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The Lovebirds (2020)

The Lovebirds (2020)


Kumail Nanjiani
Issa Rae

Directed by Michael Showalter

The movie made me laugh like twice when some very unexpected things happened. I give it one thing, it is a watchable movie, sad thing is – it is not memorable and after seeing it once I cannot imagine myself ever wanting to sit through it again.

Issa Rae acted badly. The best way to put it is – in this film she acted like she was acting.
Everything seemed forced from the smile to the frown. I so much tried to like Issa Rae in this film, because this is the first thing of hers I am seeing. I know she is popular for doing her own show, but after the bad acting in the first 10 minutes of the movie, I sat there wishing maybe she will warm up and get really into the character, but she never did. Which made me wonder if her other movies and shows has her acting this poorly and this just made me not want to see them.

The movie had a nice setup here is a couple (Rae and Kumail Nanjiani) who are going through what they believe is a rough parch in their relationship. When they decided to make a drastic turn of things and do what they believe is best, an officer hijacks their car and turns their life upside down. The officer dragged them into his mess and from one bad choice from the officer, the couple being on the minority rung of things, decided to do what they believe is best and ran from the cop and what he has done.

So as not to drop spoilers, the movie has them trying to figure out what happened and get ahead of things before the police find out who they are, where they are and how much they are involved.

Knowing that this movie was directed by Michael Showalter made the feeling of watching it worse for me. He worked with Nanjiani in The Big Sick (2017) which was an amazing rom-com, this followup movie is a big let down in comparison.

The Lovebirds is an okay film which you can catch on Netflix, there is not much to expect so I will ask you to lower your expectations. If you have not read about the movie before seeing it, like I did, get ready to be surprised by the twist and turns the movie takes. But those twist cannot make up for the odd couple pairing and the lack of a good supporting cast for Kumail Nanjiani as he carried the movie on his own.

The Other Guys (2010)

The Other Guys (2010)


Mark Wahlberg
Will Ferrell’s

Directed by Adam McKay

I see this and understand why buddy cop movies always have one character all goofy/messed up and the other all well put together and serious – it helps with the balance. But when the two of them are all jacked up in silliness, the movie gets all out of whack.

This movie did not do well in the box office, but critics seem to like it which I do not understand. This movie did not have the needed comedy to warrant a re-watch is why it sucked at the box office. Secondly, it ended in a way that you can guess the producers were way to optimistic that they had a franchise in the making, well thank god it tanked.

The movie is meant to be a spoof about buddy cop movies, but the movie had one explosion too many. Add to that, enough gun shots to become redundant and the action scenes were unwarranted.

This is a movie about two people who should not be partners on screen for any reason. Saying that Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg make a good pairing on scream is like saying the moon is made of cheese. Who ever thought this was going to work needs to answer me this question, why?

The plot is about partners who are in the shadow of another partnership who are so full of egos it killed them. Now there is room for another set of duos to be the top shot in the police force and Allen (Ferrell) and Terry (Wahlberg) wanted to be the new top shots. More of Terry wanting to be at the top and Allen just happy to be at his desk, but Terry drags him along.

They decided to investigate a burglary at a jewelry shop, which later turned to an arrest of a man we see in the beginning is owing $32 billion. Allen arrest him for some building permit violations when they were waylaid, their prisoner, their guns, car and shoes taken from them.

This pissed of Terry and even though his boss tells him and Allen to let the matter go, he drags Allen into his investigation and they bit hard, causing a big crack all around them and now they are in the middle of all the shit that is about to go down.

There are many movies that are too long and boring to matter and this movie the other guys is one of them. The movie seems to be more interested in action to make any sense and be so caught up in silliness to be cohesive. Sometimes it feels like you are watching two tales, one of a weird couple consisting of two buddy cops who are trying to partner up and another of a weird financial crime happening. When finally the two stories meet and probably the movie starting to make a little sense, the other cops who did not seem to care suddenly show up and the movie ends.

The ending had me with my hands in the air wondering what kind of nonsense have I suffered through in the name of entertainment.

Ferrell’s character (Allen) is as expected, he is weird, too involved in his own world and to stupid to understand how the world really works. Funny thing is, hot girls love him. Then we have Wahlberg’s character (Terry) who in most buddy cop formula is supposed to be the stable one, but he too is messed up in so many ways that I am sure a book has been written on such issues. Where people found the fun to rate this movie good is what I do not understand.

Date Night (2010)

Date Night (2010)


Steve Carell
Tina Fey
Taraji P. Henson
Mark Wahlberg

Directed by Shawn Levy

The first thirty minutes of this film I could not help, but yarn as I watch the Fosters try to have a good date night. I was hoping they do get to have an enjoyable night, but the moment the excitement starts I lost myself keeping up with all the things unexpected happening to them.
Date Night is one fun movie I will always remember seeing, the funny thing about the movie is how the couple who are so ordinary handle some of the less ordinary situations. The never seem to get on top of things and when you think they have gotten it under control the rug gets pulled out from under them.

Other than the drag of a beginning of the film, the plot is not so perfect either, but the two leads Steve Carell and Tina Fey (who play Phil and Claire Foster) were a good match. They made up for where the script lacked and complimented each other on screen. When things get sticky is when the comedy comes out. The movie was not very long, but there were scenes when things dragged a little too long, like when they met Mark Wahlberg the first time or the cars coupling scene, those were long scenes.

With a good handful of supporting casts, the movie plot is about a couple trying to make their marriage work. Their couple friend are splitting up and Phil decided to be spontaneous and do something out of the ordinary for Claire. He drives her into town and stole a table which was reserved for a couple called the Tripplehorn who did not show up. It so happens that couple is wanted by some goons.
This mistaken identity led to them being taken and asked where a flash drive was. No matter how much they tried to convince the goons that they stole the table and that they are not the Tripplehorns, the more it seemed they were trying to escape because they were caught.

They do eventually get away and immediately start putting things together, about what was going on. Their visit to the police station did not help, as they found out the villain has cops working for him.

Now they have the real cops on their trail because of their visit to the station, also the leader of the goons want them. All of this because of the table they stole at the restaurant.

Date Night was both a critical and commercial success and it is one movie I can guarantee you will enjoy just bear in mind that the first third minutes are uneventful.

Baby Mama (2008)

Baby Mama (2008)


Tina Fey
Amy Poehler
Greg Kinnear
Dax Shepard
Romany Malco

Directed by Michael McCullers

There is a lot to pull apart from this predictable lightweight of a comedy, but going into that will turn this review to a spoiler. One thing I can say is that the story never seem to want to excite. The performances of everyone other than the two leads was like they were forced to do this film. Then the way the movie is directed seems like, it was a project nobody wanted to do and then they found the nearest available person, regardless of experience.

How the movie expected me to enjoy myself is far beyond me and I love Tina Fey, but that love could not save this movie. I love her in 30 Rock and love some of her movies I have seen, but it seems this was a role she should have let pass.
Even though she and Amy Poehler tried to make this movie ring at least in the funny arena when we had to deal with the two together on screen, the scenes were Just let downs. And that was mainly because their chemistry could not make up for the predictable lines and plot.

The movie introduces us to a 37-year-old Kate (Fey) who focused on her career and never got married or have children. She is now going through a baby craze and everything she could do to have a baby herself was not working. The adoption was not going to go and her womb had one in a million chance of getting fertile. So she decided to use a surrogate. She registered at an agency and the surrogate mother was sent to check her out. The mother was a first time surrogate named Angie (Poehler) who from the get go is an irresponsible person and total opposite of Kate.

Kate was desperate and Angie needed the money and they decided to do it together. When Angie broke up with her boyfriend she had to move in with Kate and that is when things go really bad for them. Soon we get to understand that there is more going on with Angie than we can see and soon Kate will have to deal with it.

In the end, this movie packs a lot of A-List supporting cast (Greg Kinnear, Dax Shepard, Holland Taylor, Steve Martin, and Sigourney Weaver.), but neither could save this movie.
It ended the way you would have predicted it will end and all through this film I did not laugh or smile once.
The movie probably broke even as it made double its production cost at the box office, but I can guess that with such we never got to see a second part of this, not that many would have bothered.

The unrealistic nature of things in this movie makes it hard to even recommend this movie for someone who wishes to pass time, I will advise taking a nap instead.

Anastasia (1997)

Anastasia (1997)


Meg Ryan
John Cusack
Kelsey Grammer
Christopher Lloyd
Hank Azaria

Directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman

Seen as one of the best animations done in the 90s that Disney did not have a hand in during its production. Although now that Disney owns Fox who owns this, somehow Anastasia has ended up in the mouse archive.

Anastasia has some of the best songs I have heard in an animation, songs like, Once Upon a December and Journey to the Past are still stuck in my memory even after many years.

Leave aside the historical accuracy of this movie and just focus on the production. The animation is well crafted and still looks good today in 2020. The story of a princess facing challenges and coming out on top is similar to what we see from Disney and I believe this movie tried well enough to match those of Disney’s during that time.

Well, this time the princess is not a toddler before facing the curse.
The movie plot happens in Russia and starts in a ball where the young Anastasia Romanovs is bonding with her grandmother before a travel. A villain named Grigori Rasputin breaks into the ball and puts a curse on the family.
This sorcerer we find out used to be a royal adviser until he was exiled for treason. He then sells his soul in exchange for power which he then used to spark the Russian Revolution.

During an attack on the home of the Romanovs which resulted in them fleeing with the aid of 10-year-old servant boy Dimitri. A series of unfortunate events led to Anastasia falling and her grandmother crying as she is unable to save her granddaughter.

Years later a now grown Anastasia cannot remember much about what happened to her as her lack of memory of who she is and her parents led to her being in an orphanage. Her grandmother has not given up the search for her and there is a financial reward for anyone who can find her.

We then see Dimitri now older and a conman trying to find a look alike who he can use to get the money. How this journey led to him finding Anya who has a necklace with a message which says “together in Paris” which makes her believe her family is in Paris and she wants to go there.

How together Anya and Dimitri battled Rasputin is a fun ride that this movie has to offer.

The movie is directed and produced by Don Bluth.
Here is a brief history of his work before this. Bluth worked with Disney for many years as an animator before breaking out on his own and eventually working with Steven Spielberg to make An American Tail and The Land Before Time. He left that arrangement to make All Dogs Go To Heaven in 1989. It was after a bunch of not so successful productions after that he was called in to work on this masterpiece of an animation.

I guess it is up to you to decide if this movie stands the test of time, for me with the wonderful work done on the animation itself, it does. Although it did not make a box office splash it did well enough to spring out a franchise which consisted of direct-to-video releases and stage musicals.

The Rescuers Down Under (1990)

The Rescuers Down Under (1990)


Bob Newhart
Eva Gabor
John Candy
Adam Ryen

Directed by Hendel Butoy and Mike Gabriel

The animation is a huge step up from the previous first part The Rescuers (1977), but the story is not as grand. This is a good addition to the list of nice Disney movies you should see, but being the first theatrical release of theirs to get a sequel, it is a good first try. We have come to see that Disney has gotten a hand on making sequels so I praise this for being the first.

I think what made this story not meet up to that of the The Rescuers (1977) was the huge world Disney built to place the Rescue Aid Society. Disney made the world of the mice bigger and that in itself consumed half of the movie’s run time. In The Rescuers (1977) the world is smaller and all we got was a message in a bottle and the adventure began. Here, we have the message being relayed across the world and traveling thousands of miles and before Bernard and Bianca actually set out to go rescue the young boy, we are twenty-five minutes into the movie.
The other thing about the story was that it made them like supporting cast to the little boys rescue instead of the main leads, and there was little investigating going on this movie. Much of it is about traveling to the destination and intercepting the poacher’s plan.

The plot this time takes us to Australia, where a young boy who rescues animals is in trouble himself, he gets captured by a poacher after the poacher saw a feather of a golden eagle in his nap sack. The poacher claims to have killed the daddy eagle and wants to kill the mother eagle too. He kidnaps the boy and tries to force him to take him to where the eagle is.

The animals who witnessed the kidnapping are the ones who sent for aid from the mouse Rescue Aid Society, who then sent Bernard and Bianca to go help.
Soon they track down the boy and together with aid from a kangaroo rat who is now a friend of the duo, they must save the boy and stop the poacher.

As usual I enjoyed the way Bianca is made to take charge of things and be more outspoken and confident.

In the end the movie received a less positive review than the first with more praises going to the fine animation. The voice cast of Bob Newhart (Bernard) and Eva Gabor (Bianca) coming back to reprise their roles adds to the entertainment. Unlike the first movie this did not receive any award nomination and did poorly at the box office. The Rescuers (1977) is a Disney classic, this movie even though fun is not, but it is a fun movie to watch all the same as the nostalgia did the work of excitement for me.

The Rescuers (1977)

The Rescuers (1977)


Bob Newhart
Eva Gabor
Michelle Stacy
Geraldine Page
Joe Flynn

Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman, John Lounsbery and Art Stevens

Watching this movie now in 2020, I still have to rate it as a Disney Classic from the mouse factory. The movie is very touching, it dives into all emotional streams it could, while holding on to the plot and not letting it run away from you the viewer. The movie movies at a steady pace and it is easy to follow and understand.
I like the strong female character Miss Bianca who took charge and choose who she would rather go on the adventure with. Also when the going got tough, she was the one who kept the mood and kept the team going.

As at the time of release it was considered of Disney's best work. The movie carved a name for it's self because of the innovative ways things were done in the story. We have two little mice out there trying to save a little girl in a human world. If it looks really out there with the world not set for such a thing to be a success, it is because it is. The story did the job, we get to see these mice play detective, investigate, take chances, recruit assistance and get the job done perfectly. All these done by a novice pair working together for the first time.

This was the 23rd Disney animated feature film, and the film is adapted from a series of books by Margery Sharp. The main being her book titled The Rescuers and Miss Bianca.

The film introduces us to the Rescue Aid Society, an international mouse organization who are dedicated to help rescue victims around the world.
After receiving a message in a bottle from a little girl named Penny (Michelle Stacy) asking to be rescued, Miss Bianca (Eva Gabor) volunteered to go help the girl, and she asked for the then janitor of the organization Bernard (Bob Newhart) to be her co-agent.

The note gave details of the girls previous location so the duo set out to go save her. We soon learn that Penny ran away from the orphanage she was in and is in the grasps of treasure huntress Madame Medusa (Geraldine Page). Medusa is using Penny's small statue to help search for a diamond called the Devil's Eye. Medusa is hellbent on finding that diamond even if it means putting Penny in danger, so she needs to be saved quick and our duo must come up with a great plan.

If you read much about the development of this wonderful animation, you will be intrigued by the amount of changes this project undertook before the final draft was marked ready for production. The Rescuers was nominated for an Academy Award for the song "Someone's Waiting for You". The movie was a critical success and a huge commercial success at the box office.

With beautiful voice casting of Bob Newhart and Eva Gabor, this animation is something done mostly for children. It is fun seeing it again as the nostalgia does most of the excitement for me, but I can safely say this in one classic animation in the Disney era. The Rescuers is the first theatrical release to have a sequel which was done thirteen years after in 1990, The Rescuers Down Under.

An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991)

An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991)


Starring the voices of
Phillip Glasser
James Stewart
Erica Yohn
Cathy Cavadini
Nehemiah Persoff
Dom DeLuise

Directed by Phil Nibbelink and Simon Wells

The second story of An American Tail does not feel unique, even though there is a good upgrade noticeable in the graphics. It seems like the mouse city seem to fall for the same old trick looking for places where they do not have to deal with cats, well as they find out in this movie no such place exists.
This movie was meant to be entertaining and in some ways it tries, but it was entertainment without substance, like someone eating dry bread with no water.
Even though the runtime is just a few minutes shorter than the first movie, this movie feels very short. I have seen it more than once before now, but seeing it again in 2020 I keep wondering if this version I have is missing a whole chunk, or maybe it is the fast pace of the movie that makes it feel as so.
This movie like its predecessor is a musical, unlike An American Tail (1986) which had more than one memorable song, this just had one. Which was sang by Fievel’s sister Tanya sang in the saloon, titled The Girl You Left Behind it is my second favorite from the series, the best remains Somewhere Out There from the first movie.

The movie plot takes place a few years after the first movie. Things are not rosy for the Mousekewitz and the town folks and the cats are still troubling them.
We see an aristocrat cat named Cat R. Waul come and persuade the rest that they should travel to the west that over there the cats and mice are friendly towards one another. Waul had other plans for the mice folks when they finally reach the west.
Before they ride West we find out that Tiger’s girl Miss Kitty is also heading West. Tiger is the vegetarian cat from the first movie.
Tiger learns that Fievel is also heading west and he goes after them.

As usual Fievel goes exploring during the train ride and stumbles on the plans Waul has for the mice. He is discovered and gets knocked off the train, which his parents notice. Now Fievel is alone in the desert and needs to find his way back to his family and also save them from the plans of Waul.

In the end this movie was not as big a commercial or critical success as the first one. It is not a worthy sequel to the first film, but regardless it made enough money to inspire further direct-to-video sequels. There was also an animated children series done.
Don Bluth was not in charge of the production in this movie, he parted ways with Steven Spielberg before the production of this movie. Spielberg’s animation production company was the one responsible for this movie.