As Polish-mob hit-man Frank Falenczyk (pronounced Fail-an-chik), Kingsley has the most fun he's had onscreen since he muttered a red-streak as the frenzied madman Don Logan in Jonathan Glazer's superb Sexy Beast. This time, his gangster-take has a more reserved and subdued nature, playing more for deadpan hilarity than ballistic scares. That deadpan ability serves Frank best when he's banished from his New York home to San Francisco for botching a job after too many drinks. His boss (Philip Baker Hall) has had enough of his alcoholism, and his best friend (Marcus Thomas) can't help him any more. So, it's off to the Bay for him.
Continue reading: You Kill Me Review
The idea here is that our central characters (including all of the above, plus one guy who breaks his own hand so he can relive his Best Christmas Ever as he did as a kid in the E.R.) have problems. You know, New Yorker problems: Walker is a jealous cop (and Cruz is his flirtatious girlfriend), and Sarandon's geriatric mother is an a sort of dazed funk -- just staring at the walls, refusing to eat. Sarandon is the centerpiece of the film: She's a mopey creature who's faced endless disaster in her life (a stillborn baby, even), but she's trying to keep up appearances.
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A screwball whodunit set in an upstate New York hamlet full of highly motivated potential murderers, "Drowning Mona" is kind of a Robert Altman ensemble movie gone wrong.
Funny in fits and starts, the story opens with the tyrannical title character, played by Bette Midler, driving her Yugo off a cliff into a river. It's a tragedy that doesn't seem to have anyone in town all that broken up.
Upon hearing the news, her dimwitted, stoner, bully of a lay-about son (Marcus Thomas) only wants to know "What was she doing driving my car!" After making a half-assed attempt to feign grief, her cheatin' and brow-beaten husband (William Fichtner) drives off for a happier than usual rendezvous with his mullet-haired, diner waitress concubine (Jamie Lee Curtis). Everybody else in town tries -- although not very hard -- to stifle the fact that they're pleased as punch Mona has met her end.
Continue reading: Drowning Mona Review
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