Tag Archives: Kristen Wiig

Ghostbusters (2016)

Ghostbusters

Like a lot of people I’m not a huge fan of Hollywood remakes of classic movies. Why not just create something original? However the onslaught of abuse director Paul Feig and the cast of the new Ghostbusters movies got when the remake was announced was insane. I, however didn’t have a problem with an all female cast taking the reigns of this reboot and as the trailer looked quite funny (the opposite of the opinion of Youtube) I decided to give it a shot.

When New York City starts experiencing supernatural ghostly attacks, it’s up to Abby (Melissa McCarthy), Erin (Kristen Wiig), Jillian (Kate McKinnon) and Patty (Leslie Jones)-aka the Ghostbusters- to catch the ghosts.

Considering all the negatives vibes directed towards this movie, Ghostbusters is much better than the naysayers would have you believe. It’s four female leads all work well together and are an instantly likeable and funny bunch. They all have their distinct personalities and the script seems to play to their strengths. If I had to single out one for priase then Wig’s uptight but increasingly badass Erin was the one I enjoyed the most, but all of the cast get their moments to shine. Also a revalation is Chris Hemsworth in a supporting role as dim receptionist Kevin. Turns out as well as being ridiculously good looking he’s also hilarious too.

While Ghostbusters is a great movie it’s not the classic that it so wants to be. For one thing it is a bit too concerned with cameos from the surviving actors of the first movie. A tighter plot and a better villian would also help.

Hopefully the film will soon be remembered for being better than your normal remake and not for the controversy and insults directed to it’s director and it’s actresses. Come on people, it’s 2016 we should be above hurling sexist and racist abuse at each other!

Rating 3.5/5 – if you’re looking for an amusing supernatural comedy you’d do worse then calling on the new Ghostbusters

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

In my family I’m known for zoning out in the middle of things (especially if something has caught my eye on tv. In my mind I can be thinking of something as simple as what I may have for dinner, other times I can be in a completely different place having an adventure or imagine what I would be doing if I was stuck in a post apocalyptic zombie world (I’d like to think I’d be a kick-ass zombie slayer but more than likely I would have been eaten in the first wave of the zombie outbreak). So I completely related to the protagonist in Ben Stiller’s fifth directorial film-although I’m not quite as bad as Walter.

Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) is a negative assets manager at Life Magazine. He has a crush on a co-worker Cheryl (Kristen Wigg) but is too shy to talk to her. He escapes his mundane life by daydreaming about having an adventurous life and wooing Cheryl. When a specific negative that’s already been chosen for the cover of the magazine’s final issue goes missing Walter has to put his fears aside to find photographer Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn).

I really warmed to Walter from the start being a fellow daydreamer. His imaginary world is skillfully brought to life by Stiller’s direction. You can tell he is growing as a director and he handles the transitions from Walter’s mundane life into his adventurous dreams with aplomb. Although not a straight up comedy there are many funny moments in the film. Probably the best being an imaginary fight scene between Walter and an obniouxs transition manager Ted (Adam Scott-very convincing as a massive douche) over-of all things-a Stretch Armstrong toy, and a hilarious parody of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

I was glad to see that the love interest of Cheryl being a three-dimensional character and the casting of the very likeable Wigg certainly helps with that. She has her own interests (an ex husband and a fear of redundancy) that rounds out her character from just being the object of Walter’s affections. The scenes between her and Walter discussing their lives are genuinely sweet and made them believable as a potential couple.

The first part of the film is great, but when Walter sets off on his trip I found myself losing interest a couple of times. Some of this was funny and interesting but other times I just wanted him to hurry up and find that photographer. Part of the problem was perhaps extending a short story to a feature length film so naturally things would need to be added into the story. Still I couldn’t help but wish the film could have been edited to be slightly shorter.

However despite its flaws there was plenty to enjoy following Walter Mitty’s secret life. I did leave the cinema with a smile on my face and a desire to follow Life magazine’s motto:

To see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to, to draw closer, to see and be amazed.

Rating 3.5/5-a feel-good film with Stiller on fine form as both director and actor

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Girl Most Likely

Kristen Wiig is great actress and comedian as seen is her leading role in Bridesmaids and supporting turns in Whip It and Friends with Kids (which coincidentally was the first thing I reviewed on this site!). Now Wiig attempts a slightly more intense role in her latest film Girl Most Likely.

Imogene (Wiig) was once a promising playwriter but having failed to live up to her early promise she puts everything into her job and boyfriend in New York. When they both fall apart on the same day she fakes a suicide attempt to win back said boyfriend. The plan backfires spectacularly as the boyfriend pays no interest in her and she is put into the care of her eccentric mother (Annette Benning), and returns to the home she hasn’t been back to in years.

Ok let’s get this out the way, although it features Wiig this isn’t Bridesmaids, nor does it pretend to be.  The story is more darker, dealing with loneliness, failed ambitions and abandonment issues. The protagonist isn’t always sympathetic or likeable (she did fake a suicide attempt after all) but the film doesn’t shy away from the fact that Imogene has problems and her view of the world and the people in her life isn’t always correct.

The film isn’t devoid of laughs though, the supporting characters are fun such as Matt Dillon’s underused George, the younger boyfriend of Imogene’s mother and a possible nutcase. Christopher Fitzgerald is also great as Ralph-Imogene’s socially awkward brother who manages to be funny and sweet.

However this film does seem to be in the middle of an identity crisis. Is it an indie drama about a woman’s life falling apart with some humour thrown in or a comedy about a woman returning home to her family with a bit of drama involved. The tone is uneven throughout and I suspect others may not like it as much as I did. Although fellow Glee fans may enjoy seeing Darren Criss in more grown up fare (and singing Backstreet Boys too).

Rating-3/5-while not for everyone, fans looking to see Wiig in a more serious role should give this a shot.

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Despicable Me 2

The first Despicable Me film was a funny, joyful film following the villainous Gru and his loveable minions. The sequel unfortunately falls way below the mark.

The film picks up with Gru now retired from being a supervillain and is busy making jams and being a good father to his three adopted daughters. Then he is approached by the Anti Villain League who want him to help foil a mysterious supervillian!

The main plot, about a scheme to take over the world starts out big but then sets the majority of action at a shopping mall. From then on the film just seem to drag. Russell Brand’s Dr. Nefario is forgotten about for most of the movie. The romantic subplot between Gru and Anti Villain League agent Lucy (Kristin Wiig) also doesn’t engage as it should. The reveal of the Vi is also a let down. It’s a shame cause there are a few funny bits in this film. The minions are on good form, and Agnes, the youngest of Gru’s daughters is still as sweet as ever but it’s not enough to save the film.

It’s not often I advocate evil  but I’m starting to think Gru should have returned back to his more villainess ways, or at least give him more of a mission to get his teeth into.

Having said all this, everyone else around me in the cinema seemed to be laughing, kids and adults alike. I constantly felt like I was missing out on the joke. Considering the amount of money Despicable Me 2 has already made at the cinema it would seem I’m in the minority. However I can’t help but feel like some of the magic from the first film has been lost.

Rating 2/5

Despite the hype this sequel just isn’t as inspired or charming as the original. Wait for Monsters University instead.

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