Podcast: SJ 184: Tom Segura; The Fosters; Dress Off the Boat; Big Brother; Grand Tour; Schitt’s Creek; Dungen & Woods: Myth 003; Cloverfield; Peter Rabbit

White Background LogoSwanner and Judd talk about Tom Segura; The Fosters; Dress Off the Boat; Big Brother; Grand Tour; Schitt’s Creek; Dungen & Woods: Myth 003; Cloverfield; Peter Rabbit.

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Peter Rabbit

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Swanner: Peter Rabbit tells the story of Peter and his family, and how they battle old Mr. McGregor, who won’t share his garden with them. After McGregor dies, all the animals take what is theirs until Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) shows up to follow in his cousins footsteps. Peter Rabbit is a live action/animated feature of how a family of bunnies save the farm and ultimately do the right thing in the end. Rob Lieber and Director Will Gluck bring to life the story based on Beatrix Potter classic novel The Tales of Peter Rabbit.

Most of the characters in the film are animated. The rabbits, pig, birds, and other farm animals are all animated; Thomas McGregor and Bea (Rose Byrne), the main humans in this story are not. Bea is McGregor’s neighbor, who lives on the other side of his garden. Bea is a friend to the animals and most definitely a love interest to the new, younger McGregor. The voice cast consists of James Corden, Margot Robbie, Sia, Sam Neill, Elizabeth Debicki, Daisy Ridley, and Ewen Leslie.

Peter Rabbit is much like Paddington in the sense that the kids in my audience were just as entertained as I was, almost like they were seeing a completely different film. With the exception of the terrible Annie, Director Gluck really knows how to entertain an audience with his Easy A and Fired Up!. The script is fun and funny with James Corden’s signature comedy being added to take full benefit of his talent. The good thing is they didn’t set the film during Easter so the film can be watched at any time of the year when you’re looking for something funny and sweet.

Swanner: 3 stars

Maze Runner: The Death Cure

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Swanner: In this finale to the Maze Runner saga, Thomas leads his group of escaped Gladers on their final and most dangerous mission yet: to save their friends. To do that they must break into the legendary Last City, a WCKD-controlled labyrinth that may turn out to be the deadliest maze of all. Director Wes Ball finishes the series he started five years ago, along with screenwriter T.S. Nowlin, to give closure to James Dashner’s Maze Runner franchise.

After a three year delay, where lead actor Dylan O’Brien was hurt in a stunt accident, leaving this final film on hold, Director Ball and original cast came back to complete the film they had already started. Not a fan of the second film, I was hoping just to see it done with, but writer Nowlin, serving as screenwriter on all three films, kept the film running with a clear and complete story-line. All my questions were answered.

The film did feel a lot like the final Hunger Games film, where the heroes must break into the big city to resolve the conflict; in this case, of finding a cure to the disease destined to kill most of the world’s population. Coming in at 2:22,  I was surprised at how well the film moved. The film opens with a big action sequence and it really doesn’t slow down from there. Bringing the original cast back together also helped keep the continuity going by giving us  familiar faces we haven’t seen in years.  If you’re a fan of the franchise then yes, see the film in the theatres. It’s big and loud and gave me more than I was expecting.

Swanner: 3 stars

I, Tonya

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Swanner: I, Tonya is a biopic that follows the life of Olympic ice skater Tonya Harding. We follow Tonya (Margot Robbie) from childhood up through the incident. As a child, we see her training with her mother, LaVona Golden (Allison Janney), who comes across as one of the worst stage mothers in history. As Tonya enters adulthood, she meets Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan), who takes her life in a bad direction. Once the incident occurs we follow Tonya through the paparazzi and trails that came after.

Director Craig Gillespie and screenwriter Steven Rogers give us a very dark and damaged story but told as a black comedy. Tonya’s mother is a horrible person, but we can’t wait for the next time she verbally abuses Tonya; and when Jeff starts abusing Tonya physically, we look forward to how she’ll take revenge on her abuser. We shouldn’t be laughing, but Tonya’s white trash life is what great comedy is made of.  The film does have big dramatic moments, but for those of us that remember the incident and what followed, it’s hard to feel bad for anyone, except for maybe Nancy Kerrigan.

All the performances are 10’s from the judges, but watch for Robbie and Janney to go to the big show (The Oscars). You can also expect Rogers to get an Oscar nod for his dark and hilarious script. The timing of the release, with the Winter Olympics right around the corner, you should expect this film to go big. I did like the fact that the film isn’t trying to make Tonya the victim of this story. They show you that Tonya made a lot of bad choices in her life, and surrounded herself with terrible people. The best way to watch the film is to get some Eskimo Pies, Dove Bars if you can afford them, some cheap beer and enjoy.

Swanner: 3 1/2 stars