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
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
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.
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Either way, it's a dismal failure.
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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.
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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).
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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.
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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.
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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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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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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).
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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.
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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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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.
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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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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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It takes a bold filmmaker to splash the legend of John Holmes (aka porn star...
Much has been said about Big Trouble, another film meant for a near-September 11th release...
With more Go-Go's songs than any other film this year, Romy and Michele's High School...
Mockumentary about the movie business? Okay, not original in any sense of the word, but...