Scott Russell

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Behaving Badly Review


Weak

For a comedy that so desperately wants to be rude and sexy, this movie is remarkably timid. It does a great job putting up a front as an anarchic laugh riot, but the genuinely funny moments are few and far between. And it seems to have been written by sniggering teenage boys who can only imagine what it's like to experience sex, drugs and romance, but they haven't a clue, really. Thankfully, the starry cast makes it just about watchable.

With a drunken mom (Mary-Louise Parker) and a deadbeat dad (Cary Elwes), 17-year-old Rick (Nat Wolff) pretty much has to grow up on his own. Then over two fateful weeks everything starts going wrong. Just as he seems to be making progress with hot good-girl Nina (Selena Gomez), he gets caught in a drug deal with a strip-club manager (Dylan McDermott), the cops find a dead mobster in his car, and then everyone is arrested when a house party he throws turns into a drug-fuelled sex romp. Even more precarious for Rick is the fact that he has just lost his virginity to Pamela (Elisabeth Shue), who is both his mother's best friend and the mother of his best friend Billy (Lachlan Buchanan).

Yes, the script wallows in sex and drugs, but never seems quite sure what to do with them, shying away whenever anything remotely grown-up threatens to happen. Instead, scenes degenerate into corny broad comedy that feels more than a little desperate. Director Tim Garrick throws everything he can think of at the screen, so naturally a few gags stick. Even if the plot is paper-thin, and several of the jokes are beyond offensive (including gags hinging on both statutory and prison rape), there are also several witty zingers that elicit outright laughter. Such as when Nina remarks casually that her parents are away from home attending a pro-life gun rally in Dallas.

Continue reading: Behaving Badly Review

Stranger Than Fiction (1999) Review


OK
I am beginning to detect a very strange associate with the surreal and the sub par. This is not to say that I have repented and become a born-again fanatic of American cheese-factory films and will worship John Hughes until my knees bleed. Instead, it is only to say that the last several films that I have watched that have had the intent of being surreal have ended up being sub par. For example, take The Sixth Sense, Naked Lunch, The Blair Witch Project and numerous other oddities that escape me at the moment, each film supposedly working off of the weird but instead going into the realm of the noddy viewer (or, in the case of The Blair Witch Project, the physical embodiment of a Pepto Bismol commercial).

The latest in this string of disappointments comes in the form of Stranger Than Fiction, a film which has countless plot twists that are not only predictable but come with predictable regularity. All one must keep in mind to crack this film open like the WWII Enigma cipher is that Stranger Than Fiction works off of the idea that Stranger Than Fiction does not bare any resemblance to actual life (aside from being a perfect demonstration of Murphy's Law) but instead goes more along the lines of every single B-movie mystery you have ever watched. With that implanted in your head, you will not have to sit through the boring second half of the movie which the narrator spends explaining what goes on.

Continue reading: Stranger Than Fiction (1999) Review

Stranger Than Fiction Review


OK
I am beginning to detect a very strange associate with the surreal and the sub par. This is not to say that I have repented and become a born-again fanatic of American cheese-factory films and will worship John Hughes until my knees bleed. Instead, it is only to say that the last several films that I have watched that have had the intent of being surreal have ended up being sub par. For example, take The Sixth Sense, Naked Lunch, The Blair Witch Project and numerous other oddities that escape me at the moment, each film supposedly working off of the weird but instead going into the realm of the noddy viewer (or, in the case of The Blair Witch Project, the physical embodiment of a Pepto Bismol commercial).

The latest in this string of disappointments comes in the form of Stranger Than Fiction, a film which has countless plot twists that are not only predictable but come with predictable regularity. All one must keep in mind to crack this film open like the WWII Enigma cipher is that Stranger Than Fiction works off of the idea that Stranger Than Fiction does not bare any resemblance to actual life (aside from being a perfect demonstration of Murphy's Law) but instead goes more along the lines of every single B-movie mystery you have ever watched. With that implanted in your head, you will not have to sit through the boring second half of the movie which the narrator spends explaining what goes on.

Continue reading: Stranger Than Fiction Review

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Scott Russell Movies

Behaving Badly Movie Review

Behaving Badly Movie Review

For a comedy that so desperately wants to be rude and sexy, this movie is...

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