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The Wedding Ringer Review


Very Good

An unapologetically silly movie that manages to hit the right notes, this free-wheeling comedy makes up for its corny premise with sharp writing and acting. And as it keeps the audience laughing, it's also quietly finding some rather intriguing things to say about masculinity in American society. Thankfully, preaching a message is never this film's intention. And both Kevin Hart and Josh Gad bring so much charm and energy to their roles that they instantly become a movie duo we'd like to see together again and again.

Gad plays Doug, the nervous groom preparing for his wedding to Gretchen (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting), a girl far hotter than he ever imagined he'd get for a wife. But Doug has no friends who are willing to be his best man and groomsmen, so he turns to his wedding planner (Serricchio) for help getting in touch with an underground service that provides them. Enter Jimmy (Hart), the fast-talking, quick-thinking best man for hire who assembles a hilariously rag-tag group of "friends" as groomsmen. As they indulge in some condensed bonding so they can convince everyone they're best pals, these guys actually begin to have fun together. And Doug begins to hope that maybe this isn't just a professional partnership.

Yes, what we have here is a bromance between Doug and Jimmy, two friendless guys who discover that maybe together they can change their lives. Filmmaker Jeremy Garelick never tries to obscure the standard rom-com structure, and the simple plot is utterly predictable, but there are surprising currents of comedy and emotion running everywhere. Hart and Gad manage to bring out all kinds of riotous humour, underlying insecurities and general comic mayhem in each scene. Hart's cocky run-on dialogue is hilarious, and matched perfectly by Gad's gung-ho physicality. But even more intriguing are the darker layers beneath the silly surface. And everything is livened up by a raucously ridiculous supporting cast, including veterans Ken Howard and Mimi Rogers as Gretchen's too-intense parents and an underused Cloris Leachman as her bedraggled granny.

Continue reading: The Wedding Ringer Review

S. Darko Review


Terrible
Some movies don't deserve a sequel. Not because they weren't successful or have a storyline incapable of carrying a franchise. No, some films are so inherently insular, so completely and utterly self-contained that to try and extrapolate them out over one (or more) additional entries makes little or no sense. Richard Kelly's surprising cult phenomenon Donnie Darko is a good example of such a cinematic solo shot. It remains an original and disturbing vision of suburban ennui and teenage angst wrapped up in a surreal science fiction fable about time travel and the tangential universes it can create. Thanks to its massive success on DVD, a follow-up is now being offered. Sadly, if it accomplishes anything, S. Darko proves that once was definitely enough.

It's been seven years since the events involving Samantha Darko (Daveigh Chase, reprising her role from the original film) and her family, including big brother Donnie, played out. Now 18, she decides to join her best friend Corey (Briana Evigan) on a road trip to California. There, Sam hopes to become a professional dancer. Unfortunately, their car breaks down outside a one-horse town in the middle of Utah. While they wait for replacement parts, the girls meet up with local rebel Randy (Ed Westwick), crazed preacher John Mellit (Matthew Davis), and equally fanatical parishioner Trudy Potter (Elizabeth Berkley). When a meteor hits the tiny burg late one night, it sets into motion a chain of events that has Samantha having horrific visions of the end of the world. It's a fate she shares with a Gulf War veteran (James Lafferty) who is convinced that Armageddon will occur on July 4, 1995.

Continue reading: S. Darko Review

Donnie Darko Review


Very Good
Donnie Darko is a writer-director's debut that takes on schizophrenia, time travel, teenage angst, dysfunctional suburban family life, societal farce, and hallucinations of an evil bunny in a gorgeously filmed two-hour package deserves serious props. But Richard Kelly's fascinating film is seriously flawed in that it never brings all these disparate elements together in the end. Not to mention that it bears the worst title of the year.

Set in 1988, Donnie Darko is a John Hughes teen movie tinged with David Lynch-ian gloom and perversity. It begins innocently enough around the Darko's dining room table, where we find out the older sister (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is rebelliously voting for Dukakis and Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal, Bubble Boy) is off his meds. From here, the film churns forward at a hypnotic pace, revealing facts about its disturbed but endearing title character.

Continue reading: Donnie Darko Review

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Adam Fields Movies

The Wedding Ringer Movie Review

The Wedding Ringer Movie Review

An unapologetically silly movie that manages to hit the right notes, this free-wheeling comedy makes...

Donnie Darko Movie Review

Donnie Darko Movie Review

Donnie Darko is a writer-director's debut that takes on schizophrenia, time travel, teenage angst, dysfunctional...

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