Archive for the ‘2007’ category

2 Days in Paris (Julie Delpy, 2007)


Julie Delpy, who had to be directly inspired by her participation – acting, in Richard Linklater’s high acclaimed “double feature” Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004), produced this creepy little romantic comedy in 2007.  Yes, how often you hear the words creepy romantic comedy used together?

Working with a hilarious Adam Goldberg (does the guy play himself in every film he does? here he seems to be stepping straight off the Entourage set); actress, writer, director, editor AND composer Delpy created this little farce of a thirty something couple taking a break from a less than stellar 2 days in Venice (and a longer break from hometown NYC as they have been in a two-year relationship).  In Paris they bunk up with her parents, played by Marie Pillet and Albert Delpy – Delpy’s real life actor parents.  Goldberg’s character (Jack) is overwhelmed with French eccentricity, mostly in its sexual form and this brings out jealousies and resentments as Delpy (Marion) continues to run in to one ex-boyfriend after another.  These encounters, often heated, are told in French with English subtitles so we know what is being said but poor shmuck Jack has no clue.  Jack’s character is straight out of a Woody Allen sketch – in this film Jack has no problem calling the French on their often clichéd attitude towards foreigners – see hilarious scene in a hamburger restaurant:  his closing comment to a purely French-speaking fast food hamburger clerk – “Paris sucks.”  Delpy edits the thing perfectly and the story really does cause some unease – I recommend imbibing a little when you see it.  Total surprise and Delpy is some talent!  Smart, funny and very recommended.  Great date film for those that don’t desire the latest Julia Roberts’ romantic comedy.

**** / *****

The Ten (David Wain, 2007)


My god, this is one of the worst most unwatchable films I have ever not finished.  On paper and in casting, something must have looked good esp the acting talent but this is one big pile of dung.  I assume that Messers Paul Rudd and Ken Marino and other really talented people got this through the starting gate and finish line but it will haunt them forever.

* / *****

Paranoid Park (Van Sant, 2007)



Gus Van Sant exploring his familiar Northwest America childhood detachment and apathy.  This is among his best work – in the same league with Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho and Elephant.  It is a companion piece to Elephant without the abject horror.  I know of these skatepark guys – I have seen them and met them recently and I used to do a bit of this myself back in the day – in this film a culture that signifies a generation or generations of youngsters alienated by the CNN new culture of bad news and the breakdown of the family in all its nastiness.  The scene between Alex (Gabe Nevins) and his wayward father (Jay ‘Smay’ Williamson) near the end serves as an afterthought given the make up of Alex and his droogs.  It is truly amazing how Van Sant captures this culture in a way far more superior to MTV, Nick Jr, you know what I mean.  I am too old to watch those stations.  This is stark realism set to an amazing soundtrack.  If and when you watch the DVD, keep the subtitles on for the song references – it will build a nice play list.  The only rub on the film is the blithe treatment of the early female love interest, the cheerleader who dreams of more condoms and superficial love.  The best film of 2007.

***** / *****

Reservation Road (Terry George, 2007)



Difficult melodrama involving the loss of a child had to push the thespians to the edge.  Clearly very difficult material turns out good perfs from the rapper and retired actor Joachin Phoenix, Jennifer Connelly and Mark Ruffalo.  But its such bleak material and the plot turn, the thriller element, trivializes the tragedy that has befallen the parents played by Phoenix and Connelly and swallows up the performance by Mira Sorvino.  The audience is meant to believe that being a good father = watching the Red Sox and eating pizza.  Could be worse – I might be forced to watch the Texas Rangers.

** / *****