VOD Release Dates: 27th May (2021 (Australia), 27th May 2021 (Thailand), 27th May 2021 (UK), 27th May 2021 (USA)
Director: Ben Winston
Screenwriter: David Crane, Marta Kauffman
Cast: Jennifer Aniston (self), David Beckham (self), Justin Bieber (self), Kevin Bright (self), BTS (themselves), James Corden (self), David Crane (self), Cindy Crawford (self), Courtney Cox (self), Cara Delevingne (self), Elliott Gould (self), Larry Hankin (self), Lisa Kudrow (self), Lady Gaga (self), Kit Harington (self), Mind Kaling (self), Marta Kaufman (self), Matt Le Blanc (self), Thomas Lennon (self), Matthew Perry (self), Christina Pickles (self), David Schwimmer (self), Tom Selleck (self), James Michael Taylor (self), Maggie Wheeler (self), Reese Witherspoon (self), Malala Yousafzai (self)
Running Time: 104 mins
Classification: PG (Australia), TV-14 (USA)
OUR FRIENDS: THE REUNION REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ Friends: The Reunion Review:
It was the television event that every Friends fan wanted… except it wasn’t. There is no doubting the world domination that hit sitcom Friends had during its ten season run from 1994. This wasn’t just a show that people gathered around the water cooler to talk about at work, this was a show that popular radio shows would spend an hour talking about the morning after each episode aired.
Such was the popularity that when the show folded and its spin-off Joey died a quick death fans already started to speculate when the cast would reunite and make new episodes. There were speculations that it would happen around its tenth anniversary, while tabloid magazines wrote articles talking about networks offering huge pay-days to the cast if they wanted to return to the characters that made them famous.
Finally in 2021 fans have had the chance to see Jennifer Aniston (We’re The Millers), David Schimmer (Band Of Brothers), Courtney Cox (Scream), Matthew Perry (The Whole Nine Yards), Lisa Kudrow (Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion) and Matt Le Blanc (Lost In Space) all back together but this is not really the format that most fans would have expected for the reunion. From what fans have been saying online for the past decade it is easy to see that they wanted new episodes that answered questions like are Monica and Chandler still living happily in suburban bliss and did Rachel and Ross stay together or take another ‘break.’
That isn’t what fans got though and instead they got a sit down interview hosted by talk show host and actor James Corden which has resulted in one of the most watched television events of 2021 –Friends: The Reunion.
Now while this wasn’t the reunion that many of the fans were eagerly anticipating this was far from a letdown. A lot of the main cast have remained very private about their time on the show over the years and even despite the popularity that Aniston and Cox have found with other projects they have often remained tight-lipped during interviews about their time on Friends and whether or not there would ever be a chance of new episodes. To hear the cast talk openly about their time on the show and what was going on behind the scenes is refreshing and the style in which director Ben Winston (Carpool Karaoke) gives the show more of a documentary feeling than that of a talk show.
Watching the cast re-visit the set of the show they called home for over a decade is an emotional experience for any hardcore Friends fan. That also sets up exactly what Friends: The Reunion is going to be like. This is a special where the main cast put their hearts on the line – where they talk about the obstacles that they faced to earn a role on the show and then watch them cry as they remember the moments that made this tight-knit cast a family.
There is no denying that is the moments when the cast are talking amongst themselves on their old set and the interviews with the show’s creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman that provide the show with its most powerful moments, but that certainly doesn’t take anything away from Corden’s interview either. With his now familiar laid back style Corden throws in some tough questions while making the interview feel like a friendly chat in a pub. He gets the cast to answer whether or not we will ever see any more episodes of Friends and even exposes a behind-the-scenes romance that almost happened between two of the cast members.
The silly games and almost pointless appearances of people like Justin Bieber in the special do feel like filler but it is when Crane and Corden take this special into the documentary style that makes this something special for all fans of Friends. While this isn’t the reunion that many expected it is certainly not a waste of time for hardcore Friends fans.
In the sequel to DreamWorks Animation’s Oscar®-nominated blockbuster comedy, the Templeton brothers—Tim (James Marsden, X-Men franchise) and his Boss Baby little bro Ted (Alec Baldwin)—have become adults and drifted away from each other. Tim is now a married stay-at-home dad. Ted is a hedge fund CEO. But a new boss baby with a cutting-edge approach and a can-do attitude is about to bring them together again … and inspire a new family business.
Tim and his wife, Carol (Eva Longoria), the breadwinner of the family, live in the suburbs with their super-smart 7-year-old daughter Tabitha (Ariana Greenblatt, Avengers: Infinity War), and adorable new infant Tina (Amy Sedaris, Netflix’s BoJack Horseman). Tabitha, who’s at the top her class at the prestigious Acorn Centre for Advanced Childhood, idolizes her Uncle Ted and wants to become like him, but Tim, still in touch with his overactive youthful imagination, worries that she’s working too hard and is missing out on a normal childhood. When baby Tina reveals that she’s—ta-da!—a top secret agent for BabyCorp on a mission to uncover the dark secrets behind Tabitha’s school and its mysterious founder, Dr. Edwin Armstrong (Jeff Goldblum), it will reunite the Templeton brothers in unexpected ways, lead them to re-evaluate the meaning of family and discover what truly matters.
Lisa Kudrow and Jimmy Kimmel also reprise their roles as Ted and Tim’s parents.
Building on the success of the first film, which earned more than $500 million worldwide, The Boss Baby: Family Business is directed by returning filmmaker Tom McGrath and is produced by Jeff Hermann (Kung Fu Panda 3).
In the sequel to DreamWorks Animation’s Oscar®-nominated blockbuster comedy, the Templeton brothers—Tim (James Marsden, X-Men franchise) and his Boss Baby little bro Ted (Alec Baldwin)—have become adults and drifted away from each other. Tim is now a married stay-at-home dad. Ted is a hedge fund CEO. But a new boss baby with a cutting-edge approach and a can-do attitude is about to bring them together again… and inspire a new family business.
When baby Tina reveals that she’s—ta-da!—a top secret agent for BabyCorp on a mission to uncover the dark secrets behind Tabitha’s school and its mysterious founder, Dr. Erwin Armstrong (Jeff Goldblum), it will reunite the Templeton brothers in unexpected ways, lead them to re-evaluate the meaning of family and discover what truly matters.
Lisa Kudrow and Jimmy Kimmel also reprise their roles as Ted and Tim’s parents.
Summary: Just as Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) sell their home and plan on moving to the suburbs they suddenly find themselves under attack again as a sorority led by party girl Shelby (Chloe Grace Moretz) move in next door. The arrival of former frat boy Teddy (Zac Efron) has everybody asking which side he will decide to join.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 5th May 2016
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Country: United States
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Screenwriter: Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O’Brien, Nicholas Stoller, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
OUR BAD NEIGHBOURS 2: SORORITY RISING REVIEWS & RATINGS:
The last few things have shown us that comedy sequels often do not live up to original film in the franchise… especially, so it seems, if that original film was an absolute comedy gem. Comedy fans have watched as franchise after franchise have taken this ill-fated path as – Zoolander 2, Horrible Bosses 2, Hangover 2 + 3 and Anchorman 2 have all fallen well short of the brilliance that their predecessor had brought. The result was scorn from film critics and comedy lovers right around the world.
Now we find ourselves sitting down to watch Bad Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising a film born into existence after the shock success of the 2014 adult rated comedy. With much of the key cast and crew returning for a second trip you could be excused for thinking that this film would be just as good… sadly that wasn’t the case.
This time around we find young parents Mac (Seth Rogen – This Is The End) and Kelly Radner (Rose Byrne – Insidious) expecting their second child and in the middle of selling their home as they decide to move their expanding family out to the suburbs. With the house sold the couple just have to hope that nothing goes wrong during the thirty day cooling off period.
Enter Shelby (Chloe Grace Moretz – Kick-Ass) who feels that the sororities are getting the raw end of the deal when she discovers that they can’t party the same way as fraternities. Desperate to proves that girls can do it just as well as boys she moves her sorority into the house next to Mac and Kelly’s causing the couple to realise that their nightmare is coming true. Worse still is the fact that after being thrown out by his best friend, Pete (Dave Franco – Now You See Me), former fraternity leader Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron – The Lucky One) is only too happy to teach them everything he knows.
Sadly though Bad Neighbours 2 is another sequel that struggles to get anywhere near the quirkiness and humor that the first film managed to produce. The sad thing about this film is that it should have been painfully clear for anyone watching the first cuts of the film to see what had gone wrong – yes the problems here at basic but enough to sink the film.
The main thing that drags down this film is some very lazy and poor screenwriting. At times it feels like the writers here forgot key points from the first film, things such as the fact that at the end of the film Mac and Teddy met up and seemingly settled their difference, yet at the beginning of this film it feels like they haven’t seen each other since the frat moved out and Teddy still has a score to settle. Likewise much of the ‘wrong’ comedy that made the first film work so well are missing here. At the screening I was at the audience burst into laughter the 2-3 times the writers were game enough to attempt a politically incorrect joke but for the rest of time barely raised a chuckle as attempted jokes just played out on the screen in front of them.
The other big issue with Bad Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising is the members of the sorority themselves. It seems like the writers were hamstrung with what they should do with most of the female characters this time around. On one hand they set up Shelby, Nora (Beanie Feldstein – Fan Girl) and Beth (Kiersy Clemons – Dope) as bad girls who want to live up life at college. Yet when it comes to the crust of things we see anything but and the girls end up becoming walking clichés whose actions seem to become very ‘unimportant’ to the writers. In one scene a big deal is made about the fact that Shelby is a virgin yet her ‘Shelby Lost Her Virginity’ is shown in a quick ten second montage. As if that isn’t made enough the writers seem to have borrowed the characteristics of the girls from Pitch Perfect – perhaps they didn’t think we would notice that the alternative girl, the larger girl and the strange-speaking Asian character act had all been done before.
Sadly it seems the sorority was ruined by writers who seemed to want to make the characters too politically correct and as a result they lost their hard edge. Remember back to the original film when Teddy, Pete and Scoonie (Chrisopher Mintz-Plasse – How To Train Your Dragon) were politically incorrect yet also had memorable characterisation? Well all of that is missing here from the girls of the sorority and boy does it show. Perhaps the writers needed to revisit films like Valentine and Sorority Row to see how ‘bad’ sorority girls should be written.
The other unfortunate losers when it comes to the writing are the cast. Rogen and Byrne are certainly held back from delivering the good comedic performances they did in the first film and while supporting cast members like Ike Barinholtz (Sisters) and Carla Gallo (We Bought A Zoo) do get the odd laugh here and there it just isn’t enough to save the film. And as for poor Chloe Grace Moretz, well this normally good actress is reduced to a ‘nothing’ role that is best to be left off her resume.
In reigning in Bad Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising and making it more politically correct than the original film in the franchise the powers-that-be behind the film have made this a largely unfunny film that rehashes old jokes and doesn’t even deserve to live in the shadow of its much more impressive brother. Fans of the original film beware, you will not get as many laughs this time around.
Movie sequels can be very hit and miss for any number of reasons, for every Terminator 2 there’s a Terminator 3. Comedy sequels are much more miss than hit, this usually has to do with the set up for the original film not really being suited for a franchise. Some movies like 22 Jump Street or Robocop 2 feature self aware humor about this. As if the writers are nodding to the audience saying “yeah we know its silly, just go with it”. Not every comedy movie needs to break the fourth wall like this but it sometimes helps to know the filmmakers understood how ridiculous it was to make a sequel to something that was better suited as a one off. When they don’t then often the movie can come off as a shameless cash in.
Bad Neighbors 2 is the sequel to the hugely successful 2014 comedy. When we last left our protagonists new parents Mac (Seth Rogan) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) they had successfully defeated the troublesome fraternity and its leader Teddy (Zac Efron) who had moved in next door to their new home. They were content and ready to continue their lives without fear of loud late night parties next door or stray condoms in their front yard. Flash forward 2 years and Mac and Kelly are expecting a second child, despite all their money going into their new home in the first film it is apparently time to upgrade to another house in a different neighborhood. They’ve bought their new home, sold their “old” house to new home owners and are now waiting for the 30 day cool off period to end before they can officially move on. Much to their dismay at this point a sorority led by pot smoking partying Shelby (Chloe Grace Moretz) and her forgettable friends moves in to the old frat house next door and Mac and Kelly and the audience find history repeating itself.
Personally I really enjoyed the original Bad Neighbors. The characters were as believable as they needed to be, the improvisation (line-o-rama) scenes didn’t feel out of place and the humor was on par with what I expected. It was a somewhat average frat-house comedy but I enjoyed it. This movie didn’t quite match that. To be honest I didn’t have high expectations yet still I felt disappointed. Generally it feels like a lazy rehash of the original movie without any of the minimal characterization or even minimal originality which made it decent. The story largely playing out the same way we saw it 2 years ago but without the focus on the characters that was needed it streamed from one joke to the next without me ever seeing why I should care about anyone in the movie. The “this is sexist” angle is played out in such an over the top hamfisted but unfunny way im not sure why they bothered in the first place.
Bad Neighbors 2 is a movie which probably shouldn’t have been made. While not being quite as bad its very much on the Hangover 2 side of comedy sequels. I’m much more a fan of “follow ups” than sequels in this case where the same crew and principal actors make another movie in the same vein as the original rather than a straight sequel. I’d much rather Hot Fuzz than Shaun of The Dead 2. If only something similar had been done here.
Television sitcom have been a popular form of entertainment for years. Today, shows such as “Big Bang Theory” and “Two And A Half Men” constantly dominate the ratings. The popularity of these sitcom make the stars of the show become household names, so it’s not a surprise that many of them decide to try their hand at big screen films. So let’s take a look at the big Hollywood actors who started off their careers on television sitcom.
Jennifer Aniston: In the 1990s, “Friends” was the biggest sitcom on television. It seemed like everybody right around the world tuned in to see their five friends each week. It was therefore no surprise that Matt Le Blanc, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston decided to all try their hand at big screen acting. For Matt Le Blanc, it didn’t take off – Kudrow, Cox and Perry found a small amount of success but Jennifer Ainston hit the big time. While “Friends” was still airing, Aniston showed she had what it took to make it outside the television world by appearing in films such as “Picture Perfect,” “Rock Star” and “Bruce Almighty.” However, it was after “Friends” ended that she became one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars and since then has appeared in notable films including “Marley & Me,” “He’s Just Not That Into Me,” “Just Go With It,” “Horrible Bosses” and one of the best comedies of 2013 – “We’re The Millers.” Yes, Jennifer Aniston is very much a Hollywood A-Lister.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Joseph Gordon-Levitt was always destined to be a sitcom star. One of his earliest acting performances was in “Family Ties,” while as a teenager he became known for his role as a teenage alien in the kooky “3rd Rock From The Sun.” After the show folded in 2001, it did take Gordon-Levitt a little bit of time to establish himself as a serious actor. Roles in movies like “Mysterious Skin” and “Brick”saw him receive critical acclaim but only minimal popularity. That has certainly changed over the last few years though when he has acted in huge blockbusters like “Inception,” “The Dark Knight Rises” and Looper.” While he has also been great in those films, he has kept the critical reception going by also appearing in “(500) Days Of Summer” and “50/50.”
Steve Carell: There is no doubting that one of the funniest men on the planet these days is actor Steve Carell. Carell had done a number of television shows over the years before he was selected to star in the American version of “The Office” playing the big boss himself Michael Scott. Since taking on the role, Carell has gone from hit movie to hit movie. He has made a name for himself in comedy circles with films like “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” “Evan Almighty” and “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” while more serious films like “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Dan In Real Life” and “The Way Way Back” has shown that he is an actor that is capable of so much more than just comedy. He is such a big star these days that he even got to live out one of his dreams and play Maxwell Smart on the big screen.
Leonardo DiCaprio: Yes, one of the biggest actors of today actually made his start into acting in television sitcom. One of DiCaprio’s first appearances on screen came in 1990 when NBC tried to turn the movie “Parenthood” into a television sitcom. After it failed, DiCaprio then appeared in the final season of “Growing Pains” as a young homeless person who came to live with the Beaver family. That was of course before DiCaprio wowed film lovers with his performances in films such as “The Basketball Diaries” and “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.” Of course, today DiCaprio is still hot Hollywood property working regularly with the legendary director Martin Scoresese, while also appearing in big blockbusters such as “Titanic,” “Inception,” “The Great Gatsby” and “Django Unchained.”
Robin Williams: Perhaps one of the most famous actors to come out of a television sitcom has been Robin Williams. Over the years, Williams has appeared in iconic films such as “Dead Poets Society,” “Good Will Hunting” and “Jumanji,” but it seems that most people forget that the role that made him famous was playing naive alien York in television sitcom “Mork & Mindy” which hit the airwave in 1978. His character of Mork also crossed over to be with The Fonze in “Happy Days.” You can only wonder how many people who tuned into “Mork & Mindy” would have predicted that the zany Robin Williams would have one day freaked out audiences in the chilling “One Hour Photo.”
With so many sitcom stars today considered Hollywood royalty, you can only watch the modern day sitcoms and wonder who will be the next Jennifer Aniston or Leonardo DiCaprio in ten years’ time.
Summary: A young family find their lives turned upside down when they suddenly find themselves living next door to a college fraternity house.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 8th May, 2014
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
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)
OUR BAD NEIGHBOURS REVIEWS & RATINGS:
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.
Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):
Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Bad Neighbours′: Nil.
Many actors over the years have tried to make the switch from sitcoms to films. Many have failed, some haven’t. Dave Griffiths takes a look at the actors who have gone from sitcoms to films. You can check out the article on Entertainment Scene 360.