Ratings – 10/06/2013

Really behind on these posts…

liberal-arts

Liberal Arts

For a while, TV actor Josh Radnor’s sophomore film as a writer-director seems to be a familiar indie comedy-drama about an unsatisfied man returning to a location from his past and meeting a much younger girl who’s full of life in ways he isn’t. Happily, from there it doesn’t take the story in a typical direction and spends enough time giving supporting characters depth too.

3.5/5

antiviral

Antiviral

Brandon ‘son of David’ Cronenberg’s debut feature is a sci-fi/body horror affair that openly invites comparisons to his father’s work. Set in a suitably colourless future, the film focuses on a man whose company sells diseases harvested from celebrities to paying clients. It’s a startling and gruesome premise, and Cronenberg Jr. showcases some memorably disturbing imagery. Unfortunately, one lesson he didn’t seem to pick up is pacing, with Antiviral moving painfully slowly at times and I believe, clocking in longer than any of Cronenberg Sr.’s films.

2.5/5

Smashed

Mary Elizabeth Winstead makes a decent bid for dramatic acting credibility in this indie drama about an alcoholic teacher who decides to feign pregnancy to cover her tracks after vomiting in class.

3/5

Compliance

An original psychological horror film, that boldly declares to be based on a true story, yet still stretches credibility as its scenario escalates.

3/5

Robot and Frank

Charming and enjoyable ‘alternative’ science-fiction story in which a grumpy, elderly jewel thief (Frank Langella) is given a domestic helper robot by his son.

3/5

Seven Psychopaths

Some good ideas, a great cast (especially Christopher Walken) but overall Martin McDonough’s ambitious Hollywood-set meta-comedy disappoints, failing to live up to the standard he set with In Bruges.

3/5

Stand-Up Guys

A few years ago, crime drama Righteous Kill offered up the spectacle of seeing the duel screen legends of Pacino and De Niro sharing the screen for most of its run-time, only to let us down with a totally average script and direction. Now Pacino gets to play opposite Christopher Walken for a whole crime film, again only to be let down by a depressingly unremarkable script, which can’t get any humour from it’s promising set up – Walken, treating his old friend Pacino to a day of pleasures following his jail release, but is under orders to execute him.

2/5

Excision

A bizarre little movie that I suppose would be called a horror-comedy, yet isn’t particularly scary or funny, yet doesn’t feel like a failure in it’s own right.

2.5/5

The Details

Tobey Maguire stars as a doctor whose surburban family life becomes increasingly threatened by his decisions in this film that falls somewhere between a black comedy and domestic drama without wholly succeeding at being either.

2.5/5

2 Days in New York

Julie Delpy’s unlikely sequel to 2 Days in Paris finds her life with a new boyfriend (Chris Rock) in New York, disrupted by a visit from her French family, amusingly and affectionately playing to French stereotypes

3.5/5

Side Effects

Promising but unengaging pharmaceutical’s thriller from Steven Soderbergh.

2/5

Also:

Texas Killing Fields – 2.5/5

Ip Man – 3.5/5

Being Flynn – 2.5/5

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