Richard and CP24 anchor George Lagogianes have a look at the weekend’s new movies, the Harry Potter prequel “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” the coming-of-age story “Edge of Seventeen” and Miles Teller as real life boxer Vinny Paz in “Bleed for This.”
Richard sits in with Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s new movies, the Harry Potter prequel “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” the coming-of-age story “Edge of Seventeen,” Miles Teller as real life boxer Vinny Paz in “Bleed for This” and “Nocturnal Animals” with Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Richard and CP24 anchor Stephanie Smythe have a look at the weekend’s new movies, the up-close-and-personal action of “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back,” the supernatural thrills of “Ouija: Origin of Evil,” the spy comedy “Keeping Up with the Joneses” and the new Canadian indie “Mean Dreams.”
Richard sits in with Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s new movies, the up-close-and-personal action of “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back,” the supernatural thrills of “Ouija: Origin of Evil,” the spy comedy “Keeping Up with the Joneses” and the new Canadian indie “Mean Dreams.”
It’s hard to know how to classify “Keeping Up with the Joneses,” a new film starring Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot, Isla Fisher and Zach Galifianakis. Billed as an action comedy, it contains as many laughs as your average Jason Bourne movie, and as much action as your typical comedy. If anything, it’s a study of quietly desperate suburban life. Now that’s a barrel of laughs!
Karen and Jeff Gaffney (Fisher and Galifianakis) live a quiet life on a quiet Atlanta residential cul-de-sac. He’s a people person, a sensitive HR head at tech giant MBI, she’s a designer and neighbourhood busybody. He doesn’t like spicy food, she doesn’t like the new, impossibly good looking couple, Natalie and Tim Jones (Gal Gadot and Jon Hamm), who have moved in across the street.
Tim is a travel writer who speaks many languages, Natalie devotes time to charity and does a food blog. The couples seem to have nothing in common—the Gaffney’s idea of travelling is going to Epcot. “You can do every country in like three blocks.”—and yet a friendship is struck until some snooping reveals the neighbourhood newbies are actually spies working on a case. Seems the cul-de-sac is a hotbed of international intrigue and the Gaffneys may be involved.
“Keeping Up with the Joneses” is an odd couples movie with so few laughs its hard to believe it was directed by the Greg Mottola, who also gave us “Superbad” and the ET comedy “Paul.” The ‘they’re not who they seem to be’ premise is either a classic or a tired bit, depending on your point of view. Either way a twist or two could have freshened the screwball idea up but instead Mottola shrugs off the heavy lifting to Galifianakis and Fisher. Both can be funny and both will do almost anything to get a laugh but no amount of slapstick and face pulling can inject yuks into what is a sitcom idea stretched thin.
But at least there’s some action, right? Not so fast. There are a handful of tame action sequences synced to lame music that appears lifted from 1980s action adventure TV show.
So, with few laughs and lame action what’s left? Hamm’s rugged good looks? Gadot’s cheekbones? Check and check, both are on display but their genetic gifts are not enough to make their characters interesting.
“Keeping Up with the Joneses” will make you jones for laughs and action.
Richard and CP24 anchor Nneka Elliot talk about the weekend’s four big releases, “Now You See Me 2,” the Cos Play freak-out “Warcraft,” the great Greta Gerwig’s “Maggie’s Plan,” and the spooky atmosphere of “The Conjuring 2.”
Richard and CTV NewsChannel morning show host Marcia MacMillan chat up the weekend’s big releases, the magically delicious “Now You See Me 2,” the Cos Play freak-out “Warcraft,” Greta Gerwig’s marvelous “Maggie’s Plan,” and the spooky atmosphere of “The Conjuring 2.”
Three years ago “Now You See Me” played like “Ocean’s Eleven” reimagined by Penn and Teller. A magical heist movie, it introduced a prestidigitation collective known as The Four Horsemen—Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher (replaced by Lizzy Caplan in this sequel), Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco—who outsmarted the FBI and Interpol with some highly focused hocus pocus. The tricksters stole from the rich to give to the poor—the poor people who paid premium prices to see their shows.
When asked how any of this could have happened Interpol agent Alma Vargas (Mélanie Laurent) says, “Some things are best left unexplained.”
Also left unexplained is how a star-studded but modest hit like “Now You See Me” spawned a sequel three years after it briefly played in theatres.
The new film, “Now You See Me 2,” begins one year after the last one ended with the Four Horsemen staging a comeback. This time, however, the trick backfires and the magicians are forced to escape, fleeing from one side of the world to the other via a giant chute.
New York to China in under a minute. “This makes no sense,” says J. Daniel Atlas (Eisenberg) upon arrival in China. Damn right. It’s that kind of movie. Buy into that and the rest of the movie’s twists and turns will seem… if not quite believable than a little less preposterous. The world’s greatest magicians have just become the object of someone else’s magic trick.
In Macau, the Vegas of China, the mysterious tech genius Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe)—imagine Harry Potter with a James Bond villain vibe—forces them to use their skills to pull off a seemingly impossible heist, the theft of “the stick,” a device able to hack any computer on earth. Using misdirection, hypnotism, showmanship and sleight-of-hand—coupled with some good old-fashioned CGI movie magic—the Horsemen must pull off their greatest trick—exposing Mabry.
“Now You See Me 2” has a serious case of the sillies but luckily it embraces its silliness. Revels in it, even. For instance Caplan’s character Lula is best known for a previously unheard of magic trick, pulling a hat out of a rabbit. Make sense? Nope, but in “Now You See Me 2’s” world it doesn’t have to.
It all makes sense in a Harry Houdini misdirected kind of way, but don’t worry if the labyrinthine plot loses you here and there. Every few minutes one of the characters explains what’s just happened, or what is about to happen. Even though magicians aren’t supposed to tell their secrets the Horsemen can’t seem to stop giving away the movie’s riddles. There’s way too much exposition but by and large the mix of action, intrigue and magic is a fun diversion.
“Life of Crime” is slickly made but blandish adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel “The Switch.” As usual Leonard’s bad guys are more interesting than the straights. The trick here is figuring out who the bad guys are.
Jennifer Aniston is Mickey, the trophy wife of the abusive and corrupt Frank Dawson. Outwardly they have the perfect marriage, but at home trouble is brewing. At home, at least when Frank isn’t off doing “business” at his hideaway in the Bahamas, tending to his girlfriend Melanie (Isla Fisher) and off shore bank accounts.
When two low-rent criminals, Louis (John Hawkes) and Ordell (Yasiin Bey, the artist formerly known as Mos Def) kidnap Mickey they hadn’t counted on Frank using their plan as a quickie divorce. No ransom, no alimony. Cue the double crosses and intrigue.
The major selling point here is the dialogue. Leonard was a master of the backroom criminal dialogue and here they have the good sense to keep most of his snappy words intact. Hawkes and Bey are particularly adept at delivering the goods, mouthing the words as if they were Leonard’s illegitimate children. Robbins is convincing as the sleazy land developer and Fisher is a femme fatale in the making. The weak link is Aniston, who seems like she might have calibrated her performance for the similarly plotted “Ruthless People” rather than a down-and-dirty crime drama.
Like many of Leonard’s stories “Life of Crime” tends to favor the characters who live on the down low. Hawkes and Bey—despite their association with a neo-Nazi (Mark Boone Jr.)—are treated as the sensitive heroes of the piece, while everyone else is playing some sort of game. It makes for interesting character dynamics but doesn’t sit as well here as it did in “Get Shorty” or “Out of Sight.”