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Janeane Garofalo Monday 30th January 2012 Opening night after party for 'The New Group' production of 'Russian Transport' held at Yotel Club Lounge - Arrivals.

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Janeane Garofalo, June Diane Raphael, Joanna Gleason, Caroline Rhea and Carol Kane - Janeane Garofalo, June Diane Raphael, Joanna Gleason, Caroline Rhea, and Carol Kane New York City, USA - attending the after party celebrating the new cast members of the play 'Love, Loss, and What I Wore' held at Marseille. Thursday 4th February 2010

Janeane Garofalo, June Diane Raphael, Joanna Gleason, Caroline Rhea and Carol Kane
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Janeane Garofalo Monday 9th June 2008 National Civil Rights Museum Private Screening of 'The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306' held at the Director Guild of America Hollywood, California

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Janeane Garofalo Friday 22nd June 2007 'Ratatouille' World Premiere Los Angeles, California

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Wonderland (2003) Review


Very Good
It takes a bold filmmaker to splash the legend of John Holmes (aka porn star Johnny Wadd) up on the screen before his film has even started, giving the hard-to-believe basics of Holmes' legend (1,000 films made, slept with 14,000 women), and then say that the movie to follow isn't about all of that, it's about what happened to John afterward. One imagines many an aging porn connoisseur ducking out the theater door upon that announcement. But director James Cox has made a solid bet, for the events of the summer of 1981 on Los Angeles's Wonderland Avenue make anything that could have happened before in Holmes's life seem like the most inconsequential trivia.

On July 1 of that year, four people were savagely beaten to death in a Laurel Canyon apartment that had long been a party hangout and drug-dealing haven; a fifth person was put into intensive care. Holmes (Val Kilmer) was at the center of the tangle of paranoia, greed, and confusion that led to the massacre. Always hanging out at the apartment scamming drugs for his vacuum-like habit, Holmes incurs the enmity of the hard cases living there (played by Tim Blake Nelson, Dylan McDermott in a frighteningly unconvincing biker beard, and Josh Lucas). To make it up to them, Holmes acts as their inside man for a robbery of the palatial home of his buddy Eddie Nash (Eric Bogosian), who just happens to be one of the biggest club-owners in Southern California and a bona-fide gangster, to boot. Things go poorly after the robbery, to say the least.

Continue reading: Wonderland (2003) Review

The Bumblebee Flies Anyway Review


Weak
Is it a thriller disguised as a weepy drama or a weepy drama disguised as a thriller?

An amnesiac teen (Wood) struggles to regain his memory... or does he??? By the time the deep dark secret is revealed, you may not care any more. And Janeane Garofalo as an experimental medical researcher is just about as inexplicable as the film's title.

Continue reading: The Bumblebee Flies Anyway Review

The Minus Man Review


Bad
I'm still trying to figure out how to look at The Minus Man. Either it's supposed to be a dark, black comedy, or it's supposed to be a thoughtful, pensive drama/thriller a la Sling Blade.

Either way, it's a dismal failure.

Continue reading: The Minus Man Review

Romy And Michele's High School Reunion Review


Good
With more Go-Go's songs than any other film this year, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion is a treat if for no other reason than to hear the 80s soundtrack. The plot? Simple: Romy and Michele have gone nowhere in the ten years since high school, so they create themselves into seriously unbelievable "businesswomen" in an attempt to impress their fellow graduates at the reunion. Much like Grosse Pointe Blank, though, too much emphasis is placed on nostalgia and not enough is placed on the script. Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow prove to be a powerful duo on-screen, but with jokes that hit about 50 percent of the time, not even the shiniest of outfits can pull them through the low points of this film. Janeane Garofalo disappoints here, also, reprising the stereotypical, crusty, chain-smoker she has played a hundred times. It all boils down to a fair-enough experience... you know... like, whatever.

Continue reading: Romy And Michele's High School Reunion Review

The Independent Review


Very Good
Mockumentary about the movie business? Okay, not original in any sense of the word, but putting Janeane Garofalo in a suit and spray-on tan is simply inspired.

The Independent is Jerry Stiller's show, starring him as Morty Fineman, a Roger Corman/Andy Sidaris-style filmmaker who makes lovingly crafted low-budget, borderline-exploitation films that the world largely dismisses as junk. The film follows Morty and daughter Paloma (Garofalo) as they try to revive Morty's sagging career and reflect on decades of schlocky work like Brothers Divided (about Siamese twins in Vietnam) and Foxy Chocolate Robot (about a foxy chocolate robot). The film uses present-day footage intercut with scenes ostensibly from Morty's body of work, all appropriate in graininess, streaks, and rotten acting quality. Real-world directors like Roger Corman and Ron Howard appear to offer commentary on Morty's oeuvre, all of whom declare him an underrated genius.

Continue reading: The Independent Review

Beyond The Ashes Review


OK
The 9/11 pity party is in full swing in Beyond the Ashes, yet another meditation on how New Yorkers can't seem to get their lives together after the terrorist bombings.

Liz (Janeane Garofalo, bafflingly present in a humorless film like this) refuses to leave her apartment, despite a lost cat and a crazy man (Giancarlo Esposito) who inexplicably woos her. Judy (a skeletal Nicole Hansen) gets picked up by a guy who may or may not be a cop, dumped in another apartment, and develops a strange relationship with a guy (Tony Spiridakis, the film's writer) who may or may not be a cab driver. A third story follows a bartender (Jennifer Carpenter) with a big secret and who may or may not be a lesbian, being wooed by a punk grrrl musician (Pauley Perrette).

Continue reading: Beyond The Ashes Review

200 Cigarettes Review


Weak
The bad news: This story of a bunch of New Yorkers on New Year's Eve, 1981, is so trite and stupid that it doesn't merit any attention whatsoever. The cast (playing uber-NYCers) are uniformly grating and obnoxious -- and Courtney Love as ringleader makes it even worse.

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Cop Land Review


Weak
Cop Land was supposed to do for Sylvester Stallone what Pulp Fiction did for John Travolta. Alas, the movie was (rightly) ignored by audiences and shrugged off by critics, thanks to an almost complete lack of anything so much as resembling a compelling story.

The plot is so simple as to defy description: A lot of New York cops live across the water in Jersey, and it turns out they are all beholden to the mob. It's up to fat, half-deaf Sheriff Freddy (Sly) to expose this atrocity!!! Would that there were more to say, Cop Land builds its "mystery" by simply not telling you what's going on. Only after an hour or so do you piece together the whole mob angle, and then the audience realizes, "Hey, there's nothing happening here!" Note to Mangold: Watch L.A. Confidential a few times if you want to see how clever plot structure goes, not to mention throwing in a little wit here and there.

Continue reading: Cop Land Review

Reality Bites Review


Very Good
Back in 1994, Reality Bites was branded by everyone from marketers to critics as a movie that encapsulated a generation - more specifically, Generation X, who were around college graduation age (including myself). And seeing as Lelaina (Winona Ryder), the movie's heroine, kicks off this trendy flick with her valedictorian graduation speech, it's no wonder so many "slackers" (as we Gen X-ers were labeled, thanks to another "iconic" film released just a few years prior) felt so spoken to by its quippy dialogue and great characters, and why everyone else tended to label Reality Bites a film symbolic of its lost generation.

The reality of Reality Bites is that it's simply too lightweight a romantic comedy to succeed at being emblematic; and, as far as I can see, it never was really meant to carry such heft. This directorial debut of then-green Ben Stiller portrays twenty-somethings floundering in dead-end jobs, nursing big dreams, or simply trying to find themselves as they enter the real world. In the least, it's a slice of life; and at its best, it's an often funny and very endearing little movie.

Continue reading: Reality Bites Review

Mystery Men Review


Very Good
"Hey now, you're an all-star, get your game on, go play..." then sit back and watch America's newest superheroes screw up, in this summer's new comedy, Mystery Men. In this Tim Burtonesque film by Kinka Usher, a ragtag band of superheroes set out to rescue Captain Amazing (a Superman comparable played by Greg Kinear) from the evil clutches of the criminal mastermind, Cassanova Frankenstein (Geoffrey Rush).

Mystery Men is one of the funniest films I've seen all year. It combines the hilarious randomness of films like Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, with a satirical twist that today's audiences are sure to appreciate. Now don't get me wrong, Mystery Men is no masterpiece, but it made me laugh (a lot) and that's what the film is about. Mystery Men scores high in all areas. It has an entirely kooky and original plot fueled by crack up dialogue, mesmerizing scenery, (which is reminiscent of the Batman movies) and an awesome cast.

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Titan A.E. Review


Weak
Good Will Hunting goes to space in Titan A.E., an ill-conceived and overambitious animation blowout (courtesy of 20th Century Fox) that makes recent Disney fare look like thinking men's movies.

Matt Damon's voice stars as Cale, an eager-beaver twentysomething in the year 3028 who would be just like any other next-millennium Gen X-er if not for one thing: A race of evil beings called the Drej -- made of pure energy, natch -- have blown up the earth.

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The Truth About Cats & Dogs Review


Very Good
What happens if you meet someone with whom you have almost everything in common, you find yourself falling for them, but the sparks of romance just don't seem to fly on a physical level? Maybe you need an extra body, and you can just play Cyrano in the background until that fateful moment when everything is revealed with hilarious results.

Such is the case in The Truth About Cats & Dogs, a pleasantly funny romance that takes another twist on the Cyrano tale, by taking two very different women (Janeane Garofalo and Uma Thurman) and pitching them at one guy (English actor Ben Chaplin).

Continue reading: The Truth About Cats & Dogs Review

Kiki's Delivery Service Review


Very Good
Hayao Miyazaki scored a big kid-friendly hit with this story about a 13-year-old witch living on her own for the first time. (Yeah, tough love for pubescent Japanese witches!) Unfortunately, Kiki's Delivery Service lacks a lot of depth; though it's exquisitely sweet and endlessly watchable (and much better than Miyazaki's widly overrated Castle of Cagliostro),

Kiki (voiced in the U.S. version by Kirsten Dunst), in keeping with her people's tradition, jets off with broom and talking cat (Phil Hartman) to a random city in order to become the town witch. Unfortunately, Kiki hasn't really thought this through, and soon enough she finds that not only does she have no real marketable skills, she has no place to live and little money, too.

Continue reading: Kiki's Delivery Service Review

Steal This Movie! Review


OK
In case you were wondering, no, Steal This Movie! is not an adaptation of activist Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book, his 1971 how-to manifesto about beating the system. Now that would've been a creative film. Instead, it's a take on two other books, Hoffman's Letters from the Underground and Marty Jezer's Abbie Hoffman: American Rebel, combining to form the biography of America's most notorious and ego-driven radical. Unfortunately, Steal This Movie! is neither notorious nor radical, and while showing off a talented cast in some lively sequences, it tramples down some tired old trails.

As played by the ferocious Vincent D'Onofrio, Hoffman, in short, was a lunatic. A smart, ambitious, caring, vigilant lunatic. (Actually, he was eventually diagnosed as bipolar.) His group of free thinkers and anti-establishment yippies performed shockingly funny acts, some resembling performance art, all in the name of rights and equality. Director Robert Greenwald takes us along into Hoffman's world: the band "holds up" a city bus, taking people's clothes and then giving them away to those in need, and chucks dollar bills on the floor of a stock exchange to watch everyone grovel. Hoffman meets his wife-to-be Anita, keeps up the anti-war cause, and realizes that he'll probably be a lifelong organizer.

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Stay Review


Excellent
I don't see dead people, and, more than likely, I never will. Maybe one day, when I die, I'll see plenty of them but while I am of this earth, it's a no-go. This is not to say people don't see spirits, ghosts, and specters; walk down any street in Manhattan and you're likely to see a woman telling you she can see them and hold pretty strong conversation with them. Hollywood saw this and also saw dollar signs. Blame M. Night Shyamalan for most of this. He made a great movie and has spawned legions of gutter-sludge rip-offs. Once in awhile, however, we get an arty riff on this formula. The last one was Jonathan Glazer's haunting Birth, and now we have Marc Forster's hypnotic Stay.

So, this suicidal college student walks into a psychiatrist's office... no, seriously. Sam (Ewan McGregor) has the misfortune of substituting for a few sessions for a colleague (Janeane Garofalo) when she gets a little loopy with the drugs. Her first patient, and seemingly only patient, is Henry Letham (Ryan Gosling). On only their second meeting, Henry announces that he is going to kill himself in three days, at midnight. Sam spends the rest of his time, divided between his ex-patient/girlfriend (Naomi Watts) and trying to figure out why Henry wants to kill himself. And don't forget Henry's dead parents (Bob Hoskins and Kate Burton) who show up in the real world. Describing past that would be like trying to explain a Lynch film (notably Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive), and no one should have these secrets ruined.

Continue reading: Stay Review

Wet Hot American Summer Review


Excellent
It will be a long, hard stretch until the summer movie season finally arrives. Until then, we must endure a series of likely theatrical flops that Blockbuster will sell for $2.99 in six months. Life isn't fair.

But there is hope at your local video store -- Wet Hot American Summer, a hysterical spoof on 1980s pop culture featuring several members of The State, the sketch comedy troupe which had its own, brilliant MTV show in the mid-1990s. (Note to younger readers: That was before Cribs and The Real World were run in a continuous loop.)

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The Laramie Project Review


Bad
Hey, look at me! I'm a B-list Hollywood actor with an inflated sense of self-worth that thinks he can "do something" for the world by making a socially responsible film.

Hey, look at me! A gay kid got beaten to death in Laramie, Wyoming, so let's go there and interview people... and write a play using their words.

Continue reading: The Laramie Project Review

Big Trouble Review


OK

How apropos it seems that the enjoyably outrageous screwball satire "Big Trouble" should open a little more than a week after the death of Billy Wilder, whose influence is felt all over this picture's breakneck comedic pacing.

Reminiscent, if mostly in spirit, of Wilder's lesser-known "One, Two, Three" -- a fast-paced side-splitter starring James Cagney as an American business man who stumbles into Iron Curtain intrigue in 1961 Berlin -- "Big Trouble" features Tim Allen as a fired, freshly divorced newspaper columnist who narrates a lunatic tale of arms trading and assassination attempts in modern Miami.

As one of a dozen characters with equal screen time, Allen's connection to the plot is almost peripheral, but he gives great voice-over (from the zany Dave Barry book on which the film is based) that helps keep straight the cavalcade of well-cast kooks to come.

Continue reading: Big Trouble Review

Wet Hot American Summer Review


Bad

Never before have I seen a movie try so hard to be deliberately awful -- and succeed so wildly -- as "Wet Hot American Summer," a nickel-budget sketch-comedy spoof of early '80s teen sex-at-camp romps like "Little Darlings" and "Meatballs."

Created by veterans of cable "Saturday Night Live" knock-offs "The State" and "Upright Citizens' Brigade," it's a loose jumble of too-obvious jabs at the genre through stock characters in grossly under-rehearsed vignettes that are absentmindedly filmed and edited together without rhythm and apparently at random.

You've got your dorky virgin (Michael Showalter) making an ass of himself for the unattainable girl (Marguerite Moreau). She prefers the inimical, self-styled stud in the jean jacket (the under-appreciated Paul Rudd in the movie's only truly funny performance). He, in turn, prefers the company of your ubiquitous pubescent sluts in tube tops.

Continue reading: Wet Hot American Summer Review

Wonderland Review


Good

Part "Rashomon"-like roundelay of dubious recollections, part "Boogie Nights" flashback, "Wonderland" recounts, with drug-addled stylishness, events leading to a brutal 1981 mass-murder in the Los Angeles hills made famous by its link to washed-up, strung-out ex-porn legend John Holmes.

Starring the charismatically glazy-eyed and understated Val Kilmer as Holmes and "Blue Crush" cutie Kate Bosworth as Dawn, his newly legal, foolishly co-dependent girlfriend, this film has a big comparison hurdle to overcome -- the riveting "Boogie" was loosely based on Holmes and some of these events. But for the most part it succeeds because sophomore director James Cox (his unreleased "Highway" premiered on video last year) bypasses the self-destructive smack-head's severed sex-trade ties except as they relate to his celebrity among lowlifes who supply him with drugs.

In fact, Holmes is just one of four characters around whom Cox constructs his story from several points of view in single-perspective segments.

Continue reading: Wonderland Review

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Janeane Garofalo Movies

Ratatouille Movie Review

Ratatouille Movie Review

A fine red wine only gets better with age. Long before that cork is popped...

The Wild Movie Review

The Wild Movie Review

You will not find a worse movie in Walt Disney's animated canon than The Wild....

What Planet Are You From? Movie Review

What Planet Are You From? Movie Review

It's always a shame to see great comedic minds fall so far from the mark....

Wonderland (2003) Movie Review

Wonderland (2003) Movie Review

It takes a bold filmmaker to splash the legend of John Holmes (aka porn star...

The Minus Man Movie Review

The Minus Man Movie Review

I'm still trying to figure out how to look at The Minus Man. Either...

Big Trouble Movie Review

Big Trouble Movie Review

Much has been said about Big Trouble, another film meant for a near-September 11th release...

Romy and Michele's High School Reunion Movie Review

Romy and Michele's High School Reunion Movie Review

With more Go-Go's songs than any other film this year, Romy and Michele's High School...

The Independent Movie Review

The Independent Movie Review

Mockumentary about the movie business? Okay, not original in any sense of the word, but...

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