Tina Fey and Steve Carell are two extremely formidable comedians, and thank heavens someone, somewhere had the good sense to pair them up for a feature film.
While wobbly at times, “Date Night” is a perfectly pleasant, often uproarious action comedy that makes good use of their gifts and their surprising chemistry as an exhausted married couple. Even with Shawn Levy directing, “Date Night” is a consistent delight.
Continue reading “Date Night”
“The Runaways” opens tight on a drop of menstrual blood. This image can be digested three ways: a sign of oncoming womanhood, a defiant stand of earthy feminism, or a wildly accurate reflection of director Floria Sigismondi’s irritating fixation on details that have little to do with the amazing story of the band in question.
Continue reading “The Runaways”
A painfully low-budget horror turkey, “The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond” at least has a corker of a premise: think a satanic version of “Jumanji.”
What director Gabriel Bologna actually does with this picture is less devilishly enchanting, punishing the viewer with atrocious acting, formulaic plotting, and ghastly scripting. Cinematic ambition is one thing, but execution is what matters most, and this feature is missing a stimulating directorial imagination to sell what could’ve been something amusingly heinous.
Continue reading “The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond”
Imagine “The Matrix,” with all of its eye-popping violence, sensuality, and salty language giving the material its very identity, as intended by the filmmakers.
Now picture “The Matrix” stripped of its coarseness, boiled down to a family-friendly adventure without bite and, for the most part, creative logic. In Utah, a war against sin has been waged for the last decade, pitting Hollywood legal firepower against a hungry Mormon movie nation, clamoring for blockbusters without balls.
Continue reading “Cleanflix”
“Paper Man” has the appearance of a deeply felt, earnest film concerning unfinished emotional business.
It literalizes the burden of guilt in strange seriocomic ways, but the film as a whole is a woeful misfire of inexplicable outbursts and overpowering performances. “Paper Man” certainly reaches out for a hug and demands a few tears, but the execution of the film is irritating, making this sensitive picture dishearteningly hopeless and, at least during a few key moments of the feature, seemingly endless.
Continue reading “Paper Man”
Working without much of a budget or the comfort of a studio, the New York City drama “Don’t Let Me Drown” manages to pull off one of the most harrowing depictions of a post-9/11 world I’ve seen to date.
Continue reading “Don’t Let Me Drown”