Doug Mankoff

Doug Mankoff

Doug Mankoff Quick Links

Film RSS

The Joneses Review


Good
A darkly comical satire about affluence might seem a bit ill-timed during a global recession. But a strong cast makes this film very watchable, even as it slips into melodrama.

When the gorgeous Kate and Steve Jones (Moore and Duchovny) move into a wealthy suburb with their equally alluring teens Jenn and Mick (Heard and Hollingsworth), the locals notice their fabulous clothes, gadgets and cars. And of course start trying to keep up with them. But the Joneses aren't a family: they're a team of marketing experts whose performances are measured by how they affect sales in this town. And as they work to keep their boss (Hutton) happy, their neighbours (Headley and Cole) are paying a heavy price.

Continue reading: The Joneses Review

Dreamland Review


OK
If the movies are any guide, the world's best stories can be found in the dingiest, most remote, most podunk trailer parks in the country. From Gas Food Lodging to Raising Arizona, trailer parks appear to be populated with only two categories of people: misunderstood genius artists and drunks.

Dreamland may be stuffed full of cliched characters in its trailer trash setting (and why a trailer park would be constructed under power lines in the middle of the New Mexico desert I have no idea), but let's put that aside for a moment. At its heart it is not the awful direct-to-DVD movie that you're probably expecting. The only legitimate reason for that is star Agnes Bruckner, who continues to take role after role in movies that simply don't measure up to her capabilities as one of our best young actresses. (If you haven't seen her in her other headlining role this year, The Woods, don't.)

Continue reading: Dreamland Review

The City Review


OK
The people of David Riker's The City (La Ciudad) are easily recognizable: poor destitute Mexican immigrants living in listless boroughs of New York City. And the director's careful, patient examination of their incessant, daily struggle to survive by taking any job they can get constitutes most of what the film is about.

The City is comprised of four short vignettes, all very poetic in their open-endedness. In the first one, Bricks, a group of Mexican laborers is taken to the field of nearly ruined buildings. They are left in the middle of nowhere and promised 50 dollars a day for cleaning up bricks. When the ruins of a demolished building collapse and kill one of the workers, the rest can't even explain to the ambulance where they are.

Continue reading: The City Review

Things Behind the Sun Review


Excellent
Allison Anders not only has enough balls to revisit one of the worst experiences of her life in Things Behind the Sun, but she travels through emotional territory normally unheard of in films based on rape -- namely a male character who is a victim and a perpetrator at the same time.

As a woman, it is always difficult to watch a movie involving rape. When filmed realistically, as Things is, it's impossible to distance yourself from the onscreen pain. And when a film is not constructed with realism the result is anger from shoddy storytelling, or with a filmmaker failing miserably to grasp the emotional honesty in a situation they can't understand.

Continue reading: Things Behind the Sun Review

The Big Empty Review


OK
If any film is destined to find a cult audience on DVD, it's The Big Empty.

For starters, it's literally crawling with cult-friendly stars, including Jon Favreau (Swingers), Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy), Bud Cort (Harold and Maude), Jon Gries (Real Genius), Daryl Hannah (Kill Bill),and Rachael Leigh Cook (who seems to be making a living off of desert-based movies these days). Secondly, it's got message boards buzzing with fans asking a variation on one simple question: What the hell does it all mean?

Continue reading: The Big Empty Review

Doug Mankoff

Doug Mankoff Quick Links

Film RSS
Advertisement

Suggested

Ed Sheeran Lands Recurring TV Role On Kurt Sutter’s ‘The Bastard Executioner’

Ed Sheeran Lands Recurring TV Role On Kurt Sutter’s ‘The Bastard Executioner’

Ed Sheeren has been cast in the role of Sir Cormac, the deadly sidekick of a church elder, in the upcoming historical fiction drama series, ‘The...

Tame Impala - Currents Album Review

Tame Impala - Currents Album Review

If ever an album epitomised the change of direction in someone's life, Tame Impala's new album 'Currents' more than fits the bill.

Leon Bridges - Coming Home [Live] Video

Leon Bridges - Coming Home [Live] Video

Taken from his debut album (of the same name), Leon Bridges releases a live version of his moving current single 'Coming Home'.

Taylor Swift References Her Alleged Feud With Katy Perry, Toy Shark Appears During ‘Bad Blood’ Performance

Taylor Swift References Her Alleged Feud With Katy Perry, Toy Shark Appears During ‘Bad Blood’ Performance

Taylor Swift is well-known for having close female friendships but there’s allegedly one woman in the music industry who she doesn’t get on well...

Advertisement
‘Empire’ Co-Stars Trai Byers & Grace Gealey Are Engaged!

‘Empire’ Co-Stars Trai Byers & Grace Gealey Are Engaged!

‘Empire’s’ Trai Byers and Grace Gealey are engaged!

Sam Smith Teams Up With Disclosure Once More For 'Omen'

Sam Smith Teams Up With Disclosure Once More For 'Omen'

Having had a global smash hit with ‘Latch’ in 2012 which helped him launch his...

Meek Mill Calls Drake's Diss Track

Meek Mill Calls Drake's Diss Track "Soft"

The war of words between Drake and Meek Mill is intensifying this week, after Mill slammed....

Stars Pay Tribute To Whitney Houston's Daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown Who Has Died Aged 22

Stars Pay Tribute To Whitney Houston's Daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown Who Has Died Aged 22

Celebrities have taken to social media to express their condolences over the tragic...

Advertisement