Tagged: Zac Efron

Bad Neighbours

Summary: A young family find their lives turned upside down when they suddenly find themselves living next door to a college fraternity house.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 8th May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Nicholas Stoller

Screenwriter: Andrew J. Cohen, Bendan O’Brien

Cast: Chastey Ballesteros (Alecia), Ike Barinholtz (Jimmy), Hannibal Buress (Officer Watkins), Rose Byrne (Kelly Radner), Robbie Carlysle (Dr. Junk), Jerrod Carmichael (Garf), Ilia Constantine (Tiger), Ali Corbin (Whitney), Zach Cosby (Stink), Zac Efron (Teddy Sanders), Dave Franco (Pete), Carla Gallo (Paula), Brian Huskey (Bill Wazowkowski), Jake Johnson, Wendy Knight (Liz Cackowski), Lisa Kudrow (Carol Gladstone), Jason Mantzoukas (Dr. Theodorakis), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Scoonie), Bobby Moynihan, Demetice Nguyen (Noah), Randall Park, Craig Roberts (Assjuice), Seth Rogen (Mac Radner), Halston Sage (Brooke), Pascal Shin (Justin), Kira Sternbach (Brittany), Elise Vargas (Stella), Zoey Vargas (Stella), D.J. Waldman (Ruth Bader Ginsburg)

Runtime: N/A

Classification:CTC

OUR BAD NEIGHBOURS REVIEWS & RATINGS:

David Griffiths:

The last few years haven’t been kind to the whole comedy genre… especially with the films coming out of Hollywood. Adam Sandler has continued on his merry way of delivering absolute rubbish and he seems to have dragged down most other comedy teams down with him. The exceptions were Ted and Bad Grandpa, films that nailed there mark and achieved exactly what they set out to do… and that is make people laugh. Now comes another film that could join the class of those two – Bad Neighbours – which in my case made me laugh so much I couldn’t breathe.

With Nicholas Stoller (the director who brought us Forgetting Sarah Marshall) at the helm Bad Neighbours sees young married couple Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly Radner (Rose Byrne) trying to come to the terms that they are now the parents of a young daughter named Stella. They both want to remain cool, they want to attend raves, smoke their weed but somehow still be good parents. It seems to be a losing battle though with the pair falling asleep before they even make it out the front door at times.

Then their world literally changes when the house next door to them is bought by a college fraternity. A frat house that is led by the misdirected Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron), the nerdy but cool Pete (Dave Franco) and the appendage ‘gifted’ Scoonie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). At first Mac and Kelly try to befriend the frat and it seems like the film is heading down the ‘buddy film’ route but then an incident involving the Police soon turns things sour.

With the division lines drawn between Mac and Kelly and Teddy and co a ‘brutal’ neighbourhood war breaks out which sees the Frat house still trying to organise an event they will always be remembered for while finding themselves under the watchful eye of their Dean, Carol Gladstone (Lisa Kudrow) who will do anything to keep their college from ‘negative headlines.’ With this in mind Mac and Kelly devise a plan to bring down the Frat.

The reason Bad Neighbours works so well is because as director Stoller leads this film to go directly where he wants it to go, and do what he wants it to do – and that is make people laugh. Sure the screenplay could have gone into some massive back stories for all the characters involved, but that would have bogged down the film and made it a bit of snore-fest with some laughs just splattered here and then… much the same as Judd Apatow’s recent efforts.

But Stoller and crew take a different route here. Instead it sets up nearly all the characters as likable but reveals very little about anything else. You like them, you care for them… bang that’s all it really needs. Stoller then loads up on gags that actually work – the proof being that in the large audience I saw this film in that people of all ages were reduced to laughing until they cried.

There does need to be a little warning though, at times the humour in the film does very crass, and if you didn’t like films like Ted or American Pie etc then this isn’t the film for you. To those that did like these kinds of films though you will be in absolute heaven as the script tries, and pulls off, varies styles of humour from witty one liners, to sight gags and some brilliant gross-out humour that will at times have you laughing while trying to cover your eyes.

Also making Bad Neighbours the good film that it becomes is the cast. Seth Rogen is on absolute fire here. He points behind him the disappointment of films like The Green Hornet and once again reminds audiences why he should still be considered one of the best comedic leading men of our age. He is also well supported by Rose Byrne who completely surprised Australian audiences when she seemingly turned her back on dramatic acting and was cast in Bridesmaids. Since then she has shown just what a fine comedic actress she is, and she continues that here in Bad Neighbours as she plays a Mum desperate to be cool. Some actresses of Byrne’s calibre might agree to do a film like this but shirk away from some of the more risqué scenes, but here Byrne gladly lines up with Rogen to deliver some ‘interesting’ scenes including one that sees her get ‘milked like a cow.’

Despite the limits of their characterisation the actors behind the Frat boy team also come to the fore. Christopher Mintz-Plasse simply does what is asked of him while Dave Franco seems to turn the clock back and seems much younger then he actually is. Like Byrne he also once again reminds audiences that he too is up to pulling off comedic roles when it is asked of him. The star of the Frat boys though is of course Zac Efron who has delivered a mixture of films since ending the High School Musical franchise. From gritty films such as The Paperboy to comedies such as this one he has really revealed himself as a young actor who is more than just a pretty face and can deliver whatever is asked of him.

Bad Neighbours is the kind of film where everything comes together perfectly. A hilarious script, some great comedic directing and a cast willing to go to great lengths for laughs all come together and deliver one of the funniest films to have surfaced in a long time. It’s crass and wrong but this is a film will have you in stitches.

Stars(4)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(4)

IMDB Rating:  Neighbors (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Bad Neighbours′: Nil.

Trailer:

That Awkward Moment

Summary: Three best friends find themselves where we’ve all been – at that confusing moment in every dating relationship when you have to decide “So…where is this going?

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 13th February, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Tom Gormican

Screenwriter: Tom Gormican

Cast: Mackenzie Davis (Chelsea), Zac Efron (Jason), Lola Glaudini (Sharon), Rachel Heller (Rachel), Michael B. Jordan (Mikey), Jessica Lucas (Vera), Karen Ludwig (Mrs. Rose), Emily Meade (Christy), Demetrice Nguyen (Michael), Josh Pais (Fred), Imogen Poots (Ellie), Alysia Reiner (Amanda Silverman), Miles Teller (Jason), Addison Timlin (Alana), Evelina Turen (Sophie)

Runtime: 95 mins

Classification:MA15+

OUR ARE WE OFFICIALLY DATING REVIEWS & RATINGS

David Griffiths:

It seems like Hollywood is hellbent on creating an alternative style romantic comedy at the moment. Right on the heels of Drinking Buddies comes Are We Officially Dating which we for our U.S. audience is in fact That Awkward Moment which has been repackaged for the Australian market. So why the name change? It does seem unnecessary but perhaps it was done to avoid reviewers using lines such as ‘that awkward moment when you realise that despite its cast this film isn’t very good’ or ‘that awkward moment when you realise the film’s screenwriter needs to go back to film school.’

Are We Officially Dating follows three best friends who are now out of college and trying to make their way in the big wide world. First off there is attractive artist Jason (Zac Efron) who can have any woman he wants… as long as he doesn’t have to date them or they begin a sentence with the word ‘so…’

Then there is the more reserved doctor Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) who thinks he has the perfect life until his wife surprises him with the news that she wants a divorce and that she has been sleeping with her lawyer. Last but not least there is Daniel (Miles Teller) who is really a lovable loser but thinks he is God’s gift to women.

The film sees Mikey try recover gracefully from his divorce and try to win his wife back while Daniel and Jason try to recruit him into their lifestyle choice of just seeing various women whenever they want and ditching them when they get tired of them.

I’m sure in the mind of screenwriter/director Tom Gormican he was developing an alternative romantic comedy that would be to men what Sex And The City is to women. However, what he has ended up doing is created a clichéd signposted movie that pretty much offers no surprises to its audience at all because he follows the formula to a tee. From the instant these three sprout the lines “let’s stay single” you just know this is going to be one of those romantic comedies where the exact opposite happens. Although I’ve never really seen it happen literally five minutes later in a film like is the case here.

Gormican tries to do what he can to make this film ‘alternative.’ Firstly there is the hipster world of novel front-cover art, there is the fact that he allows his cast to ad-lib most of their scenes (which hits the spot on occasions, but also fails from time-to-time as well) and then there is his failed attempt at trying to make these men seem real by giving them unusual quirks such as the fact that whenever Daniel goes to Jason’s house he has to do a number two in the toilet. Yes Gormican seems to think toilet humor will make up for the weak script, but then what do you expect from a filmmaker whose only previous film experience was that of a producer on Movie 43.

It is hard to work out exactly what audience Gormican would think would fall in love with this film. It’s potentially too lovey dovey for most male audience members while the behaviour and bodily functions of the three leading men would have most women also screwing up their nose. Even the central female characters, Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis) and Ellie (Imogen Poots), seem to not work because on one hand they seem to be screaming “we are strong independent women we can do anything” while on the other hand also adding “but we really need a man by our side no matter how they treat us.”

It is hard to work out why most of the actors featured in the cast aligned themselves to this film. Zac Efron has recently shown that he is above cheesy films with his role in The Paperboy while even Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller come off good performances of their own in films such as Fruitvale Station and The Spectacular Now. All three are way above this kind of film, as is Imogen Poots who is left in a role that just simply flounders along.

Are We Officially Dating? is the kind of film that you watch once, laugh at a couple of the jokes that do work, such as Jason thinking Ellie is a prostitute, and then spend the rest of time dissecting everything that was wrong with the film. Yes, Hollywood still hasn’t managed to create a good alternative love film.

Stars(2)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(2)

IMDB Rating:  That Awkward Moment (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Are We Officially Dating′: Nil

Trailer:

That Awkward Moment

Some special character trailers have been released for Tom Gormican’s new romantic comedy “That Awkward Moment.” Character trailers have been released for Ellie (Imogen Poots), mikey (Michael B. Jordan), Daniel (Miles Teller) and Jason (Zac Efron). The film will be released on the 31st January, 2014 in the U.S.

You can view the That Awkward Moment Character Trailers below.

Django Unchained

Well the sun has set on another year in cinema land. Films came, films went. Some exceeded expectations, others went away quickly never to be watched again. But if you are looking for the cream of the crop in 2013, then these are this writer’s favorite ten films.

“Django Unchained” – This is a borderline film for most people’s Top Ten lists this year. In some countries it opened in 2012, in other countries it opened in January 2013, so let’s call it a 2013 film. “Django Unchained” was director/screenwriter Quentin Tarantino at his absolute best. The script sizzled with great one liners and brilliant characterization and while the film did lapse a little (incidentally at about the time that Tarantino himself appeared on the screen), the film did more than enough to be one of this year’s best films. As if the script wasn’t enough to win you over, you then have some marvellous performances by Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson that make this film a must see.

“The Way Way Back” – Every now and then a coming-of-age film comes along that reminds you just how good this genre can be when it is done the right way. Directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash certainly go the formula right when they put together “The Way Way Back.” The film saw Steve Carell play one of the best against-type roles of all time as he played the emotional abusive father of Duncan (Liam James) while Sam Rockwell put in one of the finest performances of his career as he played the fun-loving owner of a water theme park. If you didn’t get to see “The Way Way Back” when it hit cinemas make sure you check it out when it reaches shelves on DVD.

“Mud” – There was a time when actor Matthew McConaughey was considered a joke. He acted in poorly written romantic comedies that used him more for his looks rather than acting ability. As a result people started to believe that McConaughey was a poor actor, but he turned that around with some great performances in “Bernie” and “Magic Mike.” 2013 saw McConaughey deliver another powerful performance in “Mud,” a small-time drama in which he plays an escaped convict using an island as a hideaway who uses two local boys Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) to help him escape. Director, Jeff Nichols, manages to make this drama an intense thriller by drawing the audience in and making them wonder exactly what Mud is hiding or willing to do in his escape.

“Rust And Bone” – When people talk about some of the acting performances of 2013, it is surprising how many people seem to skip right over Marion Cotillard’s performance in French film “Rust And Bone.” In what is at times a harrowing film Cotillard plays Stephanie, a young woman who loses her legs in an accident involving a killer whale at the marine park at which she works. In an extraordinary piece of screenwriting, Stephanie’s life is completely turned upside down when she meets Alain (Matthias Schoenaerts), an out-of-luck guy who loves to get involved in backyard fights. “Rust And Bone” may have been a gritty drama, but it is also one of the most intense romances to have surfaced in 2013, making it one of the most underrated films of the year.

“Prisoners” – One of the biggest surprises of this year has been the fact that when all the talk of Oscar nominations has been circulating, the film “Prisoners” hasn’t been getting more love. To be blunt “Prisoners” is one of the best crime thrillers to have surfaced since “Silence Of The Lambs.” Director, Denis Villeneuve makes this an intense thriller that sees Australian Hugh Jackman play Keller Dover a father who is pushed to the absolute extreme when his daughter goes missing along with her friend. Out-acting Jackman, just, is Jake Gyllenhaal who plays one of the most intriguing script cops of all time in Detective Loki. This is one crime thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end.

“Flight” – With “Flight,” cinema goers walked into the cinema expecting to see another disaster film. Denzel Washington would play a pilot who had to save a plane load of people as something went wrong … it would be a simple film right? Director, Robert Zameckis surprised everyone by delivering a film that opened with pilot, Whip Whitaker (Washington) snorting cocaine and drinking before boarding a flight. The film then became a well-written thriller after the plane crashes and the investigation tries to work out whether Whip is a hero or a villain. Sensational writing and a great performance by Washington makes for one hell of a film.

“The Paperboy” – One of the other big surprises of 2013 was the film “The Paperboy.” Zac Efron doesn’t normally spell one of the films of the year but this time the young actor really delivered. Efron plays Jack Jansen, a young boy that works at his father’s local newspaper who teams up with his older brother Ward (Matthew McConaughey) who is a journalist working on a racial murder case. Director, Lee Daniels, gets the absolute best out of his cast. Efron and McConaughey are sensational and are well supported by Nicole Kidman and John Cusack, who both act against type remarkably well.

“Broken” – Just when it looked like it was going to be a lean year for British films along came “Broken.” Directed by Rufus Norris “Broken” was a nasty little film that showed British society at its absolute worst. Told through the eyes of a young girl named Skunk (Eloise Laurence), “Broken” tells the story of the violent events that occur at the end of what should be quite English street. From a man who accused of being a sexual monster, to a broken marriage that is affecting some young children and a father who simply cannot cope any more, this is a film where the audience is left wondering who (if anyone) is going to be left emotionally okay (or even alive) by the final credits. “Broken” is British drama at its best.

“What Maisie Knew” – Another surprisingly good film for 2013. On the surface “What Maisie Knew” looked like it would be a film that should be on the Hallmark channel. Instead it became a gritty drama told through the eyes of a young girl named Maisie (Onata Aprile). This young girl becomes the victim of a bitter custody battle between her washed up rock star mother, Susanna (Julianne Moore), and her proud art-dealing Dad, Beale (Steve Coogan). The film had the power to emotionally affect anybody watching it as it soon becomes painfully plain that neither parents want the girl; they just don’t want their ex-partner to have her. “What Maisie Knew” delivers one of the most emotional scripts of the year.

“The Railway Man” – Rounding out the top ten is a late contender with the Australian/British co-production “The Railway Man.” Over the years a lot of filmmakers have told the story of how men cope when they return from war. Few, however, have focused on a story where a victim returns and faces the man who tortured them. Based on a hit novel, “The Railway Man” centers around Eric Lomax (Colin Firth), a man whose war demons come to the surface after he has married Patricia Wallace (Nicole Kidman). As the ghosts who have haunted him since he was a POW forced to work on the Thai Burma Railway come to the fore, Patricia inspires him to return to the scene of the crime, unaware that it will result in a tense standoff with Nagase (Hiroyuki Sanada). The scenes of the two men confronting each other made for some of the best cinematic moments of 2013.

It would be neglectful not to also mention the following films when talking about the best films of 2013. Also worth a look is “Thanks For Sharing” (with a surprisingly good performance by Pink), “Lygon Street: Si Parla Italiano,” “West Memphis Three,” “Trance,” “A Place Beyond The Pines,” “Performance (A Late Quartet),” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Compliance,” “The Impossible,” “Warm Bodies” and “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.”

Now that 2013 is out of the way, it is time to wait and see what new gems film lovers can uncover in 2014. Bring it on!

The Good The Bad The Ugly

This week Dave, Nick, Adam and Greg take a look at new release films Cloud Atlas, Side Effects, I Give It A Year, Save Your Legs!, The Imposter and The Paperboy. Plus they took an in depth look at all The Oscars wrap-up and have Part 1 of their look at the 2013 Alliance French Film Festival. This episode also features interview with Zac Efron, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jude Law, Scott Burns, Channing Tatum, Rooney Mara, Minnie Driver, Dan Mazer, Rose Byrne, Rafe Spall, Anna Faris, Simon Baker, Stephen Merchant, Jason Flemying, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess, James D’Arcy, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, Ben Whishaw, Jim Broadbent, Keith David, Lana Wachowski and the cast of Housos vs Authority.

Also make sure you listen for your chance to win a copy of ‘Storm Surfers 3D’ on Blu-Ray thanks to Madman Entertainment.

The Paperboy

Summary: Jack Jansen (Zach Efron) welcomes his brother Ward (Matthew McConaughey) home after a long absence. Accompanied by his British writing partner Yardley (David Oyelowo), Ward is intrigued by the plight of Charlotte Bless (Nicole Kidman in her wild Golden Globe nominated role) and a prisoner she swears is innocent: Hilary Van Wetter (John Cusack). Hoping to uncover a miscarriage of justice, Ward and Yardley become tangled in the sweaty, sun-drenched web spun by their subjects while Jack finds himself increasingly obsessed with the flirtatious Charlotte.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 28th February, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States

Director: Lee Daniels

Screenwriter: Lee Daniels, Peter Dexter

Cast: Camille Balsamo (Pam), Ned Bellamy (Tyree Van Wetter), Ava Bogle (Renee), Johnny Carson (himself), Gary Clarke (Weldon Pine), John Cusack (Hillary Van Wetter), Zac Efron (Jack Jansen), John P. Fertitta (Sam Ellison), Scott Glenn (W.W. Jansen), Nealla Gordon (Ellen Guthrie), Macy Gray (Anita Chester), Danny Hanemann (Sheriff Thurmond Call), Leslie Hippensteel (Kim), Nicole Kidman (Charlotte Bless), Corrina Lyons (Cousin Alice), Matthew McConaughey (Ward Jansen), Nikolette Noel (Nancy), Jay Oliver (Mr. Guthrie), David Oyelowo (Yardley Acheman), Adam Sibley (Eugene), Robyn Sprehe (Miss Betty), Katarzyna Wolejinio (Jennifer)

Runtime: 108 mins

Classification:MA15+

Dave Griffiths’s ‘The Paperboy’ Review: Please check Dave’s review of ‘The Paperboy’ that is available on the Helium Entertainment Channel.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘The Paperboy′: Check Episode #22 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘The Paperboy’.

Rating: 4.5/5

IMDB Rating:The Paperboy (2012) on IMDb