Richard and CP24 anchor Nneka Elliot talk about the weekend’s big releases, the comedy of “Keanu,” the maudlin humour of “Mother’s Day,” the kid’s sci fi of “Ratchet & Clank,” the punk rock fury of “Green Room” and the b-movie action of “Precious Cargo.”
Richard and “Canada AM” host Beverly Thomson kick around the weekend’s big releases. They find out if “Keanu,” the kitten caper movie from Key & Peele is worth a look, if “Mother’s Day” is more than a Hallmark card come to the screen and if “Ratchet & Clank’s” good messages for kids make it a good movie.
Take one part “Key and Peele,” add the appeal of an internet cat video and you have “Keanu,” the new kitty caper comedy from Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. The big screen debut of the sketch comedians isn’t purrfect but it has some furry funny moments.
At the beginning of the movie the Allentown Brothers (the heavily made-up Key and Peele) shoot up a drug lab, killing everyone inside. The only survivor is a kitten who makes a run for it, escaping the carnage and who, after a trek across Los Angeles, ends up at the doorstep of stoner photographer Rell (Peele). It’s fortuitous for both of them. The kitten needs a home and Rell, who was just dumped by his girlfriend, desperately needs a companion. By the time Rell’s pal, family man Clarence (Key) stops by, the lonely guy has bonded with the cat, now named Keanu. When Keanu is stolen in a burglary these two button-down guys take a walk on the wild side, tracking down Keanu’s new owner, gang leader Cheddar (Method Man). Taking the street names Shark Tank and Techtonic they infiltrate the gang, take drugs (“It’s like you’re smoking crack with God!”), get shot at and rescue the cat. “We in the market right now for a gangster pet.”
The SPCA is going to love “Keanu.” The cat hero isn’t exactly the main character, he’s more of an excuse for the action, but he may be the most memorable film feline since Blofeld’s cat. The stars of the show are Key and Peele who bring the strengths of their sketch show to the movie. Key’s facility with voices and words coupled with Peele’s elastic face keep things interesting in what is essentially a skit stretched to feature length.
Unlike me, who couldn’t resist some terrible cat puns while writing this review, K&P don’t go looking for the “purrpatrator” of the crime or anything like that. Instead the movie is a mix of down ‘n dirty jabs—for instance, the local strip club is called Hot Party Vixens or HPV—fish out of water gags, a brilliant celebrity cameo and a fixation on George Michael that borders on the pathological. Throw in a few shoot outs and some quirky characters—thanks to Will Forte as Rell’s pot dealer and Jason Mitchell as gang member Bud—and you have a movie that aspires to be a spiritual cousin of 80s action comedies like “Beverly Hills Cop” or “48 Hours.” It doesn’t quite scale those heights but there are enough laughs to keep things interesting, especially if you are a cat lover.
When the nine old friends of “The Best Man’s Holiday” get together for Christmas it’s like a cross between a soap opera and a reality show. Imagine “As the World Turns” as told by Teresa Giudice and Flavor Flav.
In this sorta sequel to 1999’s “The Best Man,” The Sullivans, NFL legend Lance (Morris Chestnut) and wife Mia (Monica Calhoun), plan on a happy Christmas holiday when they invite their closest friends to spend the Christmas holidays at their palatial home.
Here’s a scorecard of the attendees: Former best selling author Harper (Taye Diggs), his pregnant chef wife Robin (Sanaa Lathan), network head (and Harper’s former flame) Jordan (Nia Long), school dean Julian Murch (Harold Perrineau) and his ex-stripper wife Candace (Regina Hall), heavy-lidded party boy Quentin (Terrence Howard) and Shelby (Melissa De Sousa), a reality TV star.
Instead of eggnog and Yuletide carols around the hearth, however, old rivalries rear their ugly heads before a tragedy reminds everyone what friendship is all about.
“The Best Man’s Holiday” is one long cliché. The script telegraphs every plot twist and turn with the subtlety of a kick to the shins and never misses an opportunity to overplay a big melodramatic moment or perform an illegal tonal u-turn mid-scene.
And yet it is a crowd pleaser.
Sometimes clichés are clichés because they’re true and resonate with people, and I guess that is one of the strengths of “The Best Man’s Holiday.” You’ll see everything coming a mile away, you’ll feel manipulated but you’ll also laugh and maybe even shed a tear.
It’s a film built for audiences who enjoy the vulgar rowdiness of reality TV and the comforting clichés of soap opera storytelling.
Is it a good film? Not really, but the better-looking-than-average ensemble cast brings with them loads of charm and the chemistry they share actually puts you onside with the characters despite the paint-by-numbers script.
They’re all engaging performers but Howard stands out in one of his rare forays into comedy.
“The Best Man’s Holiday” isn’t “Best Of” list material but despite being about half-an-hour too long is engaging holiday fare.