This is the penultimate day of the festival, and there may or may not be some free screenings depending on the weather, which at the moment is rather good. Here are two more reviews, and they might be the last of the bunch depending if I decided to go to this evening's screenings:
Written and directed
by Joanna Lipper
There will always be a Coney Island. New York’s historic amusment district has seen both better and worse days, but that is neither here nor there. There’s an allure which will never leave, because even during it’s nadir during the 1970s and ‘80s, you could still feel it. But this film isn’t about that. This film is about hopelessness and desolation. To say this film is bleak is an understatement.
Joey’s(David Castro) family is about as dysfunctional as you can get. his father Sam (Peter Dinklage) is in prison and his mother Natalia(Justina Machado) spends all her time working or hanging out with her friends. Joey’s old brother Lenny (Nicolas Salgado) hates Joey, and when we meet them, he’s watching some bullys beat the crap out of his baby brother. Mom is furious when she finds out, but she doesn’t care all that much. She has a day off on Lenny’s birthday, and celebrates by going to Atlantic City with some friends, leaving the two brothers to care for themselves.
Being seven, Joey follows Lenny to target practice [illegal guns and that sort of thing], and the latter decides to pull a nasty practical joke, which leads him to became the title character. Lenny of course is filled with remorse and goes looking for him with their friend Destiny(Raquel Castro). Joey has some innocent adventures and fights off a predator(Brendan Sexton III). Then, just as the happy ending is on the horizon, the system gets them.
Exactly what Joanna Lipper wanted when she decided to do this remake [the 1951 version is considered one of the first modern “indies”] is unclear. This isn’t exactly a slice-of-life type flick, and it’s not all that entertaining. The ending is really a downer. The performances are fine, but not great enough to make up for the horribly depressing script. Don’t waste the bucks.
The OH in Ohio
Marilyn Monroe was wrong. Diamonds aren’t a girls best friend, her vibrator is. That’s to some extent the message of this silly trifle, which is about as lewd as you can get without actually getting just beyond PG-13 territory.
Screenwriter Adam Wierzbianski and first time director Billy Kent have attempted to make a new kind of sex farce, and while they’ve made some stabs in the right direction, they didn’t quite make it. Mores the pity.
Priscilla(Parker Posey) is what you might call…frigid. Her husband Jack(Paul Rudd) has been trying for years, but he’s never actually made her achieve orgasm. Out of frustration, he leaves her and moves into the garage. This may have been the best thing that has happened to them. Each gets to go on the classic “hero’s journey.”
Jack, a biology teacher is saved by Kristen(Mischa Barton), one of his students. Rarely has this sort of thing bee shown in such a positive light. The fact that she’s hot and looks about five years older than the character she portrays, makes the situation palatable. Priscilla’s journey on the other hand, is longer and more complex…
First she goes to a seminar on masturbation, signifying the cinematic comeback of Liza Minnelli in a delightfully over the top performance. Then she gets the abovementioned vibrator from
Heather Graham’s lesbo sex shoppe. Had it not been for the graphic subject matter, this would be something out of a mediocre TV sitcom. Don’t get me wrong, most of the jokes actually work, but this is too clever by half, and a bit too cutesie to boot.
Danny DeVito’s Larry the Pool Guy is not necessary to the movie. While Devito himself is terrific, he’s more of a dues-ex-machina than a real character. The ending isn’t all that well thought out.
This is a cute beginning, and Kent has a future ahead of him.