Erik Per Sullivan

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Unfaithful Review


Grim
Adrian Lyne is a director in flux. His mainstream film pedigree shows an aptitude for the making of great porn with films containing soft lighting, perfect bodies, and well-choreographed sex. Lyne's resume tells stories of incest (Lolita), adultery (Fatal Attraction), sex for money (Indecent Proposal) and carnal lust (Nine 1/2 Weeks). With Unfaithful, Lyne uses pieces from several prior efforts to tell a more complete adult drama, but he fails to create anything we have not seen before.

In Unfaithful, as with Fatal Attraction, Lyne uses a seemingly normal suburban family as the target for adulterous activities. Edward Sumner (Richard Gere) is the owner of an armored car company who works long hours in the office and at home. Edward's wife, Connie (Diane Lane), appears to be the happy housewife as she gets their son Charlie (Erik Per Sullivan) dressed, fed, and off to school every morning. Connie is working on an auction fundraiser for Charlie's school when a dark, exotic stranger Paul (Olivier Martinez) drifts into her life. (Sounds like porn, doesn't it?) Their initial encounter is innocent, but built on a series of lies and deceptions, a fanatical love affair is struck between the two strangers.

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Wendigo Review


Extraordinary
An old friend took a weekend trip with me to Rhode Island, deep in the woods where I grew up. When night fell, she became instantly terrified by the silence, gripping my arm and asking me to go outside the house and check whether there was anyone out on the lawn.

The imagination is a powerful tool, untrustworthy but also oddly protective. When you're a child, sometimes it's all you have to shield you from the hard, cold facts of reality. Eight-year-old Miles (Erik Per Sullivan, The Cider House Rules) is our perceptive guide into the world of the unknown during a long weekend trip to snowy Vermont. Real danger comes into his path when his father, George (Jake Weber, The Cell), hits a deer, leading to an apprehensive confrontation with angry backwoods hunters. These men with guns want some retribution for losing their prize -- the antler has been cracked. As Kim (Patricia Clarkson, The Pledge) tells her son not to worry, we wonder whether writer-director Larry Fessenden is taking us into unsettling Flannery O'Connor territory.

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Christmas With The Kranks Review


Terrible
Like the honey-glazed ham around which so much of its story sadly revolves, Christmas with the Kranks is tasty at first but soon congeals into little more than a fatty, gelatinous mess. Based on one of John Grisham's bestsellers that isn't about lawyers, Skipping Christmas, the film features the fine directing talents of Joe Roth (America's Sweethearts) and a script by Chris Columbus, who apparently, now that he's done with the Harry Potter series, can go back to cranking out family-friendly pabulum.

The promising premise has Luther and Nora Krank, a couple of parents who have just sent their daughter Blair off to the Peace Corps in Peru, faced with a holiday season alone in their suburban Chicago home. Not exactly relishing the prospect of once again throwing the big Christmas Eve party, and basically just fed up with the whole guilt-induced consumer frenzy, Luther (Tim Allen) convinces Nora (Jamie Lee Curtis) to chuck the whole thing and spend 10 days on a Caribbean cruise instead. He also boycotts everything to do with the holiday, not buying or receiving any presents and taking no part in the neighborhood gatherings and decorations. Nora goes along reluctantly until the neighbors notice what's happening and turn on the Kranks in a campaign of condemnation and isolation that seems like something out of The Lottery. That is, before a convenient plot wrinkle ensures everyone will have to pull together and enjoy some holiday spirit.

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Christmas With The Kranks Review


Zero

As I write this, the time is 8:32 p.m. on Thursday, November 18, 2004, and I have just walked out on "Christmas With the Kranks" after roughly 45 minutes of mind-numbingly humorless, sit-com barrel-bottom idiocy.

An adaptation of John Grisham's "Skipping Christmas" that has been violently stripped of any semblance of humanity, this supposed comedy is about a couple called the Kranks (ha, ha, ha), played by Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, whose daughter won't be home for Christmas, so they choose to bow out of the festivities altogether and take a cruise. But apparently their choice amounts to a social offense of the first order in the bogus, plot-device suburbia where the movie takes place (during a transparently bogus winter). It even makes the newspaper.

Soon an army of neighbors are beating down their door like some Yuletide Gestapo, angrily demanding they put up their seasonal decorations while Curtis inexplicably cowers inside like a child.

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