dvd let­ter­box

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Film - Michael Bodey

DVD Let­ter­box should be smarter than to be sucked in by DVD cov­ers, but I’m an op­ti­mist. You never know when you might stum­ble across a lit­tle gem, par­tic­u­larly at when it’s more dif­fi­cult for smaller in­de­pen­dent films to gain trac­tion in com­mer­cial cin­ema. Soli­tary Man comes to mind as a nice film re­cently that had only Michael Dou­glas’s name to sell it.

And so to two films that may suck you in, but I warn you ur­gently: re­sist.

I’ve pre­vi­ously pro­fessed my man-love for US co­me­dian Zach Galifianakis, who I’m be­gin­ning to be­lieve is a far more cap­ti­vat­ing stand-up per­former than movie star.

The Hang­over di­rec­tor Todd Phillips said Galifianakis was used in­cor­rectly in his ear­lier movies; con­se­quently he al­lowed him to be ‘‘big­ger’’ in The Hang­over. It is not enough to save the se­quel — go see Brides­maids in­stead — but it en­sured Galifianakis be­came a highly mar­ketable star. Which is why he is key to the mar­ket­ing of (Sony, MA15+, 80min, $32.99).

The film stars Cal­lum Blue and Matthew Mo­dine (look­ing more like Jeff Bridges as he ages) in a me­an­der­ing, list­less stroll through Los An­ge­les for pur­poses that re­main un­clear.

Its pre­ten­sion to be a Kevin Smith-like, pop-cul­ture savvy, mildly pro­fane romp with Ter­rence Mal­ick or Dar­ren Aronof­sky ex­is­ten­tial­ism slopped on top is the only joke in a dire waste of ev­ery­body’s time. And Galifianakis is only a mi­nor char­ac­ter. I should have known this would be a mess.

The cred­its showed the di­rec­tor was Gre­gory Dark who, I’m told, made his name as a porno di­rec­tor. And, I’m told, he did his best work when he was younger.

Chris D’Arienzo, di­rec­tor of an­other US com­edy,

(MA15+, Sony, 91min, $34.99), is on the up. He wrote the book for the Broad­way mu­si­cal Rock of Ages and sub­se­quently the film screen­play, which is shoot­ing with Tom Cruise, Rus­sell Brand and Cather­ine Zeta-Jones.

Barry Mun­day is not as ris­i­ble as Fren­emy al­though it doesn’t sup­ply what its cast — Pa­trick Wil­son, Judy Greer, Chloe Se­vi­gny, Cy­bill Shep­herd — prom­ises. Wil­son plays against type as a doo­fus who loses his tes­ti­cles in an un­likely trum­pet ac­ci­dent. It reads bet­ter than it plays.

Again, don’t judge a com­edy by its DVD cover.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.