Friday, May 31, 2013

Time wasters!

Friends with Kids (2011) – BOMBHorrible “romantic comedy” about two platonic best friends
(Adam Scott, Jennifer Westfeldt) who decide to have a baby while still pursuing other sex partners. Unamusing complications ensue for unlikable characters. Writer/Director Westfeldt has so much Botox in her upper lip she sounds like Elmer Fudd.

Hope Springs (2012) - ** ½. Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones go to a marriage counselor (a one-note Steve Carell). Another  potentially provocative film plays it Hollywood - safe. Jean Smart, Elizabeth Shue, & Mimi Rogers have co-star billing but have about five lines between them.

Shutter Island (2010) - ** ½. Scorsese and DiCaprio  go  pulp with middling results. Watchable as always  but outlandish plot twists (and plot holes) and a very contrived conclusion do it in.

Europa ’51 (1952) - ** 1/2 . Murky,  slowly paced Roberto Rossellini/ Ingrid Bergman film about a rich woman who is compelled to help lower-class people after the suicide of her son.

Washington Merry Go Round (1932) - ***. Overlooked depression comedy-drama stars Lee Tracy as a newly elected senator who vows to clean up congress. One of lovely Constance Cummings’  best Hollywood roles. Clarence Muse brings a quiet dignity to his role as Tracy’s valet/confidant.

The Heart of New York (1932) - ** ½. Comedy team Smith & Dale (supposedly the inspiration for Neil Simon’s Sunshine Boys) in one of their few starring features,  which is basically a filmed Yiddish stage play. Witty word-play disbursed throughout the expected histrionics.

Looper (2012) - * 1/2. Initial interest wears thin for  this overlong self-important sci-fi mess. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a time traveling assassin who eventually has to kill his future self (Bruce Willis). Gordon-Levitt wears distracting make-up (apparently to make him resemble Willis) in a film that just doesn’t make any sense. Stay away.