Tag Archives: Sofia Vergara

Bent

Bobby Moresco is trying to make “bent” happen. “Bent” is the new word for crooked cops, apparently, and writer-director Morsesco cannot bear the thought that any of you don’t know about this super cool slang, so he half-assed a whole movie around the concept and put it on Netflix so that you can ultra hip and not embarrass yourself in front of potentially crooked cops.

Anyway, Danny (Karl Urban) is a cop who watches his buddy cop get shot during a deal gone wrong. Or something like that. The first 10 minutes of this film are needlessly confusing. But that’s still preferable to the last 86 minutes, which are just bad. And that covers the entire 96 minutes!

Danny, disgraced and off the force, decides to lead his own private investigation into MV5BM2NlMjdjMmYtNDYzMi00NDU0LWI3NGItZTlhMTg1ZTQ0NzFmXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMzEzMjg5NjA@._V1_what went wrong. So he does that thing where he circles the date on the calendar and his heart is filled with revenge lust and he has a beard so you know he’s morose and broody. His mentor (Andy Garcia) is more concerned for his love life and maybe his personal safety, and both of those might be threatened by a mysterious government agent (Sofia Vergara).

Karl Urban is a good actor and Sofia Vergara is a bad actor (she doesn’t even fall convincingly!) but none of that matters because the script is so terrible it forms an opaque force field over the movie that feels pretty darn impenetrable.

The thing is, it does honestly at times feel like the whole script is built around just saying the word ‘bent’ a lot. A lot. Some stuff does happen but it’s pretty worthless. Can you hear my disappointment oozing through the screen? It’s so generic it offends me. It’s immediately indistinguashable among the offal of its genre. The twists and turns are painful.The love interest is painfuller. The dialogue is painfullest.

Advertisements

Hot Pursuit

I’m having a hard time writing anything about this movie because it really didn’t make an impression. If you don’t have what it takes to be good, then at least have the decency to be bad, and mean it. This one just kind of meanders along the line of blandly okay when it’s not veering too close to annoying (or god forbid, racial caricature), but I did, in all honesty, stumble upon some genuine giggles along the way, so not without merit, but mostly meritless.

Actually, if you mention the title to almost anyone, the reply more than half the time is “Which one is that?” And that’s about all the review you need. It’s forgettable. It follows the formula HARD and colours within the lines even harder. Shotpursuitean and I went for drinks before this movie, and when the waitress asked what we were seeing, she responded “Oh, the Cameron Diaz one with that Latino woman?”. Yup, that’s the one.

I wanted to like this movie; you want to like this movie; we all want to get on board. How often does a movie starring women get produced and directed by them as well? This one does, but instead of celebrating it we’re all just kind of looking at our shoelaces.

It’s awkward when a likeable star fails. Reese showed real comedic chops when she did Elle in Legally Blonde, or even better: Tracy Flick in Election. She has an Oscar and her own production company so what the heck is she doing saying yes to a barely mediocre script (a script trying to ride on the coat tails of barely mediocre The Heat) in a vaguely offensive movie?

hot-pursuit-reese-witherspoon-sofia-vergaraReese is charming, and even appears to be having fun, but Sofia Vergara isn’t quite up to the task. Poor woman only has one speed, and without the wit of Modern Family, it starts to feel like Latina parody rather than an actual character. I never got the appeal of Vergara. She looks like a drag queen to me, with everything dialed constantly up to 11. Opposite Reese it’s even more vulgar, and the one-notedness more glaring and irritating.

Hot Pursuit is entirely missable. Full steam ahead to Mad Max: Fury Road and please baby Cheesus let it be good.

Fading Gigolo

John Turturro writes and directs this movie, and stars in it alongside Woody Allen doing a terrific Woody Allen impression.

Both men are past their prime and underemployed, so when Woody’s doctor mentions that she and her girlfriend are thinking about having a “menage” (a trois!) he volunteers his good pal Johnny Turturo, who’s “good with the ladies” and “sexy” and “looks good naked.”

All of these things are new and surprising and difficult to comprehend for an audience more used to thinking of John Turturro as he actually is. Good thing for director’s conceit.

It was hard to digest this movie for many reasons, but above all: why on earth would a hot lesbian couple made up of Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara need to pay for sex? And if they were so inclined to do so, why are they paying for John Turturro and not Channing Tatum? The only way John Turturro starts to seem like a good option is when you stand him next to say…Woody Allen. Oh. I see what happened here. Suddenly the casting all makes sense. Johnny looks good in a comparative\relative way, and he gets to make out with a lingerie-clad wet dream and call it a living. The only thing more mystifying than this dynamic is the one between Turturro and a Jewish widow who is so orthodox that she cannot shake his hand and yet somehow has sought out the services of a neurotic gigolo and his spastic ho.

I see now that it was a morbid curiosity that made me watch this movie and I tell you with confidence that the world could have done without it. This gigolo didn’t fade fast enough.

Chef

I liked this movie. I can forgive the saccharine subtext of the father-son roadtrip to reconnection because this movie is visceral and delicious and real. chef-movie

Brace yourself, Sean, because I’m about to pay Jon Favreau a compliment: he’s perfect as this chef. Really perfect. He’s fast-paced in the kitchen, ambling in the market, bumbling with his son.

This movie’s already available to rent or stream. It was passed to me by a friend who thought I’d like it, and I aimed to pass the recommendation along to another friend, only he beat me to it, which hasn’t happened since Snow Piercer (watch it). We watch A LOT of movies. About a metric tonne in the course of a normal week, and we talk about nearly all of them, but recommend very few.

Why did so many of us connect with this movie? The passion, maybe. You really believe in the love of food, the drive in your marrow to just cook food that will taste awesome. And you get a real sense of the struggle between the guy with the money, and the guy with the talent. Of course they clash. And there’s another struggle, between the chef, a man who dedicates his life to his kitchen but doesn’t know too much about life outside it, and the social media-enabled foodie culture that can prop him up or tear him down.

This movie definitely pays tribute to a certain amount of food porn, some of which already feels a bit dated (and I admit, I flinched, flinched, over the lava cake bit, having just served it to guests myself about a month ago). Scarlett Johansson is unnecessary in the movie and I can only imagine that Favreau was just looking for any excuse to kiss her (and who can blame him).

I loved the energy and pacing once we took to road in the food truck (another very on-point moment in food), even if it occasionally felt like a commercial for Twitter. John Leguizamo turns out to be a fun side kick. Robert Downey Junior appears out of nowhere. Or, you know, out of Favreau’s back pocket. But the whole mess just starts to feel fresh and real and relatable, no matter what you do for a living. You can’t help but feel his humiliation and then root for his redemption, and be tempted by his sandwiches.

The villain, a food blogger played by Oliver Platt, is kind of a great counterpoint to our protagonist chef. He becomes our scape goat for all the internet bullies, and there’s a not-so-subtle plea for a return to humanity, or civility, or fucking politesse. Even a big tattooed chef has feelings, and you can’t eat all of them away no matter how good the food.

So yes. The ending’s trite, but the passion’s back in his life, he’s rejuvenated, we’re rejuvenated just watching him spark. It’s great. It’s fun. It’s making me bloody hungry.