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items tagged with Russell Brand

Viva Italia!: "To Rome with Love," "Savages," and "Katy Perry: Part of Me"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-07-09 17:50:33

Ellen Page and Jesse Eisenberg in To Rome with LoveTO ROME WITH LOVE

After Woody Allen’s rather staggering success with Midnight in Paris – personal-best box-office, the man’s first Academy Award in 25 years – I guess it was inevitable that critics, as a whole, would greet the filmmaker’s follow-up project with a collective “meh.” And that’s certainly happened with Woody’s new To Rome with Love. (Not that it matters, but the comedy is currently sitting with a “45-percent fresh” rating – i.e., “not fresh at all” – at the review aggregator RottenTomatoes.com.)

But I’d argue that the movie’s less generous critics have picked entirely the wrong picture to be indifferent toward, because the To Rome with Love that I saw was sensational – charming, hilarious, imaginative, and, in its offhanded way, enormously adventurous. As Woody’s latest is composed of a quartet of frothy comic vignettes set in the Eternal City, all of them reminiscent of the short fictions he occasionally writes for The New Yorker, it’s easy to see how the film is being perceived as slight. Yet that description, while somewhat accurate, doesn’t begin to suggest the masterly finesse and intelligence that Woody and his tremendous cast demonstrate here. If Midnight in Paris remains the writer/director’s finest achievement of the past two decades, To Rome with Love easily lands in the top five, and with more than 20 releases to choose from, that’s hardly something to sniff at.


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Father No-Nos Best: "That's My Boy" and "Rock of Ages"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-06-17 18:49:36

Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler in That's My BoyTHAT’S MY BOY

Lord knows I don’t want to encourage him, but if Adam Sandler absolutely must continue to star in comedies released under his Happy Madison Productions banner, could the rest of them at least have the good sense, and bad taste, to be rated R?


Read More About Father No-Nos Best: "That's My Boy" And "Rock Of Ages"...


Chum Change: “One Day” and “Fright Night”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-08-20 18:35:35

Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway in One DayONE DAY

When Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess) first meet in director Lone Scherfig’s One Day, it’s the morning after their 1988 university graduation, and a few minutes before the happily drunken pair tumbles into Emma’s bed. They don’t wind up consummating their flirtation, but the young Brits – and best-friends-to-be – seem perfectly content to smile and snuggle while the sun rises, and Emma makes the observation that the new day, July 15, is the English near-holiday of St. Swithin’s Day. Or, as Scherfig’s comedy/drama/romance might cause me to think of it from now on, St. “Well, Isn’t That an Astounding Coincidence?” Day.


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Moore, or Less?: "Arthur," "Hanna," and "Born to Be Wild 3D"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-04-11 16:41:46

Helen Mirren and Russell Brand in ArthurARTHUR

There were better comedies released in the ’80s, to be sure. But I don’t think I have a stronger affection for any of them than I do for 1981’s Arthur, writer/director Steve Gordon’s screwball-farce throwback that featured Dudley Moore’s drunken multi-millionaire sharing brilliantly barbed repartee with caretaker John Gielgud. Consequently, I came dangerously close to booing when I first saw the preview for director Jason Winer’s Arthur remake. True, Russell Brand seemed the only logical choice to fill Moore’s (diminutive) shoes, and while Gielgud is irreplaceable, Helen Mirren seemed a reasonable enough sparring partner. But, I mean, come on – is nothing sacred?!


Read More About Moore, Or Less?: "Arthur," "Hanna," And "Born To Be Wild 3D"...


Haunted Man's Son: "Insidious," "Source Code," and "Hop"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-04-03 19:02:56

InsidiousINSIDIOUS

It features every cliché in the haunted-house handbook. It borrows liberally from other, iconic horror movies. It’s by the director of the original Saw and the slightly more bearable killer-mannequin flick Dead Silence. And for all of the momentary jolts provided by the loud bangs and shrieking violins on its soundtrack, the most shocking thing about Insidious is how irrationally good it is.

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