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Review: 'How To Train Your Dragon 2' Is A Satisfying, If Slightly Inferior Sequel

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 11, 2014 2:59 PM
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  • 0 Comments
How To Train Your Dragon 2
For most of their history, which has now lasted over 15 years ("Antz" and "The Prince Of Egypt" both debuted in 1998), DreamWorks Animation seemed to be content with making a quick buck and raising a cheap laugh. Some of their output was better than others (the original "Shrek" at one end of the scale, "Shark Tale" at the other), but even the better films paled in comparison to the output of arch-rivals Pixar, however profitable they are. These days, things have changed. For one, the company's films aren't all that profitable ("Rise Of The Guardians," "Turbo" and "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" all disappointed financially). But for another, the quality gap has closed, with Pixar hitting something of a creative rut, and DreamWorks putting out films that are as good as or better than their rivals. Well, one film, at least: 2010's "How To Train Your Dragon," which took an unpromising premise and turned it into something funny, exciting and emotionally satisfying in a way that relatively few of their films are.

Cannes Review: 'How To Train Your Dragon 2' With Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler & More

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 16, 2014 10:37 AM
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  • 5 Comments
How To Train Your Dragon 2
For most of their history, which has now lasted over 15 years ("Antz" and "The Prince Of Egypt" both debuted in 1998), DreamWorks Animation seemed to be content with making a quick buck and raising a cheap laugh. Some of their output was better than others (the original "Shrek" at one end of the scale, "Shark Tale" at the other), but even the better films paled in comparison to the output of arch-rivals Pixar, however profitable they are. These days, things have changed.

Review: 'Neighbors' With Seth Rogen & Zac Efron Is One Of The Funniest Studio Comedies In Recent Memory

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • May 7, 2014 6:02 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Neighbors
The last time Universal screened one of their big summer comedies at South by Southwest, it turned out to be "Bridesmaids"—a movie that not only went on to be a massive financial success (and a breakthrough for its cowriter/star Kristin Wiig) but a critical one as well, even earning an Academy Award nomination for its screenplay. So a fair amount of anticipation and excitement greeted tonight's "work-in-progress" (although look, it seems totally finished) screening of the new Seth Rogen/Zac Efron comedy "Neighbors." And while "Neighbors" doesn't come close to capturing "Bridesmaids'" emotional honesty, it could have a chance of one-upping that film in the box office. Simply put, "Neighbors" is one of the funniest, most visually inventive studio comedies in recent memory.

Watch: Zac Efron Breaks Out His Robert De Niro Impression In 2 Clips From 'Neighbors'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 14, 2014 2:06 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Zac Efron, Neighbors
It was thanks to SXSW that "Bridesmaids" built some early buzz in 2011 before landing in theaters, becoming a runaway hit and an Oscar nominee, and Universal is hoping the same will happen this year with "Neighbors." The studio brought their upcoming comedy to Austin last weekend, and by all accounts, you'll bust a serious gut. Our own review stated, "we laughed until we ached. Then we laughed some more" and two clips have dropped to give you a taste of what's coming.

Watch: New Trailer For 'How To Train Your Dragon 2' Takes To The Skies

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 19, 2013 5:41 AM
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  • 1 Comment
How To Train Your Dragon 2
In the age of quick turnaround sequels, the four year wait for "How To Train Your Dragon 2" seems like an eon. But now a bonafide franchise—not only with a big screen followup, but a small screen offshoot too on Cartoon Network—DreamWorks is ready to cash in the success of the first movie. But can movie magic erupt like so much fire from the dragon's belly twice?

Review: 'Kick-Ass 2' Starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jim Carrey, Christopher Mintz-Plasse & More

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 14, 2013 10:01 AM
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  • 10 Comments
The pressure of insurmountable expectations from established predecessors hangs over “Kick-Ass 2,” seen in the characters of Mindy Macready (Chloe Grace Moretz) and Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). Teenage Mindy trains to push herself as costumed crimefighter Hit-Girl, visibly seeking approval from the vacated costume of her late father, known to the general populace as Big Daddy. She’s promised to avoid letting down her doting dad, but she also vowed to honor Marcus (Morris Chestnut), her new legal guardian handpicked by her father who wishes the girl would try to lead a normal, non-costumed life. Young millionaire D’Amico, meanwhile, remains haunted by the sight of his father blown to bits by a bazooka fired by young vigilante Kick-Ass at the end of the first picture, believing he can honor dad’s memory by building his own criminal empire.

Watch: Christopher Mintz-Plasse Feels Like Tweeting In 'Kick-Ass 2' Clip Plus New Pics

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 30, 2013 5:11 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Kick-Ass 2
At this point you've likely already made a decision about "Kick-Ass 2"; you're either stoked to see the followup to the modest hit film or you could take it or leave it at this point. Capturing that lightning in a bottle twice is no easy feat but Universal is certainly trying.

Watch: New Red Band Trailer For Sex Comedy 'The To Do List' Starring Aubrey Plaza

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 4, 2013 5:13 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Aubrey Plaza, Johnny Simmons and Donald Glover in The To Do List
What's on your to do list this summer? Maybe get a job, ask that girl or guy out who works at that store downtown and perhaps spend some long weekends with some friends. Either way, we're betting your list isn't quite the same as Brandy's in "The To Do List." Unless handjobs are an essential part of your summer plans....

Watch: First Clip & New Images From 'The To Do List' Starring Aubrey Plaza, Rachel Bilson & Many More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 11, 2013 9:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments
For a while there it seemed we kept talking about "The To Do List," and then there was a red band trailer last summer. And then? Not so much. But with the movie finally set to arrive this summer the pre-release goodies are starting to roll out with the first clip and two new images.

Dave Franco & Christopher Mintz-Plasse Join Seth Rogen & Zac Efron In 'Townies'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 22, 2013 2:05 PM
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  • 0 Comments
While his last film "The Guilt Trip" proved to be something of a box-office disappointment, Seth Rogen remains as busy as ever: his directorial debut "The End Of The World" hits later in the summer, he's guest-starring on the new season of "Arrested Development," and only yesterday, lined up another potential helming project with partner Evan Goldberg, comedy-thriller "The Interview."

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