The humor in You People sometimes is broad enough to encourage a call for a clean up on aisle sitcom.
There are silly movies and then there are really silly movies. Shotgun Wedding fits into the latter category — and I don’t mean that in a good way. A destination wedding romcom, Shotgun Wedding stars Jennifer Lopez. An able comic actress, Lopez gives the movie her all but like her unfortunate cohorts, she's burdened by a preposterous story line that generates as many groans as laughs. Director Jason Moore guides J.Lo and Josh Duhamel (the story's groom) through scenes in which ransom-seeking pirates invade the wedding and hold the guests hostage. Additional cast includes Cheech Marin as the wealthy father of Lopez's Darcy and Lenny Kravitz as Darcy's smooth-talking ex. Sonia Braga has a brief turn as Darcy's mother and Jennifer Coolidge appears as the comically brash mother of the groom. Add some late picture stunts that wobble their way into action/comedy turf and you've got ... well ... a romcom with grenades and explosions. A lame screenplay, set at a Filipino resort, forces the cast to try too hard for laughs. Let me clarify. I called this a really silly movie. In fairness, I should say that Shotgun Wedding isn't trying to be an exercise in high wit. Still, it's difficult to say "I do" to a wedding comedy that's married to so many ill-conceived gags.
Go figure. On the 10-movie best-picture list, you’ll find titles as wide-ranging as Top Gun: Maverick, Triangle of Sadness, All Quiet on the Western Front, and Elvis. Talk about a multiverse.
Each of those movies, by the way, already can be streamed, as can many of the other Oscar nominees. Gone are the days when Oscar nominations provided theaters (remember them?) with much-needed revenue boosts.
If home is where the movies are, that's also where a lot of movie talk has gone. With more people opting to work from home, water-cooler talk may have vanished from the American experience, having been replaced by any number of online options.
By evening, more folks likely will be wondering about the classified documents that turned up at Mike Pence's house than whether Women Taking, a best-picture nominee, has any shot at winning.
No matter what levels the Oscar buzz reaches or doesn't, the Academy Awards will be telecast on March 12. You can find a full list of nominees on the Academy's site.
And good luck to Jimmy Kimmel, who'll try to re-establish the role of host. What, by the way, is the over/under on how long it will take for someone to mention last year's slap heard 'round the world?
Alice, Darling -- a psychological study bolstered by thriller elements -- relies on the observation that not all abuse is physical. The story centers on Alice (Anna Kendrick), a successful young woman who lives with her boyfriend, an artist played by Charlie Carrick. The two appear to be happy, but Carrick's Simon continually gnaws at Alice’s confidence. The plot, such as it is, begins to unfold when Alice agrees to spend a weekend with two girlfriends (Kaniehtiio Horn and Wunmi Mosaku). The occasion: Horn's Tess has arranged a women-only celebration of her birthday at an isolated cabin. Alice tells Simon she's taking a business trip because she knows he’d object to her spending time with women who will encourage her independence. Kendrick captures Alice's ably fears, which limit her willingness to make her own decisions. Her friends try to loosen her up, but she's still under Simon's control. Director Mary Nighy creates a mood of uneasiness as Horn and Mosaku push Alice toward assertion. They know their friend is being tyrannized. The story's final eruption verges on overstatement — and at times, the movie seems to be straining, particularly with a story about a missing local girl that lingers in the background. Working from a screenplay by Alanna Francis, Alice, Darling works best as a well-observed study of the effects of abuse, and Kendrick’s complex performance as a vacillating, conflicted woman gives Alice, Darling some painfully real bite.
Movies with even a modicum of ambition tend to score big in January, not normally a time when new releases boast much of a "wow" factor. M3GAN is such an entertainment, a movie about a doll brought to frightening life (or at least a synthetic version of it) by AI and engineering genius. M3GAN, pronounced Megan but really an acronym for Model 3 Generative Android, becomes the best friend of young Cady (Violet McGraw), a girl who's living with her aunt Gemma (Allison Williams) after her parents are killed in a car crash. Gemma, M3GAN's inventor, hopes the "toy" will help restore the spirits of the grieving Cady. Gemma knows toys but has no idea about kids, an irony that gives the movie a hint of social relevance. Over relying on M3GAN to act as a parent, Gemma sets up the inevitable transformation that will convert doll to killer, often in the name of protecting Cady. Gemma also hopes that her invention will sweep the toy world, as does her money-grubbing boss (Ronny Chieng). Director Gerard Johnstone's visual approach isn't much different than an after-school-special but the movie boasts smatterings of mordant wit. Credit M3GAN's capacity to deliver snide remarks with exaggerated sincerity. A bit of PG-13 gore and some routine genre violence (a nail gun becomes a weapon) unfold as expected. But Amie Donald's performances as M3GAN (voice by Jenna Davis) allows the movie to punctuate its more generic components with some welcome amusement.