Mila Kunis plays 32-year old wife and mother of two, Amy, whose already stale marriage in the Chicago suburbs (filmed in New Orleans) hits an impasse when she catches her hubby having an online affair. Her best friends, spitfire sexpot single-mom Carla and mousy housewife Kiki, form a pact to be “bad moms” as a means of rebellion against having to put up with bratty, unappreciative kids and husbands that take them for granted for the last several years. However, when the far-too-influential busybody PTA president, Gwendolyn, begins to make life difficult for them and their middle-school aged kids, Amy decides to run against her for control of the organization on a platform of empowering mothers to do not have to always have to be so perfect.
Monthly Archives: July 2016
Emma Roberts plays venus ‘Vee’ Delmonico, an introverted, straight-as-an-arrow senior in a Staten Island high school. Vee is cajoled by her more outgoing and bold friend Sydney to install a popular underground (“dark web”) smartphone and desktop app called ‘Nerve’ in which one can choose to be a Player, who participates in a customized series of ‘dares’ for cash deposits and follower base, or Watcher, who, for a fee, contribute to the game system by making dare suggestions, monitoring and submitting approval (a la Periscope) when they’re completed by the Players. Pegged as an instant watcher, Vee decides to be a bit more daring and see what life is like on the Player side. Her first dare is to kiss a complete stranger in a diner for five seconds, which introduces her to Dave Franco’s Ian, who turns out to also be a Player himself. The game continues to pair up the two based on algorithms generated through the harvesting of their online personas through all manner of social media and private accounts, leading them to continue their misadventures-on-demand through the department stores and bustling streets of Manhattan. The problem is that the further you’re into it, the harder it is to quit, whether you want to or not.
In this film, the antics of Scrat the squirrel flying a UFO in outer space, chasing the elusive acorn, ends up inadvertently causing a massive meteor shower to hit Earth. Manny the woly mammoth and his wife Ellie forget, for a moment, their fears that their daughter Peaches will end up leaving them once she gets married to the silly-natured but loveable Julian. They see the fiery rocks hurtling in their vicinity and immediately run for cover, along with their gang of friends (aka The Herd) of many species, eventually running into the spirited and highly intelligent one-eyed weasel named Buck (returning from the third film, Dawn of the Dinosaurs), who concocts a plan to keep the most massive of asteroids from hitting Earth yet again and wiping them all out. Teamwork is employed, but they’re going to have to stay a step ahead of a trio of ill-mannered Dino-Birds who want all of these other pesky critters like the dino-egg saving Buck out of the way so they can rule the roost as the most powerful creatures on the newly destroyed planet.
Batman, after some introductory scenes in which he battles some bad guys with the help of Barbara Gordon as Batgirl, goes to confront The Joker at Arkham Asylum, only to discover he has made his escape and is out and about causing havoc. The Joker, out to prove that anyone can go as mad as he has given the right (or wrong) circumstances (“All it takes is one bad day”, so he says), sets about committing some truly heinous acts toward some of the people who are fighting on the side of good. In between the contemporary story scenes, we get flashbacks to Joker’s past as a failing comedian who ended up turning to a life of crime in order to support his wife and unborn child, resulting in tragedy that cracks his psyche, and physically transforms his appearance to look as maniacal on the outside as he feels on the inside.
The main story involves a dysfunctional family, who are particularly in dire trouble now that the depressed mother, Sophie, has begun to exhibit signs of mental illness that she thought her medications had all but completely eradicated. Sophie’s first husband has gone missing under mysterious circumstances, though we get to see that hubby number two is actually brutally murdered by a supernatural force while in his workplace there’s barely a mention of this event among the family afterward, curiously). Sophie’s daughter, the long-suffering Rebecca, no longer chooses to visit her now that she has taken a turn for the worse, leaving Sophie’s young son, Martin, in a very vulnerable spot, all alone with a sick mother and an entity that she is always talking to in the shadows. As Martin reaches out for help, half-sister Rebecca gets thrust back into the family issues that have haunted her over the years, having to get to the bottom of the jealous evil presence in the house that her mother has called “Diana”, who lives and kills in the dark recesses of the house.
This one showcases the third year of their five-year mission, with Captain James T. Kirk pondering a career move for the better, thanks to the heroic deeds chronicled in previous entries. Decisions can wait, when they end up picking up an escape-pod survivor, leading the Enterprise to a strange part of the galaxy on a mission to rescue the rest of her ship’s crew in uncharted territory. However, they’ve shuttled right into a trap, masterminded by a fierce adversary named Krall, who is hell-bent on obtaining an artifact on board the Enterprise. Krall sets about all but completely destroying the Kirk and company using a swarming fleet of insect-oid ships, severely damaging the Enterprise, and leaving the crew members to shuttle to the nearby planet.
Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney continues his roll of crafting some of the most intriguing and topical films in recent years with Zero Days, this time taking a look at a new and different kind of international warfare. It’s not one fought with bullets or bombs, but with computer scripts, some so potent that they can infect a device, stop production in a factory, and perhaps, if one were powerful enough, take down a massive power grid that could end up costing billions of dollars to the country it is inflicted upon.
Julian Dennison plays Ricky Baker, a rebellious, chubby, twelve-year-old foster thug-life wanna-be who ends up dumped by an exasperated social worker to a childless couple, kind-hearted Bella and her cynical husband Hec, a last-chance effort from the foster placement, out on a remote farm in rural New Zealand. “Bad Egg” Ricky hates his new environment about as much as he’s hated everyplace else he’s been, choosing to run away at his first opportunity, only to find that he hasn’t a clue where he can go or how to survive out in the wilderness that surrounds the farm. However, circumstances result in injured Hec and Ricky, who is adamant about never returning to foster child services, stuck out in that wilderness, becoming misunderstood fugitives caught up in a high-publicity manhunt (hence the title), and Ricky’s going to have to learn “the knack” of survival out in “the Bush” of New Zealand.
Kristen Wiig plays Erin Gilbert, an ambitious associate professor seeking tenure at New York’s prestigious Columbia University who ends up losing that when a book she published years ago on ghosts surfaces, putting the credibility of the institution in question should she remain in the faculty. Turns out that her writing partner, Abby Yates, republished the book that had previously been out of print, and ends up cajoling Erin to just come help her and her current research partner, the kooky gearhead engineer Jillian Holtzmann, in her studies in investigating paranormal activity further, . They initially find success in trapping ghosts with Jillian’s devices and their continued pursuit leads them to start a business and take on a fourth team member in Patty Tolan, a street-wise MTA subway employee who has seen a particularly nasty apparition in the subways of New York, and whose knowledge of the city will be of particular help, plus an daft-but-hunky administrative assistant in Kevin. But the ghostly activity seems to be on the rise, with signs pointing toward an oddball loner janitor named Rowan, who seems to be Hell-bent on bringing the generally unseen demons and ghouls to the Earthly plane that hasn’t been so kind to regarding his genius.
Bryan Cranston decides to go on the other side of the drug laws from his stint on the seminal “Breaking Bad” with The Infiltrator, playing a true-life U.S. Customs agent named Robert Mazur, who, in the 1980s, would go undercover as a money launderer to bust some of the country’s most wanted traffickers at the height of the Reagan-era, “War on Drugs”. Set in 1986, the highly effective operative, Mazur, is set for retirement when he decides to do one more case in “Operation C-Chase” to take down the drug men, only this time, he decides that the only way to actually stop the influx of product is to follow the money instead of the drugs, and take down the biggest fish in the game as he climbs up the proverbial food chain. Under his new identity of Bob Musella, Mazur plays a high roller with mafia ties who gains the trust of some men within a powerful and deadly Colombian drug cartel channeling through Miami, headed by the notorious Pablo Escobar, to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into his sham company operating as a legit business so that it won’t draw suspicion.