High school security guard and video game enthusiast Ben (Kevin Hart)… MoreHigh school security guard and video game enthusiast Ben (Kevin Hart) tries to prove himself to soon-to-be cop brother-in-law James (Ice Cube). Neither the script nor the acting is very good. Not many laugh out loud moments either.
Could almost be the sequel to Knocked Up. Some gross-out frat-house… MoreCould almost be the sequel to Knocked Up. Some gross-out frat-house humor like the great Revenge of the Nerds. The flashbacks to the inventiveness of frat houses through the decades were amusing. But it is Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen who shine most as a couple who are equals. I was impressed by the stunt work, too. Having seen this in a drive-in double feature with Ride Along, which dealt with cops and criminals, I was surprised that this comedy featured better fight choreography.
The English subtitled translation of the film's title is Moscow… MoreThe English subtitled translation of the film's title is Moscow Distrusts Tears, which has a bit of a different meaning than the world-wide English title used in the marketing materials and by the Academy when awarding this Best Foreign Language Film of 1981. It is a nice and melancholy melodrama with female protagonists. Specifically, the film follows Katerina or "Katia," played by Vera Alentova. In the late 50s, she rooms with Lyudmila (Irina Muravyeva) and Antonina (Raisa Ryazanova). These life-long friends are concerned with men and how to be successful in the modern world. Antonina already has a steady boyfriend and finds it easiest to settle down into domesticity. Lyudmila is the most boy crazy, wanting to live an exciting, glamorous life. Katia focuses on her studies and being self-sufficient through developing a career. Yet, Katia still faces hardship. She gets pregnant and the class-conscious father turns her away. Twenty years later Katia is a single mother and executive at a large factory. We see the changes in technology and style of late 70s Moscow, yet the three ladies have kept in touch. Before long, the romantic Gosha (Aleksey Batalov) moves into Katia's life. Amongst a few subplots, Gosha and Katia have a falling out and she must rely on her friends to help reunite them. Wonderful performances create characters with depth. The sort of apolitical cultural reference point that shows how much humanity is more similar than we are different.
When I first saw this, it didn't thrill me. Upon a second viewing, I… MoreWhen I first saw this, it didn't thrill me. Upon a second viewing, I recognized a higher quality. This is still the only film I've seen starring Susan Hayward. As "bloody Babs, the tiger woman" she gives a wild and snarky performance. Some elements of the movie are strictly from the style of its decade. However, Robert Wise leads the cast and crew to make a film that is ahead of its time in many ways. In the background you see the teen culture emerging. You see the hounding press and public spectacle, not only by newspaper men, but through the new medium of television coverage too. There's a small number of recognizable character actor faces supporting Susan Hayward, but mostly the cast seems to consist of New York theater actors. The jazz soundtrack is amazing and really boosts the camera work with some of its jazzy angles. Wise did in depth research of what death row was like. The final quarter of the movie, when Barbara Graham is awaiting her execution is almost documentary-like. It gets dull with all the waiting. It is torturous to Barbara as her lawyer seeks appeals and is repeatedly granted stays of execution. Perhaps it is the feeling the director was going for, but it is nearly as torturous to the audience watching the minutes tick by without closure of one kind or another. Our antihero had committed a lot of crime in her time, but was she guilty of murder? And is capital punishment the right solution? The movie gives you many things to think about, but doesn't give you clear answers.