If you get Arise TV on your cable channel (Time Warner or Verizon), watch me talk movies on this coming weekend's edition of Arise On Screen hosted by Mike Sargent. Because of the holiday, some features come out before Friday this week. Here are my notes on films you can see at the cineplex this week before or after you get your lips on that turkey.
If you've got kids 13 years of age or younger, you can laugh with them at a new animated feature. Chill out with The Penguins of Madagascar. Four penguins with a weakness for crunchy cheese-flavored snacks are not the most sophisticated team of elite spies, but they somehow get the job done while fighting a foe and helping fellow penguins.
Cumberbatch plays the head of another intellectual team in The Imitation Game.
Jason Bateman gives us a third movie this year. His first of 2014 was Bad Words. That comedy, which he directed and starred in, was followed by This Is Where I Leave You, a comedy/drama about family love and loss. Horrible Bosses 2 is, obviously, a sequel. The previous installment was pretty popular at the box office.
The story of a horrible boss is nothing new. In the 1940s, there was The Devil and Miss Jones starring Jean Arthur as a department store clerk and Charles Coburn as her mean boss. In the 1980s, there was 9 to 5. Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton played secretaries who got their revenge on a horrible boss. There's also the beloved yuletide story of a horrible boss, 1951's A Christmas Carol starring Alastair Sim as Charles Dickens' famed literary character, Ebenezer Scrooge.
All three of those classics are better than this sequel. The three lead actors are very good. They have excellent comic acting rhythm and chemistry together. Unfortunately, they have a screenplay that runs out of steam about 45 minutes into the story. Horrible Bosses 2 opens as the trio of losers promotes a shower invention on a way-too-perky morning TV news program. The guys keep pitching their idea to whomever will listen.
Jennifer Aniston is in it. She's oversexed, she's got dark hair, she talks dirty and she dresses as a dominatrix. Her role seems like a planned movie move to take a giant step away from her wholesome Friends television image. Yeah...she's a nasty girl with her kooky X-rated mouth in Horrible Bosses 2.
This is not a "date night" comedy movie. It's more a "boys night out" movie due to the frat house-like humor. Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day are sort of a modern day answer to The Three Stooges with Bateman as Moe.
Happy Thanksgiving Day and have fun at the movies.