Trumbo, from veteran comedy director Jay Roach (Meet the Parents and Austin Powers series), is based on the true story of the blacklisted screenwriter during an era of anti-Communism. In an academy-award nominated performance, Bryan Cranston portrays the eponymous writer throughout the late 1940s and 1950s during a time when the “Red Scare” permeated Hollywood. Though the film feels overlong due to some meandering subplots, and a few of the characters distract from the overall story, this is a solid historical drama. Cranston is undoubtedly the major attraction, but the overall themes of the story remain poignant to this day.
The Secret Life of Pets, from Illumination Entertainment, occupies a strange space in the world of animated films. The movie is a cut above the slapstick-and-farts formula of the most childish entries (I am looking at you, Ice Age 5). It even avoids the over-reliance on pop culture reference to get chuckles out of the tag-a-long parents who are invariably forced into the seats in the theater. But, it is disappointing that the best part of the movie was entirely revealed in the trailer — the teaser trailer! That’s right, those 2+ minutes that introduced us to The Secret Life of Pets function as the cold open of the film, unchanged. And they are still probably the best part of the whole movie. Continue reading ““The Secret Life of Pets” and the “Trailer Problem””