Love always wins in animated comedy ‘The Boss Baby’

DreamWorks Animation’s latest and 34th movie, “The Boss Baby” is inspired by the best-selling book of the same title by Marla Frazee – the film tags us along on a young boy’s colourful adventures as he discovers that his new baby brother is not what he seems.

Directed by Dreamworks veteran Tom McGrath (“Megamind,” “Madagascar”), “The Boss Baby” is a family comedy featuring the voices of Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Lisa Kudrow and Jimmy Kimmel and Miles Bakshi. Exploring the wonders of a child’s imagination and celebrating the precious bond that can form between siblings in a family, “The Boss Baby” (Baldwin) and his older brother Tim (Bakshi) discover that love isn’t finite after all.

The heartfelt nature of the story and the remarkable charm of the main characters were immediately appealing to producer Ramsey Naito. “The story mirrored my life. My oldest son was seven years old when my youngest arrived, and he was really jealous, just like our main character, Tim. I related to the brother’s story instantly,” says Naito. “I love that we celebrate the power of children’s fantasy and imagination in this film.”

Tim’s parents are voiced by Lisa Kudrow (“Friends”) and funny television host (also 2017’s Oscars host) Jimmy Kimmel. Tim’s parents are simply oblivious to the chaos unleashed by Boss Baby in their household. Barely hanging on to the slightest resemblance of domestic order at home, they have no clue about the strange machinations of Baby Corp. and Puppy Co. where they work.

“The parents have a new baby in the house and are both working full time. They are sleep-deprived and barely holding it together, and this needed to be captured in their design,” says Naito. “We wanted to get away from an idealized version of parents,” says production designer David James. “Mom, especially needed to be a very real person, at the same time, she had to exude this warmth. Her beauty and her maternal nature go hand in hand.”

Meanwhile, Tim’s dad is just trying to keep up. “Like many new fathers, he has this slight deer-in-headlights look,” notes James. “He tries his best to keep everything under control, but he is a bit overwhelmed by all the changes. They are both loving parents – and the lesson of the movie is that there is love enough going around for everybody. They do have unconditional love for both of their kids, and that’s something that Tim learns by the end of the movie.”

Baldwin, who voices the titular character, Boss Baby is immensely impressed by the work and devotion of the DreamWorks animators in the movie. “I was so impressed by the meticulous world created by the film’s director Tom McGrath and the rest of their talented team. When we experience the movie as a whole, we are immersed in a parallel world that looks vaguely familiar but unlike any we’ve seen before on the big screen. Packed with memorable characters and insightful revelations, “The Boss Baby” celebrates human experiences and foibles, and delivers its final message tenderly – with pure, genuine emotion.”

An Easter weekend movie for the entire family, “The Boss Baby” opens April 15, 2017 (Saturday) from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

‘Going in Style’ joins legends Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin for the first time

A fun and fast-paced comedy with both heart and bite, New Line Cinema’s Going in Style showcases the remarkable star power of film legends Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin, together on screen for the first time.

In the film, there’s only so much a guy can take, before he has to do something about it. Sometimes in a way no one ever sees coming. Take Willie (Freeman), Joe (Caine), and Al (Arkin). These big-hearted, upstanding Brooklynites with a friendship forged on the assembly line at Semtech Steel never saw themselves as the kind of men who would dare to rob a bank. Of course, they never thought their bank would rob them.

Now they’re mad as hell. Screwed over by the pension and mortgage systems and convinced they have nothing left to lose, these late-blooming, would-be criminal masterminds throw in together for a one-time plunge into a risky, unfamiliar—and oddly invigorating—world of split-second timing, disguises and getaway cars. Syncing their alibis, they prep to pull the perfect heist and take back what’s theirs if it’s the last thing they do. No more, no less.

They’re pushing their luck. They’re pushing the limit. They’re also pushing 80…but that doesn’t matter, because standing up for yourself never gets old.

Played largely for laughs, Going in Style also strikes a note of genuine outrage over the machinations of big business, which might ring true for a wide audience—many of whom, like Joe, Willie and Al, have felt the pinch of disappearing benefits and bait-and-switch loans, and fallen into the breach between what they were promised and what they got.

“You can imagine,” says Arkin, “if someone worked their whole life and counted on the company they worked for to honor that commitment, and it doesn’t, that even someone who’d never had a criminal thought in their lives would become enraged. I can completely understand why these three guys go ballistic and do what they do.”

In that respect, notes producer Donald De Line, “The system often doesn’t work, whether it’s pensions or insurance or the banks. My father was with a company for years and retired with a pension that was suddenly reduced by half when that company was taken over. These things happen all the time.”

For all its bounce and banter, when it comes to real issues the story doesn’t pull its punches. “We have some very funny stuff happening,” says director Zach Braff, “but the reality of their situation and its stakes are played straight and honestly, and I don’t think you can help being moved by the prospect of these three men suddenly struggling for a way to survive.”

The audacious plan they concoct may be the ultimate wish fulfillment for audiences, offering none of the risks, and a lot of vicarious rewards. Says De Line, “It’s immensely satisfying because you’re rooting for them to succeed, and you can see the energy and vitality it gives them. It’s the most exciting thing they’ve done in years….maybe ever.”

“I think audiences respond to people getting even,” offers screenwriter Theodore Melfi. “We had to approach it in a comedic way because what they’re doing is a crime, but what’s been done to them is also a crime. I have a big thing about justice and about people getting their due. For me, these guys are clearly in the right. They’ve worked 40 years and their pension is stripped from them. And what happens to Joe with his mortgage is a perfect example of the salesmanship of a bank officer to profit the bank, without regard to its customers.”

“I think this story captures the zeitgeist,” Braff suggests. “It definitely touches on the way corporations can screw the little guy. But first and foremost it’s a comedy about three men taking back their power: guys who’ve never committed a crime in their lives, who’ve never done anything this crazy and dangerous, but who find their backs against the wall and decide that if they’re going to do something about it, they’re going to go very, very big.”

Opening across the Philippines on April 6, 2017, Going in Style is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.