Avi Lerner

Avi Lerner

Avi Lerner Quick Links

News Pictures Film RSS

Before I Go To Sleep Review


Good

A clever premise can't help but grab the audience's attention as this mystery-thriller plays with ideas of identity and memory, but the simplistic filmmaking makes it feel like a cheat. Writer-director Rowan Joffe (2010's Brighton Rock remake) badly underestimates the audience, using melodrama and contrived storytelling to try to manipulate viewers' emotions. And it doesn't help that the leading lady can't move her face.

Nicole Kidman stars as Christine, who wakes up every morning thinking that she's 23. When she discovers Ben (Colin Firth) in her bed, she's almost as horrified as when she sees her 40-year-old face in the mirror. But Ben patiently explains who she is, that he's her husband and that an accident damaged her ability to make new long-term memories. When he leaves for work each day, she is contacted by Dr Nash (Mark Strong), who helps nudge her into the present. But all of this does little more than make Christine wonder whether anyone is telling the truth. As she digs deeper each day, she gets in touch with her friend Claire (Anne-Marie Duff), who offers some continuity. And by piecing clues together she begins to realise that there's a gap between what's really happening and what she thinks she remembers.

With elements of both Memento and 50 First Dates, this film is packed with tricky elements that add to the suspense, creating a creepy atmosphere that's surprisingly moving as seen through Christine's eyes. Even with her immobile face, Kidman's eyes are alert and emotive, strongly conveying Christine's yearning to understand the truth. Opposite her, the always terrific Duff has the film's best role simply because she seems to be who she claims to be. Meanwhile, Firth and Strong have a great time wrong-footing both Christine and the audience, or maybe they're just misunderstood. The fascinating premise forces us to sift through the clues ourselves to figure out what's going on.

Continue reading: Before I Go To Sleep Review

The Expendables 3 Review


Good

Striking a tone somewhere between the po-faced original and the silly Part 2, this rampaging action nonsense is badly overcrowded and chaotic, but there's plenty of comedy and whizzy stuntwork to keep the audience entertained. It of course helps a lot that the film is packed to the rafters with iconic actors and lively newcomers. And their sassy dialogue helps make up for the idiotic plot.

It opens with a prison break, as Barney (Sylvester Stallone) and his team (Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture and Terry Crews) rescue their old cohort Doc (Wesley Snipes) then head off on a mysterious mission that turns out to involve their presumed-dead nemesis Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), who is targeting Barney's team. So Barney and his pal Bonaparte (Kelsey Grammer) set about finding four new commandoes (Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, Glen Powell and Victor Ortiz) to take on Stonebanks, but of course nothing goes as plan. For the final face-off they're joined by the old team, CIA boss Drummer (Harrison Ford), former colleagues Trench and Yin (Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jet Li), and chatty newcomer Galgo (Antonio Banderas).

The ever-increasing cast means that some characters can't help but be pushed into the shadows (Crews and Li are barely in this film), while others hover around the edges of scenes injecting moments of sarcastic wit. Each of the characters gets his or her moment of eye-popping action, as the film lurches from set-piece to set-piece in a whirl of bombs, bullets and blades. All of this is fun because the actors are gleefully refusing to take any of this seriously. The scene-stealers this time are Gibson, terrific as the swaggering villain, and Banderas, who's hilarious as the only person who can string a sentence together.

Continue reading: The Expendables 3 Review

Avi Lerner and Mel Gibson - Stars attended the Premiere of 'The Expendables 3' on August 11th 2014 which was held on Hollywood Boulevard at the TCL Chinese Theatre - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Monday 11th August 2014

Avi Lerner and Mel Gibson
Avi Lerner and Mel Gibson

Avi Lerner - 'The Expendables 3' world film premiere held at the Odeon cinema - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Monday 4th August 2014

Avi Lerner
Avi Lerner and Guest

Avi Lerner - The Expendables 3 - UK film premiere Afterparty at DSTRKT . - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 5th August 2014

Avi Lerner

Avi Lerner - The Expendables 3 - World premiere held at the Odeon Cinema - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Monday 4th August 2014

Avi Lerner

As I Lay Dying Review


Good

James Franco makes his directing debut with this ambitious adaptation of William Faulkner's notoriously downbeat novel. No surprise: it's extremely grim! It's also a bit too cleverly shot and edited to tell the tale from each character's perspective, which means there's no central point to draw us in emotionally.

The story takes place in rural Mississippi in the early 20th century, where the Bundren family have surrounded Addie (Grant) on her deathbed. Her children are all nearby: daughter Dewey Dell (O'Reilly) stays by her side, Cash (Parrack) saws timber for her coffin, Jewel (Marshall-Green) rides his precious horse to clear his mind, and Darl (Franco) tries to keep everyone happy, including youngest brother Vard (Permenter). But their dad Anse (Nelson) has promised to bury Addie in Jefferson, a three-day journey away. And as they painstakingly make their way across the countryside, each of them has a personal issue to deal with along the way.

All of the characters get a chance to narrate part of the film, which lets us see their inner thoughts and dreams and understand the secrets they are hiding from each other. Along with Franco's use of split screens to show scenes from multiple angles, this essentially makes us all-seeing witnesses to the story, unable to dive in and engage with the raw emotions that are churning around everyone. The film is beautifully shot and acted with real soulfulness, but it also feels eerily dispassionate about these fragile people.

Continue reading: As I Lay Dying Review

Avi Lerner and Heidi Jo Markel - VIP screening of 'Lovelace' hosted by Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Las Vegas - Arrivals - Las Vegas, NV, United States - Sunday 4th August 2013

Avi Lerner and Heidi Jo Markel

The Expendables 2 Review


Good
Although there's been no attempt to tone down the first film's bloodthirsty hyperviolence or dim-witted plotting, this sequel is a massive improvement simply because they have fun with the premise. As a result, so do we.

Barney (Stallone) and his team of ageing mercenaries are coerced by Church (Willis) into heading into hostile territory to retrieve a top secret electronic gadget. Most shocking is the fact that Church insists that a woman, Maggie (Yu), joins them. And when things go wrong, Barney leads the gang on a grisly revenge mission against a nasty villain (Van Damme) who's callously putting humanity in peril. Along the way they're joined by Church and Trench (Schwarzenegger), and get help from lone-wolf Booker (Norris).

Continue reading: The Expendables 2 Review

The Mechanic Review


OK
Remade from Michael Winner's 1972 thriller, this action movie can't be bothered to get as dark and edgy as it should be. But the cast members keep us watching, even as things turn unnecessarily grisly.

Elite hitman Arthur (Statham) lives a solitary life in a New Orleans bayou with his stinking wealth and exquisite taste. But he's shocked when his boss (Goldwyn) gives him his next assignment: to kill his mentor Harry (Sutherland).

Arthur is a cool professional, but now he's also wracked with guilt. So he takes Harry's wastrel son Steve (Foster) under his wing, teaching him the assassination trade and letting him practice during a few jobs. But the work gets increasingly dangerous, and soon it becomes apparent that Harry was set up. Revenge is in the air.

Continue reading: The Mechanic Review

Righteous Kill Review


Very Good
Robert De Niro and Al Pacino -- has there ever been a better acting team? For the first time since 1995's Heat, the two have leading roles in the same film, and their presence has allowed Righteous Kill to build a substantial amount of buzz. While the movie doesn't live up to the anticipation, it does pack a decent punch, thanks entirely to the leading men.

When hard-boiled rapists, pedophiles, murders, and drug lords slip through the legal system, are people who take the law into their own hands criminals or heroes? Righteous Kill explores the familiar subject of vigilante killers with a slight twist. This time, the killer is a cop.

Continue reading: Righteous Kill Review

Cleaner Review


Terrible
Watching this movie felt like the longest 90 minutes of my life.

Remember that TV show Heroes, where something happens maybe every 15 episodes to advance the storyline? Cleaner is kind of like that but condensed into a movie. The movie beats around the bush for about half an hour before it actually introduces a conflict; the rest of the 90 minutes is filled with Samuel L. Jackson yelling at various people until we finally encounter a twist at the very end. The "surprise" ending is so contrived and underwhelming you'll want to take a nap after sitting through this film to recover your soul from horrendous boredom by dreaming up something more interesting.

Continue reading: Cleaner Review

My Mom's New Boyfriend Review


Weak
Grown-up son living at home becomes angry and frustrated when his mom brings a new guy into the picture. Wait, didn't I just see this movie? Literally, a week ago?

Turns out My Mom's New Boyfriend has some differences with Mama's Boy, though it sticks closely to the overall shoddy quality level. This time out it's not a straight-up case of a son feeling betrayed. Writer/director George Gallo (DysFunktional Family) throws in a crime caper too. Henry (Colin Hanks) hasn't seen Mom (Meg Ryan) in three years due to his undercover duties as an FBI agent. When he returns home with a fiancee (Selma Blair), he finds that Mom hasn't just lost hundreds of pounds, she's also turned into a raving sexual lunatic, too. No sooner has Henry made his old bed than Mom gets mixed up with Tommy (Antonio Banderas), a known art thief... who Henry's been assigned to spy on!

Continue reading: My Mom's New Boyfriend Review

The Contract Review


OK
How'd a reasonably-big ($25 million) budget picture starring John Cusack and Morgan Freeman and directed by twice-Oscar-nominated Bruce Beresford go absolutely nowhere? I'd never even heard of The Contract until the DVD showed up at my house. I wager you're the same... and few will even see it on home video, either.

The story begins with decent promise as Freeman is revealed to be a stellar hitman, only his cover is finally blown and the many enemies he's made over the years come after him. He escapes an elaborate assassination and runs into the wilderness, only to be apprehended (because he's in handcuffs) by a camping father (John Cusack) and his son. While the trio attempts to get back to civilization to turn Freeman in, they're pursued by the bad guys and the good guys, and they still have to deal with harsh terrain surrounding them. Beresford's setup starts strong but soon peters out and gets repetitive as Cusack faces down one impossible situation after another, but never with much finesse. It's just running around on a mountain, often in the dark: The final showdown takes place completely and absurdly without lighting and pretty much seals the movie's doom.

Continue reading: The Contract Review

Loverboy Review


Bad
Much like Robert Towne's recent adaptation of Ask the Dust, Kevin Bacon's Loverboy is a labor of love. Sometime in 2003, Kyra Sedgwick (Bacon's spouse) handed him a copy of Victoria Redel's novel, Loverboy, and both found themselves eager to bring the story to the screen. And similar to Towne's effort, Bacon is so enthusiastic about the material that he can't get his concentration correct.

Emily Stoll (Sedgwick) is in her late 20s and roaming the Midwest and just about everywhere else for the right ejaculate. After a miscarriage from a "no father," multi-partner pregnancy, she meets Paul (Campbell Scott) and in one night of passion, a child is conceived. The son, Paul aka Loverboy (Dominic Scott Kay), quickly becomes Emily's entire life, trying to make life a magical, ongoing discovery. Emily has nightmarish flashbacks of her lovebird parents (Bacon and Marisa Tomei) who were too busy being in love to take care of a child properly, and she daydreams of her fantasy mother, Mrs. Harker (Sandra Bullock). Loverboy eventually becomes wise to his mother's obsessive grasp on him and begins to revolt, especially when she tries to seduce Mark (Matt Dillon), a father figure. This, of course, can't end well.

Continue reading: Loverboy Review

Avi Lerner

Avi Lerner Quick Links

News Pictures Film RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Filmmaker


Jason Statham Loves The Mechanic's Complicated Action

Jason Statham Loves The Mechanic's Complicated Action

Five years after his first stint as hitman Arthur Bishop in The Mechanic, Jason Statham has returned to the role for Mechanic: Resurrection.

Advertisement
John Krasinski Used His Experience To Make The Hollars

John Krasinski Used His Experience To Make The Hollars

In a busy year that has seen John Krasinski star in movies and TV shows, he somehow managed to find the time to direct, produce and star in the new...

Advertisement

Avi Lerner Movies

Before I Go to Sleep Movie Review

Before I Go to Sleep Movie Review

A clever premise can't help but grab the audience's attention as this mystery-thriller plays with...

The Expendables 3 Movie Review

The Expendables 3 Movie Review

Striking a tone somewhere between the po-faced original and the silly Part 2, this rampaging...

As I Lay Dying Movie Review

As I Lay Dying Movie Review

James Franco makes his directing debut with this ambitious adaptation of William Faulkner's notoriously downbeat...

The Expendables 2 Movie Review

The Expendables 2 Movie Review

Although there's been no attempt to tone down the first film's bloodthirsty hyperviolence or dim-witted...

Conan The Barbarian Movie Review

Conan The Barbarian Movie Review

With a complete lack of self-awareness, this po-faced remake looks more like a trash-TV series...

Trust Movie Review

Trust Movie Review

Even though this film has a deeply disturbing theme, one of the most frightening things...

The Mechanic Movie Review

The Mechanic Movie Review

Remade from Michael Winner's 1972 thriller, this action movie can't be bothered to get as...

Advertisement
The Expendables Movie Review

The Expendables Movie Review

Relentlessly loud and bombastic, this old-school thriller is clearly trying to exceed the 1980s action...

Brooklyn's Finest Movie Review

Brooklyn's Finest Movie Review

This darkly shaded cop drama has an effectively moody tone, although it never feels any...

Righteous Kill Movie Review

Righteous Kill Movie Review

Robert De Niro and Al Pacino -- has there ever been a better acting team?...

My Mom's New Boyfriend Movie Review

My Mom's New Boyfriend Movie Review

Grown-up son living at home becomes angry and frustrated when his mom brings a new...

Rambo (2008) Movie Review

Rambo (2008) Movie Review

What do you do when Tinseltown no longer cares for your career, when your latest...

Mad Money Movie Review

Mad Money Movie Review

Why should George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and their Las Vegas crew have all of the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.