Mon, 7 September 2009
After both positive and negative buzz at an appearance at Sundance, John Krasinski's directorial debut, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, is now set for a limited release on September 25th. IFC Films has released a trailer for the film (HD Trailer at Apple).
The film is based on the book by David Foster Wallace, with screenplay by Wallace and Krasinski. Starring in the film are Julianne Nicholson, Timothy Hutton, Will Arnett, Will Forte, John Krasinski, and Christopher Meloni.
Plot Summary: After her boyfriend mysteriously leaves her with little explanation, grad student Sara Quinn is left looking for answers as to what went wrong. Directing all her energies into her anthropological dissertation, Sara conducts a series of interviews with men in an effort to uncover the secret thoughts that drive their behavior. As she records the astonishing and disquieting experiences of various subjects, Sara discovers much more about men and herself than she bargained for.
Category:movies -- posted at: 9:54pm EDT
Sun, 6 September 2009
by Kevin Crossman
Melora Hardin's role on The Office diminished last season as her character's downward spiral took her from serious, hard-nosed VP to sex-crazed mid-life crisis to domestic goddess and candle entrepreneur to mother. It's a sad story not just for the character but those of us who loved Season 2 Jan Levenson. I considered S2 Jan to be one of my favorite Office characters ever, so I was interested to finally catch up with Melora Hardin's latest project, her directorial debut with You.
The film stars Hardin as Miranda, a mother who suddenly dies leaving her young daughter in the care of her husband. Hardin's real-life husband Gildart Jackson wrote the script and stars as the Miranda's husband Rawdon. The film explores the nature of love though a series of scenes and flashbacks and involves the family and friends of Miranda and Rawdon, including Miranda's parents (played by real life parents Jerry Hardin and Diane Hardin). The couple's daughter Quincy is played by several actresses over a twenty year span in the film, including Allison Mack as the grown-up version.
The film's official website (www.youthefilm.com) and the press materials I received with my screener instructed me to "watch it with my family and friends" so my wife and I sat down with our seven year old to watch the film. The press materials indicated that the film is connecting with audiences and causes them to "be inspired by it to connect with the ones they love."
Shortly after starting the movie, we had to send our seven year-old away due to some adult language and scenes of sexuality (nothing too explicit... but too much for our child). The film is not rated but would likely rate as a light "R" - the first blow against the "family and friends" aesthetic. The film is clearly coming from an emotional place, which means this falls into a romantic rather than comedic genre (no boob job jokes to be found here). I've liked the occasional "chick flick" so that in itself was not a problem.
So, did the film "inspire" my wife and I? I think these two Facebook posts from my wife say it all.
Julie Crossman: Kevin's making me watch the worst movie in the world! It's laugh out loud horrible.
Julie Crossman: It's called "You," and it's a movie made by Melora Hardin (of the Office), her husband and her father. It's independent. It's supposed to be a drama, but we are laughing ourselves silly.
I wish I could say my wife got it all wrong, but when the female part of the family ridicules the emotional story about a widower and his daughter, well, you might guess where I stood. This movie is so completely ridiculous and poorly acted it might well be the funniest film project from an Office alumni all year.
A key part of the "unintentionally funny" aspect of the film is that Hardin's character Miranda keeps appearing to her husband throughout major events in his life. These scenes are far from "spirited" and do not add to the drama; in fact, they take the viewer out of the drama and cause them to think about how unbelievable the entire premise of the film is.
Jackson does a fair job as the central character, often making good acting choices only to be undercut by his own poorly written dialogue and situations. The less said by the three uniformly bad actresses playing daughter Quincy the better. The film wants to explore relationships over time and at the film's conclusion there is a revelation of sorts - except that the revelation itself actually takes place early in the chronology of the characters, which itself is example of how poorly constructed the film actual is. The "lesson" the character learns is something that they apparently forgot for the next twenty years. It's a mess, plain and simple.
I does not bring me joy to tell you that You is a colossal failure in every possible way, but I'd be doing a disservice by pulling my punches. I had no reason not to like You but it just didn't do it for me. As they say, your mileage may vary, but I can't recommend this to anyone but people who want to see every Office related project. Or for those who love films that are "so bad they are good." In that case, this is the film for you.
Category:movies -- posted at: 12:37am EDT
Sat, 22 August 2009
by Kevin Crossman
It's true we often have full episodes of The Office where BJ Novak has little or no screentime as Ryan Howard, but fans of the show did miss our favorite temp/salesman/VP/receptionist/bowling clerk/salesman/temp during an extended absence this season. Ryan's absence was explained as a "trip to Thailand" but TWSS listeners knew this was Novak so could film Inglourious Basterds for writer-director Quentin Tarantino.
Basterds opens this weekend and fans hoping to see their Office hero with lots of screentime will feel a strange sense of deja-vu. Novak is there... but does he say anything? Hardly. It's almost like an episode of The Office where Novak is there in the scene but we're all paying attention to the name actors or leads.
Complicating matters is that the crew of "Inglourious Basterds" soldiers of which Novak is a member appear on screen in only a couple of the six chapters of the movie.
Nonetheless, do no be afraid of the film's two and a half hour running time, because if you stick through to the end not only will you enjoy an exceptional movie you will, finally..., get to see Novak on the big screen in a big way at the film's conclusion. Novak goes toe to toe with Brad Pitt (effective and hilarious throughout the movie) and German TV star (and future Oscar winner) Christoph Waltz who plays a Nazi Colonel.
If you're a fan of BJ Novak, Quentin Tarantino, killing of Nazis, French Cinema, or entertaining dialogue then Inglourious Basterds is a must see.
Category:movies -- posted at: 3:31pm EDT
Wed, 17 June 2009
by Kevin Crossman
If Ed Helms' turn in the megahit The Hangover is the highpoint for our summer hiatus for The Office, and if John Krasinski's turn in Away We Go is a middling effort... well, I think we've found our low-point. Oscar Nunez plays a male stripper in The Proposal.
Actually, this sounds like a good role for Nunez, who often shows versatility on The Office. It seems his character is a jack-of-all-trades in a small Alaska town, so when duty calls at bachelorette party...
The Proposal stars Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds and is sure to please this summer's underserved RomCom market. There's also buzz about Bullock and Reynold's humor-tinged nude scene. And, if the thought of Oscar's junk displayed on a giant screen is your thing then maybe this movie was made for you. The Proposal opens on Friday.
Oscar talks more about the role in this interview.
Category:movies -- posted at: 6:33pm EDT