Marianne Hagan

Marianne Hagan

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Rick Review


Good
An update of Rigoletto as seen through the pen of the author of the Lemony Snicket books, Rick is mean-spirited and cruel, and borderline delicious. Bill Pullman is on target as the title character, a widower who plays a fierce game in the business world but who is really just a lackey for his even-bigger prick of a boss, Buck. But the real revelation here is Agnes Bruckner, turning in a nuanced performance as Buck's undersexed yet amazingly hot daughter, worlds away from her dormouse role in Blue Car, seen just a year earlier.

Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers Review


Weak
This one's Halloween #6, made six years after Halloween 5 and decades after the series had totally died. Still, there are plenty of impalements (Michael Myers' favorite mode of death in this film) to keep our interest, and one line ("Michael Myers in space!?") is chuckle-worthy because all of his brethren would go there in the coming decade, including Jason. As a straight-up horror film, this continuation of the H-ween story revived in H4 and H5 -- Halloween III busted the series with a wholly unrelated tale -- is less about the gore and more about telling us why Michael is so batty for killin': because druids and creepy dudes in black are protecting... ah, skip it.

Continue reading: Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers Review

Rick Review


Good

Demonstrating that his unique creativity as a writer extends beyond darkly humorous kids' books, in "Rick," Daniel Handler of "Lemony Snicket" fame delves into something more dastardly and grown-up -- an extremely dark comedy adapted from Giuseppe Verdi's tragic opera "Rigoletto" and set in an almost surreal, cut-throat corporate world.

Bill Pullman, who always makes interesting choices when he makes independent films, stars as Rick O'Lette, an aging, career-stalled middle manager who "used to be a nice guy." Now a callous, seething sycophant -- whose own brashness is subservient to a cocky, serpentine young-gun executive (succulently sleazy Aaron Stanford) -- Rick is lured into a murder plot, designed to clear his path to a corner office. A mysteriously au fait old college classmate (charming, matter-of-factly malevolent Dylan Baker) approaches him in some tecnho-Orwellian bar and hints that he makes a seemingly respectable living (with business cards and everything) in the snuff trade and takes advantage of Rick's animosity and ambition.

Director Curtiss Clayton (an acclaimed editor making his helming debut) puts the weight of this strange world on Rick's shoulders, with the mahogany walls of his baroque office closing in on him, and long-dead bigwigs glaring down from musty oil paintings which now hang over desk cubicles and flat-screen computers. And yet Clayton has an ironically light touch with Handler's very black wit, giving the film an alluring pitch of unsettling laughs throughout the ill-fated events that soon unfold.

Continue reading: Rick Review

Marianne Hagan

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Rick Movie Review

Rick Movie Review

Demonstrating that his unique creativity as a writer extends beyond darkly humorous kids' books, in...

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