Yes Please by Amy Poehler – Book Review

I loved Parks and Recreation, and a big part of that was the way Amy Poehler played Leslie Knope – with such heart and kindness and bit whack of crazy and fun. I’ve been meaning to read her autobiography for some time. It was really interesting to hear about how she came up through impro, and how she came into SNL and where things went from there. It’s told in a pretty all-over-the -shop manner, but I didn’t mind that at all. She’s got lots of good stuff to say, and there are some great celeb stories.

Inside Out (2015) Film Review

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What a charming way to depict human emotions = a series of emotions inside the brain that drive the person to do what they do. Not an original concept (come on, don’t lie. You liked Herman’s Head back in the nineties, didn’t you?) but beautifully played out for the kids. Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) has moved with her family, about to start at a new school and finding things tough. Inside her head, she has Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader), Sadness (Phyllis Smith) and, leading them all, Joy (Amy Poehler). Joy is freaking out, because Sadness keeps touching ‘core memories’ and turning them sad, and Joy wants Riley to be happy all the time. An accident happens, and Joy and Sadness are ejected from the control room and need to figure out how to get back. Meanwhile, Riley is all over the shop, her emotions going crazy.

Having been told how wonderful this film was, I went in fearful that it would not live up to my expectations. And, in all honesty, I didn’t love it. I wonder had I seen it early if I would have loved it more. I just found Joy so frigging annoying, and wanted desperately for her to fail. Perhaps the little Lewis Black in my brain needs to back off a bit. Having said that, it’s a great film, and I can see why so many parents have enjoyed taking their kids to it.

Inside Out won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture (Animated) and was nominated for Oscars for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year and Best Writing, Original Screenplay, and BAFTAs for Best Orignal Screenplay and Best Animated Film.

Blades of Glory (2007) Film Review

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After a very public fight, Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell) and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) are banned from international ice skating championships. But luckily there is a loophole – they can compete in pair skating. But with only a month to find partners, they end up skating together, doing things only two men can do. This puts them in direct competition with brother and sister pair Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg (Wil Arnett and Amy Poehler) who will do anything to win.

You know those Will Ferrell comedies that are ridiculous and insane and could be very funny or totally awful? This is one of those. I think it is mostly pretty funny. But then, I totally love Amy Poehler and I also totally love Will Arnett. So, there was a high chance I’d be liking this. I really like Will Arnett’s dumb.

If you like these comedies, I reckon you’ll like this. I also really like the slightly not-quite-right CG work that puts the actors’ faces on the skaters’ bodies – kind of not right, and hilarious. Oh, and William Fichtner is in it. I love that man – I’ll watch him in anything.

 

Horton Hears a Who! (2008) Film Review

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Horton (Jim Carrey) is an elephant who discovers a microscopic community, lead by the Mayor (Steve Carrell) living on a speck of dust. He becomes their protector, trying to save them against the evil Kangaroo (Carol Burnett) who wants to destroy them, to stop the creatures in this world believing in things they can’t see.

 

I’m not sure how close this is to the original book; if there really is the angst between the Mayor and his emo teenage son or what. Whatever, though. This is what it is; a pretty decent kids film. The animation is beautiful, there is a bit of humour, and the ‘message’ is not bad:  “A person’s a person no matter how small”

 

 

Mean Girls (2004) Film Review

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Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohen) has spent most of her life in Africa with her zoologist parents, but has been brought back to the US for the final part of her education. She is unused to the politics and cliques of an American school, and quickly makes friends with a couple of outsiders, Janis Ian (Lizzy Caplan) and Damian (Daniel Franzese). But when there is the opportunity for Cady to be included in the clique of the most popular and meanest girls in school, Janis and Damian convince her to bring them down from the inside. But things go wrong as Cady seems to be becoming one of them.

The screenplay for the film was written by Tina Fey based on the Rosalind Wiseman book Queen Bees and Wannabes, and I wanted to totally love it for this. There is certainly a lot to love about the film; it is witty and funny, and many of the characters are totally awesome. There was just something that didn’t quite work for me. Whilst she did seem very naïve and sweet as Cady, I did not buy the relationships that Cady was forming. Especially her crush on Aaron (Jonathan Bennett) – there seemed to be very little chemistry there. It’s always awesome seeing Tina Fey and Amy Poeler on-screen, and I’m a big fan of Rachel McAdams (who is the magnificently horrible Regina George), but the whole time I watched this, I wished I were watching Heathers.