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Dropping Out Review


Essential
Emile (Kent Osborne) is a pretty humble guy. He just wants one simple thing out of his life: for it to be just as picture-perfect as the TV. The opiate of the masses known as television is Emile's drug of choice as he wanders through the world of the nicotine-stained San Fernando Valley. Everything is, as in the television, just fine and dandy until one day a squirrel lands on Emile's cable, disconnecting it. So, confronted with an absolute dearth of television reception, Emile decides to slit his wrists.

From there on in, we enter into one of the funniest and most meaningful dark comedies since Happiness. You see; Emile's suicide attempt is interrupted by a call from the manager of a hotel, at which Emile begins to work the night shift. One night, after the local supermarket is out of chicken potpies, Emile announces to Henry (David Koechner), his co-worker, that he wants to commit suicide. He also requests that Henry will send the tape to Emile's ex-girlfriend and clean up after the act.

Continue reading: Dropping Out Review

Dropping Out Review


Essential
Emile (Kent Osborne) is a pretty humble guy. He just wants one simple thing out of his life: for it to be just as picture-perfect as the TV. The opiate of the masses known as television is Emile's drug of choice as he wanders through the world of the nicotine-stained San Fernando Valley. Everything is, as in the television, just fine and dandy until one day a squirrel lands on Emile's cable, disconnecting it. So, confronted with an absolute dearth of television reception, Emile decides to slit his wrists.

From there on in, we enter into one of the funniest and most meaningful dark comedies since Happiness. You see; Emile's suicide attempt is interrupted by a call from the manager of a hotel, at which Emile begins to work the night shift. One night, after the local supermarket is out of chicken potpies, Emile announces to Henry (David Koechner), his co-worker, that he wants to commit suicide. He also requests that Henry will send the tape to Emile's ex-girlfriend and clean up after the act.

Continue reading: Dropping Out Review

Grind Review


Weak
Putting off their futures as long as they can, four lifelong buds hit the road in hopes of landing a pro skating sponsorship. Eric (Mike Vogel) motivates the group, made up of college-bound Dustin (Adam Brody), spacey Matt (Vince Vieluf), and ladies' man Sweet Lou (Joey Kern, blatantly ripping off Matthew McConaughey's Dazed and Confused persona). Their plan includes shadowing pro skater Jimmy Wilson (Jason London), though Eric's quick to be distracted by the smokin' hot skater chick (Jennifer Morrison) that keeps wheeling across his path.

Surprisingly, the four friends aren't slackers. They're motivated when it comes to getting what they want, which in this case happens to be an audience for their "Sponsor Me" tapes and, hopefully, a long-term contract and a gig skating for a living. Along the way, they encounter a healthy mixture of professional skaters, scantily clad skate babes (one female is actually listed in the credits as "Another Hot Girl"), and an army of washed up comics in cameos. Director Casey La Scala certainly keeps us guessing, as Bobcat Goldthwait, Dave Foley, Randy Quaid, and Tom Green grace the screen.

Continue reading: Grind Review

Clay Pigeons Review


Good
Lester, the uh, MO-lester... a character I'm not likely to ever forget. Vince Vaughn could make a career out of playing psychos and womanizers -- I wouldn't mind. Clay Pigeons is a glorious black comedy that shows off his prodigious wit and borderline insanity, with Phoenix playing the patsy for Vaughn's murders.

Rat Race Review


Good
Crazies, Lucille Ball impersonators, redneck garage mechanics, neo-Nazis, dykes on bikes, cross-dressers, electrified dogs, flying cows, vomit contests, vindictive girlfriends, and Rowan Atkinson's horrible Italian accent are the elements of success for Rat Race, the latest hilarious remake of It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

I know how bad it sounds. But thanks to the comedic talents of Jon Lovitz, Atkinson, John Cleese, and Whoopi Goldberg, plus a sharp script written by Andy Breckman (a writer for TV Funhouse and one of the best Richard Pryor movies, Moving) Rat Race is much better than it should be. In the end, it's summer junk food for the soul.

Continue reading: Rat Race Review

An American Werewolf In Paris Review


Weak
Rather limp updating of John Landis's classic horror/comedy An American Werewolf in London, Scott and Delpy just don't muster a lot of enthusiasm for the material. By skewing this toward a teen audience, the comedy is lost (for plot summary, see title of film). The action is dull and predictable, and the digital werewolves look awfully phony. Good for a little goofy fun, but that's about it.

Grind Review


Zero

Think "Blue Crush" without water -- or awesome surfing footage, likable characters with real personalities, beautiful girls in bikinis or anything else worth watching -- and I guarantee whatever you have in mind is still better than "Grind."

A skateboarding road-trip flick that will bore real skateboarders silly (and I should know -- I've been one since the late '70s), it includes barely 10 minutes of badly-edited actual boarding, less than half of which features the main characters (no-name actors using obvious stunt doubles), who in the course of the movie perform only one trick (at the very end) that's beyond the abilities of any dedicated junior high school punk with a modicum of talent.

Built on the "Crush" story template, the rest of the movie's 100-minute run-time is spent following four witless, college-age pro-tour wannabes around the country as they stalk and hassle the current king of sponsored skateboarding (Jason London) to look at a videotape of their supposedly fancy footwork.

Continue reading: Grind Review

Rat Race Review


Grim

After a generation on hiatus, the crazy, ensemble-cast chase comedy is back with an MTV vengeance in "Rat Race," a cornball marathon between a dozen second-tier stars vying for a $2 million booty.

The gimmick: To entertain his high-rolling clientele, a Las Vegas hotelier -- played by John Cleese with a slightly insane, toothy-dentured grin -- recruits an oddball assortment of zealous casino tourists to dash across the desert to New Mexico in search of a bus station locker where the loot has been stashed. The runners think it's all a zany promotion for Cleese's resort, but in the penthouse billionaires from all over the world are placing high-stakes bets on who will get there first, just for rich-guy kicks.

The players: Jon Lovitz is an chintzy, unemployed soccer dad who red-lines his minivan while dragging his family along, on the pretense of a job offer so he doesn't get chewed out for ruining their vacation. He catches hell anyway when the car breaks down outside a "white power" roadside attraction and they steal Hitler's limo to complete the pilgrimage.

Continue reading: Rat Race Review

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