Bob Yari

Bob Yari

Bob Yari Quick Links

News Film RSS

What Doesn't Kill You Review


OK
A recovery film being touted as a crime thriller, What Doesn't Kill You suffers from the problem of most recovery stories in that it essentially has no final act. With the average character study this isn't really an issue, but for a film that starts off with an armored car robbery going badly awry (narration over a freeze-frame of a robber desperately blasting away tells us: "Never do armored cars"), the lack of satisfying denouement seriously damages what is otherwise a perfectly solid drama.

The movie is billed as the true-life story of the film's director/co-writer Brian Goodman, a South Boston guy who spent a few years in jail before getting his break in Ted Demme's Monument Ave. and showing up in several projects by Rod Lurie (a producer on this film). Being that Goodman made a career in Hollywood as the kind of square-jawed tough who got mowed down by the G-Men in the final reel of an old Republic serial, it's fitting that his first project as filmmaker would be this scrappy piece about his pre-Hollywood life as a second-string Southie hoodlum.

Continue reading: What Doesn't Kill You Review

Resurrecting The Champ Review


Good
You could say that young sportswriter Erik Kernan (Josh Harnett) has a greater need for resurrection than the down-for-the-count ex-boxer he wants to write about. That's because, sadly, Kernan hasn't been able to match his dead dad's sharp writing and sterling reputation on the Denver Post. The only thing that makes his professional resurrection possible with his story idea is the passion to tell it, and he's pleading for the assignment.

When Erik first comes upon the man they call "Champ" (Samuel L. Jackson), the homeless resident has just been violently attacked by a small gang of vicious delinquents trying to prove their manhood with an act of cowardice typical of the goons and bullies in this part of town. After suffering their blows, the victim lies nearly helpless on the grounds of his minimal stakeout in a downtown alley. Once more, Champ is down, but this is the life he's accepted and adapted to with stoic resolve.

Continue reading: Resurrecting The Champ Review

Kickin' It Old Skool Review


Weak
Haven't I seen this movie before? More to the point: Haven't I seen Jamie Kennedy make this movie before?

Well, not exactly. While Malibu's Most Wanted featured a goofy white guy obsessed with rap culture -- to the extreme annoyance of everyone around him -- Kickin' It Old Skool gives us Kennedy as a goofy white guy obsessed with... breakdancing culture. The key difference? In Old Skool Kennedy is a coma victim who awakens 20 years after a junior-high talent show (after breakdancing his way to a concussion, of course), only to find a world that's unlike the '80s. Wait, haven't I seen this movie before?

Continue reading: Kickin' It Old Skool Review

The Hoax Review


Very Good
Everybody loves a good con artist, a guy who can bluff his way into or out of anything. He's isn't violent, not a gangster, but a smooth-talking charmer whose poker face doesn't flinch no matter how dangerous or delicate the situation gets. Lasse Hallström's latest, The Hoax, offers a portrait of such a con artist, a real-life fabulist who makes James Frey (the disgraced "non-fiction" writer behind 2003's A Million Little Pieces) and his shenanigans look like chump change.

Richard Gere, perfectly cast, plays Clifford Irving, a down-and-out writer who in 1971 wrote (and nearly got published) a fake biography of Howard Hughes. Desperate to jump-start his career, Irving duped his editor Andrea Tate (Hope Davis) and the top dogs at McGraw-Hill into believing he was not only a friend of Hughes, the notorious recluse, but that the billionaire had tapped Irving to write his life story. Smelling a publishing sensation, McGraw-Hill offered Irving a then-record publishing deal, and the writer suddenly found himself the crown prince of the publishing world.

Continue reading: The Hoax Review

First Snow Review


OK
What is it about Guy Pearce that makes him so attractively insular, even when he's playing an obnoxious halfwit who sells bargain basement linoleum? Last year, he started strong with his brooding performance in John Hillcoat's brutal The Proposition and ended as the only graceful note as Andy Warhol in the otherwise abysmal Factory Girl. Though it premiered at last year's Tribeca Film Festival, it's taken close to a year for someone to pick up First Snow, along with both Lonely Hearts and Comedy of Power, which also premiered at Tribeca last year. With the 2007 edition of the festival a paltry month away, a look at one of its more well-attended and well-received pieces is apt.

Pearce plays Jimmy Starks, a walking grease bucket of a salesman who is waiting for his car to get fixed when we first meet him (as if the name left any room for ethical clarity). Jimmy is trying to sell everyone: He attempts to sell a jukebox to a bar owner (he already has one), tries to sell his intellectual cynicism to a fortune teller (J.K. Simmons, playing it surprisingly low key), and tries to sell his respect to his colleagues and coworkers (William Fichtner and Rick Gonzalez, respectively). When the fortune teller tells him that he will go tits-up when the first snow hits, Starks responds with impervious flaunting and jittery paranoia. Self-aware and gaunt with confusion and doubt, Starks begins to take action to ensure he won't die. Not an easy charge with a vexed ex-partner (Shea Whigham), sneering and prodding through late night phone calls.

Continue reading: First Snow Review

Employee Of The Month (2004) Review


Good
Matt Dillon must have really loved Wild Things. A lot.. Here he appears with Christina Applegate in another circuitous drama/thriller involving lots of cash, this time about a poor guy who loses his job and his girl on the same day. Shortly thereafter, the bank where he worked is robbed. Think he might be in on it? Rest assured, there are about 15 more twists in store for you before the movie's all said and done. Employee of the Month has moments a-plenty both cute and clever, but it doesn't quite generate enough interest to make you really vest yourself in the plot.

The Illusionist Review


Weak
There's something in Paul Giamatti that was just made for the 19th century. With those slightly bulbous but penetrating eyes and stolid weariness, one can imagine him looking out of an old daguerreotype with hat in hand, an emblem of a less superficial age. So it's nice to see Giamatti (so often made to play the whiny comic relief) cast in the otherwise dismissible film The Illusionist as a gruff policeman in fin de siècle Vienna, dropping his voice into a lower register than usual and assuming an impressive stature; honorable but shaded with a tiny bit of incipient corruption. If only everything else in the film worked this well.

Based on a short story by Steven Millhauser, a Pulitzer winner given to tidy exposition and nostalgic settings, The Illusionist concerns a stage magician who was separated from the love of his love due to his peasant roots and her aristocratic family, only to meet her years later on stage, when she is betrothed to a villainous crown prince. The magician, Eisenheim, is played stiffly by Edward Norton, without a shred of humor or self-awareness. Somewhat in keeping with his performance is that by Jessica Biel as his beloved, Sophie von Teschen -- whose beauty helps brighten these lamp-lit rooms, but who is never close to believable as a Viennese noblewoman. Rather more in keeping with the spirit of the rather melodramatic story is Rufus Sewell, as the evil Crown Prince Leopold, who swans through the film with cigarette holder perched lightly in one hand, his face a deliciously, maliciously bored mask.

Continue reading: The Illusionist Review

Haven Review


Weak
The island of Grand Cayman is truly breathtaking, and the new drama Haven wastes no time in showing off the tucked-away coves of white, sandy beaches and crystal blue waters of its setting. It's too bad that it doesn't stick to pining after the picturesque, and instead goes for a lackluster and muddled portrayal of island social strife and petty melodramas.

Haven is told using the intersecting tales of numerous characters that is so popular with the ambitious, film school-groomed set who have seen Rashomon a few too many times. In one narrative strain, there's the jovial American businessman (Bill Paxton) who wants to give up his shady practices and go straight; his pretty princess daughter Pippa (Agnes Bruckner), still fresh from her 18th birthday; his foul-mouthed attorney, Allen (Stephen Dillane), tired of making money for other people; Allen's scantily-clad, put-upon secretary (Joy Bryant); and a sleazy local small-time hood who takes a shine to Pippa and decides to introduce her to the local drug scene. Almost entirely unconnected is Shy (Orlando Bloom), an easygoing local fisherman who has to keep his love affair with young Angela (Zoe Saldana) a secret from her wealthy, domineering father and her violent thug of a brother (Anthony Mackie).

Continue reading: Haven Review

Crash (2004) Review


Excellent
In Crash, a simple car accident forms an unyielding foundation for the complex exploration of race and prejudice. Thoroughly repulsive throughout, but incredibly thought provoking long after, Paul Haggis' breathtaking directorial debut succeeds in bringing to the forefront the behaviors that many people keep under their skin. And by thrusting these attitudes toward us with a highly calculated, reckless abandon, Haggis puts racism on the highest pedestal for our review.

There is no better place for this examination than the culturally diverse melting pot of modern-day Los Angeles. In just over 24 hours, Crash brings together people from all walks of life. Two philosophizing black men (Ludacris and Larenz Tate) steal the expensive SUV belonging to the white, L.A. District Attorney (Brendan Fraser), and his high-strung wife (Sandra Bullock). A similar vehicle belonging to a wealthy black television director (Terrence Howard) and his wife (Thandie Newton) is later pulled over by a racist cop (Matt Dillon) and his partner (Ryan Phillippe). Soon, many of these people get mixed up with a Latino locksmith (Michael Peña), a Persian storekeeper (Shaun Toub), and two ethnically diverse, dating police detectives (Don Cheadle and Jennifer Esposito).

Continue reading: Crash (2004) Review

A Love Song For Bobby Long Review


OK
In a year-end blitz of small films about dysfunctional, broken families (e.g., Around the Bend) comes this variation on the theme set in a tacky section of New Orleans. While a confident cast ultimately makes something of the drama, a certain awkwardness in the storytelling sets up discordant side tracks as it attempts to live up to its title.

Purslane "Pursy" Hominy Will (Scarlett Johansson) has lived most of her 18-year life without the mother from whom she's estranged but whose memory she cherishes. As a teenage independent she's become hardened and jaded beyond her years. When her live-in boyfriend tells her that he received word of Lorraine's death several days after the fact, she rages at the dumbshit for neglecting to let her know right away. She storms out of the house with all her possessions and buses her way from Florida back to the town she grew up in and to her childhood home, a day too late to make the funeral.

Continue reading: A Love Song For Bobby Long Review

Bob Yari

Bob Yari Quick Links

News Film RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Filmmaker


Kit Harington And Maisie Williams Tease 'Game Of Thrones' Season 7

Kit Harington And Maisie Williams Tease 'Game Of Thrones' Season 7

Without giving away any spoilers, both the British actors hinted that season seven of 'Game of Thrones' would be eventful, shall we say.

Advertisement
Johnny Depp Sends First Divorce Payment Straight To Charities

Johnny Depp Sends First Divorce Payment Straight To Charities

Depp cut the first installment of cheques in his divorce from Amber Heard, sending them directly to the charities she named.

Advertisement

Bob Yari Movies

Kickin' It Old Skool Movie Review

Kickin' It Old Skool Movie Review

Haven't I seen this movie before? More to the point: Haven't I seen Jamie Kennedy...

The Hoax Movie Review

The Hoax Movie Review

Everybody loves a good con artist, a guy who can bluff his way into or...

First Snow Movie Review

First Snow Movie Review

What is it about Guy Pearce that makes him so attractively insular, even when he's...

The Illusionist Movie Review

The Illusionist Movie Review

There's something in Paul Giamatti that was just made for the 19th century. With those...

Advertisement
Haven Movie Review

Haven Movie Review

The island of Grand Cayman is truly breathtaking, and the new drama Haven wastes no...

Dave Chappelle's Block Party Movie Review

Dave Chappelle's Block Party Movie Review

Imagine you were a marginally successful comedian, one who had spent 10 years touring clubs...

Crash (2005) Movie Review

Crash (2005) Movie Review

In Crash, a simple car accident forms an unyielding foundation for the complex exploration of...

The Painted Veil Movie Review

The Painted Veil Movie Review

In its space, pacing, and plot dynamics, John Curran's The Painted Veil has an inherent...

Dave Chapelle's Block Party Movie Review

Dave Chapelle's Block Party Movie Review

Imagine you were a marginally successful comedian, one who had spent 10 years touring clubs...

The Matador Movie Review

The Matador Movie Review

Pierce Brosnan's chances of returning to the James Bond role officially plunge down the drain...

Crash (2004) Movie Review

Crash (2004) Movie Review

In Crash, a simple car accident forms an unyielding foundation for the complex exploration of...

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.