One could argue that holiday-themed films about families coming together, despite their bickering and differences, are a dime a dozen nowadays. They're those warm-and-fuzzy ensemble pieces that come with all the trimmings: Adorable dog who eats from the dining table! The miserable sister who'll never find love! The cute kid whose purpose is to run a recurring joke into the snow-covered ground (in between watching his parents fight, of course)!
Love The Coopers is no different (except for one thing, which I'll get to later).
Diane Keaton and John Goodman play Charlotte and Sam, the heads of the titular family. Sam's ready to announce to their brood that, after 40 years of marriage, he and Mama Cooper are planning to go their separate ways (the word "divorce" is never tossed around, so you know they ain't that serious). All Charlotte wants is to have one last picture-perfect Christmas with their grown children and grandkids before everything crumbles.
And let's talk about Ms. Keaton for a minute: At this point in her career, it appears she's gravitating towards roles that are as interchangeable as a wooden nutcrackers on a fireplace mantle. (Perhaps this requires a bigger discussion on what roles are available for someone of her caliber.) Maybe something about her just screams snow-globe-collecting-WASP-who-loves-Restoration-Hardware. Her Charlotte Cooper is no different from the frazzled-but-smartly-dressed sexagenerians she has portrayed ever since she nailed it in 2003's Something's Gotta Give. The typecasting, at this point, is so embarrassingly obvious. More proof can be found in forgettable titles like 2014's And So It Goes, 2013's The Big Wedding, and 2012's Darling Companion. But there's one movie on Keaton's IMDB page for which Coopers feels like direct carbon copy, and that's 2005's The Family Stone, which happens to share the same producer (Michael London, shocker).
But back to the Coopers: Charlotte and Sam's kids are not much better off. Son Hank (Ed Helms) is coping with single parenthood, and daughter Eleanor (Olivia Wilde) is coping with being a disappointment as an unemployed playwright who flirts with the Army soldier (Jake Lacy) she meets an airport bar. (Their bantery scenes are the most enjoyable.) Meanwhile, Charlotte's younger sister Emma (Marisa Tomei) wallows in self-pity with the stone-faced officer who catches her shoplifting (Anthony Mackie), and their dad Bucky (Alan Arkin) befriends a doe-eyed waitress (Amanda Seyfried) who has nowhere else to go on Christmas, despite Bucky's odd attraction to her. (This borderline creepy storyline falls flatter than one of Charlotte's decorative placemats.)
But despite the blatantly bland cookie-cutterness of the film, there's something charming in the way director Jessie Nelson and writer Steven Rogers weave in flashbacks for each character. And that's where Coopers slightly stands out from the rest of the holiday-family fodder. It goes ahead and reminds us why holiday gatherings are so tricky, and it's often provided by an omniscient narrator (Steven Martin) and punctuated by a moody holiday soundtrack full of eclectic tunes. Forget the cutesy poster tagline "You can't regift family." The real message behind this cliche-riddled production is a commentary on nostalgia and how easy it is to fall into that memory trap whenever you come home to festive lights, a good meal, and individuals who love you unconditionally.
It's a shame the rest of the movie couldn't take on a more winking, irreverent tone and eventually ends up being the longest saccharine-filled Hallmark greeting card ever created.
It's not even Thanksgiving yet, and Daniel Kim (pictured above), the mashup maestro known for his end-of-the-year "Pop Danthology" mixes, has given us not one but TWO epic pieces of pop perfection that are guaranteed to make your ears smile.
The subtitle for this gloriously overblown sequel might as well have been "America Fuck Yeah!"
For those of you who enjoyed Olympus Has Fallen, the 2013 action-thriller about shit blowing up at the White House, get ready for more iconic monuments - this time in Europe - to be obliterated.
Gerard Butler returns as Secret Service Agent Mike, the POTUS's BFF who needs to get back into fighting shape when a terrorist baddie named Barkawi (what?) threatens to ruin everyone's day during a very important gathering in the U.K.
Serious Actors Who Deliver Generic Lines With Serious Faces like Angela Bassett, Morgan Freeman, and Melissa Leo can be seen in a few scenes trying to bring on the gravitas, but let's face it America, we're here for the destruction of a capital city with loads of great architecture and greater accents.
June 26th, 2015 was one of the most momentous days in U.S history when Supreme Court made the ruling that same-sex marriage was legal in all 50 states.
Therefore, in collaboration withField Day, Yulin Kuang, a young/passionate director, captured 50 couples' joyful love after the ruling, and used Shakespeare’s beautiful sonnet 116, beginning with “Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments,” to connect these couples from all 50 states she interviewed.
And here's the beautiful result of this countrywide project:
Field Day is a place to meet and see YouTube’s most inspired filmmakers, dynamic entertainers, and exciting personalities. Each week, one of these inspired creators tries something new and creates their own unique, imaginative, dream video. Whether they’re investigating far-off places, dancing with remote control cars, or stunt flying with Star Fox, you won’t want to miss these creators #HaveAFieldDay.
It's after midnight, and there now exists in the world a new Adele song.
And life. Is. Good.
It's everything we expected: Powerhouse vocals. Devastating lyrics. Haunting piano keys.
The video for "Hello," the British singer's lead single from the forthcoming 25, also debuted. It's a gorgeous, cinematic piece featuring one of the decade's biggest artists and...the guy from that 90210 reboot??? Looks like we have a candidate for Most Random Casting of 2015.
Yep, that's actor Tristan Wilds (DIxon Wilson from the CW reboot) playing the subject of the song, an ex to whom Adele apologizes for breaking his heart.
Let's see how many hits this thing gets. Just press play. And enjoy:
Just when you thought you've seen every horror-comedy imaginable, along comes Freaks of Nature, an unapologetically R-rated flick about a small town overrun by bloodsuckers and braineaters...that gets taken over by extraterrestrials. Proceed to comment with your standard "WTF?"
With a cast that includes Denis Leary, Patton Oswald, Bob Odenkirk, and Vanessa Hudgens, it looks like we're in for a bloody, over-the-top, fantastic ride. Check out the red band trailer:
The Jane Austen classic is getting a horror remix in 2016, this time with stars from Doctor Who (Matt Smith!) and Downton Abbey (Lily James!), and we are IN LOVE.
We read Seth Grahame-Smith's novel back in 2012, and we knew back then that a kickass film adaptation was inevitable. Who wouldn't want to see Lizzy Bennett and her corset-wearing sisters slice and dice their way through Britain's undead? For those who loved Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, this is your bloody cup of tea.
Early 2015 gave us the airy and shiny house groove of "Hold My Hand" while this past summer delivered the uplifting "Don't Be So Hard On Yourself" and the Tinie Tempah collaboration "Not Letting Go." All three of these tracks appear on the album, and all three sound as if they were born out of a 1995 jam session. (To clarify, that's a very good thing.)
Of course, all of this praise could be attributed to 90s nostalgia, which is all the rage as we move further into the 2010s. But after listening to the rest of this fantastic collection of inspired tunes, Glynne's soulful vocals are undeniably a perfect match for the silky smooth production and lyricism that runs throughout the dozen-plus set. By pop music connoisseur standards, it's as if Adele and Betty Who had a love child and raised it on early-90s R&B and house (while nurturing her fluid sexuality). If you need proof, start with the aptly titled "Right Here."
But it's not all Clinton-era throwbacks. There's 80s-tinged funk, as evidenced by the very Chaka Khan-esque "You Can Find Me" and the finger-shaking anthem "It Ain't Right." And then there are more stirring exercises in vulnerability in tracks like "Take Me Home" and "Saddest Vanilla," a gorgeous duet with the mesmerizing Emeli Sande.
Finally, if you're looking for a more mature alternative to Taylor Swift's summer smash "Bad Blood," make sure to check out Glynne's track of the same name, a more subtle (and poetic) approach to dealing with haters -- this time with a Western Asian flavor.
To stand back and observe the album in its entirety (The Deluxe Edition includes some worthy bonus tracks, including a soaring acoustic rendition of "My Love") is to fully realize that I Cry When I Laugh represents a rarity in today's pop music landscape: a fully realized masterwork that delivers on all emotional levels.
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