Tag Archives: Ty Burrell

Storks

As everyone knows, storks used to delivery babies. It was hard work, gross work, and no one is more relieved than storks that they’ve since gotten out of the baby trade and gone into delivering packages instead.

The boss stork, Hunter (Kelsey Grammer), the kind of dick who made his office out of glass thumbnail_24123even though birds can’t see it, is stepping aside, leaving room at the top for Junior (Andy Samberg) to fill his shoes (well, birds don’t wear shoes, though they seem to occasionally wear ties) on the condition that Junior get rid of “the orphan Tulip,” a baby who was undelivered 18 years ago and has been a thorn in their sides ever since. She’s about to turn 18, and Junior’s first job, if he wants the new title, is to return her to the human world.

I’m watching this movie because of a junkie. My sister’s SUV was broken into last month, and aside from the 85 cents in change in a cup holder, the thief got away with their DVD player, used to entertain my 3 year old nephew on car rides. When I was a kid we had to listen to tapes, and play I Spy, or Mad Libs on car rides but apparently these days commuting is unbearable unless everyone has a screen to stare at. My sister, suspecting the thief might be the drug addict across the street (she lives in a very comfortable suburban neighbourhood), magnanimously said “You don’t know his circumstances” and left it at that. Possibly she was just tired of hearing the same 10 minutes of Peppa Pig every day. Anyway, that’s how I came to be watching Storks, even though I firmly turned down the press screening a year ago when offered because it was at 10am on a Saturday morning when in fact I prefer to pretend that there isn’t an “am” on weekends.

Back to the movie: There’s a little boy named Nate who dreams of having a little brother or rawsister. His parents (Jennifer Aniston, Ty Burrell) are busy realtors who are basically “one and done.” Nate decides to circumvent their fertility plans and appeal to the storks directly himself. Junior is already fucking up after just one day as the boss so of course there’s a spare baby, but he fucks that up too and accidentally delivers her to wolves (Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key) instead.

This movie is perfectly serviceable. It’s not memorable or good in the way we’ve come to expect from Pixar, but it’s colourful and frenetic and will have some appeal for children if not their parents (although I admit I was pretty charmed by the wolf versatility and voice cast). I do wonder if this movie will inspire some follow-up questions about where babies DO come from, so you parents out there will have to let me know. All I have is a Sean, and he prefers not to know. ūüėČ

Finding Dory

As soon as you hear the voices of Ellen DeGeneres (as Dory) and Albert Brooks (as Nemo’s neurotic dad, Marlin), you realize how much you’ve missed these two. It’s been 13 long years since the original was in theatres but only a single year has elapsed in the ocean where they make their home.
all-trailers-lead-to-finding-dory-check-out-brand-new-footage-in-this-japanese-internat-941918Writer\co-director Andrew Stanton had no desire to revisit Nemo’s world until he rewatched it in 3D and realized how many unanswered questions peppered Dory’s storyline. So good news, folks: those burning questions that have been keeping you awake the last dozen years finally get their time in sea – Why does Dory speak whale? How did she learn to read? And does her disability make for a lonely life?

Dory convinces Nemo and Marlin to embark on yet another oceanwide journey, this time to find her absent family. Eugene Levy and Diane Keaton voice her parents in various flashbacks (Dory was a SUPER cute young guppie!), but with a spotty memory and so much time gone by, is it even possible to find them?¬†How to put this delicately…just what is the life expectancy of even a vegetarian, non-smoking, yoga-adhering blue tang?

The magic of Finding Nemo is safely recaptured in Finding Dory; the story makes room for both old friends and new. Hank, the cranky octopus (or technically a septapus, if you bother to count) is a definite break-out star, voiced by Ed O’Neill. He helps Dory navigate hank-octopus-finding-dorythe exhibits of an aquarium where she believes her parents live. Ty Burrell, who plays Ed’s son-in-law on Modern Family, voices a beluga whale with dubious echolocation abilities but a willingness to play “guide whale” for his visually impaired friend. In fact, the nice thing about this new world presented in Finding Dory is that the marine rescue centre in question rehabs sick fish – everyone’s got some sort of disability but they’ve got plenty of ability too, even Dory. Or especially Dory. My favourite new character is a bird named Becky, who, okay, maybe has some mental health issues, maybe is a little intellectually challenged, maybe isn’t as finely feathered as some, but MY GOD. The minute she was introduced I had a mini meltdown, wracked with laughter.

Finding Dory can’t surprise you in quite the same way the first one did, but it makes up for 107c86e0-155e-0134-fd5e-0e31b36aeb7f.pngit in laughs and heart. Last week on our podcast, Matt hoped that the sequel would make him cry as the first one did. The verdict’s not in on his tear ducts, but mine were a leaky mess.

A memory-challenged fish sets out to find her blue family and along the way remembers that she already has an orange one. ¬†I’ve seen a lot of sequels lately that stink like 13 year old fish, but Finding Dory is a sweet and satisfying cuddle party with old friends, serving up something fresh that everyone will enjoy.

Muppets Most Wanted

muppetsThis movie picks up exactly where the last one left off, with a rousing musical number about how this is a sequel, and as we all know, the sequel’s never quite as good.

The gang is lured into a world tour by Ricky Gervais playing Mr. Badguy, an agent who’ll give them everything they want, but is secretly the number two to Constantine: world’s most dangerous frog (!). Constantine and Badguy¬†are on a crime spree and are using the Muppets as a front, except for poor Kermit who’s been sent to a Russian gulag as a stand-in for his look-alike, Constantine. Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell) and Mr. Eagle are on the case (Interpol, CIA), and¬†as soon as Napoleon’s leisurely European 6 hour lunch break is over, they might actually solve it and save the day.

Gervais looks like his appearance in this film is court-mandated. He’s not having any fun and he tysucks the life out of all the scenes he’s in. Burrell is made for this stuff, and has actual chemistry with a big blue eagle. Tina Fey, playing the gulag’s strict warden, is the stand-out. The moment Kermit is rolled into¬†the prison wearing a Hannibal Lecter¬†mask, you know the Siberian scenes will be your favourite.¬†Fey’s number “In the Big House” seals¬†the deal; it’s¬†the best of the bunch. And the fact that she’s backed up by doo-wopping¬†prisoners played by Danny Trejo,¬†Ray Liotta¬†and Jemaine¬†Clement wearing a crown of sporks¬†just cements it. In fact, seeing Ray Liotta¬†with wagging knees and jazz hands just might make the movie. The only problem with that is that these most cherished scenes are virtually muppet-MUPPETS MOST WANTEDfree, and if muppets are upstaged by humans in a Muppet movie, you’re sunk.

Bret McKenzie, (the other half of Clement’s Flight of the Conchords) is back again after winning the Oscar for his work on the first film (“Man or Muppet”, best original song), but the music has lost its lustre. It’s a lustreless film in general. Maybe we’re just missing the magic that Jason Segel brought, his fandom really breathed life into the franchise and nostalgia played high for us all.

Muppets¬†Most Wanted is just as chock-full of cameos as the its predecessor. Blink and you’ll miss them: Tony Bennett, James McAvoy, the dude from Downton Abbey, Christoph Waltz dancing the waltz, Salma¬†Hayek, Stanely¬†Tucci, Zach Galifinakis, Puff Daddy. And the list continues! It feels a little like more time was spent on lining up cameos than thinking up plot, and that’s too bad, because on paper this film had all the potential of the 2011’s The Muppets, but this is a sequel, and as we all know, the sequel’s never quite as good.

 

Mr Peabody & Sherman

The Assholes are too young to feel nostalgic about this movie. I can’t comment on how it stands up to the original¬†stuff, I can only say how I felt about it as a stand-alone movie starring charapeabodycters that I first heard about in 2014.

I take it that the source material, 4-minute shorts contained as a side piece to the Rocky & Bullwinkle show, was one of the first “ironic” cartoons made for kids. But in 2014, snarkiness¬†is now a fait accompli if an animated movie is going to be have much success at the box office, and by that standard, Mr. Peabody and Sherman is actually quite innocent.

Mr. Peabody (voiced by Ty Burrell)¬†is exceptional. He’s a genius, and an Olympian, a Nobel-Prize recipient, and Harvard know-it-all (he was valeDOGtorian, in fact). Finally he’s found himself an actual challenge: raising his adopted (human) son, Sherman, who mysteriously calls his father Mr. Peabody. We are treated to a little montage of their lives together thus far¬†(set sweetly to John Lennon’s Beautiful Boy). And then launched into plot: Sherman is 7 now, and attending school where he is bullied. He gets into a fight with the bully and bites her. Mr. Peabody is very surprised at this behaviour and learns that the intolerable thing that the bully has accused Sherman of being is – a dog. That little moment is a delight in animation. We can read the hurt on both their faces – the father and his pain at being the thing that his son cannot stand, and the son and his shame for wanting so badly to not be like his father. If only the movie could provide us with more such moments.

Alas, it’s time for the action. And in case you didn’t guess, Mr. Peabody, genius inventor, has a secret time machine that allows him to teach his son about history and the world first-hand. But when left alone with the bully, who just happens to be a cute blonde, nerdy little Sherman tries to win her affection by spilling the secret, and like that, they’re off to Ancient Egypt where complications await them.

It’s basically a sweet film, great for kids, and it’s hard to argue against a talking dog. It’s just that this dog has no bark, and¬†no bite. He’s all bowties¬†and cuddles. Pop this one into the DVD player for the kids, and go have a martini all to yourself.