Gary Winick

Gary Winick

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Gary Winick - Tuesday 11th May 2010 at Grauman's Chinese Theatre Hollywood, California

Gary Winick

Letters To Juliet Trailer


Sophie is an aspiring writer currently with a lack of inspiration, when she and her fiancé take a trip to one of the most romantic places in the world - Verona, Italy - she thinks it might just give her some direction but she never expected to embark on the journey she does. Sophie finds herself in Juliet's courtyard where she stumbles upon a letter from 1957, the letter is a heartfelt plea for advice. After contemplating what to do with the letter, she finally decides to respond.

Continue: Letters To Juliet Trailer

Starting Out In The Evening Review


Extraordinary
Hollywood exaggerates the truth about many professions, but might be dead-on with its frequent depiction of novelists as tortured and frustrated human beings. After all, few careers share the morale-crushing nature of a novelist; even well-known writers can spend years on a book only to receive rejection and never see it published. Then there's deadline pressure. Leonard Schiller's deadline isn't from an agent or publisher, but rather pending death.

Starting Out in the Evening unveils the final chapter in the life of Schiller (Frank Langella), an aging novelist whose health deteriorates as he races to complete one last book. Since his existing novels are out of print, Leonard needs the next one be a success if he wants to be fondly remembered in the literary world. He's been working on the book for over a decade now, however, and has failed to capture interest from publishers. His shortcomings are not due to laziness, though. Leonard used to be a more prolific writer, but has never been the same since his wife died years prior, and neither has his work.

Continue reading: Starting Out In The Evening Review

Lonesome Jim Review


Very Good
If you were to saddle Garden State with a far less likeable lead and set it in Indiana, you might end up with this small gem, the latest from actor-cum-director Steve Buscemi. The Lonesome Jim in question (Casey Affleck) returns home ostensibly to find himself, but really he's just there to mooch off his folks until he can plan his next move. The fact that he finds himself in spite of himself saves this film from being a mere installment of "Profiles in Schmuck-itude," even if it ups the cheese factor as a result.

The movie begins with Jim's surprise arrival at his parents' house. His brother, Tim (Kevin Corrigan), still lives there but is less than pleased to see him. His mother, Sally (Mary Kay Place), is overjoyed but clueless as to Jim's unhappiness, even as he breaks down within minutes of walking through the door. And his father, Don (Seymour Cassel), in response to Jim's claim that his breakdown is due to "dehydration," simply suggests a cup of water.

Continue reading: Lonesome Jim Review

Land Of Plenty Review


OK
Wim Wenders' sense of subtlety and grace started to decline somewhere in the '90s, and in post-9/11 he's clearly lost it altogether. Land of Plenty is his meditation on the Big Event (and I guess at this point we should assume that every film director will eventually make one... come on Spielberg, what's holding you back?). Kudos for having the stones to have the movie take place all the way across the country in L.A., but could the story be more overbearing?

John Diehl plays a Vietnam vet who spends his days in a van keeping tabs on suspicious personages, particularly those with turbans. He's constantly narrating the action into a tape recorder, and he even has a flunky willing to help him "analyze these chemicals by oh-nine-hundred." This is contrasted with his long-lost niece (Michelle Williams), a mopey girl who's all too happy to spend all day working in a soup kitchen. The digital video looks suitably present and "real," but Wenders' wandering sentiments fail to add anything new to what has become a mountain of conversation on the New Paranoia and What the Hell Are We Supposed To Do Now? It's not exactly lazy filmmaking, but it's hard to give it your complete attention.

Continue reading: Land Of Plenty Review

Tape Review


Bad
While the film world awaits what sounds like a daring experiment from director Richard Linklater -- the animated Waking Life, coming in October -- the filmmaker attempts to hold us over with Tape, a failure of a low-budget project if ever there was one. The movie is shot on video and confined to a single motel room, for the entirety of its real-time, 84-minute length. With such restrictive parameters self-imposed on a feature, success really must lie in creative direction, acting power, and a solid screenplay. All three are non-existent here.

Tape is based on a play by Stephen Belber, and the playwright contributes the clunky script, full of obvious dialogue and silly posturing. With one strike already against them, the experienced, name cast (Hawke, Leonard, and Thurman) then take the problem a step further, apparently not realizing that performances need to be taken down a notch on video, as the medium tends to overexpose every movement and moment. (While Thurman's performance is good, the trio need to watch Brad Anderson's Session 9 for a good example of subtle acting on video.)

Continue reading: Tape Review

Sam The Man Review


Bad
Gary Winick's first -- and biggest -- gaffe is in casting uber-nerd Fisher "Johnny Five!" Stevens as a slick lothario that beds countless women. Christening him "The Man" in the film's title is just adding insult to injury.

And so we come to the strange, sad, and rather crass case of Sam the Man, a creepy and just plain wrong romantic dramedy that's got no romance, few laughs, minimal drama, and a parade of hateful characters. Wrap them up in a cheap, out-of-focus, underlit, and inaudible package shot on cheap digital video, and the recipe for disaster is complete. Microwave on high for three minutes.

Continue reading: Sam The Man Review

Sweet Nothing Review


Terrible
Sweet Nothing, you got that right. This ridiculous ode to crack makes the pathetic Permanent Midnight look like the work of genius. Director Gary Winick, who directed Tadpole (great) but produced Women in Film (crap), maybe ought to think about his projects a little more carefully. This one's really, really, really stupid to the point of being insulting.

November Review


Good
I remember when Greg Harrison was going to be The Next Big Thing. It was 1999, and he was shooting Groove, a movie about this crazy "rave" scene that the kids were into, which was going to be the next Blair Witch Project.

Well, the lackluster Groove eventually made a little over a million dollars at theaters, despite a crush of marketing and hype. (Blair Witch earned $140 million in the U.S.) And Harrison slipped back into obscurity.

Continue reading: November Review

Lonesome Jim Review


Very Good
If you were to saddle Garden State with a far less likeable lead and set it in Indiana, you might end up with this small gem, the latest from actor-cum-director Steve Buscemi. The Lonesome Jim in question (Casey Affleck) returns home ostensibly to find himself, but really he's just there to mooch off his folks until he can plan his next move. The fact that he finds himself in spite of himself saves this film from being a mere installment of "Profiles in Schmuck-itude," even if it ups the cheese factor as a result.

The movie begins with Jim's surprise arrival at his parents' house. His brother, Tim (Kevin Corrigan), still lives there but is less than pleased to see him. His mother, Sally (Mary Kay Place), is overjoyed but clueless as to Jim's unhappiness, even as he breaks down within minutes of walking through the door. And his father, Don (Seymour Cassel), in response to Jim's claim that his breakdown is due to "dehydration," simply suggests a cup of water.

Continue reading: Lonesome Jim Review

Chelsea Walls Review


Good
New York living is all about location. And where you live is often a sign of your lifestyle. If you live in Brooklyn, it is assumed you are more artistically inclined then, say, someone living in Queens (though this borough is making a comeback with its cheap rent). But the most notorious creative residence in all of New York has been the Chelsea Hotel, as far back as anyone can remember. Boasting such notable alumni as Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, and Bob Dylan, there is still a laidback, comfortably scrappy atmosphere about the place when you walk by.

Ethan Hawke (Training Day) courageously attempts to capture the essence of what makes this landmark so addictive in his directorial debut, Chelsea Walls. A collage of character plotlines that only barely intersect, Chelsea is a unique and respectable experiment in its focus on an inanimate object as its central character. Backed by a score that appropriately feels as if it were written while observing the production, Hawke creates an environment easily accessible to both New Yorkers and the non-initiated.

Continue reading: Chelsea Walls Review

Gary Winick

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Gary Winick Movies

Letters To Juliet Trailer

Letters To Juliet Trailer

Sophie is an aspiring writer currently with a lack of inspiration, when she and her...

Starting Out in the Evening Movie Review

Starting Out in the Evening Movie Review

Hollywood exaggerates the truth about many professions, but might be dead-on with its frequent depiction...

Tape Movie Review

Tape Movie Review

While the film world awaits what sounds like a daring experiment from director Richard Linklater...

November Movie Review

November Movie Review

I remember when Greg Harrison was going to be The Next Big Thing. It was...

Chelsea Walls Movie Review

Chelsea Walls Movie Review

New York living is all about location. And where you live is often a...

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