Movie Review: What’s In A Name? (2012, Dir. Alexandre de La Patellière & Matthieu Delaporte)

What's In A Name? (2012, France) Movie Review

With Christmas fast approaching, many of us are dreading dinner with the family. Most of the time there will be huge smiles and small talk, and everyone will leave without having said anything that’s really on their minds. Sometimes we secretly wish for the cathartic release that would come with spouting everything that you want to say to that one cousin. You know the one.

The comedic French film What’s In A Name? takes this premise and runs with it. The film, at the surface, is about a simple dinner between family and friends. College professor Pierre (Charles Berling) and his teacher wife Élisabeth (Valérie Benguigui) play host to close family friend Claude (Guillaume de Tonquedec), a classic trombonist. Joining them is Élisabeth’s brother Vincent (Patrick Bruel), a brash real estate agent, as well as his wife Anna (Judith El Zein) who is expecting.

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Movie Review: Red Letter Media’s Feeding Frenzy (2010)

Red Letter Media's Feeding Frenzy Movie Review

Had Andy Kaufman had been a child of the late Eighties, it’s pretty safe to say Tony Clifton would’ve been a different beast altogether. A Borscht-belt insult comic made a lot of sense as a vehicle with which to vent against a lazy entertainment culture for a kid who grew up on Long Island in the Nineteen-Fifties. Sadly, whatever relevance that kind of figure once had is now relegated to distant nostalgia and shitty roast specials on Comedy Central.

Had Andy been a child of the late Seventies, perhaps he would have turned his wrath into a savage exploration of our culture largesse through satire of infomercials and lo-fi cable access shows, such as Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim have with their Awesome Show/Tom Goes To The Mayor/Check It Out! mini-empire on Adult Swim. Yet, had Andy Kaufman been born in the early-to-mid Eighties, just old enough to remember the world as it was pre-internet, but young enough to have spent since his early teens completely immersed in the world of the wide web, it is almost doubtless how his ire would have manifested…

…as a satire of the goddamned “wacky” micro-celebrity vlogger.

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Movie Review: A.C.O.D. (2013, Dir. Stu Zicherman)

A.C.O.D. Movie Review

A.C.O.D. is a comedy flourished with dark touches about Carter (Adam Scott) who, in order to rally family support for his younger brother’s wedding, tempts the delicate peace it has taken him a lifetime to forge between his divorced parents (Richard Jenkins & Catherine O’Hara), who have been living in complete enmity. The stress involved leads him to visit his childhood therapist (Jane Lynch), only to discover that she was not counseling him during his childhood, but researching him for a book about children of divorce – C.O.D.. Carter’s visit leads his therapist to launch a follow-up to her successful book entitling it Adult Children of Divorce.

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Movie Review: Bad Milo (2013, Dir. Jacob Vaughan)

Bad Milo 2013 Movie Review

“Ken Marino can’t act anything but stupid,” my buddy Andrew said to me as I was starting to wrap up our conversation to attend a screening of the new horror comedy Marino stars in, Bad Milo. We quickly went over his long list of television roles, realizing that he’s done surprisingly well since The State. Yet we weren’t sure how he would be as the leading man in a horror film. Now that I’ve seen it, I’m telling you: he’s perfect.

In fact, the only character who manages to overshadow him in this excellently funny new horror comedy is the title character, Milo. And Milo is a little monster that is living inside of Ken Marino’s guts.

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Movie Review: Crystal Fairy (2013, Dir. Sebastián Silva)

Crystal Fairy 2013 Review

Crystal Fairy is something of an enigma for me. Although the direction was perfect, it seemed to be conflicted about what it wanted to be.

I narrowed it down to one of two things: a character study of a true asshole, Jamie (Michael Cera) or, as phrased by someone coming out of my screening, “an awkward existential comedy-drama.” By awkward, I did not take him to mean negatively, just that the characters themselves are kind of awkward.

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Movie Review: The Way, Way Back (2013, Dir. Nat Faxon & Jim Rash)

The Way Way Back

In a summer filled with giant robots versus giant aliens, eccentric billionaires that fight crime, and monsters going to college, who would have thought the best summer film would have been an indie coming-of-age story about a kid going to work at a water park? Answer: not a lot. However, this critic (me, Greg!) believes that The Way, Way Back blows every other ‘summer movie’ out of the park, quality-wise, and in terms of sheer entertainment.

From IMDB: “14-year-old Duncan’s (Liam James) summer vacation with his mother (Toni Collette), her overbearing boyfriend (Steve Carell), and his daughter (Zoe Levin). Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen (Sam Rockwell in a role that should score him an Oscar nod), manager of the Water Wizz water park.” Well, that sums it up pretty well. Could not have phrased it better myself. Good work, IMDB! Making reviewing films easier since 1903.

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Movie Review: Monsters University (2013, Dir. Dan Scanlon)

Pixar's Monsters University, 2013

Pixar is an animation company that film junkies hold to a high standard. A standard higher than Studio Ghibli, higher than Disney, and much, much higher than Dreamworks animation. This is because of the beauty of Pixar’s works, the risks they have taken, and how they have captured film-watchers’ souls. The first forty minutes of Wall-E is silent. The first twenty minutes of Up follows a couple from the first time they met until one of them died of old age. Toy Story and its sequels forced adults to think about a child’s toys as real living things, to care for them, and to cry for them when forced to. Monsters University is not nearly as intricate or caring as Pixar’s greater works.

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Movie Review: This Is The End (2013, Dir. Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen)

This Is The End (2013, Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen)

Some of my readers (the tens of you out there,) know that I have been pretty harsh on writing in film lately. I referenced the poor writing in my reviews for Star Trek Into Darkness, Now You See Me, and The Host, among a few others. Why am I hard on that part of film in particular? I find it to be the second most important part to any film, behind directing. Screenwriting builds the basis behind everything: the sets, the characters, the story, etc. While directorial choices truly make the film, it does not eliminate the need for a solid script.

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I Hate Freddy Got Fingered.

Freddy Got Fingered

I normally don’t seek out bad films. I want to enjoy the company of great movies, I really do. But these films are like Mrs. Robinson from The Graduate, and I am Dustin Hoffman, seduced by the allure of bad cinema. It’s a curse, and sometimes this curse takes me to dark places. This curse, coupled with my morbid curiosity, has taken to me the darkest place imaginable, the 2001 film known as Freddy Got Fingered.

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