Michael Paseornek

Michael Paseornek

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Jerry & Tom Review


OK
Two hitmen look back on their lives while holding down day jobs as used car salesmen. Hooked yet? Indeed, this is one of the stranger films to come along lately, and it's obvious it didn't click with audiences. Cue Showtime to pick it up without a theatrical release. Bizarre structure and a we-mighta-killed-celebrity-[fill in the blank] makes for an interesting couple of hours, but that's about it.

Godsend Review


Grim
Watching Godsend compares to eating a gallon of fudge-filled chocolate ice cream minutes before going to bed. You know it's bad for you, but the experience is tons of fun. Soon enough, though, the gooey dessert stops tasting so good. By the time you near the bottom of the container, you can't even justify why you continue to swallow spoonfuls, but you keep eating despite the fact that it doesn't make sense to continue.

That also explains director Nick Hamm's jackhammer approach to his material. He knows he's working with a cheesy campfire story, the kind best whispered to terrified boy scouts in the dead of night. But he's sadly unaware of when enough is enough, and his final act becomes a series of ludicrous scientific explanations offset by cheap jolts to our nervous system.

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Happy Endings Review


Good
It's easy for a talented filmmaker to get high on his own talent and fall head over heels in love with his story and characters, to the point where the audience is left somewhat on the outside, peering in through the filmmaker's structural window dressing and trying to figure out what the hell is going on. Don Roos (The Opposite of Sex) has the ability to be one of those guys, and comes close to it in his Short Cuts-esque panoramic comedy Happy Endings but avoids temptation - for the better enjoyment of everyone involved.

The title is a joke, sort of, like much of the film. It starts with a panicked Lisa Kudrow running frantically through a residential neighborhood, dashing out into the street and getting hit by a car. Then a split screen informs us that she's actually not dead, that "no one dies in this movie," and the film proceeds, in the same jokey, needling manner, to introduce us to the rest of the players in this Los Angeles smashed relationship derby. Kudrow plays Mamie, a tense woman emotionally scarred after that time in her adolescence when got pregnant and gave the baby up for adoption. That memory comes smashing back into her life when wannabe documentarian Nicky (Jesse Bradford, gloriously clueless) shows up, claiming to be friends with her son, and saying he'll reunite them, but only if Mamie helps him make his debut film. Mamie's contribution to said project is the participation of her masseuse boyfriend Javier (Bobby Cannavale), pretending to be a gigolo for the sake of Nicky's awful excuse for a documentary.

Continue reading: Happy Endings Review

Michael Paseornek

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