"Hyde Park on Hudson" 7 of 10 Stars
The Great Bill Murray played FDR surprisingly well in "Hyde Park on Hudson". It's a good film for fans of Murray and fans of history, of which I am both. Otherwise, you may find it a bit dull.
It's mostly about one of FDR's many affairs, this one with his distant cousin Margaret "Daisy" Suckley, with a visit from the King and Queen of England to discuss the impending war with Germany as a secondary plot.
Murray once again has shown his versatility, going from campy goofball movies like "Caddyshack" and "Meatballs", to still goofy, but slightly more leading man comedic roles such as in "Stripes" and "Ghostbusters", to somewhat more cerebral comedy in "Groundhog Day" and "What About Bob", "Ed Wood" and Kingpin", to dry, quirky comedy in Sofia Coppala's "Lost In Translation" and Wes Anderson's films, to now portraying one of America's most beloved presidents in a historical drama, along with portraying a polio victim.
I enjoyed this film, but the Roosevelts, history, and Bill Murray are all points of interest for me. Unfortunately, I'd wager it's not for everyone.
"This is 40" 4 of 10 Stars
This somewhat sequel to "Knocked Up" features writer Judd Apatow's real-life wife and children in a depressing film about family disfunction, making you wonder what he's trying to tell us about his home-life.
Apatow's regular quirky comedy was mostly missing from this film, except for a few amusing moments. When it was funny, it was really funny, but those moments were few and far between. Even cameos by Apatow regulars such as Jason Segal and the sex appeal of Megan Fox couldn't save this film.
The film was marketed as a comedy about reaching middle-age, but it's far from comedic. The majority of the film is depressing and annoying. It's mostly about a couple's marriage and both of their businesses failing, their financial ruin, and their worsening relationships with their bratty teenage daughter and both of their fathers, who both oddly have started new families of their own. Basically, we are show over two hours of people yelling and cursing at each other, while their lives and finances fall apart. People watch films to escape the harsh reality of their real lives, not to watch it in a mirror.
The film makes the situation between Debbie and her father very unclear until the end, but not in a plot twist type of way, just in a "neglecting to tell us" way. There are a lot of aspects of the film's characters that they just never tell us, that would've helped move the often stagnant plot and help viewers care about the mostly hatable characters.
The biggest problem with this film is its length. The first hour was slow and boring, but it picked up quite a bit halfway through. Had Apatow cut it down to the standard 90 minutes, he would've brought us a much more entertaining film than this 134 minute mistake.
"The Guilt Trip" 1 of 10 Stars
This film is just plain awful.
Barbara Streisand's character is supposed to be who the viewers feel for, but the character really has no redeeming qualities.
Seth Rogan really has no place in a dramatic film, even though it was falsely advertised as a comedy. He can only be taken seriously in slacker comedy rolls.
If you enjoy watching people make each other feel bad and constantly fail, or if you are suffering from extreme insomnia, this is the film for you. If you are looking to be amused or entertained, avoid this film like the bubonic plague.
Copyright 2013 Denim McDemus
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