For a comedy that so desperately wants to be rude and sexy, this movie is remarkably timid. It does a great job putting up a front as an anarchic laugh riot, but the genuinely funny moments are few and far between. And it seems to have been written by sniggering teenage boys who can only imagine what it's like to experience sex, drugs and romance, but they haven't a clue, really. Thankfully, the starry cast makes it just about watchable.
With a drunken mom (Mary-Louise Parker) and a deadbeat dad (Cary Elwes), 17-year-old Rick (Nat Wolff) pretty much has to grow up on his own. Then over two fateful weeks everything starts going wrong. Just as he seems to be making progress with hot good-girl Nina (Selena Gomez), he gets caught in a drug deal with a strip-club manager (Dylan McDermott), the cops find a dead mobster in his car, and then everyone is arrested when a house party he throws turns into a drug-fuelled sex romp. Even more precarious for Rick is the fact that he has just lost his virginity to Pamela (Elisabeth Shue), who is both his mother's best friend and the mother of his best friend Billy (Lachlan Buchanan).
Yes, the script wallows in sex and drugs, but never seems quite sure what to do with them, shying away whenever anything remotely grown-up threatens to happen. Instead, scenes degenerate into corny broad comedy that feels more than a little desperate. Director Tim Garrick throws everything he can think of at the screen, so naturally a few gags stick. Even if the plot is paper-thin, and several of the jokes are beyond offensive (including gags hinging on both statutory and prison rape), there are also several witty zingers that elicit outright laughter. Such as when Nina remarks casually that her parents are away from home attending a pro-life gun rally in Dallas.
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Despite a number of exhilarating surfing sequences, the interesting true story of surf legend Jay Moriarty is transformed into another dull Hollywood biopic. Painfully family-friendly, it's all so relentlessly smiley and sun-kissed that we wonder where the real story and characters are amid the sticky schmaltz. Even so, it's so beautifully shot that it holds our attention, especially when the cameras are riding the waves.
By the time he was 9 years old in 1987, Jay (Timberline) was already an expert on the tides in his home town of Santa Cruz, California. Watching the surfers every day, he longs to get out there himself. His mother (Shue) is a sleepy alcoholic and he never knew his father, so he adopts salty old surfer Frosty (Butler) as a mentor, even though he's not sure he wants the job. Especially since he's doing everything to avoid his own wife (Spencer) and baby. But Frosty sees Jay's natural talent, and seven years later Jay (now Weston) has the confidence to ask Frosty to teach him how to ride the mavericks, mythical monster waves that only come along every few months.
With its absent father and drunken mother, the script never feels like more than an after-school special, complete with a bat-wielding bully (Handley) and a surf babe (Rambin) who chastely flirts with Jay whenever they meet. Frosty even sets Karate Kid-style pointless tasks for Jay to teach him the bigger picture. But this set-up is so trite that we never have even the slightest doubt about where it's going. And the characters all feel like cliches rather than real people. The three women are especially wasted, but at least they add spark to their roles.
Continue reading: Chasing Mavericks Review
'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation' actress Elisabeth Shue meets her fans and has her photograph taken with them at 'CSI: The Experience' at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Murphy Jensen, Elisabeth Shue, Brad Gilbert, Maeve Quinlan and Brenda Schultz-McCarthy - Murphy Jensen, Elisabeth Shue, Brad Gilbert, Maeve Quinlan and Brenda Schultz-McCarthy Sunday 28th October 2012 23rd Annual Chris Evert/Raymond James Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic at Delray Beach Tennis Center
The story starts when Kay (Streep) finally refuses to accept her dried-up marriage to Arnold (Jones), who can't see any reason to change things. She enrols them in an intensive counselling session in Hope Springs, Maine, with a well-known therapist (Carell), and after initially refusing to go, Arnold tags along. Their sessions immediately hone in on their nonexistent sex life, which causes both Kay and Arnold to squirm in their seats (and provides most of the laughs for the audience). And their small-step exercises aren't exactly a roaring success. But Kay is determined that she wants a real relationship or nothing at all.
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Elissa and her divorced mother Sarah seek a new start in a beautiful countryside town. Everything seems perfect with their nice house, quiet community and wonderful neighbours. Soon Elissa meets her next door neighbour, a boy called Ryan, who enchants her with the unusual way he sees the world. It isn't long before she discovers that he lives in his house alone after his younger sister murdered their parents in the night before mysteriously disappearing. Ryan is seen as not normal by some people, and Sarah urges Elissa never to find herself alone with him in his house. She ignores her desperate mother's pleas and soon discovers a disturbing secret that Ryan has kept locked away over the years putting her in grave danger.
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When surfing legend Frosty Hesson pulled a drowning 8-year-old boy out of the water while he was surfing, he was unaware that their bond would develop and change their lives forever. Seven years later, Jay Moriarty is a teenager and an enthusiastic surfing amateur. Jay is estranged from his father and sees the aloof Frosty as his idol who first inspired him to ride the waves. One day, he discovers that the mythological surf break, Mavericks, is more than just a story; it's real and a matter of miles away from where he lives in Santa Cruz, California. He is determined to ride the massive waves at Half Moon Bay to the extreme worry of Frosty who cannot bear to see Jay at risk again. When Jay's mother tells Frosty that nothing he says will stop Jay riding the wave, he decides that he will instead train him to survive it with a variety of intense exercises. They soon come to release that their journey is no longer about surfing, but about freedom and believing in yourself.
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After 31 years of marriage, Kay is starting to feel disheartened by the lack of a spark between her and her husband Arnold. Desperate for romance and intimacy again, Kay searches out a well-known specialist in marriage counselling who she arranges to visit to enrol in one week of therapy sessions in order to rekindle their relationship. She drags a reluctant Arnold on a plane to the town of Great Hope Springs for the counselling that will prove either futile or life-changing; it certainly doesn't look like an easy task what with the couple being faced with their sexual reservations and, conversely, each other's illicit fantasies.
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Ethan Brand is the frontman of a once successful shabby rock band who is slowly on the decline. One night, the band is preparing to go on stage when a former groupie, Mary Ann, shows up unexpectedly. Ethan recognises her straightaway and assumes she has come for sex.
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Arizona's Lake Victoria is being invaded by virtually naked young people during spring break, but teen Jake (McQueen) has to babysit his young siblings (Brooklynn Proulx and Sage Ryan) because his mother Julie (Shue) is especially busy as the town sheriff. As a sleazy filmmaker (O'Connell) hires Jake to show him the lake, Julie is investigating evidence that an underwater rift has released a school of voracious prehistoric piranhas. So not only must she get all of these drunken revellers out of the water, but she needs to make sure her kids are safe.
Continue reading: Piranha 3D Review