Based on the iconic children’s series by Beatrix Potter, Peter Rabbit centers on the titular character, a self-confident and mischievous rabbit (Corden) who is determined to claim victory over the animal hating Mr. McGregor (Domnhnall Gleeson). McGregor is vying for the affections of his neighbor Bea (Rose Byrne), and it’s up to Peter and his siblings (voices of Margot Robbie, Daisy Ridley, Elizabeth Debicki) to stop the coupling from coming to fruition. Will Gluck, who helmed the 2014 feature Annie, directs.
“I guess when he does mess up and make a mistake, he rectifies it in the best way possible,” said Corden. “And that I think is the best message for the film really which is everyone is going to make mistakes, all the time, all of us, whoever you are, there are screw ups coming your way. But what’s important is how you deal with those mistakes and who you are in those mistakes and that you learn from them and try not to make them again.”
Click on the media bar to hear Corden talk about the “constantly evolving” process behind Peter Rabbit:
Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit books are internationally beloved, and it will be interesting to see if Sony Pictures Animation has successfully translated the spirit of Potter’s work to the big screen.
Peter Rabbit (voiced by James Corden) is a charismatic rabbit whose idyllic life is upended with the arrival of Mr. McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson), a mean man who simply wants to dispatch of all rabbits. Next door neighbor Bea (Rose Byrne) is an animal lover, and McGregor is trying his best to put himself in her good graces by pretending to be much more sensitive than he actually is. It’s up to Peter and his fellow friends to put McGregor in his place and rescue Bea from this rather horrible fellow! Check out the trailer below and tell us what you think!
Featuring the voices of Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, and Daisy Ridley, Peter Rabbit opens nationwide February 9, 2019.
If one were to jump to conclusions, the assumption behind Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising was it would be a rehash of the original and an innocuous cash grab from Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, and company. Thankfully, that’s not the case, as the sequel actually brings a fresh take to this suburban adults versus energetic college kids scenario.
Though weed is still a prominent part of their household, Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) are actually setting into their roles as parents, as their daughter Stella (Zoey Vargas) seems to be a well adjusted kid (even though she’s always using her mother’s vibrator as her own play toy). With another baby girl on the horizon, the couple’s current house is now in escrow as they’ve purchased a newer home in Georgia. Their fraternity nightmares with Teddy (Zac Efron) and his fellow college buddies is long over, and things are definitely looking up for the loving couple.
Trouble comes in the form of freshmen Shelby (Chloe Grace Moretz), Beth (Dope star Kiersey Clemons) and Nora (a scene stealing Beanie Feldstein), three ladies who are sick of pledging for sororities that depend on fraternities for most of their social activities. These independent minded women want a sisterhood of their own, where they can throw their own parties, and thus they form Kappa Nu and instantly gain popularity thanks to the re-emergence of Teddy.
As much as Mac and Kelly support girl power, Kappa Nu’s noise level is a bane on their neighborhood and could lead to a failed escrow. Meanwhile, Teddy is still in search of a place to belong and to be valued, so helping them form Kappa Nu is his temporary calling. When they eventually separate from Teddy due to creative differences on how to run the sorority, Teddy teams up with his former enemies to take down Kappa Nu.
The movie opens with Kelly throwing up all over Mac during a lovemaking session, and gross out humor fans should be satiated with some of the comedy’s most lowest common denominator moments (a Zac Efrondance scene that goes south comes to mind). Much of the film’s lasting appeal, however, comes from the likable appeal of Moretz and the women that inhabit Kappa Nu. These ladies want to create a sorority that enables each member to express themselves in whichever manner they choose, and it’s hard not to pull for them when their goals come from a pure place. Credit also goes to writer/director Nicholas Stoller for injecting a ton of humor that seems to actually come from real life (for example, Mac and Kelly’s continuing neurosis about being good parents) rather than simply low brow, raunchy humor.
One of the wonderful surprises behind Neighborswas witnessing the maturation of Teddy from a two dimensional frat boy to a caring friend (Dave Franco, who plays Teddy’s best bud Pete, is also back), and thankfully Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising gives Teddy even more space to grow as a person.
There’s a ton of humor to keep you laughing in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, but there’s also a bit of heart and substance thrown in for good measure. As sequels go, this movie absolutely hits the mark and it’s actually an improvement over the original.
On this week’s episode of CinemAddicts, we review three new films coming out on Friday: The Meddler, Elvis & Nixon, and A Hologram For The King.
Set in Los Angeles and directed by Lorene Scafaria (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World), The Meddler centers on Marnie, a widow who continues to meddle in her daughter Lori’s (Rose Byrne) life. Her intrusive but loving behavior actually ends up being a good thing for Lori, a successful TV writer whose personal life is a shambles after breaking up with her actor/boyfriend (Jason Ritter).
Kevin Spacey is U.S. President Richard Nixon and Michael Shannon is Elvis Presley in Elvis & Nixon, a narrative which centers on the December 1970 meeting between the two iconic figures. The project also stars Alex Pettyfer and Colin Hanks.
Colin’s dad Tom Hanks is front and center with A Hologram for the King, a comedy/drama that’s adapted from Dave Eggers’ novel. The storyline centers on Alan (Hanks), a businessman who travels to Saudi Arabia in hopes of closing a huge deal that will hopefully change his life. Sarita Choudhury and Alexander Black co-star in the film, which reunites Hanks with Cloud Atlas director Tom Tykwer.
The Meddler is a comedy whose heart and soul comes straight from writer/director Lorene Scafaria. With Seeking a Friend for the End of the World she explored the search for companionship during the end of days, and though The Meddler isn’t set within an apocalyptic environment, its narrative is just as ambitious.
It’s been two years since her husband’s passing, and Marnie (Susan Sarandon) still hasn’t fully processed the tragedy. Instead of finalizing where to keep or her loved one’s ashes (his family lives in New Jersey), she busies herself by eagerly adjusting to life in Los Angeles and “meddling” in her daughter Lori’s (Rose Byrne) affairs. Lori is a highly successful TV writer who’s working on a new pilot, and though her career is on the upswing, her personal life is on the rocks (she still harbors feelings for her ex-boyfriend, played by Jason Ritter).
When she’s not consoling her daughter or dropping by for an unexpected visit, Marnie hangs out at the Grove, a beautiful outdoor shopping center where many Angelenos and tourists congregate. There she befriends Freddy (Jerrod Carmichael), an Apple Store employee who helps her with iPhone questions and, thanks to Marnie’s refreshingly over friendly nature, becomes a significant part of her life.
Slowly but surely, Marnie builds a new family in Los Angeles, giving a supremely generous gift to one of Lori’s friends (Saturday Night Live’sCecily Strong) and befriending Zipper (J.K. Simmons), a retired cop who raises chickens out in Topanga Canyon. Since Lori is way too busy for and, at times, irritated by her mother, Marnie redirects her energy with this trio of relative strangers.
In playing Marnie, Sarandon thankfully doesn’t go for a broad, caricature based portrayal of a helicopter mom. Rather, she opts for a much more subtle approach, infusing The Meddler with a grounded sense of reality within the more film’s more outrageous comedic moments (without giving too much away, there’s a testicle punching scene that garnered a chuckle). Another reason for The Meddler’s sense of authenticity is it’s inspired by Scafaria’s own parents, as her mother also moved from New Jersey to Los Angeles to Los Angeles after her father’s death.
With all its stereotypical eccentricities, Los Angeles, like any big city, can be a very lonely place. Finding your own home, especially if its seemingly tucked away in a corner, is one way to navigate through an intimidating metropolis, and Scafaria effectively showcases the more intimate aspects of the City of Angels. The movie is also a showcase for Sarandon who gives one of her most appealing and affecting performances to date.
Losing a loved one is an inevitability, and how Marnie gradually finds her own footing by reaching out to others is, thanks to grade-A writing and wonderful work from a talented ensemble, a sublime experience. With Seeking a Friend for the End of the World and The Meddler,Lorene Scafaria introduces us to people who continue to persevere through their respective storms with a little love and hope to guide their way. Marnie’s generous spirit is downright admirable and infectious, and by the film’s closing moments don’t be surprised if you do a little meddling of your own.
The Meddler (PG-13, 103 minutes) opens in New York and Los Angeles Friday, April 22.