REVIEW: DUE DATE

CAST

Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man)
Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover)
Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained)
Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers)
Danny McBride (Land of The Lost)
RZA (Gang Related)
Mimi Kennedy (Mom)
Jon Cryer (Superman 4)
Charlie Sheen (Hot Shots)
Matt Walsh (Veep)
Keegan-Michael Key (The Predator)

Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis in Due Date (2010)Peter Highman (Robert Downey, Jr.) is on a plane, flying home to be with his wife Sarah (Michelle Monaghan), who is due to give birth. Sitting behind Peter is a man named Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis), who is going to LA to be an actor and is planning to scatter his recently deceased father’s ashes at the Grand Canyon. When Ethan misuses the words “terrorist” and “bomb” while talking to Peter, they are both escorted off the plane. This is only the first of a series of misadventures caused by the drastically dysfunctional Ethan. Peter, now on the No Fly List and missing his wallet, agrees to drive with Ethan to Los Angeles.
Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx, and Zach Galifianakis in Due Date (2010)Ethan stops to buy marijuana, and Peter discovers that he is nearly out of money. Since Peter has no I.D., he gets his wife to wire the money to Ethan, but discovers Ethan had the money wired to his stage name instead of his legal name. When the Western Union employee (Danny McBride) refuses to accept Ethan’s “Stage name I.D.” it leads to a violent altercation. After a night at a rest stop, Peter decides to drive off and leave Ethan there, but realizes that he still has Ethan’s father’s ashes, having forgotten to unload them with the rest of Ethan’s stuff when he left. This causes him to wrestle with his conscience, and he decides to return. Peter gets Ethan to drive so Peter can get some rest, but Ethan falls asleep at the wheel and crashes the car. After Peter and Ethan are picked up by Peter’s friend Darryl (Jamie Foxx), Peter again decides to part company with Ethan. Darryl initially persuades him otherwise, but then throws Ethan out after mistakenly drinking Ethan’s father’s ashes.Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis in Due Date (2010)When Darryl lets them use his Range Rover to make the rest of the trip, Ethan mistakenly drives to the Mexico–United States border. Despite assuring Peter that he’ll handle the situation, Ethan flees, and Peter is arrested for possession of marijuana. The Mexican Federal Police lock Peter up, but Ethan steals a truck and breaks him out, causing several car crashes in the process. When they stop at the Grand Canyon, Peter confesses that he tried to leave Ethan at the rest area. Ethan makes a confession of his own: he has Peter’s wallet. Peter and Ethan leave for California. When Ethan finds a gun in the truck, he accidentally shoots Peter. Arriving at the hospital where Sarah is in labor, Peter passes out from loss of blood.
Zach Galifianakis in Due Date (2010)Sarah delivers the baby safely, and Peter expresses his discomfort at his new daughter being named Rosie Highman. Ethan leaves while telling Peter to call him. At the end, Ethan guest stars on an episode of his favorite television program, Two and a Half Men with Peter and Sarah watching it in bed with their daughter.Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis in Due Date (2010)A solid film that isn’t all that original, a bit thin on character development but it’s one funny ride from beginning to end. Recommended!!

REVIEW: MUPPETS MOST WANTED

CAST

Ricky Gervais (Ghost Town)
Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
Tina Fey (30 Rock)
Steve Whitmore (The Dark Crystal)
Eric Jacobson (Sesame Street)
Dave Goetz (Inside Out)
Bill Barretta (When Families Grieve)
Matt Vogel (Alice Through The Looking Glass)
Tony Bennett (Analyze This)
Hugh Bonneville (Paddington)
Jemaine Clement (Legion)
Sean Combs (Get Him To The Greek)
Rob Corddry (Warm Bodies)
Mackenzie Crook (One Chance)
Celine Dion (The Magic Sword)
Lady Gaga (Sin City 2)
Zach Gilifianakis (The Hangover)
Josh Grodin (The Hollars)
Salma Hayek (Dogma)
Tom Hiddleston (Thor)
Tom Hollander (Mission Impossible 5)
Toby Jones (Atomic Blonde)
Frank Langella (Superman Returns)
Ray Liotta (Hannibal)
James McAvoy (X-Men: First Class)
Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass)
Usher Raymond (She’s All That)
Miranda Richardson (Sleepy Hollow)
Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones)
Russell Tovey (Being Human)
Danny Trejo (Machete)
Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games)
Christoph Waltz (Big Eyes)
Dylan Postl (Leprechaun Origins)

Following the events of the previous film, The Muppets find themselves at a loss as to what to do until Dominic Badguy suggests the Muppets go on a European tour with him as their tour manager. As the Muppets begin their tour, a criminal mastermind named Constantine, a near-exact double for Kermit the Frog in appearance, escapes from a Siberian Gulag and joins his subordinate Dominic to begin a plot to steal the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.Once the Muppets arrive in Berlin, Germany, Dominic secures them a show at a prestigious venue. Frustrated with the group’s incessant requests and Miss Piggy’s insistence they marry, Kermit goes for a walk at Dominic’s suggestion. Constantine ambushes him and glues a fake mole onto his cheek then slips away. Mistaken for Constantine, Kermit is arrested and sent to the Gulag. Taking Kermit’s place, Constantine’s blunders in imitating him are covered by Dominic; however, Animal knows the truth. After the Berlin performance opens with Constantine freezing at the audience, Scooter has to introduce the show. Constantine and Dominic steal paintings from a museum while the Muppets perform. The next morning, Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon and CIA agent Sam the Eagle grudgingly team up to apprehend the culprit whom Napoleon believes to be his nemesis “The Lemur” – the number-two criminal in the world.Meanwhile, Kermit has attempted several times to escape the Gulag but is thwarted each time by prison guard Nadya, who is not only aware of his true identity but is as infatuated with him as Miss Piggy is. Nadya orders Kermit to help organize the prisoners’ annual talent show.Following hidden instructions on the stolen painting, Constantine and Dominic divert the tour to Madrid, Spain. Constantine allows the Muppets to perform whatever they wish, much to Walter’s confusion. During this show, Constantine and Dominic break into a museum and destroy a roomful of busts to find a key needed for their plan. Even though the performance is a disaster, the Muppets receive critical acclaim. Sam and Napoleon deduce that the connection between the crimes is the Muppet tour, and the pair interrogates the Muppets, only to find that they are too ill-equipped to be guilty. The instructions on the stolen key lead Constantine and Dominic to schedule the next show in Dublin, Ireland.In Dublin, Walter discovers that Dominic has been giving away show tickets and bribing critics to ensure a packed house and rave reviews, while Fozzie Bear notices Kermit’s resemblance to Constantine. They both realize that Constantine has taken Kermit’s place and brought in Dominic as his accomplice. Constantine attacks Walter and Fozzie, but Animal fends him off and the three escape from the train to rescue Kermit. During the Dublin performance, Dominic steals a locket from a museum and Constantine proposes to Miss Piggy onstage; Piggy accepts, and the pair plan a ceremony to be held at the Tower of London in London, England, where the Crown Jewels are kept.Fozzie, Walter, and Animal reach the Siberian Gulag on the night of the performance, and Kermit uses it as a front to allow them, himself, and all the prisoners to escape the Gulag. Kermit, Fozzie, Walter, and Animal infiltrate the Tower as the wedding begins, and Dominic (with the help of Bobby Benson’s Baby Band) manages to steal the jewels.Kermit interrupts the ceremony, revealing Constantine’s ruse, but the crook takes Piggy hostage and flees to a helicopter, where he is intercepted by Dominic, who is actually the Lemur and intends to double-cross him. Constantine ejects him from the helicopter and tries to take off with Piggy, but Kermit jumps aboard and the rest of the Muppets climb atop each other to stop the escape. Kermit and Piggy knockout Constantine and both criminals are arrested. Nadya arrives in London to arrest Kermit for escaping. The other Muppets tell her that if she arrests him, then she will have to take all of them as well; she relents, allowing Kermit to go free. The Muppets perform at the Gulag with Constantine and the prisoners participating, ending the film.The heart and soul of the film is about the way the characters manage to bring a sense of togetherness and unity to the Muppets and how this unity brings joy to all those around. Throughout the film, Kermit manages to be a core reminder as to why The Muppets are generously wonderful creations for the world: the optimism, the kindness, the laughter: everything combines to form a strong impression that both children and adults can feel completely enamoured by. This is a film that is full of magic and it sits alongside The Muppets magnificently and is not to be missed.

REVIEW: BIRDMAN

Image result for BIRDMAN UK BLU RAY

CAST

Michael Keaton (Robocop 2014)
Emma Stone (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Naomi Watts (Insurgent)
Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover)
Edward Norton (The Bourne Legacy)
Jeremy Shamos (Nurse Jackie)
Andrea Riseborough (Oblivion)
Merrit Weaver (New Girl)
Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)
Lindsay Duncan (About Time)

Riggan Thomson is a faded American actor best known for playing the superhero ‘Birdman’, decades ago in a series of films. He is often tormented by the mocking and critical inner-voice of Birdman and frequently visualizes himself performing feats of levitation and telekinesis. Riggan hopes to re-awaken his career by writing, directing, and starring in a Broadway-production of a loosely based adaptation of Raymond Carver’s short story “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.”
The adaptation is produced by Riggan’s best friend and lawyer Jake, and also stars Riggan’s girlfriend Laura, and Broadway debutant Lesley. Riggan’s daughter Sam, a recovering drug addict, serves as his assistant. During rehearsals, a light fixture falls onto Riggan’s co-star Ralph; Riggan tells Jake that he caused the accident so he could upgrade the cast. At Lesley’s suggestion, Riggan replaces Ralph with the brilliant but volatile method actor Mike Shiner, who is also Lesley’s boyfriend. The first previews are disastrous: Mike breaks character over the replacement of his gin with water and attempts to rape Lesley during a sex scene. Riggan is incensed by press coverage praising Mike’s performance in the show, but Jake encourages him to continue. When Riggan berates Sam for using cannabis, she tells him he is expendable and that his play is a vanity project.
During the final preview, Riggan sees Sam and Mike kissing — this further fuels his suspicion that Mike is a rival and potential threat. Riggan goes outside to take a smoke break wearing nothing but his underwear and a robe, and accidentally locks himself out of the theater with his robe stuck in the door, forcing him to walk in his underwear through Times Square to get back inside; amateur videos of the incident go viral on YouTube. After the final preview Riggan, still deeply shaken by the events of the last few days, meets the influential critic Tabitha Dickinson, who tells him she hates ignorant Hollywood celebrities who only pretend to be actors and promises to “kill” his play with a deprecating review. After leaving, Riggan gets drunk and faints on the street. The next day, as he walks back to the theater, his visual and auditory hallucinations intensify and he fully hallucinates an extended conversation with a now visible Birdman, who tries to convince him to make another Birdman film. Riggan visualizes himself flying through the streets of Manhattan before returning to the theater.
Prior to the opening night, and with his hallucinations temporarily subsiding, Riggan meets Sam, who shows him the viral video of him walking through Times Square in his underwear. Rather than faulting her father for this, she admires him for it and comes to see him as more human and finally more accessible to her needs as his daughter. On the opening night, before the final scene of the play, Riggan confesses to his former wife Sylvia that he attempted to drown himself in the ocean after she caught him having an affair several years before. He also tells her about the inner Birdman voice he constantly hears in his head, which she ignores. After Sylvia wishes him luck and leaves the room, Riggan, whose character in the play commits suicide, replaces his prop pistol with a real loaded gun and prepares to actually commit suicide in the closing scene of the play. As the performance reaches its final scene, Riggan shoots himself in the head on-stage. The play ends with a standing ovation from all in the audience except Tabitha, who abruptly leaves.
The next day in a hospital, Riggan is revealed to have botched his suicide, merely blowing off his nose, which has been surgically replaced overnight. Jake visits him in the hospital and reveals that Tabitha gave the play a rave-review, calling his suicide attempt “super-realism,” a new form of method acting. Sam visits Riggan and soon steps out for a moment. He walks alone to the adjoining bathroom in his hospital room where he crudely dismisses Birdman and, seeing some birds outside, climbs onto the window ledge. When Sam returns, Riggan has disappeared with the window left open. She looks down at the street, then slowly up to the sky and smiles.Whilst viewing ‘Birdman’, I spent the first hour of the film trying to decipher my emotions and opinions towards it, what I was watching was a weird, yet wonderful work of art. Truly though, ‘Birdman’ is a technical masterpiece. Michael Keaton has generally been undermined as an actor (despite a few notable roles as Batman or Beetlejuice) and has instead faced Hollywood picking more acclaimed and popular actors. In Birdman his performance is mesmerizing. Alejandro González Iñárritu has created a truly spectacular character study that arguably features one of the  strongest acting performances, alongside a well- executed script, booming soundtrack and a monumental achievement with cinematography from Emmanuel Lubezki in which he attempts a Hitchcockian approach.  This is a true definition of a masterpiece.