Monday, July 21, 2014

Movie Review - Blood Ties

Clive Owen (left) and Billy Crudup (right)
in a scene from "Blood Ties"
First, there was a book called Deux Freres, Flic Et Truand by Michel and Bruno Papet. The novel was about two brothers. One was a cop and the other was a criminal. It was based on the real lives of Michel and Bruno Papet who were brothers at odds. Then, there was a French film called Les Liens Du Sang (2008) starring Guillaume Canet and François Cluzet that Jacques Maillot adapted from the Papet brothers' book. Now, there is this American version starring Billy Crudup and Clive Owen as the two brothers that former actor-turned-director Guillaume Canet has remade.

With the assistance of producer and co-writer James Gray, Canet is able to re-create Brooklyn of 1974. Canet and his crew would have us believe we're watching Serpico (1973) or some other New York cop drama of that time. From the clothing to the camerawork, it's all great on the surface.

Unfortunately, Canet can't seem to nail the relationships between any body. I didn't buy a single one. It's not just the actors but Canet's direction. None of the relationships here felt solid or even real, save for one. Key among the relationships that don't feel real is the central one, which is that of the two brothers.

Clive Owen stars as Chris, a man who is released from prison after nine years. He goes to live with his brother Frank, played by Billy Crudup. Frank is a detective with the New York Police Department. Frank tries to help Chris by getting him a job, but Chris' pride and frustration with wanting to be a big shot and provide for his two children push him back into a life of crime.

One might assume that Canet would go the way of Michael Mann's Heat (1995) or Ridley Scott's American Gangster (2007), but Canet's film doesn't quite rise to those levels. The problem is that I never felt the conflict between Chris and Frank. Yes, the two fight during a family dinner and later on, but, despite Frank's insistence that he would never cover for his brother, time and time again he does cover for Chris.

After a point, the movie wants us to continue to feel some kind of tension where none exists. Toward the end, Frank quits the police force, further removing the tension. When Chris goes back to crime, he does so in the most extreme way possible, committing cold and merciless, multiple murders. They take the character too far, which diminishes the other.

So much so, when Frank is put into danger in the movie's final moments, I didn't care. The whole thing felt contrived to give Owen's character Chris a redemptive arc. The reason it feels contrived is because Chris has the opportunity to eliminate the danger to Frank long before the final moments, but he doesn't. The reason he doesn't is for no other purpose than to draw things out, so Canet can do a car chase and a needlessly drawn-out shooting.

Marion Cotillard is an Oscar-winner but her accent here is pretty inconsistent. One second she sounds like she's trying to do a New York / New Jersey tone, and the next second her natural French tone emerges causing her to struggle with basic English. Cotillard plays Monica, the mother of Chris' children. Those children are in one scene but then are never seen or heard again.

Mila Kunis plays Natalie, the new girlfriend of Chris, but she just becomes a waste of time. Chris' relationship with Natalie comes of no consequence. Zoe Saldana plays Vanessa, the girlfriend of Frank whose relationship does come of consequence.

Matthias Schoenaerts as Anthony Scarfo
by far the best thing in "Blood Ties"
Before hooking up with Frank, Vanessa was involved with Anthony Scarfo, played by Matthias Schoenaerts (Bullhead and Rust and Bone), a former criminal who is arrested by Frank but is only held for a short sentence because there isn't enough evidence against him. While Anthony is incarcerated, Frank takes the opportunity to be with Vanessa, which highly enrages Anthony.

The scene where Vanessa tries to break up with Anthony, while he's still behind bars, is probably the best scene in the whole movie. It's mostly so because Schoenaerts' performance is so spectacular and power. His brief, few minutes on screen eclipses all the others with the exception of James Caan who plays the father of Chris and Frank.

Two Stars out of Five.
Rated R for violence, pervasive language, some sexual content and brief drug use.
Running Time: 2 hrs. and 7 mins.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Movie Review - The Purge: Anarchy

Frank Grillo stars in "The Purge: Anarchy"
I didn't see the previous film, but the premise is that into the near future, the United States passes a law that makes all crimes, including murder, legal for a 12-hour period annually on March 21. An opening graphic indicates that this law has drastically cut down crime on all other days during the year, and, all throughout the film the argument it helps to cleanse the soul is constantly spoken.

Given the state of American politics currently, it seems impossible that such a law would ever come to be. But, even if you suspend your disbelief, the problem arises that the man who crafted this law is called a "new founding father" and he develops a kind of worship from people, indicating that there are some who, if not for the Purge, probably wouldn't kill or hurt anyone at all.

As we come to see, an entire industry is built around the Purge that would never have existed otherwise. As is pointed out, the Purge favors the wealthy and becomes a kind of war on the poor. Only those who can afford to escape or properly fortify can sleep soundly, the rest become fodder. The wealthy become human hunters and a lot of the 99-percent just cannibalize each other.

There's a moment when one character threatens what can only be rape, but it's never said and then is quickly eliminated. It's as if even the filmmakers were afraid to broach that topic. From that point forward, there's an assumption on the filmmaker's part that murder is the worst thing you can do to a person when clearly it's not. If the film couldn't even say the word rape, then surely rape has got to be worse. That, and of course child molestation!

However, writer-director James DeMonaco would rather avoid those obvious sexual situations. If the Purge were real, it would be a field day for pedophiles. All one would have to do is break into an orphanage and enjoy the smorgasbord. Maybe that will take place in The Purge 3, but here DeMonaco falls into the typical trappings that come with a genre exercise such as this. When in doubt, he just relies on gun-play. Shooting people up is in a way safer violence. It's quick. Yes, it can be painful, but it's not the kind of pain that's meant to truly be felt, not like the violence of a sexual assault.

DeMonaco has no interest or either he's scared to imagine what a world of true anarchy might mean. He instead couches everything in religious mumbo jumbo and class warfare that's symbolized as actual warfare. He also simplifies everything to what's essentially a revenge tale.

Frank Grillo (The Grey and Captain America: The Winter Soldier) stars as the man only referred to as Sergeant, a father who clearly doesn't have his son any more. He arms himself with a bullet-proof vest, a car with reinforced glass and plating and a ton of weaponry, including a machine rifle. Once the Purge begins, he sets out on his mission, which isn't relayed until the third act, a mistake by DeMonaco, but he becomes the reluctant protector of four people who get caught on the street with no way of defending themselves.

The four tag-along people include a worried mother Eva, played by Carmen Ejogo (Sparkle and Pride and Glory) and her daughter and aspiring humanist Cali, played by Zoe Soul (Prisoners), as well as Shane and Liz, a couple on the verge of breaking up, respectively played by Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights and Devil's Due) and Kiele Sanchez (Lost and The Glades). The four exist as reminders to Sergeant that helping people is preferrable to hurting them, even during the Purge.

Three Stars out of Five.
Rated R for strong disturbing violence, and for language.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 43 mins.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

DVD Review - Love or Whatever

Joel Rush (left) as Pete, a possible "manic pixie dream girl"
for Tyler Poelle (right) in Love or Whatever
This month, Nathan Rabin, the film critic and writer for The AV Club, wrote an article apologizing for "manic pixie dream girl," a term he coined back in 2007. The newspaper The Guardian summarized the term as "a catch-all description for the sort of idealised kooky female archetype who breezes into about 80 % of all indie movies and rescues the male protagonist from a life of existential ennui with her endearing yet massively impractical commitment to living in the moment."

This film could be accused of having a similar thing, a "manic pixie dream boy," which other critics have identified in heterosexual romances, but it doesn't seem to be as frequent as Rabin's female stereotype. One would assume that homosexual romances would demonstrate a higher incidence of manic-pixie-dream-boys, but the kind of rom-coms observed by Rabin are rarely made by queer artists or the dynamic is never truly the same.

The only recent example that comes to mind is J.C. Calciano's eCupid and the character played by Matt Lewis. Like Calciano's film, this movie's title is taken from a dating web site. The web site in this case is Grindr, a social networking app that is exclusively for gay men's smart phones. Whereas Calciano was able to integrate the web site idea into his plot, this movie only uses Grindr for a one-scene gag. Grindr is not needed at all otherwise. Grindr's use here is almost like brief product placement.

The screenplay by Dennis Bush and Cait Brennan is funny. Credit has to be given for doing a gag that is practically the same as the famous, simulated-orgasm, diner scene in When Harry Met Sally (1989), but twisting it so that it doesn't feel like a rip-off. Credit has to be given for doing a Rain Man (1988) gag as well but with fallen pretzels.

Credit should also be given for doing something that I've rarely seen in movies. So often, so many films involving same-sex, male couples will have a man break up with his girlfriend, or wife, only to be with a second man, as the first man is discovering his homosexuality. This movie has instead the two men break up, only to have one of the men go and be with a woman, as he is discovering his bisexuality.

David Wilson Page as "Jon" - a young man who
discovers he also likes women in Love or Whatever
Bisexuality is technically put on display in many gay films, but it's usually in the context of a gay man who's reluctant to be fully gay, so he goes back-and-forth out of fear or confusion. True bisexuality where the person isn't afraid or confused but is honestly attracted and could genuinely be happy with either sex is few and far between, even in gay films.

The most popular example might be Colin Farrell in A Home at the End of the World (2004). Other recent examples include Cameron Scoggins in The Happy Sad and Chris Graham in Leather. This film adds yet another, true bisexual to the short list. His coming out as "bi" climaxes in a very hilarious line, but the scene leading up to that line is handled with a sense of seriousness as not to mock bisexuality, which is appreciated.

Strangely, the actor playing the bisexual is similar to the actor playing the manic-pixie-dream-boy or MPDB in that the assumption about them is a very superficial one. The bisexual and the MPDB are both well-muscled hunks who spend many of their scenes shirtless, so one might dismiss them as only being eye-candy and nothing deeper.

Yet, the two actors, David Wilson Page who plays the bisexual and Joel Rush who plays the MPDB, both have a charm to them that elevates their characters above just being beefcakes. The screenplay aides them to convey an intelligence to their characters as well. Tyler Poelle stars as Corey, a psychotherapist who is the protagonist similar to the ones identified by Rabin. He's in between the bisexual and the MPDB and is pulled along the usual rom-com steps and traps, but the comedic bits he's given carries him through.

Jennifer Elise Cox is hilarious as "Kelsey"
in a scene from Love or Whatever
Poelle's chemistry with Jennifer Elise Cox carries a lot of this movie too. Cox plays Poelle's sister and the two come across as total siblings. Cox's character is Kelsey, the lesbian sister of Corey who owns a coffee shop and does spoken word poetry. Cox is very funny, as she usually is whether is it's in a film like The Brady Bunch Movie or in television like Web Therapy.

Rounding out the cast, in more ways than one, is Jenica Bergene who plays Melissa, one of Corey's patients who has dealt with her recent issues by getting breast implants. There are also several cameos that are funny, including that of Gary Entin and Edmund Entin, the acting and filmmaking twins who made one of my favorite movies last year Geography Club.

Director Rosser Goodman shoots this movie pretty flatly, probably lighting for 360-degrees. This isn't typically bad, but it draws no attention to itself. Aside from a montage between Poelle and Rush, Goodman does nothing signatory. She simply moves the story along steadily.

Four Stars out of Five.
Not Rated but contains sexual content, nudity and language.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 24 mins.

Entin twins make a cameo in
a scene from Love or Whatever

DVD Review - Homefront

Chuck Logan is a Vietnam veteran-turned-author who has become known for a series of books featuring a character called Phil Broker. They're all crime dramas where Broker is ensnared in some situation and typically has to fight his way out. Homefront is one of the most recent books. Why this particular story was adapted is unclear. Why it's cast this particular way is also unclear. Having British action star Jason Statham play Phil Broker is not a big question, but having his rival be James Franco is absolutely ridiculous. At least, having the film climax the way it does is ridiculous.

Directed by Gary Fleder and written by Sylvester Stallone, nothing that ever happens ever feels like it has any weight. Broker never at any point feels as though he's in any danger. Even when his house is being shot up and his daughter is being kidnapped never did I feel scared or worried. The potential for it rises in a crucial scene when Broker meets Gator Bodine, played by Franco, but everyone involved squanders that potential. Franco tries, but even he ultimately falls short. Franco just never feels like he's a match for Statham.

The film opens with an over-the-top action sequence that it perhaps thinks it needs to carry through a lot of the non-action in the first half, but it doesn't. It also doesn't help that Statham has such a bad wig. Because the opening ultimately doesn't matter it should have just been ditched.

Logan's books haven't been adapted before, so the character of Phil Broker has not been established in cinema. Introducing him here in a more subtle or mysterious way would have been preferable as opposed to the loud, over-the-top way that the opening sequence is.

Broker moves to a small town in Louisiana with his prepubescent, teenage daughter Maddy, played by Izabela Vidovic. Broker settles into the new environment. He doesn't know much about the area and the people there don't know much about him. He intentionally doesn't reveal much about himself to the people either, so when Gator goes snooping through Broker's house, it could have been a revelation and not just redundancy.

Maddy is bullied at school by a heavyset boy named Teddy Klum, played by Austin Craig. Maddy is able to defend herself. She does so by forcibly punching the boy and instantly sending him to the ground. The boy's parents are notified and the mother particularly goes on the warpath.

Kate Bosworth plays Cassie, the mother on the warpath who at first wants an apology but when Broker and Maddy don't give it, she wants revenge. She calls in her brother Gator Bodine who is a local meth dealer with thugs at his disposal to beat up Broker. She calls on her brother when her emasculated husband Jimmy, played by Marcus Hester, is easily put to the ground by Broker.

At its core, the filmmakers have an interesting story and themes at play here. The idea of bullying between children spilling into bullying between adults is a compelling one. Roman Polanski explored it in the stage-to-screen adaptation of Carnage. Susanne Bier did it even better with In a Better World. This one could have topped both, but it completely misses the mark.

The movie doesn't really give the two children Maddy and Teddy, after the initial bullying scene, any additional scenes together where they would have had the space or freedom to talk to each other. Second, the rivalry between Broker and Gator is never personal enough. It's too far removed that I never bought why Gator did half the things against Broker.

He supposedly did it for his sister, but she's such a meth head by his doing that it makes no sense. Her relationship with her brother is not truly fleshed out or depicted enough to make us understand it. Cassie shows up at the end out of nowhere and after having been inconsequential for most of the film, she's only there to be a thorn in Gator's side, which again makes no sense.

Gator imports the grudge, which is established in the opening sequence. That grudge is Broker being blamed for the death of a biker criminal's son. There is no talk between Broker and the biker named Danny about the death. There is no debate, no exploration nor depth. It's a grudge that is treated so superficially.

The movie builds to what will be a final conflict between Broker and Gator, but by the time the final confrontation comes, it's clearly not a fair fight. The stakes are meaningless because no one watching had any possible way of caring.

One Star out of Five.
Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, drug content and brief sexuality.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 40 mins.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Movie Review - The Immigrant

James Gray's film premiered last year at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival where it was nominated for the Palme d'Or and some thought it might enter the Oscar race, but the Weinstein Company delayed its release to late spring / early summer 2014. The Weinsteins couldn't have known that this was perhaps a perfect time as the issue of immigration would heat up in this film's wake. The current debate centers on children from Latin America, whereas this film centers on adult women from Eastern Europe.

Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard stars as Ewa, pronounced Eva, a woman from a rural area in Poland. She travels with her sister Magda by boat. The film opens with their arrival on Ellis Island in January 1921. We see first a dreary but glorious shot of the Statue of Liberty. They're examined and Magda is deemed too sick to enter the country, so she's held in a hospital there indefinitely. Ewa is told she is a woman of "low morals," so both she and her sister are denied entry and are going to be deported.

Joaquin Phoenix co-stars as Bruno, a man who runs an all-girl revue, a vaudeville or burlesque show. He's also a pimp, but it becomes clear that he's not using these girls for self-aggrandizement or so that he can wear fancy clothes or live in swanky apartments. He recognizes there's a market for prostitution, and someone will capitalize off it, so it might as well be him. His motives aren't totally altruistic but he does seem genuine in his desire to help the girls.

When Ewa and Bruno come together, Ewa is skeptical, as she should be, but she is told that he has helped other women to stop their deportation or else help them or other family members off Ellis Island. Ewa remains skeptical, but it becomes clear that she's trapped and other avenues become closed off, and Bruno is left as her only option, particularly when it comes to being reunited with her sister, which is her sole motivation.

Jeremy Renner plays Orlando the Magician aka Emil. He's Bruno's cousin who works Ellis Island too. Except, he doesn't collect girls to be in a revue. Orlando simply performs his act. Like Bruno, he starts to develop feelings for Ewa and genuinely and almost desperately wants to be with her.

A tug of war begins between Bruno and Orlando with Ewa in the middle. It's tragic because the person whom Ewa should choose is obvious. It's simply due to the other person being so supremely damaged. Yet, he's ironically the best choice for Ewa achieving her ultimate goal.

What's key in this movie and what Gray is really trying to convey is the idea of forgiveness. Bruno preaches forgiveness at one point, but he uses it as a way of controlling people. Ewa actually exercises forgiveness, as she is a true woman of faith.

Cotillard is devastating in her expression of this faith and her character's quiet strength, especially in light of the fact that it's learned her character is raped. Phoenix is a revelation. His character may or may not understand Ewa's trauma, but he does recognize something in her that is similar to something in him. Ewa perhaps recognizes it too. She acknowledges they're both lost, which is why she keeps going back to him, besides her necessity.

It comes to a head when the film comes full circle and both Ewa and Bruno return to Ellis Island. Phoenix delivers a performance, a final speech that equals if not rivals Marlon Brando's in On the Waterfront (1954). One might be able to argue that Gray is trying to invoke Elia Kazan all around. From the amazing production design to sumptuous details, Gray's film is absolutely beautiful, and one of the most beautiful I've seen all year.

Gray is a director in full command. His cinematography is spectacular. It's obvious he knows how to use a camera to tell a story when in one shot of a reaching hand he's able to communicate so much about two characters at once. Yet, Gray knocks it out the park with his final shot, which is as much of a punch as the final shot in On the Waterfront. It's perfectly framed and perfectly illustrates the direction and relationship of his characters in one moment. Great!

Five Stars out of Five.
Rated R for sexual content, nudity and some language.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 57 mins.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Movie Review - They Came Together

The movie starts like a Woody Allen or Edward Burns film, which I wish it continued to be, but the movie immediately flashes back, making the opening scenes just a framing device. Two couples are having dinner and one couple, played by Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler, tells the other couple, played by Bill Hader and Ellie Kemper, the story of how they came together or essentially how they fell in love.

This framing device is unneeded. It's almost as if writers Michael Showalter and David Wain wanted to get Hader and Kemper in the movie but couldn't find a place in the narrative, so shoe-horned them into this framing device. Yet, the framing device establishes that the story being told is like a cliché romantic comedy. The movie then proceeds to call out all those clichés and essentially parody them.

The movie that is parodied the most or the plot that it rips the most is You've Got Mail (1998). Amy Poehler plays Molly, the owner of a small, independent, candy store in New York. Paul Rudd plays Joel, an executive at a big corporation that also makes candy and that wants to shut down her small operation. Molly is an idealist but clumsy. Joel is handsome but not threatening.

As they stumble their way toward each other, the level of humor becomes more akin to the Zucker brothers or possibly the Wayans brothers. Given the filmmakers and the majority of the cast, this film is more of a spiritual sequel to Wet Hot American Summer (2001). Pretty much all of the same people from that cult classic are all present for this one doing their version of Fierce Creatures (1997).

Even the way Christopher Meloni is used is exactly the same. In Wet Hot American Summer, the joke with Meloni is that he does or says something crazy and then immediately denies it. In this film, Meloni does the same joke. He does something crazy and then immediately denies it. The exception here is that it's toiler humor, which isn't as clever. Meloni sells it though and is able to make it funny.

There are a few funny gags. The muffin joke is funny. The reveal of what's in Molly's apartment after her date with Joel is funny. The white supremacist scene, which leads to the breakup scene, is funny. The sex scene between Rudd and Colbie Smulders is funny, as it looked like a live action version of the sex scene in Team America: World Police (2004).

Practically all of the other jokes and gags are too on-the-nose, too much of winking at the camera and often run too long. A lot of it gets to be super repetitive. Some of it is on purpose but still. The coda rips off the joke and essential premise of Celeste & Jesse Forever, co-written by Rashida Jones who co-starred with Poehler on Parks and Recreation. Even though a Variety article says that Showalter and Wain's script was written prior to Rashida's, her movie was released first.

This movie mainly wants to spoof romantic comedies, but it does so in boldly obvious ways. The problem is Paul Rudd has done several, wildly better spoofs of romantic comedies that aren't so obvious and hammer you over the head. Starting with Rudd's very first film Clueless (1995) by Amy Heckerling that was a perfect spoof of romantic comedy, as much as it was riffing off Jane Austen.

Heckerling is clever at spoofing things in clever ways. She did it again with Rudd and Michelle Pfieffer in I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007). One can even read I Love You, Man (2009) with Rudd and Jason Segel as a spoof of romantic comedy as well. It takes all the tropes and upends them by having it be between two men who aren't gay. That film certainly didn't invent the idea of bromance but became a signature example. In those previous films, Rudd is also allowed to give a performance and not simply be a hammer hitting a cliché.

Three Stars out of Five.
Rated R for language and sexual content.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 24 mins. 

Movie Review - Snowpiercer

Song Kang-Ho in "Snowpiercer"
Director and co-writer Bong Joon-Ho adapted the French graphic novel "Le Transperceneige" by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette. It's set in 2031 on board a train known as the Rattling Ark, which is not unlike Noah's Ark. Instead of being a vessel to survive a worldwide flood, the Rattling Ark is a vessel to survive a worldwide freeze. A man-made, ice age has devastated the entire land, and the train stays in perpetual motion, circling the globe on a track that was built to revolve the Earth in one year. If anyone leaves the train, they would almost immediately freeze to death.

Chris Evans stars as Curtis, a man who is forced to live in the dirtiest, grimiest, smelliest and poorest section, which is the back of the train. Curtis plots with fellow passengers in the back like Edgar, played by Jamie Bell, Tonya, played by Octavia Spencer, and Gilliam, played by John Hurt, to move to the front of the train.

Tilda Swinton co-stars as Minister Mason, the representative of those who live in the front of the train. She commands armed soldiers who keep Curtis and his friends in the back through fear of violence or death. She preaches a caste system, comprised of two groups, the haves and have-nots, the rich and the poor.

The movie follows Curtis' rebellion and his attempt to overthrow the leaders of the front and provide for those in the back who are given little food, clean water or amenities at all. They advance from train car to train car, engaging in fierce battles almost every step along the way.

Joon-Ho maintains a fairly good momentum. The only good choreography is toward the beginning when Curtis and his crew make their first move. It was well-thought out and well-executed. From then on, the majority of it is people hacking and shooting at each other in a confined space with not much grace or cleverness. There was a moment of comedy but not much else.

Movies that deal with similar themes have been Total Recall (1990) and Elysium (2013). This movie rises above those slightly with great performances. Swinton steals half the show. She's comic relief. Evans has a knockout moment at the end, not proving but reinforcing he can deliver a good dramatic performance. Song Kang-Ho (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance) who plays Namgoong and Ko Ah-Sung (The Host) who plays his daughter Yona are surprises as well.

The movie had a lot of predictable moments. Even a lot of moments that were meant to be genuine shocks aren't. The ending is where the movie falls apart though. It has what I'll refer to as The Matrix Reloaded ending with Neo meeting the Architect.

This is probably spoilers, but Curtis learns that he hasn't been exercising free will. He's been more or less a puppet. The problem is the puppeteer, Mr. Wilford, played by Ed Harris. The conspiracy Wilford explains and the plot twist are ridiculous. He's essentially using war as population control, when why bother with the elaborate conspiracy? He could just kill people.

The true conflict comes between Curtis and Namgoong. I would have preferred never having met Wilford. I understand that Curtis meeting Wilford is used as a way of completing his redemption, but the tone of the movie suggests that was never really a big concern. The movie at least could have achieved Curtis' redemption in other ways.

The very final shot is what I'll refer to as the Children of Men final shot. Two characters are alone and in a bleak situation but then something is seen in the distance that is meant to evoke hope. Unlike Alfonso Cuarón's film, this one is never driven by hope. It's driven more by revenge.

There was also a lot of missed opportunities for the filmmakers to allow us to know or understand the population that lives in the front of the train, or what they think or feel. I suppose that they're all just supposed to be puppets or Wilford's drones, much like Alison Pill's character.

Two Stars out of Five.
Rated R for violence, language and drug content.
Running Time: 2 hrs. and 7 mins.