Director Richard Linklater can’t ever be accused of being lazy, churning out a remarkable number of films over the past 25 years but with his critical success, he still resides in a sort of niche for his mostly small, intelligently written, carefully cast, meticulously directed movies. He has gotten some mainstream notice with movies like Dazed & Confused, the Before Sunrise series, and School of Rock and he made a big splash last year with the 14-years-in-the-making Boyhood.
Robert Zemeckis, a director better known for his bombast (see the back to Back to the Future trilogy) than his sense of camp, pulls out all the stops in Death Becomes Her (Shout Factory / Universal), the classic over-the-top comedy oozing with special effects, newly available on blu-ray.
I think Melissa McCarthy is a very talented comedienne, wowing movie audiences with her supporting role in Bridesmaids and her first appearance on “Saturday Night Live” as well as in her supporting role on Gilmore Girls and lead role on the recently cancelled Mike & Molly. She’s got the chops, no question about it, but she’s fallen into a trap of playing the same slovenly, unpleasant character in almost every movie she makes (and did basically that same character on her second, dreadful SNL hosting gig) that she and her husband Ben Falcone have a hand in. Where she has truly shone is in her three movies with director Paul Feig: the aforementioned Bridesmaids, The Heat, and last year’s hilarious Spy. This track record actually gives one hope for the upcoming Ghostbusters remake/reboot/revival... whatever it is.
Depending on how you felt about David Ebershoff’s Lambda Literary Award-winning novel, you will either love or hate Tom Hooper’s film adaptation of the Oscar-nominated The Danish Girl (Focus / Universal). Screenwriter Lucinda Coxon trims quite a bit from Ebershoff’s dense book and even diverts from the original ending.
You’ve probably already seen many of the reviews, quite a few of them bad, so I am going to buck the trend here and say right off the bat that I enjoyed Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Is it perfect? No. Does it have some story issues? Yes. Is it a tra vesty of filmmaking that some people would have you believe? Not at all. There are just some people out there who have been lying in wait to trash this movie, and no matter how good it is, they’re not going to say a kind word about it.
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