Don and Sally Hollars' family are all grown up and they live alone. They have two sons and John lives in New York at works as an artist attempting to make a name for himself. Their other son, Ron lives closer to home and up until recently lived with his wife and their young family but now his marriage has fallen to pieces and he's alone.
When Sally falls ill, the family reunites and John leaves his heavily pregnant girlfriend, Rebecca, in the city whilst he pays a visit to the family home. Once back in the small town he grew up in, it seems the family matriarch is much more ill than they all first presumed.
Spending time in hospital, John is quickly submerged into his old family and all the issues that comes with them - not only that but he must deal with his ex-girlfriends new partner who's also his mother's nurse.
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Old age is usually seen as a sad time to reflect on your life's work and morn you past friends. For Carol (Blythe Danner), an elderly widow, this is the case. That is, until her friends force her back into the dating game. She is beginning to realise that her day to day life is becoming monotonous, yet she soon enough meets Bill (Sam Elliot). A retiree himself, Bill reminds her that even at the supposed twilight years of your life, there is still a chance to begin all over again.
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Ever had one of those teachers that simply will not tolerate bad behaviour? Well, elementary school teacher, Miss Meadows (Katie Holmes) is one of those teachers. Miss Meadows is a pillar of society, and acts with a certain sense of grace and elegance that delights her friends and neighbours. But Miss Meadows’ extra-curricular activities are certainly not on the usual syllabus, as she tracks down and kills unsavoury members of the community. But when an investigation begins into an unknown vigilante that ended the life of a multiple murderer, Miss Meadows realises she is being sought by the law she has worked tirelessly to protect.
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Despite taking a full-on approach to the issue of alcoholism, filmmaker Ponsoldt undermines his own case by telling a story about the problem itself rather than the people caught up in it. And by avoiding the bigger questions, he leaves us with characters and a situation that are hard to care about, no matter how harrowing the story gets.
Schoolteacher Kate (Winstead) is a mess. Out drinking every night with her husband Charlie (Paul), she turns up drunk to teach her classroom of 6-year-olds. One morning when she's sick, she lets them believe she's pregnant. But lying to the kids sparks her guilt, which gets worse when a colleague (Offerman) covers for her and her boss (Mullally) throws a baby shower. So she joins AA and gets help from her sponsor Jenny (Spencer) to straighten out her life. But once she's sober she wonders whether she can stay with the still-drunk Charlie.
Essentially the film lets all of the characters off the hook since it's the alcohol that's the real villain, not any failing of willpower or self-discipline. In this world, it's not possible to be "the kind of people who have a glass of wine with dinner": you're either a falling-down drunk or a pious teetotaller. And even worst, both Kate and Charlie have tragic back-stories that explain why they are alcoholics. So the film's approach is purely superficial, which makes it impossible to identify with the characters or even root for them to sort out their messy lives.
Continue reading: Smashed Review
Kate and Charlie Hannah's marriage came about through their shared love of partying and getting drunk. All is well in their relationship as long as they are drinking together. However, when Kate's excessive partying pushes her into the dangerous territory of hard drugs threatening her teaching career when she continuously lies to her boss, she decides that it's time to deal with her problem and quit the booze for good. While Charlie vows to help her, he finds going sober less easy and Kate beings to question whether their relationship is built on love or whether their vision of each other has been blurred by alcohol over the past years. Quitting drinking also forces Kate to confront her conduct at work and her difficult relationship with her mother.
'Smashed' is a comedy drama with more drama than comedy. While the antics of Kate and Charlie may be funny at first sight, it is clear as the story goes on that this a story about burying your darkest problems. It has been directed by James Ponsoldt ('Off the Black') who also co-wrote the movie with actress Susan Burke in her screenplay debut. 'Smashed' is scheduled for release this year on December 14th 2012.
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Nick Twisp (Cera) is a 16-year-old who feels out of sync with the world. He has a summer job in a caravan park, where he instantly falls in love with Sheeni (Doubleday), the fiercely protected daughter of religious nutcases (Walsh and Place). Sheeni is like a female version of him, only sexy and smarter, and he creates an imaginary alter ego named Francois Dillinger to give him the confidence to seduce her. But of course things go wrong from the start.
Continue reading: Youth In Revolt Review
Nick Twisp is an average 16 year old boy, obsessed with the opposite sex yet he never has any luck finding a girl of his own. Whilst on holiday with his unpredictable parents Nick finds a new girl who he feels is right for him, Sheeni. Now the only thing standing in his way is the undeniable fact that, nice guys never get the girl.... there's also a another small problem Sheeni already has a boyfriend.
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Pecker (Edward Furlong) is a happy-go-lucky teen who loves to carry his camera around town taking quick snapshots of the types of characters who have been populating Waters's films since the '70s. He even lives with some of them: his thrift-shop owning parents (Mary Kay Place and Mark Joy); his foul-mouthed sister Tina (Martha Plimpton), who works as a sassy bartender at the local gay bar; his eight-year-old sister, the hopelessly sugar-addicted Little Chrissy (Lauren Hulsey); and his totally wacky grandmother Memama (Jean Schertler), who cooks and sells pit beef sandwiches on the front lawn when she isn't distracted by her statue of the Virgin Mary, which speaks to her saying, "Full of grace! Full of grace!" Memama doesn't realize that she's actually the one saying it.
Continue reading: Pecker Review
Now, after Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, Robert Greenwald's Uncovered: The War on Iraq, France's The World According to Bush, the upcoming Bush's Brain, and many more, filmmaker John Sayles adds his satiric shovelful with Silver City, a (fictional) feature film which explores the ramifications of a political system that lends itself to corrupt and unseemly influences.
Continue reading: Silver City Review
Making only a minimal effort to be any different or better than the hundreds of other forgettable, predictable, almost-married-the-wrong-guy romantic comedies that have come before it, "Sweet Home Alabama" has the benefit of a talented, appealing cast and the burden of being entirely dependent on clichés to drive its story.
Reese Witherspoon stars as Melanie Carmichael, a rising-star designer in New York's fashion world who is downright giddy about her new engagement to the political mover-and-shaker son (Patrick Dempsey) of the city's image-conscious mayor (Candice Bergen). In the movie's most romantic scene, Mr. Wonderful proposes by getting down on one knee at Tiffany's, which he's arranged to stay open after hours, and telling her to pick any ring she wants.
But there's one little wrinkle Melanie's fiancé doesn't know about: Before she can marry him, she'll have to divorce her hayseed childhood sweetheart back in small-town Alabama. A handsome, blue-eyed charmer named Jake (Josh Lucas, "A Beautiful Mind") with a playful Paul Newman smirk, she did nothing but fight with him once the magic wore off their relationship, so Melanie bailed out to follow her ambition.
Continue reading: Sweet Home Alabama Review
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