Tag Archives: Kevin Hart

The Upside (2019) Review

A POIGNANT (YET FLAT)

HOLLYWOOD REMAKE


 

Hollywood is still fascinated with remakes and it’s a paradoxical thing for major motion picture studios to “bank” on when crafting feature length movies. The idea of reimagining a cinematic narrative and repurposing it for a new modern moviegoing audience is something that seems to work, especially in the profitable eyes of film studios, but it does come with its fair share of criticism. Of course, this shows that Hollywood (speaking in general terms) is running out of ideas; embracing the idea something that worked in the past can be used once again in the present (i.e. slightly altering its cinematic make-up). In general, most of these endeavors do fail and / or don’t quite measure up in trying to surpass the likeability (or entertainment) of the original movie. However, there are a few Hollywood remakes that are better than their original counterpart, including 1982’s The Thing (1951’s The Thing from Another World), 1988’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1964’s Bedtime Story), 2006’s The Departed (2002’s Internal Affairs), and most recently 2018’s A Star is Born (1937’s A Star is Born). Now, in Hollywood’s on-going crusade of continuing its trend of revamping and rebooting old motion pictures, STX Films, Lantern Entertainment, and director Neil Burger present the remake of the 2011 film The Untouchables with the movie The Upside. Does this latest Hollywood remake rise to the challenge or does it flounder in being yet another pointless remake from Tinseltown? Read more

Night School (2018) Review

A COMEDY WITH AN

OKAY-ISH PASSING GRADE


 

Over the years, Kevin Hart has proven to be a “bankable” star in this current age of Hollywood. This comedian-turned-actor started out in the comedy club circuit (winning amateur comedic competitions landing some small roles in several projects, including Judd Apatow’s short-lived TV series Undeclared as well as several films like 2002’s Paper Soldier, 2003’s Scary Movie 3, and 2005’s In the Mix. With his growing reputation, Hart caught his first “big break” in his performance in 2012’s Think Like a Man, which legitimized him in the mainstream media of feature length films. From there, as he continued to release stand-up comedy specials, Hart’s popularity grew in the movie industry, soon finding himself being paired with some other big-name actors on the silver screen, including rapper / actor Ice Cube in 2014’s Ride Along (and its 2016 sequel), comedian actor Will Ferrell in 2015’s Get Hard, and former wrestler / actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in 2016’s Central Intelligence and 2017’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Additionally, Hart’s very “animated” voice has also proven to be successful in animated cartoon feature films, providing vocal talents in Illumination’s 2016 The Secret Life of Pets and DreamWorks’s 2017 Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. Now, Universal Pictures and director Malcolm D. Lee see Kevin Hart star alongside up and coming comedian actress Tiffany Haddish in the movie Night School. Does this film “make the grade” with its comedic styles or does it fail its own cinematic test? Read more

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) Review

THE GAME HAS CHANGED


 

Jumanji: a game for those who seek to find, a way to leave their world behind. Released in 1995 and based on the children’s book by author Chris Van Allsburg, the movie Jumanji, which starred Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt, and Kristen Dunst, followed siblings Judy and Peter Shepherd, who begin to play magical board game that has dire consequences. With the game manifesting its “roll of the dice” aesthetics into the real world, Judy and Peter, along with Alan Parrish, who was trapped in the game’s world for twenty-six years, and Sarah Whittle (Alan’s friend who witnessed him getting trapped in the game), must complete Jumanji in order to reverse the damage it has caused. Despite its mixed reviews from critics, Jumanji actually became a commercial box office success that year, earning roughly $262 million against its $65 million production budget as well as become the 10th highest grossing film in 1995. That following year, the story of Jumanji returned, but on the small screen (TV), returning as an animated series and continued the further adventures of Alan, Judy, and Peter. Although the show was mildly successful, lasting from 1996 to 1999 for three seasons (40 episodes in total) and a somewhat spiritual successor feature film was released 2005 titled Zathura: A Space Adventure, was also based on Chris Van Allsburg, it, despite its fame and popularity never received a proper sequel. Now, roughly twenty-two years since the release of the 1995 film, Columbia Pictures (i.e. Sony Pictures) and director Jake Kasdan present a standalone sequel to the original film with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Is this long-awaited follow-up adventure worth a glance or does it fail to impress its target audience and get lost in its own jungle? Read more

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017) Review

TRA-LA-LA!!!


 

In the literary world of young adult books (or Young Readers to some), several series have made the jump to from “page to screen”. Of course, J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter novels are a prime example of a very successful endeavor of a studio adapting such books, becoming an extremely popular films series (and a widely favorable one at that) to an already extremely popular bestselling book series. Over the years, other studios have tried and attempted to bring these young readers books (age 8 to 12) to the big screen, including Rick Riodrian’s Percy Jackson series (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters), James Patterson’s Middle School series (Middle School: Worst Years of My Life), and Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid series (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick’s Rules, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul) as well as many more. However, despite their popularity with their readers, these film adaptations are, for lack of a better word, mediocre endeavors, producing adequate features with mixed reviews and mild box office results. Now, DreamWorks Animation (and Scholastic Entertainment) and director David Soren present the newest young reader adaptation with the film Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, which is based off of the book series by Dav Pilkey. Does this film produce a fun animated adventure or is it just another “run-of-the-mill” kid’s movie? Read more

Kevin Hart: What Now? Review

BIG PEFORMANCE, SAME OLD HART


 

Over the past couple of years, comedian / actor Kevin Hart has become a staple in mainstream media, producing laughs with his loud, absurdity, and cartoon-style humor. While he’s recently taken the center stage of feature films, including the Ride Along movies, Get Hard, The Wedding Ringer, and Central Intelligence, Hart has always been a part of the stand-up comedy routine. Comedy specials feature like Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain, and Kevin Hart: Seriously Funny are just some of the highlights of his comedy angst, discussing the outlandish scenarios / gags in loud and breathless tone, which does work in his favor and has become his moniker staple. Now, with plenty of comedy films under his belt, Kevin Hart returns stand-up comedy role in the stand-up comedy film special Kevin Hart: What Now? Does Hart bring the laughs in this special or has the 37-year-old comedian lost his edge? Read more

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