Tag Archives: Katherine Heigl

“The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature”

LOUISA: 2.5 STARS


LOUISA SAYS:

“The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature” may be a throwaway animated film but it isn’t as awful as you’d think. It’s another sequel nobody wanted, but surprisingly it’s not half bad.

Surly Squirrel (Will Arnett), Andie (Katherine Heigl) and various rodent friends, shallow characters whom nobody really liked in the first place, are back for round two. This time the evil mayor of Oakton (an amusing turn from funnyman Bobby Moynihan) and his obnoxious animal-hating daughter Heather (Isabela Moner) decide to terrorize the park’s furry residents and bulldoze the lush space to build a rickety amusement park, causing the animals to band together to save their home.

The plot is concise, the film is short, and everybody buckles down to quickly get to the point. There are plenty of lame kid jokes and some modern day sass lingo thrown into the mix (with nary a fart joke in sight for once!), but overall the energetic yet formulaic story is mostly entertaining throughout and at times, genuinely touching. This isn’t high art by any means but the wild antics, slapstick visual gags, and flashy action scenes should please most young ones and even some adults. Although one could argue that this sequel is half baked, it’s certainly superior to the original.

The low rent animation is ugly and the voice talent is mostly terrible (with Heigl and Jackie Chan sinking to the very bottom of the barrel), but for some reason the movie is better than simply ‘good enough.’ I enjoyed it in spite of myself.

“Unforgettable”

LOUISA: 3 STARS


LOUISA SAYS:

A crazy ex-wife starts a head-on attack on her ex-husband’s new fiancée in the lurid yet fun domestic thriller “Unforgettable,” an entertaining exercise in over-the-top camp that’s played with a straight sincerity that makes it deliciously satisfying. This guilty pleasure movie was in no way meant to be as silly and funny as it is, and that’s what makes it so amusing.

Tessa (Katherine Heigl) is flat out nuts and goes off the deep end when she meets her hunky ex-husband’s (Geoff Stults) new fiancée, Julia (Rosario Dawson). Tessa makes Julia’s life a living hell by stalking her on social media, trying to pin her by lying and stealing, and reaching out to her formally abusive boyfriend. You know the drill: it’s a nightmare for everyone involved. This thriller makes a solid use of its R rating with well-placed profanity, bloody violence, and is spiced up with a bit of “Fifty Shades” eroticism thrown into the mix. It’s the perfect goofy, brainless movie choice for a girls’ night out.

The production values are actually quite good, which makes me think the studio intended for this movie to be a serious drama and not the near laugh riot that it actually is. It was the early booming, ominous musical cues telling the audience what to think and feel that was the first thing to make me laugh out loud.

What’s truly so very funny about the movie is Heigl, who gives a campy as all get-out performance that’s completely unintentional. If any other actor had been cast in her role, it would be sad. But here it’s sort of awesome simply because it’s the unlikable, cold, and untalented Heigl. She just makes it so much better with her crazy bug-eyed stares and unwitting overacting while loudly spewing lines like “you gave it all to her RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!!!!” Her performance is barely a step above Elizabeth Berkley’s in “Showgirls,” but I think this washed up actress has finally found her niche because she can play unpleasant and crazy like no other. I do find it a little sad, however, that Dawson gives a surprising (and totally wasted) sympathetic performance as a victimized woman.

There isn’t much new in terms of the story, making it forgettable overall. The standard psycho female thriller genre elements all make their required appearance. Movies like this frequently make guys look stupid, and this one is no exception. The man caught in the middle is clueless and mostly irrelevant, leading you to internally ask yourself why these women are fighting over such a dolt. The characters react with such irrational absurdity that it truly makes you wonder if any of these fictional folks have ever watched a movie like this in real life. It’s akin to the horror movie where you simply want to shout out, “don’t go in there!

While it’s more of the same in the trashy, “Fatal Attraction” vein, the final showdown and ending are pleasant surprises and a bit different than your standard tawdry “crazy bitch” affair. The film embraces what it is, so set the bar low and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. While it’s not really the definition of a good movie, it’s still pretty watchable.

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