Sheer, delirious energy in ‘Horrible Bosses’
Charlie Day and Jennifer Aniston star in “Horrible Bosses.”
- “Horrible Bosses”
★★★★ (out of four)
Dir. Seth Gordon, U.S., R
- New films
“Captain America: The First Avenger”
Director: Joe Johnston.
Starring: Chris Evans.
The plot: After being deemed unfit for military service during
WWII, Steve Rogers volunteers for a top secret research project
that turns him into Captain America, the Sentinel of Liberty — a
superhero dedicated to defending America’s ideals. His first
mission: to combat the Nazi propaganda effort headed by Johann
Schmidt, also known as the Red Skull.
Genre: Action, adventure.
“Friends with Benefits”
Director: Will Gluck.
Starring: Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake.
The plot: While trying to avoid the clichés of Hollywood
romantic comedies, Dylan and Jamie soon discover however that
adding the act of sex to their friendship does lead to
Genre: Comedy, romance.
- Film roundup
★ (out of four)
“Larry Crowne” marks Tom Hanks’ sophomore effort as a filmmaker,
after the wholly unremarkable “That Thing You Do!” 15 years ago,
and it is now disturbingly clear that Hanks has learned very little
in his decades working with top-tier filmmakers. Stylistically, the
movie is somewhat playful (a fun opening credits sequence depicting
our hero going about his work day at a retail outlet is easily the
best scene in the film) but ultimately uninspired. However, this is
to be expected — not everyone can be Orson Welles, and one only
needs to look at the filmographies of former Hanks collaborators
like Ron Howard, Mike Nichols, Robert Zemeckis and Frank Darabont
to see that, absent a consistent eye for the camera, one can still
make great films rooted in sharp writing and meaningful
Until now, Pixar was never in the sequel business — save for the
“Toy Story” films, which proved that with the right cast and crew,
animated follow-ups could be much more than a cash cow. But with
the release of “Cars 2,” and announced sequels to “Monsters, Inc.”
and “The Incredibles” (with a fourth “Toy Story” entry rumored), it
is clear that the studio is now embracing the idea with gusto. This
decision has caused a fair amount of controversy, as Pixar has
always been rightly viewed as a haven for creativity and
originality — words that aren’t exactly synonymous with
Here is a film that is fashioned from the Spielberg model, from
the themes of childhood innocence right down to the director’s
trademark photography techniques. Director J.J. Abrams (the
television power player who has attempted to make the leap to the
big screen, with limited success, with “Mission: Impossible III”
and “Star Trek”) has aped Steven Spielberg so well that, sans
credits, one could conceivably mistake “Super 8” as being directed
by the master himself — that is, if you’re only looking at the
Posted: Friday, July 15, 2011 8:30 am
I’ll begin this week’s column on a couple rare personal notes:
First, a thank-you to my readers for the influx of positive
feedback lately — online and even in person. So much of what I do
is seeped in negativity that it’s extraordinarily gratifying to
know that my endless toiling in the gulag that is the modern
multi-plex is appreciated. Special shout-outs go to Dana DeMoulin,
Heather Louise, Stephen Wiebe and “Alex C.” for their humbling
words. But bless you every one.
On a more bittersweet (and ironic, given the subject of this
review) note, I wish to salute our outgoing news editor, Brian
“Voodoo” Craig. Voodoo has been my very good friend and mentor for
the past nine years on the News-Sentinel copy desk, and I am not
giving in to hyperbole when that I say he was not only the best
boss I’ve ever had, but indeed the best boss possible, even in a
theoretical sense — infinitely capable, fair-minded and practical,
and always helpful to his subordinates. Plus, he has the best
drinking stories you’ll ever hear. Needless to say, he will be very
Friday, July 15, 2011 8:30 am.