"All the world's a stage, and the men and women merely players". Or so thinks Simon Axler (Al Pacino), a washed up aged actor who struggles to distinguish real life from the stage. With no money and all but no dignity left, his agent is desperate to help him get a new job advertising. Then he meets Pegeen (Greta Gerwig), the daughter of a close friend. As his flirtation is returned, Simon is more than confused to discover that Pegeen is a lesbian. Through a web of hilarious deception, Simon is warned to stay away, yet his odd relationship with Pegeen blossoms into something both self-destructive and moving.
Continue: The Humbling Trailer
Commando, first released 22 years ago, has the simplest of premises: Arnold Schwarzenegger kills bad guys in every way imaginable for about 90 minutes. That's it. There isn't a subplot about reforming veterans' benefits or an extensive introduction into Latin America's political climate. Commando is one of the best arguments available for the action movie as pure entertainment.
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Amy Sedaris' Comedy Central series Strangers with Candy was an absurdist deconstruction of after school special conventions, following the wacky travails of 46-year-old ex-junkie, ex-con, ex-prostitute Jerri Blank (Sedaris) as she reentered high school as a freshman student. A potent cocktail of vulgarity, farcicality, and switchblade-sharp wordplay, the show was a mild cult hit for the then-fledging cable channel (as well as its first original live-action program), running for three brief seasons and eventually launching the career of Stephen Colbert (The Colbert Report). Unceremoniously cancelled in 2000 just as it was hitting its ludicrous stride, Strangers with Candy seemed destined to become another footnote in television history, consigned to the same overlooked fate as Chris Elliot's Get a Life and Fox's recently canned Arrested Development. Until, that is, Sedaris and co-creators Colbert and Paul Dinello somehow convinced David Letterman's Worldwide Pants Inc. to produce a feature-length version of the disregarded pseudo-sitcom, which now arrives in theaters like a giant middle finger to every inspirational Hollywood melodrama that tries to argue that people can transform themselves for the better, hard work is rewarded, and heroin is bad.
Unfortunately, however, the cinematic Strangers with Candy - directed by Dinello, who also reprises his role as idiotic, effeminate art teacher Geoffrey Jellineck - only maintains its antagonistic inappropriateness long enough to fill out its first 45 minutes; after that, the tank runs pretty dry and the proceedings become akin to a mediocre TV episode in which plot, rather than scatological silliness, is the main focus. Its story is a prequel of sorts to the Comedy Central series. The film kicks off with a credit montage of Jerri's hilarious exploits in prison (murdering a fellow inmate, enjoying a shower with a naked female) before following her home, where she discovers her dad (Dan Hedaya) is in a coma, mom is dead and replaced by hateful stepmonster Sara (Deborah Rush), and she now has a loathsome jock half-brother named Derrick (Joseph Cross). When the family physician (played by Ian Holm!) suggests that Jerri might cure her father by trying to undo the past thirty-two years-worth of depraved behavior, she decides to enroll at Flatpoint High, where she finds herself both tussling with barely-in-the-closet science teacher Chuck Noblet (Colbert) and blissfully moronic principal Blackman (Gregory Holliman), and hanging out with friends Megawatti Sukharnabhoutri (Carlo Alban) and Iris Puffybush (Dolores Duffy).
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What, you aren't frantically dialing your phone to reserve your copy at the video store yet? Take off your shoes and put down the car keys. If this video has proven anything, it's that what can be funny for 1/2 a minute probably usually won't make it for 91. Oh, how Super Dave proves it.
Continue reading: The Extreme Adventures Of Super Dave Review
Rambling through its first 30 minutes with no real direction, The First Wives Club eventually turns into a story about three old friends who want to exact vengeance on their wayward ex-husbands. Elise (Hawn) is an aging movie star, obsessed, as most aging movie stars are, about her looks. Brenda (Midler) is a bitter ex-housewife who loves her son and bemoans her lack of funds to support him -- and hasn't changed her hair since 1969. Annie (Keaton) is basically a middle-aged version of Annie Hall, only now she has a lesbian daughter and an intrusive mother, and Woody Allen is nowhere to be seen.
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Christopher Null, not overly impressed
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The two are spotted in the White House by a gaurd who originally saw the girls at Watergate the night of the burglary. The two are taken to the infamous "West Wing" where they meet and fall in love with President Richard "Dick" Nixon, played by Dan Hedaya, and very well I might add. Unfortunetly Hedaya's very entertaining performance of Dick couldn't save this already ill-fated non-comedy.
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"Swimfan" is the kind of thriller that requires, for the plot to move forward, a complete absence of common sense on the part of the hero -- in this case a high school swim team star (Jesse Bradford) with a sultry, psycho, jailbait stalker (Erika Christensen).
No matter what crazy thing the deranged girl does to him -- leave her panties in his car, email him 81 times in a day, spike his urine sample with steroids, frame him for murder -- Bradford never tells a single person what's really going on because if anyone was watching his back, there would be no movie.
Which isn't to say "Swimfan" doesn't have its guilty pleasures. OK, one guilty pleasure. Christensen -- Michael Douglas's smack-addicted daughter in "Traffic," a beautiful girl with the heart-shaped face and sly, portentous eyes -- is such a fun, wicked, spiteful villainess that she keeps the flick afloat all by herself.
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Too many crooks spoil "The Crew," and I'm not talking about the "grumpy old mobsters" played by Richard Dreyfuss, Burt Reynolds, Dan Hedaya and Seymour Cassel in this withering wiseguy comedy.
I'm talking about the throng of sardine-packed subplots that rob these good actors of all their quality screen time.
This facetious foursome play mobsters retired to South Florida who wind up in the middle of a drug war by trying to keep the run-down hotel they live in from going condo in the wake of all the Porsche-driving 20-somethings moving to town.
Continue reading: The Crew Review
"All the world's a stage, and the men and women merely players". Or so thinks...
Amy Sedaris' Comedy Central series Strangers with Candy was an absurdist deconstruction of after school...
Erika Christensen goes from zoned-out druggie (Traffic) to lame vanilla psycho in Swimfan, unequivocally one...
Who's the bad mutha -- shut yo mouth!That's right. Just talkin' 'bout Shaft....
The year is 1984. Reagan is looking forward to four more years as president. Orwell's...
The biggest crowd-pleaser of the year is upon us -- the powerhouse trio of Goldie...
If anyone even dares to hum the lyrics of the Bob Dylan song, I'm going...
[In the spirit of competition, we present a rare filmcritic.com double review on David Lynch's...