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Peeples – VOD
Rating: 3 (out of 5). Peeples. Wade Walker crashes the Peeples reunion in the Hamptons, and asks for their daughter Grace’s hand in marriage. Wade then spends a fun, surprising and dysfunctional weekend with the whole family, and discovers that, despite differences, there is room for all kinds of Peeples in this family. The critics don’t love this comedy but, as USA Today says, it is “predictable but still welcoming.” The reviews are below.
The film is also availalbe on Amazon.
Starring: Craig Robinson, David Alan Grier, Kerry Washington, S. Epatha Merkerson
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Los Angeles Times describes the movie as “… an infectious, warm comedy of family and communication and a promising debut as writer-director for Chism. These “Peeples” are people one should be happy to meet.”
The New York Times says, “Revelations unfold predictably, but the subplots cohere and the assured pacing offers a stark contrast with the often disjointed tempos of Mr. Perry’s mosaics. And Ms. Chism, who also wrote the screenplay, avoids Mr. Perry’s judgmental, often severe brand of tough love, embracing instead a more benign stance of forgiveness and acceptance.”
The Austin Chronicle thinks, “There’s not much here you haven’t already seen in similarly themed comedies like Wedding Crashers and Meet the Parents, and writer/director Tina Gordon Chism (who previously scripted the standout Drumline) doesn’t show the same verve with memorably outrageous set-pieces. But she’s good at low-key, observational humor, and the all-around excellent cast swings with aplomb from silly to sweet.”
USA Today says, “’Peeples’ is predictable but still welcoming.”
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, “Peeples, a likable if not exactly groundbreaking comedy, doesn’t get much deeper than that. But Tina Gordon Chism’s debut feature does point out the hypocrisy grown-ups are capable of – hiding secrets, hiding their feelings, even hiding valuable property from one another.”
The Boston Globe notes, “Chism shows talent and shrewd instincts in the timing and direction of the comedy — she handles the requisite dinner table disaster scene with aplomb.”
The Village Voice says, “Chism deserves commendation for crafting a farcical work that feels like it concerns real characters.”
Variety notes, ““Peeples” is rather unconcerned with even approximating actual human behavior en route to setting up its setpieces, which often works to its benefit. Many of the film’s best bits arise from scenarios that are unexplained, or introduced so flat-footedly that they might as well be, while the most strenuously orchestrated, long-lead punchlines often dissipate into sad little laughless dribbles.”
The Christian Science Monitor writes, “The slapstick is often clunky, but Robinson has a sweet jester’s disposition that keeps many of the gags from collapsing.”, and gives the movie a C+ rating.
Chicago Sun-Times thinks, “While “Peeples” follows a very predictable course as a romantic comedy and does not break any ground in that genre of filmmaking, this movie is more engaging than you might expect.”
Entertainment Weekly gives “Peeples” a C+ rating, and further notes, “Director Tina Gordon Chism keeps the innocuous class-meets-crass jokes bubbling, and the actors are amiable, but Peeples often seems to want to turn these characters into benignly goofy role models. Maybe that’s why the basic comic collision never explodes.”
New York Magazine says, “But while it’s predictable, contrived, and awkward, the scene still kinda sorta almost works, in part thanks to Robinson’s charming presence; the actor finds a way to let his joy carry over to the audience.”
New York Post observes, “It’s a good-natured broad comedy, episodic and sitcom-ish (without Perry’s trademark soapiness). It’s also largely without a plot, which gives it the sense of a 30-minute situation stretched way too far.”
New York Daily News thinks, “The movie might as well be called “Meet the Peeples” since there’s no denying the comparisons to Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro as our fumbling hero and his unforgiving father-in-law. But the stars here put their own stamp on the silliness, no matter how inevitably it unfolds.”
The Hollywood Reporter concludes, “The actors manage to draw a few laughs from leaden material as Tyler Perry Presents Meet the Parents.”
Slant Magazine calls the movie “an initially funny but ultimately measly variation on Meet the Parents.”
The Arizona Republic writes, “Scenes thrown together randomly make a movie hard to follow, too. Reading that first sentence is what watching “Peeples” is like. The elements are all there. They’re just thrown together in haphazard fashion. A funny scene here, an attempt at a touching scene there, toss, repeat randomly, the end.”
TimeOut New York gives the show 2 out of 5 stars, and writes, “… this attempt at male-anxiety cringe-comedy is little more than a sitcom writ large that—courtesy of several awkward transitional fades to black—already feels constructed to accommodate commercial breaks.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch thinks, “With such a terrific cast (which also includes legends Melvin Van Peebles and Diahann Carroll as the grandparents and Malcolm Barrett as Wade’s brother), this Tyler Perry production is doubly disappointing.”
The Times-Picayune rates the movie 1 out of 5 stars, and writes why: “The cookie-cutter script is painfully generic at every turn and woefully devoid of any real laughs.”
RogerEbert.com gives “Peeples” 3 stars, and further writes, “The sign of a good comedy is whether you laugh. Coupled with my enjoyment of the performances, I laughed enough to give “Peeples” three stars.”
A.V. Club gives the movie a B- rating, and further notes, “It’s a formulaic comedy that wants nothing more than to be funny and to present likable characters who seem like real people. For the most part, it succeeds—which makes it one of the smartest and most accomplished films to emerge from under the Perry banner.”
Movie Nation writes, “The laughs follow an overly familiar path, but it’s great to see Grier, one of the bright lights of the seminal TV sketch comedy “In Living Color,” button down this judge and find ways to break formula and make him hilarious.”
Film.com gives the movie a 6.5 out of 10 rating, and further thinks, ““Peeples” saves itself from a complete belly flop, by the barest of margins, by leaning heavily on its initial strength of good-natured charm. This is an impossible film to hate, it’s nowhere near awful enough, and it passes the time in an acceptably speedy manner.”
According to IndieWire, “The cast alone deserves to be recognized more than the notes of “Speak It, Don’t Leak It.” And yet, here I am, humming it.”
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New on VOD
Here are the new VOD films for the week of March 4, 2014. Click on a movie title for more information, trailers and reviews.
12 Years a Slave. Rating: 5 (out of 5). Solomon Northup, a free black man living in upstate New York, is abducted and sold to slavery in the 1800s. This year's Oscar Winner for Best Picture (amongst other awards) comes to VOD on March 4. Critics loved this movie, New York Post calls it “The "Schindler's List" of slavery films.” Reviews, video and more.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Rating: 4 (out of 5). Katniss Everdeen is back on the big screen in this second installment of the Hunger Games series. She returns home safe with fellow tribute, Peeta Mellark, but their reunion with their families and friends is cut short when they learn that they have to compete in the Hunger Games for the second time. The film premieres on VOD on Friday, March 7, and has been positively received by critics. The Boston Globe thinks, “Book’s good. Movie’s better.” Reviews, video and more.
After The Dark. Rating: 3 (out of 5). A philosophy teacher challenges his class of twenty students with a thought experiment: faced with a nuclear apocalypse, they must determine which ten of them would take shelter underground and reboot the human race. The experiment turns deadly as everyone in the group turns against each other in a fight for survival. The film comes to VOD on Tuesday, March 4. It has received mixed reviews from the critics, but Los Angeles Times thinks, “While the story's conceit brims with metaphor and symbolism, it rarely comes off as didactic or heavy-handed. Instead, it's smart and provocative. The movie's late-breaking twist also feels about right.” Reviews, video and more.
Oldboy. Rating: 3 (out of 5). Joe Doucette, an advertising executive, was kidnapped and held in solitary confinement for 20 years. When he is released without any explanation, he begins to search for answers as to who and why he captured, only to find out that the bigger question is to why he was released. The film will be available on VOD starting Tuesday, March 4. The critics gave Spike Lee’s remake of a South Korean film mixed reviews, with inevitable comparisons to the original Oldboy. But according to Chicago Sun-Times, “It’s generally a respectful homage that has every bit as much stylishness and visual flair.” Reviews, video and more.
The Bag Man. Rating: 1 (out of 5). Jack is hired by Dragna, a legendary crime boss, to complete a simple but unusual task, and is made to wait for the latter’s arrival in a remote location. While waiting for the crime boss, Jack meets Rivka, a stunningly beautiful woman who becomes emotionally and physically entangled with Jack. When Dragna finally makes it to the location, there are sudden and extreme consequences for all involved. The film will be premiering on VOD on Tuesday, March 4. Most critics were not pleased with the film, and Los Angeles Times thinks, “"The Bag Man," starring John Cusack, Robert De Niro and Rebecca Da Costa, is a brutally violent, misogynistic mind game gone wrong.” Reviews, video and more.
Perfect Sisters. No Rating. Tired of their mother’s dependence on alcohol and abusive boyfriends, two sisters devise a plot to kill her. The film premires on VOD on Monday, March 10. No critic reviews are available as of writing.
Missing William. No Rating. A 30-something artist based in Rhode Island, Abby, is caring for her husband, William, who got injured in a bar fight. While nursing her husband back to health, her childhood sweetheart, James, tries to show her that life can be enjoyable again. The movie will be available on VOD starting Friday, March 7. No critic reviews available as of writing. Video and more.