Josef Sommer

Josef Sommer

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The Next Best Thing Review


Weak
Can it really have been two long years since The Object of My Affection made us laugh and cry with its tale of two best friends (an unlucky in love gal and her gay male roommate) and how they decide to have a baby together? Er... so we didn't laugh. And we didn't cry. And The Next Best Thing takes us there once again, with an even lamer attempt at making "The Oddest Couple Has a Baby."

Fortunately, The Next Best Thing covers very different ground than Affection. Unfortunately, that ground turns out to be providing a platform for Madonna to sing, to show off her yoga skills, and To Show You How Much She Can E-Mote During Her Di-A-Logue, all while affecting a slight (yet very pretentious) British accent. Get outta the way, people, Madonna's gonna act!!! And it isn't going to be pretty. (See also: Evita.)

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Witness Review


Excellent
The city cop struggles through an early breakfast with his temporary neighbors -- the Pennsylvania Amish. After a sip of coffee, he blurts out, "Honey, this is great coffee." His breakfast companions blankly stare. Awkwardly, he explains that it's from a commercial and continues eating. That single scene exemplifies why Witness is so good. It eschews easy payoffs and punch lines for well-rounded characters, quiet sequences that nearly bubble over with sexual unease, and intelligence.

Harrison Ford plays the cop, John Book, who heads to Lancaster County from Philadelphia after a young murder witness (Lucas Haas) identifies Book's colleague as the culprit, unveiling a departmental conspiracy. A wounded Book drives the boy and his mother (Kelly McGillis) to their farm before collapsing. With the car damaged and his superiors on the look out, Book is forced to stay with the Amish and live their lifestyle until he can get away.

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Nobody's Fool Review


Very Good
Paul Newman is back as the title character of Nobody's Fool. Nobody's Fool is a study of small-town life in upstate New York, focused on Newman as the go-between among a dozen or so townsfolk. Superb performances abound, particularly by Jessica Tandy (in her final role) and Bruce Willis, and even Melanie Griffith as Newman's would-be love interest performs with genuine emotion. Newman steals the show, of course, as the flawed Everyman who chooses to just let life happen and not make a big show of it.

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D.A.R.Y.L. Review


Very Good
Do guilty pleasures get any more guilty or any more pleasurable than 1985's D.A.R.Y.L., the famed robo-kid flick?

I think not.

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The Next Best Thing Review


Weak

Homogenized, sterilized and clearly revised by test-audience scoring, "The Next Best Thing" is a disingenuous, emotionally deficient comedy-drama about an earthy yoga teacher who has a baby with a gay friend after a night of booze-fueled accidental amour.

Starring mismatched Madonna and Rupert Everett as the atypical parents who decide to live as a family and raise their son together, there is a core of sincerity in the script that is lead to slaughter by the studio's desire to pat itself on the back for being edgy without losing ticket sales to the lowest common denominator crowd.

The story starts well enough, with our unusual couple commiserating over failed relationships by getting hammered on margaritas one evening, then waking up the next day in a compromising position. Next thing they know, Abbie (Madonna) is knocked up, Robert (Everett) embraces the responsible daddy role, and they move in together -- much to the amazement of friends and family.

Continue reading: The Next Best Thing Review

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The Next Best Thing Movie Review

The Next Best Thing Movie Review

Can it really have been two long years since The Object of My Affection made...

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The Next Best Thing Movie Review

The Next Best Thing Movie Review

Homogenized, sterilized and clearly revised by test-audience scoring, "The Next Best Thing" is a disingenuous,...

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