BABY MAMA

Rich hated this RomCom about a successful businesswoman (Fey) who hires a surrogate (Poehler) when she’s unable to conceive, but Jan enjoyed the multidimensional world created for the Fey character, & thought the relationship between the two lead characters worked fine. Click HERE for FF2 haiku.

AMERICAN TEEN

Burstein undoubtedly got remarkable footage of a year in the life of Warsaw [ Indiana] High School, but alas, she lost her way sometime in the editing room. Did marketing play too a big role here — the obsessive need to create archetypes in order to hook audiences by recreating THE BREAKFAST CLUB poster??? Click…

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

We agree that UNIVERSE is an operatic, ebulliently effective look at 60s icons; we disagree about heft. Rich thinks it perfectly captures its moment, whereas Jan also finds compelling anti-Bush, anti-Iraq War agenda. Excellent performances from mostly-novice cast. Soundtrack proves genius of Beatles simpliciter as well as this specific incarnation. Click HERE for FF2 haiku.

Film Review: AWAY WE GO

I really wanted to like this film written by husband/wife team Dave Eggers & Vendela Vida, but alas.  Road trips are always choppy but this one is totally sliced & diced.  Were filmmakers so bored by back story clichés that they couldn’t bother constructing any personal histories?  If we don’t believe any of these characters…

Film Review: A THOUSAND ACRES

Adaptation based on Jane Smiley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning meditation on KING LEAR. This searing film rages against residents of an Iowa town for averting their eyes while a power-mad tyrant (Robards) abused his daughters. Pfeiffer’s ferocious as the middle daughter. Cast totally against type, it’s the best performance of her career. More on A THOUSAND ACRES.

AWAY FROM HER

10/10/13 UPDATE: Away from Her is based on the story “The Bear Came Over the Mountain” by Alice Munro. Today Munro became the 13th woman in history to win the Nobel Prize for Literature 🙂 2008 UPDATE: Congratulations to writer/director Sarah Polley (nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar) & Julie Christie (nominated for the Best Actress…

Review: ANNE B. REAL

“Cynthia” is a high school student in a dangerous urban neighborhood who finds inspiration in THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK. Outwardly she seems quiet, but the tension within her builds until she takes dramatic public control of her own words at a rap concert. JaNyce Richardson is terrific — a triumphant debut performance!***** For more,…

Review: AMERICAN SPLENDOR

Harvey Pekar is an ornery autodidact who became a counterculture personality by creating an adult comic book series about his life in working-class Cleveland. This imaginative biopic combines interviews with the “real” Harvey, panels based on the strips, dramatic reenactments, & snippets from guest shots on the David Letterman Show. More on AMERICAN SPLENDOR.