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Insightful Perspectives on Upper East Side Movies
Updated: 24 min 13 sec ago

Trainwreck

Sun, 07/26/2015 - 11:18
    I first saw Amy Schumer on "Last Comic Standing" many years ago. She was pretty funny but she didn't win. That's how I feel about her new movie, pretty funny in spots but not a winner.    In her first starring role, Ms. Schumer plays Amy, an alcoholic, promiscuous single girl in the city, not really looking for love. She is a writer for a tabloid magazine  run by the always wonderful, Tilda Swinton.  I don't think I've ever seen Ms. Swinton in such a loose, contemporary role and she is clearly having a blast as the crude head of the magazine.    The film plays like an anti-romantic comedy with Ms. Schumer in a role reversal of the usual male part.  The first half of the film is a series of encounters that allow Ms. Schumer to sleep around and toss off great one-liners.  When she is assigned to write a story about a sports doctor played by Bill Hader, love hits her when she least expects it. Not knowing how to deal with this new emotion is the basis of the rest of the film.     Mr. Hader is a terrific comedian but having him play the straight man is a complete bore. It may be right for the character but it's disappointing for the audience. The "actor" who steals the movie is LeBron James, playing himself as a close friend of Mr. Hader's. He is a natural and their scenes together are very funny.      There is a subplot involving Amy's sick father, played by Colin Quinn and her sister, played by Brie Larson. Mr. Quinn basically plays himself, making Ms. Larson one of the few truly professional actors in the film and it shows. She has matured into a fine young actress who is always a pleasure to watch. Mike Birbiglia plays her husband and Evan Brinkman plays her stepson, Allister, in a role written for awkward laughs.       There are some funny scenes throughout the overlong film but they are far and few between the awkward moments. Ms. Schumer's character is not likable. The "showstopper" at the finale made me what to scream "enough, make it stop". This is a film that will appeal to a very particular audience. Luckily for Ms, Schumer, she can always fall back on her very funny TV show.
Categories: Blogs

Ant-Man

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 18:35
       Big things do come in small packages. Marvel Comics continues it's movie domination with it's latest and most unexpected hero, Ant-Man.        The film stars Paul Rudd (an unlikely action hero but as it turns out, the right man for the job) as Scott Lang, Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym, Evangeline Lilly as Hope Pym, Hank's daughter and Corey Stoll as Darren Cross. Co-starring are Michael Pena, Bobby Cannavale, Wood Harris and the rapper T. I. There are also some familiar cameos and some surprise stars from the Marvel Universe.          Since this is an origin film, the first half is very dialogue heavy with just a few short action sequences to keep you interested in what's to come. Mr. Rudd is not quite his usual snarky self but he is never the less, charming and fun to watch. The real fun is the special effects. The small (no pun intended) visual taste in the beginning really pops in the second half of the film. Clearly the CGI artists had fun with their work as many scenes will have you laughing out loud.          The CGI ants look a bit too metallic but they are quite detailed and fun to watch as Ant-Man leads them into battle. There are many clever action sequences making use of environments you wouldn't expect and one terrific fight with a surprise Marvel hero. Speaking of which, the film references the Marvel universe multiple times and keeps Ant-Man firmly rooted in the same reality. As to what added to the success of "Guardians of The Galaxy", the film doesn't take itself that seriously which is why Mr. Rudd is a perfect choice for the lead.  The self deprecating humor keeps the film lively and things never get too heavy.          Make sure you stay through all the credits as there are two additional scenes once the film ends and they are both significant to the continuity of future Marvel films.
Categories: Blogs