Cinefiles

December 24, 2009
cinefiles1-1.jpg

The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (R)

Paramount Home Entertainment

From the Will Ferrell/Adam McKay stable comes the used-car comedy The Goods, a mildly amusing film that holds a couple of hearty laughs but ultimately suffers from the insufferable Jeremy Piven as the lead. Sorry, but his persona is so irritatingly coke-fueled and bug-eyed that it kills the comedy every time he appears. Piven is Don Ready, who travels with his team from failing dealership to failing dealership to pump up the sales. He's surrounded by a hilarious cast: Ed Helms, David Koechner, Craig Robinson and Ken Jeong, and while they do shine in their parts, they feel pushed aside so Piven can smarm up the spotlight. It's a great idea that should have had a bit more work and thought put in to it. Instead, I recommend the highly-entertaining John Landis doc, Slasher, for a funnier look into the world of auto traders. — Louis Fowler

cinefiles1-2.jpg

It Might Get Loud (NR)

Sony Pictures

Might? What the hell kind of rock 'n roll movie is this? In case you've lived the past 40 years in a monastery on Mars, the subjects of this documentary — the Edge, Jimmy Page and Jack White — are founding members of U2, Led Zeppelin and the White Stripes. Director Davis Guggenheim's film "summit" assembled them in a single room to riff, ramble and complete an ecumenical guitar-god trinity. You would think three charismatic, experienced entertainers would be more interesting. They are, individually. Together, they seem slightly on guard. Guggenheim's scatter-brained and self-interrupting appreciation will be a must for admirers. Still, you wonder, would a movie like this be better off with random fans sitting around playing records and arguing about who the best three living guitar players actually are? Hey, it might. — Jonathan Kiefer

cinefiles1-3.jpg

World's Greatest Dad (R)

Magnolia Home Entertainment

You know, when you watch Robin Williams in a movie like this, and he's so damn good and subtle and funny, it makes you wonder: Why doesn't he make this type of flick all the time? Why must he go back to the horrifically idiotic well that springs forth visual sewage like the recent Old Dogs? By contrast, World's Greatest Dad, directed by twisted comedian Bobcat Goldthwait, is a dark, nasty, cynical, black comedy about teen deaths (via auto-erotic asphyxiation) and the revisionist history that the method inspires. The film ranks right up there — it's tied, actually — with the equally underrated Observe and Report as this year's best comedy. There are no cheap pratfalls or Viagra jokes here, no misappropriated stabs at the heartwarming joys of fatherhood; it's almost enough to make you forget Patch Adams. Almost. — Louis Fowler

The Art of Love (NR)

Severin Films

I am usually a big fan of '70s Polish filmmaker Walerian Borowczyk. Films like Contes Immoraux and La Bête are dreamlike, somewhat historically based tales of bizarre eroticism that put him in a league with Tinto Brass and Jean Rollin. But this 1983 effort, The Art of Love, suffers from amateurish, choppy editing and (unintentionally?) disjointed storytelling that causes the whole thing to fail. The basic idea is that, in Rome circa 8 A.D., the poet Ovid teaches classes on love and watches over various maidens and centurions as they divulge their innermost desires and whatnot. It's not pornographic, but it does come right up to that line at times at least by American standards. The problem is that the whole thing is simply boring and pointless, and a big black eye to the auteur's otherwise outstanding filmography. — Louis Fowler

Tags

Add a comment

Clicky Quantcast