Bob Yari

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The Hoax Review


Very Good
Everybody loves a good con artist, a guy who can bluff his way into or out of anything. He's isn't violent, not a gangster, but a smooth-talking charmer whose poker face doesn't flinch no matter how dangerous or delicate the situation gets. Lasse Hallström's latest, The Hoax, offers a portrait of such a con artist, a real-life fabulist who makes James Frey (the disgraced "non-fiction" writer behind 2003's A Million Little Pieces) and his shenanigans look like chump change.

Richard Gere, perfectly cast, plays Clifford Irving, a down-and-out writer who in 1971 wrote (and nearly got published) a fake biography of Howard Hughes. Desperate to jump-start his career, Irving duped his editor Andrea Tate (Hope Davis) and the top dogs at McGraw-Hill into believing he was not only a friend of Hughes, the notorious recluse, but that the billionaire had tapped Irving to write his life story. Smelling a publishing sensation, McGraw-Hill offered Irving a then-record publishing deal, and the writer suddenly found himself the crown prince of the publishing world.

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Employee Of The Month (2004) Review


Good
Matt Dillon must have really loved Wild Things. A lot.. Here he appears with Christina Applegate in another circuitous drama/thriller involving lots of cash, this time about a poor guy who loses his job and his girl on the same day. Shortly thereafter, the bank where he worked is robbed. Think he might be in on it? Rest assured, there are about 15 more twists in store for you before the movie's all said and done. Employee of the Month has moments a-plenty both cute and clever, but it doesn't quite generate enough interest to make you really vest yourself in the plot.

Crash (2004) Review


Excellent
In Crash, a simple car accident forms an unyielding foundation for the complex exploration of race and prejudice. Thoroughly repulsive throughout, but incredibly thought provoking long after, Paul Haggis' breathtaking directorial debut succeeds in bringing to the forefront the behaviors that many people keep under their skin. And by thrusting these attitudes toward us with a highly calculated, reckless abandon, Haggis puts racism on the highest pedestal for our review.

There is no better place for this examination than the culturally diverse melting pot of modern-day Los Angeles. In just over 24 hours, Crash brings together people from all walks of life. Two philosophizing black men (Ludacris and Larenz Tate) steal the expensive SUV belonging to the white, L.A. District Attorney (Brendan Fraser), and his high-strung wife (Sandra Bullock). A similar vehicle belonging to a wealthy black television director (Terrence Howard) and his wife (Thandie Newton) is later pulled over by a racist cop (Matt Dillon) and his partner (Ryan Phillippe). Soon, many of these people get mixed up with a Latino locksmith (Michael Peña), a Persian storekeeper (Shaun Toub), and two ethnically diverse, dating police detectives (Don Cheadle and Jennifer Esposito).

Continue reading: Crash (2004) Review

A Love Song For Bobby Long Review


OK
In a year-end blitz of small films about dysfunctional, broken families (e.g., Around the Bend) comes this variation on the theme set in a tacky section of New Orleans. While a confident cast ultimately makes something of the drama, a certain awkwardness in the storytelling sets up discordant side tracks as it attempts to live up to its title.

Purslane "Pursy" Hominy Will (Scarlett Johansson) has lived most of her 18-year life without the mother from whom she's estranged but whose memory she cherishes. As a teenage independent she's become hardened and jaded beyond her years. When her live-in boyfriend tells her that he received word of Lorraine's death several days after the fact, she rages at the dumbshit for neglecting to let her know right away. She storms out of the house with all her possessions and buses her way from Florida back to the town she grew up in and to her childhood home, a day too late to make the funeral.

Continue reading: A Love Song For Bobby Long Review

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Bob Yari Movies

The Hoax Movie Review

The Hoax Movie Review

Everybody loves a good con artist, a guy who can bluff his way into or...

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Crash (2004) Movie Review

Crash (2004) Movie Review

In Crash, a simple car accident forms an unyielding foundation for the complex exploration of...

A Love Song For Bobby Long Movie Review

A Love Song For Bobby Long Movie Review

In a year-end blitz of small films about dysfunctional, broken families (e.g., Around the Bend)...

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