Punch Drunk DVDs: 'The Florida Project', 'Daddy's Home 2', 'Mom and Dad', And More!


From the mind of writer/director Sean Baker (Tangerine) comes a film that’s just as heartwarming as it is heartbreaking. The Florida Project follows a young mother and her daughter, struggling to make ends meet in the outskirts of Orlando. Set in a knock-off Disney hotel managed by the kind yet overworked Bobby (an Oscar nominated Willem Dafoe), the film revels in the scraps of beauty in life, as seen through the imaginative eyes of the little girl, unaware of the hardships surrounding her.

We Said: “This isn't a happy film; for all of the awe, wonder, and childhood innocence [director Sean] Baker is able to craft, there is sadness lurking and sometimes it bubbles up to the surface. But it also wouldn't be fair to call this a sad or even a depressing movie. There are just as many moments of boundless joy to be found in what I think is one of the best movies of the year.” Rating: 4.5 out of 5

In this sequel to the recent comedy hit, the dads, Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) and stepfather Brad (Will Ferrell), are back, setting aside their former rivalry to make Christmas the best it can be for the kids. Unfortunately, their plans soon get muddied, when their fathers (John Lithgow and Mel Gibson) arrive for the holidays as well, bringing with them all the baggage and chaos they grew up around.  

We Said: “The first film dialed it up to 11 with Farrell doing Farrell the whole movie, so it’s no surprise that a sequel would be commissioned.  However, would the sequel, Daddy’s Home 2 get a case of “sequelitis” (as most comedy sequels do) and be as bland and forgettable as The Hangover 2 by not bringing anything new to the table? Well… yes, and no.” Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Nicolas Cage at his Nicolas Cage-iest! The new comedic thriller Mom and Dad is set in a world where a sudden mass hysteria causes parents, (in this case Cage and Selma Blair) to violently turn on their own children in a fit of mad rage. Cant heir kids survive the day? If it means more Nic Cage screaming nursery rhymes while swinging an axe, let’s hope so!

We Said: “This is a movie that was tailor made for Cage. We've come to expect a high level of lunacy from him but it's hard wired into every fabric of this movie. I couldn't imagine Mom and Dad without Cage, but I don't want to overlook Blair's part in this. She's fantastic, too, as the earnest and eager Kendall, who is as sweet as can be when she's not trying to gas her children to death. […] Everyone acclimates themselves to [director Brian] Taylor's wild extremes in tone and editing.  Taylor's frenetic, unpredictable style is what makes this film click, only failing him in the sudden, unsatisfying conclusion that just comes out of nowhere and snaps you out of the 80-minute long sugar high you've been riding.” Rating: 3 out of 5