Robert Engelman

Robert Engelman

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The Los Angeles Premiere Of 'Dolphin Tale' At The Mann Village Theatre - Arrivals

Robert Engelman Saturday 17th September 2011 The Los Angeles premiere of 'Dolphin Tale' at the Mann Village Theatre - Arrivals Los Angeles, California

Robert Engelman

Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project Review


Weak
At the New York Film Festival screening of John Landis' Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project, subversion was in the air as Landis strolled out to introduce the film and, peering into the audience, asked William Lustig, the director of Maniac Cop, to take a bow. The excitement continued when the lights dimmed and Harry Dean Stanton in the film began warbling "Old Blue" in Dan Tana's Restaurant. Landis' camera then picks up Rickles' empty dressing room at the Stardust in a series of masterly composed shots of vacant chairs and silent bric-a-brac -- Ozu in Vegas. But then banality set in.

Landis very quickly assumes the role of the Los Angeles Chapter President of The Don Rickles Fan Club. Legions of comics and actors are trotted out (much in the manner of The Aristocrats) to praise the brilliance and hilarity of the master of the comic insult. These interviews are interspersed with clips from Rickles' films -- Kelly's Heroes, Run Silent, Run Deep, The Rat Race, X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes, Beach Blanket Bingo -- along with television excerpts from The Tonight Show and The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts. The Man Himself is interviewed and asked to comment on his life and art. Centering the whole mishmash is footage of Rickles' nightclub act at the Stardust -- an act Rickles had heretofore adamantly refused to be filmed.

Continue reading: Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project Review

Mr. Warmth:The Don Rickles Project Review


Weak
At the New York Film Festival screening of John Landis' Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project, subversion was in the air as Landis strolled out to introduce the film and, peering into the audience, asked William Lustig, the director of Maniac Cop, to take a bow. The excitement continued when the lights dimmed and Harry Dean Stanton in the film began warbling "Old Blue" in Dan Tana's Restaurant. Landis' camera then picks up Rickles' empty dressing room at the Stardust in a series of masterly composed shots of vacant chairs and silent bric-a-brac -- Ozu in Vegas. But then banality set in.

Landis very quickly assumes the role of the Los Angeles Chapter President of The Don Rickles Fan Club. Legions of comics and actors are trotted out (much in the manner of The Aristocrats) to praise the brilliance and hilarity of the master of the comic insult. These interviews are interspersed with clips from Rickles' films -- Kelly's Heroes, Run Silent, Run Deep, The Rat Race, X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes, Beach Blanket Bingo -- along with television excerpts from The Tonight Show and The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts. The Man Himself is interviewed and asked to comment on his life and art. Centering the whole mishmash is footage of Rickles' nightclub act at the Stardust -- an act Rickles had heretofore adamantly refused to be filmed.

Continue reading: Mr. Warmth:The Don Rickles Project Review

Alone With Her Review


OK
The voyeurism of the film camera has been a handy device in queasy-stomach thrillers from Peeping Tom to Halloween, bringing the audience into the position of the attacker as he steadily advanced on a victim (female and nubile, of course) and practically making them a part of the assault that followed. While some directors (like Powell in Peeping Tom) may have used this device as a Hitchcockian method of indicting the viewers for their sweaty-palmed need to watch, in the hands of John Carpenter and his followers it was something much more basic: the vicarious thrill. It's the resolute abandonment of any such thrill-seeking that makes Eric Nicholas' indie stalker experiment Alone with Her so brave. This is the rare film of its kind that dares to not give the pervs in the audience what they really want: a helpless, dehumanized female victim offered up for the slaughter.

This is doubly impressive, given how stacked the deck is against the woman being stalked in Alone with Her, as Nicholas has constructed his film so that every single shot is from the lens of a camera either carried or worn by the stalker, or planted in the woman's apartment. Amy (Ana Claudia Talancón) is never seen from anybody's perspective but that of Doug (Colin Hanks), who first spots her in a park while he's out gathering footage of women. Once his lens locks onto her, it never leaves, circling in closer and closer. It isn't long before Doug has broken into Amy's apartment and hidden small cameras everywhere, all of them feeding continuously back to his computer. And so we watch as he creeps incrementally into her life, striking up a conversation at the coffee shop she frequents about a film he just saw (knowing that she had just rented it the night before). To Amy's eye, Doug's just a harmlessly cute and geeky guy who she happens to have surprisingly a lot in common with, and Nicholas builds the story so painstakingly that there are times when the audience is almost able to believe the same.

Continue reading: Alone With Her Review

Blade Review


Good
Fight, rest, fight again. Lots of pumping blood and superhuman feats power this Wesley Snipes-as-half-vampire flick above the norm. Hardly mind food, this is The Lost Boys gone urban.
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