5 items from 2014
Actresses and friends Jess Weixler and Jennifer Prediger make a largely inauspicious debut as filmmakers with “Trouble Dolls,” a scattered portrait of codependent female friendship and the challenges of maintaining artistic integrity and coping with grief. Premiering at the Los Angeles Film Festival in the wake of numerous other contemporary tales of young women in the city, including “Girls,” “Frances Ha” and “Obvious Child,” these “Dolls” simply aren’t distinguished enough to stand out. As such, the slight and mildly amusing comedy doesn’t show much potential beyond token fest and ancillary play.
Brunette actress Olivia (Prediger) and blonde artist Nicole (Weixler) share an illegal New York City sublet thanks to an under-the-table arrangement with their intrusive landlord (Jeffrey Tambor), who avails himself of their shower without warning and passive-aggressively nudges them about the rent. After Olivia’s cat suddenly dies, the duo decide to take an impromptu vacation to Hollywood, »
- Geoff Berkshire
A general rule of thumb: if Jeffrey Tambor appears in one or two scenes out of a film, it’s a safe bet those are the best one or two scenes overall. As a trespassing landlord fond of tenant hookups and unannounced showers in their homes, Tambor all but runs away with “Trouble Dolls,” the writing and directorial debut of Jess Weixler (“Teeth”) and Jennifer Prediger (“A Teacher”), but his scenes prove damaging—they bookend the film, leaving 80 minutes of fitfully wry and unusual humor in between. The reason for Tambor’s brief part is due to his role as instigator. He lays out an ultimatum for the film’s central twentysomething roomies, Olivia and Nicole (Prediger and Weixler) to pay their substantial backlog of rent, or lose their NYC apartment. Not that the place has much value left anyway: jars of Olivia’s natural remedies spill all over not Nicole’s unfinished art projects, »
- Charlie Schmidlin
Mitchell Lichtenstein's Teeth is an awesome movie. 30 Second Bunnies are adorable, hilarious shorts from Jennifer Shiman. Put them together and you have 30 seconds of hysterically adorable-gross animation to get you going.
In Teeth, an innocent young woman discovers she has vagina dentata - teeth in her vagina that protect her from assault. I wonder if, in the 30 Second Bunnies version, the vagina dentata looks like bunny teeth, with the two big buck teeth out front.
Don't forget to check out all our 30 Second Bunnies animations. Everything from Insidious to The Human Centipede to Cabin in the Woods.
- Alyse Wax
Director: Mitchell Lichtenstein
Writer: Mitchell Lichtenstein
Producer: Joyce M. Pierpoline
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available
Well, you should all be excited that Mitchell Lichtenstein has directed another thriller. This is, after all, the man whose directorial debut was 2007’s Teeth (and he followed that up with a great familial black comedy, Happy Tears that featured a superb Ellen Barkin). This time around he has the underrated Jena Malone headlining and chameleonic Janet McTeer. This time Lichtenstein tackles sexual repression at its most virulent, during Victorian era, London.
Gist: Based on the Arthur Phillips novel, this is about a couple living in Victorian London endure an unusual series of psychological and supernatural effects following the birth of their child.
Release Date: While it was not announced at either Sundance or Berlin, where both his other films premiered, respectively, we’re thinking this could »
- Nicholas Bell
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week
What's It About? Cate Blanchett stars as Jasmine, a fancy New Yorker whose late husband was one of those finance scumbags who swindled people. Left high and dry, she heads to Sf to impose upon her sweet sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins), who's got her own problems to deal with.
Why We're In: This Woody Allen flick is getting rave reviews, nominations, and awards out the wazoo, so if you haven't seen it yet, get cracking.
Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week
Why We're In: Because it's winter and you need a laugh, and because this Criterion edition is restored, extended, and spiffed up in all the right ways. »
- Jenni Miller
5 items from 2014
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