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Thu08062020

Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

1. Hercules (Paramount)

2. How to Train Your Dragon 2* (20th Century Fox)

3. Tammy* (Warner Bros.)

4. Let's Be Cops (20th Century Fox)

5. Maleficent (Disney)

6. The Purge: Anarchy (Universal)

7. Earth to Echo (20th Century Fox)

8. Neighbors (Universal)

9. The Fluffy Movie (Universal)

10. Sex Tape (Sony)

* Available for rental before Redbox and Netflix

Published in Video Top 10

1. Hercules (Paramount)

2. Earth to Echo* (20th Century Fox)

3. The Purge: Anarchy* (Universal)

4. Maleficent (Disney)

5. Planes: Fire and Rescue (Disney)

6. Deliver Us From Evil (Sony)

7. Neighbors (Universal)

8. Mr. Peabody and Sherman (20th Century Fox)

9. Sex Tape (Sony)

10. Transformers: Age of Extinction (Paramount)

* Available for rental before Redbox and Netflix

Published in Video Top 10

1. Earth to Echo* (20th Century Fox)

2. The Purge: Anarchy* (Universal)

3. Neighbors (Universal)

4. X-Men: Days of Future Past* (20th Century Fox)

5. Sex Tape (Sony)

6. Mr. Peabody and Sherman* (20th Century Fox)

7. Transformers: Age of Extinction (Paramount)

8. A Million Ways to Die in the West* (Universal)

9. The Fluffy Movie* (Universal)

10. Snowpiercer (Anchor Bay)

* Available for rental before Redbox and Netflix

Published in Video Top 10

1. Neighbors (Universal)

2. Transformers: Age of Extinction (Paramount)

3. X-Men: Days of Future Past* (20th Century Fox)

4. Edge of Tomorrow* (Warner Bros.)

5. Godzilla (Warner Bros.)

6. Mr. Peabody and Sherman* (20th Century Fox)

7. Blended (Warner Bros.)

8. A Million Ways to Die in the West* (Universal)

9. Chef* (Universal)

10. Brick Mansions (20th Century Fox)

* Available for rental before Redbox and Netflix

Published in Video Top 10

1. Transformers: Age of Extinction (Paramount)

2. Neighbors* (Universal)

3. Godzilla (Warner Bros.)

4. Edge of Tomorrow* (Warner Bros.)

5. Million Dollar Arm (Disney)

6. Chef* (Universal)

7. A Million Ways to Die in the West* (Universal)

8. Blended (Warner Bros.)

9. The Fault in Our Stars (20th Century Fox)

10. Brick Mansions (20th Century Fox)

* Available for rental before Redbox and Netflix

Published in Video Top 10

1. Transformers: Age of Extinction (Paramount)

2. Neighbors* (Universal)

3. Chef* (Universal)

4. Godzilla* (Warner Bros.)

5. Blended (Warner Bros.)

6. The Fault in Our Stars* (20th Century Fox)

7. Third Person (Sony)

8. Brick Mansions (20th Century Fox)

9. Think Like a Man Too (Sony)

10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Disney)

* Available for rental before Redbox and Netflix

Published in Video Top 10

1. Godzilla* (Warner Bros.)

2. Neighbors* (Universal)

3. Blended (Warner Bros.)

4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Disney)

5. Brick Mansions* (20th Century Fox)

6. The Fault in Our Stars* (20th Century Fox)

7. Think Like a Man Too (Sony)

8. The Signal* (Universal)

9. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Sony)

10. Moms' Night Out (Sony)

* Available for rental before Redbox and Netflix

Published in Video Top 10

Madam Secretary (Sunday, Sept. 21, CBS), series debut: When the secretary of state is killed in a plane crash, Elizabeth McCord (Teá Leoni), who quit the CIA years ago over “ethical issues,” is yanked out of her college-professor gig to replace him … sure. Beyond the iffy setup, Madam Secretary kicks into West Wing mode, establishing McCord’s zero-tolerance policy for bureaucratic bullshit and useless protocol. Madam Secretary is as solid a political drama as network TV has seen in years, and handled right, it could be Leoni’s The Good Wife moment—work it, CBS.

Mr. Pickles (Sunday, Sept. 21, Adult Swim), series debut: Finally! A new animated series from Adult Swim! The live-action shows are cool (most of them, anyway—we’ll see how Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories goes), but the late-night stoner ’toons have been missed. In quaint Old Town, young boy Tommy thinks his dog Mr. Pickles is just a carefree scamp—but he’s really a Satanic entity that will screw, maim or kill (in no particular order) any human or animal that crosses his path, and then make it look like he saved the day, à la Lassie. Only Grandpa has witnessed the evil of Mr. Pickles, but no one believes him, because, well, he’s old. Sick, twisted and wrong—just the way I like my cartoons. Thanks, Adult Swim.

Gotham (Monday, Sept. 22, Fox), series debut: This Batman-free Gotham may be just a highly stylized cop show with glimpses of future DC Comics supervillains, but a highly stylized cop show is better than a no-style cop show. Gotham, centered around detectives James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), sports this season’s priciest-looking pilot: The police station looks like the ’40s; the cars look like the ’70s; and you never see a cell phone or computer, but there are satellite dishes on the rooftops. (Gotham occupies no specific time period.) And of all the excellent performances, the most surprising of all is that of Jada Pinkett Smith as Gotham crime boss Fish Mooney—any show that can make her likable is onto something.

Forever (Monday, Sept. 22, ABC), series debut: Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four) plays a New York City medical examiner who knows everything—literally, because he’s secretly been alive for 200 years. When he teams up with NYPD detective Jo Martinez (Alana de la Garza), there’s no crime they can’t solve ... if Castle or Elementary haven’t already closed it. It matters not: Forever is too optimistic for an ABC series whose regular timeslot will be Tuesdays at 9.

Scorpion (Monday, Sept. 22, CBS), series debut: It seems late for a Nerds Assist the Feds procedural, but here’s Scorpion, wherein three good-looking “outcasts” clack keyboards, drop sci-fi references and run wires to fight The Terrorists. Working for squinty fed Robert Patrick, the Scorpion—or, if you won’t, </scorpion>—team are “brilliant misfits who comprise the last line of defense against complex, high-tech threats of the modern age.” </lame>

Black-ish (Wednesday, Sept. 23, ABC), series debut: Anthony Anderson stars as a family man with a corporate PR job and a sweet suburban spread, but he’s becoming more aware (via narration, this season’s hot trend, along with the Chubby Bearded Bud) of his clan’s disassociation with black culture, and the casual disapproval of his live-in dad (Laurence Fishburne) only exacerbates his anxiety. For a seemingly one-note premise, Black-ish delivers as many laughs in its debut episode as its more-established sitcom neighbors—this is either what The Boondocks railed against or really wanted all along.


DVD ROUNDUP FOR SEPT. 23!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 1

Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher, Chelsea Peretti and Terry Crews star in the best cop comedy since, oh, Barney Miller (or at least Baywatch Nights). Don’t let the fact that it won two Golden Globes deter you—B99 is still funny as hell. (Universal)

Geek War

A mysterious VHS tape that’s been up for sale in a comic book shop for 25 years is suddenly snatched up by a geek girl, prompting two geek guys to try to seduce her for the tape. Not really a “war,” but it’s a better title than Nerd Seduction. (MVD/SRS)

How I Met Your Mother: Season 9

The final season with Barney, Robin, Ted, Lily, Marshall and what’s-her-name, purportedly presented here with a bonus alternate ending which fans won’t hate with the intensity of a thousand intense things. It’s going to be legen—wait for it … keep waiting … (Fox)

Neighbors

A young couple (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne—so, young-ish) and their baby are tormented by a frat house, led by a beautiful, shirtless bastard (beautiful, shirtless Zac Efron). Mayhem and The Breastfeeding Incident of 2014 ensue. (Universal)

Wer

A defense attorney (Criminal Minds’ A.J. Cook) takes the case of Talan (Brian Scott O’Connor), a man accused of brutally murdering a family. As if his name weren’t a giveaway, he turns out to be a werewolf. Sure, blame it on the dog. (Universal)

More New DVD/VOD Releases (Sept. 23)

The 100: Season 1, After, The Calling, Defiance: Season 2, Hell and Mr. Fudge, Key and Peele: Season 3, Modern Family: Season 5, Mom: Season 1, Nashville: Season 2, Necessary Roughness: Season 3, Reign: Season 1, The Rover, Royal Pains: Season 5, Scandal: Season 3, We Are the Best!

Published in TV

Old School, that funny frat comedy starring Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn that proudly stands alongside Animal House as a genre-best, is already 11 years-old.

ELEVEN … YEARS … OLD.

So, yes, the world is ripe for a new, quality frat comedy—and it gets a good new entry with the new Seth Rogen offering, Neighbors.

Mac and Kelly (Rogen and Rose Byrne) are happily adjusting to their new roles as parents to a baby daughter in a quiet suburban neighborhood. However, while they are adjusting to their new sleep and sex schedules, a fraternity moves in next door.

They don’t panic, figuring they are still cool enough to get along with college kids. An initial meeting with frat president Teddy (Zac Efron) goes well, and they even wind up joining the fray (baby monitor in hand) for a drugged-out, booze-drenched party, establishing themselves as cool neighbors who might be able to handle a party house next door. Mac and Teddy even develop a brotherly camaraderie, suggesting that if Mac were just a few years younger, he might’ve been a worthy frat brother. They talk about getting walkie-talkies to communicate between their houses. They bond.

Of course, the honeymoon doesn’t last for long.

When a weeknight party keeps the baby up, Mac and Kelly transform from party-happy neighbors into sleep-deprived malcontents, and they call the cops. Teddy takes this as a stab in the back, which leads to all-out war. There will be no walkie-talkies for Mac and Teddy.

I doubt moviegoers will have much difficulty with the thin plot. The movie concentrates on rapid-fire jokes, and most of them hit the mark, often with shockingly raunchy results. Nobody goes to a movie like this yearning for gravitas; instead, viewers get to see what happens when a toddler puts a discarded condom in her mouth. (It’s a jaw dropping punch line, for sure.)

Efron, who took a shot at broad comedy earlier this year with the awful That Awkward Moment after a string of dramatic misfires, creates a hilariously odd person in Teddy. Teddy has issues underneath his Abercrombie-model physique: He has a tragic need to be accepted that places partying as the No. 1 priority over cracking a book. When Mac turns on him, Teddy turns to annihilation mode—but you can see the hurt behind his beautiful eyes.

Coming out of nowhere with amazing comic chops is Byrne, who earns some of the film’s biggest laughs (an uncomfortable joke involving breast-feeding not withstanding). Director Nicholas Stoller wisely finds a way for Byrne to use her Australian accent (she was an exchange student who met Mac at college), and she gives a commanding performance. From her inability to deliver the words “Keep it down!” in a cool way, to her scheming “Hos before bros” technique utilized to take down the fraternity, Byrne brings atomic estrogen to this bro-fest.

Neighbors isn’t a typical “neighbor” comedy, in which the neighbors are far apart in age and sensibilities like Dennis the Menace. The thing that makes Neighbors unique is that Mac and Kelly are almost envious of the fun going on at the loud house next door; it’s the sort of mayhem they were into just a few years ago. Meanwhile, Teddy seems slightly aware that he’s just a few years away from becoming the annoyed guy next to loud neighbors. It makes for a very strange dynamic.

While that strange dynamic might fuel the emotional tension in the movie, Neighbors is really all about moments like Mac unsuspectingly deploying an airbag placed in his office chair, and funny dildo jokes.

Hey, it’s hard to make a funny dildo joke these days. They’ve been done to death. Neighbors is one of those movies that makes done-to-death jokes funny again.

Neighbors is playing at theaters across the valley. 

Published in Reviews