An energetic sense of the absurd helps make this animated romp entertaining, even though the script is almost painfully stupid. But the pace is so brisk, and the stream of deranged jokes so continual, that kids will find it hilarious and grown-ups won't be able to stop smiling. So who cares if the story makes no sense at all?
Our hero is a scrawny turkey named Reggie (voiced by Wilson), who's an outcast on his farm because he's both smart and naive. When he's accidentally pardoned by the US President on Thanksgiving, he's living the high life until the meathead turkey Jake (Harrelson) kidnaps him, ranting about a mission to travel back in time to stop the pilgrims from starting the Thanksgiving turkey tradition to begin with. Sure enough, they find a time machine and off they go to 1621, where they team up with a colony of native American turkeys led by Broadbeak (David) and his feisty daughter Jenny (Poehler). But they're also being pursued by a relentless human hunter (Meaney).
The screenwriters conveniently ignore the fact that more turkeys are eaten globally at Christmas than at America's Thanksgiving, but never mind. They also pack the script with a continuous stream of riotously warped gags, random movie references and crazed action sequences. Although even a 5-year-old will be confused that 17th century pilgrims are rendered more like 19th century cowboys. This continual sense of incoherence gets even more annoying later, when the plot abandons even its own tenuous sense of logic. But by then we have realised that it's pointless to resist.
Continue reading: Free Birds Review
As with most of the filmmaker's oeuvre, all you need to know is in the title. Zack (Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) are best friends, living together and working crap jobs in Pittsburgh. They barely make rent and often substitute frivolous pleasures like sex toys and hockey skates in lieu of water and heat. It's at a high school reunion that they reconnect with Miri's high-school crush Bobby Long (Brandon Routh of Superman Returns) and his lover (Justin Long), both gay porn stars earning triple-digit incomes in Los Angeles. At a bar afterwards, Zack realizes that a similar career path would solve Miri's and his financial troubles.
Continue reading: Zack And Miri Make A Porno Review
In Dogma, Smith's long-awaited and already vilified indictment of the Catholic church, the auteur has gone to great lengths to show us he can take on any establishment and gut it wide open. To wit:
Continue reading: Dogma Review
Though it wasn't pre-planned, Smith's film also puts the final nail in the "Bennifer" coffin then begins the resurrection process on Ben Affleck's floundering, Gigli-ravaged career. For the first time in a long while Affleck carries a decent picture, making a stronger connection to Smith's casual dialogue than he does with any of his co-stars.
Continue reading: Jersey Girl Review
Like characters found in other recent Gen X movies, Smith's heroes are unjustifiably hip. Chasing Amy there are two groups of characters, Jersey boys afraid of the city, and fixtures of the NYC underground. But regardless of background, every character in Chasing Amy is poised with a witty remark or comical/philosophical riff on love or life. Smith even highlights the (self)-importance of his protagonist, played by Ben Affleck, by unabashedly naming him after the coolest literary character of the twentieth century, Holden Caulfield.
Continue reading: Chasing Amy Review
John Pierson's adventure in Reel Paradise is hauntingly similar, though somewhat more successful. As old-school indie film supporter, producer, and star of IFC's Split Screen, Pierson found himself bored after four years of dragging himself to student film festivals and low-budget junkets, and he struck on the idea of visiting the most remote movie theater in the world. He found it -- or one of them, anyway -- on the Fijian island of Taveuni, a 300-some seat movie theater which he promptly purchased.
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Clerks is a spectacular joyride. Filmed in 16mm black and white, the film packs in non-stop humor (and extreme profanity) from start to finish, as the story traces a day in the life of Dante (Brian O'Halloran), a twentysomething convenience store clerk still living with his parents.
Continue reading: Clerks Review
If you looking for a plot in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, don't bother. Smith uses the safe convention of repetition by including certain key locations of his first three films and all of their main characters -- minus Dogma. By doing this, Smith creates a familiar universe for Jay and Silent Bob to venture through and trick the audience into remembering their old favorites and ignore the throwaway script.
Continue reading: Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back Review
Somewhere out there in the cinematic ether there's an elusive line between lewdly moronic raunch comedies like "Tomcats" or "Freddy Got Fingered" and sophomoric, low-brow sex and gross-out romps that can make even intellectual types laugh until $3 concession Coca-Cola comes out of their noses.
I don't know where that line is exactly. All I know is that "Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back" is hilarious.
The latest low-budget, high-dialogue laffer from Kevin Smith -- writer-director of "Clerks," "Mallrats," "Chasing Amy" and "Dogma" -- this film puts his perennial cameo characters front and center for a combination road-trip/ruthless Hollywood satire that is so blanketed with ribald raillery it feels like machine-gun fire hitting your funny bone.
Continue reading: Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back Review
The BBC drama starring Aidan Turner returns to BBC One on September 4th.
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