films seen
6
average score
2.25*
nationality
status
Alive and kicking
more info

Worthy but flawed

Hope Springs

2012 / 100m - USA
Comedy, Drama
2.5*/5.0*
Hope Springs poster

The Big Year

2011 / 100m - USA
Comedy
2.5*/5.0*
The Big Year poster

Marley & Me

2008 / 115m - USA
Comedy, Drama
2.5*/5.0*
Marley & Me poster

Dubious filler

Jerry and Marge Go Large

2022 / 95m - USA
Comedy
2.0*/5.0*
Jerry and Marge Go Large poster

A very prim and proper feel-good comedy. It was a bit too safe and unadventurous for my liking, with a slew of well-meaning people and a ridiculously bland "villain", but Cranston's performance saves the film from worse. It kinda works, but barely, and far from well enough to make this a great film.

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When Jerry is forced to retire, he feels like his life has ended. When he discovers a flaw in the lottery odds math, he and his wife see it as the perfect opportunity to rekindle their love. They build an entire business around their little scheme, but when some Harvard kids discover the same loophole, they get caught in a strange little feud.

There is no edge whatsoever to the comedy, the characters are all docile and well-meaning, the cinematography and score are safe and a little too pleasant. The lack of comedy films nowadays makes this slightly passable filler, but it's hard to recommend to anybody under 70.

Collateral Beauty

2016 / 97m - USA
Drama
2.0*/5.0*
Collateral Beauty poster

An interesting idea, ruined by a director who's going straight for shameless sentimentality. That shouldn't be too big of a surprise considering Frankel's history, but usually he sticks to filming pretty basic genre films that don't aspire to be anything more than big budget filler. Collateral Beauty is a little different.

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The premise at least was pretty interesting. Three friends/colleagues are trying to save a man who slipped into a depression after his daughter died. They do that by hiring a trio of actors to play love, death and time, the three abstract concepts that form the cornerstone of his take on life. But bringing him back to the real world turns out to be more difficult than expected.

Performances are decent, though Smith, Knightley, Peña and Winslet all struggle to make a real impression. Frankel's heavy-handed and garish direction doesn't make it any easier for them. The drama never really hits home and the execution of the premise lacks creativity and vision. Somewhat disappointing.

The Devil Wears Prada

2006 / 109m - USA
Comedy, Romance
2.0*/5.0*
The Devil Wears Prada poster

Not quite as bad as I'd feared, though once the formula starts to settle the film loses a lot of its steam and shine. It's a bit surprising to see this is such a popular film, then again the fashion scene and the casting probably were a perfect match for the film's target audience. Beyond that's, it's all pretty standard.

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Andrea is hoping to make it big as a serious journalist, but her job interviews don't work out and in the end all that's left for her is a secretary job for one of the biggest fashion magazines in the US. She becomes the assistant of Miranda Priestley, a stone-cold bitch who treats her as dirt, slowly Andrea starts to adjust to her new job.

It's a bit of an ugly duckling story with some girl power thrown in at the end. The performances are decent, and the first hour has some rather amusing scenes. The second half is too predictable though and with Frankel playing it safe from start to finish there's really not much here that makes a lasting impression.