Laura Kightlinger

Laura Kightlinger

Laura Kightlinger Quick Links

News Film RSS

Celebrity Mix Review


Weak
Well, this is truth in advertising: Celebrity Mix is a compilation of vanity projects featuring headliners like Paul Rudd, David Hyde Pierce, and Zooey Deschanel.

As is always the case with compilation discs, some of the eight vignettes are good/great, and some are barely watchable. The headlining short, "Laud Weiner," makes up for its obvious title with a dead-on portrayal by Pierce of an egomaniac power broker. Just four minutes long, don't expect a lot of nuance, but it's funny to see the normally mild-mannered Pierce yell at interns.

Continue reading: Celebrity Mix Review

Melvin Goes to Dinner Review


OK
It's My Dinner With Andre and a Couple of His Friends. Bob Odenkirk's slacker version of the classic "talking around the table" drama is suprisingly stolen not by the titular Melvin but by his confused pal Joey (Matt Price), whose tale of a near-miss infidelity trumps anything else in the movie. The rest of the time it's a not-quite-believable riff on sex and other tawdry matters clearly torn from the theater -- with some memorable cutaways to the likes of an "insane" Jack Black seeking mental help.

Kicking & Screaming Review


Zero
Here's the recipe for making a movie as badas "Kicking and Screaming":

First, take every underdog-sports-movie cliche you canthink of and liberally apply them to a little league soccer team. Next,virtually ignore the team members as characters, except to sprinkle thesoundtrack with ethnic music every time an Asian or Italian kid is on thescreen.

Then focus all your energy on their whiney, klutzy, insecure,dumb-as-a-post sitcom-dad coach, and be sure to cast a shameless ham toplay him -- like, say, WillFerrell. And just for good measure, hire a famoustough-guy coach from an entirely different sport in a major supportingrole, but first make sure he's an embarrassingly bad actor -- former ChicagoBears honcho Mike Ditka will do nicely.

Fold these ingredients into a script driven by gimmicks(when Wimpy Dad drinks too much coffee, he turns into a raging jerk --ahh, ha, ha, ha, ha!) and bake for 87 minutes which feel more like two-and-a-halfhours. Serve with stale popcorn.

Continue reading: Kicking & Screaming Review

Down With Love Review


OK

For anyone who's ever enjoyed the corny fluff of Doris Day-Rock Hudson movies -- or even gotten a good laugh out of their outdated sexual mores -- Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor will earn ear-to-ear grins for their deliciously tongue-in-cheek performances in "Down With Love."

An affectionate spoof of the pastel giddiness of late '50s/early '60s battle-of-the-sexes romantic comedies like "Pillow Talk" and "Lover Come Back," the movie is directed by Peyton Reed, who proved his talent for good-natured ribbing in 2000's surprisingly droll and self-mocking cheerleader flick "Bring It On."

Super-saturated with soundstagey Technicolor style, the picture stars the wide-eyed and witty Zellweger as Barbara Novak, an adorably effervescent, fashionably feminist author freshly arrived in Manhattan. A farmer's-daughter-cum-sophisticate, she has written an empowerment manifesto for the fairer sex called "Down With Love," the gist of which is that romance is a distraction and women should "enjoy sex the way a man does -- a la carte!" A controversial concept in 1962.

Continue reading: Down With Love Review

Laura Kightlinger

Laura Kightlinger Quick Links

News Film RSS