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Reviews for February 19th, 2016

Documentary Round-Up

      Crazy About Tiffany's definitely lives up to its title because it's filled with praise for Tiffany's, an iconic New York landmark on 5th Avenue. Director Matthew Miele provides you with some of the history of Tiffany's including how Charles Tiffany and John Young co-founded way back in 1837 and how it ended up with the Tiffany Blue color which can be found on its gift boxes and has remained trademarked and proprietary since its inception. Interviews with employees of Tiffany's along with celebs like Jessica Biel, Jennifer Tilly and many others do nothing but exalt Tiffany's even further. Shallow fashionistas won't mind the lack of depth and insight in Crazy About Tiffany's---Miele barely scratches Tiffany's surface, so-to-speak. To inform the audience that Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's was a high-end prostitute is mildly interesting and amusing, but not really that revelatory or significant in the long run. One would be tempted to ask, "Ok, but so what?" about that tidbit as well as the rest of this slight, slick and glossy doc. On a positive note, the doc is stylishly edited and moves along at a brisk enough pace. However, it ultimately suffers from excessive style and shallow interviews while lacking balance and compelling insight. Crazy About Tiffany's opens at Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center via Gravitas Ventures.


Directed by Jon Cassar


Number of times I checked my watch: 5
Released by Momemtum Pictures.
Opens at Cinema Village.

The Mermaid

Directed by Stephen Chow

      Liu Xuan (Deng Chao), a greedy businessman, uses deadly sonar signals to try to kill all of the marine life in the Green Gulf, a dolphin sanctuary that he had purchased. Brother Eight (Show Luo), who's half-octopus, sends Shanshan (Yun Lin), a mermaid, up to the surface to pretend to be human and meet Liu to kill him before his plan to wipe out the marine life acheives fruition. Meanwhile, Ruolan (Kitty Zhang), the daughter of a competitive real estate mogul, flirts with Liu in hopes of getting some of his money in the process.

      Writer/director Stephen Chow has done it again. After the hysterically funny Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle as well as the imaginative CJ7Journey to the West, he has created yet another wildly entertaining film that's inventive, outrageous and laugh-out-loud funny. Some of the humor is goofy, i.e. when policemen try to draw Shanshan as half-fish, half-human implausibly, and there's also plenty of wickedly funny sight gags, i.e. when Brother Eight's tentacles are mistaken for food to be cooked on a grill. Part of what makes The Mermaid so much fun, though, is that it's a no-hold-barred comedy with some elements of screwball. In other words, it has something for everyone while never taking itself too seriously. The CGI looks dazzling to boot. Prepare to be delighted, thrilled and consistently amused from start to finish. At a running time of 1 hour and 34 minutes, The Mermaid is an exhilarating blockbuster that delivers all the laughs and craziness you expect from the a Stephen Chow film.

Number of times I checked my watch: 1
Released by Magnum Films.
Opens at AMC Empire 25.


Directed by Stephen Hopkins


Number of times I checked my watch: 2
Released by Focus Features.
Opens nationwide.


Directed by Kevin Reynolds


Number of times I checked my watch: 3
Released by Columbia Pictures and AFFIRM Films.
Opens nationwide.

The Witch

Directed by Robert Eggers


Number of times I checked my watch: 3
Released by A24 Films.
Opens nationwide.
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