Brothers/bandmates Ron and Russell Mael have been recording and playing around the world since 1967, but many people (myself included) have never heard of them. This doc features the duo in a "formal" studio interview, as well as numerous musicians who've been involved with or influenced by them. There's also a lot of stills and footage detailing most of their output. Surprisingly, they've been prolific and popular all this time and this is an entertaining way to discover them. The only complaint (even the 2:15 running time didn't get tiresome) is that there's almost no insight into their personal life. It's a quirky movie that echoes Sparks's eccentric style by showcasing their fascinating and innovative creative output
The Man Without Gravity In an early scene, the baby is born and gently floats up to the ceiling. The narrative follows him as a young boy (when he's limited in his contact with the outside world) to his adulthood (when he must address his unique ability). While there's potential for comedy or a wild success story, this is more a serious look into the character and how his ability affects his life. It develops too slowly and the story sometimes seems misguided, but the eventual outcome provides a quietly-observed personal drama. (Italian dubbed in English)
Ryan Reynolds & Samuel L. Jackson are back as bodyguard and hit man with the addition of Salma Hayek as the con artist wife. They back into a mission to save Europe from a disaster (plotted by Antonio Banderas). Like the first movie (my review) the biggest draw is the interplay between the self-depreciating, offhand wry comments from Reynolds and the profanity-laden, raucous attitude from Jackson. Things are even more explosive with Hayek's hotheaded character. There are lots of fights and gunplay, but much of it is shot with a dizzy camera and chaos editing, so it's hard to see the hits really land. There's plenty of raucous energy, but much of the plot isn't especially original or based on reality. The only saving grace was Reynolds' humorous asides. NOTE: Stay thru the early credits for a final scene, then wait til the end for a final gag.
When comics do stand up for a movie, it needs to reflect their abilities. Sadly, Iliza Shlesinger's stand up scenes in this feature were more about commenting on the narrative than provoking laughs. In this largely autobiographical experience, she plays a comic who meets a man seemingly too good to be true (RyanHansen who's obviously wearing extra padding to his usually buff bod…even going so far as to use a body double in one swim scene). She and her best friend (Margaret Cho, providing a few mild moments of amusement) set out to find the truth behind this poser. What results is interesting, esp since it's based on a real character, but it's not ever very funny.
Liam Neeson is back on the action road…literally. This time, he's one of several drivers who are tasked with transporting equipment to save trapped miners in Upper Canada. The route is literally ice and the perils are numerous. Even though the rivers are relatively straight, the road continually curves with calamities and challenges that only a superhuman hero can solve. Most of them involve manipulating the trucks in various ways (a clear promo for the Kenworth brand). The project has a cheesy made-for-TV feel with underdeveloped characters, sad attempts at emotional connection and increasingly implausible logic. Even though some of the feats are unfeasible, the execution is rarely impressive, plus the insistent score continually attempts to ramp up the tension. Overall, this is a middling action adventure.