Tag Archives: Films

Film Review: Anna Karenina

Dir. Joe Wright
Score: 5.8

“All the world’s a stage,” a famous British playwright once wrote, and it appears another, somewhat more contemporary, famous British playwright has taken the words to heart. In Tom Stoppard’s adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s achingly brilliant novel, the Moscow and St. Petersburg characters move in an out of a dizzying array of props and sets — placed on a stage with obvious backdrops, moving up in the rigging of the catwalks, interspersed with extras, prop masters and frozen moments in time — it is only out in the purity of the true Russian countryside that these excessive theatricalities are dispensed with, and the characters allowed to interact freely with one another in a natural setting.

You can easily take Stoppard’s point — those characters subjected to the laws and whims of high society are endlessly performing on stage — be it as young of-age women, attempting to play the field and select the husband they most desire, as young Kitty (Alicia Vikander) does with the dashing Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), breaking the heart of desperate young rural landowner Levin (Domhnall Gleeson) in the process. Vronsky, however, has plans other than Kitty on his mind: the stunning Anna (Keira Knightley), a woman married to a most respectable St. Petersburg official (Jude Law). When the two fall in love, it sets in motion a tragic series of events all of which eventually fall upon the head of the formerly virtuous Anna.

The film’s conceit — not unlike Louis Malle’s wonderful Vanya on 42nd Street — is to make the characters utterly unaware of the theatrical manipulations going on around them, helpfully moving aside as new sets are swept in, accepting the sudden frozen forms of dancers around them as they gaze into the eyes of their beloveds. It’s also more or less in keeping with one of the themes Tolstoy incorporated into his novel: The idea that society entraps us, and it is only through hard work, self-reflection, and honesty that we can truly find ourselves and be happy. His touchstone in this regard is Levin, who moves on from Kitty’s bitter and humiliating rejection of him in Moscow to something that transcends all the duplicitousness of the city folk all around him.

Still, as successful as Stoppard’s giant risk becomes, the film falls prey to another complication of adapting such a dense and layered novel to the screen. Tolstoy’s book, engorged with prose, filled with asides, digressions and the rich fullness of his characters, simply cannot be whittled down to a relatively scant 130 minute film, even one as well-acted and art directed as this.

Tragedy is powered by our knowledge of its imminent overtaking, the train that we cannot stop, powering towards us in the darkness, a literary truism that Tolstoy maximized in his work. Here, though, Anna’s emotional upheaval comes at us far too quickly; Levin’s ascension carries little of the thrilling exaltation of the novel; and Vronsky’s nature is barely regarded (to say nothing of some peculiar casting decisions: Anna, a mature woman with a pre-adolescent son, is played by a wisp of a woman who appears to be in her early 20’s and vain, reckless Vronsky is played by an actor with little of the character’s gravity and egocentrism); to say nothing of all the lost moments of Oblonsky (Matthew Macfadyen), Anna’s food-loving brother; and Levin’s reflections on the growing political revolution. Despite their best efforts, Stoppard and Wright simply can’t substantiate the breadth of the novel; and without that, it loses a great deal of its considerable power.

The film is reduced to a creative showcase, a grand artistic gambit that pays off, but for a measly return on its investment. A bit ironic then, that the giant risk the filmmakers take with the novel works flawlessly, but the nuts-and-bolts of the book remain ever elusive.

Film Review: Lincoln

Dir. Steven Spielberg
Score: 7.4

Despite the weighty heft of the film’s title, I’m happy to report this isn’t some glossed-over Hollywood bio-pic with shots of a heroic president scanning a raw battlefield with swelling music behind him and a slow tear trailing down his cheek. Thankfully, Steven Spielberg, working from a fine script by Tony Kushner instead focus on President Lincoln’s struggle to ratify the 13th Amendment — freeing all the slaves — while simultaneously trying to broker piece with the mostly beaten down Confederacy. It’s not so much about Lincoln the man, in other words, then it is about his legacy and the reactionary force of his essence.

I suspect the genius behind this move has less to do with Mr. Spielberg, who has never been one to shy away from high-gloss schmaltz, and more with the estimable Kushner. What transpires, then, isn’t a simple, endearing portrait of a national hero, but a testament to the titanic battle on Capital Hill to abolish this country’s single biggest shame.

As the film opens, in a nightmarish swamp of a bloody battlefield, bodies littering the frame like heaps of floundering shrimp in the bottom of a net, we first meet President Lincoln (Daniel Day Lewis) as he’s sitting down and meeting with some of the troops. Filmed from behind before we get to see his face (a trick Spielberg stole from his own vast oeuvre: Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Arc), Lincoln is finally shown with a generous dollop of key light, creating a faint aura around him.

The war is coming to a close, we are told, but this puts the President and his Secretary of State (David Strathairn) in a bit of a predicament. Without the threat of the Amendment, the South will not capitulate; but if the war ends before the Amendment passes, Lincoln and his Republican (!) allies will lose any opportunity to pass it. Assuming their party will all vote to ratify, Lincoln and his advisers have to find a way to cajole twenty votes from the Democrats — staunchly opposed to such a passage, I’m afraid — while keeping these peace talks on the total DL.

Forthwith, a triad of savvy negotiators (among them a wonderful James Spader) are sent out to try and swing as many voters as they can, while at the same time Lincoln sets the stage for what will become the South’s unconditional surrender. Beset from all sides, Lincoln remains remarkably calm and good-humored. Prone to perfectly timed jokes and richly metaphoric stories adapted from his past, the President manages to keep a brave face to everyone, including his wife (Sally Field), even as they both still grieve the death of one of their sons, and fear for the life of another one (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), as he demands to enter into the bloody fray for the Union.

As you might be able to have ascertained from the brief mention of but a minor few of the characters involved, where Spielberg has seemed to pull out all the stops is with a cast fairly bubbling with fame and notoriety. No stone has remained unturned, it would seem, for recognizable actors in almost every frame (such is the nature of this overkill that even a nearly inconsequential role such as that of a telegraph operator is played by Adam Driver of “Girls” fame; two soldiers who very briefly speak with Lincoln near the beginning of the piece are played by Lukas Haas and Dane DeHaan, and so on) and, true to Kushner’s epic style, there are a bevy of them. The film has more than 150 speaking parts by my estimation, and that’s not even including the dozens of congress people arguing in the stands. Fortunately, amidst this thespian tumult, the film’s soulful center is expertly helmed by the ever-impressive Day-Lewis, who is as brilliantly natural in the role as he is enigmatic.

Towering over his advisers and constituents (believed to be 6’4″, he instead appears to be close to 7″ in this iteration), Lincoln is a deeply felt man of firm conviction, gentle nature, and wicked humor. But, like many great men before him, there is in his countenance something held very much back and in reserve, something no one else seems to be able to quite touch. Part of his appeal, it’s clear, is the amount he withholds from his adoring public and closest advisers.

Still, given the potential bombastic elements at play, Spielberg, like his titular subject, plays things fairly close to the vest. At his worst in his Big Message films, Spielberg can waiver in his film’s conviction, uncertain that his audience will get the point he’s trying to make unless he beats them down with it, but here he’s content to let the Day-Lewis and his massive cast do most of the heavy lifting, playing Kushner’s scenes with just the right amount of gravity and humor. Even the passing of the amendment — a landmark moment of hope and inspiration in our country’s history — is played less like a winning basket in a championship game and more like the significant end of a dirty era, a sigh of relief rather than a victory lap.

If the film plays slightly too long past this moment of triumph — one gets the sense Spielberg simply couldn’t have had a film that didn’t mine any material from Lincoln’s eventual assassination — at least it happens off-camera. Indeed, in making one of the biggest dramatic films of the year, it appears Spielberg has finally learned the value of keeping things small.

Film Review: Skyfall

Dir. Sam Mendes
Score: 6.3

A few years ago, Bond, who now celebrates five cinematic decades of loyal service to the Queen, had really started to feel his age. It’s not just the constant pressure, international intrigue, and endless punch-ups atop a collapsing bridge in Kuala Lumpur, the character itself had been through so many iterations — from suave, cold and sophisticated to cartoonish and bellicose and back again — the entire framework of the series had begun to feel played out, bereft of new ideas, the sad sit-com staple who just sits around in the background and barks out his lone catchphrase to an ever-dwindling crowd.

That the series was successfully reborn back in 2006, with Martin Campbell’s Casino Royale, putting Daniel Craig front and center as 007 and returning the old boy back to his sly, brutish roots, has been well-established, but even so, the character could only go through so much before this vision, too, became worn out. To the credit of director Sam Mendes and screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, and John Logan, the new Bond film is all too aware of the potential danger of seeming antiquated and spent. Bond spends a good deal of time in this film being forced into facing his own impending mortality.

Gone are the days where Bond was little more than a British Superman, smug and secure, never a hair out of place, even in a cyclone. As this film opens, Bond is in hot pursuit of a mercenary enemy through the streets (and rooftops) of Istanbul, trapping his quarry on top of a speeding train only to be accidentally shot by one of his own people, Eve (Naomie Harris), perched over a distant trestle.

From that point on, the Bond we see is clipped and mortal, breathing hard after a swimming workout, grimacing in pain as he grasps onto the underneath of a rising elevator in Shanghai, and, worse yet, failing a basic target practice test put onto him under the watchful eye of M (Judi Dench), who has enough problems of her own. Someone has infiltrated her computer, you see, and conducted a series of sabotages designed to make her look as ineffectual as possible, prompting the British powers-that-be to instigate her not-so-graceful retirement into the good night, replacing her with Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), a raffish man with a bureaucratic heft to his necktie.

Once again pressed into service, though not technically fit for duty, Bond must track down the perpetrator — who turns out to be a former Mi6 agent, played by Javier Bardem with a dental plate and a TV preacher’s bleached-blonde pompadour — all the while running up against his own sense of being an outdated dinosaur from an earlier era, a idea not at all helped by meeting the new Q (Ben Whishaw), a computer hacker wiz kid who, in Bond’s determination, still has “spots” on his complexion.

Smartly, from this premise, the filmmakers slowly take us back through Bond’s glorious past, ingeniously resurrecting his old staples — the Walther PPK, Aston Martin, and a perfectly shaken martini — while still plying his old myths and tropes against him (please don’t ask me about the fate of that beautiful car, it’s too painful to recount). The film, which even as good as it is, it must be said, overstays its welcome by a good fifteen minutes or so, ends up taking us to the highlands of Scotland where young James was forged, a revved up back to the future showdown that serves to debunk some of Bond’s legend even as it toils under its considerable weight.

If the film has a distinct weakness, however, it’s with its shapeless, guileless villain. Bardem is a supremely accomplished and fascinating actor, but one gets the sense the filmmakers simply left him in the prosthetics tent by himself for a few hours and let him conjure up something on his own. The character has no particular feel or consistency, flipping from an effeminate enfant terrible to cold-blooded thug with little rhyme or reason, other than the endless piling on of failed maternal allusions with poor, bedraggled M, who he’s hunting down like wild game on Bond’s childhood property.

Nevertheless, with all the focus on the Bond of old, the film pulls off several new tricks, updating the series for the next installment even as it debunks a great deal of the earlier mythos. The effect is enervating, exciting, a way to see the old Bond through new eyes, which is a surprisingly successful and complex maneuver. As much as we get to pad around in familiar territory, there is much jarring of your preconceptions, to say nothing of the wanton, slightly fey manner in which Bardem at first portrays the villain. After all, we may have seen Bond in a great deal of nasty scrapes and horrific predicaments, but this is the first time I can recall an arch-nemesis coming on to him before trying to kill him. Blofeld would be appalled.

Film Review: This Must Be The Place

Dir. Paolo Sorrentino
Score: 4.4

Cheyenne (Sean Penn) is a broken-down Raggedy Ann former rock star, with a penchant for red lipstick and a jet-black mane of Robert Smith hair. He leaves his mansion in the mornings and lopes around Dublin trailing a shopping cart behind him, spending time with a young woman, Mary (Eve Hewson), who he may or may not be related to, and hanging out with his vivacious wife, Jane (Frances McDormand), who routinely beats him in their evening handball competitions (clearly a conceit of the film is that deliberately off-beat Cheyenne be surrounded by women with the most obvious and dull names possible).

The rest of the time, however, he’s a shambling wreck, lurching forward in black leather boots and platform soles, and walking as if the lightest touch from another human would cause him excruciating pain. He no longer performs after two young fans of his took his gloomy lyrics to heart and killed themselves, and he has no particular interest in music, food or anything else. As we find him, he’s going through the motions of his daily appearance, applying make-up in the mirror and tousling his hair, but that’s his only remaining affectation of his glorious former past. Now, he’s little more than a curiosity piece, a rock dinosaur whom elicits smirks, giggles and stolen cell-phone photographs wherever he goes.

In writer/director Paolo Sorrentino’s peculiar, deliberately off-beat (if not off-putting) drama, he’s also very much a character who needs Something To Do. There are a few moments early in the film where you think you can see where it might be headed: Will Cheyenne get together with his old band mates and reunite for an MTV showcase? Will he work to set Mary up with a friendly, somewhat dorky boy (Seth Adkins) he meets in the mall? Will he produce the record of a young and upcoming band whom very much want to work with him? Instead, the film takes a serious and perplexing zag in an altogether different direction: Cheyenne goes to America for the funeral of his Orthodox Jewish father, and goes on a road trip to hunt down his father’s Nazi antagonist from his time in Auschwitz (!?).

Yes, you read that correctly. Somehow, about a third of the way into the film, we are in a fish-out-of-water road movie as Cheyenne picks up the trail of clues his father left him and goes in hot pursuit of a war criminal with only the occasional assistance of a professional Nazi-hunter (Judd Hirsch). We go from having an aging, affected little man who continually has to puff his wild strands of hair out of his eyes, to watching a life or death struggle of conscience. It’s like making a chocolate birthday cake and using mayonnaise for the frosting.

As if to further prove its elusive point, the filmmakers toss in a steady stream of odd red herrings and non-sequitor moments: A man in a blue jumpsuit slips and falls while roller blading furiously past Cheyenne as he sits on a park bench in Central Park; a pretty, young Asian woman celebrates a shuffleboard throw with a skeezy older redneck in slow motion in a Midwestern bar; odd details that never add up to anything much in particular, except in a kind of cheesy music video way. In this aspect, it is more than slightly reminiscent of the debut directorial feature by a real rock star, David Byrne’s 1986 film True Stories. Little surprise then that Byrne makes an appearance of his own in the picture, as himself, playing the titular song in front of a rhapsodic audience dressed all in white.

There’s nothing wrong with confounding an audience’s expectations, of course, but when things become truly random seeming and the thin joke of Cheyenne’s made-up face, affected walk and feeble voice plays out in the wilds of the American rough-and-tumble west, there doesn’t seem to be a hell of a lot more at work here. It plays like a first-time screenwriter’s exercise in how to take a definitive character with nothing in particular to do and somehow create a storyline around them.

The end of the film — with Cheyenne taking steps to finally grow up from his past — adds a layer of confusing subterfuge that does little to enhance the increasingly grating experience that has come before it. Penn, for all his physical gifts, happily dives into his child-like character’s fey eccentricities, but is never able to fully humanize him beyond the obvious caricature he’s being asked to embody.

It doesn’t help matters that Cheyenne tends to speak in wisdom-soaked platitudes (“Life’s full of beautiful things”), no doubt meant to reflect all the hard-earned lessons he’s absorbed over the years, but he’s so disconnected from us he never rises much above a carnival sideshow. To stretch the metaphor a bit, even once you’ve paid your money and entered the darkened tent, the creature you find in the cage isn’t capable of holding your interest for terribly long.

Film Review: End of Watch

David Ayer
Score: 6.4

The found-footage phenomenon has its roots in breaking a central tenet of modern filmmaking: the distance between the protagonists and the audience. By removing the ‘artifice’ of a director’s camera, and putting it solely in the characters’ own hands, the theory holds, the impact of the action will be more raw and authentic-seeming without the cushion of a film crew and production artists and craftspeople to keep everyone at a safe distance. Hence, it’s popularity in the horror genre, perhaps most famously realized in the wildly successful <i>Paranormal Activity</i> series.

In David Ayers’ arresting film about young cops on the rough L.A. beat, he outright cheats the convention, including stylized ‘professional’ footage amongst the shots taken from squad car cameras, hand-held mini-cams, and tiny lavalier-style micro cameras stuck into shirt collars, each of which is operated by a young officer as part of a vague “film project” he’s shooting for a class.

The cop, Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal), is one half of a significant squad car bromance, along with his Mexican-American partner, Mike Zavala (Michael Peña), having met at the academy and stuck fast ever since. They patrol the mean streets of south L.A. with a hearty bonhomie, telling each other a stream of bawdy stories (Mike is married with children; as the film opens, Brian is happily single), unrestrained fist-bumping and, most of all, ripping on each other at every opportunity (both do a wicked impression of the other, one of the comic highlights in their never-ending repartee).

Naturally, they also get the job done. Do they ever. In the course of the few months in which the film takes place, the make huge drug busts, save a family from a burning building, rescue their fellow officers several times, and free a bunch of migrant workers held in a hellacious house of human trafficking.

It is this last bit of daring-do that runs them seriously afoul of a major Mexican cartel (the lazy-man’s catch all for ‘unequivocally evil’ villains, a kind of modernist fill-in for the Nazis), which leads to a significant price placed on their heads.

The action, as you can imagine, is plentiful and not-unpleasingly over-the-top, with bullets whizzing by our two protagonists seemingly every time they leave the man-cave of their squad car and venture out onto the sunny tarmac, but the strength of the film, fittingly, is watching the two buddies rip on each other even as they fiercely protect each other from the various outside threats that promise to do them harm, be they on the outside, with the cartel assassins in full chase, or internally, as they grate against the nerves of a fellow officer (David Harbour) and attempt to skate past the mandatory therapy sessions they earn for being so gun-happy.

Ayers’ script also includes a nice burning build — despite (or perhaps because of) the frequent danger Taylor and Zavala find themselves in, it’s hard not to take their gritty survival into question until the film reaches its action apex near the end. It doesn’t exactly make for passable realism — it’s like four episodes of an explosive cop show all bound together — but despite its found-footage conceits and concentration on the boys’ respective home lives (all of which are a good deal more realistic than their job) — we are to understand this to be the sort of cop movie, standard to the genre, in which hookers hook, shooters let fly, and drug lords stop at nothing to get their way.

None of which takes away from the performances of our two leads. Reportedly, Gyllenhaal and Peña spent some months in the presence of real L.A. cops, getting a feel for the rhythms and pace of the cops comradery, and their attention to detail shows. It’s just odd to have a movie with two such believable characters in a world that seems taken right out of a pulpy cop show from the ’70s.


Film Review: The Imposter

Dir. Bart Layton
Score: 5.9

As devastating as it is, extreme grief also offers us a glimpse of just how cold and callous the world around us can be, ripping the proverbial rose-tinted glasses from our field of view and allowing us, finally, to see things as they really are, in all their cold, stark reality. Our reaction to this experience could seem to go one of two ways: You permanently remove the comforting shackles of denial and continue to approach your life with that kind of uncompromising honesty, or you venture down the other direction and bury your head so deep in the sand you can no longer tell the time of day. The tricky question becomes positively identifying which direction you’ve gone.

And here lies the crux of Bart Layton’s gripping documentary about a family’s loss, subsequent hope, and even greater loss. The film concerns the Gibson family of San Antonio, who, back in 1994, suffered the devastation of having one of the youngest children suddenly vanish one night. Searching for him desperately, they had all but completely lost hope after four years, which is when they received extraordinary news: Their son, Nicholas, had reportedly been found — in Spain, of all places — and was waiting at a child services facility for them.

Nearly hysterical with happiness, the older sister of Nicholas, Carey, immediately made plans to pick the boy up and booked her first international flight. Unbeknownst to them at the time, however, the miracle would turn out to be anything but. The “boy” claiming to be Nicholas, was, in fact, Frederic Bourdin, a 23-year-old French vagabond trying to pass himself off as the lost boy in hopes to take on a new identity from which he could feel validated. Skillfully, he had gamed the system into taking him in to a shelter, and taken the time to search out the files of missing American kids, in order to give himself a chance to get stateside.

The problem was, his “sister” was coming to Spain to pick him up and with his dark eyes, brown hair and sizable French accent, he looked and sounded absolutely nothing like the blonde, blue-eyed waifish boy who had gone missing in Texas so many years ago. Certain that the jig was up, “Nicholas” nevertheless dyed his hair and added some elementary tattoos to match the description he’d read about in the boy’s case file. Certain to fail, he met his pretend sister the morning she arrived and prepared for the inevitable recrimination and jail time that would await him for perpetrating such an elaborate ruse. To his shock, however, his sister welcomed him with open arms, and never looked back, bringing him triumphantly home to the rest of his new family without hesitation.

As improbable as the story is, things get even more peculiar stateside, where “Nicholas” meets his family, enrolls in high school, and, seemingly, has everyone fooled, including a befuddled FBI agent, who believes his story of being apprehended by a foreign paramilitary outfit and subjected to rape, torture and facial reconstruction, hook, line and sinker.

Not everyone falls quite so easily in the film. Questions are raised about “Nicholas” almost everywhere but within his own adopted family, who continue to cling to the hope that their boy has been magically returned to them. So much do the family hold onto this obvious fabrication, there grow a rising tide of suspicion that some of the members know more about the real Nicholas’ sudden departure than they have ever lead on.

Layton’s film, with its stream of found footage, slick reenactments and bevy of manipulative camera tricks, walks the razor-line between journalistic documentary and sensationalistic Hollywood melodrama in very thin shoes.

Wherever the film may stray from the sober, journalistic path of the straight doc, Layton utilizes well his significant ace-in-the-hole, Frederic. Endlessly smiling and chuckling at his own bravado, he comes across as a true sociopath, not once worrying about the shattering pain and false hope he was bringing to his new family (and, in fact, once incarcerated, he continued to reach out to parents of missing children, pretending to have valuable info for them about their beloved kids). He makes no bones about the insane manipulations he used to get to America and seems terrifyingly bemused by the whole affair, as if it were some sophomoric prank from his junior year in high school.

By the end, there are a good deal more questions than answers — despite the gnawing suspicions by certain law-enforcement personnel, no one in the family is ever charged with a crime — which is peculiarly fitting. Left to the chaotic self-absorption of its main protagonist, no story would ever have a satisfying closure.

Screen Grabs: July 8, 2011

This week, we look at three new summer comedies: one funny, one moronic, and one German.

Herewith, a brief round-up of this weekend’s opening flicks, and the conventional wisdom surrounding them. In descending order of rottentomatoes.com awesomeness.

Horrible Bosses

The Story: Three men with nightmarish work situations hatch a plan to eliminate each other’s bosses.
The Skinny: On paper, at least, you have three seriously funny leads in Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis, and a director in Seth Gordon (King of Kong, “Community,” “Parks & Recreation”) who would seem to be a solid choice for a dark comedy. So, how’s it hold up? About average, from what Scott Ross at Popcorn Biz reports: “it’s a second-tier effort that’ll leave you amused, but won’t change your life.”
Full Review: Horrible Bosses
Now Playing: The Pearl
Complete the Experience: While we don’t recommend killing any of your bosses, you can certainly complain bitterly about them over a fine martini at The Ranstead Room.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

Vincent Wants to Sea
The Story: A man with Taurette’s Syndrome escapes from a clinic with an OCD patient and an anorexic to spread his mother’s ashes in the Mediterranean Sea.
The Skinny: Ralf Huettner’s comedy sounds suspiciously like a lot of other movies that have come before it. In fact, whenever we hear the words “road trip” associated with a film, it almost always bums us out. The City Paper’s Sam Adams would seem to agree with this assessment, writing ” There’s hugging and learning, but little insight or memorable detail.” And while we understand the title’s in translation from the German, still, yikes!
Full Review: Vincent Wants to Sea
Now Playing: Ritz at the Bourse
Complete the Experience: If a beach you want to explore, might we suggest the fine piece of coastline at LBI? Though we don’t recommend scattering ashes indiscriminately.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 64%

The Story: A zookeeper in desperate need of romantic advice receives help from many of the animals he has been caretaking.
The Skinny: A broad, idiotic comedy from Kevin James (with help from Adam Sandler) is nothing new, but the mirthlessness is almost total and complete in this lazy film. It doesn’t help matters if reports are true that one of the animal wrangler companies involved with the film were, in fact, abusing the animals under their care. Our best advice would be to wait until your next cross country trip and catch it on the flight. Just don’t pay for the headphones.
Full Review: Zookeeper
Now Playing: UA Riverview
Complete the Experience: You can, of course, take in the beauty and grandeur of Philly’s own Zoo, just don’t expect to get a running commentary from the bears.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 14%

Screen Grabs: The films you should drop everything to see, and the ones you should avoid like the plague.