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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 April 22, 2014. Click on a movie title for more information, trailers and reviews.
Bettie Page Reveals All. Rating: 4 (out of 5). The world’s greatest pinup model, Bettie Page, shares the true story of how free expression became the target of government witch-hunts and how she overcame them to help launch America’s sexual revolution. The film comes to VOD on Tuesday, April 22. While some of the reviews note that the film is lacking in production value, virtually all are impressed with the content of the film. As the Los Angeles Times notes, the film is a “highly watchable portrait.” Starring: Bettie Page, Dita Von Tease, Todd Oldham, Hugh Hefner. Director: Mark Mori. Rating: R. Genre: Documentary. Reviews, video and more.
Blue Ruin. Rating: 4 (out of 5). A beach bum finds his quiet life turned upside down by a very upsetting news, and travels back to his childhood home to seek revenge. Proving to be an ineffective assassin, he ends up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family. The film premieres on VOD on Friday, April 25. The critics are very impressed with the film, the majority citing Saulnier’s direction as promising. As ScreenDaily says, “Blue Ruin is distinguished by the way it allies solid storytelling to fine craftsmanship.” Starring: Macon Blair, Devin Ratray, Amy Hargreaves, Kevin Kolack, Eve Plumb, David W. Thompson, Brent Werzner, Stacy Rock, Sidne Anderson. Director: Jeremy Saulnier. Rating: Unrated. Genre: Thriller. Reviews, video and more.
Escape From Tomorrow comes to DVD and Blu-ray on April 29. The film tells the story of a middle-aged American husband and father of two who lost his job. To escape from reality and to keep the news from his family, he decides not to forgo their trip to the happiest place on Earth. But things turn bad when his sanity is challenged and their trip is turned into a nightmare. Interesting if, for no other reason, than to see what a film that was surreptitiously shot at Disney World looks like. Best Buy has the Blu-ray (and DVD) or, if you prefer Amazon for the DVD, click here.
Filth. Rating: 3 (out of 5). Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson is a corrupt cop who desperately wants a promotion. He will do absolutely anything to get that promotion, even stealing his colleagues’ wives and exposing their secrets. But when his past begins to catch up to him, he begins to lose control. Watch for Filth on VOD starting Thursday, April 24. The critics were mixed on the film but many were impressed with James McAvoy performance and, according to The Times, “James McAvoy gives his best performance to date as a morally and physically decaying detective in this hallucinogenic adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel.” Starring: James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Imogen Poots, Jim Broadbent, Joanne Froggatt, Shirley Henderson, Eddie Marsan, John Sessions. Director: Jon S. Baird. Rating: R Genre: Drama, Comedy, Crime. Reviews, video and more.
Gambit. Rating: 2 (out of 5). A remake of the 1966 action film, Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz stars in this film about a British thief who discovers that no plan is infallible after he recruits a beautiful woman to help him steal a statue from a wealthy widower. Although his accomplice resembles the target’s late wife, things start to go wrong once their plans begin. The film premieres on VOD on Friday, April 25, and has not won much (if any) praise from the critics. According to The Guardian, “An awful lot of talent has been put to waste here.” Starring: Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz, Alan Rickman, Tom Courtenay, Stanley Tucci. Director: Michael Hoffmann. Rating: PG-13. Genre: Drama. Reviews, video and more.