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Archives for : Comedy

Movie Review: “The Sunlit Night” Fails to Shine

Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Eirik Evjen

Even Jenny Slate’s quirk and charm can’t help this mess of a movie.

Based on the novel by Rebecca Dinerstein, “The Sunlit Night” follows Frances (Slate), a struggling painter from New York City.  After her boyfriend breaks up with her, she finds out her sister is engaged and her parents are separating. Feeling lost and hopeless, she wants to leave home immediately; and gets an opportunity to paint a barn in Norway in a town where apparently the sun never sets.

Up until this point of the film, you’ve been treated to a funny and witty comedy with a lot of potential. Unfortunately once Frances arrives to Norway, all that potential goes out the window. The audience is left to endure a slow “self-discovery” that is all over the place.

Once Frances is acquainted with her new employer, she meets a few new people. She happens to run into Yasha (Alex Sharp), a Russian-American baker who has come to Norway to give his father a proper Viking funeral. That’s when the film suddenly turns into a “romantic comedy”. I use that term very loosely. In the quiet and rare moments spent between Frances and Yasha, there is no chemistry. There’s not even a spark. This relationship is incredibly forced and doesn’t make much sense. The reasons for why the two even like each other are vague.

Jenny Slate and Alex Sharp star in “The Sunlit Night”

The random, forced comedy of a Viking tour guide (Zach Galifinakis) and Yasha’s cold, absentee mother (Gillian Anderson) didn’t help the story either.

Slate does a fantastic job with the material she is given and the scenery is beautiful, but the “The Sunlit Night” fails to shine. It’s a dim, dull tale. Director David Wnendt seemed to have a great starting point, but didn’t know where to go from there. I still don’t understand the point of the movie, or how the characters evolved by the end of the film. But honestly, I didn’t care enough about any of them.

Rating: 1.5/5

“The Sunlit Night” will be available On Demand July 17.

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Movie Review: “Irresistible” and “Relic”

This week I’ve got reviews of a couple hot new films for you to see. “Irresistible” is a sharp satire of political campaigning from Jon Stewart, and “Relic”, tells a haunting story that will hit close to home for many viewers.

“Irresistible” is available On Demand June 26.

“Relic” is available On Demand July 10.

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Movie Review: “The King of Staten Island”, “7500”, & “You Should Have Left”

In the latest ICTN movie review, we check out the new film by Judd Apatow, “The King of Staten Island.” We also have a preview of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s intense, new thriller, “7500” and Kevin Bacon’s new horror film, “You Should Have Left.”

“The King of Staten Island” is available On Demand now.

“7500” is available to stream on Amazon Prime June 18th.

“You Should Have Left” is available On Demand June 19th.

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Movie Review: “The King of Staten Island” tells a Compelling Story

The King of Staten Island - Who Is Pete? - YouTube

Judd Apatow is responsible for some of the best comedies of our time including, “Knocked Up”, “40 Year-Old Virgin”, and “Trainwreck”. His films typically dive deeper than the usual comedy. He takes the time to have audiences understand his leads and provides a sincere character study. We continue to gain perspective on another lost soul in Apatow’s new heartfelt comedy, “The King of Staten Island”.

This time Apatow has teamed up with Saturday Night Live standout, Pete Davidson. Together, alongside co-writer Dave Sirus, they bring Davidson’s personal experiences to life.

“The King of Staten Island” is about a young man named Scott (Davidson) who’s still living in his mother’s basement, and seems to be going nowhere in life. Scott has had issues ever since his father passed away on the job responding to a fire when he was seven. Since then, he hasn’t been able to grow up and become an independent adult. Everything changes when his younger sister Claire (Maude Apatow) goes off to college, and his mother Margie (Marisa Tomei) starts dating another firefighter named Ray (Bill Burr).

Margie is finally able to move on and think about her own happiness. This forces Scott to get a job, and look for a new place to live. Unfortunately, Ray gets the blame for this sudden shift in Scott’s life, and naturally he hates him. The two butt heads and carry on a hilarious banter throughout the movie; which eventually leads to a powerful and emotional realization of unresolved grief.

The King of Staten Island Is the Rare Comedy That May Play Better ...

What I have always loved about Apatow’s movies is the writing. Not only is it authentic and honest, but it’s also so damn funny. The dialogue is awkwardly realistic and witty. And his always talented casts help elevate the script.

Apatow’s daughter is a knock out; and Tomei does a fantastic job, as usual, playing an endearing, sweet mom. But it’s Davidson and Burr who shine. Davidson solidifies his career by bringing humor and genuine emotion without ever appearing to try too hard. Burr is obviously funny and sarcastic, but he also has depth and just the right amount of heart to make you understand why Margie could fall for him so quickly.

“The King of Staten Island” tells a unique story about grief, loss, and love. Showing that for your own health, it’s important to confront your issues, and allow the people around you to help in the healing process.

Some may be discouraged by the nearly two and half hour runtime, but don’t let the semi-slow pace deter you from this beautiful, well made, coming-of-age film.

Rating: 4/5

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Movie Review: “The High Note” & “The Vast of Night”

I’ve got a couple of new film reviews for ya! First is “The High Note”, another mentor/mentee film that makes the most of its’ cast and should hit the right note with its’ audience.

Then there is the new Amazon Studios movie, “The Vast of Night”, which plays as a wonderful homage to “The Twilight Zone”. This film will satisfy that sci-fi itch with suspense, mystery, wonder and nostalgia.

“The High Note” is available on various On Demand platforms May 29.

“The Vast of Night” is available on Amazon Prime May 29.

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Movie Review: “The Willoughbys” & “The Wrong Missy” Preview

This week, I review the Netflix animated film, “The Willoughbys”. It’s a dark comedy about four kids looking to get rid of their horrible, selfish parents. What follows is a wild adventure that uncovers the true meaning of family. Then enjoy a preview of the zany, new David Spade comedy, “The Wrong Missy”.

“The Willoughbys” is available on Netflix now

“The Wrong Missy” is available on Netflix May 13.

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“The King of Staten Island” On Demand June 12

Universal Pictures’ big fancy announcement!

THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND will premiere on demand June 12.

Watch Judd Apatow and Pete Davidson’s announcement and download #TheKingofStatenIsland poster.

This summer, Judd Apatow directs Saturday Night Live breakout Pete Davidson in a bracing comedy about love, loss and laughter on Staten Island.  

Over his storied career, Judd Apatow has elevated a series of promising young comedy talents to their first major big-screen performance, including Steve Carell, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jason Segel, Kristen Wiig, Amy Schumer and Kumail Nanjiani.

This summer, Apatow directs Saturday Night Live breakout Pete Davidson in a bracing comedy about love, loss and laughter on Staten Island.

Scott (Davidson) has been a case of arrested development ever since his firefighter father died when he was seven. He’s now reached his mid-20s having achieved little, chasing a dream of becoming a tattoo artist that seems far out of reach. As his ambitious younger sister (Maude Apatow, HBO’s Euphoria) heads off to college, Scott is still living with his exhausted ER nurse mother (Oscar® winner Marisa Tomei) and spends his days smoking weed, hanging with the guys—Oscar (Ricky Velez, Master of None), Igor (Moises Arias, Five Feet Apart) and Richie (Lou Wilson, TV’s The Guest Book)—and secretly hooking up with his childhood friend Kelsey (Bel Powley, Apple TV+’s The Morning Show).

But when his mother starts dating a loudmouth firefighter named Ray (Bill Burr, Netflix’s F Is for Family), it sets off a chain of events that will force Scott to grapple with his grief and take his first tentative steps toward moving forward in life.

The film also stars Steve Buscemi as Papa, a veteran firefighter who takes Scott under his wing, and Pamela Adlon (FX’s Better Things) as Ray’s ex-wife, Gina.

The King of Staten Island is directed by Apatow (Trainwreck, Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) from a script by Apatow, Davidson and former SNL writer Dave Sirus. It is produced by Apatow for his Apatow Productions alongside Barry Mendel. Together, the duo shared producing credits on the Academy Award®-nominated films The Big Sick and Bridesmaids, as well as This Is 40, Trainwreck and Funny People. The film’s executive producers are Pete Davidson, Michael Bederman and Judah Miller.

Genre: Comedy

Cast: Pete Davidson, Marisa Tomei, Bill Burr, Bel Powley, Maude Apatow and Steve Buscemi

Directed by: Judd Apatow

Written by: Judd Apatow & Pete Davidson & Dave Sirus

Producers: Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel

Executive Producers: Pete Davidson, Michael Bederman, Judah Miller

Movie Review: “The Hunt” is a Bloody Catch

In 2018, the hilarious political comedy “The Oath” showed audiences how harsh extremist on either side (Conservative or Liberal) can be. The film was about a politically divided family, trying to make it through Thanksgiving. Things got rough quick, and at times, it got violent. But in the new action/horror film, “The Hunt”, they take the violence and politics to a whole new level; while still trying to prove the same point, just not as effectively.

“The Hunt” caused a lot of controversy before it was ever released. It was originally slated to open in theaters last fall, but was halted due to the film’s premise and mass shootings during that time.

The film opens with a group text thread among liberal friends. They make a joke about taking out their anger on “deplorables” during an upcoming hunt at the Manor. The next scene shows a rich group of people on a plane with people they have drugged and stowed away. Soon 12 of them are all spread out, unconscious, and in a field with gags in their mouths. Once they are all awake, they see a big box with various weapons for them to have a fair fight. We eventually find out, these chosen conservatives are being hunted like animals by liberal elitists.

Before anyone gets heated or offended, this thriller has no real insight into politics. It is too afraid to pick a side. Instead they make both the Republicans and Democrats equally dumb, with the exception of two women (Hilary Swank and Becky Gilpin).

The film features a talented all-star cast including Swank, Gilpin, Emma Roberts, Justin Hartley, and Ike Barinholtz. Though everyone adds to the hilarious humor of the film, it’s Swank and Gilpin who steal the show. Gilpin is quietly comical, while impressing with her kickass survival instincts. But it’s her nail-biting showdown with Swank that will have you cringing and cheering. However, the gore is not for the faint of heart. At times, I couldn’t even watch. There’s a bloody, graphic death at every turn.

While the purpose of the film might be lost, the humor and action is easily found. There is a lot of fun to be had with these idiotic characters (on both sides) and the gruesome, sometimes, shocking deaths they experience. It encompasses the same kind of satire and excitement from last year’s “Ready or Not”. Sadly, the premise is not as unique.

Ultimately, “The Hunt” feels like a funny version of “The Purge” films with a role reversal. It’s an entertaining, fast-paced, mindless thriller that provides plenty of laughs and shrieks.

Rating: 3.5/5

“The Hunt” opens in theaters March 13.

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Interview: Jaime Camil & Sandra Echeverría talk “My Boyfriend’s Meds”

Jaime Camil and Sandra Echeverria star in the hilarious new comedy “My Boyfriend’s Meds” (LAS PÍLDORAS DE MI NOVIO). Jess (Echeverria) is a talented marketing executive for an upscale tequila company who is super picky when it comes to dating. She finds something wrong with everyone. That is until she meets Hank (Camil), a charming and handsome mattress store owner. She is convinced she’s finally found Mr. Right and invites Hank on a very important work retreat on a remote island. Only problem, Hank hasn’t told Jess about all of his medical issues. This could be an easy secret to hide for a little while, but when he forgets all his medications his symptoms begin show.

I sat down with Jaime Camil and Sandra Echeverria to discuss presenting the “best” version of yourself at the start of your relationship, the music that calms them, what type of drink they are, what they use to think were dating deal breakers and much more. This was a conversation I did not want to end.

Listen to the full interview below and be sure to watch “My Boyfriend’s Meds” when it opens in theaters nationwide February 21st.

Sandra Echeverria (left), Susan Stephens (middle), Jaime Camil (right)
Interview: Jaime Camil and Sandra Echeverria talk “My Boyfriend’s Meds”

Interview: McKenna Grace, Charlie Shotwell, & Milan Ray talk “Troop Zero”

Have you ever felt like you weren’t good enough to achieve your dreams? That is was safer to just hide in the background and hope to go unnoticed?And that is best to not want something in life because that way you’re never disappointed? Well, clearly that’s no way to live your life and in the new Amazon Original film, “Troop Zero” we’re taught it’s better to make the effort, put yourself out there and go after what you want.

“Troop Zero” is set in rural 1977 Georgia and follows Christmas Flint (McKenna Grace). She is a peculiar little girl who spends her time dreaming of outer space. So, naturally she is thrilled to learn of a competition that would give her the chance to have her voice recorded on NASA’s Golden Record. Only problem is, she needs to be part of a Birdie Scout Troop to qualify for the contest. Christmas quickly rounds up a band of misfits and they become Troop Zero. The group face obstacles, get in fights and form an unusual, yet, extraordinary friendship.

I sat down with stars of the movie, McKenna Grace, Charlie Shotwell, and Milan Ray to discuss the courage of following your dreams, bullying, and much more. We even play a little would you rather game! Listen to the interview below and make sure to see the film! Available now on Amazon Prime.

Charlie Shotwell (left), McKenna Grace (middle), & Milan Ray (right)
“Troop Zero” Interview with stars, McKenna Grace, Charlie Shotwell, & Milan Ray