Stephanie is a single mother with a parenting vlog who befriends Emily, a secretive upper-class woman who has a child at the same elementary school. When Emily goes missing, Stephanie takes it upon herself to investigate.
Five years after her husband and daughter are killed in a senseless act of violence, a woman comes back from self-imposed exile to seek revenge against those responsible and the system that let them go free.
John Gallagher Jr.,
Circa 1968, several strangers, most with a secret to bury, meet by chance at Lake Tahoe's El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one night, everyone will show their true colors - before everything goes to hell.
Ron Stallworth, an African American police officer from Colorado Springs, CO, successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan branch with the help of a Jewish surrogate who eventually becomes its leader. Based on actual events.
John David Washington,
A murder mystery set in a world where humans and puppets co-exist, but puppets are viewed as second-class citizens. When the puppet cast of an '90s children's TV show begins to get murdered one by one, a former cop, who has since become a private eye, takes on the case.Written by
Puppets featured in That Puppet Game Show (2013) play characters and extras in the movie. Eddie Watts is a waiter in the restaurant Phil and Larry Shenanigans are talking in, on the wall photo and in the background. Clyde Stravinsky as the crab in the garbage can at the beach. Jake Hamilton-Jones as the little girl's father who Phil accidentally shoots. Dr. Strabismus as the doctor at the puppet clinic who refuses to operate on Connie. One of the singing Hot Dogs appears during the end credits. See more »
The Silly String shot on the door of Phil's office changes positions throughout the scene. See more »
Never Gonna Give You Up
Written by Mike Stock (as Michael Stock), Matt Aitken (as Matthew Aitken), and Pete Waterman (as Peter Waterman)
Performed by Rick Astley
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited & RCA Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment See more »
For years moviegoers have had to deal with what I call the "preview problem,", a term I just pulled out of my nether regions. The preview problem is easy to explain: the folks that make movie previews have one job and one job only, and that is to sell the film they are advertising. The trouble begins with the fact that they have gotten very good at this. It doesn't matter the quality or type of film or even if you end up liking it or not. These guys could not care less about audiences' opinions if they came in a book labeled "The Picture Book of Colonoscopies." As soon as those butts are comfortably ensconced in theater seats their job is done. And they will go to some pretty far lengths in order get that essential opening weekend box office moolah: From showing scenes that are not actually in the finished film to giving a completely wrong expectation of the movie in question.
And so, with come to The Happytimes Murders, a film that overpromises and disappoints worst than a teenage boy on prom night. On its face, the premise presented on the trailer is almost genius in its simplicity. What if we had a Muppets movie for adults? The analogy is not entirely glib being the movie was directed by the revered Jim Henson's own son, Brian, making his feature-length debut. By all expectations this should have been if not a hilarious sleeper hit, then at the very least, a little funny.
It is not.
What went wrong? It's not the fact the writers throw every tired old detective movie cliché at the screen in an attempt to remake "The Maltese Falcon" with puppets and foul language. And it is also not the issue that, as shown in the trailer, puppets simulating sex is NOT inherently funny. Team America proved that premise could be hilarious that 14 years ago.
No, the trouble is that the writers et al. forgot that what makes Muppets, cartoons and marionettes interesting in the first place is that they live by their own set of rules. Consider the classic "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" Cartoons living in a human world but following cartoon rules. Putting puppets in a human world, obeying human rules misses the point of puppets completely and makes for a film that annoys rather than entertain. If anything, this just proves that you can't just throw a bunch of curse words and sex jokes and expect a hit.
But even all that could be forgiven if the film didn't commit the worst sin of all and that is misusing a particular stellar cast of comedians. Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale, Elizabeth Banks and Michael McDonald have maybe 3 minutes of funny screen time between them. And while ostensibly the film is about a murder mystery, not making Melissa McCarthy funny is the real crime here.
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