JUMANJI:  THE NEXT LEVEL – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 3 mins. – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

 

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DIRECTOR/WRITER: Jake Kasdan 

WRITERS:  Jeff Pinkner, Scott Rosenberg, Chris Van Allsburg

STARRING: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Alex Wolf, Danny DeVito, Danny Glover, Awkwafina, Nick Jonas, Morgan Turner and Madison Iseman 

Well, the gang may have left high school, and headed in their own separate ways, but the time has come for them all to head back to the place they love more than anywhere else…HOME!  And what better way to celebrate, than to head back into the Jumanji game, nope, wait a minute that’s not right, as only Spencer (Alex Wolf) feels the need to head back into the game, as he longs to relive his glory days as Eddie (Dwayne Johnson/Danny DeVito), and now, when his friends figure out that he’s gone back in, it seems they must all venture in to get him back, but surprisingly, the game has changed, and taken a few other players along for the ride this time too…

I give JUMANJI:  THE NEXT LEVEL a rating of WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD OR A STREAMING SERVICE!  Even though I was totally pumped to see Dwayne Johnson back with Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan this time around, the storyline for me, gets rather muddled in translation.  Maybe it’s because the adventure seems less exciting than the original.  Maybe it’s because the writers decided to mix up our players, taking away from its ambiance and familiarity.  Or maybe it’s just that this storyline, even though it has additional dimensions, doesn’t play out as well, even with the addition of Danny DeVito and Danny Glover along for the ride!  I mean, even the return of Nick Jonas for this next installment couldn’t save it from becoming a rather slow, and sometimes mundane transition to get us to the next installment, which happens to be the most exciting part of this film for me, as it totally seems as if we might be heading back to 1995’s JUMANJI, which may turn out to be the saving grace for this franchise, if that’s truly the intended storyline for the final installment ~ but, please also note that this is total speculation on my part of where we might be headed, from my own interpretation from the end of this film…but by the same standpoint, it sure would be super cool if that is where we are headed, even with the untimely passing of Robin Williams…

Review of THE UPSIDE – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 6 min. 

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THE UPSIDE – Rated PG-13 – 2 hrs. 6 min. 

DIRECTOR:  Neil Burger 

WRITERS:  Jon Hartmere, Based on the Motion Picture “Les Intouchables” by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache 

STARRING:  Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart, Nicole Kidman and Julianna Margulies

Based on a true story and the 2011 French film “The Intouchables”,  paralyzed billionaire Phillip (Played by Bryan Cranston) is in search of his next caregiver, having fired his last, much at the dismay of his business advisor Yvonne (Played by Nicole Kidman).  Enter ex-con Dell (Kevin Hart), who is in search of a job, and who has intrigued Phillip into offering him the position, even with his assorted past, although Dell isn’t quite embracing his newfound gig as Phillip’s full-time, live-in caretaker…

As Phillip and Dell strive to make this situation evolve into a situation that is workable for them both, they find that even though their lives are very different, a friendship beyond quadriplegic and caretaker is evolving…

I give THE UPSIDE a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD!  The chemistry that evolves between Cranston and Hart on screen is not only palatable, it’s what keeps this film light and vibrant throughout, as they manage to bring their incredible comedic timing to a real-life situation, that is anything but…

Kidman is enjoyable to view as well in this film, playing a very pivotal role in these two men’s lives, even though she isn’t given as much screen time as we are accustomed to seeing from her.

I have to say too, that having seen the original French Film “The Intouchables” back in 2011, I was wondering going in if this Americanized version was going to be able to compete, and I am happy to report that between the superb casting throughout, and the fabulous acting and chemistry that evolves on screen with Hart and Cranston (I think that they both nailed their roles this time around),  I found THE UPSIDE to be a very entertaining and touching film to view, as it will bring a smile to your face, and a sense of joy to your heart, with each passing frame…

Kathy Kaiser

NIGHT SCHOOL – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 51 mins.

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“This family friendly film not only has an inspiring message, but oodles and oodles of comedy too, making it the MUST-SEE MOVIE this weekend…” Kathy Kaiser, Matinee Chat

NIGHT SCHOOL – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 51 mins.

DIRECTOR:  Malcolm D. Lee 

WRITERS:  Kevin Hart, Harry Ratchford, Joe Wells, Matthew Kellard, Nicholas Stoller, John Hamburg 

STARRING:  Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Ben Schwartz, Anne Winters, Rob Riggle, Taran Killam Megalyn Echikunwoke, Brooke Butler, and Mary Lynn Rajskub

As we meet star salesman Teddy Walker (Kevin Hart), he is on his way in his career and his love life, as he is about to ask the beautiful Lisa (Megalyn Echikunwoke) to marry him…

When a very unfortunate accident causes Teddy to lose his job, it seems that he is headed back to High School to face down getting his GED, and “the bully” from his past, now Principal of the High School, Stewart (Taran Killam) to further his new career…

As Teddy struggles to focus in class, along with the other “misfits” who have joined him to acquire their GED as well, their instructor Carrie (Tiffany Haddish) happens to be a real ball buster, who apparently isn’t going to make any step of this process easy…

With no other choice but to buckle down and do the work, Teddy finds that excelling in school, even at this late date, is challenging, but also very rewarding, as he finds everything that he striving to accomplish, finally falling into place!

I give NIGHT SCHOOL a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN! Funnier than I anticipated from the trailer, NIGHT SCHOOL is the perfect family film to enjoy with your family members over 10 – as its positive message combined with both Hart and Haddish’s perfect comedic persona and timing, will keep your youngsters engaged, and you happy throughout too!  I was totally surprised by how much I, and the audience around me, enjoyed not only the comedic aspects of this film, but also the perfectly scripted characters, and heartwarming storyline that touches the heart of everyone both young and not so young, with each passing frame.  If you love Hart, and Haddish alone, then you are totally going to enjoy them together! Which leaves me to suggest that you make it a point to catch NIGHT SCHOOL on the big screen, at a theater near you this weekend.  It’s an awesome family film filled with lots of HART 😉

Kathy Kaiser 

Review of JUMANJI – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr 59 mins

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“Adventurous FUN for EVERYONE” – Kathy Kaiser, Matinee Chat

JUMANJI – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr 59 mins

Starring Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, and Bobby Cannavale

Director:  Jake Kasdan

The Game Has Evolved

It’s been 22 years since the 1995 classic Jumanji, starring Robin Williams, thrilled audiences Worldwide and became a cinematic icon.  Now, a new story is ready to be told in “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”.  In 1996, after the events of the first film, the cursed game washes ashore and is found by an unfortunate soul.  One night, the game transforms-itself into a video game version and the kid mysteriously disappears, never to be heard from again.  20 years later.  Four high schoolers: a nerd with his focus on schoolwork named Spencer (Alex Wolff), a star athlete struggling through class named Fridge  (Ser’Darius Blain), a young, pretty, oblivious popular girl named Bethany (Madison Iseman), and a quiet introvert named Martha (Morgan Turner) end-up in detention together one day.  While given instructions to clean the old storage area, Spencer stumbles-onto the video game console containing Jumanji.  To escape their boredom, they all grab a controller and select their characters.  Only this is no ordinary game, as they soon find themselves being sucked into the game itself.

As they become aware, they fall from the sky into the jungle of Jumanji, but not as themselves, as the avatar character they selected.  Spencer is now Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), Fridge is his trusted companion zoologist Moose Finbar (Kevin Hart), Bethany is a cartographer named Professor Sheldon Oberon (Jack Black), and Martha is a martial arts master named Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan).  Met by a guide named Nigel (Rhys Darby), the group must utilize each other’s strengths and weaknesses to return the legendary “Jaguar’s Eye” to lift the curse and free Jumanji, while avoiding the evil John Van Pelt.  Various obstacles, challenges, and encounters await them in the beautiful jungle of Jumanji, but the visuals certainly paint a beautiful canvas for the game to unfold-upon.

When first announced, I admit I had my doubts.  Not only were they “messing with” a beloved franchise that just lost its leader, but they were handing it off to a group of were sure to make an over-comedic spectacle.  Put your minds at ease my friends, while “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” hardly captures the magic of the original, it doesn’t do any harm to the cinematic classic either.  It’s obvious to see that there were good intentions when filming the movie.  The main cast has an absolute blast with their roles’; with Jack Black absolutely stealing the show acting as a teenage girl (I can’t wait to see the gag reel)!  Johnson and Hart prove once-again that they are at the top of the present comedy duo food chain with endless one-liners and their impeccable chemistry.  “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” features a few other characters as well, such as: Bobby Cannavale’s evil John Van Pelt and Nick Jonas’ avatar Seaplane McDonough that help dive-deeper into the mythology of Jumanji.  And yes, there are a couple well-placed references to the original film as well!  As you can already tell, the story is certainly very thin, but I did enjoy the video game references that make it feel like an actual game (cut scenes, repeated dialog, and characters’ number of lives).  However, the film recognizes that and makes it very clear that all it wants to do it entertain you; and it succeeds!  The jokes, for the most part, are hilarious, there are a few fun action sequences for all of the characters to enjoy, and the cast is an absolute joy to watch as they deal with their inner selves.  At 119 minutes, the film takes a little while to get going, but once it does it keeps-up the fun until the credits roll.  While certainly not groundbreaking, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” is a laugh-packed action adventure that is fun for the whole family!

3/5 Stars – TONY MOSELLO

 

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE – Rated PG – 1 hr 29 mins

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CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE – Rated PG – 1 hr 29 mins

Starring the voices of Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, Thomas Middleditch, Jordan Peele and Kristen Schaal

Based on the epic novels of Writer (& Producer this time around) Dav Pilkey ~ we journey into the world of life-long best buds George (Kevin Hart) and Harold (Thomas Middleditch), enjoying life as “the pranksters” of their elementary school ~ and as the creators of their very own comic book series ~ CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS!

When Principal Krupp (Ed Helms) has had enough of these students, and their prankster ways, he decides that the time has come to separate these jokesters once and for all, placing them in different classes.

Frantic about the possibility of such an abrupt separation, George and Harold concoct the most ingenious plan EVER…hypnotizing Principal Krupp into thinking he is actually now their all-time favorite super hero…CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS!!

But, if Krupp is now CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS…who is running the SCHOOL???

I give CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN! Surprised by this rating? Well so am I, as I truly was thinking that the only positive of viewing this film was going to be that I got to see it with my six-year-old niece. But, much to my surprise, ever moment of this quirky one minute, hilarious the next animated film was incredibly ENJOYABLE!! Director David Soren does a fabulous job of bringing Pilkey’s children’s novel series to life. And Hart and Middleditch are amazing too, as those pranksters and creators George and Harold. Even Helms is perfect as the nastily mean Principal Mr. Krupp one minute, and the underwear wearing super hero CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS the next. And I must share as well, that my niece Kennadie LOVED CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS too, as she told me that this was one of the best films EVER – and she’s seen films with me in the last year, and hasn’t said anything close to that since we saw MOANA! DreamWorks is upping their game yet again ~ so gather up the whole family this weekend – both the youngsters and the young at heart – and head out to a theater near you to catch that illustrious superhero who gives the world of potty jokes a comedic flair, all his own ~

Kathy Kaiser

KEVIN HART: WHAT NOW? – Rated R

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KEVIN HART: WHAT NOW – Rated R – 1 hr. 36 mins.

Starring Kevin Hart, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Ed Helms and David Meunier

Centered on his record breaking, sold out performance at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, we meet Agent 54 (Kevin Hart) on a mission with his fellow agent Halle (Halle Berry), saving the world, and trying to keep his secret agent identity under wraps from his audience…

Will Kevin make it to his show on time? Will he save his beautiful fellow agent Halle? And most importantly, will this movie make you laugh as hard as you were hoping too, as you view Kevin’s comedic talents on stage, on the big screen?

I give KEVIN HART: WHAT NOW a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS ONE ON DVD. I totally enjoyed “the movie portion” of this film immensely, as Kevin is awesome playing a pseudo 007 character as Agent 54 (guessing his height measurements – 5’4” – which made me giggle too)! And since Halle has already been “a Bond Girl” how fitting it is that she would reprise that type of role again on Kevin’s behalf. And as far as stand-up entertainment goes – this stage show portion of this film is really funny ~ so much so that it had the entire theater for the advanced screening in St. Louis rolling. So why the in-between rating? It was funny, but I was hoping for absolute hilariousness to end up on screen, and it just wasn’t quite there for me. Kevin is one of my favorite funny guys in everything he does, so maybe my expectations were set too high…. but I have seen him do some funnier stuff on his LIVE Facebook feeds each week, than what I saw at times in this movie ~ Sorry Kev ;( ~ So, if you are in need of a good laugh this weekend, then by all means, go check out KEVIN HART: WHAT NOW at a theater near you…but you will also enjoy it just as much if you wait a few weeks and catch it on DVD , I promise you 😉

Kathy Kaiser

 

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS – Rated PG

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THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS – Rated PG – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Starring the voices of Louis CK, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Albert Brooks, Lake Bell and Dana Carvey

Welcome into the lives of those domesticated creatures that we love so, so much, as we get ready to find out what really happens in our homes when we head out for the day…

As we meet Max (Louis CK) and his owner Katie (Ellie Kemper), they are blissfully happy together in their apartment, without a care in the world….

That is, until Katie gets the crazy idea to save one very large fur ball by the name of Duke (Eric Stonestreet), who seems to be pretty pumped about a new place to call home, but his “new brother” Max, is less than excited about this new “living arrangement”.

As Max’s friends all go about their days “as usual”, it seems that this arrangement between Max and Duke isn’t going to work out exactly as Katie thought it would…throwing them all into an epic adventure – that just happens to be directed by one very snide and conniving vegetable eating hare that goes by the name of SNOWBALL (Kevin Hart)…

I give THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH IT ON DVD ~ I was super pumped to catch the advanced screening of this animated film – as I felt the trailer for PETS was sheer perfection, and I couldn’t wait to find out what exactly does go on with my pets when I’m away from our humble abode. Well, even though it turned out that it was enjoyable to view, and that Kevin Hart’s character was totally awesome the whole way through, THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS didn’t quite play out as the incredible film I just knew I was going to get to view. Maybe it was all the hype going in? Or maybe it was the waiting, and waiting, that built up all the excitement for this film that let me down? But, in actuality, it was more the fact that there was more traveling about town, than actual day-to-day happenings in this storyline gone astray, that kept me from liking this film as much as I really planned to. The premise of the film I was hoping to see does plays out in small doses along the way, and you and your kiddos are going to enjoy all the creatures you are about to see on the big screen by the way too, but even with the incredible voices of Louis CK, Eric Stonestreet and the rest of the fabulous talent brought along to portray this epic adventure, PETS just never reached it’s CHAMPION STRIDE for me, in the way I was so hoping it would…

Kathy Kaiser

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE – Rated PG-13

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE – Rated PG-13

 Starring Dwayne Johnson & Kevin Hart

As we meet Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart) – the Former High School SUPERSTAR – who is now a married man, living the super-exciting life of an accountant, as he stagnates away, looking to for some new adventure to enter his life…

When ol’ High school chum Bob Stone (Dwayne Johnson), who reaches out to Calvin via Facebook, and it seems that Bob is dying to catch up with Calvin to chat about old times, their Reunion that is right around the corner, oh, and a case that Bob is working on too…

As these two friends reconnect ~ and that adventure Calvin was dying to be a part of arrives, it seems that espionage and intrigue is around every turn, bringing him to question if meeting up with old Buddy Bob, is turning out to be one of his better moves

I give CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN ~ Okay, so I wasn’t going in expecting much from this film, so believe me when I share that I was pleasantly surprised by all the hilariousness that ended up playing out on screen. Johnson is fabulous to view, Hart is too, and the combination of the two of them was better than I was anticipating as well, as their chemistry together plays out even better than the combination of Hart and Ice Cube!! And if you love espionage and intrigue, it’s got that too, plus enough plot twists and turns to keep you wanting more all the way through.   Suffice to say, this comedy is the WHOLE PACKAGE – from the expertly placed cameos ~ nope I’m not giving them away 😉 ~ to the references from one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE JOHN HUGHES FILMS OF ALL TIME – this one plays out as one very enjoyable film to watch from beginning to end…So if your wanting to laugh your “you know what off this weekend”, head to a theater near you to catch CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE…cause it’s THE BOMB!!

Kathy Kaiser

Check out the NEW TRAILER for Universal Pictures’ Kevin Hart: What Now?

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New trailer for Universal Pictures’ Kevin Hart: What Now?

Kevin Hart just debuted the new trailer on Facebook!

Watch and share the #KevinHartWhatNow trailer using the embed code below, plus download new photos. The follow-up film to Hart’s 2013 stand-up concert Let Me Explain will be released in theaters on October 14.

The follow-up film to Hart’s 2013 stand-up concert Let Me Explain will be released in theaters on October 14.

KEVIN HART: WHAT NOW? – In Theaters October 14

Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | #KevinHartWhatNow

In Universal Pictures’ Kevin Hart: What Now?, comedic rock-star Kevin Hart follows up his 2013 hit stand-up concert movie Let Me Explain, which grossed $32 million domestically and became the third-highest live stand-up comedy movie of all time.  Hart takes center stage in this groundbreaking, record-setting, sold-out performance of “What Now?”—filmed outdoors in front of 50,000 people at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field—marking the first time a comedian has ever performed to an at-capacity football stadium.

 

Check out Illumination’s New Trailer released on #NationalPetDay 4/11/2016

Happy #NationalPetDay from The Secret Life of Pets!

 In celebration of National Pet Day, a new trailer for THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS just debuted during Late Night with Seth Meyers! Watch and share the adorable new trailer

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS – In Theaters July 8

Official Website | Facebook | TwitterYouTube | Instagram | Tumblr | #TheSecretLifeOfPets

For their fifth fully-animated feature-film collaboration, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures present The Secret Life of Pets, a comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day.

Comedy superstars Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart make their animated feature-film debuts in The Secret Life of Pets, which co-stars Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Steve Coogan and Albert Brooks.  Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy produce the film directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2), co-directed by Yarrow Cheney and written by Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio and Brian Lynch.

Genre: Comedy

Cast: Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Steve Coogan and Albert Brooks

Directed by: Chris Renaud

Co-Director: Yarrow Cheney

Written by: Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio and Brian Lynch

Produced by: Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy

Download the new character posters & more:

http://www.bighonchomedia.com/assets/UNIVERSAL/pets.zip