Tagged: Ann Harada


Summary: Life hasn’t been fair to Maura (Amy Poehler) and Kate Ellis (Tina Fey). When the sisters learn that their parents Bucky (James Brolin) and Deana (Dianne Wiest) are selling the home that they grew up in it makes them realise that life certainly hasn’t turned out the way it was supposed to for either of them.

Maura hasn’t been in a relationship in a long time and through reliving some of Kate’s memories of their teenage years has realised that she has never really lived at all. Meanwhile Kate who was once the party girl is constantly getting fired and is struggling in her relationship with her daughter. Frustrated with the way things are the two girls decide to live once more by throwing one last party in their family home.

Year: 2015

Australian Cinema Release Date: 7th January 2016

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Jason Moore

Screenwriter: Paula Pell

Cast: Ike Barinholtz (James), Samantha Bee (Liz), James Brolin (Bucky Ellis), Dan Byrd (Patrick Campbell), Christina Beth Campbell (Young Maura Ellis Age 10), John Cena (Pazuzu), Mia Ciccarelle (Young Maura Ellis Age 6), Samantha Blaire Cutler (Young Kate Age 12), Madison Davenport (Haley), Rachel Dratch (Kelly), Scott Drummond (Officer Higgins), Tina Fey (Kate Ellis), Santino Fantana (Mr. Geernt), Sue Galloway (Jolene Barme), Jon Glaser (Dan), Renee Elise Goldsberry (Kim), Ann Harada (Jean), Brian D’Arcy James (Jerry), Greta Lee (Hae-Won), John Leguizamo (Dave), Britt Lower (Mrs. Geernt), John Lutz (Joel Barme), Adrian Martinez (Officer Harris), Heather Matarazzo (Denny), Kate McKinnon (Sam), Bobby Moynihan (Alex), Matt Oberg (Rob), Chris Parnell (Phil), Paula Pell (Dana), Amy Poehler (Maura Ellis), Maya Rudolph (Brinda), Emily Tarver (Brayla), Kristen Vincent (Young Kate Age 6), Colleen Werthmann (Cray), Dianne Wiest (Deana Ellis)

Runtime: 118 mins

Classification: CTC




David Griffiths:

The female members of America’s comedy set have been on fire when it has come to films over the past few years. While the likes of Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell have delivered bomb after bomb the women have produced hit after hit. Films like Bridesmaids and Trainwreck have seen the likes of Kristen Wiig and Amy Schumer become household names right around the world. Now comes Amy Poehler and Tina Fey’s (who bring Maya Rudolph along for the ride) new celluloid baby Sisters. The good news while it is doesn’t exactly reach the heights of some of the other films previously mentioned it certainly works and haves you laughing throughout.

What works about Sisters may completely surprise audiences out there. If you’re expecting a smart comedy like Bridesmaids then keep moving because Sisters is very much the female version of a film like American Pie. Directed by Jason Moore (who brought us Pitch Perfect) and written by long-time Saturday Night Live writer Paula Pell Sisters is all about grown women acting badly and Poehler and Fey just seem to lap it up.

In this politically correct time it is surprising what Sisters gets away with. The jokes range from quips about both male and female genitalia right through to the right and wrong ways to announce Asian names. Of course most of the humour centres on the wild antics of the party guests at Maura and Kate’s party-to-end-all-parties but the film also takes some time to take a look at some more serious things such as the fractured relationship between a mother and a daughter through to people realising that their lives have gone completely off track.

The fact that the party provides most of the laughs is a stroke of comedic genius in itself. While there may be one of two too many sight gags the film keeps you laughing all the time. Thanks not only to the humour delivered by Poehler and Fey but also by Ike Barinholtz (who plays Poehler’s love interest), Bobby Moynihan who plays lovable-drug-fuelled-loser Alex and Maya Rudolph who seems to love playing rejected party guest Brinda. Along with other cameo roles, such as John Leguizamo and John Cena, these smaller characters in the film seem to come together and just deliver laugh and laugh and soon you find yourself barracking for more than just the lead characters. Moore and Pell’s decision to allow this to happen may have been a huge risk but it pays off for them time after time.

Of course the stars here though are Poehler and Fey and both just seem to feed off the comedic talent and energy that is around them. However that doesn’t mean that they allow themselves to res on their laurels. No these two work ultra hard as well and while they deliver the laughs that were scripted for them amazingly well you also get the feeling that a lot of this film has been ad-libbed by the pair and that works well as well. While the world may have been concentrating on the new breed of Amy Schumer and co over the past few years it is obvious that Fey and Poehler want to show the world that they are still in the peaks of their career as well.

So many of these party movies fail every year but here Sisters works brilliantly well. While I wouldn’t exactly describe it as a top comedy it does more than enough to keep the laughs coming throughout the film, okay you may even have a couple of laughter explosions during it, and that is more than you can say for a lot of the comedies that are around these days. Even better is the fact that this is some of Poehler and Fey’s finest work and is a must for those that love their brand of comedy.




Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(3)


IMDB Rating: Sisters (2015) on IMDb


Other Subculture Entertainment Sisters reviews: You can listen to our full Sisters  review on a future episode of  The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show. You can also read our Sisters review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.



Summary:Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) are a devoted couple, but decades of marriage have left Kay wanting to spice things up and reconnect with her husband. When she hears of a renowned couple s specialist (Steve Carell) in the small town of Great Hope Springs, she attempts to persuade her skeptical husband, a steadfast man of routine, to get on a plane for a week of marriage therapy. Just convincing the stubborn Arnold to go on the retreat is hard enough – the real challenge for both of them comes as they shed their bedroom hang-ups and try to re-ignite the spark that caused them to fall for each other in the first place.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 23rd August, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: 21st December, 2012

Country: United States

Director: David Frankel

Screenwriter: Vanessa Taylor

Cast: Becky Ann Baker (Cora), Rogina Bedell-O’Brien (Rogina), Steve Carell (Dr. Feld), Rony Clanton (Ronnie), Lee Cunningham (Lee), Patch Darragh (Mark), Stephen Lee Davis (Steve), Daniel Flaherty (Danny), Jack Haley (Jack), Ann Harada (Ann), Marin Ireland (Molly), Tommy Lee Jones (Arnold), Paul Jude Letersky (Paul), Susan Misner (Dana), Ben Rappaport (Brad), Brett Rice (Vince), Mimi Rogers (Carol), Madeline Ruskin (Maddie), Elisabeth Shue (Karen), Jean Smart (Eileen), John Srednecki (John), Meryl Streep (Kay), Charles Techman (Charlie), Damian Young (Mike)

Runtime: 100 mins


Dave Griffiths’s ‘Hope Springs’ Review:

There is little point two stellar actors turning up and delivering brilliant performances if they are going to be let down by a film that may indeed have heart but lacks any real creativity. That is the sad fact about new romantic comedy (for the older generation), Hope Springs.

Screenwriter Vanessa Taylor (The Amazing Mrs. Novak, TV’S Game Of Thrones) sets a pretty simple story. Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones – Men In Black 3, Captain America: The First Avenger) and Kay (Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady, TV’S Web Therapy) have been married for thirty years and now the kids are out of the house they should be having the time of their lives but they aren’t. There is no passion left in their marriage, they don’t even sleep in the same beds – each day has become a grind that Arnold doesn’t seem to mind but has Kay at wit’s end.

Annoyed with how things are going Kay decides to take action. After reading a book by relationship expert Dr. Feld (Steve Carell – Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, Crazy Stupid Love) she decides to pay the $4000 and travel to his relationship centre so she and Arnold can undertake his marriage-saving course. The only trouble is at first Arnold does want to go, and even after Kay has convinced him to take the trip he is sure there is nothing wrong with their marriage and that Dr. Feld is a shark out to make some quick money.

Director David Frankel (The Big Year, Marley & Me) really did nothing to try and save Hope Springs from becoming a tiresome watch. Taylor’s script sets a lot of the film in Dr. Feld’s office and while the dialogue is good it certainly isn’t great enough to make these scenes flow, there is almost a collective sigh from the audience every time the film goes back to the office. The sad fact is that these scenes could have been made more interesting either by Taylor doing a rewrite or Frankel being adventurous enough to change the setting.

The second major fault of the script is not giving Kay and Arnold someone to talk to other than Dr. Feld. Kay mildly opens up to Karen (Elisabeth Shue – TV’S C.S.I. & American Dad) which works well, but then after that scene Karen disappears, never to be seen again. As for Arnold well it’s left up to the audience to try and figure out what is going on inside his head.

Having said that the acting of both Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones is sensational but you do have to feel for poor Steve Carell who is completely wasted in his role. He rarely leaves his chair and despite the fact Carrel has shown in the past that he is brilliant at comedy and can hold his own with drama, here is called upon to do neither.

Hope Springs fails miserably due to the fact that it is such a tedious watch. The acting may be great but the script certainly isn’t.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of Hope Springs: http://www.helium.com/items/2364180-movie-reviews-hope-springs-2012.

Rating: 2/5 Stars

IMDB Rating:Hope Springs (2012) on IMDb