Harry Gittes

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About Schmidt Review


Weak
See Jack brood. See Jack rebelliously piss standing up (no, no frontal nudity). See Jack cry. Notice the use of the name "Jack" and not Schmidt because, no matter how much Jack Nicholson is supposed to be restrained from his normally boisterous persona, the amount of tightly shot footage in About Schmidt dedicated specifically to closely framing Jack's mug never lets you forget exactly who you are looking at. There should be plenty of available excerpt material for Oscar this year. It certainly doesn't help derail the notion of this being a vanity piece that none of the supporting characters get a chance to shine.

Not that Jack can't be remarkably and convincingly low-key. His roles in both of Sean Penn's directorial projects, The Crossing Guard and The Pledge, are some of the best and most understated work he's ever done. And having enjoyed Citizen Ruth and Election, it's surprising to find that writer/director Alexander Payne's latest attempt at satire falls short of impressing when it stars someone that is capable of delivering. Maybe a comparison of the type of respect Penn must demand versus a relative newcomer to Hollywood is in order.

Continue reading: About Schmidt Review

The Girl Next Door (2004) Review


Good
It's been said that opposites attract, and in The Girl Next Door, those opposites just happen to be a high school student body president and a porn star. Interesting combination; I guess love has no boundaries. Though their relationship may stretch the limits of the old saying, they're drawn to each other partially because each one desires a bit of the other's life.

Matthew (Emile Hirsch) is at the top of his class, has recently been accepted to Georgetown University, and is readying himself for a career in politics. He's also preparing to deliver a speech (on morality, ironically) that could earn him a prestigious scholarship. Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert) wants a break from her job in the Los Angeles porn industry, and is housesitting for her aunt who lives next door to Matthew. She's also hiding out from her producer, ex-boyfriend Kelly (Timothy Olyphant) who nets $30,000 for each film she makes. Matthew wants to be cool like the school jocks that cut class and ditch school; Danielle wants to get the college education she never had and live a normal, suburban existence. They're perfect for each other, right?

Continue reading: The Girl Next Door (2004) Review

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Harry Gittes Movies

About Schmidt Movie Review

About Schmidt Movie Review

See Jack brood. See Jack rebelliously piss standing up (no, no frontal nudity). See Jack...

The Girl Next Door (2004) Movie Review

The Girl Next Door (2004) Movie Review

It's been said that opposites attract, and in The Girl Next Door, those opposites just...

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