TIFF 2014 Review – While We’re Young (Noah Baumbach)

Celebrities On The Set of "While We Were Young" In New York City - September 24, 2013

WHILE WE’RE YOUNG: Directed by Noah Baumbach

From IMDB: An uptight documentary filmmaker and his wife find their lives loosened up a bit after befriending a free-spirited younger couple.

– Noah Baumbach is a director that I enjoy following, but his films aren’t necessarily my favourites.  I have yet to see FRANCES HA and GREENBERG a second time (I plan on watching both again soon), and still haven’t seen his first film, KICKING AND SCREAMING.  Two films by him that I really enjoy are THE SQUID AND THE WHALE and MARGOT AT THE WEDDING.

– It was cool to open up the festival with the world premiere of While We’re Young.  Noah Baumbach, Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, and Amanda Seyfried were all in attendance.

– What I like about Baumbach is that most of his films have a very unique mood to them.  They are very dramatic and depressing, but also have many funny parts.  This was my biggest disappointment with WHILE WE’RE YOUNG.  I went into the theatre expecting some of the same from Baumbach, but the film is actually more of a comedy.  I didn’t get the dramatic punch I wanted from the story.

– I loved the first half.  Right away, being introduced to two couples from different generations and having them befriend each other was both interesting and unique.  The chemistry between Ben Stiller and Adam Driver was particularly great.  Unfortunately, the film goes in a different direction and the relationships between the two couples doesn’t progress as much as I would’ve liked.

– The main thing that killed the story for me was that I wasn’t into the relationship between Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts.  I don’t think their relationship came across as strong enough, and because of that I didn’t have any sort of feeling for them at the end of the film.

– With only four central characters it’s important to make them all interesting and deep, but unfortunately this wasn’t the case.  Amanda Seyfried’s character was definitely left behind and she didn’t add much of anything to the film.


I know my points are mostly negative, but that’s only because I had such high hopes for the film.  My genre preference is drama, so the fact that Baumbach went for a more accessible comedy had me bothered.  There are some very funny moments and I think that lots of people, even those who don’t usually like Baumbach’s work, will find this film enjoyable.


Review: Mood Indigo (2014) – Michel Gondry

moodindigo_poster_lowres__largeMOOD INDIGO: Directed by Michel Gondry

From IMDB: Wealthy, inventive bachelor Colin endeavors to find a cure for his lover Chloe after she’s diagnosed with an unusual illness caused by a flower growing in her lungs.

– The release of the film came out of nowhere.  All of a sudden it was available on iTunes and VOD.  Just from the poster and a quick glance at the trailer, it drew me in, and Michel Gondry is an interesting enough director to gain my interest.

– The only thing I knew about MOOD INDIGO before watching it was that it’s based on a novel.  From watching the film it seems like the novel would originally be thought of as something very hard to adapt into a movie.  I think Michel Gondry brought some very interesting ideas to the screen, showing off his ability to create and show different types of ideas.  There’s so many random and interesting ideas going on that you wouldn’t expect from a typical love story.

– There’s so much weirdness going on.  For a guy who isn’t really interested in fantasy-like stuff, some of it was just too much.  Maybe there’s a better explanation in the novel, but having a grown man dressed up as a mouse running around the house is not interesting and didn’t add anything to the film.  You know those scary adults in kids sing-a-long tapes?  That’s where this kind of ‘character’ belongs.  The ‘dog shoe’, ‘doorbell bug’, and ‘spinning handshakes’ all added some quirky ideas, but at times got repetitive.  The ‘bird headed human’ is in the same zone as the mouse…just too weird!  The issue I had with a lot of this stuff is that I think it took a lot of time and concentration away from the story and central characters, and in the end there’s no point to any of it.

– Colin (Romain Duris) took me a bit to get used to, but as I got further in the film, the more interested in the character I was.  After finding out that his two best friends have fallen in love, he realizes that he must do the same.  As much as they tried to convey the love Colin had for Chloe, it was hard to feel it as an audience member.  Watching Chloe get sick should have been tough to watch because of the sacrifices Colin had to make, but I didn’t feel as strongly about it as I would’ve wanted to.

– The opening act with Colin, the mouse man, and his two friends took me a bit by surprise because I didn’t realize what kind of style the film was going to have.  I was in complete shock to see a man dressed up as a mouse.  In fact, I was a little turned off by the whole film in the first 5 to 10 minutes.  The introduction to Chloe (Audrey Tautou) really brightened things up.  She has such a innocent and sweet look, which was perfect for this character.

– The biggest problem with the film is that Colin and Chloe’s relationship moves so fast.  There’s no time to get to know the two, even with a run-time of over two hours!  There’s too much added story with Colin’s friends, who aren’t likeable or interesting at all to begin with.  The scene of their first date was the best of the film, and it’s disappointing that there wasn’t more of that.

– The film looks great.  With the bright colours and different animation, it was definitely unique.  As the film moves along, the colour fades and fades which perfectly goes along with the moods of the characters.


MOOD INDIGO was a hard film for me to process.  There’s so much that I loved about it, but so much I disliked.  I think the concentration on the supporting characters as well as the unique animation took something away from the central story of Colin and Chloe.   The inclusion of the ‘mouse man’ and other weirdness was just too much.  Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou had great chemistry together and the film could have been much more special if it was solely about their relationship.  The story of Colin and Chloe with the interesting visuals would have been enough to be a beautiful film, but unfortunately, even with the 2 hour run-time, I felt like I didn’t get to ‘know’ them as well as I wanted to.


Review: Bears (2014) – Alastair Fothergill & Keith Scholey

Disneynature-Bears-PosterBEARS: Directed by Alastair Fothergill & Keith Scholey

A documentary that follows an Alaskan bear family as its young cubs are taught life’s most important lessons.

– I don’t usually watch nature documentaries but I saw this trailer a long time ago and thought it looked pretty interesting.  It’s nice to learn something new about nature in the world once in a while.

– Just as you’d expect from a Disney Nature film, the scenic shots of Alaska and the animals are beautiful.  The closeups of the animals are unbelievable.  I even had to search and make sure that all this footage was real and not set-up or staged.

– John C. Reilly does a fantastic job of narrating the story.  The way he speaks is as if he’s talking to young children, but it didn’t bother me at all.  It’s like he’s reading you a child’s story.  The only problem I have is that I’m not sure a film like this would hold the attention of younger kids.  What it does have going for it is that it’s only just over 1hr 15min.

– Right from the get-go the audience gets to see the two cubs when they are basically just born.  You get connected with the family and throughout the film you’ll want them to survive and be safe.

– It’s always fascinating to see animals living amongst each other.  The mother (Sky) does everything in her power to protect her two young cubs (Amber and Scout).  She fights off way bigger male bears and goes on LONG journeys with her cubs to find food and places to rest.

– My favourite part of the film was watching the bond between Amber and Scout.  Just from their body postures and look in the cubs eyes, you can tell that they have so much love for each other and want to keep each other safe.  Twice Amber thinks she loses her brother, and it’s heartbreaking watching her go through that.

– The coolest thing about the film is that you’re able to see the different personalities of the two cubs.  Scout is just like an energetic human young boy.  He’s always off wondering and discovering new things, and Amber always stays close to her mother.


I’m not the biggest fan of films like this, but every once in a while they’re a lot of fun to watch.  It’ so interesting to see how other species live and what they need to do to survive.  A bears life seems like it’s 6 months of trying to find enough food to be able to hibernate for the next 6 months.  It’s so interesting to be able to see the different personalities of the cubs and how they interact with each other and their mom.  One thing that almost every form of life has on earth is their love for their children and family…and that’s pretty cool.

BEARS: 3/5 (Good)

Review: Boyhood (2014) – Richard Linklater

boyhood-posterBOYHOOD: Directed by Richard Linklater

From IMDB: The life of a young man, Mason, from age 5 to age 18.

– Richard Linklater has become one of my favourite directors.  He’s made so many great films in all different types of genres.

– When I first heard of BOYHOOD, I immediately thought it had the potential to be one of my favourite films of all time.  There won’t ever be any more realistic coming-of-age story than this one.

– What I love about watching films is that each new one has the potential to be one of my favourites of all time.  99% of the time they don’t quite make it, but BOYHOOD has made that short list.  It’s one of the most special experiences you’ll ever get from watching a movie.

– A long time ago, Richard Linklater had an ambitious idea, to film a young boy (6 years old) and film him and other actors for the next 12 years.  They shot for around 5 days each year, making one complete film.  So many problems could have occurred, especially since two VERY young actors were cast.  They could have grown up disinterested in the project or turned out to be terrible actors, but luckily none of that happened.

– The main boy in the film, Mason, is played by Ellar Coltrane, who started filming when he was 6 years old.  He gives such a unique and real performance, and it was unbelievable watching this kid grow up on-screen.  It must have been such a surreal experience for him watching the completed film for the first time.  Although he is playing a fictional character, he essentially is watching himself grow up from a young child to a late teen in a matter of 3 hours.

– Playing Mason’s older sister is Richard Linklater’s own daughter, Lorelei Linklater, which was another huge gamble.  She asked him to be in the film when she was a very young girl, and even she has said she didn’t want to finish it in the middle of filming.  Luckily she did because just like Ellar Coltrane, her performance is spot on.  From her Brittney Spears performance to her ‘speech’ at Mason’s graduation party, she’s just a normal girl that anyone would be able to relate with.  I thought the two young actors had fantastic chemistry together, perfectly displaying the on-off relationship of a brother and sister.

Boyhood Image

– In life, one day you’re a baby, and then your 30 years old.  Time goes by, and no one really sees differences in themselves until they look back on their life.  Everyone sees themselves everyday in a mirror, so it’s very difficult to watch yourself change daily.  Something amazing about the film is that there isn’t any indication on the screen when the characters get older.  One scene just transitions into the next, and it’s up to the audience to figure out what’s going on.  It’s easy to tell; by the appearances of the actors, of new and different technologies used (newer generations of Apple Computers or video game consoles), or of political campaigns.  Just like in real life, one second I was watching Mason and his sister Samantha fighting in their childhood bedrooms as young kids, and the next they were both grown up and young adults.  It feels like in the blink of an eye all of the actors got older, and with perfect transitions Linklater was able to make the film so real life like.

– Playing the two divorced parents is Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette.  Just like the two kids, both of the parents live lives in the film that anybody in the world would be able to relate with.  I had an especially good time following Ethan Hawke’s character.  At the beginning we meet an immature adult, and as the film progresses we get to see him grow into a father figure, and a man who has figured things out.  Hawke’s performance is absolutely perfect, and if anyone in the film gets an Oscar nomination, I think it will be him.

– The soundtrack is great.  Through the years you will hear songs that were popular at the time of filming, with even one of my favourite bands, Blink 182 getting some action.


I feel like if I wanted to, I could talk about this perfect film forever.  Any human being in the world should spend the time and watch BOYHOOD.  Not only is it a special film, but it’s also an experience that can make you reflect on your own life and think of things you’ve done in the past or look forward to in the future.  It’s just a film about life.  Nothing really happens.  All of the characters grow up in their own unique and individual way, just like every person in real life does.  Things are said and done that can change the lives of others.  I think the most important message from BOYHOOD is that everyone in the world is always ‘coming-of-age.’  Life keeps on going, and everyone is just trying to figure things out.  Richard Linklater thought of a great, ambitious idea, and it definitely paid off.  He created a film that will have you thinking for a long time after viewing.  BOYHOOD is one of the best films I’ve ever seen.

BOYHOOD: 10/10


Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) – Matt Reeves

-1DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES: Directed by Matt Reeves

From IMDB: A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species. 

– The first (and only) Planet of the Apes film I ever watched was the reboot made in 2011, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES.  I didn’t see it when it came out (I wasn’t a huge film fan then) but I watched it last year because I’m a fan of James Franco.  When I heard that a lot of people had a problem with James Franco and that he wouldn’t be involved in the sequel, I was pretty disappointed.  I’m not a fan of sequels that have an all new cast, however, with the inclusion of Jason Clarke (a very underrated actor) and some solid trailers, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES became a film I had to see.

– The story begins around 10 years after the conclusion of the ‘RISE’ film, and even with the new cast, they did a great job of connecting the two films together.  I would suggest watching ‘RISE’ before seeing ‘DAWN.’

– The first thing that must be talked about his how fantastic the film looks.  The special effects are amazing.  There’s some notable action scenes that were so intense and very well filmed.  The 3-D didn’t add anything spectacular.  In fact, I would’ve preferred watching it in 2-D.  Unless the 3-D adds some amazing effects to a film, I’d much prefer avoiding the glasses.

– The film is essentially about man vs. ape, but I didn’t have a clue who I was supposed to be cheering for.  Right from the get-go, an inside look into the apes colony gives you an understanding of how they’ve been living since the end of the ‘RISE’ film.  The apes use sign language amongst each other, and some of them even speak English – the baby monkeys go to school and are learning the language.  They’re just minding their own business and creating lives of their own away from any human life.

– One thing I loved about RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES was the way the apes looked, and in ‘DAWN’ they looked even better.  It’s so impressive that the audience is able to see the personalities of the different apes just by looking at their eyes.  Even though many of them are similar looking, I always knew who was who just by very small details.

– There’s some really touching moments with the apes, like the birth, as well as the baby ape discovering humans for the first time.

– What makes the film special is the way it makes you feel for the apes, especially Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his family.  He’s the leader amongst all of the apes, being treated like a god from his followers.  Andy Serkis’ performance will go unnoticed because of all the graphics that are put into making the ape look like an ape, but what a beautiful performance he gives.  I haven’t seen a character in a long time like Caesar.  The power he holds, the decisions he needs to make, and just the look in his eyes, is perfect throughout the film.  I never thought I would feel so much for a computer generated ape, but the depth to Caesar’s character and performance by Serkis, will make you do that.


– This isn’t just a sci-fi film about some talking apes.  It goes much deeper than that.  It’s about one family trying to protect themselves from another.  Jason Clarke leads the humans, and although he gives a good performance, the film isn’t really about the humans.  I found myself feeling more for Caesar and his family.  Right from the beginning, Matt Reeves shows the importance of that family, and as the film goes along, you realize that Caesar is just doing what he needs to do to protect them, but at the same time have respect for the human race.

– The score is unbelievable.  Sometimes music can make a good film great, and that’s exactly what it did in this.


DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is more than just a film about apes going to war against humans.  It’s a film about doing what it takes to protect a family.  The Caesar character is brilliant.  I hope for many more films in the future with this character.  Andy Serkis deserves so much credit for making this ape come to life.  I also really enjoyed how they connected the film with the first one, really making it like Caesar has grown up in front of our eyes.  Action/Sci-fi isn’t even my genre at all, but when they’re made like this, I’m a fan.


Review: Chef (2014) – Jon Favreau

chef-posterCHEF: Directed by Jon Favreau

From IMDB: A chef who loses his restaurant job starts up a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family.

– This is heavily influenced by Jon Favreau as he wrote, directed, and stars.  He’s actually directed some notable films, including IRON MAN 1 & 2, as well as ELF (films of completely different genres).

I’ll always remember and think of him as the ‘friend’ from RUDY.


– This is a solid film about the restaurant and food industry.  If it doesn’t make you want to immediately start cooking after the film, it’ll definitely make you want to eat something.

– Jon Favreau gives a great performance as the lead, Carl. – A chef who loses his job because he wants to impress a critic by giving him food that’s not on the restaurants normal menu.  He’s very believable in this role.  For some reason when I think of what a chef may look like, he looks exactly like Jon Favreau.

– What takes the film to another level is the fact that it’s not just about a random chef and food.  There’s also a nice side story about Carl’s family and his young son, Percy.

– Being obsessed with what he does leads to Carl neglecting his son, but as the film moves along we get to see the two bond together.  This sounds like a cliched storyline that you’ve seen a million times, but it never gets to the point where I thought it was too much.

– Carl’s son is played by young actor Emjay Anthony.  He actually has a very large role, and for a young actor he does a decent job.  Him and Favreau had the perfect chemistry needed to display the on-off relationship between father and son.

– If you’re a fan of MODERN FAMILY or Sophia Vergara, you may want to skip this next point.  I stopped watching MODERN FAMILY because I couldn’t stand her anymore.  I totally forgot she was in this film, and when she popped up as Carl’s ex-wife I was immediately rattled.  I hate her so much.  Not only do I find her annoying, but I think she’s a terrible actress.  She tries SO hard in this and of course, she fails miserably.  In what is mostly a great film, she brought it down a few notches for me.

– Twitter gets some amazing advertisement, as a lot of the success of Carl’s business is from the use of social media.  There’s so much mention of Twitter, Facebook, and other social media in the film.  It may even teach some older people about the different social media platforms.  The graphics that are used for the tweets and texts has shown up a lot in films recently.  I think one of the first ones that I saw do it within the last year was FRUITVALE STATION.

– Stupid Robert Downey Jr. shows up in a meaningless role.


CHEF is the perfect film to watch when you’re just looking for an entertaining, well made, easy watch.  There’s two aspects to the film, and they both work very well; the first being the chef/food storyline.  I always find it fascinating how much passion people can have for making food, and you can tell that’s what Jon Favreau’s Carl loves to do.  All the food he makes in the film looks delicious and at times it feels like your watching the cooking channel.  The second storyline is the family aspect.  At times, I felt as if they story with his son was going to go in the same direction as every other film, but there’s the perfect amount of it.  The film is actually a lot deeper than I thought it was going to be, and I’m sure many people would be able to take something away from it.  This was a solid effort from Jon Favreau.

CHEF: 7.5/10

Review: Happy Christmas (2014) – Joe Swanberg

happy-christmas-posterHAPPY CHRISTMAS: Directed by Joe Swanberg

From IMDB: Irresponsible 20-something Jenny arrives in Chicago to live with her older brother Jeff, a young film-maker living a happy existence with his novelist wife Kelly and their two-year-old son. Jenny’s arrival shakes up their quiet domesticity as she and her friend Carson instigate an evolution in Kelly’s life and career. Meanwhile, Jenny strikes up a rocky relationship with the family’s baby sitter-cum-pot dealer.  

– Last year I saw DRINKING BUDDIES (another film directed by Joe Swanberg) and I wasn’t impressed.  At the time of viewing I didn’t realize that all of the dialogue was improvised, and knowing that I think I would be able to appreciate the film more.

– I’m looking forward to watching some of Swanberg’s eariler films.  His upcoming film, DIGGING FOR FIRE is also very appealing to me, considering it has a cast of; Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Sam Rockwell, Orlando Bloom, Jake Johnson, and Rosemarie DeWitt.

– Even though the film doesn’t have too much to do with Christmas, it’s a little funny that the film came out in the middle of the summer.  It’s a small budget film that features some actors that I have interest in.  I like Anna Kendrick and Mark Webber, and it’s always interesting to see Lena Dunham in something other than her role as Hannah in GIRLS, although she does act the same in almost everything.  Which isn’t a bad thing, as I always find her sarcastic humour fairly amusing.

– I’m a fan of films like this.  Just a simple story about ‘normal’ people.

– One of the strongest parts of the film was the casting choices that were made.  Melanie Lynskey, who always pops up in random films is very good in this.  Her character’s personality is almost the exact opposite to the younger Anna Kendrick’s, but the two form a realistic relationship with one another.

– Lynskey plays Joe Swanberg’s wife.  She’s a mature mother who’s looking to get back into the working world, and Anna Kendrick plays Swanberg’s sister, a 20-something who has no idea what she’s doing in life.

– I always like Mark Webber whenever I see him in anything.  Just like in many other films, he just plays your average dude in HAPPY CHRISTMAS.

– Joe Swanberg’s real life baby boy is in the film and they were able to capture some great moments.  The baby’s obviously not acting, so to have so many scenes with him talking and for it to make sense was great.  I found the baby to be so messed up.  He looked like a newborn baby that could walk and talk.


Even in the last year, my taste in films has changed so much.  I feel like if I watched DRINKING BUDDIES right now, I’d love it.  HAPPY CHRISTMAS reminds me of a film an upcoming director would make with a couple of friends and no money.  It’s always fun to watch little films like this to get away from the big blockbuster hits.  Joe Swanberg was able to create real, interesting, and likeable characters, and each of the actors did a great job of bringing them to life.  I’m so interested to go back and watch some of Swanberg’s earlier films.  He’s certainly a director with his own unique style.


Review: The Fault in Our Stars – Josh Boone (2014)

fault-our-stars-movie-posterThe Fault in Our Stars: Directed by Josh Boone

From IMDB: Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous given that Hazel’s other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they met and fell in love at a cancer support group.

– This is based on the novel by the same title, which was written by John Green.

– I’ve read all of his books, and although they are a bit juvenile I did enjoy them.  It may be because I read THE FAULT IN OUR STARS when I was older, but it’s my least favourite novel of his.

– Just like the novel, I think the target market for this story is teenaged girls.  I believe that demographic would enjoy this film more than any other.

– I realize that this is an adaptation of a best selling novel, but everything about it was a bit too ‘perfect.’  The bright colours and clearness of the film, and the perfect looking characters was just too much for a film with a depressing and sad mood.

– In the past year or so Shailene Woodley has become one of the most in-demand young actresses out there.  After a smaller role in THE DESCENDANTS in 2011, she’s had major roles in films like THE SPECTACULAR NOW, DIVERGENT, and the upcoming WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD.  In the first half of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS I didn’t think her performance was anything special.  Her character was very similar to the one she played in THE SPECTACULAR NOW.  Just a shy teenaged girl who falls in love with a boy.  However, in the second half she really steps it up.  To take the film to another level she needed to deliver some very emotional scenes, and she executes them perfectly.

 – Playing her love interest is Ansel Elgort.  This guy was a big problem for me.  Instead of a story about a normal teenaged guy, I had to watch this actor say ridiculous lines that I thought I would only see in something like Shakespeare.  A lot of his dialogue was too corny and didn’t seem real or authentic to any normal teenager.

– Something I hated about the book was the trip to Amsterdam, but obviously it had to be added into the film.  I didn’t think this was important at all to the overall story, and with a run-time of over two hours, it just made things drag on a little too long.

– The clapping in the Anne Frank house and the egg throwing was a little too much for me.


I went into THE FAULT IN OUR STARS knowing the demographic it was made for, but I was hoping for a bit of a surprise.  Unfortunately, it ended up being exactly what I thought it would be, but in the end it’s a solid film for the right type of person.  Shailene Woodley gives a very real and nice performance, and the emotional aspect of the story can really make you think about how precious life can be.



Review: Neighbors (2014) – Nicholas Stoller

neighbors_xlgNeighbors: Directed by Nicholas Stoller

From IMDB: A couple with a newborn baby face unexpected difficulties after they are forced to live next to a fraternity house.

– Of Nicholas Stoller’s first three films (FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL, GET HIM TO THE GREEK, THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT), I’m a big fan of two of them.  GET HIM TO THE GREEK just had too much Russell Brand for me to handle, but maybe one day I’ll give it another try.

– What I like so much about FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL and THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT is that they’re not just comedies.  They both have their funny moments, but there’s also an interesting storyline with characters who have a lot of depth.  Going into NEIGHBORS I was a little nervous about the plot.  I’m not a fan of ‘college’ type humour and from the trailers it seemed like that was what the film was all about.

– Comparing it to the two films I liked by Stoller, it definitely has a much weaker storyline.  A lot of the scenes were very familiar from watching the trailer and there isn’t much depth to any of the characters.

– Right from the get-go we’re introduced to the baby.  For a little baby who had no idea what was going on throughout the filming process, she added some great comedy and laughs to the film.  She’s really cute and made the funniest facial expressions, especially when Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are saying and doing inappropriate things in front of her.


– A strong part of the film is the chemistry between Rogen and Byrne, who play the married couple.  Their characters are just beginning a new life with their newborn baby, but having the frat house right next door is a roadblock preventing them from moving on in life.

– Everyone knows how funny Seth Rogen is, but this film will do great things for the career of Rose Byrne.  Her performance in BRIDESMAIDS was no fluke and she takes advantage of a bigger role in this.  She’s perfect and funny next to Seth Rogen, which is no easy task.

– I’m not a fan of Zac Efron.  Whenever he’s in a film, all I see is Zac Efron.  He doesn’t ‘become’ characters.  He’s actually not bad in this, but his friend in the film, played by Dave Franco, is a lot better.  He’s such an underrated comedic actor.

– The weirdest thing about NEIGHBORS was the use of (or lack of use of) Christopher Mintz-Plasse.  He’s such a recognizable actor who is known to be hilarious, but I can’t think of one moment where he gets to shine in this.  He’s completely underused, which was a big mistake.


Neighbors was a bit of a disappointment.  I was hoping it would be a bit smarter than just ‘college humor’, but for the most part, that’s what it is.  There are some funny moments however, thanks to Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Dave Franco, and the little baby.  Unlike FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL and THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT, there’s not much depth to the characters or the story, and that was my biggest problem with the film.