Tag Archive: anna kendrick

“End of Watch” – Police story

Dir. David Ayer
(2012, R, 109 minutes)

End of Watch is a film about a pair of LAPD officers targeted by a dangerous cartel, but that is not what makes it interesting. Hollywood is lousy with cop movies that hinge on larger-than-life crimes and conspiracies, which is probably why this film’s marketing campaign was focused around its action elements. But the cartel is only one strand in a larger story about the day-to-day lives of police … Read the rest of my review at Culturazzi.


Dir. Jonathan Levine
(2011, R, 100 min)

I only made it through about four episodes of Showtime’s The Big C, a half-hour series about a woman (Laura Linney) who responds to a terminal-cancer diagnosis by getting a new lease on life. The problem with the show (though perhaps it improved after I stopped watching) was that it was so focused on being a cancer comedy – how bold, how transgressive! – that it smiled and laughed and joked its way into complete tonal incoherence. Linney, usually a faultless actress, was forced to mug her way through scenes meant to convey how liberated she was, but which instead made her seem demented, and shockingly unsympathetic for a woman with a deadly disease.

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Michael Cera, in 'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World'

Dir. Edgar Wright
(2010, PG-13, 112 min)
★ ★ ½

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World would be brilliant were it not for the Attention Deficit Disorder. It’s built on a clever and frequently touching metaphor of young love as a video game, filtering the anxiety of romance through the eyes of the post-Xbox generation. Love literally is a battlefield; instead of baggage, these characters have boss battles. But the film can’t keep still. It’s a funny, sweet, dizzying, over-caffeinated whirligig of disjointed gags bumping into each other at light speed. A lot of it works. It’s intelligent about romantic growing pains. But it needs a chill pill.

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George Clooney and Vera Farmiga, in 'Up in the Air'

Dir. Jason Reitman
(2009, R, 109 min)
★ ★ ★

Director Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air is a nice film, a warm and funny film; I liked it, but it’s a rather minor achievement. It doesn’t feel like a film that will be contending for Oscars. Its themes — cynical loner learns to open up — are familiar. Its observations of the economic crisis — lotsa people getting fired — don’t dig very deep. And the central romance follows a predictable course. But it’s nice. Well-written. I felt good when it ended. This happens a few times every awards season: a perfectly decent film disappoints me only because advance hype was for something greater.

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