Jeff Who Lives at Home – This movie by the Puffy Chair Guys flick had several LOLs….and that was it. The plot is then and it combines a bunch of coincedences to move along the all-in-one-day story to its vastly undeserved ending. It’s a shame to see the MARVELOUS Judy Greer in this movie as a one-note caricature. Ditto for Janet Weiss. Segel is decent and Helms has most of the funny parts being the asshole brother. It was GREAT to Rae Dawn Chong in a movie! Damn, I liked a lot of her stuff in the 80’s, especially The Squeeze with Michael Keaton (who needs to make more damn movies!) I did take some umbrage at the few black characters in the film who lure Segel’s character into getting mugged, nice. Why isn’t this film getting talked about like Beasts for it’s depiction of blacks by privileged white filmmakers? Isn’t this the post-racial ObamAmerica we live in now? Or does these zoom-obssessed brothers get a pass because like no one sees their movies? The Mark brother is getting a lot of work these days as an actor, maybe they will be called out soon.
VERDICT: Skip it in all formats.
The Fairy (aka La Fee) – Utterly charming and marvelous comedy from the French trio of Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon & Bruno Romy – who also brought us Rumba and L’Iceberg. If your humor skews more towards physical and dry, like say Aki Karisumaki or Jarmusch – you will dig The Fairy and their other two. Mostly they are wordless comedies that rely upon the time-tested method of physical comedy with screwball antics thrown in too. Fiona Gordon is another addition into the pantheon of fantastic redhead female actresses with the likes of Cate B, Tilda, Amy Adams, Nicole K, Judy Greer, and on and on. The films are all very colorful and emotionally enriched gems that I can watch over and over.
VERDICT: Watch in any format you can find them in. Right now. Do not wait!
SAVAGES – Oliver Stone’s drug movie with super hot leads, Benecio and Salma as Mexican drug gangsters and a surprisingly decent turn by Travolta as a double (triple?) dealing DEA agent. Truly a pointless exercise in over-the-top filmmaking with zero agenda – it doesn’t want to draw you into the characters, doesn’t care about the story too much, doesn’t care much about politics, basically it just doesn’t care. I wish that attitude would’ve imbued the film with some real batshit crazy scenes but aside from some torture stuff, nothing is shocking in a Natural Born Killers-kinda way. I will say that using GWOT vets to help the ostensibly good guy drug dealers was a nice touch by Stone to help “bring home the wars” that most Americans seem to only see on the internet or tv. I did see this on the big screen but it will be on DVD in no time at all.
VERDICT – Watch on DVD but don’t be in any kind of hurry, I mean put it in your queue and maybe next year you can get around to seeing it.
RAMPART – Oren Moverman‘s gritty 90’s LAPD Cop flick with Woody Harrleson was a mostly interesting yet ultimately flat affair. Full of women in his life, Woody’s Date Rape Dave Brown is extremely misogynistic, heck I would just say he’s a self-hating misanthrope. I think for me personally I am DONE with films about the LAPD – it’s not the ONLY police force in the world worth examining. That would be the Malmo and Copenhagen police forces from the utterly riveting show The Bridge (more to come on that later). Dave has two ex-wives who were sisters that he sorta lives with and he has a daughter with each one – I think – and the older daughter played by Brie Larson was about the only really engaging character in the film. I once heard a quote that said every film has one minor character you wish the movie was about it – Brie’s Helen is it for me in this movie. I’d love to check in on her in the 00’s. The film does look very, very gritty, murky, dirty, setting the tone for the story which just…..sort of ends. I didn’t really have a problem with that as I said earlier that I wasn’t terribly engaged with much in the movie. Also, I’d remiss if I didn’t mention that Ben Foster needs Ryan Golsing-quality roles really soon. I’ve not seen The Messenger which was directed by Moverman and stars Woody and Ben, maybe that film is what I am looking for from him.
VERDICT – check it out for free when it shows up on HBO (if they even still show movies) or Starz only if you love LAPD cop movies or wanna see Woody.