David is a night guard for a company that sells armoured vehicles (known as Loomis Fargo & Company) in North Carolina; and he's not exactly what you'd call a genius. Desperate for a lifestyle away from his routine, low paid job, he sets up a massive heist; intending to break into a vault containing millions of dollars with his co-conspirators Kelly and Steve. They manage to make off with more than $17 million, making it one of the largest bank heists in American history (technically so, as most of the money belonged to the bank). Initially, the police have no leads and David hopes that using the money for something good will redeem him in the eyes of God. The FBI has other ideas when it becomes clear whose behind the robbery.
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Amusing enough, and a quick read. And Fast Sofa, the movie, keeps the guts of this road trip intact -- enough to realize that our pal Rick is on a real road to nowhere. Jake Busey makes for a creepy and considerably miscast hero, though Jennifer Tilly's wanton Ginger is enough fun for the both of them. Stealing the show, however, is Crispin Glover, as a shut-in sophisticate named Julian who tags along on the latter half of Rick's abortive journey. His outfit alone is reason enough to rent the tape.
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This Gen-X road trip has an interesting performance from the always-engaging Jared Leto, plus small and hilarious turns from the likes of Jeremy Piven, but overall this film is a nonsensical dud. Ostensibly, it's about a run to Seattle brought on when Leto's Jack gets caught in bed with a mobster's woman. Of course, the mobsters give chase.
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From first-time writer/director Danny Comden, an erstwhile actor who has starred in some of Hollywood's biggest duds (Fast Sofa, Highway, Urban Legend), comes the oh-so-cleverly-titled Sol Goode, with Getty starring as an unemployed actor type by the titular name. Say it out loud.
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It must be said that things don't begin well, however, with its focus the film's star bitch, 15-year-old Kimberly Joyce (Evan Rachel Wood), who looks to be the queen of her snotty private high school in Beverly Hills. Appearing at first to be the result of some hideous experiment whereby Reese Witherspoon's Election spunk and drive was spliced with the power-lusting evil of at least a couple of the Heathers, Kimberly soon shows herself to be an entirely different sort of villain. In the process of escorting a quiet new Arab student, Randa Azzouni (Adi Schnall), around campus and explaining to her the facts of life and a clinical cost/benefit analysis of the two of them being friends (Randa gets to hang out with one of the school's stars, while Kimberly thinks she looks prettier standing next to Randa), Kimberly drops in this little nugget, "I have respect for all races. But I'm really happy to have been born white." She then proceeds to list, in descending order, the races she would prefer to be, and then patiently explains to Randa - in her flat, rational, almost toneless voice - exactly why Arab would be her last choice ("No offence.").
Continue reading: Pretty Persuasion Review
Like some sketch-comedy Frankenstein monster made from the cutting-room entrails of "Clueless," "The Opposite of Sex," "To Die For," "Election" and "Heathers," the puerile social satire "Pretty Persuasion" is stinging only insomuch as its unsophisticated wit and overwhelming smugness are painful to sit through.
Writer Skander Halim and director Marcos Siega clearly watched all these movies before cranking out this disingenuous dark comedy about a manipulative, 15-year-old private-school tart (Evan Rachel Wood) who accuses a teacher (Ron Livingston) of sexual harassment just to get famous. But they didn't learn a thing from those droll, original pictures about sardonic nuance or creating a feeling of camaraderie towards an unsympathetic anti-heroine.
Wood ("Thirteen"), in a rudimentary role far beneath her proven talent, never shies away from the dangerously sharp edges of Beverly Hills brat Kimberly Joyce, who takes down her two best friends (and fellow accusers), an ambitious TV reporter (Jane Krakowski) and her father's business in her pursuit of her 15 minutes. But there's no wicked delight to be had in her machinations, which are so transparently premeditated that all the other characters in the movie (detectives, judges and lawyers included) have to be certifiable morons in order to advance the plot.
Continue reading: Pretty Persuasion Review
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