There isn’t one genuine emotion in this entire formulaic “comedy”. From the very first frame you’ll know exactly where this clichéd battle-of-the-sexes is headed. Ashton and Cameron seem compelled to overcompensate for their one-dimensional characters by overacting as if shouting their lines will make them funnier. The only surprising thing about this movie is that the majority of it actually takes place in New York. I fold.
Archive for September, 2008
Repellent characters populate this overrated revenge story about a man trying to figure out why he was imprisoned. Viewers are subjected to scenes of revenge, incest and torture designed to only shock the audience and apparently nothing more. At best it’s incoherent and at the worst, it’s vile. By the denouement, the “reveal” is so off-putting you feel regret for having watched this stylishly filmed trash. However, stylishly filmed trash, is still trash.
Ricky Gervais stars as Bertram Pincus, a rude dentist who gains the ability to communicate with ghosts. Somewhat clichéd story benefits immensely from his consistently hilarious performance. Gervais’ dry sarcastic humor balances nicely with the seriousness of actress Tea Leoni who plays the widow he befriends. They have a nice chemistry as she seems genuinely amused whenever he lets loose with a witty observation.
Light romantic drama is based on David Mamet’s play, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, which he adapted for the screen here. Detailed look at modern relationships reveals how a one night stand becomes a full fledged affair. Each person has a different idea about where the relationship should be headed. Loud, generic pop soundtrack is a liability, but overall, the compelling performances and humorous script make for an entertaining movie.
Nick and Norah are two young adults who roam the streets of late night New York City and gradually fall in love in the process. Hip urban film is made of little vignettes filed with indie rock music, drinking and late night clubbing. At times the dialogue feels more like the work of a writer than an actual teen, but ultimately it all works because of the chemistry between the two leads.
Odd spy comedy about two dimwitted gym employees that decide to exploit a memoir they find of an ex-CIA official. Film is populated by people so selfish and stupid, we really couldn’t care less about them. George Clooney’s character is particularly repulsive. Uneven tone is punctuated by misplaced flashes of violence and one truly unsettling sexual device. Some amusing bits, but ultimately a minor Coen brothers film.
Absurd road comedy about the Griswold’s family vacation to Wally World. When first released back in 1983, this film felt like an obvious farce full of gross-out gags and dumb slapstick bits. Although it IS that, what’s amazing is just how much heart this film actually has. Chevy Chase as the agreeable family patriarch anchors the film, but Beverly D’Angelo, Imogene Coca, Randy Quaid, John Candy, and even Christie Brinkley all add significantly to this dream cast.
Inaccurately titled sequel to Cat People is not a horror film and more importantly, doesn’t even feature any cat people. However, this gorgeous fantasy film is just as potent in creating mood as its predecessor and deserves to be treated as a classic in its own right. Atmospheric film is enchanting look into the mind of a child. It’s amazing the six-year-old protagonist, Ann Carter, didn’t become a bigger star. She is memorable.
Brooding film noir from producer Val Lewton is a triumph of imagination over budget in this haunting horror film. Relies not on overt shocks, but on a moody sense of dread. The whole cast is brilliant but Simone Simon as Irena is especially effective, suggesting subtle catlike behavior in just her movements. Remade less successfully in 1982.
Supposed martial arts thriller is actually a character study of a man who lives a life based on honor and rejects the corrupting influence of money. Director David Mamet masterfully juggles multiple characters and storylines during the first hour in an intricately woven story. Unfortunately, the film unravels in the last half hour amid unanswered story questions and loose ends. By the final moment, with respect to Peggy Lee, you’ll be asking yourself, “Is that all there is?”