The filmmakers behind TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT are surprisingly up front in their press production notes. Rather than making any pretense of originality, they fully admit that they are paying homage to the coming of age movie where “one crazy night” has a drastic effect on all of the characters’ lives. Think of AMERICAN GRAFFITI, RISKY BUSINESS, PORKY’S, FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH, and from the low budget world, I LOVE YOU, BETH COOPER, THE HOLLYWOOD KNIGHTS and THE CHICKEN CHRONICLES among many others. I applaud the creative forces behind TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT not just for their candor but also for their brilliant execution.
The brotherly directing team of Peter and Bobby Farrelly, who have brought us SOMETHING ABOUT MARY, SHALLOW HAL, KINGPIN and ME, MYSELF & IRENE among others, are back after a fairly long period of dormancy with HALL PASS. As has long been their wont, there is the usual amount of defecation, flatulence, vomiting and masturbation jokes and sight gags, but it seems as if they’ve gone to the well one time too often because the humor feels forced and contrived where in the past it seemed to flow seamlessly with the plot.
Two years ago Liam Neeson played Bryan Mills, a retired spy who has to make a hasty and violent visit to Paris in order to rescue his daughter who has been forced into an international sex ring, in the hit film TAKEN. Neeson is back on “the continent;” this time in Berlin, in the new suspense flick, UNKNOWN.
Ed Helms has quickly become a key member of several successful comedy ensembles as evidenced by his work on Comedy Central’s signature program, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” NBC’s “The Office,” and last year’s wildly successful movie, THE HANGOVER, which will have a sequel in theaters this Spring. Now Helms is starring in a film for the first time with the just released CEDAR RAPIDS, which made its debut at the just concluded Sundance Film Festival. Helms made an excellent choice with this very smart comedy that delivers both poignant laughs and believable characters.
Cancun is a very young city. Located in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean Sea, Cancun did not exist forty years ago. It was built by developers who thought that Mexico could use an East Coast version of its popular Pacific resort cities such as Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas.
One of the most famous movie genres of the Seventies was devil-themed movies with the most famous being 1973?s THE EXORCIST. The popularity of THE EXORCIST and its sequels helped spawn the CHUCKY, FRIDAY THE 13th and ALIEN franchises. It has been awhile since we’ve had an old school exorcism film so there is nothing wrong with trying to revive this horror genre. Unfortunately, THE RITE is a lousy film.
THE MECHANIC, the latest starring vehicle for balding British tough guy Jason Statham, is a remake of a 1972 Charles Bronson flick. THE MECHANIC does not refer to someone who repairs cars (although Statham’s character, Arthur Bishop, does like to tinker on a sports car as a play-on-words joke) but rather an elite assassin who works for a mysterious organization.
At age 68, Paul McCartney shows no signs of slowing down. He played a number of two-and-one-half hour concerts at Citi Field during the summer of 2009 while promoting an album of new material.
Many rock fans were understandably leery about a Clive Davis-inspired album project in which the Arista/J Records president asked legendary guitarist Carols Santana to perform interpretations of rock classics while having some of today’s hottest rock vocalists lend him a helping hand.
The economic downturn that has engulfed this country since 2008 shows some signs of letup, but with the unemployment rate still hovering close to ten per cent (and that is not counting college graduates who have been unable to find a job or those who are working at minimum wage jobs despite holding sheepskins), these are tough times for a lot of folks.