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  • Scoop

    Scoop 2006

    ★★½ Watched 13 Jan, 2014

    Pondering if this film needed a different director or the same director years earlier. Someone who could sustain what was working, not let the energy flag, figure out the characters, not miscast Scarlett Johansson, etc. I think it needed Billy Wilder? What I liked: so much of its scenery has a dinky, artificial quality that feels like theater. The second scene, set on a boat in purgatory led by Death, makes no attempt to disguise that it was shot on…

  • Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

    Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa 2013

    ★★½ Watched 14 Nov, 2013

    I’m a fan of the Jackass films, but they have a tendency to coast between highs, which is why I’ve only given three stars to both of the ones I’ve logged on this site. Unfortunately, Bad Grandpa falls short of even that standard. Only a small percentage of Jackass has been about seeing how real people react to the stunts, so despite narrowing the focus onto one of the show’s few characters (the only other one I can think of…

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  • This Is 40

    This Is 40 2012

    ★★★ Watched 26 Dec, 2012

    Guess I take what seems to be the party line here. Sort of an inverse Funny People: dramatic material really strong, comedic material a bit too slight. It clearly wants a balance between drama and good comedy, and while it works tonally, and is funny, it just doesn't have the belly laughs of Apatow's previous work, and its absence is accidental, or at least misguided. Funny People didn't have many outrageous setpieces, but it was still hilarious. Here something's missing.…

  • Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains

    Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains 1982

    ★★½ Watched 26 May, 2013

    Mostly an unexceptional bit of rock & roll-style rise-and-fall, but flashes of something more. Love the celebration of a movement that gleefully excludes the white male perspective, whose signature is scandalous attire and the slogan "We don't put out," and exchanges like this:
    "I'm everything you ever wanted to be."
    "A cunt?"
    "Exactly."
    Occasionally some good visual work, like the shot of Billy approaching Corrinne in the hallway (though I'm starting to wonder if it's possible for shots of people isolated…