Mini Reviews: July 31
Below are Mini Reviews from Cineman Syndicate for two films opening on Friday, July 31, 2009.
THE COLLECTOR. Some people like to watch other people get maimed and dismembered. You know who you are, and so do the producers of the Saw franchise, having made bundles off your taste for gore. After co-writing the screenplays for Saw IV, V and the upcoming VI, director Marcus Dunstan and writing partner Patrick Melton take their first independent stab at torture porn. (Their mothers must be so proud.) Regrettably, their effort lacks coherence and subtext, failing to trigger either revulsion or fear. During a jewel heist, an ex-con is trapped inside a booby-trapped house. In truth, those rooting for his masked tormentor are normal, not sick. (R) BORING HORROR. Director - Marcus Dunstan; Lead - Josh Stewart; Running Time - 88 minutes.
FUNNY PEOPLE. A sense of humor is a terrible thing to waste. Consider Judd Apatow's protracted, self-regarding film about a popular comedian (Adam Sandler) diagnosed with leukemia who befriends a budding comic (Seth Rogen). How funny the principals ever were is debatable, yet the wit on display here can't overcome a dreadful excursion into the marriage of the protagonist's ex-fiancé, played by Apatow's real-life spouse Leslie Mann. Credit the writer-director-producer for tackling more mature subject matter. As always, his Achilles' heel is structure. You'll feel the sad clown's joy and pain, but after sitting for such a long time won't be able to feel your own rear end. (R) BORING COMEDY. Director -Judd Apatow; Lead - Adam Sandler; Running Time -145 minutes.
Both capsule reviews by John P. McCarthy.
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