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There are a surprising number of movies out there that are built on the premise of someone dying, only to return from the Great Beyond to right various wrongs. Technically, these are ghost stories, though a lot of them are somewhat inexplicably played for laughs.

On the relatively rare occasion that the conceit works, you get a movie that is heartfelt and funny and that fully earns whatever emotional payoff it seeks. These are the films that manage to be both funny and poignant, deriving genuine humor and pathos from the narrative circumstances.

When it doesn’t work, well … that’s when you get “Afterlife of the Party.”

The Netflix streamer – directed by Stephen Herek from a script by Carrie Freedle – is a derivative clunker of a film, seemingly assembled from vague recollections of far better movies. It’s the sort of movie that attempts to elicit laughs through broad comedy and tears through fraught emotionality, only to succeed on neither front, resulting in a vapid and unsatisfying movie experience.

Published in Movies

BANGOR - Zumba instructor Emilie Bronson is used to working a crowd, but the Bangor resident got the chance of a lifetime last week when she was asked by Zumba's special projects coordinator to perform as a back-up dancer for Victoria Justice at the waterfront concerts. The 19-year-old singer is the star of her own TV series on Nickelodeon called 'Victorious' and is currently on tour with Big Time Rush.

"I had those tiny butterflies in my stomach [backstage] because I knew there were a lot of people out there and a lot of people that I know with kids [at the show]," Bronson said. "It's like your first Zumba class. You're a little nervous until you get out there and get into it." 

Published in Buzz
Thursday, 01 November 2012 10:59

Fun Size' not much fun

Teen comedy unfunny and uninspired

Making movies for tweens and teens isn't easy. With the proliferation of demographic-specific television shows and the vast and untamed world of the internet, finding the sweet spot for a film that is 'grown-up' enough for the 12-17 crowd to enjoy while avoiding the kiss of death that is an 'R' rating. Unfortunately, that balancing act often results in condescending crap that is both unfunny and uninteresting.

Crap like 'Fun Size.'

Published in Movies

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