How often than not do you hear a child focusing and repeating a new word they heard somewhere. If it was not an appropriate word, parents used to scold and tell the child it was a “bad” word. What I noticed was the sterner the parents’ reprimand, the more the child would not let go of the word. At least that is what I used to see several years ago. I notice now parents try not to react or place a negative connotation on the word; they simply explain to their child that the word is not something that people say in public. I recall this one time while sitting on the train, across from me sat a mother with a child sitting in her lap. The child was taking great pleasure in repeating a slang word for flatulence over and over again. Though the mother was not reacting to her child’s vocalizations, the little boy was looking at everyone sitting around him. It appeared as if he was trying to get a reaction from anyone within earshot. I think part of the reason there were no reactions was the majority of people were plugged into their electronic devices, listening to music. This experience was fascinating because I was surprised for such a young age this little boy was trying to get a rise out of the audience around him, so to speak. Essentially the child was using shock value to get a reaction. It was the exact same method the writers were doing in this parody. USING the best selling novel Fifty Shades of Grey as a blueprint this comedy was co-written by and starred Marlon Wayans (Scary Movie franchise, A Haunted House franchise) as Christian. The cast also included Kali Hawk (Couples Retreat, Get Him to the Greek) as Hannah, Fred Willard (American Wedding, Roseanne-TV) as Gary and Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch-TV, Holy Man) as Mrs. Robinson. You could imagine with a cast like this, one would expect this comedy to be a real hoot. It was in fact one of the worst films I have seen recently. I just wanted to know if Florence knew what she was getting into when she agreed to her role. First let me talk about it being a parody. Maybe if it focused on the Fifty Shades story it would have helped instead of making fun of other celebrities and films. Secondly the humor was so dreadful and infantile; I did not find anything worthy of a laugh. It seemed as if Marlon was perfectly content to write a script that never went beyond the lowest and simplest form of cracking a joke. I understand the book was an adult read, so I get the idea this spoof would have its share of adult related themes. But c’mon how many times does one have to keep doing the same type of blue humor? I felt like I was stuck in a room with a bratty kid who just learned how to say the word “poop.”
Without purpose life would be a continuous cycle of sleeping, eating, working and repeating it all over day after day. This procedure becomes automatic with the absence of thought, similar to being a robot. There is a price one pays when they fall into this mode. The synapses of their brain curl and wither like gnarled arthritic hands, losing movement as they become frozen in one pointless position. Purpose is what adds new colorful landscaped roads to the continual construction site of the mind. These roads can lead one to uncharted territories that spark and reveal a new concept or idea that adds fuel to one’s journey in life. One of the reasons why I decided to become a fitness instructor was due to how I was treated in phys ed classes. Not being athletically inclined, I yearned for a gym class where everyone would be treated equally; no one would be made to feel inadequate or be the butt of cruel jokes. I had a good pitching arm back then but no one looked beyond my physical girth. From that time I found a purpose that put me on my life’s path and continues to bring me unlimited joy as a fitness and yoga instructor. THIS animated adventure film offered a similar message. Dane Cook (Mr. Brooks, Dan in Real Life) voiced the character Dusty Crophopper, a world class champion racer. Discovering he had an engine problem that could end his racing career, Dusty decided to join the aerial firefighter squadron led by Blade Ranger, voiced by Ed Harris (A Beautiful Mind, The Abyss). The major challenge facing Dusty would be to see if his engine could withstand the extensive training required for the job. Visually, this movie was fun to watch with its sense of depth and variety of airplane models, but there was nothing I would consider groundbreaking. The majority of actors voicing the characters were fine in their roles, There were really no standouts except for Fred Willard (Ira & Abby, Anchorman franchise) as the Secretary of the Interior. Though this picture was listed as a comedy, the humor would only appease young children. I found the puns old and corny, not able to recall uttering a single chuckle. The biggest issue I had with this film was its lack of creativity. It was so formulaic and stereotypical that my overall feeling towards this movie was one of tiredness. I think this could have easily been released straight to DVD, there was a blandness to the whole thing. It was such a shame, because the message it was trying to convey was certainly a positive one that shined a light on a noble profession.
Do opposites really attract each other? This amusing, well written movie explores the relationship of two divergent individuals: free spirited Abby Willoughby, played by Jennifer Westfeldt (Kissing Jessica Stein, Keep Your Distance) and neurotic Ira Black, played by Chris Messina (Julie & Julia, Greenberg). From a chance meeting, the two jump into marriage knowing very little about each other. It is because of Jennifer’s script, that this movie does not come across as a standard romantic comedy. The dialog is not only witty and quick, but delivered by an outstanding supporting cast as well, that includes Judith Light, Robert Klein, Frances Conroy and Fred Willard. These seasoned actors contribute to the quirkiness of this movie, as we watch Ira and Abby deal with parents, friends and each other. A fun movie that is not only easy to watch, but has some substance to it, to make you think.
3 stars — DVD