Josh Kesselman

Josh Kesselman

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For A Good Time, Call... Review


Good

Colourful direction and sparky performances help make this friendship comedy watchable, although it never seems like a finished film. Instead, we feel like we're watching the first rehearsal for a much better movie. It manages to charm us along the way, but it's never as funny or sexy as it tries to be.

When his two best pals have housing problems, gay New York comic Jesse (Long) suggests they move in together. Lauren (Miller) is a business ace who has just lost her job and her boyfriend, while Katie (Graynor) is an aimless young woman working a series of jobs that don't pay enough for her to pay the bills on her late grandmother's gorgeous flat. The problem is that they hate each other due to a minor incident 10 years earlier and resent each other for being dull and oversexed, respectively. Then Lauren realises that Katie could actually make a lot more money if she opened her own phone-sex company. And when the two go into business together, an unlikely friendship is born.

Screenwriters Miller and Naylon based the story on their own life (Miller even plays herself), so there are constant details that add honesty and humour along the way. On the other hand, they have also forced the plot into the usual rom-com story structure, so we know exactly where it's going from the start. But what's even stranger is the way they pack scenes with riotously graphic sex talk without letting the characters actually have any riotous sex. The movie's only two bed scenes are bizarrely dull, and badly undermine both the randy atmosphere and any point the movie might be making about sexuality.

Continue reading: For A Good Time, Call... Review

The Hebrew Hammer Review


OK
It's the curse of the great-pitch movie: They can never live up to the premise. And the funny but sloppy The Hebrew Hammer has a premise to kill for. Mordechai Jefferson Carver (Adam Goldberg) is the hero of the title, a badass Orthodox Jew who makes a slight living as a private eye (his door reads "Certified Circumcised Dick") and prowls the streets of Gotham, striking fear into the hearts of anti-Semites and admonishing the kids to "stay Jewish." He rolls like Superfly in an extra-long Cadillac, fully pimped-out, but always observes the Sabbath and loves his mother, of course.

Every superhero needs a supervillain, of course, and this film's answer to that maxim is Andy Dick. Apparently psychotic from birth, Dick plays Damian, the racist son of Santa who kills his more tolerant father and sets about turning the North Pole into a sweatshop, banishing the non-Aryan elves and concocting a diabolical plan to destroy Hanukkah. Not surprisingly, this causes the Jewish Justice League (who hold court in a massive, Star of David-shaped building) no small amount of consternation, and they start casting about for a Jewish hero to fight Damian. Quickly discarding suggestions of Steven Spielberg and Yitzhak Perlman, they reluctantly settle on the Hammer, whom they'd drummed out of the organization long before.

Continue reading: The Hebrew Hammer Review

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Josh Kesselman Movies

For a Good Time, Call... Movie Review

For a Good Time, Call... Movie Review

Colourful direction and sparky performances help make this friendship comedy watchable, although it never seems...

The Hebrew Hammer Movie Review

The Hebrew Hammer Movie Review

It's the curse of the great-pitch movie: They can never live up to the premise....

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