Category: Warner Bros Pictures
Inherent Vice is the seventh feature from Paul Thomas Anderson and the first ever film adaption of a Thomas Pynchon novel. When private eye Doc Sportello’s ex-old lady suddenly out of nowhere shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend whom she just happens to be in love with, and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap that billionaire and throw him in a looney bin…well, easy for her to say.
It’s the tail end of the psychedelic `60s and paranoia is running the day and Doc knows that “love” is another of those words going around at the moment, like “trip” or “groovy,” that’s being way too overused – except this one usually leads to trouble.
Inherent Vice is an American stoner crime comedy film. The seventh feature film directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice was adapted by Anderson from the novel of the same name by Thomas Pynchon, and stars an ensemble cast including Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio del Toro, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom, Jeannie Berlin, Maya Rudolph, Michael K. Williams and Martin Short. As with its source material, the storyline revolves around Larry “Doc” Sportello, a stoner hippie and PI in 1970, as he becomes embroiled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld whilst investigating three cases interrelated by the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend and her wealthy boyfriend.
About the Story
In 1970, Shasta Fay Hepworth visits the rickety beach house of her ex-boyfriend Larry “Doc” Sportello, a private investigator and hippie/dope head in Gordita Beach, a fictional town in Los Angeles County. Shasta tells him about her new lover, Michael Z. “Mickey” Wolfmann, a wealthy real estate developer. She asks Doc to help prevent Mickey’s wife and her lover from having Mickey abducted and committed to an insane asylum.
At his office, Doc meets with Tariq Khalil, a member of the Black Guerrilla Family. Khalil hires Doc to find Glen Charlock, a member of the Aryan Brotherhood he met in jail, who now owes him money and is one of Wolfmann’s bodyguards.
Doc visits Mickey’s Channel View Estates project and enters the only business in the developing strip mall, a brothel/massage parlor, where he meets an employee, Jade. Doc searches the premises for Charlock, but he is knocked on the head with a baseball bat and collapses. He awakens outside, lying next to Charlock’s dead body and surrounded by policemen. Doc is brought to the police station and interrogated by Det. Christian F. “Bigfoot” Bjornsen of the LAPD. Here, Doc learns that Wolfmann has disappeared without a trace. He is helped by his attorney, Sauncho Smilax, who arranges for his release by the LAPD.
Doc then takes on his third “case” of the film. He is hired by former heroin addict, Hope Harlingen, who is looking for her missing husband, Coy. She was told that Coy was dead; but she believes he is alive because, shortly after his supposed death, there was a large deposit to her bank account. Coy seeks out Doc and says he is hiding at a house in Topanga Canyon. In a second meeting, he reveals he is a police informant and fears for his life, only wanting to return to his wife and daughter.
At his office Doc finds a message from Jade who apologizes for setting him up with the police and tells him to “beware of the Golden Fang”. He meets her in an alley, where she explains that the Golden Fang is an international drug smuggling operation. Doc talks to Sauncho, who gives him some information on a suspicious boat called the Golden Fang and tells him that, the last time the ship sailed, it was with Shasta on board. Thanks to a postcard from her, Doc finds a large building shaped suspiciously like a golden fang and meets with the dentist Dr. Rudy Blatnoyd.
Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio del Toro, Jena Malone, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short, Erica Sullivan
Screenplay by: Paul Thomas Anderson
Production Design by: David Crank
Cinematography by: Robert Elswit
Film Editing by: Leslie Jones
Costume Design by: Mark Bridges
Set Decoration by: Amy Wells
Art Direction by: Ruth De Jong
Music by: Jonny Greenwood
MPAA Rating: R for drug use throughout, sexual content, graphic nudity, language and some violence.
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: December 12, 2014
Taglines: Defend your honor.
Big city lawyer Hank Palmer returns to his childhood home where his father, the town’s judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth and, along the way, reconnects with his estranged family.
The Judge is an American drama film directed by David Dobkin. The film stars Robert Downey, Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Vincent D’Onofrio, Dax Shepard, Jeremy Strong, Sarah Lancaster, and Billy Bob Thornton. The film was released in the United States on October 10, 2014. It received mixed reviews; critics praised the performances of Downey and Duvall but criticized the formulaic nature of its script and the lack of development for its supporting characters.
Hank Palmer is one of the best defense attorneys in Chicago. In the courtroom, Hank gets a phone call from his brother telling him that their mother died. Hank requests that the trial be suspended until he can return. While packing at home, Hank’s wife tries to console him, but he rebuffs her and reveals he’s aware of her recent infidelity and her attempts to find a divorce lawyer.
He leaves for Carlinville, Indiana for his mother’s funeral. Hank pays his respects at the funeral home viewing, where he meets with his brothers Dale and Glen. Hank then goes to watch his dad, Judge Joseph Palmer, in the courtroom. At the end of the case, Judge Palmer struggles to remember Bailiff Gus’ name. The next morning, the Palmers leave to get breakfast without telling Hank. After showing up late, Hank sees that his high school girlfriend, Samantha, works at the diner.
At the funeral, Joseph is warm and friendly to everyone except Hank, who takes offense that he isn’t more welcome. That night, the Palmer boys go to a local bar, while Joseph goes to the convenience store. At the bar, a group of local rednecks antagonize Glen and Dale. Before Glen engages them in a fight, Hank steps in and uses his confident charisma and knowledge of legal repercussions to dissuade the rednecks of any violence. Carla the bartender, impressed with Hank’s suave nature, makes out with him in the bar’s phone booth by the end of the night.
The next morning, the Hank notices damage to his father’s car and while Joseph suspects his sons or grandsons, Hank and Dale swear that Joseph was the only one to use the car. The police show up to question Joseph about his whereabouts the night before, because there’s been a deadly hit and run. As a defense attorney, Hank urges his father not to speak willingly with the police, but Joseph has faith in the system and his own innocence and is happy to comply with the sheriff’s requests.
Joseph goes in for questioning, and Hank accompanies him. They are told a man named Mark Blackwell was run off the road while riding a bike and that both Joseph and Blackwell were seen at the convenience store the night before. It’s revealed that twenty years prior, as a young man, Blackwell shot out his girlfriend’s windows in a rage. When brought to trial, Joseph treated him with leniency after believing his excuses that he was simply young, drunk and stupid and sentenced him to thirty days in prison, after which Blackwell promptly kidnapped his ex-girlfriend and drowned her as retribution.
Blackwell is sentenced to twenty years for his crimes (the harshest sentence Joseph could impose) and his story is considered to be Joseph’s biggest failure as a Judge. Finding this to be sufficient motive for Joseph to run Blackwell off the road, an investigation is formally opened. Hank finds out Dwight Dickham is going to be handling the prosecution. Dickham has a ruthless reputation, and Hank sticks around to help despite Joseph’s protestations that he does not want Hank for his defense.
While investigating for the upcoming trial, Hank rides his old bike along the same road that Blackwell was hit on, when he hits a rock and is thrown over the handlebars. Samantha happens upon him while he’s on the ground and gives him a ride back to town, introducing him to her daughter, who is revealed to be Carla, the bar-tender that Hank had kissed a few nights prior. Hank and Carla share nervous glances but don’t let on their past history to Samantha.
A security tape from the convenience store shows that Joseph lied about his trip home, and his timeline doesn’t match up. Hank asks Dale about their father’s medical condition and Dale says that he’s fine and that he simply plays chess with Doc Morris every week. As Joseph hates chess and doctors Hank is tipped off to a potential problem, when confronted Joseph reveals he has been receiving chemotherapy for colon cancer, which was caught too late to be effectively treatable. Side effects of the chemo include memory loss which Hank believes could provide a legal defense for Joseph’s actions. Joseph refuses to have his cancer brought up, believing that any doubt in his mental state will undermine all of his recent judgments and legacy overall.
Hank’s daughter comes to Indiana to visit for the weekend. Hank warns her that his father is mean and she shouldn’t take it personally but to Hank’s surprise, his dad is delightful to Lauren. That night, Hank and Lauren hang out and hear a noise, Hank checks and finds that his dad has fallen down, is getting sick, and soils himself as Hank tries to help. Hank takes him into the bathtub and helps clean him with the shower head.
Directed by: David Dobkin
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Leighton Meester, Billy Bob Thornton, Sarah Lancaster
Screenplay by: Nick Schenk, Bill Dubuque
Production Design by: Mark Ricker
Cinematography by: Janusz Kaminski
Film Editing by: Mark Livolsi
Costume Design by: Marlene Stewart
Set Decoration by: Rena DeAngelo
Music by: Rena DeAngelo
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: October 10, 2014
Taglines: Miracles are made by people who refuse to stop believing.
They were known simply as “The Lost Boys.”Orphaned by the brutal Civil war in Sudan that began in 1983, these young victims traveled as many as a thousand miles on foot in search of safety. Fifteen years later, a humanitarian effort would bring 3600 lost boys and girls to America. In “The Good Lie,” Philippe Falardeau, (writer and director of the Oscar®- nominated Foreign Language film “Monsieur Lazhar”) brings the story of their survival and triumph to life. Sudanese actors Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, and newcomer Nyakuoth Weil, many of whom were also children of war, star alongside Academy Award® winner Reese Witherspoon and Corey Stoll.
The Good Lie is an American drama film written by Margaret Nagle, and directed by Philippe Falardeau. Filmed in Atlanta, Georgia, and South Africa, the film stars Reese Witherspoon, Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanual Jal, Corey Stoll, and Sarah Baker. The film, which is based on real-life events, features Witherspoon as a brash American woman who helps four young Sudanese refugees (known as Lost Boys of Sudan) after they win a lottery for relocation to the United States. It was screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival before being released on October 3, 2014.
The Good Lie
Directed by: Philippe Falardeau
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Corey Stoll, Sarah Baker, Emmanuel Jal, Arnold Oceng, Lindsey Garrett, Kuoth Wiel
Screenplay by: Margaret Nagle
Production Design by: Aaron Osborne
Cinematography by: Ronald Plante
Film Editing by: Richard Comeau
Costume Design by: Suttirat Anne Larlarb
Set Decoration by: Melinda Launspach, Melinda Sanders
Music by: Martin Leon
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements, some violence, brief strong language and drug use.
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: October 3, 2014
Taglines: Welcome home. Get uncomfortable.
When their father passes away, four grown siblings, bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens.
Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide— driving us insane even as they remind us of our truest, and often best, selves.
This Is Where I Leave You is an American comedy-drama film directed by Shawn Levy. It is based on the book of the same name by Jonathan Tropper, who also wrote the film’s screenplay. The film was released on September 19, 2014.
About the Story
Judd Altman (Jason Bateman) works at a radio station for popular host Wade Beaufort (Dax Shepard). After work, Judd gets a cake for his wife Quinn’s (Abigail Spencer) birthday, only to come home and find her having sex in his bed with Wade. Judd asks how long this has been going on, and Quinn says a year. This is where Judd leaves her. Judd stays in another place, growing a sad beard and ignoring Quinn’s phone calls. His sister Wendy (Tina Fey) calls him to tell him that their father Mort has just died.
She is in the hospital room with their mother Hillary (Jane Fonda), who is trying to remove the tubing from her dead husband. The Altmans gather together for the funeral. There, Judd sees Wendy’s husband Barry (Aaron Lazar), who is too busy on his phone to notice the world around him. Judd also reunites with his older brother Paul (Corey Stoll) and his wife Annie (Kathryn Hahn). The Altmans’ childhood friend Charles Grodner (Ben Schwartz), AKA Boner is the rabbi speaking at the funeral. In the middle of his eulogy, the youngest Altman, Phillip (Adam Driver), rides in blasting a DMX song and running into the service loudly to hug his mom and siblings.
Hillary tells her four children that their father wanted them to sit shiva, meaning they must stay for a whole week with each other. Phillip gets a phone call and goes outside to bring a woman inside. Her name is Tracy (Connie Britton), and she is his therapist. She is a fan of Hillary, as Hillary is known for writing a tell-all book called “Cradle and All”, which overshares a lot of the siblings’ childhood, like Wendy being sexually active and Paul masturbating. Guests come over and the Altmans tell everybody what they’ve been doing since then.
Paul and Annie have been trying to conceive for a while, and it’s revealed that Annie used to be Judd’s girlfriend in high school. Also, only Wendy knows about Judd’s divorce, though he keeps telling people she’s not there because she has a bulging disk. Judd drives to his family’s sporting goods store. There, he finds Horry Callen (Timothy Olyphant), an ex-boyfriend of Wendy’s that suffered a brain injury, forcing him to stay home with his mother Linda (Debra Monk). Judd also reunites with Penny Moore (Rose Byrne), a girl that used to have a crush on him. Judd drives Horry home.
The next morning, Judd wakes up to hear Paul and Phillip arguing over the sharing of the sporting goods store. Paul has the majority of the store but Phillip wants to combine the remaining siblings shares and enter the business as well. The two of them get into a physical fight that pushes Judd into a glass cabinet, leaving him with some glass in his head. The family later has dinner and shares their favorite stories of Mort. Wendy tells one of when she first got her period. Judd cannot think of a single memory to share. Shiva time then comes and Wendy drunkenly keeps bugging Judd to tell the truth about Quinn. They argue until one lady asks Judd about Quinn, and he loudly admits that she cheated and that he’s divorcing her. Also, Tracy notices Phillip talking to a younger ex-girlfriend, making her feel challenged.
The siblings continue to bond rather reluctantly, between going to drinks and joining with Penny, and having to sit shiva. Phillip drives Judd around in his car and laments being seen as the family screw-up. He drives recklessly, making Judd nervous. Phillip abandons him at the skating center where Penny works and goes to sleep with his ex-girlfriend. Meanwhile Penny and Judd listen to Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”.
Judd is surprised when Quinn shows up since he won’t answer her calls. She starts to feel sick and goes to throw up. She admits that she’s pregnant and that Judd is the father. She knows it’s not Wade because he is sterile. They are concerned because Quinn has already had one miscarriage. Phillip finds out about the pregnancy as well. Judd later goes to Penny’s house to talk and ends up sleeping with her. Phillip reveals the pregnancy over breakfast, to Judd’s displeasure. Annie angrily breaks several dishes, upset over still not having kids.
The family goes to temple for a service. Judd and Phillip sneak out to smoke joints Judd finds in his father’s suit jacket. Paul later joins them. Together, the brothers finally spend time and laugh together without fighting. Then the sprinklers go off and they get soaked. Boner scolds the brothers for this, but they just make fun of him. Annie goes downstairs to find Judd so that he can try and get her pregnant. He refuses. He goes outside and walks past Wendy and Barry arguing. At night, she joins Judd on the roof of the house to express her remorse over causing the accident that caused Horry’s brain injury and that she’ll never love Barry the way she loved Horry.
During another shiva sitting, the family hears the baby monitor kicking in to the sound of Paul and Annie having sex. Phillip lets it keep playing until Linda takes out the backup battery. Judd goes on a date with Penny and gets a phone call from Quinn, who says she is bleeding. This forces Judd to admit to Penny that Quinn is pregnant. She lets him go to her, but she is upset. Judd gets to the hospital to be with Quinn, only for Wade to show up moments later.
The nurse is able to find the baby’s heartbeat. Outside in the waiting room, Judd confronts Wade about Quinn sleeping with him, leading to them nearly physically fighting. The security guards pull them apart until Wendy comes in and settles everything. She even punches Wade in the face. Outside, Judd sees Wade’s car and gets a group of frat boys to push the car upside down after he says that Wade slept with his wife. Wade goes outside and sees the car. He admits that Judd was one of his few friends, even though Judd didn’t see him as a friend and he’s abandoning Quinn.
This Is Where I Leave You
Directed by: Shawn Levy
Starring: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, Dax Shepard, Debra Monk
Screenplay by: Jonathan Tropper, Jonathan Tropper
MPAA Rating: R for language, sexual content and some drug use.
Production Design by: Ford Wheeler
Cinematography by: Terry Stacey
Film Editing by: Dean Zimmerman
Costume Design by: Susan Lyall
Set Decoration by: Chryss Hionis
Music by: Michael Giacchino
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: September 19, 2014
Taglines: Winter’s amazing true story… now has Hope.
It has been several years since young Sawyer Nelson and the dedicated team at the Clearwater Marine Hospital, headed by Dr. Clay Haskett, rescued Winter. With the help of Dr. Cameron McCarthy, who developed a unique prosthetic tail for the injured dolphin, they were able to save her life. Yet their fight is not over. Winter’s surrogate mother, the very elderly dolphin Panama, has passed away, leaving Winter without the only poolmate she has ever known.
However, the loss of Panama may have even greater repercussions for Winter, who, according to USDA regulations, cannot be housed alone, as dolphins’ social behavior requires them to be paired with other dolphins. Time is running out to find a companion for her before the team at Clearwater loses their beloved Winter to another aquarium.
Dolphin Tale 2 is an American family drama film written and directed by Charles Martin Smith and sequel to his 2011 film Dolphin Tale. Harry Connick, Jr., Ashley Judd, Nathan Gamble, Cozi Zuehlsdorff, Kris Kristofferson, Morgan Freeman, Juliana Harkavy, Austin Stowell and Austin Highsmith all reprise their roles from the first film while Lee Karlinsky, Julia Jordan, and Bethany Hamilton join the cast. The film was released on September 12, 2014 and tells the story of another dolphin at the hospital named “Hope”.
About the Story
Sawyer, the boy who was once instrumental in saving “Winter” three years ago, is now an integral employee at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and is training new volunteers at the aquarium. We are introduced to a new dolphin named “Mandy.” Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) has rescued Mandy after she was stranded near a beach and discovered by a little girl. Mandy has a bad sunburn and some respiratory problems from being stranded in the sun too long with her blowhole mostly exposed. She is being rehabilitated at the aquarium.
Winter has a friend at CMA named Panama. Like Winter, Panama cannot return to the ocean. Panama is deaf and is quite old for a dolphin. She is expected to be at least 40 years old. It is alluded to that Panama has some health issues and it appears by Winter’s erratic actions that she is concerned about her dolphin friend. Sawyer is approached by a professor from Boston University about attending an elite SEA Semester program for three months.
Only one high school student per year is selected for this program, which takes place on a tall sailing ship and focuses on marine mammal research. It comes with a full scholarship and his family is excited for him to have this opportunity. Sawyer is unsure whether he wants to go, as he is concerned about leaving Winter for an extended period of time.
When Sawyer returns to the aquarium, Panama is lying dead at the bottom of the pool. Her death happened very quickly, but does not come as a complete surprise because of her old age. All employees of CMA are very upset. However, the death is the hardest on Winter. Winter stops eating much and refuses to wear her prosthetic tail. Her health starts to deteriorate for these reasons and tests show she is under stress.
An inspector for the USDA comes to visit CMA and check on the animals. He gives Dr. Clay a violation for keeping Winter in isolation and because of her deteriorating health. He issues as requirement that Dr. Clay matches Winter with another female dolphin within 30 days. In the meantime, Winter continues to be very unhappy. When Sawyer attempts to get her out of the tank for a new cast of her tail, Winter becomes aggressive and smacks Sawyer across the face with her rostrum, knocking him in the water. Phoebe jumps in the pool and rescues Sawyer. Winter then returns to floating at the bottom of the platform. The incident leaves Sawyer’s wrist injured, and a small bruise on his face. Dr. Clay orders that Sawyer has to take a break from swimming with Winter.
Everyone at CMA stakes their hopes on Winter being paired together with Mandy in order to satisfy the USDA and improve Winter’s health. However, Mandy has improved greatly and has a clean bill of health. Dr. Clay says Mandy can be returned to the ocean. Dr. Clay’s daughter Hazel is unhappy because she doesn’t want Winter to be transferred. She wants Mandy to stay with Winter for a short period of time to keep her from being transferred, even though she can return to the ocean. Dr. Clay makes clear that the goal of CMA is “Rescue, Rehabilitate, Release”, thus they cannot morally keep Mandy when she could return to the ocean. He has to make the call to return Mandy to the ocean, even though it becomes clear that doing so will cause CMA to lose Winter. Mandy is returned to the ocean and Hazel steps up to take a key role in her return.
Hazel and Sawyer break Dr. Clay’s rule and swim with Winter. The dolphin seems improved and is no longer aggressive. Sawyer and Hazel think she is improving. Dr. Clay then catches them and scold them for swimming with Winter. Knowing he has bigger problems, he changes the subject and tells Hazel and Sawyer that Winter will be transferred to a marine park in Texas. Meanwhile, Sawyer’s mom throws a party for him to congratulate him for being chosen to attend SEA Semester. However she wants to push him towards a decision but Sawyer is still too upset about Winter. While Sawyer is sitting outside, Dr. McCarthy sits next to him and gives him a small clock, but due to it sitting around for many years, it requires tapping to continue. Dr. McCarthy uses this as an example and tells Sawyer that he has to “shake it up now and then” and try other things in life.
Dolphin Tale 2
Directed by: Charles Martin Smith
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Nathan Gamble, Kris Kristofferson, Julia Winter, Cozi Zuehlsdorff, Juliana Harkavy, Bethany Hamilton
Screenplay by: Charles Martin Smith, Karen Janszen
Production Design by: David J. Bomba
Cinematography by: Daryn Okada
Film Editing by: Harvey Rosenstock
Costume Design by: Hope Hanafin
Set Decoration by: Jeffrey Scott Taylor
Art Direction by: Mark Garner
Music by: Rachel Portman
MPAA Rating: PG for some mild thematic elements.
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: September 12, 2014
Taglines: Life’s a bitch… And then you go on a road trip.
Tammy, who was recently fired from a Toppy Jacks fast food restaurant, returns home only to find her husband enjoying a romantic meal with the neighbor. She quickly packs her necessities, and travels down three houses to her parent’s home. Upon denied use of her mom’s car to drive to Niagara Falls, she quickly resorts to an “ailing” grandmother, who also lives in the home… Only instead of traveling alone, Grandma Pearl wants in on the road trip.
After realizing Grandma Pearl has the funds, they hit the road. Pearl soon proves to be quite the alcoholic despite her diabetes, and Tammy quickly turns into the “baby-sitter.” From finding love in a bar to robbing a Toppy Jack’s in order to bail Pearl out of jail,the quirky adventure will have you finding yourself riding along for the misadventures of Tammy.
About the Production
Tammy: I lost my job, my car’s on fire and Greg is screwing our neighbor. I’m getting out of this stupid town for good.
Road trips are a tradition of comedy films, but in the hands of married duo Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy, their new movie, “Tammy,” is anything but a traditional road trip.
Falcone and McCarthy have been writing comedy material together since their early days as Groundlings, where they met. “Tammy” marks the couple’s first collaboration on the big screen as writers. It is also Falcone’s feature directorial debut, and McCarthy’s first foray into producing.
“I guess you could say it was literally a dream come true,” says Falcone, who reveals that the idea sprang from a dream he described to McCarthy about going on a crazy road trip with her grandmother. “I always love writing with Melissa, but to get to direct her was incredible because she’s so talented and, of course, funny.”
McCarthy shares, “Ben and I had always talked about writing a movie about real people who mess up and have to decide if they are going to keep making mistakes or change things. Since Ben has been directing theatre and comedy videos for years, we felt it was a natural progression for him to direct “Tammy.”
Falcone and McCarthy mined their own Midwest backgrounds to create a string of colorful characters and situations that revolve around a working-class woman who gets trapped on an interminable road trip with her rather atypical grandmother.
Producers Will Ferrell and Adam McKay were already fans of Falcone and McCarthy and were eager to work with the pair.
McKay states, “Melissa is one of the funniest people on the planet and Ben is a super-talented, hilarious guy. As a producer, this meant two things: we would have a very funny and unique movie, and I would not have to work as hard because they are so good.”
Ferrell adds, “Melissa has made me laugh hard for a long time, so when I heard it was her and Susan Sarandon in a car having wild adventures, I wanted in.”
Sarandon, who stars opposite McCarthy as Tammy’s irrepressible grandma, Pearl, was drawn to the raucous road trip that Tammy and her grandmother take, which, surprisingly, becomes an emotional journey. “The script had such energy and was flamboyant in its freedom,” she conveys. “I liked that all the absurd things they go through give Pearl and Tammy the opportunity to look at where they are in their lives and take it up a notch.”
McCarthy and Sarandon are just two pieces of what turned into an all-star ensemble, including Allison Janney, Gary Cole, Mark Duplass, Sandra Oh, Dan Aykroyd and Kathy Bates. Falcone also brought fellow Groundlings Nat Faxon, Steve Little and Sarah Baker to the mix. With such a deep talent pool, he encouraged improvisation from his entire cast to extract even more humor from Tammy and Pearl’s misadventure.
As the two women take to the highway, everything that can go wrong does, and then some, forcing them to face each other’s flaws as well as their own…and put out a few fires along the way.
McCarthy says, “If you’re having a terrible day and something ridiculous makes you laugh, that’s the best. We wanted to capture that feeling.”
Falcone adds, “Tammy is not only having a terrible day, she’s having one huge, epic bad day and a whole lot of ridiculousness ensues. We had a lot of fun with that.
Behind the Dash
Pearl: Would you like a beer?
Pearl: Oh my god, you’re knocked up.
Tammy: No. I’m driving a car. Duh.
Nothing says ridiculous like mouth-to-mouth with a deer. That’s exactly how Tammy’s epic bad day starts out after colliding with the unfortunate creature on a deserted highway on her way to work. The deer isn’t the only impact on her day. Her creepy boss at Topper Jack’s burger joint also blindsides Tammy by firing her.
Falcone notes, “We’re immediately clued into the fact that Tammy usually takes the easy road, does the minimum required to get by. And that ripples throughout the rest of her world.”
McCarthy describes Tammy as “underdeveloped, stunted, and immature. She’s a train wreck. But with a good heart.”
Echoing that sentiment, Falcone says, “Tammy does have a good heart and so does Melissa. I think that quality is what makes Melissa so appealing to audiences. It really shines through her character.”
“My inspiration for Tammy came from an amalgamation of regular people I’ve known or observed just living their lives. Only jacked-up a little,” McCarthy admits. “Tammy hates her life, or lack thereof, but instead of changing it, blames everyone else. She just can’t get out of her own way.”
If Tammy thought her crappy day couldn’t get any worse, she’s sadly mistaken. When she finally drags through the door of her house, she finds her husband, Greg, played by Nat Faxon, having a romantic interlude with her neighbor, played by Toni Collette.
Falcone observes, “This is already the worst day of her life. We wanted to slam Tammy with enough to make her have to physically leave. There’s nowhere left for her to hide from her problems.”
So Tammy tries to get out of town, turning to her mom for comfort-and a loaner car.
Falcone and McCarthy both pictured Allison Janney for the role of Tammy’s mother, Deb. Falcone says, “We love Allison’s work and knew she would be perfect so we wrote the part with her in mind.”
“Allison is brilliant. We weren’t sure she’d do it so we plied her with several margaritas,” McCarthy jokes.
“They could have had me at one,” Janney counters, laughing. “Deb is a complicated, lovely woman, and can’t catch a break with her mother or her daughter. She’s frustrated that she doesn’t understand them and they don’t understand her, so she’s at a point where she’s going to try tough love with Tammy.”
Deb’s husband, Don, would rather get tough with Tammy’s cheating husband. Falcone cast Dan Aykroyd in the role of Tammy’s father. Falcone comments, “As a comedian, I’ve always looked up to Dan, so it was a thrill to work with him.”
Aykroyd says, “I loved working with Ben and Melissa. They’re a great team-genuinely gifted, true professionals.” Aykroyd also relished working with Janney, noting, “Allison is a veteran, a pro who immediately conveyed with simple gestures a feeling of affection and that we’d known each other for the decades Don and Deb have been married.”
“I have to thank Ben and Melissa for giving me Dan,” says Janney. “He’s the best on-screen husband I’ve ever had.”
Deb’s new tough love program begins with denying Tammy transportation. Knowing her granddaughter won’t get far without wheels, Pearl then seizes upon the opportunity to blackmail Tammy with the keys to her Buick sedan. And since Pearl controls the car and cash, she also controls the destination: Niagara Falls.
Starring as Pearl, Susan Sarandon says she loved the grandma-with-a-past role. “Pearl is smart but she’s wild, definitely a product of the sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll generation. She had a baby really young, and then her daughter had a baby really young. But she disappeared from Tammy’s life at a critical time, and Tammy resented it. So now they’re stuck in a car together and will finally have to work all that out.”
Falcone comments, “It was amazing to watch Susan bring these layers to Pearl. Pearl has definitely partied and had her fun, but she is also really smart and grounded.”
“Susan is just cool,” says McCarthy. “She came in with no judgment of Pearl and her wild past. She said, ‘It is what it is,’ and I think that approach is what makes Pearl so interesting, vibrant, and sexy.”
Pearl packs light, bringing only the bare necessities on the road: cash, booze and her crocheting.
“Pearl is always carrying around her booze and her rugs and trying to score,” attests Sarandon, who learned to make rugs like her own grandmother for the role. The rug Sarandon was actually making in the scenes kept getting bigger and bigger.
Sarandon felt that McCarthy provided an equally layered character to work off. “Melissa commits so completely,” she remarks. “She’s great with silly physical humor but she doesn’t patronize her characters. You recognize some of your own frailties in the mistakes that Tammy makes.”
The most recent mistake is going in the wrong direction, which takes them far afield. Tammy is ready to throw in the towel almost immediately and head home but Pearl challenges her to stop whining about missing life and get one.
Not one to back down from a dare, Tammy finds herself at a happening country-western bar. But instead of getting lucky, Tammy is lucky if she’ll be able to pry Pearl away from Earl, a random guy who ends up locked in the Buick with Pearl, fogging up the windows.
Gary Cole, who stars as Earl, says he jumped at the chance to work with both Sarandon and McCarthy. “You put Melissa in a situation where her character’s going to get in trouble, with a lot of obstacles, and you know some gold is going to happen. That, and making out with Susan Sarandon,” he laughs. “It was really a no-brainer to say, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll come to that party.'”
Falcone observes, “Gary brought a lot of fun to the character and punch to his storyline. Earl is a guy who is a good time and trouble all at once.”
Cole calls Earl “an alcohol enthusiast. Some people may say he has a problem; he would say it’s a hobby.”
Pearl is also an avid “enthusiast,” so she and Earl hit it off immediately, which is a problem for his son, Bobby, played by Mark Duplass.
Like Tammy, who has her hands full with Pearl, Bobby has the thankless-and impossible-task of keeping Earl in line. Duplass offers, “Pearl and Earl have this electric connection of debauchery, so Tammy and Bobby are caught in the middle of that dynamic as it explodes, trying to get a handle on their elders. It’s a fun role reversal.”
The dynamic between Bobby and Tammy, however, is something of a hot mess. McCarthy explains, “Their eyes don’t meet across a crowded room; it’s more sloppy. She hits on him and makes an ass of herself. It’s the perfect imperfect springboard Ben and I wanted, so these subtle changes can transpire in Tammy as she and Bobby keep getting thrown together.”
Falcone adds, “Mark is a very expressive actor and infused Bobby with a simple honesty and sweet energy. He and Melissa played off each other so well. He brought nuances that helped build an organic progression and make you really root for the relationship between Tammy and Bobby.”
Things can only go downhill from the bar and Pearl enlists the help of her cousin Lenore to mitigate some of the collateral chaos that follows. The part was written for Kathy Bates.
Bates liked the strong, positive character, noting, “Lenore is very down-to-earth, a self-made woman. She has worked hard to achieve success both personally and professionally. But when she sees that Tammy has no aspirations for her life on either front, Lenore just wants to shake her a little so she’ll wake up.”
“I walked around New York City in my twenties with a copy of the play ‘Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune,’ with a picture of her on the back, so I had to pinch myself in scenes with her,” McCarthy shares. “Kathy’s so amazing, she can send lightning bolts through you.”
“Melissa was inspiring, she’s funny as hell, and she’s emotionally full every single take,” says Bates. “And Ben created an easy environment. It was effortless, like those great friendships that are uncomplicated from the very beginning.”
Falcone states, “Kathy is all in. She didn’t even flinch at some of the crazy physical stuff, like lighting a Molotov cocktail or throwing a flaming tiki torch as a javelin. She is an exceptional talent.”
Sandra Oh joined the ensemble as Lenore’s partner Susanne. The two had previously worked together on “Six Feet Under,” though on opposite sides of the camera, with Bates directing Oh. Now, in front of the camera, their chemistry flourished.
Falcone says, “Kathy and Sandra are so great together. They just make you want to hang out at Lenore and Susanne’s house. A lot.”
“When they approached me to play opposite Kathy, I jumped at it,” says Oh. “I have great respect for her. I was excited about the opportunity to perform in scenes with her this time around because we already had such a strong connection.”
Bates agrees. “It’s always a treat working with Sandra. And from our first scene, it was like she had been my partner for years. I told her later she really gave us our on-screen relationship; her little details brought so much heart.”
“We were fortunate to have an incredible cast,” says Falcone. “Melissa and I love these characters. You could tell the cast did, too, and I think the audience will feel that love.”
Pearl: Where’s the dance floor and the bar? Not in that order.
Filming took place primarily in and around Wilmington, North Carolina, which doubled for the Midwest look of Murphysboro, Illinois. At Falcone’s request, director of photography Russ Alsobrook implemented cross-shooting throughout the film, with cameras simultaneously on each actor, a method Falcone had observed on previous films in which he had worked. “It helps people keep that reaction in the moment, because later it’s really hard to go back and remember what you said if you were improvising,” the director relates.
Falcone notes that although not everyone in the cast was used to improvisation, they all ultimately embraced the opportunity. “Melissa and I both come from a background of improv, so we know it’s a great tool.”
One memorable improvisation took place between Melissa and “Stuffy,” the deer Tammy hits with her car. Made at Creature Effects, the animatronic deer was controlled by two puppeteers who could make its eyes, ears and mouth move. The props department made a double for Stuffy which could be thrown at the car to simulate Tammy hitting it. In a completely unscripted and unexpected moment, Melissa suddenly started giving Stuffy mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Falcone recalls, “It was so hot and she was down on that asphalt, and she started ‘saving’ Stuffy. I was having a hard time not laughing and ruining the takes.”
Sarandon agrees, “It was fabulous to improv scenes with Melissa. It may seem like it’s off the-cuff but she is very present; a consummate professional who never loses sight of what needs to be accomplished in the scene.”
She continues, “For me, Ben’s directing style also helped make it possible for us to go off script. He created a solid structure, and then within that structure, there was freedom, which enabled a looseness and fluidity to the performance.”
Bates also found the improvisation environment stimulating, admitting, “I told Ben to make me part of his rep company. He gave us room, and because it always comes from such a natural, real place, you really want to try things.”
Another key decision was the use of practical locations to achieve a grounded look. Falcone turned to production designer Jefferson Sage, who had previously worked with McCarthy on “The Heat” and “Bridesmaids,” to transform the locations into Tammy and Pearl’s world.
Sage started with designing Topper Jack’s burger chain, the fictional franchise that recurs throughout the film. Inspired by a now-defunct chain McCarthy remembers growing up, Sage says, “The look and corporate identity of this restaurant chain needed to feel local and dated, like they were overdue for an image re-set, but hadn’t done it yet. We used the signature yellow and red color scheme to identify with a jarring 1970s palette, emphasizing the tiredness of the place, which also reflects the dead-end nature of Tammy’s job.”
The first Topper Jack’s is the scene of an argument between McCarthy and her boss that involves throwing both insults and food. Falcone plays the boss from hell. Of her nightmare on-screen boss, McCarthy says, “We all know that guy, we’ve all worked for that guy. I have been fired by that guy for sure.” She adds, “It was fun throwing food at Ben.”
As Topper Jack’s keeps popping up on the road, they become the site of some bad decisions, which only compound Tammy’s troubles.
While Topper Jack’s color scheme pushed the envelope, Tammy’s home was specifically designed to avoid kitsch and evoke a contained feeling. “Her world needed to feel kind of small,” explains Sage. “It’s cluttered, there’s no cohesive sense of design. We crowded enough in to make it feel cramped and a bit oppressive, using a dour, dark, dingy color palette.”
Two houses down is Tammy’s mother’s house. Sage says, “Deb’s reflects a successful, happy relationship. The flowerbeds are tended, it’s comfortable inside. There is happiness here.” Fortunately, Sage found one neighborhood with the houses located right near each other on the same street, which enabled Falcone to establish Tammy’s problems quickly, and shoot her ensuing escape in a continuous sequence.
Falcone designed Tammy’s post-escape car scenes “to force the intimacy between Pearl and Tammy, whether they welcome it or not.”
“It was hot and there was weather and dust and a lot of hours in the car, but those were actually some of my favorite scenes,” says Sarandon.
McCarthy also enjoyed them. In addition to trading barbs with Sarandon’s character, she got to do the real driving. Stunt coordinator Peter King details, “Melissa was fearless. She has enormous endurance and a sense of natural timing, but she is also one of the best drivers I’ve ever worked with. She can hit a difficult mark, nailing it even without practice. She outdrove my stunt drivers more than once, which was fun to watch.”
“It was pretty cool,” McCarthy smiles. “Look out NASCAR.”
Their first real stop, The Blue Post, is a location that will change the course of Pearl and Tammy’s road trip. For the bar sequence, Sage added a stage and lots of neon to an existing converted downtown warehouse. The last touch for the bar was the real bluegrass band Possum Creek. Executive Producer Rob Cowan took Falcone and McCarthy to hear them at the local bar Satellite on a Sunday night and they hired the band on the spot, including using original music by the band in the scene.
Filmmakers also hired local outer banks artisans and brothers Skip and Bob Raymo, whose forte is sculpting by chainsaw, to create a piece for a seminal scene at Snow’s Cut Park, located on the inland waterway. Falcone and McCarthy wanted an iconic American theme, which the artists delivered in the form of a very unique American eagle.
Several pit stops on Tammy and Pearl’s trek also involve lakes, which posed a challenge to filmmakers as there are none in Wilmington.
To accomplish the Sea Doo sequence-where Tammy attempts to ride the power water craft but only digs herself and Pearl into more trouble-Sage built a wharf with a dock and huts where vendors are selling wares.
Once again, McCarthy wanted to execute as much of the stunts as possible. The stunt coordinator recalls how fast McCarthy picked it up. “It’s 99 percent Melissa on that Sea Doo ‘coming in hot,'” King states.
Falcone scheduled plenty of time for practice. “I figure we’d get Melissa oriented to the Sea Doo, and take it slow, but she just got on and immediately took it up to almost 50. She did a hard turn and stopped…but the Sea Doo just kept going without her. There was no stopping her from getting back on and doing it again. She’s a trouper.”
As Tammy’s troubles increase in size after her Sea Doo debacle, so does the getaway vehicle. Pearl calls her cousin Lenore, who shows up with an enormous RV so they can ditch Pearl’s Buick sedan in a big way and lay low at Lenore’s house on the lake.
On the inland waterway outside of Wilmington, filmmakers found a large Nantucket-style residence surrounded by giant oak trees with a private dock to use as Lenore’s house. A generous wraparound deck gave way to a sizeable pool area. The landscaping was so inviting Falcone moved scenes from indoors to outdoors on the property and had Sage and his team create a dance floor over an entire section of the pool.
They redressed the interior of the house, for a mountain lodge motif. Some of the key pieces of furniture were custom upholstered using antique quilts and vintage silk coverlets from the Depression era. The art was all locally sourced. Although Pearl and Tammy are hoping to hide out at Lenore’s during her annual Fourth of July party, there are more fireworks than expected.
There were some unexpected behind-the-scenes surprises as well. During an important shot that not only involved most of the main cast and lots of extras, but pyrotechnics, too, a storm came in. Falcone relates, “We were on a camera barge and suddenly lightning struck and the barge lost power. We just started to drift off out into this inlet with the storm picking up. That’s when my director of photography, Russ, looked at me and said, ‘It’s been great knowing you.'”
Directed by: Ben Falcone
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Dan Aykroyd, Sandra Oh, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Kathy Bates
Screenplay by: Ben Falcone, Melissa McCarthy
Production Design by: Jefferson Sage
Cinematography by: Russ T. Alsobrook
Film Editing by: Michael L. Sale
Costume Design by: Wendy Chuck
Music by: Michael Andrews
MPAA Rating: R for language including sexual references.
Studio: New Line Cinema
Release Date: July 2, 2014
Taglines: Everybody remembers it how they need to.
Clint Eastwood’s big screen version of the Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of the four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic `60s rock group The Four Seasons. Their trials and triumphs are accompanied by the hit songs that influenced a generation, and are now being embraced by a new generation of fans through the stage musical.
In 1951, in Belleville, New Jersey, Tommy DeVito, narrating the story, introduces the audience to himself, Tommy’s brother Nicky, and their friend Nick Massi, who perform together as The Variety Trio, and to a barber’s son, 16-year-old Frankie, already well known in the neighborhood for his singing voice. Frankie has the admiration of gangster Gyp DeCarlo, who takes a personal interest in him.
One night, the group attempts a robbery of a safe, for which the police later arrest them. In court, Frankie is let off with a warning but Tommy is sentenced to six months in prison. After his release, Tommy reunites the group and adds Frankie as lead singer. Frankie changes his professional name to Frankie Valli. At a performance, Frankie is entranced by a woman named Mary Delgado. He takes her to dinner, and they are soon married.
The group, now called “The Four Lovers,” is in need of a songwriter after Nicky leaves. Tommy’s friend Joe Pesci tells him about a talented singer-songwriter, Bob Gaudio, and invites him to hear the group perform. Gaudio, now narrating, is impressed with Valli’s vocals and agrees to join.
The band, having recorded several demos, attempts to attract interest, with little success. One day in New York City, producer Bob Crewe signs them to a contract. However, they quickly realize that it only allows them to perform back-up vocals for other acts (as The Romans and The Topix). Crewe says that the group does not have a distinctive image or sound yet. Inspired by a bowling alley sign, the guys rename themselves “The Four Seasons,” and sing a new song Gaudio has written, “Sherry”, to Crewe, who agrees to record it.
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Starring: Christopher Walken, Francesca Eastwood, Freya Tingley, Mike Doyle, James Madio, Kathrine Narducci
Screenplay by: Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice
Production Design by: James J. Murakami
Cinematography by: Tom Stern
Film Editing by: Joel Cox, Gary Roach
Costume Design by: Deborah Hopper
Set Decoration by: Ronald R. Reiss
MPAA Rating: R for language throughout.
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: June 20, 2014
Taglines: Live. Die. Repeat.
Edge of Tomorrow (also marketed with the tagline Live. Die. Repeat.)[nb 1] is a 2014 American science fiction film directed by Doug Liman. It stars Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. The screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth is based on the 2004 Japanese novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka.
The film takes place in a future where Earth is invaded by an alien race. Major William Cage (Cruise), a public relations officer inexperienced in combat, is forced by his superiors to join a landing operation against the aliens. Though Cage is killed in combat, he finds himself in a time loop that sends him back to the day preceding the battle every time he dies. Cage teams up with Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Blunt) to improve his fighting skills through the repeated days, seeking a way to defeat the extraterrestrial invaders.
About the Story
A race of extraterrestrials called Mimics has taken over continental Europe. In England, General Brigham, head of humanity’s United Defense Force, orders Major William Cage, a public affairs officer with no combat experience, to cover the next day’s amphibious assault in France. Cage objects to the dangerous assignment and threatens to blackmail Brigham to avoid it. Brigham has Cage arrested; Cage is knocked out trying to escape. He wakes in handcuffs at a forward operating base at Heathrow Airport and discovers he has been demoted to private, charged with desertion, and assigned to a combat squad for the invasion under the command of Master Sergeant Farell.
The invasion is a disaster for the humans. Cage, despite his inexperience and incompetence, kills a large Mimic but dies covered with its acid-like blood. He wakes up at Heathrow the previous morning; no one believes his story that he knows the invasion will fail. Cage repeats the loop of dying on the beach and waking at Heathrow until he encounters Sergeant Rita Vrataski during the invasion. The famous and brusque soldier recognizes his ability to anticipate events, and tells him to locate her the next time he “wakes up”.
Vrataski introduces Cage to Dr. Carter, a former government scientist and expert in Mimic biology. Cage learns that the kind of Mimic he killed in his first loop, an “Alpha”, resets time when it is killed to give the Mimics an advantage in battle. Cage inherited this ability when he died doused in the Alpha’s blood. Vrataski had gained this ability in a recent battle and became an effective killer of Mimics, but lost it after receiving a blood transfusion. She tells Cage that they must hunt the Mimics’ hive mastermind, the “Omega”, and destroy it.
Over innumerable successive time loops, Vrataski trains Cage to make him a more formidable soldier. Frustrated by his continued failures Cage retreats to London during one loop, but learns that the Mimics will attack the city after defeating the humans in France. He and Vrataski spend many more loops learning how to survive the battle on the beach and get inland, based on his vision of the Omega hiding within a German dam.
After loops inevitably end in Vrataski’s death Cage decides to hunt the Omega alone, abandoning her and the rest of the invasion to doom on the beach. When he arrives at the dam, he discovers that the Omega is not there. Cage kills himself before an Alpha can bleed him out and prevent him from resetting the day. Back at Heathrow, he tells Vrataski and Carter that his vision was a trick.
Edge of Tomorrow
Directed by: Doug Liman
Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Kick Gurry, Tony Way, Dragomir Mrsic, Charlotte Riley, Jonas Armstrong
Screenplay by: Dante Harper, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
Production Design by: Oliver Scholl
Cinematography by: Dion Beebe
Film Editing by: James Herbert
Costume Design by: Kate Hawley
Set Decoration by: Elli Griff
Music by: Christophe Beck
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief suggestive material.
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: June 6, 2014
Blended follows single parents Jim (Adam Sandler) and Lauren (Drew Barrymore) through their horrific first date. But after they part ways, through a number of circumstances, they both find themselves — and their kids — on vacation in Africa. Stuck on a “romantic” getaway, the two families fight their way through safaris, dances, and candlelit dinners.
Blended is an American romantic comedy film directed by Frank Coraci and written by Ivan Menchell and Clare Sera. The film stars Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Terry Crews, Joel McHale and Wendi McLendon-Covey. It is set to be released on May 23, 2014. It is the third romantic comedy collaboration between Sandler and Barrymore, following The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates. Coraci also previously directed Sandler and Barrymore in The Wedding Singer.
About the Story
Lauren Reynolds (Drew Barrymore), a divorcee, who has two sons, Brendan (Braxton Beckham) and Tyler (Kyle Red Silverstein), meets Jim Friedman (Adam Sandler), a widower with three daughters, Hilary (Bella Thorne), Espn (Emma Fuhrmann), and Lou (Alyvia Alyn Lind) on a blind date. The date ends in disaster due to conflict between Jim’s clumsy and careless attitude and Lauren’s perfectionist nature.
Later, Jim and Lauren run into each other at a pharmacy. Afterwards, Jim realizes that their credit card charges were mixed up and goes to Lauren’s house. There, he and Lauren learn that Lauren’s friend Jen (Wendi McLendon-Covey) has broken up with her boyfriend Dick (Dan Patrick), who happens to be Jim’s boss, over his having kids, and that they will no longer be going on a planned African vacation together. Unbeknownst to each other, Jim and Lauren both arrange to go on the pre-booked vacation with their families. When they arrive in Africa the two families are surprised to see each other. Things get more awkward when Jim and Lauren are given a romantic suite.
The families are put together for a “blended familymoon”, where they get together with other couples, including the oversexed Eddy (Kevin Nealon) and Ginger (Jessica Lowe), as well as Eddy’s teenage son Jake (Zak Henri), who Hilary develops a crush on at first sight.
The kids make an awkward impression with each other, with Brendan calling his mom “hot,” and the others not knowing how to react to Espn acting like her mom is there with her. Over time, they begin to bond with each other and each other’s parents.
Jim makes the boys happy by helping them with adventurous sports, while Lauren takes care of the girls, and helps Hilary to change her tomboy look into a more feminine one. Jim and Lauren warm up to each other as time passes. They inadvertently get together for a couples massage and have fun with each other.
On the last night of the trip, Lauren puts on a beautiful black dress that she admired earlier. She wears it that evening and receives admiration from everyone. While the children are pulled away for a kids-only buffet, Jim and Lauren are sat down for a romantic dinner, which Lauren soon discovers was actually planned by Jim specifically for her. They chat briefly about basic parenting techniques and then pull in for a kiss; however, at the last second, Jim pulls away, apologizing and explaining that he “can’t do it”.
After returning home, Jim realizes he misses Lauren and that he’s fallen in love with her. Although Espn is not fully ready to move on from her mother’s passing, she also doesn’t want her dad to lose Lauren. At the kids’ behest, Jim goes to Lauren’s house to give her flowers, only to find Mark there, pretending to be back with Lauren. Tyler gets excited to see Jim and wants to play ball, but Jim sadly leaves and Mark bails on his son again. Mark later tries to make a move on Lauren, but she refuses since he has continuously failed to be a good father, as well as having an affair with his receptionist during their marriage.
That following Saturday, Lauren and Brendan go to support Tyler at his game, along with Jen, Dick, who Jen has worked things out with, and his kids. Mark, once again, is a no-show. Jim and his daughters arrive to show encouragement, inspiring Tyler to hit the ball. Jim then finds Lauren and they admit to wanting to be together, and they finally kiss, to the happiness of their kids.
Directed by: Frank Coraci
Starring: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Emma Fuhrmann, Terry Crews, Joel McHale, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Kevin Nealon, Bella Thorne
Screenplay by: Clare Sera, Ivan Menchell
Cinematography by: Julio Macat
Film Editing by: Tom Costain
Costume Design by: Christine Wada
Set Decoration by: Andrew McCarthy, Karen O’Hara
Music by: Rupert Gregson-Williams
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual content, and language.
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: May 23, 2014
Taglines: She thought she was out.
Veronica Mars, former high school sleuth, has moved to New York City nine years after the events of Season 3. She wishes to distance herself as far from her hometown Neptune as possible, but is forced to return to her old hometown when her old boyfriend Logan Echolls is once again accused of murder.
Veronica Mars is an American neo-noir mystery comedy-drama film co-written, produced, and directed by Rob Thomas and co-written with Diane Ruggiero. It is a continuing film adaptation based on Thomas’ UPN/CW television series of the same name and stars Kristen Bell reprising her role as the title character. Its executive producers are Joel Silver, Bell, and Jenny Hinkey. Warner Bros. Pictures opened the film in the United States theatrically and on video-on-demand on March 14, 2014.
About the Story
Nine years after the events of the show’s third season, former teenage sleuth Veronica Mars has left the fictional town of Neptune, California and moved to New York City, where she is in a stable relationship with Stosh “Piz” Piznarski and has a job offer from the prestigious law firm Truman-Mann and Associates. She is contacted by her ex-boyfriend Logan Echolls, now a Lieutenant in the United States Navy, who has been accused of murdering his girlfriend Carrie Bishop, a fellow Neptune High student who became a successful but self-destructive pop star under the stage name “Bonnie DeVille”. He is being bombarded for offers of representation from lawyers, and Veronica agrees to return to Neptune and help Logan find one who will best represent him. She is reunited with her father Keith Mars, Neptune’s former sheriff-turned-private investigator, who shows her how corruption and classism is rife under Sheriff Dan Lamb.
Despite her claims that her stay will be brief and she will not get involved, Veronica begins to investigate the circumstances of Carrie’s death. During her investigation, Veronica is dragged to her ten year high school reunion by friends Wallace Fennell and Cindy “Mac” MacKenzie. There, she learns that former outlaw biker Eli “Weevil” Navarro is now a reformed family man. During the reunion, Veronica realizes Carrie’s murder is connected to the death of Carrie’s best friend, Susan Knight, who disappeared off a boat at sea nine years earlier.
After Veronica’s nemesis Madison Sinclair plays a copy of Veronica’s college sex tape with Piz, a fight breaks out. The reunion comes to an abrupt end as Veronica sets the sprinklers off, with Veronica punching out Madison after Madison verbally harasses Veronica further. Veronica attends an after party and speaks with Dick Casablancas, Luke Haldeman and his fiancée Gia Goodman, and Stu “Cobb” Cobbler, all of whom were with Susan and Carrie on the boat the night Susan disappeared.
Meanwhile, while driving home from the reunion, Weevil stops to help a driver being harassed by bikers, only to be shot by the driver, a nervous Celeste Kane. The sheriff’s department plants a gun so that Celeste can claim self-defense, and Keith agrees to prove Weevil’s innocence.
Veronica concludes that those on Susan’s boat nine years ago covered up the circumstances of her death, and that someone killed Carrie because she threatened to confess. Compromising videos of Carrie are posted online and Veronica traces them back to Vinnie Van Lowe, who has been planting spyware on celebrities and selling the footage.
Veronica uses Vinnie’s footage to prove Gia lured Logan out to Carrie’s home the night of her murder, suggesting she and Luke killed Carrie and framed Logan. Lamb blatantly ignores her evidence and refuses to follow up, but unbeknownst to him Veronica records the conversation. Having stayed in Neptune longer than planned, Veronica calls Piz in New York to explain that she cannot return yet, and Piz breaks off their relationship. Truman-Mann rescinds their job offer, which results in an argument between Keith and Veronica about what she’s doing with her life.
Directed by: Rob Thomas
Starring: Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Krysten Ritter, Ryan Hansen, Francis Capra, Percy Daggs, Chris Lowell, Tina Majorino, Enrico Colantoni
Screenplay by: Rob Thomas, Diane Ruggiero
Production Design by: Jeff Schoen
Cinematography: Ben Kutchins
Film Editing by: Daniel Gabbe
Costume Design by: Genevieve Tyrrell
Set Decoration by: Cindy Coburn, Jill McGraw
Music by: Josh Kramon
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexuality including references, drug content, violence and some strong language.
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: March 14, 2014