Archive for June, 2011

The Gangster of Khinshasa: Viva Riva!

Posted in Review, Timothy Parfitt with tags , on June 22, 2011 by Timothy Parfitt

A fairly conventional gangster movie set in an unconventional locale, VIva Riva! is a tale of two halves. The first half of the film, set in Khinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, moves briskly and feels fresh. The audience is introduced to Riva, a freewheeling and fun-loving gangster who delivers a truckload of petrol to the city. Since gasoline is in such short supply in the capital, his load lands Riva a windfall of cash, which he promptly spends on bubbly at the club.

Hot on his tail is Cesar, a gangster from Angola with a loping gait that screams “evil”, is hellbent on locating Riva and the truckload of petrol, which Riva apparently secured in a less than honorable fashion. Continue reading

Midtown Malaise: The Art of Getting By

Posted in Review, Timothy Parfitt with tags , , , on June 19, 2011 by Timothy Parfitt

Last Thursday I attended a free preview screening of The Art of Getting By. The film, written and directed by Gavin Wiesen, follows George (Freddy Highmore), a talented but nihilistic high school senior who is dangerously close to flunking out of school. We see him walk around Manhattan in his gray overcoat, reading The Stranger in the cafeteria, and falling for a classmate who may or may not be just a friend.

Nothing about this film is horrible, per se, but nothing really stands out either. It’s a coming of age story about how hard it can be to sit down and do your homework, and how you should never introduce your love interest (Emma Roberts) to your twenty-something Brooklynite painter mentor. Continue reading

Vintage Mutants: X-Men First Class

Posted in Review, Timothy Parfitt with tags , , , , , , on June 16, 2011 by Timothy Parfitt


Brimming with attempts at retro charm, X-Men: First Class seeks to reboot the Marvel franchise a la Batman Begins. While there is some fun in seeing Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) fully haired and hitting on co-eds, this 4th X-Men film ultimately disappoints by running 25 minutes too long and lacking any real surprises. Continue reading

Framing death and madness: A Detective’s Wife

Posted in Review, Timothy Parfitt with tags , , , on June 11, 2011 by Timothy Parfitt

Nearly buried by towering stacks of mystery novels that spring from the ground and the ceiling like threatening stalagmites, Alice Conroy, the heroine of “The Detective’s Wife”, the new play by playwright Keith Huff (“A Steady Rain”), is determined to track down her homicide detective husband’s murderer. Continue reading

3 shorts ones: Bridesmaids, Fast Five, Jumping the Broom

Posted in Review, Samuel C. Doob with tags , , on June 2, 2011 by sdoob


A fucking piece of shit.  I laughed more than I’d like to admit.  Nonetheless, a fucking piece of shit.  (Did not intend to write a poem there.)

Fast Five

Fell asleep during the first one.  Haven’t seen the other ones.  Enjoyable enough, but I would turn it off if it were on TV.

Jumping The Broom

Unbelievably fast paced.  The falling in love stuff at the beginning should be 250% longer.  But that’s also the worst part of the movie, so maybe that’s why.  There are so many charming characters and so many storylines that I was always entertained and engaged.  It’s a bad movie, no doubt about it, but totally enjoyable.  Better than most in theaters right now, save for Insidious.  Finally, the bride, Paula Patton, is unbearable, and her mother, Angela Bassett – well she just doesn’t have a fun part.

Breast plates and other acts of desperation: Thor 3

Posted in Review, Samuel C. Doob with tags , , on June 2, 2011 by sdoob

My friend put it well: “What’s the story?”  A very film school question, to be sure, but it’s a good point.  Here it is:

Thor’s dad, Anthony Hopkins, banishes Thor to earth because Thor’s being a dick.  Thor continues to be a dick when he meets Natalie Portman and her sister (?) Kat Dennings and her father (?) Stellan Skarsgård in New Mexico.  Dad also throws Thor’s big hammer down to earth – a hammer with a magic adjustable handle.  Thor decides to go get it, which takes up more scenes than one, a poor choice.  After beating up a bunch of dudes in the rain, he tries to pull the hammer out of the ground where it’s stuck, but he can’t.  Deflated, Thor is captured and taken to a spacious and well-lit holding cell.   Continue reading

Live by the Sword, Die by the flaming livestock: 13 Assassins

Posted in Review with tags , , , on June 2, 2011 by Timothy Parfitt

Yesterday I attended a matinee of 13 Assassins, the new samurai flick by cult director Takashi Miike. Set at the end of feudal Japan, the movie jets along at a brisk pace, building towards a suitably crazy action setpiece. While obviously a higher-budget affair than some of Miike’s previous films (Ichi the Killer, Audition, Visitor Q), the film maintains his eye for cruelty and wicked sense of humor. Continue reading