Main Page
Alphabetical Menu
Chronological Menu

Reviews for May 13th, 2011

The Big Bang

Directed by Tony Krantz

Please check back soon for a full review.
Number of times I checked my watch: 5
Opens at the Village East Cinema.
Released by Anchor Bay Films.


Directed by Paul Feig

      Annie (Kristen Wiig), a single, unemployed young woman, agrees to become the maid of honor of her soon-to-be-married best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph). Four other bridesmaid join her, namely, Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey), Becca (Ellie Kemper), Helen (Rose Byrne) and Megan (Melissa McCarthy). Tensions arise between Annie and Helen as they compete with each other to be favored by Lillian more. Helen comes from an upper class lifestyle and seems well-behaved unlike Annie who’s lower class and prone to landing herself in embarrassing or just plain disastrous situations. The bridesmaids, together with Lillian, go about the traditional pre-wedding customs which include picking out dresses in an expensive boutique, but what transpires to them throughout is far from expected. In a subplot, she befriends a cop, Rhodes (Chris O'Dowd), who wants to become romantically involved with her.

      Co-screenwriters Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo inject plenty of lowbrow humor that range from sight gags to dirty language that, sadly, results in more shock value and disgust instead of laughter. A truly funny sex comedy, like There’s Something About Mary, doesn’t rely heavily on toilet humor or stretch a barely funny sight gag for too long. One such scene that could have been edited down or cut entirely is when Annie, Lillian and the bridesmaids, except for Helen, suffer from food poisoning after eating at a Brazilian restaurant, and end up defecating and vomiting in an expensive boutique for what feels like hours. Yes, you’ll even get to see the actual poop and vomit for yourself in case you forgot to laugh. Each of the actresses gets a chance to shine here, and make the most out of the infantile humor, but their characters are written as more annoying and over-the-top rather than believable and likable. It should be no surprise then that when Bridesmaids veers toward its dramatic and romantic moments in an attempt to balance its crassness with sweetness, it falls flat and feels sophomoric at best. Superbad suffered from similar ailments, so if you were somehow able to laugh at that equally disgusting and lazy comedy, you might find yourself in stitches while watching this one. At an excessive running time of 2 hours and 5 minute, Bridesmaids is cringe-inducing, uneven, juvenile, overlong and painfully unfunny. It’s a witless blend of crudeness, rudeness and lewdness which sets a new low for American comedy.

Number of times I checked my watch: 4
Opens nationwide.
Released by Universal Pictures.

Everything Must Go

Directed by Dan Rush

Please check back soon for a full review.
Number of times I checked my watch: 3
Opens in select cities.
Released by Roadside Attractions.

The First Grader

Directed by Justin Chadwick

Please check back soon for a full review.
Number of times I checked my watch: 2
Opens the Angelika Film Center, and moves to the Village East Cinema on May 20th.
Released by National Geographic Entertainment.


Directed by Spencer Susser

Please check back soon for a full review.
Number of times I checked my watch: 1
Opens the Angelika Film Center.
Released by Wreckin Hill Entertainment.

Hey, Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill a Mockingbird

Directed by Mary Murphy

      There are basically two kinds of documentaries: the kind that offer tons of revealing insights through investigations, and the kind that mostly bathe in the brilliance and importance of its subject matter while providing a few provocative insights along the way. Director Mary Murphy chooses the latter form of documentary as she interviews experts and celebrities who have always cherished Harper Lee’s classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. The information provided may not be ground breaking or tread new waters, but at least it’s easily palatable for younger audiences without boring or confusing them.

      What makes the novel such a classic that has stood the test of time? What makes it as important today as it was back in the 1960’s? Those are just a few of the questions that Murphy poses to the interviewees, and, if you’re a fan of the novel, the answer will definitely cause you to nod your head in agreement. The novel had brought the issue of racism to the public’s attention even before the Civil Right Movement had officially begun. As one interviewee wisely states, racism still exists today (if you want proof of that, please see Neshoba: The Price of Freedom). Unfortunately, an interview with Harper Lee wouldn’t be possible because she has refused interviews for the past 45 years, so Murphy makes the most out of the archival footage and photos Lee, as well as modern-day interviews with her 99-year-old sister, Alice. The analysis of clips from the 1962 film version of To Kill a Mockingbird as well as an interview with actress Mary Badham who played Scout, provide a little more insight although there’s nothing shocking to be heard. It’s interesting to hear about the friendship between Lee and Truman Capote, her friend/next-door neighbor, and how it evolved once Lee won the Pulitzer Prize. At running time of only 1 hour and 22 minutes, Hey, Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill a Mockingbird is well-edited and captivating with easily digestible information albeit sans surprising revelations.

Number of times I checked my watch: 0
Opens at the Quad Cinema.
Released by First Run Feature.

L'Amour Fou

Directed by Pierre Thoretton

      This bland documentary focuses on legendary fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his lover, Pierre Bergé, whom he met back in 1957. They remained lovers up until Laurent's death in 2008. In a fleetingly revealing moment, Bergé recalls how Laurent had battled drug and alcohol addiction in the 1980's, and suffered from depression. A truly great documentary ought to be find the right balance between being moving, entertaining and informative, but, unfortunately, L'Amour Fou fails on those terms. Director Pierre Thoretton doesn't shed enough light on the romance between Laurent and Bergé nor does he explore why Laurent struggled with depression, so that leaves the film with too many unanswered questions and missed opportunities.

      Those who are previously unfamiliar with Yves Saint Laurent or Pierre Bergé won't become new fans of theirs or feel like reading about them because this film makes them seem mostly uninteresting even though they're far from it in reality.

Number of times I checked my watch: 3
Opens at the IFC Center and the Paris Theatre.
Released by IFC Films.

A Serbian Film

Directed by Srdjan Spasojevic

Please check back soon for a full review.
Number of times I checked my watch: 0
Opens at the Cinema Village.
Released by Invincible Pictures.

The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls

Directed by Leanne Pooley

Please check back soon for a full review.
Number of times I checked my watch: 1
Opens at the Cinema Village.
Released by Argot Pictures.

Main Page
Alphabetical Menu
Chronological Menu

Avi Offer
The NYC Movie Guru
Privacy Policy