3 items from 2016
True Memoirs Of An International Assassin is cleverer than the average Kevin James comedy, though its better gags are unlikely to inspire more than a snicker. As always, James, the sitcom star who made the jump to movies under the aegis of Adam Sandler, plays a sad sack with dreams above his station. His character, Sam Larson, is a mid-level office drone who escapes the drudgery of his day-to-day existence by writing pulpy spy novels, plotted with the help of his pool-hall buddy Amos (Ron Rifkin), a retiree who claims to have once worked a desk job at Mossad. Rejected by literary agents, Sam’s latest manuscript is picked up by a low-rent e-publisher, who retitles the book True Memoirs Of An International Assassin and markets it as nonfiction. Soon, Sam finds himself kidnapped by El Toro (Andy Garcia), a revolutionary who wants him to assassinate the president of Venezuela »
- Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
“True Memoirs of an International Assassin” opens with an unusual degree of promise for a feature-length Netflix comedy, as trained killer Sam Larson (Kevin James!) infiltrates a dockside shipping yard in broad daylight and goes full “Metal Gear Solid” on a group of henchmen. And you know what? The Artist Formerly Known as The King of Queens pulls it off. Nobody is going to mistake James for Tony Jaa, but he clearly put some practice into becoming a remotely believable ass-kicker, and the violence is shot in such a distant and sterile way that the comedian’s movements look all the more striking. And then James gets shot in the chest with a rocket launcher and explodes in a plume of digital blood. The world, it turns out, is not ready for a relatively straight-faced action-comedy in which a heavyset white dude can play a lethal mercenary who struggles with his body image. »
- David Ehrlich
Last year, Gotham debuted on Fox amidst a lot of hoopla and generally positive notices. I, however, found the series woefully inept with ham-fisted dialogue and implausible plotting, while ignoring the source material to the point of being unrecognizable. I apparently was in the minority since the ratings were strong and it got a renewal.
Gotham: The Complete Second Season is out now on Blu-ray courtesy of Warner Home Entertainment and while it is markedly improved, it apparently has decided to embrace bad writing and worse plotting since people seemed to like it.
With the core players established, the second season decided to offer up two long arcs, with the winter hiatus separating them. In the first arc, we have the arrival of Theo Galavan (James Frain) and his sister Tabitha (Jessica Lucas), arrive in Gotham and we learn he’s here to settle old family scores as we »
- Robert Greenberger
3 items from 2016
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