Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the new Melissa McCarthy comedy “Life of the Party,” the topsy-turvy love fest “The Seagull” starring Saoirse Ronan and Annette Bening and the gory story of vengeance “Revenge”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the new Melissa McCarthy comedy “Life of the Party,” the topsy-turvy love fest “The Seagull” starring Saoirse Ronan and Annette Bening and the gory story of vengeance “Revenge”
A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the new Melissa McCarthy comedy “Life of the Party,” the topsy-turvy love fest “The Seagull” starring Saoirse Ronan and Annette Bening and the gory story of vengeance “Revenge”
An aggressive but damaged comedic persona goes back to school. It worked well when Rodney Dangerfield did it in 1986 but will it work as well a second time? Melissa McCarthy hopes to find out with this week’s release of “Life of the Party.”
The “Bridesmaid” star plays enthusiastic domestic engineer Deanna, devoted wife of Dan (Matt Walsh), mother of senior year university student Maddie (Molly Gordon). When Dan unexpectedly dumps her, abruptly ending their twenty-three year marriage, she takes control of her destiny. “What am I going to do?” she asks. “Take spin classes? Oh no. I don’t want to start a blog.” Instead of any of that it’s back to school for Deanna for the first time since Counting Crows topped the charts.
Enrolled at the same university as her daughter, Deanna blossoms. Embracing life around the quad she discovers everything she missed during her marriage. Her journey of self-discovery includes hanging out with Maddie’s friends and getting friendly with the campus frat boys.
Like “Back to School,” “Life of the Party” isn’t a particularly good movie. The first half is brutal, with so few laughs its hardtop even label it a comedy. The second half is much better but still, scenes end when it feels like they are just getting started or at least like there is one better joke to come. When it really goes for laughs between beyond Seanna’s sentimentality, self-help platitudes and momisms, however, it earns them. A mediation scene is laugh-out-loud, the relationships gel and Maya Rudolph needs to make the jump from supporting roles to the above the title star.
Mostly though, the film features the relentless likability of Melissa McCarthy. I’m not sure she elevates the material (which she co-wrote with her director husband Ben Falcone) but she brings some heart to it and in this story of a mother and daughter, that’s enough.
Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, its Dane Cook in “Planes: Fire & Rescue,” an animated aerial adventure that aims to fly high, but instead crashes and burns.
This sequel to 2013’s “Planes” begins where the last one left off, with Dusty Crophopper (Cook) flush with success from his round the world race. He’s a champion but a mechanical malfunction is about to put an end to his racing career. His gearbox is shot and no replacement can be found. Looking to change careers, (and help save his local firehouse from being shut down), Dusty takes a crash course in wildfire air attack. “They fly in when other fly out.” Training under rugged fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger (Ed Harris) Dusty’s new skills are tested when a wildfire burns out of control.
It’s easy to see why kids love the “Planes” movies. They’re fast paced, the characters are cute-and-cuddly bigger-than-life talking machines, like Transformers for the preteen set and there are a surprising number of flatulence jokes. What’s harder to understand is what anyone over the age of 5 sees in them.
For every thing that works, like Julie Bowen’s sassy voice work as the flirty Lil’ Dipper, or bad puns that raise a smile (“Did you just fall out of a B-17? Cuz you’re the bomb…” “Oh, those pick-up trucks.”) there are many things that irk. Take for instance the monotone vocalizations of star Dane Cook who sounds even more bored by the story than I was or the musical montages that pad out the scant 75 minute running time.
Despite the action scenes, “Planes: Fire & Rescue” doesn’t feel like a big screen must see. The conquering adversity messaging is worthy enough, but the direct-to-DVD story never takes flight.