Showing posts from January 6, 2013

Review: The Roommate

Minka Kelly is the girl from Idaho now attending college in LA, who makes fast friends with her new roommate played by Leighton Meester. Unfortunately, Meester is a troubled rich girl who quickly becomes clingy, obsessive, and just plain weird. She doesn’t want Kelly to have any friends aside from her, let alone any semblance of a love life. And whatever happened to their poor widdle kitten? Cam Gigandet plays Kelly’s boyfriend who thinks she’s overreacting, Aly Michalka plays another college girl who knows something is up with Meester, and Billy Zane turns up as a lecherous fashion design teacher (Aren’t they all gay, though?). Frances Fisher, Tomas Arana (looking like John Malkovich), and Nina Dobrev all play people from Meester’s troubled past, the first two being her estranged parents. Matt Lanter turns up briefly as Kelly’s ex-boyfriend. Did we really need a “Single White Female” for the PG-13/ “Gossip Girl” crowd? Certainly not if it’s like this 2011 effort from direc

Review: The Locusts

Set in Kansas in the 50s, drifter Vince Vaughn gets a job working as a hired hand on widow Kate Capshaw’s ‘feed lot’, as well as a place to stay. However, he might end up getting more than he bargained for when interfering in the lives of Capshaw (who likes to bed down with her hired hands, it is rumoured) and her mute, emotionally disturbed son ‘Flyboy’ (Jeremy Davies) who was once institutionalised after his father’s death. Vaughn and the painfully shy ‘Flyboy’ bond, which the power-mad Capshaw doesn’t much seem to like. Disturbing family secrets are eventually unearthed, and Vaughn himself appears to be running from past troubles. Ashley Judd plays the town tramp, who has a heart of gold, Jessica Capshaw and Paul Rudd play another young couple who befriend Vaughn.   If you’ve ever wanted to see a version of “Hud” where Paul Newman was actually the good guy (and played by the shitty Norman Bates), and just about everyone else was turned around to be the bad guy, then this

Review: The Trouble With Harry

A droll, pleasant comedy about a corpse that won’t stay buried. Shirley MacLaine (in her quite charming, if unpolished debut) is the widow of the deceased, who didn’t much like the dead man anyway (Her excitable kid discovered the corpse, and is played by The Beav himself, Jerry Mathers). Edmund Gwenn is the elderly sea captain who thinks he might’ve accidentally the shot the man while hunting, and buries the corpse, frightened of exposure. He is helped in this task by a struggling artist John Forsythe. Spinster Mildred Natwick, meanwhile thinks it was she who might’ve done the deed (She has a nice little romance with Gwenn, whilst Forsythe cosies up to MacLaine and her kid). Mildred Dunnock is terrific as shop owner Mrs. Wiggs, who agrees to put Forsythe’s paintings on display for potential buyers. Royal Dano turns up as her suspicious son, a somewhat dim lawman. Pleasurable, but minor league 1955 Alfred Hitchcock ( “Strangers on a Train” , “To Catch a Thief” ) black comed

Review: Our Idiot Brother

Paul Rudd is a laidback, hippie-ish guy who naively tries to sell marijuana to a uniformed police officer. It’s not that he’s really stupid, it’s just that he likes to believe in the good in people, which means he gets a genuine surprise when the initially reassuring police officer turns around and arrests him anyway, throwing him in jail. OK, so clearly he’s not a genius, but is it really his fault that everyone else fails to be as nice and genuine as him? Released from jail, he finds that his pacifist girlfriend (Kathryn Hahn) has moved on with another dope (T.J. Miller) and wants custody of his dog (named Willie Nelson, of course). So now with no home, no girl, and no dog, Rudd visits his three sisters to find a place to stay, as he doesn’t want to be a burden to their mother (Shirley Knight) and live at home. Unfortunately, as well-meaning as he may be, Rudd’s lack of social awareness and inability to lie or keep a secret, drive his sisters nuts because he exposes their flaws, fo

Review: The Rite

Colin O’Donoghue stars as a trainee priest and son of a funeral parlour owner (Rutger Hauer). There’s the feeling he’s entering the priesthood merely as a way to get out of the depressing family business and his overbearing dad. Nearing graduation, O’Donoghue seems to have lost his faith and contemplates resignation from Catholic seminary. His superior (Toby Jones) encourages him to go to Rome and study exorcism instead. He agrees to this, though in classes taught by Father Xavier (Cirian Hinds), he finds himself still having many doubts and scepticism. Father Xavier encourages him to seek out a veteran exorcist named Father Trevant (Sir Anthony Hopkins), who is currently conducting an exorcism on a pregnant 16 year-old girl (Marta Gastini). At first, the young man still clings to beliefs of a rational and more simplistic, psychological rationale for what he sees. However, events become increasingly frightening and have O’Donoghue thinking twice. Alice Braga plays a journalist who