REVIEW: MY ONE AND ONLY

 

Starring

Renée Zellweger (What/If)
Logan Lerman (The Three Musketeers)
Kevin Bacon (Cop Car)
Mark Rendall (30 Days of Night)
Chris Noth (Lovelace)
Molly Quinn (Castle)
Nick Stahl (Sin City)
Steven Weber (2 Broke Girls)
Eric McCormack (Will & Grace)
Robin Weigert (Deadwood)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Phoebe Strole (Glow)
Maury Ginsberg (Jessica Jones)

Renée Zellweger and Steven Weber in My One and Only (2009)In New York City in 1953, Anne Deveraux lives with her bandleader husband Danny, their 15-year-old son George, and Anne’s somewhat older effeminate son Robbie. After catching Danny in yet another affair, Anne leaves him and takes the children with her.Renée Zellweger and Chris Noth in My One and Only (2009)Anne embarks on a road trip across the United States, in search of a husband to fund a new life for her and her boys. George serves as the chauffeur. They first travel to Boston and Pittsburgh. Anne has a string of disastrous attempts at relationship. After finding that a former suitor now deems her too old to be of interest she becomes desperate and dispirited and chats up a man in a bar who turns out to be an undercover house detective. He takes her for a prostitute and charges her with solicitation.Renée Zellweger, Logan Lerman, and Mark Rendall in My One and Only (2009)Meanwhile, George meets with his father who comes into town on a tour. George asks him to take him back to New York but Danny turns him down because he is often on the road for his work. George concludes that Danny does not love him. George also learns that Danny had sent money several times, but Anne resolutely returned it each time.Renée Zellweger in My One and Only (2009)Running low on funds, Anne tries her luck in St. Louis where her sister lives. The sisters have a very strained relationship but Anne tries to make the best of it and takes a job at a paint store and becomes engaged to the owner. It turns out, however, he is mentally ill and already married. Anne is paid off by the man’s family for her trouble. As Anne readies to get on the road again, this time for Los Angeles, George informs her that he is staying with Anne’s sister, whom he’d already cleared it with. Anne and George argue bitterly and Anne, resigned, accepts his decision and leaves with Robbie, who now serves as the chauffeur.Renée Zellweger and Logan Lerman in My One and Only (2009)Near Albuquerque, mother and son get robbed by a couple they picked up for gas money. Robbie phones George to tell him what happened. In discussing it with Anne’s sister and her husband, George discovers Anne had left money with them for his board and care. He takes the remaining money and meets Anne and Robbie at a Greyhound bus station somewhere in the Southwest. The three arrive in Los Angeles and settle into a shabby apartment. Anne comes home one day to find Danny waiting for her. He asks if she still loves him and says he wants her and the boys to come back to New York. She replies, “I don’t know if I love you but I do know I don’t need you.” Danny then departs extending an open invitation to return if she changes her mind.Anne forges ahead and the family gets work as extras in a movie. Anne catches the eye of the movie producer and manages to get Robbie slated to try for a starring role. George thinks maybe his mother was right all along and everything will turn out fine. But that evening Anne gets a call and learns Danny has died of a heart attack. George flies back to New York to attend Danny’s funeral and gets Anne’s blessing to stay there and attend his former prep school on scholarship. Soon, however, he realizes he belongs with his family and returns to Los Angeles unannounced. George finds Robbie having difficulty with a scene in a movie. As he helps Robbie recite his lines, George is discovered as a talented actor. Robbie gives up acting and goes to work in costuming. In epilogue, George reveals that he is a contracted Hollywood actor and has changed his last name to “Hamilton,” which was his father’s real last name. He realizes that Anne, Robbie and he didn’t need anyone to take care of them, that they could take care of themselves and that they were going to be just fine.While maybe not the best film made itt certainly is better than most . No car chases, explosions, killings, drugs or sex nor foul language. No wonder it was a flop at the box office. Tis a pity as this is an exceptionally dramady. Good performances from the entire cast, down to the tiniest bits. Rene Zellweger was at the top of her game here. A Very authentic look of the film which makes it even better. An extra scene here and there would have helped with what was going on part of the time. A couple of scenes seem to jump as if there was something missing. The only unreal thing is the taxi driving up to the sound stage at the end. That couldn’t happen in real life. It’s a shame this didn’t have a broader release as no one saw it.

REVIEW: NOVOCAINE

CAST

Steve Martin (Cheaper By The Dozen)
Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speach)
Laura Dern (Jurassic Park)
Elias Koteas (Fallen)
Scott Caan (Gone In 60 Seconds)
Kevin Bacon (A Few Good Men)
Keith David (Pitch Black)

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Generally, the film is a dark and quirky “tragicomedy”. The “everyman” protagonist, Dr. Frank Sangster (Steve Martin), is a dentist with a fairly pleasant but rather innocuous, ordinary and uneventful life. But all of this gets derailed, and Frank’s life descends into an increasingly complex mess, from the minute a beautiful and seductive new patient named Susan Ivey (Helena Bonham Carter) comes to him, seeking a root canal and a little pain relief…
On Susan’s initial office visit, Frank schedules her for a root canal the very next day, and offers her some Ibuprofen to address her pain in the meanwhile. Claiming that she is allergic to the offered medication, Susan requests a prescription for the addictive pain-killer Demerol. Frank provides the prescription, but only for five tablets. However, Susan changes the dosage from five tablets to fifty when she collects the medication from her pharmacist.
Susan arrives for her appointment twelve hours late, having mistaken the time. She seduces Frank, talking him into getting drunk and having sex with her. During the night, Susan steals all of Frank’s narcotics. The next day, there is a DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agent at Frank’s office demanding to see the dentist’s narcotics supply, because an 18-year-old has driven a car off a cliff under the influence of cocaine hydrochloride from a bottle registered to the dentist. Knowing that Susan has stolen his entire drug supply, Frank puts the agent off, saying he’ dispensed it all to patients. The agent leaves with the promise that if Frank fails to produce the empty containers in two days, the DEA will place him under arrest.
That night Frank goes to Susan’s hotel room to demand the empty containers, threatening that he’ll call the police if she doesn’t provide them. Once again, she overrides his initial intentions and seduces him – with the result that they have sex and he spends the night with her. The next day at his office, Frank is confronted by Susan’s brother, Duane Ivey (Scott Caan) having a violent scene, saying: “Stay the hell away from my sister” and “I don’t appreciate your threats”. Duane ends the conversation with, “I don’t ever want to see you again, because if I do, goddamn it, I’m gonna hurt you.”
That night, Frank returns to Susan’s hotel room and, assuming that Susan is the form he sees the bed, starts talking to her. The person under the blanket turns out to be not Susan but brother Duane, who leaps up and attacks Frank, attempting to strangle him. Frank takes scissors from a nearby desk and stabs Duane in the hand, impaling him and embedding the scissors. Frank flees, stopping off at a bar to calm down. On arriving at home, just minutes ahead of his girlfriend Jean (Laura Dern), he finds Duane dead on the floor.
Police arrive on the scene to question Frank. Comically adding to Frank’s distress and anxiety is actor Lance Phelps (Kevin Bacon), a hack actor doing research for a role, and permitted by the police to question Frank at aggressive levels that cause Frank heightened discomfort. After the police arrive and depart, Frank tells Jean about the whole ordeal. A while later, Frank is arrested for the murder of Duane Ivey based on finding Frank’s teeth marks on the body – that someone else put there after killing Duane. After Frank breaks free, all of Chicago is on the look out for him. He goes to his office in the night, only to find his brother Harlan lying dead. At this point, it is revealed that Frank’s girlfriend Jean is behind all of the killing. She killed Duane with a shotgun and created dentures of Frank’s teeth using his dental equipment and bit Duane’s corpse with them. She was also in cahoots with Harlan, with whom she was having an affair. Unfortunately for Harlan, her plan was to eventually kill him as well with the shotgun to tie up all loose ends and make it appear that Frank killed him after Duane. Realizing he’ll never be free without starting over, Frank pulls out all of his dead brother’s teeth, as well as all of his own. Frank uses his dental skills to place his own teeth into his dead brother’s skull, and then sets fire to the dental office with Harlan’s corpse, replete with replaced teeth, left inside. Frank and Susan, now lovers, escape to France, where they live happily ever after in a little cottage on the countryside.
Meanwhile, Jean’s attempts to frame Frank fall apart. Unbeknownst to her, Harlan was playing with a medical video camera while he was shot and the recovered footage shows Jean firing the shotgun at the camera holder but fails to show it was Harlan who was shot. Therefore, the police wrongly assume that Jean shot Frank and arrest her.
The movie was indeed a comedy, allbeit a dark comedy. It’s the kind of humor where you laugh, but with your hand over your mouth to cover up the fact that your humor is a bit deranged.Laura Dern, Steve Martin, Helena Bonham Carter, and Kevin Bacon all turn in super performances. It was a fun ride, and the who-done-it guessing game was much fun!

REVIEW: SUPER

CAST

Rainn Wilson (The Office)
Ellen Page (Juno)
Liv Tyler (jersey Girl)
Kevin Bacon (A Few Good Men)
Gregg Henry (PaybacK)
Michael Rooker (Guardians of The galaxy)
Linda Cardellini (Scooby-Doo)
Nathan Fillion (Slither)
Andre Royo (Empire)
Sean Gunn (Gilmore Girls)
Stephen Blackehart (Death Racers)
Mikaela Hoover (The Guest Book)
Rob Zombie (House of 1000 Corpses)
Lloyd Kaufman (The Litch)
William Katt (Carrie)

1Frank (Rainn Wilson), a not-that-bright, not-that-handsome guy who can count the good things that have happened to him on one hand and who works as a cook at the greasiest spoon you’ve ever seen, has lost his recovering-addict wife (Liv Tyler, The Lord of the Rings)–one of those precious few good things–to a sleazy, drug-dealing club owner (Kevin Bacon). This unbearable injustice is the last straw for Frank, who has, to be sure, experienced no shortage of injustice in his time. After some surreal, hallucinatory soul-searching, and egged on by young, hyper Libby (Ellen Page)–a comics-shop clerk who nags her way into the role of his official sidekick–he becomes “The Crimson Bolt,” a fed-up DIY superhero who is going to not only save Frank’s wife and get them back together, but also make the world safe at long last for all the nice, mild-mannered people who have had enough of playing doormat for the world’s pushers (of all kinds) and shovers.Super_filmFrank is at the end of his rope; overstimulated Libby is terminally bored. They are in way over their heads, but they are too inspired to care, and The Crimson Bolt, accompanied by sidekick “Boltie,” can be heard to utter his catchphrase, “Shut up, crime!” as they use their trademark pipe wrench (for The Bolt) and Wolverine claws (Boltie) to whip violators into shape; whether you are a child molester or a smug, self-centered jerk who cuts in line at the movies, you had better watch out, because their adrenaline is pumping, and you are likely to end up in the emergency room with severe lacerations or a crushed skull. Gunn shies away from neither the ghastly injuries nor the pleas and cries of pain emanating from those on the receiving end of justice, Crimson Bolt-style. By now, we have been intentionally “shocked” often enough by movie violence, whether it be the flippant, choreographed Reservoir Dogs kind or in the devastating (and, I think, much more conscientious) Funny Games mode.super-movieIn the case of Super, though, the Taxi Driver comparisons Gunn has garnered for his film are apt; regardless of how many movies and TV programs may encourage cheering it on, “justified” violence is as ugly and difficult to stomach as any other kind, and it may even be more painful to watch a character whom you can relate to and whom you know to be acting out of conscience doing such unconscionable things. But Gunn’s film is quite different from Scorsese’s masterpiece in its willingness to wear its heart directly on its sleeve.Both Frank and Libby are damaged people whose emotions have been run roughshod over by life, they are rife with insecurities and uncertainties, and they want the reassurance of a fantasy world in which one’s moral certitude translates into real action and results. It is very, very easy for us to understand and sympathize with them…but then we cringe at the cruelty they rather randomly inflict as retribution for life’s crumminess (not to mention at the uneasy romantic tension that develops between the very married Frank and Libby, with her underfed emotional and sexual appetites). Gunn does not skimp on fully exploring either the righteousness of Frank and Libby’s rage or the unacceptable brutality that results from it; Libby’s comics-bred (over)enthusiasm might be able to override her less-than-fully-developed conscience, but Frank’s is too powerful not to impede his enjoyment of what they are up to, and he also seems burdened by the felt responsibility of being the older one, Libby’s role model and moral compass.
MV5BODNmODZmMTMtYTA0NS00ZDE1LThiZTQtMTQ4OWZhMTJlNTRjXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTIzOTk5ODM@._V1_A great deal of the credit for the film’s ability to move us belongs to its actors. When it comes to embodying Frank in all his poor, pathetic put-upon-ness. It would have been a tragic misfire to play such a character as a dismissable laughing stock, and Wilson fortunately avoids that entirely, making Frank a character whose feelings are very real and every bit as valid as any of ours would be. Page does the same for the misguided but charming Libby, with her fumbling but authentic sexuality and her game-for-anything attitude that is hard not to like even as it tips her right over the deep end. It grows into a real pleasure as the film goes on, seeing the actors match, scene for scene, the physical boldness necessary for all their maladroit running, jumping, and ass-kicking with the emotional courage required to sympathetically depict their characters’ social and romantic clumsiness. Tyler and Bacon shine in their smaller parts, too.thumbnail.24481.4Gunn has not only pulled off his risky idea with aplomb, but at the visual level alone, he and cinematographer Steve Gainer have used the red digital video camera with a great feel for the visuals it can provide and the way the images it can produce–distinct from film, but offering a full palette from which to work cinematically–are able to serve the film’s story and tone. They expertly create a world for Super that is not movie-“ordinary” but really ordinary, in the litter-on-the-streets, used-car, rundown-buildings kind of way; the walls of Frank’s workplace, Libby’s apartment, and the comic book shop appear to actually be sweating. (Gunn uses a lot of handheld camera to add to the inelegance of “real life,” and for once it is an actually suitable as opposed to merely cool choice, really contributing something important to the film’s feel.) That realism clashes with some of the more graphically poppy, self-conscious elements in the film such as comic-book titles appearing up now and then in the most unlikely circumstances and, of course, Frank’s and Libby’s brightly colored costumes standing out starkly against the drab environment), and the jarring shifts works quite well to complement, on the visual level.

REVIEW: R.I.P.D.

 

CAST

Jeff Bridges (Iron Man)
Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)
Kevin Bacon (Hollow Man)
Mary-Louise Parker (Red)
Stephanie Szostak (Iron Man 3)
James Hong (Blade Runner)
Robert Knepper (Cult)
Larry Joe Campbell (The Orville)
Mike Judge (King of The Hill)
Toby Huss (Rescue Dawn)
Mike O’Malley (My Name Is Earl)

Jeff Bridges in R.I.P.D. (2013)Considering that this film was a cinematic flop at the cinema. I was expecting it to be really bad. But having watched it myself, I have to say that it’s actually pretty good.  The film begins with a Boston cop named Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds) having a dispute with his best friend and partner, Bobby Hayes (Kevin Bacon), about turning in some gold pieces which they found at a recent drug bust.Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds in R.I.P.D. (2013)During an unexpected shoot out, Walker is shot and killed by his partner and is sucked up into the clouds and recruited by the R.I.P.D. (Rest In Peace Department). The R.I.P.D.s main function in the afterlife, is in catching souls who have refused to leave the land of the living, known as deado’s. Nick is partnered with an old, gruff, U.S marshal from the wild west, Roy Pulsipher (Jeff Bridges). Together, they are sent back to earth under the guise of an alter ego avatar (I.E Roy looks like a supermodel, while poor Nick resembles an old, Chinese man) to rid the living world of the deado’s and to foil their diabolical plans to take over the world. R.I.P.D is pretty much Men in Black but with zombies/ghosts instead of aliens. Sure it has a lot of scenes that we have all seen before, but it is also packed full of hilarious jokes and spectacular set pieces to keep the film from ever feeling stale. The effects range from absolutely brilliant to weird and cartoonish but for the kind of film this is, they do work very well, this is a comic style comedy after all.Kevin Bacon, Jeff Bridges, and Ryan Reynolds in R.I.P.D. (2013)Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds are a brilliantly funny team and Kevin Bacon is his usual sinister, yet supercool self. The supporting cast includes Mary Louise Parker as Roy’s boss and on/off love interest, James Hong and model Marisa Miller as Roy and Nick’s avatars and Devin Ratray as an overweight, ginger, Elvis lookalike, who works as one of the films main antagonists.Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds in R.I.P.D. (2013)R.I.P.D is in no way an instant classic and it’s unlikely to spawn any sequels due to it’s disastrous box office showing ($62M so far on a budget of $130M BEFORE marketing costs) but I found it to be an hour and a half of harmless, amusing and at times exciting fun. If you liked films such as Men in Black and Beetlejuice then you should be able to find something of value here.