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Anger rages in Philip as he awaits the publication of his second novel. He feels pushed out of his adopted home city by the constant crowds and noise, a deteriorating relationship with his ... See full summary »
Alex Ross Perry
Owing to a genetic mix-up involving stem cell research, the recently founded company Infinity Baby is able to offer a service for aspiring parents who never want to leave the baby bubble - infants that do not age.
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Based on the classic novel by William Faulkner, first published in 1930, "As I Lay Dying" is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her family's quest to honor her last wish to be buried in the nearby town of Jefferson.
Tim Blake Nelson,
With sudden passing of his grandmother, Peter Latang returns to his hometown and encounters his long lost, childhood friend, Donald Treebeck. What begins as a simple favor, turns into a long day's journey into the past.
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Larry (Jason Schwartzman) is content with his dog Arrow and booze, barely tolerating anything or anyone else. His marginally successful relationships include his grandmother, who keeps him afloat financially, and his best friend Norwood, who provides him with pharmaceuticals. But a chance encounter at a Jiffy Lube gives Larry a beguiling new boss and the impetus to head in another direction for a while. This movie showcases all that may be needed to help a person get unstuck in life: love (or an unrequited crush), friendship (or someone your family likes better than you) and family (or in this case a grandmother who will support you whenever you get fired from a job).
This film is a case study on why film criticism exists, to separate the chaff of it from the wheat it pretends as.
Neither an evolution nor simulcrum of Lost in Translation, Office Space, or Bottle Rocket, this extended screen test of Jason Schwartzman inhabiting deep suburban environs as a narcissist layabout was likely pitched to distributors as a mashup of all three.
Writer-director Bob Byington begins with an old R.E.M. song, 7 Chinese Brothers. This song, from the band's Reckoning album, was naught but a prank; it was Michael Stipe singing the liner notes to a random gospel LP he'd found laying around, which the studio engineer mistakenly recorded, and which the band, finding the track's accidental provenance hilarious, formed into a nondescript, mildly jangly tune.
Does this near non-song by R.E.M. inform Byington's film in any measure? No, except that he cues the song at the end credits so that the key grips might have a mildly jangly ruffle and flourish behind their accrediture.
From the song Byington derives the title, and upon the meaningless title Byington builds no story whatsoever, and by no story I mean not even a Seinfeldian non-story proposition.
Jason Schwartzman is the lead as "Larry." Schwartzman, who is a celebrity and a very good actor, and who might perpetually attract some long-tail audience interested in watching him do anything--say, selling peanuts in a ballpark vendor's uniform-- for a duration of 76 minutes, is required by Byington to move in and out of bland sets (a quik lube garage, a dingy convenience store) and make slight actions (throw a hat at a Mazda, deny your grandmother a sip from a Big Gulp) that are supposed to stand in for the plot or un- plot as it were. Nothing worth filming, nothing that would be worth filming by students, is there.
These are petty crimes against cinema Byington is caught at, but that should be no taint against Schwartzman, who screen tests as plumly as ever, or indeed against Tunde Adebimpe or Eleanor Pienta, who check in as friendly companions who join us in wondering just what is supposed to be fascinating about a character who is simultaneously so self-possessed and so lacking in initiative of thought, credible emotion, or stirrings.
Rather than screening this movie, Schwartzman enthusiasts are better off hunting down Hotel Chevalier and spending the time gained from unspent viewing balancing their checkbooks.
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