A portrait of a drug-addled rock star — based loosely on Kurt Cobain — that’s so deliberately garbled, mundane and unromantic, it makes the “this is your brain on drugs” commercials look like trailers for a Michael Bay film.
Rob Schneider returns for a sequel that’s even louder and lewder than the first film dedicated to lovable loser and male prostitute Deuce. Enjoyment of all this nonsense depends entirely on your tolerance for gross-outs and dick jokes, and whether you find the term “man-whore” funny the 50th time around. The flick employs a strategy of comedy carpet-bombing, and a few gags do find the target.
The plucky Kate Hudson uncovers a horrific secret in the attic of a New Orleans mansion in this clichéd but effective supernatural thriller. The Skeleton Key is the same pseudo-mystical fright show Hollywood has been dishing up for years, but it’s tense, creatively convoluted and skillfully acted.
Based on true events during the end of World War II, this film recounts one of the most daring and successful rescue operations in American history. However, director John Dahl only offers a sturdy but static depiction of patriotic courage. But despite a clumsy setup and flawed character narratives, Dahl redeems the film with the stellar climax, a great piece of cinematic wartime action.
Jacques Audiard delivers a stylishly chilly re-imagination of James Toback’s 1978 film, Fingers. Darker, more ambiguous and, well, French, it bristles with intimate energy. Romain Duris stars as Tom, a crooked real estate broker and thug. Discontent with his violent life, he struggles to leave the low life behind and become a concert pianist. A flawed man in search of his heart and soul, he proves to be his own worst enemy. Engaging and suspenseful, the film rises above its art-house pretensions to deliver an affecting portrait of contradiction. How very French.
Yet another set-in-Detroit, shot-in-Canada action flick, Four Brothers tells the tale of a group of interracial, adopted siblings who set out to avenge their saintly mother’s death. A couple of strong performances can’t make up for director John Singleton’s confused approach to the material.
Don’t be confused by the fruit names — these are not sherbets. They combine fruit purees with butterfat to produce that rich taste and velvety texture that only cream can bestow. Nonfruit ice creams are equally inspired. The array of Mediterranean and European pastries is vast and changes daily. Shatila has a few nonsweet offerings, and they are quite tasty, not also-rans at all: sausage rolls, a tangy and flaky spinach pie and tiny star-shaped cheese pastries. Shatila’s high-ceilinged space is filled with customers sipping coffee or raw fruit juices, busting their diets, and enjoying the air-conditioning.