“The Big Bounce”
Warner Bros. Pictures
(Full review online)
“The Big Bounce” has the misfortune
of being a child behind a row of giants. Film adaptations
of Elmore Leonard’s novels like “Jackie
Brown,” “Get Shorty” and “Out
of Sight” have made it look like putting Leonard’s
blend of crime, romance, comedy and clever dialogue
on screen is as easy as making a bad Carrot Top film. “The
Big Bounce,” however, proves the contrary,
lacking the charm and energy that the previous films
had, despite a solid cast.
Owen Wilson, that king of lethargic comedy, plays
a small-time criminal loser named Jack who makes
his way to Hawaii, which, we’re told, is the
end of the line for shady drifters. (“They
never make it to Tokyo.”) He befriends a judge
(Morgan Freeman), who’s amused when he hits
his supervisor with a baseball bat, and the mistress
(Sara Foster) of a sleazy developer (Gary Sinise).
The quirky crime element is little more than unnecessarily
convoluted plot twists, and with all the well-done
twists and jokes from previous films in mind, this
one is utterly dispensable.
Vitagraph Films LLC
Opens at the Tower
So it turns out
that Elvis and JFK never died, but are living in
a nursing home. They are played, respectively, by
Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis, who is, interestingly
enough for a man playing Kennedy, black. Then the
story of “Bubba Ho-tep,” based on cult-horror
author Joe R. Lansdale’s short story, turns
sinister when an Egyptian entity starts hunting the
nursing home’s residents. This might be weird
enough to be good, but it might just be weird.
Sony Picture Classics
Legendary director Robert Altman takes an environment-driven
look at dance in “The Company,” starring
Neve Campbell, Malcolm McDowell and James Franco.
Robert Altman is awesome, even when his movies aren’t
perfect, so this movie ought to be worth a view.
It looks at the stressful hardships of a dance career,
going beyond not having funding for a really cool
project in which a dancer wears a Sensuit and makes
a tree move.
a Pearl Earring”
Lions Gate Films
(out of four)
Some good paintings have their own ways of inspiring
mystery and intrigue through curious faces and conditions. “Girl
with a Pearl Earring” imagines a background
to the famous Vermeer painting that incorporates
the social conditions of the time with an impossible
Director Peter Webber works subtly to adapt Tracy
Chevalier’s story of an intelligent young peasant
woman, played by Scarlett Johansson, who works as
a maid at Vermeer’s (Colin Firth) house, among
money problems and an unhappy marriage.
Johansson creates a woman who, due to the society
of the time, doesn’t understand her feelings
for Vermeer and wouldn’t likely act on them
if she did. As she helps the master painter mix colors
and compose, she discovers talents in the arts, but
they’re ultimately unusable because a woman
of her class, in the dogma of the time, had no business
Firth and Johansson give emotionally rich, yet
mute, performances that take the film beyond
a standard historical genre.
If you feel bad about lying on your personality
test, “The Perfect Score” may make you
feel better—if that’s the kind of personality
you have. In this satire, six high school students
band together, heist style, because they need a great
score and can’t study for various reasons.
Boo hoo. The cast includes newly not-Oscar-nominated
Scarlett Johansson, Erika Christensen, Tyra Ferrell
and Chris Evans.