Sometimes you have to make
sacrifices in a family.
What a top actor, Robert De Niro. Most of the films in which he played the lead, became film classics. Memorable roles that will still impress in decades to come. From “Taxi Driver” to “Goodfellas”. From “The Deer Hunter” to “Casino“. Unforgettable masterpieces. The only thing De Niro should have avoided in all these years is comedies. Besides “Last Vegas” there isn’t a single comedy (at least of those I’ve seen) with De Niro that I thought was worth watching. Lame humor and an irritating storyline are usually the biggest annoyances about such films. “Meet the Fockers”, “Analyze That”, “The Big Wedding”, “The Family” and “The Intern”, just to name a few. Every time I felt vicariously ashamed. This is also the case with “The war with GrandPa”.
Let’s introduce grandfather Ed (Robert De Niro), who’s hopelessly left behind after the death of his beloved wife. Next, there’s the concerned daughter Sally (Uma Thurman) who wants her father to move in with her family, regardless of what the family members have to say about that. Husband Arthur (Rob Riggle) is again such a good-natured guy (and obviously Ed has nothing good to say about him) who looks at the whole thing with resignation and grudgingly agrees with the whole situation. Then there’s son Peter (Oakes Fegley) who’s screwed and reluctantly has to give up his beloved room. And this because grandfather’s legs refuse to work properly and so grandpa takes up residence there. Peter has to move to the dusty attic with a roof that’s not watertight and where unwanted pets run across the wooden truss. The eldest daughter Mia (Laura Marano) has the least problems since she’s living in her own teenage world. And finally, there’s the adorable daughter Jennifer (Poppy Gagnon). The only one who’s extremely enthusiastic about the new housemate.
Declaration of War.
You can already guess what’s going to happen after reading the title of the film. Yes, grandson Peter declares war on Grandpa Ed. The stake is the bedroom he had to hand over. At first, Ed finds it all highly amusing. The written declaration of war slipped under his door is treated with derision. And Grandpa Ed is willfully playing the game. It seems so innocent to him. I don’t think it’s going to be a surprise when it turns out that things start to get out of hand.
Average Family Film.
I thought it was quite astonishing that famous actors cooperated in this average family film. Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman, Christopher Walken, and Jane Seymour. Admit it, they are not the least. I suppose these actors would also like to experience a pleasant film set with a less demanding, relaxing role instead of a physically hard, intense one. Just like me wanting to have a peaceful moment in the midst of all the horror violence stuff I watch most of the time. The main subject being the clash between youth and the elderly in this movie seemed rather obvious. Unfortunately, there are other storylines that were added and not further explored. Like the love-hate relationship between the mother and her future son-in-law. Or the work situation of father Arthur. The only sidetrack that is gratefully used is the bullying of Peter at school. That was rather funny.
A slightly corny comedy.
The rest of the film is a series of silly jokes those two arch-rivals are playing on each other. The pace at which these pranks follow each other is blisteringly fast. And they are of the level as the April Fools’ Day jokes. Replacing shaving cream with quick-drying foam or replacing cookie filling with toothpaste. Well, the movie has its charms. It’s a slightly corny comedy. A kind of mixture of “Home Alone” and “Dennis the Menace”. Obviously the film aims at a younger audience because my 8-year-old son next to me laughed a lot while watching. I’m afraid I’m not part of the target audience. I guess I belong to De Niro’s age-group. But nobody will ever ask me to play such a part.
My rating 4/10
New Trailer For ‘Free Guy’ Starring Ryan Reynolds Arrives
A bank teller called Guy realizes he is a background character in an open world video game called Free City that will soon go offline.
Action, Adventure, Comedy
May 21, 2021
Ryan Reynolds, Joe Keery, Jodie Comer, Taika Waititi, Channing Tatum, Lil Rel Howery
Free Guy is an action-comedy about a bank teller who discovers he is a background character in an open world video game called Free City that will soon go offline.
Together Together | Review
In Together Together, the main character creates an app named Loner where users can view strangers’ photos without ever having to contact them or see them again. It’s an incisive commentary on how social media and dating apps have allowed us to engage with someone for as long as we want and just as easily move on to whoever is next. But what happens when you genuinely connect with someone even though you know the connection cannot be permanent? That’s what happens when two people meet via a gestational surrogacy arrangement. Together Together, Nicole Beckwith’s refreshing and touching dramedy breaks free from the trappings of the rom-com genre by focusing on the power of platonic relationships.
Matt is a forty-something, single man ready to become a father who enlists Anna, a 26-year-old barista, to be his surrogate. The pair make for an unlikely duo not just because of the age gap but also in their difference of temperament. Ed Helms’ Matt is a well-meaning but overbearing father-to-be, while Patti Harrison’s Anna is dry, witty, and a bit cold before opening up as their friendship develops. Throughout the pregnancy, they begin spending much of their time together during doctor appointments, dinners, and eventually, overnight stays. As the two grow close, audiences might expect to see romance blossom, but writer-director Nikole Beckwith seems to have no interest in the will-they-won’t-they story here.
There are certainly elements of a typical rom-com like witty banter and the sweet getting to know each other conversations. Still, Beckwith consciously chose to spotlight the rarely-portrayed platonic love between a man and woman rather than a romance. Anna and Matt are not only connected through surrogacy but also as people living life “alone.” In a poignant scene, Anna asks Matt why he is having a child alone, and he says he needs to move forward and it just so happens that he’s doing it by himself. He mentions a previous long-term girlfriend, but the film smartly does not delve into his failed relationship or the background of his decision to become a single father. Matt’s unconventional choice is shown to be a bold and earnest one rather than one of desperation.
Anna’s journey through surrogacy is also portrayed in unexpected ways. As a young woman who is not currently in contact with her family, she unwittingly finds herself growing attached to Matt even as he crosses the boundaries of a typical surrogacy arrangement. He drops by her work unexpectedly and questions her about her sex life. While Matt is open and excited to connect with the woman carrying his child, Anna is initially resistant and for a good reason. Anna’s friend and coworker Jules (played hilariously by Julio Torres) reminds her that this time is finite and whatever Anna and Matt are will have to change after she gives birth. Harrison adeptly plays Anna’s heartbreak of knowing this special time in her life will end soon while Matt’s has just begun.
Together Together’s clever and awkward humor and a deep bench of supporting comedic actors (Tig Notaro, Nora Dunn, Fred Melamed, Sufe Bradshaw) are what get the film going, but it’s the genuine tenderness between the protagonists that sustain it to the end. We see this in the film’s seemingly abrupt but fitting final scene. After intimately capturing Anna and Matt as partners in surrogacy, the camera focuses solely on Anna for the concluding shot as we see relief and sadness wash over her face. It’s a reminder that even the most meaningful relationships in our lives aren’t always meant to last forever.
Together Together is now playing in limited U.S. theaters and will be available on VOD on May 11th.
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery Special Edition Blu-Ray Review
Yeah, baby yeah! Austin Powers is back with Mike Myers’ brilliant cult comedy Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery getting a special edition Blu-ray and DVD release this April.
The Austin Powers films are all great fun and loved by so many people so why not go back to the start with this new special edition Blu-ray and watch the grooviest secret agent of all return after 30 years of being cryogenically frozen to defeat Dr Evil. After Dr Evil narrowly escapes from Powers in 1967, the two must return in the 90s and Evil plans to threaten the world once more and
only the world’s greatest spy only Austin Powers can stop him.
Mike Myers is on top form here, not only did he write the film, but he also plays both Austin Powers and Dr Evil. It’s a brilliantly hilarious spy movie parody that gets you in stitched the whole way through. Dr Evil is a far superior villain than Blofeld or any of the Bond villains; none of them ever tried to kill the protagonist with ill-tempered mutated sea bass or sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads.
It perfectly spoofs spy films and the James Bond films in many of its characters and in many different ways, but it also works perfectly on its own as a comedy without having to be watched in the context of 007. At just 94 minutes long, the time flies by and it has you laughing out loud every few minutes, even if you’ve seen the film multiple times before.
The film came out in 1997 and it doesn’t really hold up in terms of cultural opinions. The film’s main character is a misogynist who spends the whole time talking about how randy he is. There’s even a character called Alotta Fagina. I doubt we’re going to ever see any more of Austin Powers just because of how politically incorrect the character is but that being said, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery is still very funny. Even re-watching it in 2021, it still gets quite a lot of laughs and it’s still a very funny film.
In terms of the bonus features on this new special edition Blu-ray there isn’t really anything to get too excited about. It includes a featurette on the characters Austin and Vanessa as well as some B-roll footage, character soundbites, TV spots and clips as well as the funky music video for the credits song “BBC” by Ming Tea. None of these extras are particularly exciting which is a bit disappointing but nonetheless it’s exciting to have such a groovy film on a nice brand new Blu-ray.
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery is on special edition Blu-ray, DVD and Digital 19 April.
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