Filled with silliness and pop cultures references, Minions mostly succeeds apart from the Despicable Me franchise.
The creators of Despicable Me finally decided to give the little yellow guys their own film simply called Minions and this time we get their whole story. From the beginning of time, these small yellow creatures evolved from single-celled organisms and formed into what we recognize as Minions. Christian fundamentalists cover your eyes! But it’s really okay; the entire movie is one giant parody within itself. For Minions, they were born to have a so-called “Master” to lead them to achieve badness.
That starts out with a T-Rex roaming the island, but quickly turns catastrophic because the Minions are full of clumsiness. Their “Master” soon finds his way in the belly of a volcano. From there, the group continues to search for more “Master,” including a caveman, an Egyptian pharaoh, Dracula, and Napoleon, but accidentally killing nearly all of them. The Minions spirits are weary so they decide to make a living in Antarctica. When 1968 rolls around, the Minions are at an all-time low and are in desperate need of a “Master.”
So Kevin, Stuart and Bob decide to go out for the group and find a permanent “Master.” Going from Villain-Con in Orlando to stealing the Queen’s crown in London, the film is bright and will entertain the younger ones. As for adults, you’ll chuckle and grin at the pop culture references spilling out within the film. While Minions is no Pixar, nevertheless, these little yellow guys were mostly able to carry the film on their own terms sometimes offering hilarious results.
Minions is rated PG (Parental Guidance). For action and rude humor.
The fifth installment to James Cameron’s Terminator franchise has overstayed its welcome with a muddled concept and uninteresting thrills.
In all honesty, the Terminator franchise should have ended at Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Director James Cameron (Titanic, Terminator 1 & 2) perfectly crafted these Cyborg-born machine sequels and was able to end them on a satisfyingly high note. Sadly, Hollywood got greedy and wanted to continue the series with more bloated sequels (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machine, Terminator Salvation and now Terminator: Genisys).
The first Terminator was the story setup, while T2 concluded that mythology with eye-popping action sequences and a bravura Arnold Schwarzenegger performance. Now, 24 years later Hollywood hasn’t made any progress with expanding upon that intriguing concept of Cyborgs taking over. Stacked with a sharp cast (Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney, J.K. Simmons and even the Terminator himself, Schwarzenegger), Terminator Genisys failed to get its feet off the ground and got jammed in its own mythology ... dammit Alan Taylor (director of this mess and Thor: The Dark World).
Genisys takes the “forget everything you’ve learned before” concept to an irritating new level. With action sequences that drain instead of wow, Genisys is a real headache to Paramount’s newly rebooted trilogy. Now, we are stuck with at least two more PG-13 sequels. By the end of the film, I as many others in the theater were machined out. I wished Mr. Schwarzenegger had never said that iconic phrase, “I’ll be back.”
Terminator: Genisys is rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned). For intense sequences of sc-fi violence and gunplay throughout, partial nudity and brief strong language.
Magic Mike XXL rambles on with more male testosterone as Channing Tatum and his bros strip on screen one more time.
Abs, abs and more abs: that’s basically the plot of both Magic Mike films in a nutshell. When the first Magic Mike hit theaters three years ago females everywhere went wild and the critics gave in to director Steven Soderbergh’s (Oceans Trilogy, Traffic and Sex, Lies, and Videotape) bromance dance off. Soderbergh has since retired his director’s chair so a frequent colleague of his, Gregory Jacobs (producer of the Oceans Trilogy), decided to move into that position.
The plot is thin, but the characters were wild and the jokes were harder. Matthew McConaughey was the best part of the first film and it was unfortunate not to see him back with the old gang. In McConaughey’s own words Magic Mike XXL is a long way from “alright, alright, alright.” But that doesn’t stop Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash and Adam Rodriguez from getting their groove on at the stripper convention in South Carolina. In the end, Magic Mike XXL is far from great, but one cannot deny that it’s ridiculous entertainment.
Magic Mike XXL is rated R (Restricted). For strong sexual content, pervasive language, some nudity and drug use.
Ted 2 had its moments, but nothing original like its hysterical predecessor.
In 2012, Seth MacFarlane's Ted was extremely successful and became one of highest-grossing R-rated comedies of all-time. MacFarlane punched in the slapstick and bromance throughout his directorial debut. There was no doubt that with the success of Ted there would soon be a sequel on the way. MacFarlane first went on to make his not-so-hot comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West last summer and then returned this summer with the foul mouth teddy bear.
Was Ted 2 a failure? Was it a success? Was it better than the first? No, no and no. Ted 2 could not compare to its predecessor nor was it a failure. There were jokes that made you laugh and there were jokes that made you cringe. It was more of MacFarlane being MacFarlane, dragging out jokes way too long and throwing pop culture satire into the mix. Mark Wahlberg returns as John, Ted’s (voiced by MacFarlane) loyal friend. Wahlberg ‘s chemistry with a booze drinking teddy bear continued to amuse.
The plot is rather simple: Ted and Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) are a newlywed couple and want to have a baby, but in order to qualify to be a parent, Ted will have to prove he's a person in a court of law. Cue Tom Brady, B.J. jokes and the sweet Amanda Seyfried as Ted’s untried lawyer. Ted 2 still hit moments of amusement, but never the level of the first. Did we need to see more of MacFarlane’s booze drinking, pot-smoking, crude bear? Probably not, but it is what it is.
Ted 2 is rated R (Restricted). For crude and sexual content, pervasive language, and some drug use.
Inventive, moving and gorgeously animated, Inside Out is an instant classic and returns Pixar back to modern form.
An absolute delight! Inside Out moved me to tears … it’s a flat-out masterpiece. Pixar’s 15th featured length film is a landmark for animation and brilliantly shows us the imagination of an 11-year-old girl. It’s by far the best Pixar film since Toy Story 3. Cinematic art doesn’t get any sweeter than Pixar. Battling the emotions inside her head, Riley (voiced by Kaitlyn Dias) wrestles with joy, sadness, fear, anger and disgust. Inside Out is uproariously funny as it is tremendously sad.
Riley is upset that her dad (voiced by Kyle MacLachlan) and mom (voiced by Diane Lane) for moving the family San Francisco (painted in dull browns) from bright, cheerful and snowy Minnesota, where Riley loved playing hockey with her friends. School is scary and with no friends, Riley goes into a slum. Joy (voiced by an exquisite Amy Poehler) use to be in charge of the central hub inside Riley’s mind. After a series of unfortunate events, Joy and Sadness (voiced by the ever charming Phyllis Smith) are on a mission to get back to the central hub to save Riley’s emotional state.
Fear (voiced by a hilarious Bill Hader), Disgust (voiced by a sassy Mindy Kaling) and Anger (voiced by a hot headed Lewis Black) are left in squander to keep Riley’s HQ going. Along the way, Joy and Sadness meet Bing Bong (voiced by the brilliant Richard Kind) a lonely, candy-eyed, past imaginary friend of Riley’s. Through Sadness and Joy's adventure to get back to the HQ the audience learn the powerful meaning of friendship, family and love.
Inside Out is a real tearjerker of 2015 and will leave you “in a glass case of emotions.” Pixar adds another classic to their realm of animated glory and will leave you wanting more. Inside Out is a pure burst of imagination for kids, while it’s a heart touching reality and awake up call for parents. It's hands down the best family film of the year! This film is full of life, emotion and tears. It’s riotously beautiful as it is profound. Inside Out receives the highest of highs … five out of five stars! Welcome back Pixar, we’ve missed you. “Take her to the moon for me, Joy.”
Inside Out is rated PG (Parental Guidance). For mild thematic elements and some action.
The Bridesmaids team returns in a hilarious Bond parody of action and spy.
Good news! McCarthy soars back to comedy hill as the queen of knock them out laughs. For those who were worried about McCarthy returning back to comedy in style, don’t be, because her obnoxious character is long gone. Spy is McCarthy’s most coherent and laugh-out-loud presence to date. For those who remember her as the sweet and funny Sookie St. James (Gilmore Girls) you’re in luck because she returns to that final form.
She plays CIA agent Susan Cooper, who gets her big break to act in the field. After a decade of sitting behind a desk and being the eyes for her partner Bradley Fine (a 007 pretty-boy Jude Law), that former self is no more. Spy has action, danger and knockout laughs from start to finish. McCarthy is off to kill the baddies disguised as the old cat lady. Director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids and The Heat) continues to soar in the comedy realm. Kudos to Feig for packing in the action and spoofing anything and everything related to 007.
Backing up McCarthy throughout this film is a foul mouth Jason Statham, an amusing Miranda Hart (Chummy from Call the Midwife) and a sly Rose Byrne. Mixing action and comedy, Spy never misses a beat and kills quiet a few bad guys on the way. Spy nailed the big laughs for the summer and will put a smile on your face till the end. It was great seeing McCarthy return back to her comedic roots without being an idiot. In Spy, she deserved every single laugh.
Spy is rated R (Restricted). For language throughout, violence, and some sexual content including brief graphic nudity.
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Next Best Picture
The Movie Oracle
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