With his good looks, Liev Schreiber (TV's Ray Donovan) seems born to play an astronaut. In Magnet Releasing's The Last Days on Mars, he finally gets the chance. As chief systems officer Vincent Campbell, he's part of Aurora's six-month mission on the red planet with only 19 hours left to go before heading home. What could go wrong?
According to The Slumber Party Massacre, young women love to have group sleepovers so fun that the girls don't have the good sense to leave the house when their party is crashed by the arrival of a drill-wielding serial killer.
We vilify people for bad behavior in real life, yet celebrate it in our entertainment, particularly on the small screen. When the results are as strong as the current crop, all new (or new-ish) to DVD and/or Blu-ray, why question the disconnect?
Prior to his Spider-Man trilogy, director Sam Raimi cut his superhero-movie teeth on 1990's Darkman, a character of his own creation. Although it's clearly not the most polished of his works, the summer sleeper plays even better as the years tick by. Look no further than Shout! Factory's colorful re-release on Blu-ray.
Someday, celebrity cyclist Lance Armstrong may regret hiring Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney to document his 2009 "comeback," but I doubt it. As The Armstrong Lie demonstrates time and again for two mostly gripping hours, the athlete is still unable to tell the whole truth and nothing but.
Nine decades after women earned the right to vote, it’s unfortunate that “Bridesmaids” is being hailed as something revolutionary, as if the better half has never been funny onscreen before.
Can’t we just call it “really hilarious” and leave it at that?
Then again, consider that Hollywood’s women-fronted comedies are almost always of the rom-com variety and aggressively push Kate Hudson on us. This work is not of that lineage, and thank the Lord for that.
“Bridesmaids” marks not so much a breakthrough for females as it does for its star, co-writer and co-producer, Kristen Wiig. She gives a honest-to-God performance that’s worthy of award consideration. If you love her each week on “Saturday Night Live,” you’re going to love this. And if you don’t, give her another chance. The added dimensions may surprise you.
The trailer tells you everything you need to know plot-wise — Annie (Wiig) is asked to be the maid of honor by her lifelong best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph, “Grown Ups”), and does a horrible job at all the duties that come with it — but almost nothing about the film’s true layers. And that’s OK in an Internet age of inescapable spoilers. It’s less about slapstick and gross-out antics, and more about Annie’s changing relationship with Lillian, and with herself: lonely, miserable and dirt-broke.
In other words, those “Bridesmaids” of the title? When it comes down to it, we don’t see as much of them as you’d expect. The one exception may be Rose Byrne (“Insidious”) as Helen, an über-wealthy, über attractive woman who’s only known Lillian for a few months, yet is dead-set on usurping Annie for that BFF title.
As the men in Annie’s screwed-up dating life, Chris O’Dowd (“Gulliver’s Travels”) is winning as a cop who’s too nice for his own good, and an uncredited Jon Hamm (TV’s “Mad Men”) is riotous as her occasional, in his words, “fuck buddy.”
That term was used so memorably in Judd Apatow’s “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” and he serves as producer of this like-minded film, which resides on an equal plane of big laughs and big heart. Some audience members got misty-eyed at its end, but no worries: They also laughed so loud and long that portions of the next scene could not be heard — always an encouraging sign. —Rod Lott