Posts Tagged ‘Jennifer Saunders’


Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 9.12.55 AMRichard sits in with Marcia McMillan to have a look at the continuing adventures of the USS Enterprise “Star Trek Beyond,” the family-friendly “Ice Age: Collision Course,” Edina and Patsy’s drunken adventures in “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” and the ‘are you afraid of the dark’ movie, “Lights Out.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: THE MOVIE: 2 STARS. “an overlong sitcom episode.”

Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 2.04.10 PMAny film that includes “:The Movie” in its title is bound to be little more than a larger version of the TV show, videogame or whatever the source material may be. “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie,” based on the popular British TV show about best friends bonded by a shared enthusiasm for heavy-drinking and drug abuse, is true to form in that it is less a movie than it is an excuse for some sitcom nostalgia.

Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley) are hard-living socialites on the edges of London high society. Edina is a washed-up PR agent, trying desperately to maintain her lavish lifestyle. She’s not out of money, her “cards are broken.” Patsy is the fashion editor of a snooty magazine who injects foetus blood into her face every morning to stave off the effects of partying and age.

When Edina’s plan to sell her memoir to a huge publisher fails—“You think your life is interesting, but it isn’t,” she’s told. “It may be worth living but it’s not worth reading.”—she becomes determined to recruit fashion icon Kate Moss as a client. Thus begins a wild journey that includes suspected manslaughter, a sham marriage, worldwide grieving and more self-absorption than you can shake a bottle of Bollinger Champagne at. Self absorbed and on the run from a murder charge, Patsy and Adina confront their age and try to keep the party going.

“Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” isn’t exactly absolutely fabulous. That’s the easy joke, which is appropriate because this movie goes for the easy joke time after time. It certainly doesn’t reinvent the wheel and makes up for its lack of inventiveness with a parade of cameos from British luminaries like Lulu, Emma Bunton, Joan Collins and Graham Norton. In all there are 60 celebrity drive-bys. The only one missing is a Benny Hill.

The leads are broad characters in the sitcom tradition, prime examples of the dangers of arrested development. Luckily both can deliver a line—“Leopard skin and liver spots… that’s old age camouflage.”—with dead precision and will do almost anything to get a laugh and the over-the-top reaction to Kate Moss’s disappearance is very funny (“She will either have drowned or be very, very wet.”), I just wish there were more laughs to be had. I think fans of the television show will still get a kick out of Edina and Patsy’s co-dependence and enabling—it’s the glue that binds them together—but for everyone else the movie will feel like an overlong sitcom episode.


Screen Shot 2015-07-11 at 10.42.51 AMRichard’s CP24 reviews for “Minions,” “Amy,” and “Self/Less.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2015-07-10 at 9.39.57 AMRichard’s “Canada AM” reviews for “Minions,” “Amy,” “Batkid Begins” and “Self/Less.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

MINIONS: 3 STARS. “Haters gonna hate. Minions gonna Minionate.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 3.42.23 PMBob Dylan sang “You gotta serve somebody,” and so it is with the Minions, the curious tribe of yellow jellybean-shaped troublemakers made famous in the “Despicable Me” movies.

They were born to be bad, to work under some of the greatest villains in history, but what are they to do when their old bosses, baddies like T-Rex, Dracula and Napoleon don’t require their services? If you are minions named Bob, Kevin and Stuart (co-director Pierre Coffin who supplied the voices for all 899 minions) you hitchhike to Orlando, Florida and attend the 1968 Villain-Con International looking for work.

The star of Villain-Con is the world’s first female supervillain Scarlett Overkill (Sandra Bullock). “When I started out people said a woman could never rob a bank as well as a man,” she says. “Well times have changed!” Her current evil plan involves stealing Queen Elizabeth’s (Jennifer Saunders) crown and taking over the throne. Hiring the Minions, she arms them with groovy 1960s weapons like a Lava Lamp Gun and a Hypno Hat, they set off on the mission, but when the Minions are involved, even the best laid plans can turn to gibberish.

During the screening the old saying, “Less is more,” sprung to mind. Would “Stand by Me” work if it was only about Ray Brower (the dead body)? How about “Mola Ram and the Temple of Doom”? What can be interesting or fun in small doses doesn’t always work in center stage. Like an orchestra made up of nothing but triangle players, sometimes it’s best to leave an asset in the background.

There is no denying the Minions’ cute appeal and their zest for the surreal side of life is contagious but as characters they’re limited by speaking Minionese, a nonsense language (equal parts Italian, Spanish, French and baby talk) that pretty much rules out sophisticated verbal jokes or long scenes of dialogue. Instead they make noises and frequently sing to stretch the running time to feature length. Don’t even ask about character development. They’re yellow, out of control and loud and that’s all they’ll ever be. “Inside Out” this ain’t.

Not that any of this will matter to kids very much. They love the Minions and they love their Minion stuffed animals. They love the gibberish and the physical humour. So what if there’s not much for anyone over the age of ten? Haters gonna hate. Minions gonna Minionate.