‘Tully’ is proof that Charlize Theron is one of the best in the business

Being a mother is tough. A father simply doesn’t understand what it’s like to birth, raise, and bend your life backwards for a child. Mothers give all of themselves to a child. Marlo (Charlize Theron) knows this all too well, being the mother of two with a third child on the way. When you are a mother, the biggest struggle is retaining your former self through pregnancy and the early years.

When Jason Reitman’s beautifully rendered Tully opens up, we get a dose of the daily grind for Marlo. She wakes up and brushes (literally) the skin of her young boy, Jonah (Asher Miles Fallica), to help with his behavioral troubles. She tends to her young daughter, Sarah(Lia Frankland), before taking the two to school. Once there, she can’t leave without talking to the principal about Jonah’s “quirkiness.” Did I mention she was pregnant and her husband works too much?

Marlo needs assistance, and her brother (Mark Duplass) gets her a “night nanny,” someone to help the woman sleep at night and help Marlo transition back to a normal life. When it comes to normal and Marlo, the lines are tricky and blurred. She has suffered trauma in the past and doesn’t take easily to Tully (Mackenzie Davis) when she arrives to help.

The relationship between these two women dominates the rest of the movie, with a few unexpected twists and surprises that give the story enough tilt to come off as original and thought-provoking. Continue reading “‘Tully’ is proof that Charlize Theron is one of the best in the business”

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5 Reasons to see Amy Schumer in St. Louis

Feel like laughing, St. Louis comedy fans. Go watch Amy Schumer in December.

55a60708c8e92.imageIt’s possible that some of you have no idea who Amy Schumer is, but that should all change by the end of the year. She is everywhere and other places as well. This winter, she is bringing her standup comedy tour to the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The 34 year old New Yorker is the writer, producer and star of the Comedy Central series, Insider Amy Schumer, but she is also making waves in other circuits as well. She starred in the hit comedy, Trainwreck, over the summer and hosted Saturday Night Live this month. If you want a taste of her standup routine, check out her show from the Apollo Theater on HBO right now. She is all over so get used to it. Is she worth watching? Here are five reasons to consider her for a date in December.

~She is legit funny. You won’t find any gimmicks with her brand of comedy. If you like the old classic days of SNL mixed with a new age theme of realism, Schumer will make you laugh. She will make jokes about the squeamish moment in the bedroom, the dating game and the struggle for women as a whole. Unlike Melissa McCarthy, she won’t tire you out with one kind of joke. She is versatile.

~She didn’t just get her newfound success. She earned it, creating the Amy Schumer show, which caught director Judd Apatow’s attention and made him seek her out for Trainwreck. She wrote the film as well as starring in it, and she got that opportunity after years of hard work on the standup scene and after catching a break in the series, Last Comic Standing. She has carried multiple duties on Inside Amy Schumer for two years and is breaking into film. She didn’t simply show up.

~Schumer put Lebron James and John Cena in the same film and made them funny. The star basketball player and wrestler won’t find a better role in film.

~She isn’t just a comedian but someone who cares about real life threatening issues. Her stance on gun control isn’t a call for attention but something she takes very seriously. At a showing of Trainwreck on July 23rd, a gunman walked into a theater in Louisiana and opened fire, killing people and injuring several. A survivor reached out to Amy on social media and since she has taken the issue by the collar. Recently she appeared with New York senator and cousin Chuck Schumer to close the loop holes on gun control. She isn’t a one trick pony folks.

~In a recent Seattle Times article, she had this to say about feminism. “People ask if there is pressure for you to be pushing feminism, and I’m like, ‘No! It’s just part of us.’ And you have to keep fighting.” Enough said!

Schumer, in a lesser way, is like Ronda Rousey. She is reshaping what it means to be funny, provocative and timely for a woman in show business. She is changing the game. Get a taste of that action with her appearance at Scottrade Center on December 18th.

Anchorman 2 Disappoints

ron-burgundy-confirms-anchorman-2-is-in-the-works

Plot-The legendary news team from San Diego reassembles in New York City for a new 24/7 news format yet find themselves battling the same old problems from before.

 Expectations Going Into the Movie-Look the first film is a classic to me.  I can recite line for line from the film and have watched it at least 45 times in full.  Going into this film I wasn’t expecting anything near it as far as greatness, fresh appeal and comical sync.  I simply wanted a funny movie.  A movie that would make me laugh and urge others to go laugh this weekend.  Expecting the same thing from a sequel that came with the original is lunacy.  So what did I think of this movie….

Buffa’s Review-Anchorman 2 is an utter disappointment.  This will come as sadness to a legion of Ron Burgundy fanatics.  Walking into this movie, expecting something special and grand, I was left feeling like a customer who came to see a seasoned comedian and was given flat jokes instead.

You ever been to a comedy show expecting a good time only to hear crickets?  Tonight’s film left me cold and isolated.   People around me were laughing hysterically at this story line that beamed like a shiny new skyscraper in 2004.  Burgundy and the gang were doing 24/7 news and what was shaped up to be a raucous affair didn’t feel right from the start.

The jokes felt forced, old, tired and hung low for seconds after being told.  The story was an old fashioned news history lesson about doing it unconventionally.  Ferrell squeezed as much as he could out of a script that he co-wrote with McKay that seemed to bring nothing fresh to the table.  Rudd and Koechner went through the motions.  Carell’s brain dead Brick became repetitive by the 45 minute mark and his relationship with Kristen Wiig’s similarly lost soul went nowhere.   The film, right at two hours, felt like 3 hours of sound checks.

This is what happens to sequels sometimes.   Any measure of expectations can leave a viewer feeling slighted.  I was onboard for a sequel since the last one left theaters and after tonight I can tell you they should have left it alone.   McKay, Ferrell and the gang are game as any comedy team in show business but they can’t save this thing from ridiculousland(sure that’s not really a place but I may invent it for sad eyed sequels).

The film will make money.  People will pour out of it laughing.   They will tell themselves all those black jokes, sexual references and dirty humor is good stuff.  Here is the problem.  Leave that film and a day later give me 2-3 quotes from it.  I have nothing memorable to share with you here.   At one point in this film, Ron Burgundy helps raise a baby shark.  He has problems masturbating and the team gets into another guest star studded brawl.  It all feels tired, old and flat.

In the latest Rolling Stone Magazine (with Ferrell on the cover), McKay is quoted as saying there was once a 5 hour version of the film.   There are paragraphs about him and Ferrell doing hilarious improv sessions on set.  Reading it and seeing some of the jokes in print form, they jump off the page and I couldn’t wait to hear them in the film.   Guess what?  They never made it in.  Three or four solid one liners about ejaculation were never heard.   A couple other potent lines about what men dream about also never saw the final cut.  Apparently, there was enough footage for two movies.  Well, let’s see the other footage.

McKay compared his roster of jokes to players on a team.    If one didn’t work, another would be put in its place.   I left the movie wondering if this film was one giant horrible editing job.   Did we see the wrong movie?  Was there a better edit in there somewhere?  Sometimes film fans are left to wonder what could have been and if an editor simply made a bad call out of desperation of making a worthy sequel to a film that is probably quoted word for word by priests in private.

I need a glass of scotch myself tonight.  I need something wicked to wash away the taste of this unworthy sequel that may be worth a rental to the millions of film fans that aren’t Anchorman fanatics.  I was left disappointed.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues isn’t sheep’s wool.  It isn’t as lovely as the lamp Brick coveted years ago.  It isn’t as good as a brown bag lunch or a flute solo.  It simply isn’t worth your hard earned time and money.  As Luke Wilson’s news anchor said in the original, this is rigoddamndiculous!

For more reviews and film-addict prose, check out my official site, http://www.film-addict.com.

Find out what my film-addict colleague Landon Burris thought of the film right here, http://film-addict.com/news-and-reviews/a-dose-of-buffa/item/2292-anchorman-2-burris-take

Thanks for reading!