Edwards, Ficarra and Requa, Levy, Stoller, Wyatt

Focus (Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, 2015). There are a whole lot of film folks trying to pivot their careers with this strangely aspirational con job drama. Star Will Smith is clearly trying to put After Earth completely behind him by staking a claim on the territory of smart movies for adults that George Clooney has made his whole grain bread and artisan butter. At the same time, filmmaking partners Ficarra and Requa endeavor to demonstrate they can do more than comedies with a slightly twisty edge. Everyone fails in their attempt to stretch. The film is notably tepid, even as … Continue reading Edwards, Ficarra and Requa, Levy, Stoller, Wyatt

Farrelly and Farrelly, Kazan, Levy, Stoller, Wain

The Three Stooges (Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly, 2012). Strangely, this attempt to update the Three Stooges for a modern audience is the most disciplined Farrelly brothers film in years. That doesn’t mean it’s good per se, but the screenplay does have a tightness and care that’s been largely missing from the siblings’ work for at least ten years or so. There’s some genuinely inspired staging to the hyper-violent comic set pieces featuring the trio of orphaned doofuses clumsily beating the hell out of each other which carries over the broader narrative. Not much of it is especially funny or … Continue reading Farrelly and Farrelly, Kazan, Levy, Stoller, Wain