Film Brief: The Little Hours

The Little Hours is an odd little film, a period piece featuring contemporary foul language.  Mick LaSalle, SF Gate:

Though very funny, “The Little Hours” remains low-key and subtle in its effects. There’s no winking or nudging, no straining for laughs.

He thought it more funny than I, but there were a number of good laughs, and I liked the tone.  Tone is important.  Stephanie Zacharek, Time:

The Little Hours coasts along breezily on the oddball rhythms of its actors. The cast also includes John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon, who cap the whole crazy enterprise in a surprisingly tender coda. It doesn’t hurt that Baena and cinematographer Quyen Tran shot the picture in sun-washed Tuscany. Looking for a break from the Black Death, or even just the summer heat? The Little Hours is just the thing.

7/10

Advertisements

Film Brief: The New Girlfriend

The New Girlfriend - poster

Less plot than a 23-minute episode of Dates on the CW: not good for a nearly two-hour long movie.  Even Blue is the Warmest Color was a narrative powerhouse compared to this.  They don’t do much, but the pair of likable characters — and a great cabaret sequence — lift Une Nouvelle Amie to 4/10.

PS – The title translates as A New Girlfriend, so a miss right off the bat.  A minor quibble with the marketing, but it’s one of those things that annoys me.  On the plus side, I like the 1950’s/60’s-esque poster graphics.

The New Girlfriend - text block

The Overnight Express

The Overnight Movie Poster

A long day’s journey into night, without the day part.  Ella Taylor, NPR:

[Writer-Director] Brice manages admirably to make his comedy at once daring and earnest, outlandish and relatable, obscene and sweet.

After aptly applying “squirmy” to The OvernightDavid Edelstein concludes:

Does Brice even fully grasp what he’s getting at? Maybe not. That’s why this is such a juicy specimen of the Cocktail Party Walpurgisnacht subgenre. He’s in nearly the same place as his riven characters.

I quite enjoyed this romantic comedy-drama, which held me engaged from start to finish.  There might have been a bit more, but let’s not be greedy.  8/10

Friday Fun Flick: Teeth

Teeth - poster large

Speaking of novel vectors in cinema.  Carina Chocano, for the LA Times:

YOU could never accuse Mitchell Lichtenstein (son of artist Roy) of pandering to market expectations. His first feature, “Teeth,” is a dark, gory and hilarious sendup of contemporary prudery, teen horror films, Christian abstinence programs, rampant cultural misogyny and latent gynophobia in ancient mythology that plays serial castration by vagina dentata for laughs.

… Campy, shameless and sophisticated, Lichtenstein’s debut is gutsy and original, and it makes “Juno” look positively tame by comparison

Teeth is not a masterwork by any means, but it’s a fun film that fills a niche found nowhere else in film.  You’ll have a good time with this one, and won’t forget about it any time soon.  Available via iTunes rental.

American Pie for the Fourth of July!

I know, I’m being Captain Obvious here.  And I also know these movies have been on TV like a gajillion times.  And they’re a little juvenile and dumb.  But guess what?  They’re funny, and in a good-natured way.  So I recommend all three.  To celebrate our independence, and have some laughs doing it — have yourself a Friday Fun Flick for the Fourth.  The Stifmeister would want you to.