Midwest insurance salesman Mickey Prohaska (Greg Kinnear) hatches a get-rich-quick scheme that depends on him gaining possession of a rare and precious violin, but his planned score results in wild and unexpected consequences. Alan Arkin, Billy Crudup and Lea Thompson co-star in this meditation on lying and its consequences, written by sisters Jill and Karen Sprecher (Thirteen Conversations About One Thing).
Rating: 8 out of 10
The only reason I watched this movie is because it popped out of the Red Box by mistake. I literally knew nothing about this movie when I started watching. But the Red Box machine’s mistake became my surprise fortune. Now that’s good movie karma!
Greg Kinnear leads an excellent cast as a truly unlikable human being. He swindles people in business, cheats on his wife, doesn’t take care of his finances or family, and when pushed to his limits, will cover up a murder. This is one of those movies where there’s no good guy to root for. It’s definitely not filmed like an Alfred Hitchcock movie, but the script has the feel of it. Kudos to the Sprecher sisters for writing an intriguing script that unfolds very nicely, keeps the intensity at a great level, and inspires great performances by Alan Arkin, Billy Crudup, David Harbour and Lea Thompson.
This is a movie where nothing goes right, there are no heroes, and no possibility of a positive outcome. Sounds bleak, right? Well, it works very well with the balance of some humor. Bad deeds lead to more bad deeds, and they keep piling up. As the audience, we feel the tension build. the danger grow, and the risks get higher. It’s an entertaining movie, for sure.
Casa de mi Padre
Will Ferrell stars as a Spanish-speaking cowboy in this comedy about a Mexican clan trying to rescue their ranch from greedy creditors. When his brother can’t save the day, the simple but noble ranch hand takes on a powerful drug lord.
Rating: 5 out of 10
In theory, I should love this film: Will Farrell stars in a Spanish-language film that lampoons old Mexican movies in a campy romp. In reality, it just kind of fell flat for me.
There were a couple really funny moments where I laughed hard. There’s a very amusing love scene with some uncomfortable close-ups of Farrell’s posterior. It had me cracking up. But a lot of this movie just didn’t go anywhere, or meandered. There weren’t enough jokes.
This movie does succeed in where Farrell is great as a comedic actor, and that’s character development. In Anchor Man, his character Ron Burgundy has layers of character, and the title roles in this film are given that same treatment. But in the end, the execution fell far short of the premise.
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