"The Sisters Brothers" spins a unique Western yarn                "Colette" is another period piece showcase for Kiera Knightley                John C. Reilly looks like a late breaking Academy Award player in the Trailer for "Stan & Ollie"                Brie Larson saves the day in the First Trailer for "Captain Marvel"                The Toronto International Film Festival boosts "Green Book" with its Top Prize                Updated Academy Award predictions for early September                "White Boy Rick" is a compelling character study and period piece                Taking a look at potential Best Supporting Actress contenders                Shane Black gives "The Predator" his signature clever spin                Venice Film Festival award winners include "The Favourite" and "Roma"                Taking a look at potential Best Supporting Actor contenders                Watch out for Ben Foster in Best Supporting Actor for "Leave No Trace"                "The Favourite" releases a new Trailer to build off of its positive festival buzz                "All About Nina" and "Fahrenheit 11/9": Films to look forward to in September                Trailer for "The Front Runner" and Buzz from Telluride suggest another Oscar player for Jason Reitman        

First “Hangover Part II” review misses the point

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: The embargo appears to have been lifted regarding “The Hangover Part II,” now that the trades have weighed in.

While I don’t have a full review prepared, it’s safe to tell you that Todd Phillips’ follow-up to his incredibly successful R-rated comedy stays loyal to the formula established in the first, but the location shift from Las Vegas to Bangkok allows Stu (Ed Helms), Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) to encounter some very dark and completely twisted obstacles in their hungover state. The “Hangover” sequel is demented in all of the places that the original was zany … and every time it turned down a darker alley, I grew to appreciate the film’s courage more and more.

Which is why Michael Rechtshaffen’s use of the word “milder” when describing Phillips’ sequel in his THR review puzzled me. This sequel isn’t milder by any stretch. It appears the THR critic was seeking Vegas-lite fun, but Phillips and crew weren’t interested in delivering that. And I commend them. While interviewing Bradley Cooper for the sequel, we talked about their audience’s tolerance for shock comedy. I think it’s going to be tested by this familiar but brave sequel.

The THR review is the first of what’s bound to be many reviews hitting the wire as we approach “The Hangover Part II’s” release date on May 26.

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