Lake County News,California – ‘The Bad Guys’ is actually good; TCM Festival Report


Animated films have largely lost their luster and appeal, at least from my point of view in recent years. For example, too often Disney animated films appear with variations of the same style and theme.

This, of course, is just a matter of opinion which you can discuss amongst yourselves. My recent general avoidance of animation may be confounded by perceptions of lost innovation.

That’s why it’s so refreshing and original that DreamWorks Animation has brought you true family-friendly entertainment with “The Bad Guys” that people of all ages can enjoy.

The gallant bad guys are Mr. pickpockets. Wolf (Sam Rockwell); slithering safecracker Mr. Snake (Marc Maron); Mr Shark in disguise (Craig Robinson); “muscle” Mr. Piranhas (Anthony Ramos); and Ms. Tarantula (Awkwafina), a sharp-tongued expert hacker.

This quintet of crackerjack crooks have a well-deserved reputation as irredeemable animal criminals who have managed to terrify citizens and irritate law enforcement, especially the passionate police chief Misty Luggins (Alex Borstein).

Things changed when after the gang was caught, Mr. The dapper and very refined Wolf makes a deal with the scheming Governor Diane Foxington (Zazie Beetz) to avoid prison with the most wanted criminals who decide to go straight.

Wolf’s deal doesn’t sit well with the crew, but now under the tutelage of Professor Marmalade (Richard Ayoade), an arrogant guinea pig with a British accent, the bad guys must at least pretend to fix their ways.

How could the violent criminals who had terrorized the city for so long change their behavior? Will this cowardly criminal avoid potential recidivism?

Complicating matters is the tension that arises between Mr. Wolf’s desire to do good while his friends remain subversively attached to the heist plot as if they were the main characters in “Ocean’s Eleven.”

The fun in “The Bad Guys” comes from the animals that are very good at fiddling with their capers and how they torture the police chief, as well as high-speed chases in Mr. Wolf.

The fast pace of “The Bad Guys” is exhilarating and the jokes are hilarious. Watch to experience the excitement and find out if the bad guys have finally redeemed themselves.


For the TCM Classics Film Festival, the 1940s and 1950s films on display may not always be classics in the “Casablanca” or “Giant” prints, but in the case of “Queen Bee” and “The Letter,” they offer insight to attract actors. iconic.

In the introduction to “Queen Bee,” writer and filmmaker William Joyce notes star Joan Crawford’s checkered career went from being a “glamorous priestess” to “box office poison” before reinventing herself for the classic “Mildred Pierce.”

Despite receiving mixed reviews in 1955, “Queen Bee” was a gem for showing Joan Crawford the best and the worst in this spooky melodrama as she scrumptiously flaunts her wiles with a comical satanic line.

As the matriarch of the South who prevents her ex-lover Jud Prentiss (John Ireland) from marrying her sister-in-law (Betsy Palmer), Eva Phillips of Crawford is evil personified.

Eva thrashes the bedroom of one of the rivals and uses the engagement party to reveal her past infidelity. Did his ruthless stab really cause one of the main characters to commit suicide?

Joan Crawford’s manic energy as a dangerous shrew leads her to dominate every scene, and as William Joyce aptly observes, her character “goes down to devour everyone in the film.”

Arguably, Joan Crawford takes a serious approach to the evil nature of her character which drives her husband to alcoholism and bitterness. From a contemporary point of view, the appearance looks like a generous favor from a fun “campground”.

Bette Davis is another strong actress with a stellar career making several films directed by William Wyler, with whom she has a romantic and professional relationship according to Kathryn Sermak, co-founder of the Bette Davis Foundation.

In the 1940 introduction to “The Letter,” Sermak observes that star Bette Davis is an old-school actor who creates her character from within her persona. To be precise, Davis is known to respect Joan Crawford.

An emotionally powerful film, “The Letter” features Davis in a stellar performance as Leslie Crosbie, an upscale woman who pumps six bullets into a lover and then spends the rest of the film lying to cover up her true motives.

Despite claiming self-defense, Leslie is arrested for murder and her husband Robert (Herbert Marshall) hires attorney Howard Joyce (James Stephenson) to defend her.

Predictably, blackmail and intrigue plagued the trial. Lawyers uncover incriminating letters that cast serious doubt on the veracity of Leslie’s victim’s story.

“The Letter” may not rise to the level of vintage film noir, but the dark tale of murder and adultery is just as good as stirring the pot with a high dose of duplication and conspiracy. An icon of the era, Bette Davis delivered the goods.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.


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