Author Archives: Eliott Grover
What do you get when you combine today’s most lovable Hollywood buffoons with a former champion of raunchy comedy? Role Models. Starring Paul Rudd and Sean William Scott, David Wain’s newest comedy is an impressive upgrade from the director’s most popular film, Wet Hot American Summer.
Like all Oliver Stone productions, W. will bring the controversial and acclaimed director praises of genius and bundles of hate mail. The film, a fictionalized biopic examining our 43rd president, marks Stone’s third venture into the tumultuous genre. Unlike his previous portrayals of American leaders, JFK (1991) and Nixon (1995), W. is being released while George W. Bush is still in office, a fact guaranteed to rile Bush supporters and Stone critics alike.
If you were hoping for Ridley Scott’s latest blockbuster to be in the same league as the director’s critically lauded Roman epoch, 2000’s Gladiator, prepare to be disappointed. Body of Lies is a middling action flick that, though well-made, falls short of Scott’s award-winning masterpiece.
The Express, Universal Pictures’ latest sports biopic, is guaranteed to please sports and schmaltz lovers of all ages. The story centers on the life of Ernie Davis, the first African American athlete to win college football’s prestigious Heisman Trophy, paying particular attention to the racial barriers he confronted and shattered as a standout running back at Syracuse University.
These days, basic cable television is as depressing as the state of our nation’s economy. Luckily, the fall season of premium cable arrives as a refreshing bailout from the endless slew of reality TV and mindless sitcoms.
This fall, Showtime’s Dexter has the opportunity to become one of the hottest shows on television, The thrilling drama about a sympathetic serial killer kicked off its third season this past Sunday at 9 p.m. on Showtime.
There is something amazing about Deb Hagan’s late summer comedy, College: the fact that such an unoriginal theme was combined with a practically plagiarized story to produce a movie that has earned only a little over two and a half million dollars.
There is exactly one difference between comedian Doug Benson’s documentary Super High Me and Morgan Spurlock’s much lauded Super Size Me: marijuana. Benson, who was dubbed “Stoner of the Year” by High Times Magazine in 2006, uses himself as a guinea pig to examine the physical and mental effects of smoking pot non-stop for thirty days. The end result is both an entertaining parody of Super Size Me by a stoned comedian, and a meaningful documentary, thanks to the well-focused effort of the production crew as they confront many of the societal issues regarding marijuana.
In November 1969, the Rolling Stones introduced themselves as the “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band” during their massive “1969 American Tour.” Nearly forty years later, it’s hard to strip the perennial rockers of this sobriquet. In Shine A Light, famed director Martin Scorsese blends footage from the Stones’ 2006 shows at New York’s Beacon Theater with archived interviews and recordings that pay tribute to the band’s longevity. The result is a dazzling rockumentary fueled by electric performances, which solidly refute Hollywood’s claim that this is no country for old men.
If you were one of the skeptics expecting David Schwimmer to sink rather than swim in his directing debut, keep holding your breath, because the jury is still out. Schwimmer’s film, Run, Fat Boy, Run, was released in London last September, where it received stellar reviews and was king of the UK box office for four consecutive weeks. Americans, however, have been less generous to Fat Boy, which brought in a mere $2.3 million in its opening weekend, proving that the majority of American moviegoers continue to resist the type of dry humor that dominates the film. It’s a shame, because the movie is far wittier than traditional American slapstick comedies and makes for a hilarious and entertaining, if predictable, watch.
Hollywood’s usual gameplan is to find a formula for success and then use it tirelessly to cash in at the box office. The recent offerings from writer/director/producer Judd Apatow demonstrates how leaning too heavily on one template will inevitably decrease the quality of a filmmaker’s work, even as he produces new films at a rate that would put Henry Ford to shame. Just look at Drillbit Taylor, the latest project from Apatow Production, which has popped out a staggering 15 films in the past three years.