Friday, May 21, 2010

Let's All Go to the Lobby!

It's been a long time that an SNL skit has morphed into a movie, but the unlikeliest of spoof heroes has turned into the unlikeliest of features as "MacGruber" hits the big screen.

Will Forte co-wrote and stars as the MacGyver-inspired doofus. Flanked by Kristen Wiig and Ryan Phillipe, Forte bumbles and grumbles his way through 90 minutes of sight gags, rudimentary action sequences, and cheap, sophomoric one-liners. Somehow, however, it all seems to work. While the running time is a little long, the jokes are funny and Forte's performance is crisp and really stands out. There are a few cheap laughs, but there are several witty retorts and running puns that elicit a laugh every time.

"MacGruber" is a goofy, action/comedy spoof that hits all the standard action film plot points. Forte delivers a great comedic performance and Val Kilmer sinks into the role as the rotund villain. It's hard for me to comprehend, but believe me when I say it: See it.

The Secret in Their Eyes
As the Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film, I certainly expected quite a bit more from "The Secret in Their Eyes." A flashback thriller centered on the brutal rape and murder of a young woman, Eyes tries to tie in alcoholism, unrequited love, and police/justice system corruption into 127 minutes.

While production of the film is near flawless (led by great cinematography) and the actors perform relatively well, there seems to be something overwrought about the plodding nature of the story. The clues are laid out and the puzzle comes together with relative ease. Evil culprits are shown as smarmy, deceptive creatures who slip into government roles with ease.

"The Secret in Their Eyes" is well produced and well acted, but resonates with a hollowness that I was expecting from an Oscar winner. However, after looking over the director's list of credits, I can see why it unfolded like generic episodic television. Skip it.

There are a couple of films ("Harry Brown," "The Good, the Bad, the Weird")that have hit the St. Louis Landmark circuit recently that I'm interested in seeing; hopefully I can catch either or both before their engagements conclude.

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