Monday, July 21, 2014

Movie Review: Sex Tape

The supposedly racy comedy just never gets the audience off.

Posted By on Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 1:27 PM

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The recent phenomenon that has run a train through the many celebrities who wish to put themselves on tape has now come to the big screen. It’s only right to make fun of the situation, and that’s where this movie comes into (fore)play. Sex Tape, directed by Jake Kasdan, is a comedy about just that: a sex tape. After creating, then mistakenly uploading a video to their friends, family, and strangers, the principal couple (Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel) desperately tries to track down the remaining errant copies. Rob Corddry and Ellie Kemper play the funny couple from next door; other notable appearances include Rob Lowe, Nat Faxon, and Nancy Lenhan. While the film creates cheap laughs, it’s nothing to be hot and bothered about. The director and both protagonists meet for the second time since losing it in their first film together, Bad Teacher.

This is a “movie about a movie that they don’t want you to see;" ironically, I would have to say the same about the movie itself. The film felt like it wanted show what humor it could stir up from the situation, but nothing genuinely hilarious came of it. It could’ve been funny, but the lack of material from the writers (Nicholas Stoller, Jason Segel) and actors made this one night easy to forget. Most of the actors are bland, and there’s no real temptation to lust after them or the story. It can also be difficult to watch due to how hard the actors tried to successfully make a flaccid, lifeless film. The random scenes breeze by throughout this hour-and-a-half feature, making it feel like a quickie, which is actually a good thing. It’s only decent to watch when absolutely nothing else is happening in your life; other than that, just keep it as a booty call. The best part, of course, was the money shot, when the credits rolled.

The film doesn’t achieve anything more coming off as a cheesy, dull comedy, with the most random scenes wedged together. The filmmakers tried to make fun of this new sensation that has swept the Internet, but ended up with nothing truly good, fun or substantial to give the audience. With all the other films currently playing, skip this one and watch something more stimulating. 

2 out of 5 stars.
Rated R. Directed by Jake Kasdan. Starring Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper. Now playing.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

A fond farewell to James Garner

The actor known as Jim Rockford and Bret Maverick has died of natural causes at 86.

Posted By on Sun, Jul 20, 2014 at 3:42 PM

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Cheeky, suave TV and movie star James Garner has died of natural causes at 86.

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Announced for September: Nick Swardson at The Straz

Posted By on Sun, Jul 20, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Terry Funny: Nick Swardsons stand-up comedy tour hits The Straz Sept. 30
  • Terry Funny: Nick Swardson's stand-up comedy tour hits The Straz Sept. 30

Popular comedians often fall into one of two camps: The ones who hit big with a well-known role, and the ones who grind it out by writing, acting and performing on a number of successful projects.

Nick Swardson qualifies for both groups.

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Do This: Weekend Top 10

Fun on the beach, at the pool, at art shows, offbeat fashion and a great reunion lead the heap.

Posted By on Sat, Jul 19, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Monty Python Live (Mostly) can be seen at theaters this week, beginning Sunday night.
  • Monty Python Live (Mostly) can be seen at theaters this week, beginning Sunday night.

Cool, offbeat and splashy outdoor events help you have a little extra fun July 19-20.

On Saturday ...

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The Taste of the Beaches: A Sizzlin’ Summer Bash offers nosh and outdoor fun with local bands the Hamiltones, 4-6:30 p.m. and Hunks of Funk at 7 p,m. Proceeds go to the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce for Clothes to Kids. $10. Sat., July 19, 4-10 p.m. Horan Park, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive, St. Pete Beach. 727-360-6957. tampabaybeaches.com.

Big doin's in downtown St. Pete. For its annual, outlandish runway show, Artpool owner Marina Williams claims she's putting on her biggest Trashion Fashion event to date. Bluelucy is premiering the Bike exhibition. It's also the PAVA Cool Art Show 26 Sat. and Sun. at the Coliseum — the summer's biggest indoor art show.

Heartwarming, quriky flick The Grand Seduction is currently showing at Tampa Theatre.The remake of the 2003 French-Canadian farce Seducing Doctor Lewis is another folksy-funny somewhat deadpan charmer a la Waking Ned Devine and The Full Monty. Visit tampatheatre.org for showtimes. Read a review here.

Jeff Dye
  • Jeff Dye
In the mood for a comedy show? Celeb Bill Bellamy 
Bill Bellamy
  • Bill Bellamy
brings his Ladies Night tour to headline gigs at the Improv. Babyfaced comic Jeff Dye is also in town. Read CL's Laugh Tract for more live comedy shows.


On Sunday ...

The Epicurean Hotel helps you beat the heat with its Sunday Splash Pool Party with "Icy inspired drinks, upbeat vibes and an exceptional crowd." 1207 S Howard Ave, Tampa; $10 admission (reduced from $15). Order tickets at epictreasures.launchtrack.com.

Watch the Rays vs. Twins game on a big screen on the beach at the Tradewinds Rays Watch Party at 2:10 p.m., on St. Pete Beach by Guy Harvey Outpost; food and drink specials featured; no coolers allowed.

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See Peter O'Toole's blazing blue eyes on the big screen when Tampa Theatre’s Summer Movie Classics Series screens the visually lush 1962 seven-­Oscar winner, Lawrence of Arabia.

Roller Derby fans in Pinellas can check out the The Rolling Valkyries vs. The North River Renegades of the Roller Derby Revolution Roller Derby, an All-Female Flat-Track Roller Derby League 6:30 p.m. at Astro Skate, 875 Cypress St., Tarpon Springs. 727-280-7981. brownpapertickets.com/event/758378.

Monty Python Live (Mostly), the last show of a 10-night reunion juggernaut will be broadcast to select cinemas all around the world. The show promises many of the classic, tawdry, Python bits, and is their first full reunion since 1980. The five remaining Pythoners (RIP Graham Chapman) will include a few twists for old favorites. Says John Cleese, “The main danger we have is that the audience know the scripts better than we do." Bay area fans can look forward* to the show simulcast in select theaters July 20, with replays on the 23 and 24th. *Trojan bunnies will be searched on site.  Sun, July 20, 2:30 p.m., with replays on July 23 and 24, 7:30 p.m., Regal Citrus Park, AMC Brandon Regency, AMC Woodlands in Oldsmar, and Regal Park Place in Pinellas Park; for tickets and info, $18; more info at FathomEvents.com. (Text by Brian Frederick)

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freeFall Theatre’s July Tandem Series features Ryan James Monroe — I Don’t Make Coffee. Monroe makes the most of his summer internship at freeFall by taking the stage in his one-man cabaret with music that ranges from Mozart to Jason Robert Brown. The show serves as a fundraiser for Ryan, who will be studying opera in Florence, Italy, with Elon University in the fall. Show on Sat., July 19; tickets are $20. freeFall Theatre Company, 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-498-5205. freefalltheatre.com.


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Friday, July 18, 2014

Movie Review: The Grand Seduction

The Grand Seduction puts on a charm offensive with big ambitions, but slight returns.

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 4:32 PM

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Welcome to Tickle Head, population 120. Kindly fall in love with this Newfoundland harbor town and its offbeat citizens. Such is the ambition of The Grand Seduction, which wants to be the kind of film that glides on the eccentricities of imperfect but endearing inhabitants who all know and occasionally press each other's buttons to comical effect. The ambition is familiar, but the steps the movie takes to reach its intended destination are puzzling and off-putting. What else but a failure to see the trees for the forest could explain a film that expects us to root for an intermittently hardscrabble people who think nothing of bribing an oil company with cash and a promise of no taxes so it will build a petrochemical facility overlooking their bit of ocean?

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Movie Review: The Purge: Anarchy

A Frank Grillo-driven follow-up gives audiences more than they got from Ethan Hawke and last year’s flop, but is it enough?

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 2:31 PM

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As the last customers file out of a city diner at half past 4 p.m., the wait staff are eager to head home.

A gaunt, broken man silently feeds ammunition into a revolver before checking the rest of his arsenal inside an empty home.

The unhappy couple take comfort in their decision to travel the backroads, avoiding the mess on the freeway.

Around them, everyone is preparing for the Purge.

Eva (Carmen Ejogo), a waitress at the diner, stays behind to ask her boss for a raise — in order to pay for her ailing father’s medications — on the cusp of of the evening when murder is legal. Shane and Liz (Zach Gilford and Kiele Sanchez) are splitting up, but they disagree over whether or not they should tell his sister; Liz thinks it’s a good idea to spill the beans on the night when there is no law. The darkly haggard man known only as Sergeant (Frank Grillo) is the one mission-driven man heading out after dark during a night of aimless slaughter.

There’s the siren. It’s go time.

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Do This: God of Carnage, Rays Watch Party

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 8:44 AM

A TIME OUT FOR MOM AND DAD: God of Carnage cast (L-R) Brian Shea, Cathy Schenkelberg, Katherine Michelle Tanner, and Billy Edwards, - CHAD JACOB
  • Chad Jacob
  • A TIME OUT FOR MOM AND DAD: God of Carnage cast (L-R) Brian Shea, Cathy Schenkelberg, Katherine Michelle Tanner, and Billy Edwards,


Two great outing for theater lovers and Rays fans tonight:

Last year American Stage gave us Yasmina Reza’s acerbic comedy Art, and this year, the company closes out its current season with the playwright’s even more acclaimed God of Carnage. The Tony-winning play reveals how civility can deteriorate when well-meaning parents get dirtier than their kids’ playground dispute. Karla Hartley directs the “comedy of manners without manners,” and the promising cast features Katherine Michelle Tanner, Billy Edwards, Cathy Schenkelberg and Brian Shea. Former UT professor Kerry Glamsch takes a break from his fellowship at Ohio University to serve as assistant director. Preview July 17. Opening night is tonight and includes a reception beginning at 6:30 p.m. catered by Gratzzi Italian Grille, an open bar and live music; production runs through Aug. 10. $59 opening night. Student rush, advance and senior discounts available too. 163 Third St. N., St. Petersburg. americanstage.org.

At 7 p.m. local Rays blog X-Rays Spex, Green Bench Brewing Company, and Star Booty are teaming up to host "a proper" Rays Watch Party, when the Rays take on the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis. Enjoy all of the camaraderie of the game, grub and tunes all just a stones throw from The Trop. The game will be shown on one of the flatscreen televisions in the tasting room, then make your way to the beer garden where the game will be projected once the sun sets. The first pitch is set for 8:10 p.m., but arrive early for the Galbraith Group. Outdoor games (including whiffle ball, corn hole, and more) will be available, so bring the entire family. Local barbecue provisioners Urban Brew and Barbecue will be onsite. Throughout the night Green Bench will be offering $1 off beers to folks wearing Tampa Bay Rays gear, including X-Rays Spex’s very own “Raymones” shirt.  Green Bench Brewing Co., 1133 Baum Ave. N., St. Petersburg. 727-800-9836. tampabayrays.co/rays-watch-party.


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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Indie movie with locals screens at AMC Veterans

Posted By on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 5:15 PM

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AMC Veterans will be showing an exclusive screening of Russel Friedenberg's (Ibid, Out of the Blue) Among Ravens.
The 2014 indie dramedy will makes its worldwide debut at the Nantucket Film Festival in New York and it will then makes its round throughout select U.S cities, Tampa, Fl included. 

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The Laugh Tract — who's bringing the funny

Posted By on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 2:07 PM

HEY LADIES!  Bill Bellamy's "Ladies Night Out" is at Tampa Improv this weekend
  • HEY LADIES! Bill Bellamy's "Ladies Night Out" is at Tampa Improv this weekend

Clean comedy is usually hard to find on club stages, but you have a couple of options this weekend. There's also comedy hypnotism, sketch comedy and the expected adult material, of course. So with variety in mind, here are your choices this week:

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Movie review: Planes: Fire & Rescue flies the kiddie-friendly skies

This mid-tier effort is another pleasing, if not spectacular, foray into Disney's animated universe.

Posted By on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 1:59 PM

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In the right frame of mind, it's easy to watch Planes: Fire & Rescue and immediately think of related Disney resort décor or an immersive themed ride at the Magic Kingdom. And that’s not a knock on the film — rather, it’s impressive to consider how well it captures the Mouse House’s packaged appeal to quaintness, gentle humor and nostalgia.

Planes: Fire & Rescue is the sequel to last year's spinoff of Cars. The movie opens with Dusty Crophopper (voiced by Dane Cook) soaring in an aerial race to the delight of anthropomorphic vehicle spectators. During this opening sequence, Dusty's gearbox malfunctions. He later gets the bad news that if he pushes himself into the "red" again, it could mean his end. It's a reality Dusty doesn't want to face, because it means the end of his racing career.

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