Saturday, November 6, 2010

“Movie stars - Boston Globe” plus 2 more

“Movie stars - Boston Globe” plus 2 more


Movie stars - Boston Globe

Posted: 05 Nov 2010 08:59 PM PDT

New releases

Due Date From Todd Phillips, the man who brought us "The Hangover,'' comes a rather pat, occasionally desperate road comedy with Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis. This is a comedy of misunderstanding. No one, including us, can quite put a finger on what's really happening. (95 min., R) (Wesley Morris)

Fair Game Director Doug Liman takes one of the more shameful sub-chapters in modern US politics — the Bush administration's outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) — and turns it into a strident, condescending Hollywood melodrama. (104 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)

For Colored Girls Tyler Perry is no stranger to kitchen-sink melodrama. But this version of Ntozake Shange's seminal 1975 play is the kitchen sink, the washing machine, the curling iron, the sofa, and the ironing board. It's astounding. It's terrible. It's astounding. Then terrible again. The giant cast includes Kimberly Elise, Janet Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, and Phylicia Rashad. (127 min., R) (Wesley Morris)

Four Lions Can a slapstick farce about bumbling terrorists be funny? In theory, but it had better be surer about its aims than this British comedy. Director Chris Morris wants to destroy radical fundamentalism with ridicule, but some good, rude belly laughs don't add up to the savage satire the subject needs. With Riz Ahmed and Nigel Lindsay. (97 min., R) (Ty Burr)

Gerrymandering Political redistricting would seem about as filmable a subject as creating crossword puzzles (an activity it resembles). Jeff Reichert's documentary handles it in a brisk, even perky fashion. Unfortunately, the film's perkiness extends to its thought processes, too. (77 min., unrated) (Mark Feeney)

Megamind How do you make a big entertainment about dissatisfaction? Hire Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, and Brad Pitt to do the voices, then ask them to enjoy themselves. The comical evil-genius title character (Ferrell) gets bored after vanquishing his noble archenemy (Pitt). The bliss of "Megamind'' is the way it pursues a solution for the tired problems of both superheroes and movies about them. (96 min., PG) (Wesley Morris)

Monsters Two Americans (Whitney Able and Scoot McNairy) cross alien-infected northern Mexico toward the US border. Writer-director Gareth Edwards's low-budget road-movie romance takes place against a background of extraterrestrial invasion. Muddled immigration metaphors aside, the movie's more fascinating for its ambitions than for what it accomplishes. (94 min., R) (Ty Burr)

Vision: From the Life of Hildegard Von Bingen The great German filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta ("The Lost Honor of Katherina Blum'') gives us a portrait of the medieval nun-mystic-composer as a complex feminist pioneer. It's mature moviemaking in the best sense. In German, with subtitles. (110 min., unrated) (Ty Burr)

An archive of movie reviews can be found at www.boston.com/movies. Theaters are subject to change.

© Copyright 2010 Globe Newspaper Company.

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MOVIE REVIEW: One might call ‘Due Date’ the consummate two-guy comedy - New Haven Register

Posted: 05 Nov 2010 10:10 PM PDT

"Due Date" aims the slow burn of Robert Downey Jr. at the addled idiocy of Zach Galifianakis in a "Hangover" director's version of "Planes, Trains and Automobiles."

And shockingly, it's funny. Often in shocking or at least wildly inappropriate ways.

The set-up — Peter, a harried businessman (Downey) dashes to the Atlanta airport so he can be home in time for his wife (Michelle Monaghan) to give birth. Her "Due Date" is Friday. But Peter runs afoul of Ethan (Galifianakis), a shambling bear of a boob, traveling with a pug dog named Sonny. From the instant Ethan's pal smashes into Peter's Town Car limo, the chubby guy is bad news.

"We haven't been drinking." Pause. "We split a six pack." Pause. "Of 40s."

Before Peter can say "Get me a restraining order," Ethan has had him shot by an Air Mashal ("Relax. It's just a rubber bullet.") kicked off the plane and put on the international "No Fly" list. Peter's wallet is in transit and he is trapped in a Subaru Impreza dawdling cross country with a chatty dope who smokes dope ("Glaucoma." Yeah, right.) and who is headed to Peter's home, L.A., because he thinks he can be an actor. On TV's "Two and a Half Men," no less.

The stupid stacks up with the stunning as this Odd Couple endure wrecks, border crossings, visits to pot dealers (Juliette Lewis steals her scene) and an irate war vet Western Union clerk (Danny McBride). Dealing with the man-child Ethan should convince the hot-tempered Peter he's not ready yet for fatherhood, and dealing with blunt, sarcastic and menacing Peter should convince Ethan he's not ready for Hollywood.

Not that we're going to have a lot of "growing" or "learning" here. The best either man can promise about his shortcomings is "I'm working on it."

This "Hangover Hits the Highway" benefits from what one can only assume is a lot of riffing by the cast — one-liners topping other one-liners. Bit players Lewis and Jamie Foxx pitch in. Downey unloads, "I despise who you are at a cellular level." And Galifianakis makes Ethan another poster man-child for Hipster Doofus.

He quotes Ice Cube — the rapper, not the family road trip movie actor he became — "You'd better check yourself before you wreck yourself."

Todd Phillips' film takes a couple of sentimental detours, and not every cameo pays off with big laughs. Upping the ante at every state line becomes a challenge that rivals explaining how Mike Tyson's tiger got into that hotel suite in "The Hangover." Continued...

"Due Date" aims the slow burn of Robert Downey Jr. at the addled idiocy of Zach Galifianakis in a "Hangover" director's version of "Planes, Trains and Automobiles."

And shockingly, it's funny. Often in shocking or at least wildly inappropriate ways.

The set-up — Peter, a harried businessman (Downey) dashes to the Atlanta airport so he can be home in time for his wife (Michelle Monaghan) to give birth. Her "Due Date" is Friday. But Peter runs afoul of Ethan (Galifianakis), a shambling bear of a boob, traveling with a pug dog named Sonny. From the instant Ethan's pal smashes into Peter's Town Car limo, the chubby guy is bad news.

"We haven't been drinking." Pause. "We split a six pack." Pause. "Of 40s."

Before Peter can say "Get me a restraining order," Ethan has had him shot by an Air Mashal ("Relax. It's just a rubber bullet.") kicked off the plane and put on the international "No Fly" list. Peter's wallet is in transit and he is trapped in a Subaru Impreza dawdling cross country with a chatty dope who smokes dope ("Glaucoma." Yeah, right.) and who is headed to Peter's home, L.A., because he thinks he can be an actor. On TV's "Two and a Half Men," no less.

The stupid stacks up with the stunning as this Odd Couple endure wrecks, border crossings, visits to pot dealers (Juliette Lewis steals her scene) and an irate war vet Western Union clerk (Danny McBride). Dealing with the man-child Ethan should convince the hot-tempered Peter he's not ready yet for fatherhood, and dealing with blunt, sarcastic and menacing Peter should convince Ethan he's not ready for Hollywood.

Not that we're going to have a lot of "growing" or "learning" here. The best either man can promise about his shortcomings is "I'm working on it."

This "Hangover Hits the Highway" benefits from what one can only assume is a lot of riffing by the cast — one-liners topping other one-liners. Bit players Lewis and Jamie Foxx pitch in. Downey unloads, "I despise who you are at a cellular level." And Galifianakis makes Ethan another poster man-child for Hipster Doofus.

He quotes Ice Cube — the rapper, not the family road trip movie actor he became — "You'd better check yourself before you wreck yourself."

Todd Phillips' film takes a couple of sentimental detours, and not every cameo pays off with big laughs. Upping the ante at every state line becomes a challenge that rivals explaining how Mike Tyson's tiger got into that hotel suite in "The Hangover."

But it's a streamlined movie, with just two very funny actors carrying the laugh load. Galfianakis is every bit as nasty and gross as he was in his breakthrough film with Phillips. And he's added a swishy side to his "Hangover" bag of tricks. His performance and Downey's reaction to him combine for a "Due Date" comedy lovers won't want to miss.

 

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New documentary on the Eliot Spitzer scandal 'Client 9' is a 10, says movie audience - New York Daily News

Posted: 06 Nov 2010 01:31 AM PDT

The new documentary on the Eliot Spitzer scandal opened in Manhattan Friday to sellout crowds.

"Client No. 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer," by Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney, follows the Love Gov from his days as attorney general to the present.

Upper East Side resident Hilda Classon saw the movie at Lincoln Plaza Cinema last night.

"I liked him," she said. "I didn't think he was Mr. Perfect, but why did he do something so sloppy and stupid?"

Producer Todd Wider of Manhattan said the film is about more than sex.

"We wanted to make the movie to show there's more to the story," he said.

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