Hector Elias

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Envy (2004) Review


Terrible
The last half hour of Saturday Night Live is inevitably a wasteland. Talented comedians are given Z grade material that goes nowhere. Imagine if the entire show were that dismal. That, in a nutshell, is Envy.

It begins with two working stiffs, Tim (Ben Stiller) and Nick (Jack Black) plodding their lives away at a 3M facility. By-the-book Tim is creeping into middle management while dreamer Nick wallows on the factory floor concocting wacky ideas for useless products. All of that changes when one of Nick's hare-brained schemes, a spray that dissolves dog excrement called Vapoorize (No. Stop. I think I'm gonna bust a gut.), pans out and makes millions.

Continue reading: Envy (2004) Review

Me And You And Everyone We Know Review


Extraordinary
Don't let Miranda July's background as a performance artist scare you away from her first feature, the offbeat, totally winning Me and You and Everyone We Know. July, who also stars in the film, combines a twisted indie sensibility with honesty and warmth, creating a movie of surprising accessibility. As the "independent" genre becomes increasingly forced, Miranda July's greatest accomplishment is that this all feels so effortless.

Making up the odd little microcosm of Me and You (recently chosen for competition at Cannes) are characters ranging in size, color, age and desires. Christine (July), a woman who chauffeurs the elderly around in her car, longs for two things: her own art installation and the affections of a scruffy shoe salesman named Richard (John Hawkes, of HBO's Deadwood). Richard is nursing a broken heart and a bit of self-flagellation since separating with his wife and moving his mixed race sons (Miles Thompson and amazing six-year-old Brandon Ratcliff) into a tiny apartment.

Continue reading: Me And You And Everyone We Know Review

Me & You & Everyone We Know Review


Good
It probably helps a great deal that the wispy, flower-likeMiranda July appears in her own film, as her adorable, blue-eyed presencewarms what would have been a cold, quirky, Todd Solondz-like experiencein "Me and You and Everyone We Know."

Like a mini-"Short Cuts," the story follows severallost and lonely characters as they cross paths in funny, sad and sometimesdisturbing ways. A six year-old boy chats on an internet sex site, a manlights his hand on fire and a woman practically throws herself at him,not comprehending how dangerous or unhinged he may be. Yet none of thissets off any alarm bells, thanks to July's wide-eyed dreaminess and eternalhope.

A former performance artist and video maker, her featuredebut plays both with memorable visuals and lovingly written words. Fromthe opening sequence -- in which she records two voices for a potentialvideo art piece -- she raises our hopes and manages to keep them there.

July plays Christine, a video artist who falls for Richard(John Hawkes), a newly divorced father of two boys, one a teenager andthe other only six. Christine also drives an Elder Cab and becomes involvedwith some of her aged clients. Otherwise, we meet a couple of teenage girlsexperimenting with sex, Richard's African-American ex-wife, who alreadyhas a new boyfriend, and a lonely art museum curator.

Continue reading: Me & You & Everyone We Know Review

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Hector Elias Movies

Envy (2004) Movie Review

Envy (2004) Movie Review

The last half hour of Saturday Night Live is inevitably a wasteland. Talented comedians are...

Me & You & Everyone We Know Movie Review

Me & You & Everyone We Know Movie Review

It probably helps a great deal that the wispy, flower-likeMiranda July appears in her own...

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