Tag Archives: John Goodman

NYFF 2013 Review: Inside Llewyn Davis

Inside_Llewyn_Davis_Poster1“Inside Llewyn Davis” features a remarkable lead performance and impassioned journey, but the character’s destructive habits and off-putting attitude can make the experience deflating and unfulfilling.

The film covers a week in the life of struggling singer, Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac). While trying to make a name for himself in the Greenwich Village folk scene, Llewyn drags his bag and guitar around, crashes on friends’ couches, ruins some of those relationships with his sour attitude and then, when all seems lost, heads to Chicago for a long overdue meeting with a media mogul who doesn’t even know he exists.

“Inside Llewyn Davis” is brimming with quality material, but Llewyn’s bleak existence and unpleasant demeanor makes it difficult to enjoy the experience. The guy is just a self-centered jerk. Not only does he suck all of his friends dry by invading their space, but then, while he’s there, he rarely manages a thank you because he’s totally consumed by his own agenda.

Click here to read more.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Review: The Hangover Part III

The-Hangover-Part-III-PosterWho hasn’t woken up with a hangover and said you’re never drinking again only to hit the bar a few days later? That’s fine for us, but Todd Phillips better keep his word. “The Hangover Part III” absolutely must be the end.

The Wolf Pack is back together again, but not for more wedding shenanigans, rather a funeral and a trip to a rehab facility. After Alan (Zach Galifianakis) literally gives his father (Jeffrey Tambor) a fatal heart attack, his mother, sister, and Doug (Justin Bartha) decide that it’s time for Alan to get some serious help. With Phil and Stu’s (Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms) support, they stage an intervention and head out to bring Alan to New Horizons. However, while en route, the Wolfpack is ambushed by Marshall (John Goodman) and his thugs. Marshall takes Doug as collateral while Phil, Stu, and Alan meet his demands – bring him Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong).

Part of the appeal of the original film was the fact that it focused on four real guys in the middle of a very relatable situation. It’s highly unlikely many have had an encounter with Mike Tyson’s tiger or made a quick $80,000 counting cards to pay off a gangster, but the idea of four guys getting so wasted during a bachelor party that they can’t even remember the crazy time they had is charming. But fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Back in 2009, the idea of one friend accidently roofie-ing his buddies was a novel scenario, but the sequel proved the concept didn’t have the appeal and flexibility for another go-around. It seems as though Phillips and co. recognized that issue because we get a different narrative here, but now we’re left with the problem that these characters just aren’t appealing or engaging enough to sustain any feature length scenario.

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Review: Argo

When the trailer for “Zero Dark Thirty” plays before a screening of “Argo,” you can’t help but to wonder if our society is crazy for having turned these devastating and/or historically significant events into sources of entertainment. However, as someone who wasn’t around during the Iran hostage crisis, the fact that I was moved enough by “Argo” to go home and Google until I had a thorough understanding of the situation goes to show that Ben Affleck did a better job than my history teachers ever could.

Centered on the true events of the Iran hostage crisis, “Argo” begins with the revolutionaries storming the U.S. embassy in Tehran. All of the embassy employees are taken hostage save for six who seek refuge at the Canadian ambassador’s home. The revolutionaries are unaware of the escape, but are slowly piecing together the paperwork the staff desperately shredded mere moments before the invasion, so it’s only a matter of time before they assemble the office roster including pictures of each and every employee.

Back in the U.S., the State Department works to figure out a way to get the six out safely and discreetly. Exfiltration expert Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) proposes the idea of using a Canadian film as a cover. In an effort to make the endeavor as thorough as possible, Tony joins forces with make-up artist John Chambers (John Goodman) and producer Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin) to make the sci-fi film “Argo” a semi-reality.

Click here to read more.

1 Comment

Filed under Reviews

Interview: ParaNorman Director Sam Fell And Writer-Director Chris Butler

It ain’t easy making a stop-motion animated feature. “ParaNorman” clocks in at 96 minutes. The best weeks of production for the “ParaNorman” team resulted in two minutes of footage. You only need to do some really simple math to figure out how big of an undertaking it is to make a stop-motion animation film and you only need to see the final product to know that in the case of “ParaNorman,” the work was well worth it.

On top of having to deal with bullies and typical pre-teen troubles, Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee) also talks to the dead and the whole town knows it. Cool, right? Well, maybe if they actually believed he really was talking to the dead and not just out of his mind. When Norman’s Uncle Prenderghast (John Goodman) passes away, Norman’s the only one left who can talk to the dead and, therefore, is the only one capable of keeping the witch’s curse at bay.

In honor of the film’s August 17th release, director Sam Fell and writer-director Chris Butler sat down to run through the whole process from the pieces of Butler’s own childhood that influenced the story to the attention to detail that goes into creating even the tiniest prop, the use of 3D printers and more. Check it all out for yourself in the video interview below and be sure to catch “ParaNorman” in theaters this weekend.

Click here to watch the interview.

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviews

Review: ParaNorman

As a sucker for animated movies and horror films, hopes were high for “ParaNorman.” While the experience was primarily satisfying, those with a pension for horror suspecting this might bear a creep factor similar to “Coraline” beware; “ParaNorman” does boast downright incredible visuals, an engaging plot, charming characters and more, but it’s also quite juvenile.

Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee) isn’t the most popular kid at school. It isn’t because he’s a nerd, isn’t a jock or even because he’s in a lame school club; Norman’s an outcast because he talks to the dead. While many folks pass away and make a B-line to the other side, those with unfinished business, like Norman’s grandmother (Elaine Stritch), hang around.

When Norman starts to have even stranger otherworldly visions, he comes to learn that it’s because the anniversary of the witch’s death is on the horizon. His uncle Prenderghast (John Goodman) tells him that if someone doesn’t go to her grave and read from a particular book, the curse will come true. With the help of his sister Courtney (Anna Kendrick), buddy Neil (Tucker Albrizzi), Neil’s big brother Mitch (Casey Affleck), and Norman’s schoolyard nemesis Alvin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Norman sets out to send a group of zombies back to their graves and put an end to this 300 year old curse for good.

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

‘The Hunger Games’ Countdown: Dream Casting ‘Catching Fire’

In August of 2010 I posted “Daring to Dream: Casting ‘The Hunger Games’ Movie” on Cinematical. Not a single person I named was cast and I still stand by my choices to the point, but I must concede Gary Ross and Lionsgate did a much better job. However, that’s not stopping me from dream casting the sequel, Catching Fire.

The Hunger Games Vets

Of course there are quite a few characters from round one that will not return, but we’ve got quite the handful that are not only still in the spotlight, but consuming more of it. Catching Fireis Katniss Everdeen’s story just like The Hunger Games, so Jennifer Lawrence’s return is top priority. Sure this whole X-Men: First Class 2 thing put a little strain on the Catching Fireproduction schedule, but Lawrence needs to be front and center and the studio’s got to make that happen in any way it can.

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Features

Review: Red State

Thanks to a great deal of unusual and somewhat off-putting hype, it’s nearly impossible to go into Red State without any preconceptions. There’s no denying Kevin Smith made some questionable decisions during Red State’s road to the public, but, in the end, how can you judge him when he managed to deliver? On a B-movie level at least.

Travis, Jarod and Billy-Ray (Michael Angarano, Kyle Gallner and Nicholas Braun) are teenage boys and – surprise, surprise – they want to have sex. One tracks down a potential candidate on a website who’s willing to take on all three. The boys seize the opportunity and head out to their mystery woman’s humble abode, a trailer in the woods. Psyched to get down to business, the trio’s caught off guard when they’re drugged and wake up in the clutches of the Five Points Church.

No, this isn’t any old congregation. The members of the Five Points Church are religious fundamentalists willing to do whatever it takes to rid this Earth of those they’re fighting against with a relentless viciousness. Trapped in the church, the boys are forced to watch while Pastor Cooper (Michael Parks) executes a man, leaving the impression that they’re next.

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews