an SNL skit rather than a flesh and blood film. With way too much melodrama and horrible acting, this could have had potential with the right cast, director, and production design, but instead it is thin and weak, and actually quite laughable.