Goons, with CHiPs 

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I didn't realize this until just now, but jokes about proliferous anilingus can be funny.

Sadly, none of the ones in CHiPs seem to make the grade. It's also depressing that studio heads, people in charge of millions of dollars and with sizeable public influence, are still greenlighting scripts peppered with C-grade ass-eating humour and homophobic "you touched my dick" jokes.

Like the '70s TV show before it (but likely much worse), CHiPS is about two California Highway Patrol motorcycle cops, except instead of being cool they're two f*ckups (who you can bet will figure out their differences in the end).

Dax Shepard (Baby Mama, Employee of the Month) and Michael Peña (Ant Man, Collateral Beauty) star, and while there were no pre-screenings, the trailer for this one is painful enough. It looks like a substandard odd-couple cop flick that aims lowbrow but fails to stoop far enough to hit new levels. The humour in this one is a bit tired.

The good news is CHiPs isn't even playing here until Thursday, March 23, when the Village 8 hosts a pair of advance screenings for whoever feels the need to get an early jump on this clunker. Shepard also wrote and directed. He's the opposite of a rising star and his style has never appealed to me, but maybe that means he's due for a break. If so, he'd best take a ratchet to his ass-eating jokes and tighten up those babies.

Unrelated, the much-anticipated live action Beauty and the Beast flick hits screens this week at the illustrious Whistler Village 8. Emma Watson (Harry Potter, This is the End) plays real-life Belle, the maiden so pure and good she can break the beastly spell and use her love — and voice — to save the day.

A live remake of what many consider a near-perfect animated film (one of only three ever up for the Best Picture Oscar), the obvious first question with this Beauty and the Beast is whether it's even necessary at all. Why not just re-release the original on the big screen? It would be a small expenditure for a decent profit, and the story lives on.

Nope. Hollywood's loins only really get going when there's big money on the line, with huge budgets and profits sizeable enough to keep the merry-go-round spinning. Hollywood is not out of ideas; they're just running low on billion-dollar ideas.

We get this. And to its credit, Beauty and the Beast does expand on the imagined world of Belle and Gaston and whatever the water buffalo-looking dude's name ends up being, but the anthropomorphized objects in this live version can't pull it off. An artist can, with just a few brush strokes, inject vast amounts of character into the face of a hand-drawn singing candlestick. Trying to emotion-up a CGI computer model based on the real thing is much more difficult. And it doesn't work here, the motherly teapot doesn't come off as warm or motherly and too many of the animated character interactions don't hit.

Of course, the intended audience for this is too young to care or compare (and likely doesn't give two shits about words like "anthropomorphized") so it all makes for a pretty slick piece of spectacle. BE WARNED THOUGH! This Beauty and the Beast has all the songs and singing of the cartoon (maybe even more), and lands firmly in the musical genre and musicals peaked with 2004's Team America: World Police. So be wary.

Thankfully, one of the best comedies of the year is also opening this week as Goon 2: Last of the Enforcers spits its teeth across the silver screen. The directorial debut of Jay Baruchel (he wrote the first Goon), this one follows the further adventures of bouncer turned pro-hockey enforcer Doug "The Thug" Glatt (Seann William Scott) as he works to pull the jersey over a life getting more complicated every game, period and trimester.

Baruchel is a true champion of Canadian cinema and he mixes in real passion with his blood splats, bold humour, and a classic Canadian soundtrack (yeah, Gowan!).

The on-ice cinematography brings a fresh perspective to hockey and the fight scenes boast a visual synchronicity that a lot of big-time action directors should be studying. There's a lot more fighting in this Goon, and it's handled beautifully. Canadians should go watch this on the big screen out of a sense of duty, everyone else should go because Goon: Last of the Enforcers is awesome, a sequel that fights proudly beside its predecessor.


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