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Jul 30, 2007

Fletch's Film Review: Joshua; Waitress; Talk To Me

It's time to play catch-up. So, as I've seen three small movies recently, here are three small reviews.

Joshua
Sam Rockwell, Vera Farmiga (The Departed) and Jacob Kogan star in what might alternately be titled The Omen: Without the Religious Overtones. Kogan plays the 9-year old son of Rockwell and Farmiga, and aside from being generally disturbed already, he's not too thrilled about the new baby in the house. See, his whole life, Josh has been around a near-psychotic mother and a too-consumed-in-other-stuff dad that he thinks doesn't love him (which may be true). The new child provides an outlet for Joshua to vent his frustrations and try to get himself noticed (and it works).

The film's biggest asset is its shock value. It plays out like a horror film, albeit minus most of the horror. What's left is a fair amount of suspense and a fair amount of proselytizing (Is Joshua gay? Should the family introduce religion into the house, as per grandma's wishes? Are these parents fit for raising any child?).

In the end, you can't and don't end up feeling sorry for Joshua, as he seems too self-aware for a 9-year old, not to mention a bit too savvy. But it's fun watching him hoodwink his parents, no matter how disastrous the results.

Fletch's Film Rating:

"You seen a decent fellow. I hate to kill you."


Waitress
Looking for something sweet in a movie? Something sugary and fruity and full of dough? How about something sappy and syrupy? Let's just say that Waitress cooks up one cliched character after another, throws them together in the tin of life and cooks until overdone.

That's all bad way of saying that Waitress isn't very good. Sure, Keri Russell brings her considerable charms to the role, but the movie plays out like a novel that might have Fabio on the cover or a made-for-TV movie starring Nancy McKeon, showing now on the Lifetime Movie Channel. The men are all plot devices rather than people, and all fit into pre-made shapes - hunky and sweet, dirty bastard or quirky outsider - only Andy Griffith (still sharp at 81) gets a fun role.

Fletch's Film Rating:

"I want you to punch me as hard as you can."


Talk To Me
In case you haven't heard, Don Cheadle is a good actor. No, really. Chiwetel Ejiofor is, too - though you may not be as familiar with his work. Well, this is a good chance to see two great actors in action, as well as an opportunity to see Cedric the Entertainer play something he doesn't often get a chance to play - a Lothario and a ladies' man.

The film starts off strong - funny, smart and full of great dialogue (not to mention an in-your-face Taraji P. Henson, of Hustle & Flow fame), as Cheadle's "Petey" Greene slowly gets his hooks into Washington D.C. Unfortunately, despite a strong first hour, Talk To Me runs out of steam in the last half hour, as the story starts to resemble many other bio-pics, from Private Parts to Walk the Line. See Petey struggle with alcoholism. See Petey struggle with fame. See Petey destroy relationships all around him. See redemption and a bittersweet happy ending.

Nonetheless, worth seeing.

Fletch's Film Rating:

"Darn tootin!"



3 people have chosen wisely: on "Fletch's Film Review: Joshua; Waitress; Talk To Me"

bee said...

Could you add a new category to your ratings? To accurately reflect the rating of Waitress, there needs to be a good strong "Meh".

Matt said...

I saw the previews for Joshua the other day. Freaked the hell out of me. It looked like Hannibal Rising from the 2nd Grade but your review makes it sound a little less intimidating.

Did I get hoodwinked by the preview?

Fletch said...

Joshua was much tamer than the previews had me believing. Much of the nastiness that Joshua does is either implied or spoken about, rather than shown. Probably a good thing for the parents of the child actor, who was no doubt already confused about what he was playing.