When a film franchise comes out with a third installment, one gets a sense that that franchise knows what they’re doing and that they are definitely in the business of making money, not high art. Since 2008, the Kung Fu Panda films have repackaged Shrek in a tasty Chinese coating and passed it off as original animated entertainment and DreamWorks Animation actually did get it right. Jack Black serves as voice actor superstar, accompanied by a who’s who of modern day supportive acting talent. Kung Fu Panda 3 continues to follow the adventures of spiritually-misguided Po, a panda who, through the power of kung fu, teamwork, and friendship sees deeper and realizes his true potential. This is the third film, so expect strong similarities between this installment and the previous two however that’s not saying this is a mediocre film because it really is rather fun and lively, not to mention funny and brimming with strong technical achievements.
When one thinks of Seth Rogen/James Franco-headlined comedies, one normally doesn’t think of international controversy. The new comedy The Interview has been under the microscope in recent months, not because it is clever and ridiculously funny but because it’s premise is one that has offended and caused some much heated debate. The film focuses on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and two American journalists sent to the Supreme Leader’s home country to assassinate him. It is a simple film with lots of laughs but the subject matter isn’t for all tastes especially with Sony Pictures Entertainment (the studio responsible for releasing the film) falling victim to a recent internet hack. North Korea denied involvement with the hack and the film was released to smaller art house theaters to avoid further problems such as a potential terrorist attack.