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Deathtrap, Deep Water, Flight of the Conchords

Tim Berroth
Film reviewer, www.hollywoodjesus.com

In Deathtrap, director Sidney Lumet ably crafts Ira Levin’s play into an engrossing thriller with wicked plot twists and a deliciously devious ending. The brilliant Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve (shedding his Superman tights at the height of his popularity) match wits as “collaborating” playwrights.

Will Ferrell puts aside his lowbrow antics for the thoughtful and utterly human drama, Stranger Than Fiction. As Crick, he learns he’s a character in Emma Thompson’s novel and his demise is imminent. After seeking the help of a professor and finding elusive intimacy with a baker, Crick begins to truly experience life and the joys that come with spontaneity, vulnerability, and connection.

Crazy Love is a disturbing and utterly fascinating documentary — kind of like a car crash that you drive by and have to look. Director Dan Klores weaves an engrossing tale of two lovers whose dysfunctional relationship is too bizarre to be believed.

Deathtrap
(USA) 1982, Warners

Stranger Than Fiction
(USA) 2006, Sony Pictures

Crazy Love
(USA) 2007, Magnolia

Greg Wright
Managing editor, Past the Popcorn, ptpopcorn.com

The documentary Deep Water recounts the first race to circumnavigate the globe solo. Natural elements, the human competitive drive, fear of failure, love of the sea, and the cost of isolation produce results that neither entrants nor organizers could have anticipated.

Director Mira Nair has been steadily acquiring a reputation as a director with one foot firmly planted amidst her Indian roots and the other in the American film industry. We can be deeply thankful for the way she has matured and converged with novelist Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake to produce a virtual masterpiece that might establish a new mode for “coming of age” stories. When young adults are not truly achieving independence until deep into their twenties, The Namesake offers a new vision for a genre that takes emotional and sexual awareness for granted, and instead focus on a different kind of awakening: that of identity, purpose, and cultural, societal, and familial reconciliation.

Deep Water
(England) 2006, IFC

The Namesake
(India/USA) 2006, 20th Century Fox

Drew Goodmanson
Pastor, Kaleo Church, www.kaleochurch.com

The Flight of the Conchords is a show that follows the lives of two Kiwis — Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement — who try to break into the music scene of New York. Every episode takes off when the duo bursts out into song in the middle of the dialogue. The song for each episode is inspired by a musical theme, from rap — with Bret using his rapping name “Ryhmenosaurus” and Jemaine as the “Hiphoppopotamus” — to a fantasy musical dream that parodies David Bowie. The songs are hilarious and many are based on the real life stand-up comedy routine of the group.

To continue with the comedic theme, Jim Gaffigan: Beyond the Pale is the hilarious stand-up act of Jim Gaffigan. Gaffigan’s “inside voice,” where he says what the audience may be thinking, is genius.

Flight of the Conchords - The Complete First Season
(USA) 2007, HBO

Jim Gaffigan - Beyond the Pale
(USA) 2006

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Tim Berroth
Film reviewer, www.hollywoodjesus.com

In Deathtrap, director Sidney Lumet ably crafts Ira Levin’s play into an engrossing thriller with wicked plot twists and a deliciously devious ending. The brilliant Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve (shedding his Superman tights at the height of his popularity) match wits as “collaborating” playwrights.

Will Ferrell puts aside his lowbrow antics for the thoughtful and utterly human drama, Stranger Than Fiction. As Crick, he learns he’s a character in Emma Thompson’s novel and his demise is imminent. After seeking the help of a professor and finding elusive intimacy with a baker, Crick begins to truly experience life and the joys that come with spontaneity, vulnerability, and connection.

Crazy Love is a disturbing and utterly fascinating documentary — kind of like a car crash that you drive by and have to look. Director Dan Klores weaves an engrossing tale of two lovers whose dysfunctional relationship is too bizarre to be believed.

Deathtrap
(USA) 1982, Warners

Stranger Than Fiction
(USA) 2006, Sony Pictures

Crazy Love
(USA) 2007, Magnolia

Greg Wright
Managing editor, Past the Popcorn, ptpopcorn.com

The documentary Deep Water recounts the first race to circumnavigate the globe solo. Natural elements, the human competitive drive, fear of failure, love of the sea, and the cost of isolation produce results that neither entrants nor organizers could have anticipated.

Director Mira Nair has been steadily acquiring a reputation as a director with one foot firmly planted amidst her Indian roots and the other in the American film industry. We can be deeply thankful for the way she has matured and converged with novelist Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake to produce a virtual masterpiece that might establish a new mode for “coming of age” stories. When young adults are not truly achieving independence until deep into their twenties, The Namesake offers a new vision for a genre that takes emotional and sexual awareness for granted, and instead focus on a different kind of awakening: that of identity, purpose, and cultural, societal, and familial reconciliation.

Deep Water
(England) 2006, IFC

The Namesake
(India/USA) 2006, 20th Century Fox

Drew Goodmanson
Pastor, Kaleo Church, www.kaleochurch.com

The Flight of the Conchords is a show that follows the lives of two Kiwis — Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement — who try to break into the music scene of New York. Every episode takes off when the duo bursts out into song in the middle of the dialogue. The song for each episode is inspired by a musical theme, from rap — with Bret using his rapping name “Ryhmenosaurus” and Jemaine as the “Hiphoppopotamus” — to a fantasy musical dream that parodies David Bowie. The songs are hilarious and many are based on the real life stand-up comedy routine of the group.

To continue with the comedic theme, Jim Gaffigan: Beyond the Pale is the hilarious stand-up act of Jim Gaffigan. Gaffigan’s “inside voice,” where he says what the audience may be thinking, is genius.

Flight of the Conchords - The Complete First Season
(USA) 2007, HBO

Jim Gaffigan - Beyond the Pale
(USA) 2006

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Comments
1

Great recommendations. Gaffigan is a comedic genius, and Flight of the Conchords is awesome (HBO still hasn't decided on a 3rd season; not sure why, as it's very critically praised).

I would drop The Namesake, which could've been great. But it got bad 3/4 of the way thru.

And Stranger Than Fiction was okay (aside from an ending that didn't really make sense, as Ferrell knew what would happened, so...why do it?) If you want Ferrel in a serious role, go with him in that Woody Allen movie Melinda and Melinda. He plays the Woody character. A lowkey but good film.

Oct. 20, 2009

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