2013 IN REVIEW: The Films I Didn’t See (January – April)
With a few exceptions, this is the time of year when studios tend to dump lesser films and films not expected to do well during the blockbuster and Oscar seasons — stuff like low budget horror films, foreign imports, romcoms cashing in on Valentine’s Day, and films held off because the studios would rather market them at a time when nothing else is really out, and they might be able to get a few bucks out of those who crave a blockbuster but don’t want to wait a few months. Naturally, being the thrifty, frugal person I am, there were quite a few films I didn’t see during this time period, though with the summer blockbuster season creeping earlier and earlier into the year, such as with the high profile March release of Oz the Great and Powerful and the April release of Iron Man 3, it certainly seems like studios are catching on to the idea that, hey, there’s room to spread them all out. One can only hope that if that trend continues, filmmakers would be more likely to try harder and make films that standout in quality for your dollar… but that’s probably unrealistic.
Anyway, here are the films that, as of this writing, I did not see from January – April 2013, in order of release, as noted on Wikipedia. Please note that, as in the past, I still reserve the right to watch any film that is listed here and then re-remark on the film in one of the upcoming articles on films I did see from 2013. So, yes, you might see some of these films again, and soon…
The Best Offer (La migliore offerta)
To be perfectly honest, I had completely forgotten this movie existed (like I’m certain I have for many films on this portion of my 2013 in Review), and I had to look up the trailer to even remember whether I had heard of it or not. Frankly, this opulent-looking thriller about art auctions and romance looks a bit dull, despite the presence of Geoffrey Rush and Donald Sutherland. I recall thinking the same when I first saw glimpses of it all the way back in 2012, and I still feel the same way looking at it in 2014.
Oh my. I’d never heard of this movie before, honestly, but I just looked up the trailer, and… what the heck is going on with this movie? Perhaps it’s the editing of the trailer or the camera angle or some combination of those with the actor just not caring or something, but did Andy Garcia somehow forget how to hold a gun? And if I never have to hear yet another government official in a political action thriller say that someone will “crucify” them if it’s not fixed, then it’ll be too soon.
Table No. 21
“If you lie, you die!” One of the few lines I was able to understand from the otherwise Hindi trailer of this Indian thriller (thrillers and horror films make up a large portion of films this time of year) suggests that this film about a couple entering a live game show on their fortuitous free trip to Fiji involves stakes that were way more dire than they bargained for. Something tells me that lives – their lives – are at stake.
Texas Chainsaw 3D
This came out last year? Good grief, I thought, at least, that the remake/reboot horror movie trend had stopped some time ago, but apparently I was wrong, just as we were wrong in thinking that the genre movie spoof genre would end, too – except we got not only Scary Movie 5, but also its Return of the Living Dead-like contemporary, A Haunted House (see below).
The Grandmaster (一代宗師)
There certainly are a lot of biographical films based on Ip Man now, likely due to the success of the Donnie Yen vehicle (and the only one based on the martial arts master’s life that I’ve seen, apart from its own sequel). Whereas the Donnie Yen one seemed to be far more like an action film based on a true story, The Grandmaster looks a lot more like a wuxia epic drama, though both appear to be quite heavily stylized. It got good reviews, and I liked both of the Donnie Yen films, so I’d gladly see another take on the life of the legendary martial arts master.
Marlon Wayans returns to the horror movie spoofs with this found footage satire. Apparently it did well enough to inspire a sequel, which is due out on March 28, so, yeah, it’s totally turning into a Return of the Living Dead situation with this and the Scary Movie series.
Held off from a late summer 2012 release after the tragic Aurora, Colorado shooting that July, this gangster film starring an mass of A-lister, cross-generational talents like Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Emma Stone, and Nick Nolte actually looked somewhat interesting in a sort of throwback way. In spite of the opportunity to do some polishing after reshoots of its untimely, theatre-set finale were commissioned in the wake of the tragedy, however, its move to an early year release proved quite appropriate, with the film being a critical disappointment, much like most films released during this time of year. Excess violence was the least of its worries, however, as sloppy storytelling and characterization were the primary points of contention. Needless to say, I never got around to what sounded like a pretty bloated film covering a subject I really don’t have that much of an interest in.
Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola
Wikipedia currently describes this as a “Bollywood political satire,” which possibly means that a lot of the humor may go over American audiences’ heads. A look at the trailer suggests romance and a lot of silliness and, of course, musical/dancing sequences. Also, a pink laughing cow. The summary tells me that the main character is a selfish businessman when sober, but a man of the people when drunk, and so he attempts to stay sober, which leads to withdrawals that, in turn, lead to hallucinations. (I guess that explains the cows. And possibly the dancing?) Naturally, this leads to some political manipulation schemes. It sounds interesting, I guess, but I think the primary thing that caught my attention in the trailer was that, apparently, even Fox’s overseas studios use the traditional Fox fanfare.
Another Indian film, this one filmed entirely in the Telugu language, you can actually watch this officially and for free on YouTube, if you so wish (and don’t mind the Aditya Video watermarks). It’s fairly long at 2:39:21, and there aren’t any subtitles there for non-native speakers, but the family drama film (which translates as “The Jasmine vine in Seethamma’s Courtyard”) was a critical darling in India and did very well at the box office.
Struck by Lightning
First released in 2012 via video on demand, it then expanded into theatrical release the following January, where it was apparently quickly forgotten, if its sub-$23,000 box office take is anything to go by. I remember seeing the trailer for this somewhere at some point, and it seems like critics generally felt the same way I did from even that small snippet of footage: Glee star Chris Colfer just comes off as smug and unlikeable.
As you can no doubt already tell, going over the films I didn’t watch in the past year is often like going through an old yearbook and recognizing someone you forgot existed after all these years. That’s how I feel about Broken City – “Oh yeah, that guy! Yeah, I remember seeing him around. Wonder what happened to him.” Apparently, not much. Does anyone remember this coming out? Apparently Richard Roeper was entertained, offering the backhanded compliment, “It’s pretty trashy and sometimes stupid. But there was never a moment when I wasn’t entertained on one level or another.”
Given a wider release almost a full year after its Sundance 2012 debut, LUV (short for “Learning Uncle Vincent”) stars rapper-turned-actor Common as the just-released-from-prison uncle of a young boy, Woody, who tries to turn his life around and teach his nephew about what true manhood is. Uncle Vincent’s past comes back to haunt him, however, with Woody eventually getting a firsthand education in what not to do. Performances were praised, but the film is apparently just a Very Special Episode in movie form.
I adore the plot synopsis and reception summary on Wikipedia for this Stephen Dorff flick: “The story revolves around a corrupt police officer (Dorff) and his road to redemption. […] The film received negative reviews.” But, hey, look! James Woods is in it! And so is… Soulja Boy?!
Huh. What an odd cast. Rob Lowe, Carrie-Anne Moss, Julie Bowen, Eric McCormack, Jennifer Morrison, Shirley Manson… Anyway, never heard of this movie, but I’m sure it was just awful.
Something tells me that this Jason Statham movie co-starring Jennifer Lopez and Michael Chiklis isn’t about Statham taking a career as a valet. Someone make that movie. That would be hilarious!
Before I watched the trailer, I was honestly expecting Bollywood Fast and the Furious. It actually kind of reminded me more of the Charlie’s Angels movie, only with men in the starring roles. Looks fun, I guess.
This film from Bangladesh tells the story about a village in which all images are banned by the village leader, who believes that they tempt the mind into sinful places. The people he governs over do not agree, however, which leads to some existential examination on all fronts. Given the right execution, it’s not exactly a horrible idea for a story!
Bullet to the Head
Sylvester Stallone as a loose cannon going on a quest for revenge after his partner is killed. Also, his daughter gets involved. Also, classic rock and nerdy younger sidekick. Wait… wasn’t this already a Bruce Willis film? I mean, apart from the partner thing. Better not tell Stallone that, however, given how he jettisoned Willis from The Expendables 3.
Dave Grohl makes his directing debut with this documentary on the history of Sound City Studios, which shut down in 2011 after hosting decades of musical talents across a number of genres. If the documentary’s 100% Tomatometer rating is anything to go by, Grohl’s obviously passionate about his topic, resulting in an engaging educational film. Perhaps a worthwhile rental.
Stand Up Guys
Al Pacino? Christopher Walken? Alan Arkin? What could go wrong? Apparently quite a bit. I considered watching it on Netflix, as it was recently made available for streaming, but while the concept behind the film certainly has potential (three friends and mobsters are reunited after one of them is released from prison, but one of them has been ordered to kill the newly released jailbird), the execution was apparently just not there, so I never got around to renting the disc, and it’s really just too late to squeeze in the streaming version.
The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia
It’s not just the horror parodies that get shoved into the early year doldrums – it’s often the legitimate attempts at making a scary movie that get shoveled unceremoniously into theatres this time of year, too. Many of them sequels. Like this one. Most of them I don’t see. Also like this one.
A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III
Roman Coppola’s Charlie Sheen-starring film looks absolutely bizarre, which might be reason enough to see it. It didn’t get the best of receptions, but it literally looks like one of those films that wasn’t even trying from the beginning. I mean… it stars Charlie Sheen, Bill Murray, and Jason Schwartzman in a film that looks to combine tacky western with gangster action and… 70’s wardrobe and… I really don’t know. I think the only reason why I didn’t see this was because it gradually just went off my radar. Something tells me this might be 2013’s Casa De Mi Padre, which I thought most critics just didn’t fully appreciate the absurdity of.
…to … forget about? Honestly, though, it kind of looks okay. Something to watch when bored on a weekend and you realize, “Hey, I’m in the mood for an average British romcom.” And… that’s really all I have to say about it.
This and The Heat were going to be the proof that Melissa McCarthy’s undoubted talents were going to be squandered after the success of Bridesmaids. Luckily, I was proven wrong on one of those, which turned out to be quite unexpectedly enjoyable. This wasn’t that film, though I considered renting it a few times and ultimately decided I didn’t want to waste my Redbox free rental codes.
Ever since 21 Jump Street managed to be actually very, very funny, I’ve done a complete 180 on Channing Tatum’s prominence in Hollywood. Still, I wrote this film off without really ever taking a closer look at it. I mean, it’s a thriller… released in February. Starring an all-star cast led by an actor a café barista once described to me as being “yummy” in our brief chat about what movie I had just rented (White House Down, for the record) while waiting for her to serve me my drink. I honestly didn’t realize that this was directed by Steven Soderbergh, however, and assumed that the referenced “creators of Contagion” mentioned in the trailer were, like, the producers or something. Woops. The film received strong positive reviews, and it’s on Netflix streaming, so… guess what’s going in my queue!
A true life thriller about a series of heists committed against businessmen and politicians in the 80s, this Indian film, like all the Indian films so far on this list, received mostly positive reviews in its home country, but I’d be lying if I said that I’d be too interested if this showed up for streaming somewhere in the services I subscribe to – not because it’s a foreign film, but because I’m not all that enthralled with heist stories.
Top Gun 3D
Sure, it sounds like a good idea to convert one of the biggest blockbusters of all time to 3D, but then you remember that this movie is also filled with a lot more than just dogfights and cool jets, and you kind of realize how kind of pointless it is to go spend theatre money on something like this as opposed to, say, Jurassic Park. Does anyone really need to see Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis pretend to like the whole straight sex thing in 3D to a Berlin soundtrack? (Ha!)
Prolific comedian/martial artist Stephen Chow takes the Chinese classic Journey to the West and adds his comedic touches to the oft-adapted legend, resulting in a film that was very well received and has gone on to set records at the box office. It hasn’t yet been released theatrically in the US, but fans of Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle take notice – it’s coming!
Yet another young adult novel adaptation attempting to cash in on Twilight – this time swapping the sex of the human and monster leads – I was likely never going to see this unless it somehow became a cultural phenomenon. Thankfully, it didn’t, and though I don’t necessarily wish any ill will upon the filmmakers, I’m kind of relieved that Beautiful Creatures is one of many films that became a critical and box office disappointment and will hopefully help show Hollywood execs that mimicry is not always the best means to a quick buck.
The third in a series of horror films, for some reason, I thought I covered this or the film’s predecessor in a previous list of films I didn’t watch, but … I guess not? The trailer just looked so familiar. Anyway… yawn.
Another year, another Nicholas Sparks novel adaptation, this one featuring a romance between two individuals with a 16-year-gap between their ages, Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel. Romantic gestures are exchanged, I bet, and I’m certain that murder accusation she’s escaping comes into play at a pivotal moment that would just ruin her hopes of ever finding true love, or something, but if you doubt that Duhamel will be the big hero who emotionally and literally rescues her from her torment in some way, you’d be mistaken, I’m sure. I won’t read the synopsis, however, as I’m sure I’ll be exposed to this at some point in my life. Might as well pretend like there’s some suspense to be had, yeah?
Bless Me, Ultima
No, this has nothing to do with the video game, Ultima. Apparently the novel this film is based on is often assigned to students to read from middle school onward, so now I’m ashamed to say that I had no prior knowledge of its existence prior. The trailer looks a bit melodramatic, but that could just be bad editing on the trailer creators’ part. The film centers on a boy named Antonio as he grows up under the care of an elderly woman named Ultima, who serves as his curandera (“healer”). Due to its adult language and subject matter, the 1972 book has found its way onto a list of frequently banned books, which may explain why I had never heard of it, but it’s widely admired, and Walmart heiress Christy Walton apparently loved the book enough to set up the production company behind the film adaptation solely to get the film made. Obviously, this was a labor of love, and the film has received decent reviews as a result.
Kai Po Che!
Three friends best friends at the top of their game set up a business to cash in on the popularity of cricket by setting up a training academy, but, wouldn’t you know it, trouble arises (apparently of the kind that involves guns) and their dreams and friendships are put to the test. It looks a bit bland, but apparently the novel it was based on, The 3 Mistakes of My Life was apparently not very well received, either, so…
Dwayne Johnson really is stepping into the mold of Schwarzenegger and Stallone before him by starring in one of multiple wham-bam action films released throughout the year meant to get butts into the seats and money into the studio wallets. This one involves “The Rock” attempting to save his son from being sent to prison for a drug-related crime he did not commit by becoming an undercover informant for a US Attorney with aspirations to earn a place in Congress and who agrees to get his son’s sentence reduced should he provide results. Yeah, that sounds about right for your average early year action release, complete with the token A-list serious actor in the form of Susan Sarandon as the attorney.
I, Me Aur Main
Bollywood proves that very standard-looking romcoms are not reserved for Western studios.
Man, I honestly thought this was actually released in 2012 – you know, like it was originally meant to. The film was originally a 2012 summer flick that was pushed back to ensure that the effects team had enough time to complete and perfect the special effects (which don’t exactly look all that pretty still, if the trailers are anything to judge it by) and convert the film to 3D. Those fearing that the film flopping at the box office and with critics means that Bryan Singer will botch X-Men: Days of Future Past should probably also realize that he was basically brought in to fix a film that was already in development – in other words, don’t worry about his return to the X-Men films, as this could very well end up a situation like Joe Johnston’s wonderful take on Captain America, despite the flop that was his previous film, The Wolfman.
This Cold War-era submarine thriller “inspired by true events” looks hokey as hell and looks far more like a crummy TV movie with a big budget than a legitimate theatrical release with big stars. Don’t these actors deserve better?
This honestly did not look like it was going to be all that great, with its young female lead falling in love with her potentially sinister uncle after he comes to live with her and her mother after the death of her father. The film was the English-language debut for Oldboy director Chan Wook Park, and while it isn’t his most critically acclaimed film, it still garnered decent enough reviews to make me take notice – unlike Spike Lee’s own take on Oldboy, which released later in 2013.
The Attacks of 26/11
A “docudrama” about the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, I honestly can’t tell from the trailer whether this movie would be any good. The film registers only two officially counted reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, both very negative, and the film does look to be a little heavy-handed with the violence and stylish camerawork, but some all critics seemed to appreciate what director Ram Gopal Varma was trying to accomplish.
The Last Exorcism Part II
How very clever of them to use “Part II” instead of just calling it “II,” as that would obviously create a contradictory title, and we couldn’t have that, now, could we? The film ditches the found footage style for your more traditional narrative. In other words, it basically gave up the first film’s defining characteristic to become yet another extraneous horror sequel to a more successful predecessor.
As with Stoker, Dead Man Down marks the English-language debut for a foreign director – Niels Arden Oplev, the director of the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, directs Noomi Rapace once again alongside Colin Farrell and Terence Howard in a film about a woman who blackmails her neighbor, whom she films killing someone in the apartment across from her, into going on a mission to kill the man who disfigured her. It’s an intriguing premise, and the trailer, complete with Kendra Morris’ cover of Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” makes the film look pretty brilliant – in contrast to the actual mess that critics stated it to be. Oh well.
Tommy Lee Jones and Matthew Fox lead this Japanese/American coproduction about the post-WWII investigation into whether Emperor Hirohito should be tried as a war criminal. That’s a very good premise for a film, but the film sounds like it has some very contrived dialogue, and the special effects used to make the film look of the era it’s set look reminiscent of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – which is not a good thing.
I’m So Excited! (Los amantes pasajeros)
I actually remember seeing the trailer for this somewhere for this Spanish film set almost entirely aboard a wacky airliner with apparently the most flamboyant all-male flight attendant staff. American audiences would recognize a few familiar faces in Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz, and Paz Vega, but I’m not so certain that familiarity with some cameo appearances would necessarily save a movie that doesn’t look all that hilarious. … I just can’t remember where I saw the English-subtitled trailer, though. That kind of bugs me…
This Australian musical about a mother who inadvertently becomes an internet sensation through the webcam her husband sets up for her actually looks pretty amusing. I would very likely end up putting this on my Netflix queue if I saw it.
I almost rented this Halle Berry thriller out of boredom several months ago when I had a free Redbox code. Sanity won out.
Welcome to the Punch
James McAvoy and Mark Strong are very good actors, and this Ridley Scott-produced cop thriller certainly looks slick, but, you know, it’s yet another slick cop action thriller.
Like Movie 43, this is a comedy sketch anthology (built on the premise of the shorts being presented by a tablet app), only with less desirable actors, including Rob Schneider and Lindsay Lohan. What the hell Adrian Brody is doing here, I can’t really say, but perhaps he saw what his fellow A-list colleagues were doing in the Farrelly Brothers’ film and was feeling a little left out? Dude, you didn’t miss out! Now look what you did!
Love and Honor
I had to thin of whether this as actually a Nicholas Sparks movie or if it was just trying to ape one. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter. This Liam Hemsworth-starring, Vietnam-era romance flick about a soldier falling in love with a hippie girl actually manages to make the tumultuous 60s look uncharacteristically dull.
I love Danny Boyle’s previous movies, but somehow this managed to escape my attention. It looks pretty exciting though, so while it wasn’t a smash hit with critics, I’m going to reserve judgment until I actually watch it.
Apparently a remake of an “80s Bollywood cult classic,” this action comedy film bombed critically. One thing I can say about what I saw of it, however: I’ve never seen someone dual wield bells on chains as weapons.
Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor
Last year I did my own tempting… of fate… and I ended up making myself see A Madea Christmas in theatres. I’m not going to do any such thing here. … Except point out that this is a Tyler Perry film in which he cast Kim Kardashian. Good Lord…
It’s Twilight with aliens, right? It’s been available for streaming for a while on Netflix, but I haven’t gotten around to it. Frankly, while it would likely end up on my list of worst films, I really don’t care to spend the time on it at this point to find out if it’s a viable candidate.
The Place Beyond the Pines
I had meant to watch this several times, but I kept only finding DVD copies in Redbox, and the snob in me kept saying, “It looked pretty, so you should only settle for Blu-Ray.” … And then it disappeared from the kiosks, and I never got around to watching it. Woops!
This film about a man on a existential quest to locate his missing dog looks absolutely nuts. And it got decent reviews. And I kind of want to see it now that I’m reminded that it exists. Oooo! It’s on Netflix.
Being the first film in the series to be released theatrically since 1996, it quite expectedly rocked the box office in Japan, though a stateside release has not yet been set, with Fox apparently holding off, despite the fairly sizeable American audience the series has. I never really cared much for the series, despite having a childhood friend who would frequently turn our sleepovers into Dragon Ball Z marathons. I don’t expect to ever watch this film, even if it does release in the States – though I once said I’d never do a review of an anime series, too, and look how that turned out.
Another Telugu-language film, this one reportedly breaking the record for the most expensive Telugu-language production. You can actually watch the film in its entirety on YouTube (at least for the time being), complete with English subtitles (and Volga Video watermark), so if you do wish to see this action flick, there you go. It was apparently well received.
A quasi-remake/reboot/sequel/spinoff of the cult Sam Raimi franchise, this gained a reputation for being one of the goriest films of the year. I considered renting it, even reviewing it for Halloween, but I can be a bit squeamish when it comes to certain things like torture, and I never really got around to it.
I think you can basically safely assume that I did not see any Indian films this year.
The Brass Teapot
A young and impoverished couple comes upon a magical teapot that dispenses money whenever they hurt themselves. Based on a comic book by screenwriter Tim Macy, the concept sounds fairly amusing, though it didn’t exactly win over critics. It looks likeable enough, though, despite this, and so I wouldn’t exactly put it past being placed in a weekend streaming binge.
Fists of Legend (전설의 주먹)
Three former friends and end up in the same amateur mixed martial arts tournament years after they landed in jail and parted ways, each with their own agenda for winning the $200,000 prize. Rather than taking the road most often traveled by sports films like Warrior, Fists of Legend does look to mix in a good amount of humor into the drama, as well. It was well received, and certainly looks exciting, so keep an eye out for it if you’re into this kind of film.
A thriller/drama that addresses the world’s obsession with technology and the dangers of our interconnectedness – identity theft, bullying, gambling, cheating, exploitation. It sounds a bit loaded, but it was surprisingly well reviewed, so, you know, why not?
It’s a Disaster
The domestic dramas of a group of couples attempting to ignore their issues by having brunch together are exacerbated by the detonation of a dirty bomb that forces them to stay within the confines of the house. A sold cast and witty writing resulted in the film getting solid reviews, which means this is yet another film I am happy to discover is available for Netflix streaming.
Scary Movie V
Haha! Oh, they have Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan in this one? Dude, that’s messed up!
I’m sure Mickey Rourke chews up all sorts of delicious scenery in this terrorist-centered action flick, but all this schlocky-looking movie makes me crave is a good cup of coffee, right now…
A big league baseball star who is out of control goes back to his hometown after being suspended for a DUI. There, he is made the head coach of a local little league team, where he rediscovers his love of the game and a love for God (set to the music of Third Day). Once again, Christian filmmaking that settles on a cornball tone and predictable plot in the name of sermonizing.
The Lords of Salem
Rob Zombie isn’t the type of filmmaker I’m drawn to, though his films certainly have that unapologetic look of a high-priced B-movie that I can understand attracts a certain audience. Again, I’m not one of them.
At Any Price
Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron star in this film about a father trying to save his struggling family business while dealing with a racecar driver son who wants nothing to do with it. An unexpected crisis brings the two together, however, and the two are forced to confront each other about their differences, presumably also growing closer despite the problems. The film received mixed reviews, but at 51%, the odds of it entertaining you are at least in your favor.
I like the two leads, Colin Firth and Emily Blunt. Despite the solid cast, this film, about a depressed golfer/father and an alcoholic woman with a failing marriage who go on a roadtrip to escape it all using false identities, failed critically, with most citing its bland storytelling and characters as the prime reason for the movie’s failures.
Pain & Gain
I somehow missed that Michael Bay directed this movie. Good for him, getting out of the doldrums of the Transformers franchise before the next entry comes out. Based on a true story, it looks like a return to the Bad Boys formula for the director, with Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson playing a couple of personal trainers who wind up participating in a criminal organization. It doesn’t look awful, but it doesn’t look exceptional, either.
So Young (致我们终将逝去的青春)
The first Chinese film directed by a woman, triple threat Vicki Zhao Wei, to surpass 100 million yuan at the Chinese box office, this drama covers the life of Zheng Wei as she moves into college life and on into young adulthood and comes to realize how fleeting youth is. Despite being pop star and actress Zhao Wei’s directorial debut, the film has received positive reviews from both Chinese and English-language critics, which is all the more impressive when you consider the typical work put out by most Western pop stars, and the film earned her “Best New Director” at the Shanghai Film Critics Awards. Not too shabby!
More like “The Big Mess,” amiright? Serioulsy, out of exactly 100 reviews, only 7 liked this Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton-led ensemble film about the awkward broken-family reunion that accompanies a young couple’s wedding. It also throws in Robin Williams for good measure, in case the concept wasn’t wacky enough for you. Seriously, why is it that every year brings with it yet another one of these high-concept, rich-people-hate-each-other melodramedies? And why is it that Diane Keaton can’t seem to stay away from these pieces of crap?
The Look of Love
Steve Coogan plays Paul Raymond, once one of Britain’s richest men who, in part, made his riches by selling sex through his clubs and porno mags. The biopic spans several decades and examines the personal relationships that filtered in and out of Raymond’s revolving door life, particularly in his relationship with his daughter. It was a life that got him lots of money, but apparently very little else. The film received mixed reviews, but not without some faint praises, either. Not likely to be my cup of tea, but perhaps those more familiar with the subject matter may find more to be enthralled with.