Reggie is 12-years-old and living in a sprawling New York property with his wealthy parents, though he rarely gets to spend any time with them. His company is mainly servants, nannies and other young adolescents at school, who he struggles to mix with due to his age-exceeding wisdom and passion for playing the cello. However, this startlingly intelligent young boy is about to meet 23-year-old Eleanor, who is equally struggling to get to grips with her life. Constantly hopping between odd jobs, never seeing her family and trapped in a relationship with a volatile slacker, she finds herself lucky enough to land a job as Reggie's nanny after a brief interview with his preoccupied mother. The pair hit it off immediately and, as their friendship grows, they start to teach other the most important things in life; dreams, love and family.
Continue: Like Sunday, Like Rain Trailer
If a movie's success is measured by its ability to get under our skin and provoke a reaction, then this might be the film of the year. Designed to make us furious, this drama pushes us to the brink as we shout at the characters for being so naive. But the events depicted are based on actual experiences, and the more we think about this, the more unnerving it becomes. It might be impossible to believe that anyone could be this stupid, but can we really be sure we'd make better decisions?
Award-winning actress Ann Dowd (who also played Channing Tatum's mum in Side Effects) stars as Sandra, manager of a ChickWich fast-food outlet in Ohio. She has the usual issues with her young employees, who think she's out of touch, but is happy because she expects her boyfriend Van (Camp) to propose tonight. Then she gets a phone call from Officer Daniels (Healy) telling her that her young employee Becky (Walker) has stolen cash from a customer. He asks Sandra to detain Becky in the office and search her belongings. Sandra makes sure the assistant manager (Atkinson) is present, but she becomes more hesitant about Daniels' more extreme demands. And over the next few hours, he pushes things much further, getting Becky's young colleague Kevin (Ettinger) involved, as well as Van.
Writer-director Zobel structures the film perfectly to strike a nerve. As outsiders we are naturally more suspicious, wondering how Sandra knows that the man on the phone is actually a cop, especially when be begins to bully her with threats. She just wants to do the right thing, and questions all of Daniels' requests, but for us looking in we can't help but think that what he's saying is so preposterous that she needs to just put a stop to it. Cleverly, each character has a very distinct reaction when they get on the phone with Daniels. But as the situation escalates into something unthinkable, we can't understand why no one becomes a voice of reason.
Continue reading: Compliance Review
But somehow, the pissy little export from the land of the five boroughs -- and rarely has a show so viscerally captured the city's day-to-day, boiling-over, rat-in-a-cage anger -- survived. And this is after sending the wife of the Chief (Jack McGee) into a debilitating Alzheimer's nightmare and not only devastating Tommy Gavin's (Leary) family with the long-term and low-intensity emotional warfare of a never-ending divorce but then, near the end of the second season, having a drunk driver kill Tommy's little boy. That tragedy was then capped off by a nothing-to-lose Uncle Teddy (Lenny Clarke) gunning down the driver in full view of the cops, since a life behind bars seemed preferable to anything else he had going.
Continue reading: Rescue Me: Season Three Review
The first season of the show was a rollicking explosion of male-bonding, sadistic humor, and whiskey tears spiked with that FX Channel-brand of almost-HBO boundary-pushing. Gavin was a weekly train wreck of rage, bouncing from his mistress to booze to his failing marriage to booze to tempting death on the job with FDNY Engine 62 to booze again. Along the way, Tommy also held long and in-depth conversations with the ghost of his dead cousin, before deciding to shack up with and impregnate his cousin's equally messed up widow, Sheila (Callie Thorne) in the aftermath of his wife running off with the kids. Season Two opens with everything in disrepair, to say the least, as the firefighters keep pushing through the emotional wreckage of 9/11 long after the country has moved on.
Continue reading: Rescue Me: Season Two Review
Breaking the fourth wall in an extraordinarily innovative way, "American Splendor" stars perennial second-banana Paul Giamatti ("Man On the Moon," "Big Fat Liar") as cantankerous file clerk Harvey Pekar -- the anti-hero of his own autobiographical underground comic book for the last 20 years -- and also features the real Harvey Pekar as meta-narrator and commentator ("OK, here's me, or the guy playing me, even though he doesn't look anything like me") in sardonic interview segments that compliment the action.
Peeling cartoon thought bubbles -- and sometimes entire panels and pages -- straight from the pages of "American Splendor" and incorporating them into the film, co-writers/directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (documentary makers up to now) capture brilliantly both the inner grumblings of charismatically prickly Pekar and his dark and uniquely unironic sense of self-parody.
Inventive and blessed with uncommonly human-yet-cartoony performances (Hope Davis plays Pekar's loving but ever-aggravated wife Joyce), this film is one of a kind.
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