Caroleen Feeney

Caroleen Feeney

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Happy Hour Review


OK
Mike Bencivenga has probably seen Leaving Las Vegas a few too many times as well as read too much Bukowski.

And with a title like Happy Hour, I think you know what you have in store. If you like your tragicomedy steeped in whiskey, this is your movie.

Continue reading: Happy Hour Review

Denise Calls Up Review


OK
I finally had a chance to see Denise Calls Up after it had pretty much made its art-house rounds, but I thought I'd write a short review anyway.

The one-joke premise is this: seven friends in New York basically live their lives without ever really meeting. Instead, they talk on the phone. Dates are set, parties are planned, sex is had, even children are born -- but no one is there, in the physical sense.

Continue reading: Denise Calls Up Review

Bad Manners Review


Grim
The Big Chill gets all serious-like (think Woody Allen in his lousy, "serious" days) when four adults converge on a Hamptons-esque home for a weekend, rubbing one another entirely the wrong way. A squabble over $50 and the nature of computer-generated music becomes a launching pad for innuendo, which might have been enticing had any of the characters been interesting. The exception is Caroleen Feeney, cast as a vamp and used rather one-dimensionally, but she's still quite a heartbreaker. Based on Gilman's play Ghost in the Machine.

In the Weeds Review


Grim
Setting your movie in a restaurant is as close to punting as it gets in moviedom. Someone does it every couple of years (1998: Restaurant, 2000: Dinner Rush), and today they have all blended together into one enormous plate of mashed potatoes and warmed-over gravy.

And while I can understand how laziness can motivate a writer/director to base yet another movie on waitstaff working thankless jobs in a restaurant while dreaming of lives on the outside (just imagine how big the audience of waiters and waitresses must be!), I can't begin to fathom why he'd title that film In the Weeds -- and why a studio like Miramax would allow that title to stick on the eventual straight-to-DVD release that occurs five years after the film's production.

Continue reading: In the Weeds Review

Ivans Xtc. Review


Good

Writer-director Bernard Rose's tense and pensive, Tolstoy-inspired, digital-noir dark showbiz farce "ivans xtc." is a potent, surprising piece of seat-of-the-pants cinema -- and not just because it actually makes you feel sympathy for a slimy Hollywood agent.

Set in the most furtive, cutthroat corners of the film industry, the movie opens by creating an atmosphere of contagious kinetic, vitalizing anxiety with a nerve-pinching score and metaphorical, dream-like images of a smoggy, hazy Los Angeles sunrise that has an ironic, asphyxiating urban beauty. The odd serenity of these sights is further offset by muffled sounds of hard breathing and the distant voices of emergency room doctors.

After this title sequence establishes the film's disquieting mood, the story begins with a bombshell that leaves its industry-archetype characters stunned -- but not so stunned that they won't immediately begin jockeying to take advantage. Powerful young talent agent Ivan Beckman (Danny Huston) died last night, quite suddenly of cancer -- or so the story goes. Within 60 seconds of getting the news, the other talent wranglers in his firm are gossiping about drugs. "What did he do," ask one rival who is repressing a savage, smug smile. "Freebase his face off?"

Continue reading: Ivans Xtc. Review

Caroleen Feeney

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