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Wynters
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PostSubject: Printed Reviews   Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:56 pm

Reviews from newspapers, magazines and the internet on the newest releases
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PostSubject: Re: Printed Reviews   Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:46 pm

Jennifer's Body (2009)

Rated: R (for sexuality, bloody violence, language and brief drug use)
Genre: Horror/Suspense
Starring: Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Simmons, J.K. Simmons, Amy Sedaris, Adam Brody, Cynthia Stevenson
Director: Karyn Kusama
Synopsis: A sexy horror film with a wicked sense of humor, JENNIFER'S BODY is about small town high school student Jennifer (Megan Fox), who is possessed by a hungry demon. She transitions from being "high... A sexy horror film with a wicked sense of humor, JENNIFER'S BODY is about small town high school student Jennifer (Megan Fox), who is possessed by a hungry demon. She transitions from being "high school evil" - gorgeous (and doesn't she know it), stuck up and ultra-attitudinal - to the real deal: evil/evil. The glittering beauty becomes a pale and sickly creature jonesing for a meaty snack, and guys who never stood a chance with the heartless babe, take on new luster in the light of Jennifer's insatiable appetite. Meanwhile, Jennifer's lifelong best friend Needy (Amanda Seyfried), long relegated to living in Jennifer's shadow, must step-up to protect the town's young men, including her nerdy boyfriend Chip (Johnny Simmons).

Associated Press Arrow `Jennifer's Body' not as hot as it should be

By CHRISTY LEMIRE

LOS ANGELES — "Jennifer's Body," the second screenplay from Diablo Cody following her Oscar-winning debut smash "Juno," is so chock full of her quirky trademarks, it almost plays like a parody of something she'd write.

The self-consciously clever dialogue, the gratuitous pop-culture references, the made-up phrases intended to convey a specific high school ethos — they're all there. Even though fembot Megan Fox is an excellent fit to spit out these witty quips, it's all so familiar, it makes you wonder whether Cody has any other weapons in her arsenal.

Part of the allure of the Showtime series Cody created, "The United States of Tara" — beyond the versatility of its fabulous star, Toni Collette — is the humor she finds in everyday suburbia, the reality and the absurdity. And that's actually the best part of "Jennifer's Body," too.

Never mind that it's a mash-up of horror flick and teen comedy: When her characters are talking about regular stuff like toxic female friendships, awkward adolescent sex and high-school dances, it's funny in a relatable way. It's when Cody tries too hard to dazzle us that she loses her footing; meanwhile, director Karyn Kusama ("Girlfight," "Aeon Flux") struggles in her own way to find the right tone amid these two divergent genres.

The result: "Jennifer's Body" is never scary and it's only sporadically amusing.

Fox is a great choice, though, to play Jennifer, the queen bee who longs to flee the small town of Devil's Kettle. Here, the "Transformers" star gets to show what she can do when given the chance to speak, and not just run from angry, shape-shifting trucks in a tight denim miniskirt. Granted, playing a sexy, popular cheerleader probably wasn't a huge stretch for her, but hey — it works.

One night, after attending a concert by her favorite band that goes disastrously awry, Jennifer seems ... different. This is immediately obvious to her childhood best friend, the nerdy Needy (Amanda Seyfried, rendered vaguely mousy beneath glasses and stringy hair). But eventually the whole town realizes something is wrong when boys' bodies start turning up bloodied and eviscerated.

Jennifer, meanwhile, is more radiant and confident than ever — and strangely indifferent to the campus-wide catharsis in which everyone else is wallowing, a group-think phenomenon that was parodied so well in "Heathers" and the recent "World's Greatest Dad."

Trouble is, we all know what the deal is. There's no mystery to engage us, no real frights to jolt us, just a waiting game until the rest of the town catches onto Jennifer's homicidal tendencies. The explanation of what's gotten into Jennifer, courtesy of the band's lead singer (Adam Brody in eye liner), provides a good little dig at the posers who populate indie rock.

Seyfried, with her petite frame and big eyes, is a great choice to play an unlikely heroine who finds unexpected inner strength. The interaction Needy has with her shy, sweet boyfriend (Chip Simmons) helps provide the film with some substance. But then the much-hyped make-out session between Needy and Jennifer comes out of nowhere, feels wedged-in and provides no insight on the intensity of high-school girls' relationships, as Cody has said she intended.

Instead, like the rest of the movie, it's just not as hot as it could have been.

"Jennifer's Body," a 20th Century Fox release, is rated R for sexuality, bloody violence, language and brief drug use. Running time: 100 minutes. Two stars out of four.

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PostSubject: Re: Printed Reviews   Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:56 am

I'm still going to watch it dammit. Two stars my ass...

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PostSubject: Re: Printed Reviews   Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:00 am

The Invention of Lying - Review

Rated: PG-13
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: 2009-10-02

Starring: Jennifer Garner, Jonah Hill, Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Patrick Stewart, Rob Lowe

Directed by Ricky Gervais
Produced by Dan Lin, Lynda Obst, Oly Obst
Written by Ricky Gervais, Matthew Robinson

As a movie, The Invention of Lying is a lot like its protagonist. In it, Ricky Gervais plays Mark, a man who’s not much to look at on the outside. He’s repeatedly described by those around him as a pug nosed little fat man and it’s true, he’s not pretty. Neither is Invention of Lying, a somewhat clumsily directed and edited film which doesn’t always fit together as well as it might have and seems to struggle with even the most basic filmmaking concepts like, for instance, putting together a decent montage. It doesn’t look like much, but just as it is with Mark there’s something more going on beneath its misshapen exterior. It’s smart. Really smart and even more importantly than that, it’s brave. The Invention of Lying dares to go where few other movies have ever dared to go, straight into the atheist brain of Ricky Gervais.

It takes place in a world much like our own, except for one very key difference: No one lies. It’s not that humanity has dedicated itself to honesty; lying was never invented. They don’t even have a word for it. Whatever someone says simply is and the idea of saying something that isn’t, is literally beyond the mental grasp of anyone on planet Earth. What’s great about Invention of Lying is the meticulous way it extrapolates this concept to it’s logical conclusion, faithfully constructing a world in which people only know how to speak the absolute truth. There’s no such thing as flattery or for that matter, tact. If someone’s ugly you tell them so because, of course, it’s true. But it runs much deeper than that. Without lies there is no fiction and movies, for instance, have been reduced to men on camera narrating actual historical events.

The film, co-written and co-directed by Ricky Gervais and Matthew Robinson goes even further than that and in doing so tries to say something daring. In a world without lies, there is no religion because of course, at least in Gervais’ point of view, religion is really just a big lie told over and over again. This results in a heartbreaking scene in which Mark’s dying mother professes an abject fear of nothingness and the newly fib-empowered Mark, in a moment of weakness, comforts her with a lie about after death mansions. That lie, overheard by hospital staff, is spread and soon the world wants to know more about this mansion filled heaven and the man in the sky who takes care of you after death.

In part, The Invention of Lying becomes a commentary on the nature religion, but seems dissatisfied with only being that. It has more to say and Gervais’ script struggles to fit it all in. And that’s really the movie’s greatest sin: trying to be too many things all at once. It’s also a romance movie with physically unattractive Mark struggling to win the heart of Anna, his dream girl, in a world where people without imagination rarely look beneath the surface. It’s also a comedy of course, with great gags involving Marks’ lying ability and the strange reactions of brutally honest people around him. It’s also sentimental, a film dealing with the very real human fear of death, failure, and abandonment. It’s also sort of gimmicky, with scores of distracting celebrity cameos shoehorned in throughout the film, perhaps in an attempt to get Ricky’s latest the attention his unfairly overlooked last effort, Ghost Town, never got. It’s too much and Invention of Lying struggles to make it fit.

It doesn’t always work, but you have to admire The Invention of Lying for trying. It’s a ballsy film, one unafraid to say things which, while they might not be altogether popular, are in sync with the things Gervais actually believes. It’s full frontal Ricky Gervais, it’s everything he cares about crammed into one movie, and some of you might want to flinch away. Yet though it’s often bulky and bumbling, and even though all of the script’s parts don’t necessarily mesh together, The Invention of Lying is filled with many brilliant moments. It’s awkward and ungainly, but more often than not The Invention of Lying is also touching, moving, and flat out funny.

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PostSubject: Re: Printed Reviews   Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:59 am

I'd like to see this movie, I like Ricky Gervais stand up comedy. I just hope its not one of those movies where the best parts are shown on the trailers.
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PostSubject: Re: Printed Reviews   Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:00 am

Wynters wrote:
I'm still going to watch it dammit. Two stars my ass...

I find that rarely do critics and I agree. Wink
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