Tag Archives: Carla Gugino

Review: I Melt With You

In an industry overflowing with content, it’s getting tougher and tougher to come up with something new. The fallback? The shock factor – writers and directors giving you something, letting you get comfortable with it and then pulling out the rug from under you. Sure, if this technique works, it could blow your mind, but, in the case of I Melt With You, it merely turns your mind into senseless mush. You know that old “this is your brain on drugs” commercial with the egg? Change the voice over to “This is your brain on I Melt With You.” Get the picture?

College buddies Richard (Thomas Jane), Ron (Jeremy Piven), Tim (Christian McKay), and Jonathan (Rob Lowe) gather for their annual weeklong celebration of their friendship. No, the guys don’t pack up and head to Vegas for some wild nights on The Strip or even go south for an exotic tropical getaway; the foursome rents a house in Big Sur and basically live in non-stop party land courtesy of an endless supply of booze and a pharmacy full of prescription drugs.

The drugs come from Jonathan, a doctor whose intentions once were noble, but now is a frequent under-the-table prescription med distributor. Ron has his issues, too. A family man who honestly loves his wife and children, Ron gets sucked into a scheme that could result in him losing everything he’s earned. Tim’s just resurfacing from his own drama, a car accident that took the lives of people he loves. Then there’s Richard, an aspiring writer who gave up his dreams and settled on teaching. Problems, disappointments, grievances, you name it; in this vacation house, there’s nothing a few pills, some booze and loud music can’t take care of – kind of.

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Review: Sucker Punch

High expectations can be a killer. Unfortunately for director Zack Snyder, he works extra hard to insert an insanely high outlook into every single thing that he does and lately, it seems to backfire big time. His brain is geared towards directing and visuals and that doesn’t serve him well as a writer. Whereas the basic concept of Sucker Punch combined with Snyder’s keen eye for the visually incredible had immense prospects, it diluted the script. Spectacular imagery without a sensible and engaging story isn’t a film, it’s a mere spectacle.

After the death of her mother, a series of ill-fated events wrongfully lands Baby Doll (Emily Browning) in the Lennox House for the Mentally Insane. Rather than do what they can to rehabilitate her, the staff accepts a bribe from Baby Doll’s sinister and greedy stepfather to lobotomize her. Just as the doctor’s about to hammer his ice pick through her skull, we’re whisked away to an alternate world, Blue’s (Oscar Isaac) club. That’s where she unites with Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), Rocket (Jena Malone), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens) and Amber (Jamie Chung).

While this may be a step up from the hospital, Blue’s club is still very much a prison. If the girls don’t dance, they serve no purpose and Blue has no trouble eliminating his excess baggage. While at first, Baby Doll can’t seem to get in the groove, once she let’s loose and finally dances, she discovers she has the power to not only mesmerize spectators with her techniques, but transport herself to yet another world. It’s in this new realm that she meets the Wise Man (Scott Glenn) and learns that with the help of the other girls and four objects, they can all escape.

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Review: Elektra Luxx

When you’re about to watch a sequel and you can barely remember what happened in the first film, you know you’re heading for trouble. Well, while there’s certainly trouble to be had in writer-director Sebastian Gutierrez’s Elektra Luxx, just like its predecessor, Women in Trouble, there’s something keeping you from completely dismissing this sloppy mess of a film – the characters.

First off, we’ve got our titular character (no pun intended), Elektra Luxx (Carla Gugino). She’s pregnant and retired from the porn industry, instead, opting to teach a class called “How To Act Like a Porn Star in Bed” at the local community center. One day, Cora (Marley Shelton), the flight attendant from Women in Trouble, comes barging in revealing she has a folder full of songs her late rock star baby daddy, Nick Chapel (Josh Brolin), wrote before his demise. Cora offers Elektra the songs, but under one condition; Elektra must seduce her husband so Cora doesn’t have to feel guilty about cheating on him with Nick. Sure enough, the plan goes awry and in the mess, Elektra finds out an awfully good-looking private detective (Timothy Olyphant) has been assigned to keep an eye on her.

Meanwhile, sex blogger Burt Rodriguez (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is back and continues to document Elektra’s exploits all while trying to keep his little sister, Olive (Amy Rosoff), from using his website to turn herself into the next Internet sensation. Bambi and Holly Rocket (Emmanuelle Chriqui and Adrianne Paliciki) are back as well and this time around, the girls are looking to take some time off and enjoy a vacation. Holly’s still holding onto those feelings for Bambi, so when Bambi opts to try to squeeze in a little work during their getaway, Holly uses her askew intellect to foil the night.

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Tribeca Review: Every Day

Writer Richard Levine’s entire resume consists of work on the small screen, most notably on Nip/Tuck, so it’s no surprise that his first feature film plays out much like a TV show. The unusual thing is that Every Day is as ordinary as they come, whereas Nip/Tuck is far from it. Every Day may be a low-key film about an average family dealing with average problems, but Levine’s more twisted side is still evident; its brainchildren are just kept as theoretical concepts rather than visual ones.

Ned and Jeannie (Liev Schreiber and Helen Hunt) live in a nice home with their two sons Jonah and Ethan (Ezra Miller and Skyler Fortgang). Like just about any family, they’re seemingly happy, but have some issues. Ned writes for a television show and his more restrained ideas clash with his boss’ demand for concepts with extreme shock value. Jeannie is forced to ditch her career when she winds up taking care of her sickly father in addition to her two boys. Making matters worse, her father, Ernie (Brian Dennehy), is a bit of a handful and anything but thankful. Then there are the kids; Jonah has known he’s gay since he was 12, but his father is still having a hard time accepting it. Meanwhile, Ethan is on the paranoid side constantly questioning his folks about the potential of home invaders and if his grandfather will walk into the light soon.

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Review: Women in Trouble

WomenInTroublePosterYou know that feeling when you’re doing something you shouldn’t and are on edge about someone catching you in the act? Okay, enough dancing in circles. Have you ever watched porn in the privacy of your own room and are terrified that your mom will walk in and catch you? Of course you have! That’s kind of what Women in Trouble is like. While it’s certainly not pornography, it evokes that same uneasy feeling that you’re watching something that’s so wrong but so right at the same time.

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