Take Me To The Movies: The Secret Life of Pets 2, Dark Phoenix

“The Secret Life of Pets 2”

Marc Coppola went with his 15 year old daughter Cayley and some of her friends to catch the follow up to the 2016 hit animated flick from Universal. It features an all-star voice ensemble: Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet, Dana Carvey, Albert Brooks, Harrison Ford and Tiffany Haddish, just to name a few. They say the plot takes a backseat as it’s packed with jokes and action sequences. The highlights include Ford’s work as the sheepdog “Rooster.” He exudes a tough, cool exterior but we also see occasional glimpses of a thoughtful, sensitive side. Cayley describes his performance as “like a tough Gym teacher who takes someone under his wing to help them conquer their fear.” Hart’s “Snowball” the rabbit steals the show with the funniest lines. And Cope says it features the best cinematic usage of ZZ Top’s ‘La Grange’ he’s ever seen. Overall it’s a serviceable follow up and a safe bet for the family. It moves fast at just under 90 minutes, so if the kids drag you out you should be able to tolerate it.

Overall 2 ♥ but Cayley and Co. give it 2 ½ ♥

“Dark Phoenix”

The “X-Men” ensemble returns, including Sophie Turner (“Sansa Stark” in ‘GoT’), James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence.This is the 12th and last of FOX’s X-Men franchise before Marvel presumably regains the rights to the characters.The telepathic/telekinetic “Jean Grey” (Turner) loses control of her powers and becomes an out of control threat. Critics are calling it the most disappointing of the entire franchise, botching a classic late ‘70s, early ‘80s comic book arc. It's getting just 22% on RT.

“Late Night”

Think “Devil Wears Prada” set in the world of late night TV. 2x Academy Award winner Emma Thompson stars as a legendary late night talk show host who finally hires a female staff writer, played by Mindy Kaling (best known as “Kelly” on ‘The Office’ and starring in ‘The Mindy Project’). The two women are separated by generation and culture. Jonathan Lithgow also stars. It’s getting 78% on Rotten Tomatoes.

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