Comedy ‘Friendsgiving’ Due on Disc Oct. 27

The comedy Friendsgiving arrives on Blu-ray (plus digital) and DVD Oct. 27 from Lionsgate. It will be available for digital sellthrough and VOD Oct. 23.

Produced by Ben Stiller, Friendsgiving stars Malin Akerman, Kat Dennings, Wanda Sykes, Christine Taylor, Chelsea Peretti, Aisha Tyler and Jane Seymour.

In the film, Abby (Dennings) is looking forward to a laid-back Thanksgiving with her best friend Molly (Akerman). But plans for a quiet turkey dinner go up in smoke when they’re joined by Molly’s new boyfriend and her flamboyant mother (Seymour). Soon come party crashers, including Molly’s old flame, a wannabe shaman, and a trio of Fairy Gay Mothers (Sykes, Margaret Cho, and Fortune Feimster).

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Extras include audio commentary with writer-director Nicol Paone and producer-actor Malin Akerman; “Making Friendsgiving: Serving Up Insanity”; and a gag reel.

Netflix Orders Family Comedy Series From Wanda Sykes and Mike Epps

Mike Epps and Wanda Sykes are set to star in a new Netflix comedy series “The Upshaws.”

The multi-camera comedy centers on a working-class African American family in Indiana.

Sykes, a 2019 Emmy nominee for variety special and writing for a variety special on Wanda Sykes: Not Normal, will star, executive produce and serve as co-showrunner. Epps (Dolemite is My NameOnly One Mike) will star and executive produce.

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Regina Hicks (The L Word, Generations Q, Central Park, Insecure) will serve as showrunner and executive producer. Dan Spilo (Sunnyside) will serve as an executive producer. Page Hurwitz (Wanda Sykes; Not Normal, Tiffany Haddish Presents They Ready), a 2019 Emmy nominee for Wanda Sykes: Not Normal, will serve as an executive producer. Niles Kirchner (Only One Mike) will serve as an executive producer.

Hulu to Premiere New Kids’ Animated Series ‘The Bravest Knight’ June 21

Hulu June 21 will premiere the first five episodes of a 13-episode order of the new Hulu Original animated kids’ series “The Bravest Knight.”

Based on children’s book by Daniel Errico, The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived, the story chronicles a young pumpkin farmer’s adventure as he attempts to become the bravest knight who ever lived. The new series features a household with two dads (Sir Cedric and Prince Andrew), making it one of the first children’s television series with an openly gay main character, according to a Hulu press release.

Hulu “continues to be a supporter of LGBTQ content and creators,” according to the release.

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Sir Cedric, now grown and married to the prince of his dreams, shares the story with his adopted 10-year-old daughter Nia of how he transformed from farmer to knight. Nia, who is training to become a knight herself, learns important values such as honor, justice and compassion.

The cast includes T.R. Knight as Sir Cedric, Bobby Moynihan as young Cedric’s troll sidekick Grunt and Storm Reid as Nia. The show also features the voice talents of RuPaul, Christine Baranski, Wanda Sykes, Wilson Cruz, Teri Polo, Steven Weber, Donna Murphy, AJ McLean, Dot-Marie Jones, Maz Jobrani, Chance Hurstfield and others.

A Bad Moms Christmas

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street 2/6/18;
Universal;
Comedy;
Box Office $72.11 million;
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘R’ for crude sexual content and language throughout, and some drug use.
Stars Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines, Susan Sarandon, Jay Hernandez, Justin Hartley, Peter Gallagher, Wanda Sykes.

With the popularity of 2016’s Bad Moms ($184 million worldwide box office against a $20 million budget) all but ensuring a sequel, the writer-director team of Jon Lucas and Scott Moore managed to have a follow-up produced and in theaters a bit over a year later. The quick turnaround is something of a throwback to the halcyon days of Hollywood, where quickie sequels were much easier to pull off.

Where the first film dealt with the rigors of balancing work, home and school, the sequel transplants the rowdy moms into a holiday setting, and cranks up the proverbial heat by bringing in their moms for a little added pressure.

I suppose the idea is to inform on what makes the core moms tick and possibly led them to snap in the first movie. While the story is driven by this newfound family angst, it often falls back on a string of sketches tied to family-related Christmas settings. The film offers a smattering of caricature and broad ruminations on the holiday season, with some gags that work better in concept than execution.

Christine Baranski in particular, as mom to Mila Kunis’ Amy, comes across like a less-intense version of Leonard’s mom from “The Big Bang Theory,” which may have been a primary reason they sought her out for this.

The best pairing is Susan Sarandon and Kathryn Hahn, if only because their characters are the ones with the fewest inhibitions — the apple not falling too far from the tree in that regard.

Fans of the raunchiness that set the original film apart need not worry, as the jokes are often as crude as they were in that one, if not more so.

Coincidentally, the same multigenerational premise was used for the guys in the Daddy’s Home sequel around the same time, with similar results.

The Blu-ray is rather sparse in its extras, offering a seven-minute gag reel, four minutes of alternate takes and a two-and-a-half-minute music video featuring the production crew dancing along to an R&B holiday song used in the film.