The Air I Breathe (U.S.A.) - World Premiere
written and directed
by Jieho Lee
Based on a Chinese proverb, these four overlapping stories dramatize the four emotional cornerstones of life: happiness, pleasure, sorrow and love, or so says the blurb, but these actually two narratives, which are shoehorned into each other at the end, and not too well either. It took five years for Jieho Lee and Bob DeRosa to get this film on film, and it doesn't seem like all that time and effort was worth it.
The film starts rather promisingly. Titled Happiness, it's about an investment counselor(Forest Whitaker) who hears about a fixed race and decides to go to an illegal OTB parlor and bets a huge amount he doesn't have on the horse, which unexpectedly loses. Here he meets the main character of the film, a crime boss named Fingers(Andy Garcia), who explains how he got the nickname and gives him a couple of weeks to get the money he owes. A bank robbery is staged and it all ends badly, but our hero achieves the title of his segment.
The second segment, entitled Pleasure, is about Fingers' assistant (Brendan Fraser), who we see briefly in the first segment and has the gift of prophecy. Fingers assigns him to look after his nephew(Emile Hirsch), and for some reason he loses his gift, and somehow this gives him the title emotion. So far, so good, but then the thing begins to fall apart.
In part three: Sorrow, Trista, a pop star (Sarah Michelle Gellar) discovers to her horror that her manager has gambled away all her money and that she's now his slave. Falling in love with Brenden Frasier…the whole thing starts to lose steam, and this isn't Geller's fault, it's purely that of the writers, because the characters are flat. The fourth segment, Love involves a doctor (Kevin Bacon) who needs Trista because she has an extremely rare mutant blood type. It's grasping at straws, and gets more pathetic by the minute, and the ending is just plain bad.
There's no mystery as to why this took so long, what the mystery is is how it managed to make it onto the screen at all. Don't bother.
Suburban Girl, (U.S.A) - World Premiere.
Written and Directed
by Marc Klein
Michelle Bank's bestselling book, “The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing,” was a series of short stories chronicling the adventures of one Brett Eisenberg, an ambitious young book editor, on her way to fame, fortune and a good lay. There was no doubt that it would be turned into a movie eventually, and if it's a hit, a sequel or TV series. “Daughter of Sex and the City!” Hey, why not?
The two stories that made it two the movie were “My Old Man” and “The Worst Thing A Suburban Girl Could Imagine,” which are about love and much older men: one platonic and one not so.
With her first book stuck on the back shelves of some local bookstores,
Brett(Sarah Michelle Gellar) and her best buddy Chloe (Maggie Grace) plan to ambush high-powered publisher Archie Knox(Alec Baldwin) and use his influence to pressure the managers. It's love at first site, and Geller and Baldwin become a latter day Tracy and Hepburn. In the meantime, Brett has to deal with dumping her dopey boyfriend Jed (Chris Carmack) and the discovery that her new boss, the notorious Faye Faulkner (Vanessa Branch), who hates her, also schtupped Archie.
The film runs on chemistry, if it were not for Baldwin and Geller having it, this whole thing would be a lot less entertaining. The whole thing about her father is rather predictable, as is the relationship with Archie. But Geller has a great time chewing the scenery and Baldwin's recent real marital troubles provide quite a bit of inappropriate laughter.
This film is nothing special, however, it's well done and for a chick flick does what it's supposed to. This is something that the gals should see by themselves and leave the guys to see stuff blowing up elsewhere in the multiplex.
The Hairy Tooth Fairy (Argentina/Spain)
Juan Pablo Buscarini
It’s nice to see a children’s film in which the auteur has given a little though as to the construction of a fantasy world. In this case, it’s a world where at least SOME grownups aren’t entirely clueless.
Lucía(Delfina Varni) is a first grader living somewhere in the British Empire with her parents: Dad(Fabián Mazzei) is an unemployed chef and real estate broker mom(Ana María Orozco), and aside from Dad’s job problem, everything is going nicely. Now in Wherever this is, when a kid loses a baby tooth, it’s not picked up by the Tooth Fairy™, but a famous mouse named Perez (voice of Fran Perea). What Perez is supposed to with the teeth is anyone’s guess.
Which is what makes this tale for tots rather nifty. It seems that Perez has a recycling factory, where the teeth are turned into pearls, and then taken by boat to a mysterious jeweler named Morientes(Joe Rígoli), who purchases them and makes a very tidy profit. This is a metaphor about globalization, so the dastardly plot is extremely capitalistic. Perez is going to be kidnapped, and his Number Two, Fugaz (voice is Mariano Chiesa) is going to enslave the workers [selling them off as lobotomized toys], and completely mechanize the factory, while Morientes’ nephew Pipo (Diego Gentile), as the outside man, will take the enterprise global.
So it’s up to Lucia and her genius cousin Ramiro(Nicolás Torcanowsky) to save the day and the enterprise for the benefit of little kids everywhere. Also, Dad winds up getting a job, which is nice.
While much of Enrique Cortés’ script is mostly boilerplate, it’s still kind of fun, and the perfect melding of CGI character animation and makes suspension of disbelief rather easy. If you’ve got kids, it might be worth a rental, however I doubt it would readily available anytime soon.