Hank Harris

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Hank Harris Thursday 2nd April 2009 Premiere of 'Gigantic' during the 14th annual Gen Art Film Festival presented by Acura at the Visual Arts Theater New York City, USA

Hank Harris

Milwaukee, Minnesota Review


Weak
Director Allan Mindel's debut feature, Milwaukee, Minnesota, doesn't draw you in so much as remind you of movies already seen. The movie, scripted by R.D. Murphy, feels like a soulless mishmash of thriller, melodrama, and love story elements, all of them fastened together by direction that co-opts the styles and sensibilities of contemporary "indie" cinema.

From the outset, the movie bumbles into genre territory inhabited by superior specimens like John Dahl's Red Rock West, Sam Raimi's A Simple Plan, and the Coens' Fargo. Images of wintry fields and desolate small-town streets -- not to mention a moody minimalist score that feels directly indebted to Thomas Newman's music for American Beauty -- puts us in a mind for an existential fable, something those aforementioned movies delivered by way of complex characters nursing pent-up desires and grievances. Mindell and Murphy provide us with a potentially interesting collection of ne'er-do-wells, dreamers, and saps. But their material is too shallow to allow any of their creations to function as more than cogs in the story's clockwork plotting. And, for a movie that references setting in its very title (more for its cultural implications than for geographic accuracy), Milwaukee, Minnesota's sense of place feels as arbitrary as its characterizations, never venturing beyond the stale stereotypes of the provincial Midwest.

Continue reading: Milwaukee, Minnesota Review

Pumpkin Review


Bad
We're all different. But when someone's handicap makes their uniqueness especially noticeable, what is the acceptable reaction? Most of us would simply acknowledge the differences and move on. The makers of Pumpkin however find plenty of dark humor in the subject matter. Some of their jokes work, but most fail miserably and in the end, Pumpkin is far more offensive than it is funny.

The ignorant Carolyn (Christina Ricci) leads the perfect life of a college senior -- she's an officer in her sorority and dates Kent (Sam Ball), the tennis team stud. Everything is going well until it's decided that her sorority will mentor the handicapped adults of the Challenged Games (think Special Olympics). Carolyn is against the charity selection, but the sorority president (Marisa Coughlan) believes helping these special athletes train will give the sorority enough points to win Sorority of the Year.

Continue reading: Pumpkin Review

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Hank Harris Movies

Pumpkin Movie Review

Pumpkin Movie Review

We're all different. But when someone's handicap makes their uniqueness especially noticeable, what is...

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