Paul shares his reviews of two movies in theaters this weekend. For more of Paul’s reviews, click here.
LONG SHOT (in theaters)
Charlotte Field is the current Secretary of State, but has larger ambitions for the Oval Office. She hears first hand that the current President will not be seeking a second term. He’s a former TV president, now real President, but wants to try out film acting. Charlotte is about to embark on a national tour to promote a environmental initiative and sees this as her launching pad to a candidacy run. First, she needs to improve her testing scores amongst her constituents. She’s lacking points in the humor and personality field. She decides to go rogue and hire Fred Flarksy, an unemployed journalist with strong opinions and no political background. The catch is that they’ve known each other from childhood as she used to babysit him. He had the biggest crush on her and now their reunion means a possible romantic interest, which makes her presidential run even more complicated.
Starring: Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, Bob Odenkirk, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Alexander Skarsgaard
-Broad appeal with Long Shot as it plays to the Seth Rogen fan base, the rom com watchers, and anyone that enjoys political comedies
-The screenplay is quite smart with its clever winks and nods to the current political landscape while adding in references to other beloved rom coms. Bob Odenkirk plays a former TV president, now turned real president who’s still obsessed with TV. Wembly News mirrors the actions of Fox News. You get the idea.
-It may seem like Rogen and Theron are an unlikely pair, but their chemistry is so natural together from the very beginning. They look like two actors that love working together which translates to the screen. It’s easy for their friendship and budding romance to fall in line making the audience root for their characters too.
-Rogen is playing into his messy stoner character that we’ve seen countless times before, but it felt different like time given the backdrop of the political world he finds himself in. He’s not with his stoner buddies or frat boys dumbing down the story. He’s a journalist with a specific point of view even if it gets him in trouble time and time again
-Theron is without a doubt one of the most versatile and underrated actors working today. I love seeing this care-free, comedic side of her but still finding that strength and determination that she has with how she approaches bigger action films or her heavy dramas.
-Director Jonathan Levine appears to let his actors improv they’re way around certain scenes and makes no qualms about the outlandish, raunchy humor and goes for some big laughs from audience. While some of the bits may seem absurd, it’s not too far-fetched from some of today’s salacious headlines.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? It’s smarter and funnier than you’ll want to give it credit for.
RATING: 3.5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS.
UGLY DOLLS (in theaters)
Not every toy that goes through the assembly line comes out perfect to its design. There are some made with the wrong pieces, parts, and shapes attached. Instead of being sent to live with a child, they bypass that tunnel into a land called Uglyville. The attitude there couldn’t be further from the name as all of the misfit dolls in Uglyville are happy, cheery, and living their best life. A little pink doll named Moxy has bigger ambitions. Every day, she believes that she will be picked to live with a child in the Big World. It never happens. She decides to take matters into her own hands by climbing through a mysterious tunnel with her friends. They end up in Institute of Perfection. Every doll is designed like a human and looks like perfection. It’s leader, Lou, is the teen heartthrob type. Every doll goes through The Gauntlet to prove they are a considered a perfect doll. Moxy and her friends are told they don’t belong, as they are ugly. This doesn’t stop Moxy who goes on a journey of discovering that it’s our differences that make us special and unique.
-Featuring the voice of: Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Janelle Monae, Pitbull, Blake Shelton, Wanda Sykes, and LIZZO!!!!
-As you can tell, the cast in mainly composed of musicians some of which have never acted before. It shows, as they’re not as experienced with doing voice over work for animated movies. Wanda Sykes is probably the most versatile and over-the-top with her performance as one of Moxy’s friends.
-There is a ton of new music in the film. Many of the songs are catchy and upbeat much like you would hear from these artists.
-The animation is fairly basic and not as intricate or detailed like most animated films are these days. When we get so used to Pixar, Disney, and Dreamworks movies, these smaller studios with tiny budgets can’t muster the same animation style. Reminded me of a mix of Trolls, Home, and Toy Story.
-Target audience is probably 3-7 year olds. It’s based on an actual toy line of dolls that they would play with. I think older kids and parents may get restless, as the story is fairly thin even at 80 minutes.
-It teaches kids at a young age to believe in themselves and be true to who they are instead of pretending and trying to be someone cool and perfect.
-There are downer moments as Lou, voiced by Nick Jonas, can be quite mean. He can be a teaching guide for parents in how they talk to kids about bullying. As the movie points out, our differences are worth fighting for and to never give up.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Your kids will love it.
RATING: 2 out of 5 TICKET STUBS