Author: georgelambert

Alicia Silverstone, Where Art Thou?

 I swear I don’t know how this happens: I receive a movie from Netflix, and I have no idea why I ordered it.  Sometimes I think the little chipmunks that keep the wheels of Netflix rolling get a bit bored and randomly hurl those little red envelopes into somebody else’s queue. I can hear ‘em now, “You want ““Annie Hall?”” screw you, you’re gettin’ “”The Exorcist!””  That or I’m just losing it, which is the most logical explanation (Oh god, now I sound like Spock). Anyway, I opened one of my red envelopes the other day and gazed in wonderment at what I saw: “Blast from the Past.” What? After damn near hurling the thing across the room like a miniature Frisbee, I read the synopsis; it sounded pretty entertaining and boasted an impressive cast: Christopher Walken, Sissy Spacek, Brendan Fraser, and the deal closer, Alicia Silverstone. If you haven’t seen “Blast from the Past,” it’s a quirky comedy set during the Cold War, specifically The Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Walken character (Calvin) is a “mad” scientist who’s anticipated a total nuclear (or nuuklar, as George W. would enunciate it) holocaust and has built a bomb shelter under their house.  Except this is not your father’s bomb shelter; it’s literally a replica of their house, and is stuffed to the gills with supplies.  In short, after Calvin forces...

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Bridesmaids: A bit befuddling

“Bridesmaids” is somewhat of a dichotomy in my humble opinion.  The movie is co-written and stars everybody’s new comedic genius, Kristen Wiig.  Wiig’s credited writing partner is Annie Mumolo, who has a cameo appearance as Wiig’s fellow airplane passenger (they both desperately need to find a 12-step program for aviatophobia – fear of flying).  The film is directed by TV veteran Paul Feig of “Freaks and Geeks” and “Arrested Development” fame. The plot line is benignly straight forward:  Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is getting married and asks her childhood best friend, Annie (Wiig) to be her maid of honor. As we meet Annie in the setup, we realize her bakery business has folded due to the struggling economy (as the movie progresses, one wonders if there were other reasons); she’s desperately lacking in the self-esteem department, as she’s basically a sex doll for a guy who literally kicks her out of bed after a tryst; she’s on the brink of financial disaster; and shares a house with two oddball British roommates that have no respect for her or her privacy. Even though Annie’s life is literally falling apart, she agrees to be Lillian’s maid of honor.  To the chagrin of Annie, it seems Lillian has found a new “best friend” in bridesmaid Helen (Rode Byrne), who has married into a wealthy family, and her tastes are far more upscale than...

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A lot happens in: The Apartment (1960)

I don’t think I’m hanging my laundry out on a limb when I say, I think Jack Lemmon is one of the greatest actors to ever grace the big screen. Of course, every actor, good or bad, male or female, is immortal; their movies are their legacy. Luckily for us, Mr. Lemmon left us with a legacy that many strive for, but fail to achieve.   Jack’s acting skills are as versatile as a politician’s poll numbers. He does drama with an intensity that damn near jumped off the screen. Who could forget his Academy Award nominated performance as alcoholic public relations man Joe Clay in Days of Wine and Roses, or the profoundly delusional, broken-down salesman Shelley Levene, in Glenngary Glenn Ross. He is such a talent, his facial expression’s alone emit such emotion, often dialog is unnecessary.   But, I believe, comedy is where this icon truly shines. Think about it: Some Like it Hot, The Odd Couple, The Out-of-Towners, Grumpy Old Men, just to name a few. All of these films are classics, but there is one film I’d like to delve into a bit further, because it’s one of my favorite movies of all time: The Apartment.   The Apartment is written and directed by one of Hollywood’s greatest ever: Mr. Billy Wilder. Yes, yes, I know, Mr. Wilder is responsible for Some Like it...

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American Splendor is a true gem.

Right now, I’m in the confessional, kneeling down (or whatever Catholics do in those things) and softly uttering, “Forgive me Father for I have sinned. As of last week I was unaware of a man by the name of Harvey Pekar, and his creative outlet depicting run-of-the-mill events in his oh so dreary life. Father, it’s a comic book, which I have never read. EVER! The name of his work is ironically, “American Splendor.””   The Priest damn near had a heart attack. Not because I’d never heard of “American Splendor;” he was pushing 90 years of age.   Okay, enough of the sarcasm. To be honest, I had no idea why the film American Splendor was in my queue on Netflix (must have read about the movie on a blog), but I’m damn glad it was there.   American Splendor, released in 2003, is a biopic like none other. It’s definitely an independent film as: comic illustrations pop up as they please (letting the uninitiated in on what the comic book was about), the great Paul Giamatti plays Harvey, Harvey also plays Harvey, the film cuts in and out from reality to movie, and has interviews with Harvey intertwined throughout the entire film giving the viewer a glimpse into the depressive, “who gives a s**t” attitude that perpetuated his personality.   Harvey grew up in Cleveland obsessed with...

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Get Low: Mildly enticing, extremely slow.

Movies are like personalities, some seem derivative of others, but in the long run, each has its own quirks, peculiarities, and oddities. But, we all know that no two are exactly alike (and that’s a good thing.  I can’t imagine unleashing another “me” on society.  God help us all).  “Get Low” released in 2009, was the directorial debut of longtime cinematographer Aaron Schneider, who was cinematographer on TV movies such as “Miss Miami” and “Drift.”  If you’ve actually heard of these movies, contact your local psychotherapist because you officially have no life.  Anyway, “Get Low” is a folksy story about an old hermit, Felix Bush (Robert Duvall), who resides, in utter isolation, on 300 tree-filled acres in Tennessee during the 1930’s.  Evidently the movie is based on a true story.  After an obvious flashback that is the opening image, we meet the curmudgeon. (Think Shrek in the flesh).  One afternoon, a brave soul arrives at Felix’s shack and notifies him that an old acquaintance of Felix’s has passed.  This is the incident that gets the story dawdling along.  Even though Felix would rather slice off his left foot than show an iota of emotion, this news penetrates the gruff exterior of the man, and one can tell this is the final straw that must push Felix to face his own mortality.  So, Felix rolls into town (evidently something he...

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