Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (14)
| Top Critics (5)
| Fresh (5)
| Rotten (9)
Firstborn is the film we knew Apted had in him when we saw the care and craftsmanship in his Coal Miner's Daughter and Continental Divide. It's a find, and Collet's singular performance is its core.
Director Michael Apted ("Coal Miner's Daughter") settles for a movie of pat moralism, a pamphleteer's parable of how drugs destroy families.
The movie creates such an urgent situation, and fills it with such interesting characters, that when everything goes wrong at the end I felt more than disappointed, I felt cheated.
The best things about Firstborn are the easy, natural performances of the actors.
It might have worked if Apted were as adept at creating an emotional atmosphere as he is in his portraiture of the suburban milieu, but too many unshaped scenes and redundant dialogue passages take their toll.
This flawed but interesting Freudian melodrama spends about 70 minutes making points and the last 30 minutes losing them.
A heavy-handed suburban sitcom.
Peter Weller is best known for playing the hero in movies like Leviathan, and most notably, the title character in Robocop. But somehow he seems more in his element playing a bad guy. Never better than here. He plays the sleazy new boyfriend of suburban mom Teri Garr. Instantly he butts heads with her oldest son played by Christopher Collet. He tries to come across as a nice guy, but Collet sees beneath the fake smile, and knows that this guy is bad news. Soon, the new man in mom's life has her out partying late, doing coke, and even getting involved in dealing drugs. With no father around, Collet decides to stand up for his family, and do what it takes to get this guy out of their lives. It's a movie that will resonate with anyone that has divorced parents, and had to deal with new adult figures trying to assert an authority position in their lives. Sometimes it's a good thing, and sometimes it isn't. This is one of the worst case scenarios of what can happen to a good family when a bad element is introduced. Weller is at his best, but the rest of the performances are equally sound. Garr can do the soccer mom thing in her sleep. Like his turn in The Manhattan Project, Collet gives us a very believable (although very different) character that easily identifiable with. His problems and concerns are very realistic, and Collet sells it enough to get the audience cheering for him when he finally stands up to the bully. Watch for appearances by a very young Sarah Jessica Parker as Collet's girlfriend, and Robert Downey Jr as his friend who is the first kid the know to get an earring. Ah, the 80's. This is also the film debut of Corey Haim.
An interesting movie! Still watch every now and then.
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