Daily Archives: June 6, 2003

Hollywood Homicide

I’d be pushing it to call this buddy comedy/cop thriller a souffleit’s hardly that subtlebut movies don’t get much lighter than this. Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett star as LAPD detectives investigating the murder of a rap group, a perfunctory adventure that allows writer-director Ron Shelton (Bull Durham, Tin Cup) and cowriter Robert Souza (a former LAPD detective himself) to dispense a lot of cheerful satire about such foolishness as police corruption (which is taken for granted throughout) and Angelenos’ obsessions with acting, real estate, and New Age calisthenics. This is basically about the heroes’ personalities (the producers seem to be hoping for a franchise like Beverly Hills Cop or Lethal Weapon), and though its ending feels protractedespecially the climactic chaseit kept me reasonably distracted. The backup cast includes Lena Olin, Keith David, Martin Landau, and Shelton regular (and wife) Lolita Davidovich. 111 min. (JR)… Read more »

May

I can’t say I got much pleasure from this gross-out horror tale by writer-director Lucky McKee, about a friendless young woman who sews stitches at an animal hospital, but by the final credits I was able to grant it a certain scuzzy conceptual integrity (even if the ending challenges some of the premises the movie has halfheartedly adopted). Angela Bettis is interesting in the title role, though the script requires her to oscillate between extreme awkwardness and cool composurenot to develop her character but to set up a few grisly shocks. More generally McKee’s direction of actors is as clumsy as the stabs at rapid editing. With Jeremy Sisto and Anna Faris. 95 min. (JR)… Read more »

Capturing the Friedmans

Powerful and haunting, this upsetting documentary by Andrew Jarecki examines the scandals enveloping an upper-middle-class Jewish family in suburban Long Island, as the father and a teenage son are accused of sexually abusing countless boys. The story unfolds over many years, with as many carefully delayed revelations as in a well-plotted fiction film, and though Jarecki raises a good many questions about the Friedmans that he doesn’t entirely resolve, his exploration of the larger issues–police investigations, community hysteria, and the family members’ obsession with filming themselves–is much more revealing. 107 min. Landmark’s Century Centre.… Read more »