This Is Where I Leave You (2014)

This Is Where I Leave You
Director: Shawn Levy
Writer: Jonathan Tropper
Based on: Jonathan Tropper‘s novel
Cast: Jason Bateman, Adam Driver, Corey Stoll, Tina Fey, Rose Byrne, Kathryn Hahn, Jane Fonda, Connie Britton, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard, Debra Monk, Abigail SpencerBen Schwartz

Plot:
Judd (Jason Bateman) is not in a good place in a moment. He just found out that his wife Quinn (Abigail Spencer) cheated on him with his boss Wade (Dax Shepard) and then he gets the message that his father died. So Judd returns home for the funeral where he sees his siblings Phillip, Paul and Wendy (Adam Driver, Corey Stoll, Tina Fey), and his mother Hillary (Jane Fonda) as well, of course. They don’t spend much time together and that’s for a reason. So when Hillary reveals that it was his father’s dying wish that they sit shiva together, more than just a little tension boils to the surface.

This Is Where I Leave You was mostly enjoyable but a little uneven all around. Some things were great about it, other things annoyed me a whole lot.

thisiswherileaveyou

Continue reading

The Internship (2013)

The Internship
Director: Shawn Levy
Writer: Vince Vaughn, Jared Stern
Cast: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Josh BrenerDylan O’BrienTiya Sircar, Tobit Raphael, Max Minghella, Rose Byrne, Aasif Mandvi, Josh Gad, Jessica Szohr, Rob Riggle, Eric André, Will Ferrell, John Goodman

Plot:
Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson) have been salesmen and friends for their entire working life. But with the rise of the digital age, nobody really needs their services anymore. So they decide to start fresh – with an internship at Google. But not knowing anything about computers/the internet and competing with a whole lot of kids for the jobs might make everything a bit more difficult than they thought.

The Internship is fine. I basically saw it for Dylan O’Brien (though John Goodman and Max Minghella were a nice bonus) and if he hadn’t been in it and if I therefore hadn’t seen it, I probably wouldn’t have missed much. But it was entertaining enough.

theinternship

Continue reading

Real Steel (2011)

Real Steel
Director: Shawn Levy
Writer: John Gatins
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie, Kevin Durand, Hope Davis, James Rebhorn

Plot:
Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) was a rather successful boxer until an injury and a general shift in the sport from human to robot boxing ended his career. Now he spends his days with trying to get enough money to get by through at best second rate fights with robots that are rather close to the junkyard. When circumstances reunite Charlie with his estranged 11 year old son Max (Dakota Goyo) and let him find a robot that actually is from the junkyard, against all odds things start to look up for all of them.

I honestly expected this movie to be worse (well, at least as bad as a movie with Hugh Jackman about boxing robots can get). I expected this film to be craptastic and it wasn’t. Not that it’s excellent, but it’s honestly pretty nice.

Continue reading

Date Night (2010)

Date Night is the newest movie by Shawn Levy, starring Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mark Wahlberg, Taraji P. Henson, Mark Ruffalo, James Franco and Mila Kunis.

Plot:
The Fosters (Steve Carell, Tina Fey) are a rather ordinary couple – he is a tax lawyer, she a real estate agent. Once a week, they have their Date Night, which is mostly the same every week. One week, they decide to do something special and have dinner in New York. But they arrive late at this ultra-hip restaurant and don’t get a table. On a whim, they decide to take the reservation of somebody else. Unfortunately these somebodies are in real trouble and now the Fosters get caught up in the whole thing.

Date Night is nothing special, but it has some really awesome moments. It’s fun and it will keep you entertained, as long as you don’t expect a meditation on life and death. [But honestly, who would?]

Continue reading

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is the sequel to Night at the Museum. It’s directed by Shawn Levy and stars Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Hank Azaria, Robin Williams and Ricky Gervais.

Plot:
Night Guard Larry (Ben Stiller) has given up his job at the museum an is now successfully selling various household inventions via TV shopping channels. He hardly ever has time to visit his friends at the museum any more. But when he finally does, he finds out that most of the exhibits are supposed to go into permanent storage in the Smithsonian – without the life giving tablet. But things don’t go as planned and Larry finds himself in the middle of the Smithsonian with millions of exhibits come to life and fighting an evil pharaoh [Hank Azaria] for the tablet and the lives of his friends.

The movie is much like the first one – lighthearted fun for the whole family. Though the plot and the villain are slightly ridiculous, they’re more of an excuse to have fun with the various pieces of art in the Smithsonian anyway. And boy, did they ever! The paintings and the sculptures coming to life were brilliant. The star-studded cast was as well, especially Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan had me laughing till I cried.

nightsatthemuseumbattle

Continue reading