Angry Birds

Angry Birds is a 2016 Finnish-American 3D computer-animated action-adventure comedy film based on the video game series of the same name. It was directed by Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly (in their directorial debuts) and written by Jon Vitti. The film was animated by Sony Pictures Imageworks, and stars Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Kate McKinnon, Sean Penn, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Bill Hader and Peter Dinklage.

Reclusive Red (so named because he is a red bird) who lives just outside of the village is sentenced to anger management class after his temper causes a “premature hatching” of a customer’s egg (and where he also threw a cake at the father’s face for trying to bust him) Resentful, Red avoids getting to know his classmates Chuck, Bomb, Terence and the instructor Matilda. One day, a boat docks at the island’s shore. It carries green-colored pigs, who claim to be peaceful explorers bringing offerings of friendship, and are accepted on the island. They introduce the birds to innovative technologies such as slingshots and helium balloons. Red is the only one initially suspicious of them, probably because their ship destroyed part of his home.

He sneaks into the ship and discovers a whole lot of pigs (initially there were only supposed to be two) yet everyone else seems to adore the pigs. As more pigs arrive and seemingly adjust to bird society, with the help of Chuck and Bomb Red seeks out Mighty Eagle, a giant bald eagle said to be the protector of the island, and the only bird that can fly, but who has not been seen for many years. They find him on top of Bird Mountain, but Mighty Eagle is now overweight, self-absorbed, and largely in retirement. Looking through the Mighty Eagle’s binoculars, Red’s group sees the pigs planting explosives around the island while the birds are at a rave party. They realize the party was a ruse to steal the birds’ eggs. Red, Bomb and Chuck attempt to warn the other birds and stop the pigs, but the pigs escape and their explosives destroy the village. When the birds realize what happened, Red rallies them to let loose their anger and take back their eggs.

The birds construct a boat and sail to Piggy Island, where they find the pigs living in a walled city. Deducing the eggs are most likely in the central castle of the city, the birds attack and defeat the pigs by firing themselves over the walls using their gifted giant slingshot. Red, Chuck, and Bomb make it to the castle and find the eggs in a boiler room, where the pigs plan to cook and eat them. Mighty Eagle arrives, having watched these events through his binoculars and had a change of heart, and carries the eggs out. As the birds escape, one egg falls out and rolls back into the castle. Red battles the pigs’ king Leonard and retrieves the egg, escaping as the pigs’ reserve of explosives blow up and destroy Piggy Island. Red reunites with the other birds as the rescued egg hatches, revealing three little blue birds (The Blues), and is declared a hero. He, Chuck, and Bomb are approached by Mighty Eagle, who claims that he wasn’t lazy but instead deliberately made the birds lose faith in him so they could find faith in themselves.

Back on Bird Island, the birds rebuild Red’s house, which had been moved by Red near the edge of the island and was eventually destroyed whenever a boat full of pigs had arrived, all the birds that have hatched sing a song to Red to thank him, and Red reluctantly lets Chuck and Bomb move in with him. During the credits, it is revealed that some of the pigs survived Piggy Island’s destruction and have begun to hatch a new plan to steal the eggs, while a mid-credits scene reveals that the three blue birds that Red rescued use a rebuilt slingshot to launch themselves out to sea.

Though funny in places, I can see why it failed to be a big hit with audiences. It doesn’t really hit you in the heart as most of these animated movies that succeed seem to do. Even some of the jokes seem to fall flat. It was released in the United States on May 20, 2016, received mixed reviews from critics and grossed over $349 million. I give it a 7 outta 10!

Ice Age: Collision Course

I love the Ice Age series. They are among my fav animated movies and certainly my fav franchise. But have they run their course with this, the 5th movie? Have things become stale? I didn’t think so but I believe that this was the least critically appreciated movie despite making it in the box office. My favourite is still the first one ofcourse. Ice Age: Collision Course is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated comedy adventure film produced by Blue Sky Studios. It was directed by Mike Thurmeier and co-directed by Galen Tan Chu, and written by Michael Wilson, Michael Berg and Yoni Brenner. The film stars the voice talents of Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Josh Peck, Simon Pegg, Seann William Scott, Jennifer Lopez and Queen Latifah, all reprising their roles from previous films.[1][7] New additions to the cast include Jesse Tyler no credit check military loans Ferguson, Adam DeVine, Nick Offerman, Max Greenfield, Stephanie Beatriz, Melissa Rauch, Michael Strahan, Jessie J and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Scat, trying to  bury his acorn, accidentally activates an abandoned alien ship that takes him into deep space, where he unwittingly sends several asteroids en route to a collision (in an awesome cartoonish silly scene) with Earth. Meanwhile, Manny is playing ice hockey with his daughter Peaches but worried about the upcoming marriage between Peaches and her fiancé, Julian. Diego and his wife Shira want to start a family but they seem to scare any and all the kids in the area. Sid is dumped by his girlfriend, Francine, just as he is about to propose to her, and he laments his solitude. Manny also forgets his wedding anniversary but an asteroid shower has the crowd initially thinking he arranged the “fireworks” show. However the animals have to soon run for cover as some of the asteroids strike the place and the herd barely escape with their lives.

Buck, who has recovered a dinosaur egg from trio of dromaeosaurs named Gavin, Gertie, and Roger. Buck discovers an ancient stone pillar and takes it to the surface, where he meets Manny and the others. As Buck explains, the pillar depicts various points in time where the asteroids caused mass extinctions and with a massive one still incoming, he believes that the only place they could find a clue to stop it is on the site of the impact of the previous ones, as according to its engravings, they always fall at the same place. The three dromaeosaurs overhear their conversation and follow them. After a long trek, as they reach the crash site and find they discover that the asteroids have electro-magnetic properties. Buck theorizes that if a huge quantity of smaller asteroids should be gathered and launched into orbit, they could attract the main asteroid as well and prevent it from falling on Earth. The herd arrives at “Geotopia”, a community of immortal animals formed inside one of the asteroids that have fallen long ago, where Sid meets Brooke, a female ground sloth who falls in love with him.

The leadero of Geotopia, Shangri Llama, efuses to cooperate with Buck’s plan to send the city’s crystals into space in order to prevent the imminent impact, as they are the key to the residents’ longevity. Sid inadvertently destroys the entire city when he attempts to remove one of the stones to present Brooke with, immediately aging all of the Geotopians to their true ages. Brooke convinces the Geotopians that preventing the asteroid’s fall is more important than their lost youth, and everyone pitches in to fill up a geyser with the crystals so that the pressure launches them into space to draw the asteroid away. The dromaesaurs intervene but Roger is able to convince the other two to help save the lives of everyone. The plan works, and the asteroid is pulled back into space. The herd then departs back home, including Sid, who parts ways from Brooke, but just after they leave, an asteroid piece falls inside a hot spring, giving it rejuvenating properties and making the Geotopians and Sid’s grandmother, who stayed behind with them, regain their youth. After the herd returns, Manny reconciles with Julian, Peaches and Julian celebrate their wedding, Diego and Shira become heroes to the kids who were scared of them before, and a rejuvenated Brooke appears during the ceremony to reunite with Sid. In the film’s epilogue, Scrat keeps struggling to control the alien ship until it crashes on Mars, destroying all life on the planet.

The film got negative reviews for it’s storyline and familiar theme of destruction of the life on earth. It ranks as the worst-reviewed film in the series. I liked it but it isn’t as good as the first 3. I will give this a 7 outta 10!

Ghostbusters (2016)

Yep they just had to do it. The Hollywood trend of rebooting much beloved franchises hits us yet again. I have kept away from reading too much about movie plots and trailers or discussion videos of upcoming and anticipated movies because with the stuff that is out there, it tends to ruin movie watching experiences for me. So other than the fact that the new Ghostbusters movie features and all women cast of the busters plus Chris Hemsworth and that there were cameos by the 4 main cast members of the first two movies apply for bank loan (minus the late Harold Ramis) I knew nothing much about it. I had seen one of the trailers a couple of times but that’s about it.

The 2016 American supernatural action comedy film directed by Paul Feig & written by Feig and Katie Dippold, stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Hemsworth. I missed watching this movie in the theatres as it went quickly from the theatres near me and I couldn’t get to the one that’s 45 minutes away in time. Anyways, I got a copy to watch it this afternoon. Slightly surprised as I did not know it was a reboot; I had thought it was (or hoped) going to be set nearly 30 years after the events of the 1989 sequel and have the ladies be the heir-apparents of the original gang. Think about it – 27 years later the old guard trains or finds a group of ladies doing the same ghostbusting that they had originally loans no credit check direct lenders done all those years ago! I think that was an opportunity missed. You could have had done that instead of just cameos by Murray, Aykroyd, Hudson & Weaver.

While the movie does have it’s fun elements and the cast is pretty good, it does have a few flaws. Sometimes I think the humour was forced quite a bit and it doesn’t flow naturally like the original movie does. Adding Hemsworth in this film too made it hard for me to appreciate it. I like him in Thor but he isn’t the comedic talent needed here. Maybe he didn’t need to be but I found him miscast here. Leslie Jones – I found her funny and she’s probably quite a charmer but this loud African-American shouting for comedy is something that gets on my nerves (I felt the same about a really funny movie with Kevin Hart; even if he is funny the shouting pissed me off). Though I find Kate McKinnon funny in other stuff and hot in real life, she just didn’t do much for me in this film, with the exception of a couple of scenes. Kristen Wiig (oh how I love her) and Melissa McCarthy were good but not on the level that I was expecting. And I almost didn’t recognize Andy Garcia! Though Cecily Strong as Jennifer Lynch, the mayor’s assistant was quite fun.

The special effects harkens back to the original movies and it was cool to see Slimer and his better half. Everything else was just about ok and fun in an unmemorable way. The villain played by Neil Casey was more like a caricature than anything and I guess it kinda fell flat. I did enjoy the film but found myself comparing it to the original and it was no contest. This is tough as I so wanted the movie to succeed and was rooting for the ladies. I hated the dislike the film got before the film was released based on some of the comments about an all ladies group of Busters. C’mon! I will give the film a 7 outta 10!

Never Been Used

A very distinguished lady was on a plane arriving from Switzerland. She found herself seated next to a nice priest whom she asked: “Excuse me Father, could I ask a favor?”

“Of course my child, What can I do for you?”

“Here is the problem, I bought myself a new sophisticated hair remover gadget for which I paid an enormous sum of money. I have really gone over the declaration limits and I am worried that they will confiscate it at customs. Do you think you could hide it under your cassock?”

“Of course I could, my child, but you must realize that I can not lie.” “You have such an honest face Father, I am sure they will not ask you any questions”, and she gave him the ‘hair remover’.

The aircraft arrived at its destination. When the priest presented himself to customs he was asked, “Father, do you have nys deferred compensation loans anything to declare?”

“From the top of my head to my sash, I have nothing to declare, my son”,he replied. Finding this reply strange, the customs officer asked, “And from the sash down, what do you have?” The priest replied, “I have there a marvelous little instrument designed for use by women, but which has never been used.”

Breaking out in laughter, the customs officer said, “Go ahead Father. Next!”

Central Intelligence

Central Intelligence is a 2016 American action comedy film directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber and written by Thurber, Ike Barinholtz and David Stassen. The film stars Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson with Amy Ryan, Danielle Nicolet and Aaron Paul.

The movie is about Calvin Joyner, a former high school star athlete and academic student, who finds himself stuck in a job he isn’t enjoying and getting passed over for promotion. One afternoon he gets a Facebook invite from Bob Stone aka Robbie Wierdicht, an old friend from school, a chubby guy who was picked on and made fun off and who was tossed into a full sports hall buck naked by the school bullies. On that night in 1996, only Calvin and his then girlfriend now his wife Maggie felt bad for Robbie and Calvin gave him his jacket to cover himself up. Not wanting to go to therapy with his wife, Calvin agrees to meet Bob for drinks and is shocked to see that Bob is now a muscle bound tall guy who beats up some bullies at the bar.

After a night of catching up Bob asks review a few accounting records. Calvin deciphers the records as multi-million dollar transactions from an auction, with the final payment set to be made the following day. Bob avoids Calvin’s questions and spends the night on his couch. The next morning CIA agents shows up at the house and demand to see Bob, who has escaped, and say he is a dangerous rogue agent who intends to sell satellite codes to the highest bidder. Calvin finds himself in the middle as a thrilling adventure takes place and he reluctantly is in the middle of a shootout, fights with tough agents and car chases. Bob is blamed for the death of his partner but is really a killer and a rougue or is he being framed? Will the two sort out the mess and get back in time to attend their 20th year class reunion?

There’s a lot of laughs, some slick action, cool moves and stuff flying or jumping around. Although Kevin Hart is funny at times his shouting, yelling and screaming can get on one’s nerves. Johnson is actually more cool and calm in his role and shows his funny side. It was a fun film though the story is wonky. 7.5 outta 10 for a lazy afternoon’s watch.

Alvin & The Chipmunks : The Road Chip

Jason Lee returns with the voices of Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney, Kaley Cuoco, Anna Faris, and Christina Applegate in the 4th installment of Alvin & The Chipmunks in The Road Chip. Newcommers Tony Hale, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, and Josh Green also have major roles in this 2015 film.

Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, along with The Chipettes – Brittany, Jeanette and Eleanor – set up a surprise birthday bash for Dave that also serves as a good luck party for The Chipettes, who are scheduled to be guest judges on American Idol. Alvin invites and hires many people and celebrities to the dismay of Simon, before Dave returns home in dissatisfaction. Nevertheless, Dave agrees to take them to mini-golf, and meet Samantha, the woman he has been dating for the past few months. While the Chipmunks like Samantha, her son Miles is a bully who physically abuses the trio. Later, the Chipmunks find an engagement ring in a bag Dave brought home and believe that he’s going to propose to Samantha. They try to steal the ring but are unsuccessful.

Dave says he is producing an album for rising pop star Ashley Grey in Miami and invites Samantha to go with him. They leave Miles with the chipmunks at Dave’s home and have Dave’s neighbour Ms. Price (Jennifer Coolidge) look in on them from time to time. The boys convince Miles to go with them to Miami and sabotage the wedding but they are busted by a Chimpunks hating air marshall en-route, who catches them trying to smuggle themselves in with Miles. The Chipmunks find themselves on the no fly list as a bunch of animals got freed from their cages on the flight. The Chipmunks head to a bar and perform, but this is interrupted by Suggs and they cause a bar brawl as a diversion. They jump into a cab sitting outside. After the cab driver learns they cannot pay him, he kicks the four out of the cab. The Chipmunks and Miles rest, and he reveals that his dad left him when he was five years old. hey raise money to take a bus to New Orleans, and sing “Uptown Funk”, which gets the attention of Dave when it is broadcast on live television, and allows for the Chipmunks to cause Suggs, who has followed them to New Orleans, to get drunk.

Dave and Samantha come to New Orleana and Dave has to drive the boys to Miami while Samantha & Miles fly. When Dave goes out to dinner with Samantha, Alvin reveals that he has stolen the ring. However, Miles had bonded with the Chipmunks and was upset that they were celebrating over this. He crosses the street with his headphones on and is almost hit by a car, but the Chipmunks swing Theodore and push Miles out of the way, saving his life. They agree to give the ring back. Suggs catches up with the Chipmunks, but they trap him in an elevator. Miles and the Chipmunks return the ring to Dave, who reveals he never intended to propose to Samantha, and the ring belonged to his friend Barry. Dave is very disappointed in the kids, so they try to make it up to him by singing a new song to him at the launch party with the help of The Chipettes, Ashley, and Miles. Dave forgives them, ofcourse how could he not, and they return home; stopping by on the way at the local courthouse so Dave can officially adopt them. Dave says that nothing could ruin his day, but returns home to see the squirrels had destroyed everything. He then screams Alvin’s name.

A fun time waster on a weekend afternoon or evening. I had a few laughs and some fun / cool moments. I give it a solid 7 outta 10!