Supervillain Farrell seeks purpose after fulfilling his only focus in life… defeating his nemesis, superhero Pitt. The bad guy is painted as the protagonist and the good guy as the antagonist in this interesting little outing from Pixar, but the laughs are few and far between--and some of those are complete misses. Most disappointing is the lack of energy it imparts for an animated action-packed family film. You'd figure there'd be something a little more philosophically humble when the person you're supposed to be rooting for is driven to chaos, no matter how light-hearted or comedic… especially when children are the target audience! No doubt this was just a paycheck for the A-list actors.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Comedy revolving around idealist Rudd, who everyone mistakes as a blabbermouth moron (and in some situations, that assumption is accurate). After being released from prison after serving several months for selling pot to a cop (NOT undercover), Ned is forced to take his sisters (Banks, Deschanel and Mortimer) up on their empty gestures, and eventually his carefree trusting way of life begins to make his sisters' overly-serious lives begin to crumble. More cute than hilarious; which makes some of the brief explicit content look like it's there just for a few extra cheap laughs. Didn't need to be R-rated and could stand to have a few more laughs. Nevertheless, it was terrifically paced, well acted and entertaining from start to finish.
Police detective Pacino goes undercover as a homosexual in search of a serial killer targeting gay men in the S&M subcultures of NYC. Edgy, thrilling, mysterious and unforgettable are some of the good things that can be seen when you look past the explicit stereotypes that caused protests during filming. Director Friedkin captures a wonderful mood and style that ceases to exist in cinema post-1990; it's a shame the story couldn't run smoother and the ending couldn't be executed better. Straight people may find this film uncomfortable, gay people may find it offensively inaccurate, and the ending will definitely make most people feel cheated; but the way Friedkin set the story off, and the chills it sends to the viewer is accomplished in the same manner as any classic thriller. Had they tried to level the controversy with just a little bit of conventionalism, this could've been a real classic.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Rundown employees Bateman, Day and Sudeikis conspire to murder each other's bosses (à la THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN, à la à la STRANGERS ON A TRAIN) played terrifically by a supporting A-cast ensemble of Spacey, Aniston and Farrell, respectively. Everyone's story seems so secondary while in the mix with the Bateman/Spacey conflict. There is plenty of room for upstaging in this one, and the strongest actors on each side of the side seem to inadvertently take full advantage. Still, many laughs throughout and delivers everything someone out for giggles will want.