Thomas Mccarthy

Thomas Mccarthy

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The Cobbler Trailer


Some people are far more important than you might think. For one lowly cobbler, things are about to change. After a lifetime of fixing other people's shoes, the cobbler, Max Simkin (Adam Sandler) one day dares to try on a pair, discovering that if he walks in a man (or woman)'s shoes, he will become that person. After becoming the wrong person and coming into some money that doesn't belong to him, Simkin must do whatever he can to make it through, and maybe go back to helping other people instead of himself.

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Duplicity Review


Good
It doesn't take much to make the life of a spy look great. The travel, expense account, sense of danger, all that role-playing -- it's catnip for most people, whose greatest investment in daily skullduggery tends to be making their boss believe they're actually working. In Duplicity, however, writer/director Tony Gilroy ups the ante by reveling in all of the above while throwing in a keen sense of fun and maybe even a dash of honest-to-god romance. It's a dashing and bright entertainment that aims to please without scraping the floor for your approval. In other words, about as different a world from Gilroy's Michael Clayton as could be imagined.

The film starts with a quick meet-cute at an American consulate 4th of July barbecue in Dubai, where MI-6 agent Ray Koval (Clive Owen) is flirting with Claire Stenwick (Julia Roberts). He doesn't figure out that she's a CIA agent until much later, long after she absconded from his room with a parcel of secret documents and he has woken up from the drugs she knocked him out with. Years later, the two are thrown together again when Koval takes a private security job with Equikrom -- a Unilver-like corporate giant that produces everything from shampoo to diapers -- only to find Stenwick already in place as a deep-undercover operative working for rival firm Burkett & Randle, which is on the brink of a delivering a paradigm-busting new product that Equikrom wants badly.

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The Wire: Season Five Review


Extraordinary
Millions of hearts broke when season four of The Wire reached its bleak conclusion. The cause of this mass cardiac disintegration was twofold: first, most of the teenage boys in the season's primary storyline seemed doomed to nasty and short lives. And second, the single greatest work of dramatic television in the history of the medium had come to an end. That couldn't be easy for anyone's emotions.

Fifteen months later, The Wire returned for its brilliant swan song. David Simon, Ed Burns, and crew famously dedicated each season of The Wire to an institutional failure (the drug war, the middle class, political reform, the schools) that has contributed to the extended death of Baltimore, and by extension all of America's inner cities. For the show's final go-round, the show takes on the decline of local media. Simon spent years -- several of them tumultuous -- at the Baltimore Sun before he started creating amazing TV shows. Naturally, Simon brings much of his personal disaffection and melancholy to his portrayal of that disintegrating daily.

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The Visitor Review


Good
The post-9/11 U.S. has always seemed like a grieving widow waiting for the other fatalistic shoe to drop. Part of this comes from a government selling fear as the foundation for its continued power. The other stems from the media's mindless grind of less-than-soothing imagery. Yet what many citizens fail to understand is that people more than politics are affected by our nervous kneejerk reactions. Such a sentiment forms the basis of Thomas McCarthy's intriguing new film, The Visitor.

For Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins), existence is a stifled sleepwalk of commitments and complaints. He hates teaching. He hates faculty politics. He especially hates the lonely life he leads as a widower. His wife long dead, Vale just can't find a purpose. Forced to travel from his new home in Connecticut to his old apartment in New York City to present a paper, he discovers two strangers living there. As illegals, Arab Tarek (Haaz Sleiman) and African Zainab (Danai Jekesai Gurira) have no real place to go, so Vale reluctantly lets them stay. When the Syrian Tarek is wrongfully arrested and detained, our quiet professor becomes his champion. The arrival of Tarek's mother (Hiam Abbass) from Michigan makes matters more complicated.

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Year Of The Dog Review


Grim
There's a passage in Evelyn Waugh's The Loved One that lends itself directly to Mike White's Year of the Dog, regardless of where the film runs with this idea. Said by the owner of a pet mortuary to a lowly employee concerning normal funeral homes: "Why wouldn't I be [jealous of] all that dough going to relations they've hated all their lives, while the pets who've loved them and stood by them, never asked no questions, never complained, rich or poor, sickness or health, get buried anyway like animals?" Correctly assuming that as a public we take the love we can't find with humans and bestow it on animals, Waugh's criticism has more than a leg up on Mike White's directorial debut.

Peggy (Molly Shannon) dotes on Pencil, her puppy, with the affection only rewarded to the luckiest of children from the most spoiling of parents. So, when Pencil gets into some toxic shrubbery and goes, as all dogs do, to heaven, Peggy is inconsolable. Not that there aren't plenty of people who want to help her. Her oafish neighbor (John C. Reilly) wants to date her, her best friend (Regina King) wants to set her up with someone, and the receptionist at the vet (the invaluable Peter Sarsgaard) wants to get her a new dog ASAP. It's the receptionist, Newt, who gets Peggy into veganism and, ostensibly, sends her on a path of social destruction the likes of which are rarely seen.

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The Great New Wonderful Review


Good
The Great New Wonderful represents a major departure for director Danny Leiner in that it doesn't feature two perpetually stoned young men having outlandish adventures - or even one, for that matter. But the characters in the new film from the guy who made Dude, Where's My Car? and Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle are, at least, walking around in a haze. They're all New Yorkers trying to get by in the wake of September 11, 2001, casually crossing paths in a series of stories that take place about a year after that devastating day.

These stories are not particularly confrontational, though they have their share of breakdowns and even occasional violence. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Emme, a rising star in the obscure but apparently high-stakes world of designer cakes; Sandie (Jim Gaffigan) is a World Trade Center survivor who's meeting with a corporate therapist (Tony Shalhoub); two parents (Judy Greer and Thomas McCarthy) bicker about their antisocial young son; an elderly woman (Olympia Dukakis) flirts with escaping the dead-silent routine of her long marriage; and a pair of bodyguards (Naseeruddin Shah and Sharat Saxena) traipse around the city for an Indian political figure. If any of these stories sound like they could be stripped-down plays, with many characters standing neatly in pairs, it's probably because writer-actor Sam Catlin developed some of these ideas on stage.

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30 Days Review


Good
Well, we all heard how bad 28 Days was, so coming into 30 Days, you might just wonder what added torture they could pack into the extra two. Thank God, 30 Days isn't 28 Days' cheap sequel. It's not 28 Days' evil twin. It's not even a distant cousin.

Instead of being a schlock comedy about drug rehab, 30 Days is an always smart, often thoughtful film about detachment, breaking up, true love, and how all doesn't always turn out for the best.

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Thomas Mccarthy

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