Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Dir. Atom Egoyan
Starring Julianne Moore, Amanda Seyfreid, Liam Neeson, Max Thieriot
Atom Egoyan made two of the best films of the 90s, Erotica and The Sweet Hereafter. In both films, he took general ideas that could have gone very badly in the hands of another director. However, he instilled them with complex human emotions and a genuine sense of creativity in the direction that each plot led the audience. Since then, he has found mixed success with films like Felicia’s Journey and Adoration. His latest film Chloe does not offer any of the complexity found in his best work and is completely predictable from beginning to end. The result is a startling misfire from a once great director.
Catherine Stewart is a doctor who suspects her professor husband David (Liam Neeson) of cheating due to his constant flirting, online chatting, and strange text messages that show up on his phone. This troubles her so much that she decides to find out for sure by paying a prostitute named Chloe (Amanda Seyfreid) to seduce David. However, Catherine soon realizes she may have gotten more than she bargained for as her actions threaten to rip her family apart and put them in serious danger.
Posted by Larry McGillicuddy at 9:46 PM
Monday, March 29, 2010
Dir. Bong Joon-ho
Starring Kim Hye-ja, Won Bin, Jin Ku, Jae-Moon Yoon, Na Mun-hee
The previous Bong Joon-ho film I saw was The Host, a zany monster movie that mixed family dynamics with exciting suspense sequences. Mother is a more traditional type of film. It's a thriller that runs through some fairly standard story elements and takes a few too many shortcuts along the way. However, while the central plot may be familiar, the unique performance at the center and Joon-ho's artistry elevate this to the level of a solid thriller.
Do-Joon (Won Bin) is a mentally handicapped young man who frequently gets into trouble, but is oft protected by the watchful eye of Mother (Kim Hye-Ja). One day he is accused of killing a teenage girl and a confession is forced out of him by unorthodox police tactics that take advantage of his condition. Mother does not believe her son is guilty and seeks to find out the truth about what happened, but an uncooperative police force and terrible legal representation continually thwart her efforts.
Posted by Larry McGillicuddy at 9:37 PM
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Dir. Steve Pink
Starring John Cusack, Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, Clark Duke, Crispin Glover
Few movie titles in recent memory have been as entertainingly direct as Hot Tube Time Machine. It directly describes the premise and gives you a sense of the goofy sensibility the filmmakers were going after. Unfortunately, the film is a disappointing misfire due to ample missed opportunities and an unfortunate reliance on ridiculous scatological humor.
Adam (John Cusack), Nick (Craig Robinson), and Lou (Rob Corddry) were the best of friends in high school during the 80s, but have since drifted apart. Adam has just gone through a brutal break up, Nick has a demeaning job, and Lou attempts suicide. Adam and Nick decide to cheer their friend up by taking him back to a favorite resort from their youth. Whilst there, they encounter a hot tub that transports them back to the 80s and they now have to relive a memorable night that altered their lives forever.
Posted by Larry McGillicuddy at 9:06 PM
Dir. Roman Polanski
Starring Ewan McGregor, Olivia Williams, Kim Cattral, Tom Wilkinson, Eli Wallach
The Ghost Writer arrives with plenty of attention due to the arrest of director Roman Polanski and the subsequent debate over his personal actions thirty-three years earlier. However, the nature of the film runs counter to this kind of exposure. It is actually a calm, precise thriller that takes time to build an intricate plot with strongly realized characters. It demands patience for the audience, but offers a mostly rewarding experience for those who give it a chance.
The Ghost (McGregor) is an author hired to take over ghostwriting duties for former British Prime Minister Adam Lang's (Pierce Brosnan) autobiography. His predecessor died after completing most of the book, and now the publisher's $10 million advance is in jeopardy. The Ghost joins Lang at his beach house just as news heats up about the International Criminal Court investigating Lang about actions he took as Prime Minister.
Posted by Larry McGillicuddy at 12:39 PM