Capsule reviews: `The Help,’ `Glee’

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t lindsay lohan 03 Capsule reviews: `The Help, `Glee

“30 Minutes or Less” — If this has indeed been The Summer of the R-Rated Comedy, with each new movie striving to one-up its predecessors in getting down and dirty, then we’re going out with a whimper here. And that’s ironic, given that the movie is all about something — or someone — going out with a bang. From the phoned-in (“The Hangover Part II”) to the fantastic (“Bridesmaids”), “30 Minutes or Less” falls somewhere in the mushy midsection. Like “Horrible Bosses,” it’s got a shaggy, sloppy vibe and characters who are in way over their heads, but it’s not nearly as consistently funny. It’s actually got more in common with the “The Change-Up” in that it’s frustratingly uneven, despite some appealing moments of buddy camaraderie. Jesse Eisenberg stars as a slacker pizza delivery man who’s kidnapped, then forced to wear a bomb and rob a bank, by a couple of doofuses (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson). Aziz Ansari plays Eisenberg’s best friend and reluctant accomplice. R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, nudity and some violence. 83 minutes. Two stars out of four.

• Christy Lemire, AP Movie Critic


“Glee: The 3D Concert Movie” — This makes you realize just how crucial Jane Lynch is to the Fox TV show’s success. She’s nowhere to be found in this peppy concert film, shot over two days during the recent North American tour, and her trademark snark as cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester is sorely missed. Instead what we’re left with are the musical performances, which are admittedly glossy, high-energy and infectious, but they seem awfully earnest on their own. Director Kevin Tancharoen doesn’t offer much that you haven’t already seen on the ridiculously popular television series. The actors, in character, perform many of the songs that have become fan favorites with the same choreography and sometimes even the same costumes from the show. If you’re looking for revealing behind-the-scenes footage, forget it. And yet, if you love “Glee,” you’ll be psyched. These are your idols, leaping into your laps in crisp, bright 3-D. They’re all multitalented, dedicated young performers who have pulled off the difficult feat of working their butts off but making it look effortless and even fun. Fan testimonials and inspirational back stories grind the film to a halt; thankfully, Tancharoen keeps coming back to the music. PG for thematic elements, brief language and some sensuality. 83 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.

• Christy Lemire, AP Movie Critic


“The Help” — A class act like this is rare enough in Hollywood. Coming at the tail end of summer blockbuster season, it’s almost unheard of. It’s the sort of film that studios typically save for the holiday prestige season in November or December, when Academy Awards voters start thinking ahead to the films they want to anoint. Come awards time, many of them likely will be thinking of “The Help,” whose remarkable ensemble of women offers enough great performances to practically fill the actress categories at the Oscars. From its roots as a collaboration between lifelong friends Kathryn Stockett, who wrote the best-selling novel, and Tate Taylor, the film’s writer-director, through the pitch-perfect casting of Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and their co-stars, “The Help” simply seems to be blessed. It’s hard to imagine a better movie coming out of the screen adaptation of Stockett’s tale of friendship and common cause among black maids and an aspiring white writer in Jackson, Miss., in 1963. PG-13 for thematic material. 146 minutes. Three and a half stars out of four.

• David Germain, AP Movie Writer


“Senna” — You don’t have to know a thing about Formula 1 racing to become engrossed by this documentary. That’s because director Asif Kapadia has structured it with the pacing, tone and fluidity of a feature film. In tracing the brief and brilliant career of the late Brazilian auto racing star Ayrton Senna, Kapadia relies entirely on archival footage, some of which has never been seen before and much of which comes from inside the vehicle Senna himself is driving. This is from the late `80s and early `90s, long before the advent of contemporary NASCAR television coverage, with its multiple cameras capturing images from every possible angle. It’s raw and rough, and the signal goes in and out, which actually makes it even more of a visceral, immersive experience. Senna himself, though, was all about glamorous good looks and smooth, instinctive action. Kapadia follows the decade from when he first bursts onto the Formula 1 scene in 1984 at the Monaco Grand Prix and ends the film with the stunning crash that kills him at age 34. Digging deeper into his personal life would have made a good documentary great. PG-13 for some strong language and disturbing images. 104 minutes. Three stars out of four.

• Christy Lemire, AP Movie Critic

source: Yahoo Movies

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julia.pz 11 Aug, 2011

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