Filled Under: comedy

Madagascar 3

Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain

One of the most popular animated movie is the Madagascar series and they recently released the third instalment. All heroes are animals with strong personalities. This is a movie for children but parents coming with them will certainly have a great time too.

At the center of Madagascar is a group of four friends originally at the Central Park Zoo in New York. There is Alex the lion played by Ben Stiller, Marty the zebra played by Chris Rock, Melman the giraffe played by David Schwimmer and Gloria the hippopotamus played by Jada Pinkett Smith. These four are really close friends with strong personalities and they decide to go back to New York from Madagascar after Alex has a nightmare about getting old. But in order to go back so far they need the help of their friends the penguins, which are in Monaco.

They reach Monte Carlo where the penguins drink coffee and scam the casino, but the four friends fail in their attempt to steal from the casino and they get the animal police to chase them all over Europe from there. They meet a circus crew and the penguins which have a lot of money from gambling in Monaco buy all the animals. This way they hope to disappear. But it is just a new adventure starting and the chief of animal control, Chantal Dubois played by Frances McDormand, is not ready to let go.

The four make new friends with the circus animals; there is Vitaly the Siberian tiger played by Bryan Cranston, Stefano the Italian sea lion played by Martin Short and Gia the jaguar played by Jessica Chastain. These are initially reluctant to help them but they get progressively closer. The problem with this circus is that since the tiger has failed once in his acrobatic demonstration, he has lost his spirit and talent, as well as all the other animals. The gang of four pretend to be also circus animals and so they hope to ressucitate the show.

Even though they lied about their abilities they manage to create an original and magnificent circus show by the end.

This is a very enjoyable movie with plenty of action, excellent graphics, well played animal roles. In particular I like the French lady chasing the animals. She represents the villain but she is more funny than scary. Bring your kids, they will love this movie with a lot of laughs

Midnight in Paris

a georgeous young actress

Rachel McAdams

Woody Allen is one of my favorite directors and he has never disappointed me. Once again he created a new movie so original that only him could have written it, and it is like no one else.

First let’s say that this movie entirely takes place in Paris, France and if you like to see the city, then this film has some of the most beautiful cinematography of the French capital. In particular the beginning of the movie shows a series of views of the City of Lights from many different vantage points and it really feels like you are there, standing in the rain.

Woody Allen nowadays always use new actors at each of its new films, and it is like an honor to be invited to act in one of his films, especially as these are considered art movies and not big box office productions. So Owen Wilson could at first seem like an odd choice, but he fits perfectly inside the imagination and script of Woody Allen and this role shows his talent. Owen plays Woody Allen himself as he is a writer lacking confidence who has a strong nostalgia for the twenties, naive and unassuming.

He has on his side two gorgeous actresses, Marion Cotillard and Rachel McAdams who bring passion and poetry to the story. As often Marion steals the show with her classy presence.

In a daring move Woody hired the French First Lady to play a small role and this is a great idea to depict the country which has ‘equality’ in its motto.

Woody Allen’s imagination is limitless and this time he created an interesting and as always unexpected story which I will not reveal as you must see that movie and find out for yourself. But let’s say that this is a story where people’s passion are the driving forces of their lives. The movie is magical and mystical, akin to a dream.

Brüno

Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul

I found Sacha Baron Cohen’s first movie “Borat” to be hilarious and original. Likewise for Brüno.

Nowadays many movies are remakes or uses a standard plot without surprises. This is not so of Sacha Baron Cohen‘s movies.

The general format is similar to Borat. This is the story of a foreigner, an Austrian man, who goes to America in search of,…, fame. The footage is reality TV like, and this movie could have been filmed with a budget of one million or less. This just shows that great movies do not need great budgets.

It seems that a lot of the scenes are not rehearsed and that some of the people in the footage are not aware that they are part of the movie. Like when Paula Abdul is invited to an interview and asked to sit on Mexican gardeners acting like chairs during the interview. She reluctantly obliges.

But when Sacha Cohen offers her some food which comes served on a naked Mexican man wearing a condom and acting like the food tray, she runs away in a heartbeat.

Or does Harrison Ford know that he is in the movie for about five seconds when he politely refuses an interview request from Brüno with the short answer “f..k you”.

So this time Sacha Baron Cohen portrays Brüno, a male homosexual who is into fashion shows. He used to have his own TV show in Austria about fashion,but as was fired from it for making a mess in a Milan fashion show, so he decides to go to the USA to become a celebrity.

The movie is about Brüno’s impromptu adventures in the United States and in the Middle East where he attempts to establish a peace treaty. We see Brüno attending a swingers party, acting as an extra on NBC’s show medium, enrolling in the National Guards or being taken to the police station in bondage gear with his friend Lutz.

This is a highly provocative movie that portrays gay men in the least flattering light. As Brüno is “ultra-gay”, with all his pores screaming that he is gay every second of the movie. Sexual allusions and images abound. I am not sure if I would like the movie as much if I were gay, but I am not. So excuse me, but I enjoyed every moment of this movie, not because it is about gay people, but because it is so hilarious.

The message of the movie: Originality still exists in show business.

Year One

Juno Temple

Juno Temple

To be honest, this is not the type of movie that I normally go out watching, and the low IMDB rating of 5.1/10 confirms the general opinion about the quality level of  “Year One”.

Nevertheless I love Jack Black‘s humor. And I was depressed.

But let me relate to you what I saw, as this movie is not that bad after all, and it has some good moments overall, keeping a good tempo all along. This is what I call “light entertainment”, so if you have two hours to kill and if you do not want to sit at a bar drinking beer, then you might as well see this movie.

It will cost you less, you will intake less calories, and you may even have some fun.

The storyline is about the adventures of Zed, a man of the year one, which here means the beginning of history as it was recorded in the Bible. This is the time of Abraham, comically portrayed by Hank Azaria, who also recently played another hilarious role from Antiquity in Night at the Museum.

This is the time when Cain (David Cross) kills Abel, when Abraham attempts to sacrifice his son Isaac to God (saved in extremis by Zed) and when Sodom and Gomorrah are still standing Cities, where lust and depravation are the norm.

Zed and is friend Oh (Michael Cera) are exiled from their village after Zed ate an apple from the “Tree of Knowledge”. Then starts an escapade that will lead them to Sodom in their attempt to rescue two enslaved girls from their village, Eema (Juno Temple ) and Maia (June Diane Raphael).

“Year One” is a big farce with a lot of comical scenes. For instance when Zed and Oh are captured, Oh is tied head down and he cannot avoid peeing on himself and on his face. Or when Jack Black tastes an excrement found on their way in order to determine who their enemies are.

A large part of the movie takes place in the City of Sodom. One colorful character is the effeminate High Priest played by Oliver Platt, who likes oily massages on his hairy torso. And the beautiful Olivia Wilde plays Princess Inanna who captivates Zed at first sight.

We also learn how Abraham invented circumcision and started by trying it on his son and friends. Bigots of the judeo-christian faith will not laugh much and may leave before the end, cursing and cussing. Why so serious? Let us just put things in place for once.

The message of the movie: Do not take stories from the Bible too seriously.

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

Amy Adams

Amy Adams

Ben Stiller is back with a sequel to his 2006 Box Office, “Night at the Museum“, which takes place in the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. this time.

For those of you who loved the first one, this movie is as good, if not better. This is a perfect movie to take your young children if you have any, as the ones around me kept on getting all excited. Or if not, you can bring your parents. This is a great family movie with lots of fun.

Ben Stiller plays Larry Daley, a Museum night guard who lives unbelievable adventures at night at the Museum, as the statues, human pieces and animals suddenly come to life.

In this sequel, Larry finds out that some of his nocturnal friends from the American Museum of Natural History are to be moved and stored in the archives of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.  Once there, they are attacked by Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria), who is an ancient Great Pharaoh from Egypt.

They all battle for the “Tablet of Arkmenrah”, which can be used to open the gates of the underworld and unleash an army that could help Kahmunrah conquer the world.

Interesting characters abound. Kahmunrah hires Napoleon (Alain Chabat), Ivan the Terrible and Al Capone to help him open the Gate. On the other side, there is Abraham Lincoln,  Albert Einstein bobbleheads, Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams), Attila the Hun and many more.

Last but not least, there is also Amelia Earhart, the first woman pilot to cross the Atlantic, played by the beautiful Amy Adams. She rapidly falls in love with Larry.

This is a very fun comedy to watch. The dialogues are excellent, especially when the bad Pharaoh speaks. And the special effects make it look all too real. Sometimes the characters jump into a painting and the scene inside the painting becomes alive. Or in the scene in the National Air and Space Museum, Amelia flies an old double wing plane through the entire Museum. Fortunately, the capuchin monkey opens the door at the last second.

The message of the movie: it is fun to be a kid.