Posts Tagged ‘Sean Anders’

CTV NEWSCHANNEL: INTERVIEW WITH “INSTANT FAMILY” DIRECTOR SEAN ANDERS.

Richard interviews Sean Anders, the director of “Instant Family.” Anders shares how he wanted to change the narrative when it comes to adoption and foster care.

More on Anders: He co-wrote and directed the 2005 film “Never Been Thawed,” the 2008 film “Sex Drive,” the 2014 film “Horrible Bosses 2,” the 2015 film “Daddy’s Home,” and its 2017 sequel “Daddy’s Home 2.” He also directed the 2012 comedy “That’s My Boy.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Richard’s review of “Instant Family”: In future edition of your Funk & Wagnalls the entry for ‘heartfelt’ may well be illustrated with the poster for “Instant Family.” For better and for worse the new Mark Wahlberg film is an earnest and deeply felt look at adoption out of the foster care system.

Wahlberg and Rose Byrne are house flippers Pete and Ellie. Childless, they are forty-somethings with a well-appointed, orderly life. When the subject of kids comes up, raised by Ellie’s sister, Pete worries about being an ”old dad.” He jokes about adopting a five year old so “it will be like I got cracking when I was thirty-six years old.” That one off hand comment triggers something in Ellie who researches the stats on foster kids and is immediately inspired to help by welcoming children into their home. Pete isn’t as sure. “People who take foster kids are special,” he says. “The kind of people who volunteer when it isn’t even a holiday. We’re not that special.” Later, after looking at a website of photos of kids available for adoption he relents. “This is what we do,” he says, “fix things up. We’ll scrape off their emotional popcorn ceiling.”

The couple attend Foster Parent Classes run by social workers Karen (Octavia Spencer) and Sharon (Tig Notaro) and, when at a Child Fair they meet the forceful fifteen-year-old Lizzy (Isabela Moner) and her siblings, accident prone Juan (Gustavo Quiroz) and the sweet but screechy Lita (Julianna Gamiz). Drawn to them, Pete and Ellie knew their “cosmic connection” was much more than a hunch; that this group must somehow form a family. That’s the way we they became, well, not exactly the Brady bunch, but a family with all the good and bad that entails.

There are parts of “Instant Family” that will make you laugh and parts that will make you cry. Then there are the other parts. Director Sean Anders—who, in real life adopted three children from foster care—clearly cares about making a difference with this film. As the writer of “Hot Tub Time Machine” and “We’re the Millers” he’s comfortable with finding humour in situations, and he’s explored family dynamics in as the writer and director of “Daddy’s Home.” Here he adds in a third element, the Public Service Announcement.

Spencer and Notaro are tasked with delivering the cold hard facts and figures that shine a light on the difficulty of children in foster care, and they do the best they can with it, but early on it often feels as though you are reading an informational pamphlet from one of their Foster Parent Classes and not enjoying a family dramedy. Once past that you’re left with a pleasing story of a hard-earned connection between adoptive parents and their new kids.

“Instant Family’s” heart is in the right place and that goodwill goes a long way. The relationship between Wahlberg, Byrne and the kids isn’t all sunshine and roses. They have real problems and work through them by trail and error, sometimes with hilarious results, sometimes not. Either way they feel universal—every parent has had to calm a tantrum in public, etc—even though the story is very specific.

CTVNEWS.CA: THE CROUSE REVIEW LOOKS AT “THE FRONT RUNNER” AND MORE!

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 heartfelt dramedy “Instant Family,” the heist flick “Widows” and the political scandal of “The Front Runner.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

INSTANT FAMILY: 3 ½ STARS. ” deeply felt look at adoption out of foster care.”

In future edition of your Funk & Wagnalls the entry for ‘heartfelt’ may well be illustrated with the poster for “Instant Family.” For better and for worse the new Mark Wahlberg film is an earnest and deeply felt look at adoption out of the foster care system.

Wahlberg and Rose Byrne are house flippers Pete and Ellie. Childless, they are forty-somethings with a well-appointed, orderly life. When the subject of kids comes up, raised by Ellie’s sister, Pete worries about being an ”old dad.” He jokes about adopting a five year old so “it will be like I got cracking when I was thirty-six years old.” That one off hand comment triggers something in Ellie who researches the stats on foster kids and is immediately inspired to help by welcoming children into their home. Pete isn’t as sure. “People who take foster kids are special,” he says. “The kind of people who volunteer when it isn’t even a holiday. We’re not that special.” Later, after looking at a website of photos of kids available for adoption he relents. “This is what we do,” he says, “fix things up. We’ll scrape off their emotional popcorn ceiling.”

The couple attend Foster Parent Classes run by social workers Karen (Octavia Spencer) and Sharon (Tig Notaro) and, when at a Child Fair they meet the forceful fifteen-year-old Lizzy (Isabela Moner) and her siblings, accident prone Juan (Gustavo Quiroz) and the sweet but screechy Lita (Julianna Gamiz). Drawn to them, Pete and Ellie knew their “cosmic connection” was much more than a hunch; that this group must somehow form a family. That’s the way we they became, well, not exactly the Brady bunch, but a family with all the good and bad that entails.

There are parts of “Instant Family” that will make you laugh and parts that will make you cry. Then there are the other parts. Director Sean Anders—who, in real life adopted three children from foster care—clearly cares about making a difference with this film. As the writer of “Hot Tub Time Machine” and “We’re the Millers” he’s comfortable with finding humour in situations, and he’s explored family dynamics in as the writer and director of “Daddy’s Home.” Here he adds in a third element, the Public Service Announcement.

Spencer and Notaro are tasked with delivering the cold hard facts and figures that shine a light on the difficulty of children in foster care, and they do the best they can with it, but early on it often feels as though you are reading an informational pamphlet from one of their Foster Parent Classes and not enjoying a family dramedy. Once past that you’re left with a pleasing story of a hard-earned connection between adoptive parents and their new kids.

“Instant Family’s” heart is in the right place and that goodwill goes a long way. The relationship between Wahlberg, Byrne and the kids isn’t all sunshine and roses. They have real problems and work through them by trail and error, sometimes with hilarious results, sometimes not. Either way they feel universal—every parent has had to calm a tantrum in public, etc—even though the story is very specific.

CTVNEWS.CA: “THE CROUSE REVIEW LOOKS AT “DADDY’S HOME 2” & MORE!

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 “Lady Bird,” “Daddy’s Home 2” and “Murder on the Orient Express.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

 

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY NOVEMBER 10, 2017.

Richard and CP24 anchor Nick Dixon have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the mysteries of the all-star “Murder on the Orient Express,” “Daddy’s Home 2” and the sublime “Lady Bird.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

 

 

RICHARD’S CTV NEWSCHANNEL WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS & MORE FOR NOVEMBER 10.

Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Jennifer Burke to have a look at “Lady Bird,” “Daddy’s Home 2” and “Murder on the Orient Express.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

DADDYS HOME 2: 2 STARS. “as stale as last year’s fruitcake.”

Who says there are no new ideas in Hollywood? A week ago we had “A Bad Mom’s Christmas,” the heart-warming (or should that be heartburning) tale of three young moms trying to make Christmas perfect for their families until their mothers crash the scene bringing with them expectations and judgement.

This week along comes “Daddy’s Home 2,” the story of two men Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) and Brad (Will Ferrell), a father and stepfather who just want Christmas to be perfect for the adorable kids they share. It all goes well until Dusty’s rough-around-the-edges father (Mel Gibson) and Brad’s lovey-dovey dad (John Lithgow) both come to town.

One stars women, the other, men. You’re not having déjà vu, they’re completely different, see?

When we last saw Dusty and Brad they asked a very simple question, What do kids need more, a father or a dad? Anyone can be a father, the opening narration tells us, but it takes real work to be a dad. Dusty is the mild mannered stepfather to Brad’s biological children. What’s Dusty like? “Imagine if Jesse James and Mick Jagger had a baby,” says his ex-wife Sarah (Linda Cardellini). “He sounds like a rascal,” says Brad.

The kids adore Brad because he’s more fun but Dusty, though uptight and dull, is always there when the kids need him. By the time the end credits roll the two have figured out an uneasy dente in the co-parenting game.

This time around it’s Christmas and the co-dads are determined to make it perfectly cool yule for the kids. “I got as big surprise,” says Brad. “This year, no more back and forth at Christmas. A together Christmas like a normal family.” The stressful time is made more stressful when the grandfathers show up, turning the cool yule into a blue Christmas.

For most of its running time I thought “Daddy’s Home 2” was the laziest comedy of the year. Then I thought all the way back to last week’s screening of “A Bad Moms Christmas” and I remembered—even though I tried to forget—what little effort that movie put into story, jokes… well, just about everything.

Then something else happened, after an hour and twenty minutes of uninspired comedy seemingly Xeroxed on Christmas wrapping from the 2015 original film, “Daddy’s Home 2” manages to turn from lump of coal to a diamond. At least for a few minutes. It’s too little too late, but you will leave the theatre with a grin.

Now for the elephant in the room; Gibson is a major character, eating up screen time like Santa chowing down on gingerbread cookies. In a completely charmless and grating performance he plays Dusty’s snickering dad as a man who thinks everyone not with his last name is a snowflake. He encourages his young grandson to slap a little girl on the bum and tells the kids a joke that begins with, “Two hookers walk into a bar.” If you didn’t want to see the movie because of him, this is not the performance that will win you over.

“Daddy’s Home 2” gets some things right. When the middle daughter continuously turns up the thermostat so she can be warm while she sleeps with the window open, it ignites a thermostat war that will be familiar to anyone who has ever paid a heating bill. When the movie latches on to those moments, it works. When it doesn’t, it’s as stale as last year’s fruitcake.