Satire

[6.0] Julie Andrews, William Holden, Richard Mulligan, Robert Preston, and Robert Webber star in Blake Edwards’ (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Thoroughly Modern Millie) ensemble comedy about a film producer who goes suicidal after his latest G-rated family film turns out to be a bomb. Desperate to turn things around, he decides to reshoot the film, making it more erotic and promising the public the lead star …

[8.0] Jamie Bell (Billy Elliott) leads an all-star ensemble in this surreal, satiric look at the breakdown of suburban existence. The Chumscrubber is an ambitious conceptual piece, not unlike American Beauty in tone and style. But where American Beauty centered on one character’s shaky morality and lost me, The Chumscrubber stems more confidently from one of my favorite thematic tropes — human beings’ desperate need …

[7.5] Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg co-wrote and co-produced this R-rated animated satire about a grocery store hot dog (voiced by Rogen)┬áthat discovers the truth about life outside the store’s sliding glass doors. But it’s an uphill battle to convince the rest of the grocery denizens that their idea of ‘heaven’ is actually the gnashing teeth of human beings!┬áSausage Party delivers all the naughty sexual …

[4.0] I enjoyed Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut because it lampooned many things. It was like a greatest hits collection of the South Park TV show, and the songs were all far more amusing than they had any right to be. So I went into Parker and Stone’s Team America: World Police with similar expectations and was very disappointed. …

[9.0] Birdman swoops into cineplexes offering the antidote to superhero hysteria, CGI migraines, and Hollywood’s usual hackneyed, formulaic bullshit. It’s goddamned original, a showcase for skill and craft, and a breath of fresh fucking air. Michael Keaton turns in a career-best performance as a one-time popular film actor who is risking it all to put on a Broadway play. In the span of hours leading …

[6.0] In this opus from writer/director John Waters, Stephen Dorff (Blade, The Gate) plays the title character, a cult movie director who gathers a flock of teen drug addicts and whores to join him in a literal war against mainstream film making. Their efforts attract media attention when they kidnap a Hollywood star (Melanie Griffith) and force her to be in their underground flick. I …

[7.5] Director Paul Verhoeven (RoboCop, Basic Instinct) continues his knack for combining violence, gore, dark humor and social commentary in this loose adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein’s serialized novel about humankind’s future war against a race of insect-like aliens. I can almost enjoy the movie for the action alone. It escalates beautifully, with plenty of exciting sequences and spectacular visual effects. But it’s the satirical …

[7.5] A Face in the Crowd is a surprisingly relevant movie, despite the fact that it’s now over 50 years old. Andy Griffith stars as “Lonesome” Rhodes, a country singer who becomes a media sensation. As the public fawns over him, Rhodes becomes drunk with power and soon sets his sights on the political ring, forcing an ex-lover (Patricia Neal) to attempt revealing to the …

[10] A suicidal TV news anchorman strikes a nerve with the public, prompting his network to bastardize their news hour with his crackpot proselytizing. Before long, the network embraces pure tabloid sensationalism — live assassinations and all. Network is now famous for being ahead of its time, foretelling the Jerry Springer and Honey Boo Boo phenomenons decades in advance. But there’s more to it than …