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Showing posts from September 30, 2012

Review: The Lincoln Lawyer

Matthew McConaughey plays the title L.A. lawyer, a cynical slickster who goes for a high fee and drives around in a chauffeur (Laurence Mason) driven car. A bail bondsman (John Leguizamo- ‘nuff said) directs him to the case of rich kid Ryan Phillippe, accused of assault and rape of a prostitute. Phillippe says he’s innocent and that the hooker set him up. Whilst McConaughey juggles this case with other clients (junkie hooker Katherine Moenning among them), his investigator pal William H. Macy does some digging into the case. Marisa Tomei (warm as ever) plays McConaughey’s friendly ex, mother of their young daughter, and a prosecutor whose boss (the DA, played by a perfectly chosen Josh Lucas) is the one who will be going up against McConaughey in Phillippe’s trial. Frances Fisher plays Phillippe’s protective mother, Bob Gunton is an associate of Phillippe’s family, Michael ParĂ© (where has he been the last ten years?) and Bryan Cranston play a-hole detectives who don’t like McConaughey…

Review: White Lightning

Burt Reynolds is good ‘ol boy Gator McKlusky, released early from prison to help nail some moonshiners. Gator reluctantly agrees to help the FBI out, but is mostly motivated by revenge, hoping to take down the crooked sheriff (Ned Beatty, with thick glasses) who got his brother killed. Bo Hopkins plays the dopey moonshiner, whilst Matt Clark plays a nervy contact of Gator’s. Jennifer Billingsley is the sultry love interest, with R.G. Armstrong her sour husband.

Although I think the sequel, “Gator” is more entertaining (and its title song is awesome!), this 1973 Joseph Sargent (“The Taking of Pelham One, Two Three”, “Jaws: The Revenge”) crime-actioner is enjoyable stuff. That is, if your idea of entertainment is films like “Convoy” and TV shows like “The Dukes of Hazzard”.

Burt is Burt, whilst Billingsley, and especially Clark (one of his best roles) and well-cast Hopkins are terrific in support. Beatty is fine, but a bit subdued and underused as the main villain. Nice car stunts for t…

Review: The Change-Up

Jason Bateman is a workaholic corporate lawyer and father of three who never has enough time for his wife (Leslie Mann) because he’s trying to close a big business deal for his boss (Gregory Itzin). Best mate Ryan Reynolds is a fledgling actor who smokes dope all day, and shags as many women as possible. And yet he wonders why his father (Alan Arkin) is always disappointed in him. One night after a heavy drinking session, the duo are peeing into a fountain (as you do), and they wish aloud that they had each other’s lives. The next morning, they wake up in just that situation, with Bateman trapped in Reynolds’ body, and Reynolds in Bateman’s body. And because the statue has (somewhat conveniently) been moved by the local council, they’re stuck that way until they can find out where it has been moved to. So now the irresponsible commitment-phobic Reynolds must contend with three kids and a nagging wife (whom he wouldn’t mind shagging), and Bateman fronts up to Reynolds’ acting gig only …