REVIEW: BIG MOMMAS: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

 

CAST

Martin Lawrence (Bad Boys)
Brandon T. Jackson (Eloise)
Jessica Lucas (Gotham)
Portia Doubleday (Carrie)
Michelle Ang (Triple 9)
Tony Curran (Underworld: Evolution)
Faizon Love (Wonderland)
Ken Jeong (The Hangover)
Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty)
Max Casella (Blue Jasmine)

FBI agent Malcolm Turner (Martin Lawrence) is elated to learn that his stepson, Trent Pierce (Brandon T. Jackson), has been accepted to attend Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. However, Trent is uninterested and instead wants Malcolm to sign a recording contract for him since he is underage. When Malcolm refuses, Trent’s best friends encourage him to ambush Malcolm on the job in order to obtain the signature. Malcolm, in an attempt to capture Russian gang member Chirkoff (Tony Curran), uses an informant named Canetti to deliver a flash drive to the gang, while Trent attempts to ambush Malcolm on the job. Canetti (Max Casella) reveals that the flash drive is empty and a duplicate is hidden with a friend at the Georgia Girls School for the Arts. During the exchange, Canetti’s cover is blown and he is killed, which Trent witnesses. Malcolm eventually rescues Trent and they escape, but since Trent’s car was left at the scene Malcolm knows the gang members will be able to track them down so Malcolm and Trent are forced to hide undercover. Malcolm once again becomes Sherry’s grandmother, Big Momma, and also disguises Trent as an obese girl named “Charmaine”, Big Momma’s great-niece. Big Momma takes a job as a house mother at the Georgia Girls School for the Arts, while Charmaine is enrolled as a student. Surrounded by attractive young women, Trent nearly blows his cover, but manages to befriend a girl named Haley Robinson (Jessica Lucas). The headmistress announces that a historic music box has been stolen from the library, and Malcolm deduces that this music box contains the flash drive. While scoping out the library, Big Momma encounters security guard Kurtis Kool, who attempts to woo her while giving a tour. Seeing a picture of Kurtis with Canetti, Malcolm realizes that he is the friend, and tries to find out more about the music box.Meanwhile, the gang members approach Trent’s best friends, posing as record producers, and encourage them to notify them of Trent’s whereabouts. Charmaine sets up a date between Haley and himself, though she doubts she will be interested in the seemingly egotistical “Prodi-G,” Trent’s hip-hop alias. Trent reverts to his true self and the date goes well, but an encounter with Trent’s best friends causes the gang members to tail them. Trent helps Haley perfect her musical performance for the upcoming “Showcase” event, turning it into a duet, and the two exchange a kiss at the end of the date, while Haley encourages Trent to pursue college. Before the gang members can capture Trent, he changes into his Charmaine disguise, throwing them off. Learning of an exchange between two students and Kurtis Kool, Big Momma attempts to flirt with Kurtis in order to apprehend him for stealing the music box, but the secret exchange ends up being the stolen gamecock from the Ignatius Boys School.During this encounter, Malcolm reveals his true identity to Kurtis. After gaining the favor of several students by offering sage advice and comfort to them, Big Momma finally learns the music box was actually stolen by Haley as a hazing to become a full pledged member of the “Divas”, a group of top artists in the school. As she is about to perform her duet, Malcolm forces Trent to retain his Charmaine disguise, and he attempts to perform the duet with Haley as Charmaine, only to break disguise and ruin the performance. As Haley storms off, the gang members arrive and a chase ensues. Trent accidentally draws their attention as he attempts to pursue Haley and explain himself. Just as he recovers the flash drive, the gang members catch up and hold him at gunpoint. Big Momma interferes and provides an escape, but all three are caught again and Malcolm’s disguise is revealed. Just as Chirkoff is about to kill them, Kurtis arrives with a taser and saves the day. Trent and Haley reconcile, and Malcolm signs Trent’s record contract, only to have him tear it up and reveal his new plan to attend college. As the film ends, Malcolm and Trent make an agreement to keep the whole ordeal a secret from Sherry. During the end credits, a music video is shown for Trent’s song, “Lyrical Miracle”. It features Malcolm as Big Momma, Kurtis Kool, the girls and the teachers from the school, as well as the gang members and the mailman.So I think that this is a good  comedy movie because the jokes were easy and it amused me. Not as good as the previous but still fun to watch.

 

 

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REVIEW: BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE 2

CAST

Martin Lawrence (Bad Boys)
Nia Long (Stigmata)
Zachary Levi (Chuck)
Mark Moses (Mad Men)
Emily Procter (CSI: Miami)
Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls)
Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass)
Jascha Washington (Frenemies)
Marisol Nichols (Cold Case)
Sarah Brown (VR Troopers)

Malcolm Turner (Martin Lawrence) has been assigned a desk job in public relations as an FBI agent, since he wants to live with his new wife, Sherry Pierce (Nia Long), during her delivery for the couple’s new baby boy. Meanwhile, an incident occurs in Orange County, California, where Malcolm’s old friend, Doug Hudson (Kirk B.R. Woller), has been killed while he was going undercover.

FBI agent Kevin Keneally (Zachary Levi) is doing surveillance on a former U.S. Army military intelligence specialist named Tom Fuller (Mark Moses), who has since retired and is working for a private corporation called National Agenda Software. The FBI has soon discovered that Tom is developing a computer worm which will create backdoors into the databases of all the branches of the U.S. government. Affected by his friend’s death, Malcolm asks FBI chief, Crawford (Dan Lauria), to put him on the case, but Crawford refuses and tells him to stay away for safety analysis. By eavesdropping via the webcam, Malcolm finds out that the FBI is sending one of the agents to infiltrate Fuller’s house as a nanny. Giving Sherry the pretext of attending a safety conference in Phoenix, Arizona, Malcolm leaves for Orange County and takes the “Big Momma” costume with him.

Malcolm reprises his disguise as Big Momma from the original film and showing up at Fuller’s house as Mrs. Fuller (Emily Procter) is interviewing several other candidates. Big Momma eliminates the three other applicants for the nanny position by pointing out the sexually attractive qualities of the first, the drug use of the second, and the FBI Agent’s concealed firearm of the third. Big Momma meets the three Fuller children: Molly (Kat Dennings), Carrie (Chloë Grace Moretz), and Andrew. After failing to perform the housekeeping tasks assigned to her, Big Momma is fired, and works all night cleaning up and makes a large breakfast. Upon seeing it the next day, Mrs. Fuller changes her mind when the family awakes to find this. Big Momma is soon accepted within the household and becomes a daily part of their lives. His tasks include accompanying Mrs. Fuller to the spa, taking the family to the beach, watching out for trouble, and simply playing a game of bingo as part of her routine.

After Big Momma finds out the password from Tom, Molly calls him who tells her that she needs her at a nightclub. Big Momma goes at once, only to find that Molly was lured by Fuller’s bosses, who kidnaps her and Big Momma. Big Momma and Molly are tied up and placed in the back of the van.  Big Momma has a switchblade, which Molly reaches for and uses to free them. He sees that they are at the waterfront and witnesses Tom giving a disc to a man who puts it in his laptop and is granted full access to FBI data. Big Momma gets on a jet ski and jumps it onto the dock, sending it into two men, and landing on one himself. Big Momma helps Tom and they attempt to escape, but one of the men shot him. The FBI shows up, and Keneally gave Malcolm the handcuffs to put on Tom, but Malcolm tells the agent in charge that Tom’s family was threatened, and that no charges should be filed. Malcolm and Keneally agree, and the case is closed. Sometime later, Big Momma goes to the girls’ state cheerleading championships. Their stuntwoman broke her leg, and Big Momma helps them out by doing the routine and winning the competition. He later leaves and gives the family a farewell letter saying he must go on, but to look out, because one day he might be back.

A good film, with twists and turns that made me laugh, if you liked Mrs Doubtfire, this is a slightly more grown up version of that, with many laughs.

REVIEW: BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE

CAST

Martin Lawrence (Bad Boys)
Nia Long (Stigmata)
Paul Giamatti (Sideways)
Terrence Howard (Iron Man)
Anthony Anderson (Transformers)
Jascha Washington (Frenemies)
Ella Mitchell (Lord Shango)
Octavia Spencer (Insurgent)
Cedric the Entertainer (A Huanted House)
Aldis Hodge (Red Sands)

The film begins in an illegal underground dog-fighting arena in Korea, where an FBI agent, John Maxwell (Paul Giamatti), has been identified. John is ordered to be killed by a Korean mob boss, but is eventually rescued by his undercover partner and master of disguise, Malcolm Turner (Martin Lawrence). Suddenly, a group of FBI agents storm around the arena.

Meanwhile, a criminal named Lester Vesco (Terrence Howard), who was originally serving a life sentence in prison for murder and armed robbery, escapes from his cell by killing the doctor and stealing his car. The FBI assigns Malcolm and John to capture Lester by sending them to small-town Cartersville, Georgia to stake out the house of a heavyset, elderly African American woman, Hattie Mae Pierce (Ella Mitchell; whom her friends call “Big Momma”), the estranged Southern grandmother of Lester’s ex-girlfriend, Sherry Pierce (Nia Long), who supposedly aided Lester in his original bank robbery by giving him the key to the vault. After Big Momma unexpectedly leaves town to help her ill friend within a couple of weeks, Malcolm and John sneak into her house to plant security cameras and tap the phones. Sherry later calls Big Momma’s house and Malcolm disguises his voice as Big Momma in order to lure Sherry and possibly obtain a confession. The plan works, and Malcolm and John work together on a Big Momma disguise costume before Sherry’s arrival the next day. The next day, Sherry arrives at Big Momma’s house with her 10-year-old son, Trent (Jascha Washington). However, Malcolm’s inexperience with cooking and strange behavior prompt Sherry to believe that Big Momma might have gone senile. Malcolm also has to deal with Big Momma’s lecherous boyfriend, Ben Rawley (Carl Wright), act as midwife for Ritha (Tichina Arnold), who has gone into labor, and attend self-defense classes under Ritha’s older brother and dim-witted security guard, Nolan (Anthony Anderson), whom Malcolm handily defeats and humiliates in front of all the other old women.

After Malcolm almost damages the suit during the night, he tries to sneak back to the safe house where he and John are staying to capture Lester. However, Sherry catches him on the porch, and Malcolm poses as a “handyman” after just barely hiding the suit in a bush. Malcolm and John repair the suit, and when Malcolm leaves town with Sherry, John searches the safe house for any trace of the money Lester had stolen from the bank, but to no avail. Malcolm also bonds with Trent when he defends him against the two older guys who bullied Trent and kicked him off the court so they could play. Malcolm and Trent eventually beat the boys at basketball, amazing Nolan and Trent. Malcolm also begins to bond with Sherry and Trent by accompanying them on a fishing trip. After Malcolm returns to the safe house with John that evening, Nolan bursts in and tries to arrest Malcolm and John for dismembering Big Momma. Malcolm and John identify themselves and reluctantly recruit Nolan to help them out, promising Nolan that Malcolm and John will recommend him for a place in the FBI if he succeeds.

Malcolm, Sherry, and Trent go to church, where the Reverend (Cedric the Entertainer) calls on Malcolm to give his testimony. While posing as Big Momma, Malcolm attempts to influence Sherry and Trent by giving them his testimony about the importance of not keeping secrets. While returning to Big Momma’s house after mass, Malcolm pulls his gun on Big Momma’s surprise birthday party. During the party that evening, the real Big Momma returns home prematurely, whom John tries to stall her. Malcolm accidentally stumbles across the stolen money hidden in Trent’s footlocker. Sherry sees this, and tells Malcolm the real story: Lester had merely been playing her for a fool the whole time. Lester wooed Sherry, stole her keys, and got into the vault during the robbery, which Sherry did not tell anyone about her stolen keys out of fear of getting fired. Malcolm goes off to call for his real name to come help them out. In the bathroom, John quietly tells Nolan that the real Big Momma is back, and Nolan accidentally locks Malcolm out of the house to think that he is the real Big Momma.

Meanwhile, Lester finally arrives in Big Momma’s house, where he successfully tracked Sherry, Trent, and the money. Lester tries to take Sherry and Trent out of the house with him, but as he allows Sherry to say goodbye to the real Big Momma, Nolan spots Lester’s gun and attempts to arrest him. However, he accidentally unloads his own gun which gives Lester the advantage to draw his weapon. Luckily, Malcolm breaks through the window just in time and fights Lester, causing confusion among the partygoers as they see two Big Mommas at once. In the ensuing struggle, Lester shoots John in his right shoulder, and ends up ripping Malcolm’s mask during a fistfight to reveal his identity. Nonetheless, Malcolm eventually subdues Lester, who tries to shoot him from behind and is knock out of the window. Sherry and Trent are heartbroken to realize that Malcolm was just an FBI agent the whole time, and they refuse to speak to him, even when the police arrest Lester and paramedics take John to the hospital for a gunshot wounded in his right arm.

In the epilogue, Malcolm goes to church on Sunday morning to testify Sherry, Trent, and Big Momma. Malcolm delivers his confession and heartfelt speech to Sherry and Trent and admits that he genuinely loves them. Big Momma eventually forgives Malcolm with a big, strong hug, and the crowd cheers as Malcolm and Sherry kiss. Malcolm and Sherry invite Trent over for a group hug and the crowd celebrates as Big Momma and the choir sings “Oh Happy Day” during the film’s closing credits.

An oldie but a goodie. Time less classic fully of belly laughs. Perfect for a wet afternoon

REVIEW: TROPIC THUNDER

CAST

Ben Stiller (Mystery Men)
Jack Black (Goosebumps)
Robert Downey, Jr. (Sherlock Holmes)
Steve Coogan (Hott Fuzz)
Jay Braruchel (Fanboys)
Danny McBride (Land of the Lost)
Brandon T. Jackson (Thunderstruck)
Bill Hader (Superbad)
Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man)
Nick Nolte (Hulk)
Matthew McConaughey (EdTV)
Brandon Soo Hoo Supah Ninjas)
Tom Cruise (Knight and Day)
Tyra Banks (Coyote Ugly)
Martin Lawrence (Bad Boys)
Jason Bateman (Identity Thief)
Jennifer Love Hewitt (Ghost Whisperer)
Alicia Silverstone (Clueless)
Jon Voight (Transformers)
Christine Taylor (Zoolander)
Mini Anden (Chuck)
Anthony Ruivivar (Scream: The Series)
Rachel Avery (Scrubs)
Yvette Nicole Brown (Repo Men)
Justin Theroux (American Psycho)
Valerie Azlynn (Julia X)
Reggie Lee (Grimm)
Miko Hughes (Full House)

Hook-handed Vietnam veteran Staff Sergeant John “Four Leaf” Tayback’s (Nick Nolte) memoir, Tropic Thunder, is being made into a film. With the exception of newcomer supporting actor Kevin Sandusky (Jay Baruchel), the cast—fading action hero Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller), five-time Academy Award-winning Australian method actor Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey, Jr.), rapper Alpa Chino (Brandon T. Jackson), and drug-addicted comedian Jeff Portnoy (Jack Black) all behave unreasonably. Rookie director Damien Cockburn (Steve Coogan) cannot control them during filming of a large battle scene, and production is reported to be one month behind schedule a mere week into production. Furious studio executive Les Grossman (Tom Cruise) orders Cockburn to resume filming as planned, or have the project shut down.

Acting on Four Leaf’s advice, Damien drops the actors into the middle of the jungle, with hidden cameras and rigged special effects explosions to film “guerrilla-style”. The actors have guns that fire blanks, along with a map and scene listing that will lead to a helicopter waiting at the end of the route. Unknown to the actors and production, the group have been dropped in the middle of the Golden Triangle, the home of the heroin-producing Flaming Dragon gang. Just as the group are about to set off, Damien inadvertently steps on an old land mine and is blown up, stunning the actors. Tugg, believing Damien faked his death to encourage the cast to give better performances, persuades the others that Damien is alive, and that they are still shooting the film. Lazarus is unconvinced but joins them in their trek through the jungle.

When Four Leaf and pyrotechnics operator Cody Underwood (Danny McBride) try to locate the dead director, they are captured by Flaming Dragon. Four Leaf is revealed to have hands; he confesses to Underwood that he actually served in the Coast Guard, has never left the United States, and that he wrote his “memoir” as a tribute. As the actors continue through the jungle, Kirk and Kevin discover that Tugg is leading them in the wrong direction. The four actors, tired of walking and hoping to be rescued, leave Tugg, who goes off by himself and is captured by Flaming Dragon. Taken to their heroin factory, Tugg believes it is a POW camp from the script. The gang discovers he is the star of their favorite film, the box office bomb Simple Jack, and forces him to reenact it several times a day.

Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Tugg’s agent Rick ‘Pecker’ Peck (Matthew McConaughey) is trying to negotiate with Les an unfulfilled term in Tugg’s contract that entitles him to a TiVo. Flaming Dragon calls the two and demands a ransom for Tugg, but Les instead berates the gang. Despite the threats, Les expresses no interest in rescuing Tugg and tries to convince Rick about the benefits of allowing Tugg to die and collecting the insurance. Les also offers Rick a Gulfstream V jet and money in return for his cooperation.

Kirk, Alpa, Jeff, and Kevin discover Flaming Dragon’s heroin factory. After witnessing Tugg being tortured, they plan a rescue attempt based on the film’s script. Kirk impersonates a farmer towing a captured Jeff on the back of a water buffalo, distracting the armed guards so Alpa and Kevin can locate the captives, but after the gang’s leader (Brandon Soo Hoo) notices inconsistencies in Kirk’s story, the actors, knowing their cover has been blown, begin firing, temporarily subduing the gang. Their control of the gang falls apart when Jeff grabs the leader and heads for the drugs, and the gang regains their guns and begin firing.

The four actors locate Four Leaf, Cody, and Tugg and cross a bridge rigged to explode to get to Underwood’s helicopter. Tugg asks to remain behind with the gang which he considers his family, but quickly returns when Flaming Dragon fires in pursuit. Four Leaf detonates the bridge allowing Tugg to reach safety, but as the helicopter takes off, the gang fires a rocket-propelled grenade at the helicopter. Rick unexpectedly stumbles out of the jungle carrying a TiVo box and throws it in the path of the grenade, saving them. The crew return to Hollywood, where footage from the hidden cameras is compiled into a feature film, Tropic Blunder, which becomes a major critical and commercial success. The film wins Tugg his first Academy Award, which Kirk presents to him at the ceremony.

In a mid-credits scene, Rick is on a plane back to Hollywood with his estranged son.

Brilliant satire on Hollywood and war/action movies. Easily Stiller’s best role as it mirrors his reality. Downey Jr is in his prime! “I don’t read the script, the script reads me”. In smaller roles Matthew McConaughey and Tom Cruise and excellent as an agent and a film mogul. The film definitely has a “Spinal Tap” edge to it where the jokes keep coming through their subtlety. It is sad that Stiller will always be in cheesy cash cow films but this is the one that he should be remembered for, directing a satirical classic

REVIEW: DEATH AT A FUNERAL (2010)

 

CAST

Chris Rock (Dogma)
Martin Lawrence (Bad Boys)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
Loretta Devine (Crash)
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
Ron Glass (Firefly)
Danny Glover (Earthsea)
Regina Hall (Scary Movie)
Kevin Hart (Ride Along)
James Marsden (Gossip)
Tracy Morgan (Cop Out)
Zoe Saldana (Avatar)
Columbus Short (The Losers)
Luke Wilson (That 70s Show)

The film revolves around the funeral service for the father of Aaron (Chris Rock) and Ryan. Aaron, the older son, and his wife Michelle (Regina Hall) live at his parents’ home. For the past five years, Aaron has been taking care of his parents, as his job as a tax account has been supporting them. Aaron and Michelle have been trying to buy their own home and have children but have been unsuccessful. Aaron envies Ryan (Martin Lawrence) because Ryan is a successful author, while he has not yet had his novel published, and resents his brother because Ryan would rather spend money on a first class airline ticket than help him pay for the funeral expenses.

Aaron and Ryan’s cousin Elaine (Zoe Saldana) and her boyfriend Oscar (James Marsden) are on their way to pick up Elaine’s brother Jeff (Columbus Short) before heading to the funeral. To ease Oscar’s nerves, she gives him a pill from a bottle labeled as Valium. Jeff later reveals to Elaine that it is actually a powerful hallucinogenic drug he has concocted for a friend. Chaos ensues when Oscar hallucinates that the coffin is moving. He knocks it over, and the body falls out of the coffin. Aaron is approached by an unknown guest, a dwarf named Frank (Peter Dinklage), who reveals himself to be the secret lover of his late father. Frank shows Aaron photos as proof and threatens to reveal them to Aaron’s mother unless he is paid $30,000. Aaron tells Ryan, who suggest Aaron pay the money because Ryan claims he is buried in debt. While Aaron and Ryan meet with him to pay him, Frank starts to deride Aaron’s ability as a writer and Aaron refuses to pay.

Frank begins to turn violent and puts his hand in his pocket, and tries to leave the room. Ryan attacks Frank and both Aaron and Ryan tie Frank up to prevent him from leaving. Norman (Tracy Morgan) comes in and sees what has happened. He gives Frank several doses of what he also believes is Valium to try to calm him down, before Jeff tells them it is actually the same hallucinogen Oscar took earlier. While Jeff and Norman who are supposed to be watching Frank get distracted by Uncle Russell (Danny Glover), Frank frees himself from his bonds, jumps off the couch, and hits his head on the coffee table. With Aaron, Ryan, Jeff and Norman believing Frank is dead, they plan to put him in the coffin. While everyone is outside watching Oscar, who is now naked on the roof, threatening to jump because he saw Elaine’s ex-boyfriend Derek (Luke Wilson) kissing her, Aaron and Ryan put Frank in the coffin.

Elaine tells Oscar that Derek forced himself on her and calms him down by revealing she is pregnant. With everyone back inside, they continue the eulogy. While Aaron awkwardly tries to give his speech, Frank shakes the coffin from inside it; then suddenly forces it open and emerges. The pictures fall out of his pocket, and Cynthia (Loretta Devine), who is Aaron and Ryan’s mother and the widow, sees the pictures, screams at Frank, and starts to attack him. Aaron yells for everyone’s attention as he delivers a moving, impromptu eulogy saying that his father was a good man with flaws like everyone else. The film ends with Aaron and Ryan saying goodbye while Ryan gets a ride to the airport by Martina, whom he had been trying to seduce all day. Aaron and Michelle are finally alone and going to try to have a baby. Aaron asks where Uncle Russell is and Michelle tells him that she gave him what she believes is Valium to calm him down. In the final scene Uncle Russell is on the roof naked, like Oscar had been, complaining about how “everything is so green”.

A fun and watchable film with a great supporting cast, including James Marsden, Zoe Saldana and Kevin Hart.