Jerry Zucker

Jerry Zucker

Jerry Zucker Quick Links

News Film RSS

Mental Review


Very Good

Even for a riotous Australian black comedy, this film packs in just a bit too much chaos. It's consistently smart and funny, with lively characters and especially witty dialog, but some of the sideroads never go anywhere. Still, there's so much terrific material in here that it's well worth a look for fans of the genre. And it's great to see Collette return home to reunite with her Muriel's Wedding director P.J. Hogan nearly 20 years after they launched their careers.

The story centres on suburban housewife Shirley (Gibney), who is obsessed with The Sound of Music and wishes her unruly family was more like the Von Trapps. But no, her husband (LaPaglia) is the town's philandering mayor, and their five daughters all think they're mentally ill. Then when Shirley herself ends up in a psych ward, Dad brings in the drifter Shaz (Collette) to watch the girls. She takes no prisoners, whipping them into shape while trying to give them some self-respect. She also shows them that the people society considers "normal" are probably crazier than they are. Meanwhile, eldest daughter Coral (Sullivan) gets a job at a shark exhibit run by a salty fisherman (Schreiber) who has a connection with Shaz.

Writer-director Hogan packs the film with rude references to The Sound of Music, from a pastiche pre-title sequence to Shaz's unconventional Maria-like approach to child-rearing (with heavy overtones of Mary Poppins). The film is colourful and sometimes too hyperactive, with Collette often going way over-the-top as the wildly unhinged Shaz, who also upends the life of their compulsive next-door neighbour (Fox). Much of this is simply too wacky for us to go along with, but other scenes are quietly insightful and very, very funny. Often at the same time.

Continue reading: Mental Review

Friends With Benefits Review


Good
A smart, witty script and a likable cast help overcome the deep-seated rom-com cliches the filmmakers set out to deconstruct. But the central couple's strong chemistry and a stream of lively side characters keep us involved and entertained.

After a humiliating breakup, Dylan (Timberlake) meets with high-achieving headhunter Jamie (Kunis) about a new job. Friendship blossoms, and since Jamie is emotionally damaged after a recent split and Dylan is emotionally unavailable, they decide to sleep together without any deeper attachment.

Meanwhile, they get increasingly involved in each others' lives, most notably as Dylan and his sister (Elfman) cope with their senile father (Jenkins). Of course, the main question is whether Dylan and Jamie can remain friends even if they have sex.

Continue reading: Friends With Benefits Review

Fair Game Review


Good
This provocative, fascinating true story is told with so much righteous rage that the politics overwhelm the personal drama. Terrific acting and a sharp, brainy script hold our interest, but we never properly feel the emotional punch.

Valerie Plame (Watts) is a high-level CIA operative juggling teams in a variety of locations. In the wake of 9/11, her focus is on investigating Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons programme. Her husband, Joe Wilson (Penn), is the expert sent to Niger to investigate uranium rumours, but he finds no evidence.

And this is backed up by Valerie's discoveries from scientists in Iraq. So when Joe hears George W Bush lying in a State of the Union address, he writes a rebuttal. Enraged, Bush administration official Scooter Libby (Andrews) releases Valerie's identity.

Continue reading: Fair Game Review

Unconditional Love Review


Weak
Great googly moogly, what have these filmmakers and stars gotten themselves into with Unconditional Love?

In a plot that I can only describe as inspired-by-peyote, Kathy Bates decides to head to rural Britain for the funeral of a murdered pop star after hubby Dan Aykroyd abruptly dumps her. Dressed in sequins and seen mainly in Six Feet Under-like flashbacks/materializations, Jonathon Pryce plays the pop star. As it turns out, pop star is gay and has left his estate to his lover (Rupert Everett). Bates and Everett then take it upon themselves to hunt down the murderer. What follows includes both Barry Manilow and Sally Jessy Raphael.

Continue reading: Unconditional Love Review

Jerry Zucker

Jerry Zucker Quick Links

News Film RSS

Occupation

Filmmaker


Suggested

Years & Years - Starstruck Video

Years & Years - Starstruck Video

Olly Alexander shows off his journey of self-love in the video for Years & Years' newest single 'Starstruck'; the lead track from his forthcoming...

Garbage, St. Vincent, Dry Cleaning and more feminist anthems of empowerment for 2021

Garbage, St. Vincent, Dry Cleaning and more feminist anthems of empowerment for 2021

Eight songs about female power that you definitely need to hear right now.

Garbage - The Men Who Rule The World Video

Garbage - The Men Who Rule The World Video

Shirley Manson is well known for her vocal political views, and she takes no prisoners with Garbage's latest single 'The Men Who Rule The World'.

Advertisement
The timely return of pop-punk veterans The Offspring

The timely return of pop-punk veterans The Offspring

Why has pop-punk made a 2020s resurgence?

BRIT Award Nominations 2021: A triumph for diversity with the likes of Arlo Parks, Celeste and Young T & Bugsey

BRIT Award Nominations 2021: A triumph for diversity with the likes of Arlo Parks, Celeste and Young T & Bugsey

One of the most diverse line-ups we've seen for a major awards show in a while.

Advertisement

Jerry Zucker Movies

Mental Movie Review

Mental Movie Review

Even for a riotous Australian black comedy, this film packs in just a bit too...

Friends With Benefits Movie Review

Friends With Benefits Movie Review

A smart, witty script and a likable cast help overcome the deep-seated rom-com cliches the...

Advertisement
Fair Game Movie Review

Fair Game Movie Review

This provocative, fascinating true story is told with so much righteous rage that the politics...

Unconditional Love Movie Review

Unconditional Love Movie Review

Great googly moogly, what have these filmmakers and stars gotten themselves into with Unconditional Love?In...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews