Find it hard to imagine Brendan Frasier a nervous attorney? Or Sandra Bullock as anything but Gracie Hart from Ms. Congeniality? America is often overrun with stereotypes and type casting. Writer/director Paul Haggis (who wrote the screenplay for Million Dollar Baby) breaks the mold on this one, leaving his ethnically diverse characters to run amuck, and crash into each other, if you will, in one angst filled 24-hour time span.
Think Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, sans flat top and neon ’80s clothing, and bumbling accountant Albert (King of Queens Kevin James) instead of shrieking Carlton. Will Smith plays his typical suave self, that is until his co-star isn’t looking and Smith becomes as accident prone and tongue-tied as any romantic comedy actor in love. Although commencing in a programmed, is not inevitable, match for both James and Smith, this flick is a fun, two-hour escape from reality.
Remember feeling invincible and like you were above high school politics? Remember graduation? Remember the ensuing onslaught of summer jobs and the big question, what are you going to do now? Enid (Thora Birch) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) clutch onto their sarcastic criticism of life and humanity with the tips of their fingers, “I don’t understand 99 percent of humanity.” Slowly, over the course of the summer, the two girls let go – of their cynicism and one another to discover that the 1 percent they can relate to is each other.
Post-Soviet Union; brutal, harsh and full of self-made men, a.k.a., hit-men, goons, and gangsters. In the middle of the mob hierarchy rises a younger brother, Danila, a mechanical, almost heartless killer, albeit, somehow, likable. Maybe his redeeming quality is his mission to protect the few he does care about, his older brother, Viktor, for one. A prominent stance on Russian under-culture with even a bit of hope for the future.
Perhaps one of Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest concoctions, even if not as highly recognized as Psycho and The Birds. This film will leave you reeling in the realm of possession, or maybe even more fitting, obsession. Hitchcock bares more than his basic break down of technical talent, and lets his inner demons seep out through the superb performances of Kim Novak and James Stewart
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