Jeremy Davies, Leslie Mann, Judd Apatow and Emmy Awards - Jeremy Davies, Leslie Mann and Judd Apatow Sunday 23rd September 2012 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live - Arrivals
Craig (Gilchrist) is a 17-year-old overwhelmed by thoughts of suicide. So one night he heads to the emergency room for help, then talks the doctor into admitting him for observation. He's a bit shocked that he'll be there for at least five days, but quickly becomes friends with Bobby (Galifianakis) and Noelle (Roberts). His parents (Graham and Gaffigan) are supportive, and his doctors (Davis and Davies) help him work through his issues. But the biggest challenge is to sort out his feelings for Nia (Kravitz), the girlfriend of his best pal (Mann).
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This isn't to say Rescue Dawn isn't good. It's often great, and in all the ways that Herzog's cinema can be great. As in Aguirre: The Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo (his undisputed masterpieces) Herzog plunges himself (and the rest of us) once again into the jungle, in all its deceptive beauty. The jungle is that twilight zone, the border between life and death that is the domain of Herzog's cinema, and cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger (who also shot Little Dieter) ably carries the torch that his predecessor Thomas Mauch held aloft so heroically in those aforementioned Conradian tales of men endeavoring to overcome nature (and failing). Herzog lives in awe and terror of the natural world (he goes into this at length in Grizzly Man), and nowhere is that paradox more palpable than in Rescue Dawn, in which the jungle can be jaw-droppingly gorgeous one moment, and a stultifying prison the next.
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Raymond (Jeremy Davies) is prepping himself for a very rewarding medical internship when his father, Tom (Benjamin Hendrickson), insists that he return home to take care of his sick mother (Alberta Watson) who has broken her leg. As all college students are, Ray becomes randy and hormonal with mounting professional frustration, the constant physical contact with his mother and the inclusion of Toni (Carla Gallo), a high school student that he tries to deflower. The rest of the movie is, essentially, leading up to the big climax of Ray getting frisky with his mom in an incestuous, liquor-driven free-for-all. It's easily one of the more interesting films about oedipal relations, but there are problems.
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Secretary explodes with juicy innuendo, even from its opening moments. An extending establishing shot plays against mischievously sensual music as a woman seductively strolls through a business office performing secretarial duties. She approaches a desk, staples a few papers, pours fresh coffee into a mug, and then returns to her employer. Sounds ordinary, except that she does these things while locked inside a weird S&M device.
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CQ stars mostly people you've never heard of in a movie about making movies that were never actually made. Don't worry, it's really not that confusing. Boring, yes, but certainly not confusing. Jeremy Davies plays Paul, a struggling young director, who funds his personal film by working as a film editor on a cheesy, big budget science-fiction movie. But his director doesn't have an ending, and eventually Paul finds himself gifted with the job.
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Well, you borrow the oldest trick in the book by putting your characters in the desert, where you can pretty much shoot your movie for free!
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An adaptation of one of Somerset Maugham's lesser novellas, the Jazz-era, pre-war romantic drama "Up at the Villa" has an impressive pedigree.
Kirstin Scott Thomas -- whose stock-in-trade is intelligent, elegant romantics, outwardly reserved but inwardly passionate -- stars as a young, near-insolvent society widow visiting 1930s Tuscany to seek a monied replacement husband but holding out hope of finding true love as well.
Playing her closest friend is Anne Bancroft, in a fun role as a lush and gossipy dowager who calls everyone "ducky," and who knows what it means to marry for money. She says of her highborn husband, "He was so ugly he frightened the horses! But he was titled, rich and Italian."
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For most people "Secretary" may be a "love it" or "hate it" movie. Let's face it -- a dark, quirky, sado-masochistic romantic comedy isn't for everyone. But for me it wasn't the subject matter that ultimately defeated the film's captivating performances and absorbingly twisted story. It was the unfulfilling, incongruous, "wait a second, did I miss something?" ending that confirmed what I suspected all along: "Secretary" only has one-half of a story arc.
The enticing Maggie Gyllenhaal (sister of Jake and his co-star in "Donnie Darko") gives a deeply immersed, credibly transitional performance as Lee Holloway, a fragile, frumpy, habitually self-mutilating psychiatric patient recently released from a mental hospital.
Back home with her drunken father and clingy, angry, victimized mother, she quickly slips into compulsive old patterns of self-abuse (she has a homemade kit full of drill bits and porcelain ballerinas with sharpened toes she digs into her thighs). But all that begins to change when she lands a secretarial job in the opulently 1970s-styled office of peculiar, soft-spoken E. Edward Gray (James Spader) -- a lawyer with an erratic temper and kinky peccadilloes.
Continue reading: Secretary Review
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