Same Old Story (Long Shot, 2019)

Long_Shot_PosterHave you heard about this movie where the schlubby guy hooks up with a hot chick out of his league? You know…the plot of, like, 77% of rom-coms? I mean…Seth Rogan? He is a type…

Rogan is Fred Flarsky, a lefty journalist who finds himself out of a job when his paper is bought by Parker Wembly (an unrecognizable Andy Serkis as a Rupert Murdoch type media mogul). At a party, he runs into his old baby sitter Charlotte Field, about to enter the ring as a presidential candidate.

Charlotte hires him to punch up her speeches and slowly, the pair find themselves falling for each other, in spite of the fact that her staff think this is a very bad idea, mainly because… well, Fred is a potential liability. He is a casual drug user, he has no filter and well…there is more.

And really? In the hands of less talented a less talented creative team and cast?  This might have been an embarrassment of cliches.  I mean, this film certainly follows all the tropes, right to the end.  And yet, I never found myself caring.  The film is funny, the characters endearing…I rooted for them to succeed. Theron and Rogan are great and I did not find myself questioning what she could see in him.

Long Shot is a terrific comedy that shows that you can actually follow the Rom Com template and make a very entertaining film.

Back In Action (The Incredibles 2, 2018)

Incredible_2_PosterRight before the film starts, the cast and crew pop up on screen to tell us the fourteen year wait for the sequel will totally be worth it. Not exactly needed of course. Hey, my butt is already in the seat.

The original Incredibles film was a fun comic book film that was doing that Marvel type of action four years before we got Iron Man.  Probably of all the Pixar films, the Incredibles was one of the few that readily seemed to be set for sequels. But when asked, Pixar tended to defer to the availability of Brad Bird.

After the collapse of the highly anticipated Tomorrowland…Pixar got their chance.

Set shortly after the end of the first film, we discover things did not go so well. People still feel that the heroes do more damage than good. Enter brother and sister Winston and Evelyn Deavor. They want to convince the world that super-heroes are necessary, and so they convince Helen Parr to resume life as Elastigirl (noting she had a much lower history of property damage). Bob, on the other hand, becomes a stay at home dad. Bob really wants to be fighting as Mr. Incredible, but he is trying to step back and be a supportive husband ad father.

A lot of the moments I enjoyed most were with Bob and the kids. While the first film revealed baby Jack Jack to have a variety of powers, the Parr family never actually witnessed it. While Bob is initially excited, he finds it taxing, one more problem along with trying to help Dash with schoolwork and Violet come to terms with a frustrating love life. There is a genuinely sweet moment when Bob is exhausted and apologizes for not being the father he wants to be…Violet has a look of kindness as she reaches out to reassure him. It is a really sweet moment.

Flipping the situation for Helen and Bob works very well in the film. The Elastigirl scenes are fun and exciting.  There is a great fight scene where she is in the position of having to keep her eyes closed to avoid being hypnotized. Bird and company make this quite exciting.

The film also gives us something new, which is other Supers beyond the Parr family and Frozone. This leads to an action packed finale where saving everybody actually falls onto the Parr kids.

The Brad Bird voiced Edna Mode returns for a fun sequence that explores Jack Jack’s abilities.

I feel Pixar has created a pretty successful sequel here that compliments the original film quite well.

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