Posts Tagged ‘Emily Mortimer’

Rudd’s charm drives ‘Our Idiot Brother’

Saturday, August 27th, 2011
Paul Rudd in "Our Idiot Brother" Ned is “Our Idiot Brother,” a pleasant and innocuous little comedy with a low-key charm from Paul Rudd.

“Our Idiot Brother” is a pleasant, innocuous little comedy given extra bounce and life by Paul Rudd’s charming and fluid performance as an idealistic man whose heart exceeds the size of his brain.

The first scene tells us everything we need to know about Jesse Peretz’s leisurely directing style.

A uniformed cop comes to an organic farm stand and asks a hippie-looking dude named Ned (Rudd) for some illicit weed.

Ned denies he has any. But after the cop practically begs for a dimebag (he’s had a really bad week, he says), Ned reluctantly gives him some grass. Then, the cop keeps insisting he wants to pay for it, until Ned finally gives in and quotes him a price.

“You’re under arrest!” the cop says.

“You’re kidding!” Ned replies.

Instead of instantly cutting to a shot of Ned in prison — a punchy visual requiring our brains to fill in the gaps — Peretz has Ned continue to talk to the cop until the officer finally convinces him that he’s seriously under arrest.

Not punchy. (Read more…)

‘Cars 2’ moves along, despite underpowered dramatic motor

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011
Lightning McQueen, Mater and Finn McMissile from "Cars 2" Race car Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), left, joins tow truck Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) and spy car Finn McMissile in the action-packed “Cars 2.”

Pixar’s computer-animated sequel “Cars 2” races through record numbers of visual and verbal gags, and they fly by at such speed that multiple viewings may be required just to absorb them, let alone appreciate them.

That being noted, “Cars 2” represents another slight disappointment from Pixar, whose 2006 release “Cars” still ranks as the least impressive addition to the Pixar canon of excellent animated motion pictures.

“Cars” the sequel may be faster, noisier and funnier than the original, but it can’t touch Pixar’s “Ratatouille,” “WALL-E,” “Up” or “Toy Story 3” for the character development, clever plotting and animated innovation we’ve come to expect from Pixar.

If anything, “Cars 2” takes the low road by relying on lots of guns, bullets, explosions and car chases (as opposed to races) to fuel its narrative.

Back in Radiator Springs, exhausted race car hero Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) wants to take a pit stop and spend some idling time with his fiance Sally (Bonnie Hunt) and tow truck pal Mater (Larry the Cable Guy).

Then a cocky Italian racer named Francesco Bernoulli (John Turturro) challenges McQueen by virtually insulting the size of his engine.

So, McQueen agrees to meet Bernoulli in the World Grand Prix, a trilogy of races sponsored by Miles Axelrod (Eddie Izzard), an oil tycoon with plans to have the cars use his new green fuel that will revolutionize the world.

But there’s a fly wheel in the ointment. (Read more…)