No matter what an adult thinks of a film like “Sing”, it’s going to do well because of what it is.  It’s a not half bad movie made for kids that has cute and amusing animals singing their hearts out.  It’s colorful and silly and this, as we all know, is a combination that spells success.  There have been many animated films released in 2016 that have done incredibly well but this one is lucky it’s being released right before Christmas or it might not have done quite as well; it’s probably at the bottom of the list of the animated films this year.  However, that said, if you’re looking for frivolous, it’s still eager and zippy. 

“Sing” has a few problems with being a tad over the top too often which will annoy the parents of the kids sitting in the audience but the songs will ultimately win them back. The tunes played throughout the film are great and the chosen numbers sung by characters during the auditions near the beginning of the film are good and the way their presented are very creative.  I wish they could have gone on longer, as a matter of fact. 

The auditions I’m talking about are given because a koala bear, Buster Moon (McConaughey), the main character, needs money to keep his theatre afloat.  He loves the theatre and isn’t about to lose his.  Someone suggests to him that a singing competition is a good idea and he agrees that it should get his theatre back in good working order.  He decides to give a thousand dollar prize to the winner of the competition believing this will bring the customers back once again to his beat up and neglected old theatre.  As things do, something goes wrong when Miss Crawly, (played by Jennings who also wrote the film), Buster’s ancient and possible old age home bound secretary, is put in charge of the flyers.  She accidentally releases the flyers with a much, much larger sum promised as the prize.  That’s a mess.  Everyone in the city who can or thinks they can sing flocks to have a chance at being on stage in front of a large audience and winning the prize money. 

Here is where you meet the main characters and a few you wish you’d see again but, sadly, will not.  Some of the singers chosen are a gorilla named Johnny (Egerton), who has a gangster as a father but wants a crime free life and a mouse named Mike played by Seth McFarlane, who gets a chance to really show off his pipes, worth the price of admission alone.  Mike loves jazz and poker and is a bit squirrly for kids, to be honest.  There’s also an elephant named Meena (Kelly) who could be a heavyweight in the competition, as beautiful and powerful her voice is, but is paralyzed with stage fright; and a pig named Rosita (Witherspoon) who is burdened with a husband who doesn’t know she’s alive any more and twenty-five piglets to take care of but doesn’t see how they can stop her dreams from being fulfilled.  I’m sure you can see where this is headed.  Conquer your fears and quell any voice on the inside or outside that tries to crush the ambition and desire within you. 

If you like animated family films, I’d recommend taking the family to see this at a matinee.  The kids will have a good time, even if the messages get lost.  It does have dazzle at its core.  With the combination of fast action, cute animals and songs, especially with such talented stars singing them, the mix works.  However, as I stated at the beginning, you’ll take the kids and they’ll be happy you did but I’m of the opinion that Santa won’t be putting it under the tree so they can add it to their home DVD collection because it’s a one time watch at best.

Why Him?

In today’s world, and R-rated comedy means more vulgar words and juvenile ideas, and not much of any highly sophisticated adult-related concepts. Today’s ‘dumbed down’ culture demands more formula driven comedies, not the better ones from the old days (“Caddyshack”, Animal House”, “Blues Brothers”, “Stripes”). Sometimes even the formula style comedy can hit a few high notes and be something fun to watch. That is especially true when the leads are Bryan Cranston and James Franco.

“Why Him?” is the story of Ned Fleming (Bryan Cranston) the owner of a family-run printing business in Grand Rapids. Ned and his wife Barb (Megan Mullally) have a daughter Stephanie (Zoey Deutch) who is in California attending college. They also have a younger son named Scotty (Griffin Gluck). Ned and Barb learn that Stephanie has a boyfriend and he wants the whole family to come out and meet him.

The boyfriend is Laird Mayhew (James Franco) who is a multi-millionaire slacker dude who made a mint creating an online video gaming company. He is friendly and totally outgoing, but is lacking in many social graces. He is loud, rude, vulgar, and is heavily tattooed.  Laird is an online gaming genius and a business wiz, but he lacks any type of social filter and he blurts out everything he thinks about at every second. When Ned and Laird meet – well — it does not go over well.


Laird is planning on asking Stephanie to marry him, and his idea is to make sure Ned is OK with that. Ned is not OK with that, and he wants to find anything that he can to use against Laird. Laird has Stephanie in his corner, and slowly he gets more help from Scotty and Barb. Laird has a full-time assistant/estate director named Gustav (Keegan-Michael Key) and with his help, Laird is able to win over everyone, except for Ned.

So it is a back-and-forth between Ned and Laird, all concerning Stephanie and a marriage proposal. There are quite a few funny moments, but there are even more periods of slack so-called comedy. When a major plot point takes place on a toilet, well, things could turn out crappy. And an artificial intelligence device called ‘Justine’ that Laird invents has the voice of Kaley Cuoco (of “The Big Bang Theory”) and makes jokes about how her voice sounds just like the girl from “The Big Bang Theory”.

Bryan Cranston is a joy to watch, but he gets stuck in the grouchy curmudgeon role. He gets to play off the slacker goofball that is James Franco, and Franco gets his role just right. There is not a whole lot of growth or development in either character, because the main function for each is be annoyed with the other one.

Megan Mullally does OK with the mom role, and Zoey Deutch as Stephanie proves that she has a mind of her own. Griffin Gluck is kind of stuck to the side.  Keegan-Michael Key has a bizarre Slavic accent and a character that does not really do that much of anything. There are a lot of loose ends and odd things in this movie. Such as a ‘work of art’ that is a stuffed moose in a glass enclosure full of moose urine…

And as Chekov once famously said “If you show a glass box of moose urine in Act One, you must later see that used in Act Three”. Wait, did he say a ‘glass box of moose urine’ or did he say a ‘gun’? Either way, you can see that “Why Him?” is loud and occasionally funny vulgar comedy. It is much more enjoyable if you have a thing for toilets and moose urine, so that might narrow the audience a little bit.

The Emoji Movie Teaser Trailer

The Emoji Movie unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone. Hidden within the messaging app is Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favorite emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone’s user. In this world, each emoji has only one facial expression – except for Gene (T.J. Miller), an exuberant emoji who was born without a filter and is bursting with multiple expressions. Determined to become “normal” like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his handy best friend Hi-5 (James Corden) and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak (Ilana Glazer). Together, they embark on an epic “app-venture” through the apps on the phone, each its own wild and fun world, to find the Code that will fix Gene. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it’s deleted forever. Directed by Tony Leondis. Written by Tony Leondis & Eric Siegel and Mike White. Produced by Michelle Raimo Kouyate.

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In Theaters August 4, 2017

Rock Dog Official Trailer

For the Tibetan Mastiffs living on Snow Mountain, a dog’s life has a simple riff: Guard a peaceful village of wool-making sheep from the thuggish wolf Linnux (Lewis Black) and his rabid pack. To avoid distractions, Mastiff leader Khampa (J.K. Simmons) forbids all music from the mountain. But when Khampa’s son Bodi (Luke Wilson) discovers a radio dropped by a passing airplane, it takes just a few guitar licks for his fate to be sealed: Bodi wants to be a rock ‘n’ roll star. Yet that means defying his father’s wishes, heading to the city, and locating the legendary – and reclusive – musician Angus Scattergood (Eddie Izzard), who needs to write a new song and fast.
If Bodi can put a band together, help Angus with his song, and defeat the wolves’ plot to take Snow Mountain, his life will be in tune. Bodi will become what he’s always dreamed of being: More than a dog … more than a Rock God… he’ll be a ROCK DOG!

Cast: JK Simmons, Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, Lewis Black, Kenan Thompson, Mae Whitman, Jorge Garcia with Matt Dillon, and Sam Elliot as Fleetwood Yak

Directed By: Ash Brannon


In Theaters February 24th

La La Land

“Here’s to the fools that dream.”  That is the theme of this comedy, drama… musical. Yes.  This is a musical but I would like to ask that you don’t fear the musical!  It’s not in the style of “Cats” or the like so be willing to go.  If you love a good story and a good film that’s well done in almost every way possible… don’t worry.  You’ll love this movie!  Now, on to the review.  I can’t remember the last time we saw this but with “La La Land” we have a musical for the big screen that’s not based on a hit Broadway show!   “La La Land” stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling as an aspiring actress and jazz pianist, respectively, who fall in love.  Both have dreams very different from the other but the desire and ambition they see in one another, calls out to each other and attracts them even more.  The music and the romance at the heart of this story are alluring and will tantalize you, and the love… you will feel it.  In fact, it’s hard to believe Gosling and Stone aren’t a real couple.

To shed some light on where this came from, here’s a bit about the writer/director.  Damien Chazelle, is only thirty-one yet has accomplished so much.  Not only did he write and direct, “La La Land”, which is a very unique to these times piece, but he also wrote “Whiplash” and “10 Cloverfield Lane.”  J.K. Simmons won the Oscar for his performance in “Whiplash” so for Chazelle, after graduating Harvard, the Oscar win for Simmons is yet another feather for him to add to his cap; a cap that may be riddled with feathers really soon.  I’m looking very forward to his next project but let’s get back to this one. 

The love story is classic in that it starts out as anything but and becomes two people crazy about one another but Chazelle gives us, ultimately, what feels and looks real because not only is there a bond between the two with all the hopes they share freely but their chemistry is palpable.  Great job casting these two as Sebastian and Mia.  Another thing that gives the audience a connection is this; when have we not all desired something so greatly that we’d give up almost for it?  These two beautiful creatures love their goals as they do one another but the vital and fundamental question here becomes, would you give one of them up for the other?  

 The music is amazing. Oscar will be nice to them…”
Shari K. Green

Sr. Film Writer and Community Manager,

As far as dancing, I’ll admit that they aren’t Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, but the choreography doesn’t ask too much of them and they handle themselves gracefully.  The footwork is impressive and they’re cute together; she not as polished as he but it works. 

Regarding musical taste Mia tells Sebastian that she doesn’t like jazz, his true love, and he takes it upon himself to show her that she doesn’t understand the complexity of it; that you can’t just hear it, you have to feel it by watching someone play.  He wants Mia to see its conflict and get excited because it needs help… ‘It’s dying’ he fears.  Well, he does until his friend, Keith (Legend), explains to him that Jazz is about the future, not the past.  Sebastian has always held onto what Jazz has always been and here, he discovers a bit about himself as well as what pushes him… that things change.  He decides to tour with Keith and Mia learns quickly that tours aren’t overnight.  She realizes dreams of becoming an actress aren’t either.  Maybe it’s time to move on?   

I’ll leave it there.  You need to go and experience “La La Land” to find out what happens.  Visually, the film beguiles but it’s not perfect.  You’re not going to hear their songs on the radio, however, the opening song, “Another Day of Sun” and the score won’t soon be forgotten, nor will Sebastian singing “City of Stars”… okay, the music is amazing.  Oscar will be nice to them.  The dance numbers can be a little clunky but overall the film is pretty extraordinary; sweet and innocent.  As much as it is a musical, it often feels like a play, which was another aspect that I adored.  You’ll never get bored and the final act will whisk you away to another place, and in today’s world, we need a little of that.  Comedies and Musicals don’t usually win Oscar gold for Best Picture but it wouldn’t surprise me if Chazelle’s effort pays off with a few statues.  If it walks away empty handed, it’ll be a travesty. 

Snatched Red Band Trailer

This Mother’s Day weekend, Amy Schumer & Goldie Hawn get snatched. Watch the new trailer for #SnatchedMovie above!


Release: May 12, 2017

Directed by: Jonathan Levine

Written by: Katie Dippold

Music by: Theodore Shapiro & Chris Bacon

Produced by: Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Paul Feig, Jessie Henderson

Cast: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Joan Cusack, Ike Barinholtz, Wanda Sykes, Christopher Meloni

 SNATCHED Official Channels

SITE: Snatched.Movie 




HASHTAG: #SnatchedMovie

In Theaters May 12, 2017

Going In Style


Oscar winners Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”), Michael Caine (“The Cider House Rules,” “Hannah and Her Sisters”) and Alan Arkin (“Little Miss Sunshine”) team up as lifelong buddies Willie, Joe and Al, who decide to buck retirement and step off the straight-and-narrow for the first time in their lives when their pension fund becomes a corporate casualty, in director Zach Braff’s comedy “Going in Style.”  

Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, the three risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.

 The film also stars two-time Oscar nominee Ann-Margret (“Tommy,” “Carnal Knowledge”) as Annie, a grocery cashier who’s been checking Al out in more ways than one. Joey King (“Wish I Was Here”) stars as Joe’s whip-smart granddaughter, Brooklyn; with Oscar nominee Matt Dillon (“Crash”) as FBI Agent Hamer; and Christopher Lloyd (“Back to the Future” trilogy) as the guys’ lodge buddy, Milton.  John Ortiz (“Silver Linings Playbook”) also stars as Jesus, a man of unspecified credentials who agrees to show the guys the ropes, and Peter Serafinowicz (“Guardians of the Galaxy”) as Joe’s former son-in-law, Murphy, whose pot clinic connections may finally prove useful.

Zach Braff (“Garden State”) directs from a screenplay by Theodore Melfi (“St. Vincent”). 

“Going in Style” is produced by Donald De Line (“The Italian Job”).  The executive producers are Toby Emmerich, Samuel J. Brown, Michael Disco, Andrew Haas, Jonathan McCoy, Tony Bill, who was a producer on the 1979 film “Going in Style,” and Bruce Berman.





In Theaters April 7, 2017

Office Christmas Party

“Office Christmas Party” is directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck, who both directed “Blades of Glory” and “The Switch”, as well.  Their strength is comedy but when a movie is good just not good enough, it doesn’t surprise me when I find out there was more than one director.  I can imagine the back and forth they might have about how to go about a certain scene and you can definitely tell when one man’s option should have won over the other.  However, I could be reading into it too much.  Don’t get me wrong.  This is a good, dirty and off-colored little picture, just in time for your holiday cheer, and one you will enjoy watching if you’re a fan of the genre… but had they put a little more effort into originality, you would have applauded the effort and most likely added it to your ever growing pile of every year holiday favorites.  As it is, this is a one time watch and one time only.  It’s your atypical party flick with one advantage… almost the entire cast of SNL has a spot in the film.  Think, “The Hangover”, “Superbad” and the like.  You’ve seen this before but not only have you seen the film, you’ve seen the actors play the same characters time and time again.  I’ll admit, I love it when I see Aniston play a cold, calculated b*tch but wasn’t “Horrible Bosses 2” out not that long ago?

This is a good, dirty and off-colored little picture, just in time for your holiday cheer”
Shari K. Green

Sr. Film Writer and Community Manager,

Moving on.  We meet the boss of the company ZenoTek, Clay Vanstone (Miller) and his right hand man, Josh Parker (Bateman) directly before the moment CEO, and Clay’s sister, Carol (Aniston) walks in.  We’ve established that Clay and Parker love to have fun and don’t necessarily adhere to company rules very well, despite the efforts of human resources head, Mary (McKinnon), but Carol is not sweet on the branch, nor is she thrilled with her brother.  Forever the butt of his jokes and constantly reminded by him that he was dad’s favorite, she uses the fact that their father made her CEO and not him, against him.  After this latest visit it’s time to show Clay why.  She will keep the company a success at any cost… even if that cost is him.  After cancelling their Christmas bonuses and party, she gives him two days to turn things around or he would face cuts or possibly branch closing.

His only hopes of saving the branch is to catch a major client, Walter Davis (Courtney B Vance), and to impress him, they throw the party of a lifetime; two birds with one stone.  Proud of himself, Clay is certain it’ll all work out to plan.  What could go wrong?  The employees get Christmas joy and he saves the branch.  What could go wrong?  Everything!  When a fun office party becomes a drunken brawl with alcohol, drugs and pimps having a bad day, what could go right?  Actually, several things do go right, and they are the reasons to see this nonsensical comedy.  The cast is great, T.J. Miller does a good job as he steadily gets drunk and Jillian Bell is hilarious as a pimp with a personality disorder.  The script has its fun moments but it goes overboard at times.  You will cherish the efforts from the cast to stand out, but there’s not enough of a discernible difference between it and films of the genre to say its worth paying a high ticket price for.  This is matinee at best. 

Why Him Advance Screening

Of all the guys his daughter could have chosen… Why Him? See James Franco and Bryan Cranston, in theaters this Christmas.

Over the holidays, Ned (Bryan Cranston), an overprotective but loving dad and his family visit his daughter at Stanford, where he meets his biggest nightmare: her well-meaning but socially awkward Silicon Valley billionaire boyfriend, Laird (James Franco). A rivalry develops, and Ned’s panic level goes through the roof when he finds himself lost in this glamorous high-tech world and learns that Laird is about to pop the question.

Find your chance to receive special advance movie screening passes below. 

Phoenix, Arizona

Date: Tuesday, December 20
Location: Harkins Arizona Mills
Time: 7:00pm

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Las Vegas, Nevada


Date: Tuesday, December 20
Location: Regal Texas Station
Time: 7:00pm

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Teaser Trailer

Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.