Gil Mansergh’s Cinema Toast
New Releases for 7/08/11
Horrible Bosses (R)
Starring: Jason Bateman, Jennifer Anniston, Jason Sudeikis, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, Charlie Day
Directed by: Seth Gordon
If your boss is the type who takes the credit (and promotions) for your work, or is the coke-snorting son who recently inherited the fine company he is recklessly destroying, or who sexually harasses you on a daily basis, then you have a right to feel angry and upset. But after the three ordinary guys in this raunchy comedy consume a sufficient quantity of alcohol, they decide to kill the bosses. They then consult an ex-con who suggests they kill each other’s boss to avoid suspicion. Okay, it’s funnier than it sounds. It’s also a very messy film. Director Seth Gordon likes to have his talented cast improvise scenes, and although this works great sometimes, on other occasions, the jokes fall flat (sort of like on Saturday Night Live).
3 pieces of great characterizations here toast
Starring: Kevin James, Rosario Dawson
Directed by: Frank Coraci
This should have been called “A Night at the Zoological Park.” It even has an annoying capuchin monkey (with Adam Sandler’s voice). This story involves the lovably rotund title character who decides he has to find another job to get a girlfriend. However the talking animals like the guy and don’t want him to leave. So they offer advice on how to woo a mate. CG technology has improved greatly since the era when peanut butter in an animal’s mouth made them look like they were talking, but the dialogue is as predictable as the words uttered by Francis the Talking Mule (using Chill Wills’ voice).
2 pieces of talking animals toast
Cave of Forgotten Dreams (G)
Directed by: Werner Herzog
Most of us would call anything that happened 30,000 years ago prehistoric, but when the German filmmaker Werner Herzog climbs deep into a cave in the French Alps, what he uncovers is surprisingly modern. Colorful lions, mammoths, horses and reindeer gallop across the rock surfaces of mankind’s first art gallery—masterpieces created all those millennium ago by an artist with a crooked little finger. Herzog wisely chose 3-D cameras to record these images, and, if possible, you should see the film that way. Herzog’s German-accented narration may not appeal to everyone (he considers universal questions like “What is art?” and “Why do humans exist?”), but I enjoyed his ruminations—even his attempt to include the existence of alligators in a pool near the caves as being profound.
3 and 1/2 pieces of beauty for its own sake, with a large dose of Herzog too toast
NEW ON DVD
Of Gods and Men (PG-13)
Starring: Lambert Wilson, Michael Lonsdale, Olivier Rabourdin
Directed by: Xavier Beauvois
Trappist monks in an Algerian monestary become unlikely heroes when Islamic fundamentalists appear at their door with a wounded fighter. We have learned to appreciate the insulated certainty and quiet beauty of the monks daily rituals, and instantly recognize the peril to body and soul these strangers pose. Decisions must be made quickly. The Algerian government wants the monks to abandon their bastion of Christianity, the local villagers want the monks international visibility as a shield against Islamic violence, and the real-life climax is more engrossing than anything Hollywood can imagine.
4 pieces of truly great toast