Richard Roeper Blog

Archive for August, 2013

REVIEW: “Lovelace”

Friday, August 9th, 2013

I’m Richard Roeper and coming up next, the story of the porn film that grossed hundreds of millions of dollars and ruined lives. My review of “Lovelace,” right now.

“Lovelace” is a well-made but grim film about a lost soul and the sadistic creeps that treated her like she was a sub-human toy. Set in the early 1970s and perfectly capturing the tenor of the times and the grimy underworld of the porn industry, this is the kind of movie you’ll appreciate but never really enjoy.

Amanda Seyfried does strong work here as Linda, who’s barely out of her teens and bored out of her mind, living in Florida. Robert Patrick is Linda’s stoic father, always glued to the TV, and Sharon Stone is a standout as Linda’s domineering mother.

It doesn’t make doing for the oily Chuck Traynor, played by Peter Sarsgaard, to charm Linda into a quickie marriage. Deep in debt, Chuck makes a deal for Linda to star in a little porn film becomes an international sensation.

Hank Azaria, Bobby Canavale and Chris Noth are porno filmmakers, but even they’re appalled by Chuck’s sleaziness and his abuse of Linda. Even as Hugh Hefner circles about and Johnny Carson is making nightly jokes about “Deep Throat” and there’s talk of Linda becoming a mainstream star, the reality of her life is shocking and horrific.

Seyfried is often semi-nude in “Lovelace,” but there’s nothing titillating about this film. Sex is a commodity and Linda is mere chattel to the men that casually, cruelly abuse her. That she was able to climb from their sewers and bravely tell her story is a minor miracle. Even then, though, “Lovelace” never feels triumphant or inspirational. It’s a well-made, well-acted reminder that the most famous porn star of the most famous porn movie ever made was a victim.

I give “Lovelace” a B+.

REVIEW: “We’re the Millers”

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

I’m Richard Roeper and coming up next, Jennifer Aniston is a stripper, Jason Sudeikis is a pot dealer, Emma Roberts is a runaway and Ed Helms owns a whale. OK, that’s a start. My review of “We’re the Millers,” right now.

“We’re the Millers” is the definition of a hit-and-miss comedy. I’m sure some will groan at the outrageous antics and sometimes cringe-inducing gags. But thanks to a number of bits that DO work and the likable cast, I couldn’t resist this movie.

In a role Bill Murray might have played a generation ago, Jason Sudeikis is up to the task as David, a pot dealer who cares only about himself. In debt to a ruthless drug lord played by Ed Helms—that’s right—David is forced to go to Mexico to transport a huge shipment of dope to the USA. His plan? Create a fake family of All-American dorks to throw the border guards off the scent.

Jennifer Aniston’s a stripper named Rose, Emma Roberts is a hardass runaway named Casey and Will Poulter is an abandoned teen named Kenny. Off they go!

We get not one but two sequences in which Aniston gets to remind us she’s in great shape. No Mr. Skin, she doesn’t get naked. Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn score some laughs as a couple that befriend the Millers. Helms is miscast and I guess that’s the point, but he has a couple of moments.

Once the Millers hit the road, you kinda know where this is going to end up. It’s all about the journey, and despite more than a couple of bumps in the road, “We’re the Millers” clicks on just enough cylinders to warrant a recommendation. I give it a B-.

TRAILER: ‘Monuments Men’

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Monuments Men DTR1 Eng EAGL from Create Advertising on Vimeo.


Thursday, August 8th, 2013

TRAILER: ‘Thor: The Dark World’

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

New teaser: Elysium

Monday, August 5th, 2013

REVIEW: “Blue Jasmine”

Monday, August 5th, 2013

I’m Richard Roeper and coming up next, Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Louis C.K. and Andrew Dice Clay star in Woody Allen’s latest movie. Wait, what? My review of “Blue Jasmine,” right now.

A few years shy of his 80th birthday, Woody Allen isn’t about to abandon the familiar opening titles, the music, and some of the themes he’s explored again and again. But six decades into his career, Woody is still capable of writing and directing one of the liveliest, funniest and sharpest movies of the year.

Allen blends “A Streetcar Named Desire,” the Bernie Madoff scandal and bits from some of his own previous films. This is one strange, sometimes uneven but mostly mesmerizing film. Cate Blanchett is devastatingly effective as Jasmine, who enjoyed great wealth and social standing in Manhattan and the Hamptons as the wife of a financial wheeler-dealer played by Alec Baldwin. But as we learn in flashbacks, it all came crumbling down.

Now Jasmine’s in San Francisco, broke and desperate but still putting on airs. She’s living with her working class sister Ginger, played by Sally Hawkins, who’s just marvelous. Andrew Dice Clay is terrific as Ginger’s ex-husband, and Louis C.K. has a nice turn as her newest love interest.

There’s a lot of unpleasantness and many an uncomfortable moment at play here, what with Jasmine’s insufferable intolerance for anything in life that’s not about her. “Blue Jasmine” provides plenty of laughs, but Blanchett’s performance is mostly the stuff of heavy, deep drama. It’s brilliant, disturbing work from a great actress.

I give “Blue Jasmine” an A-.

Forest Whitaker and Lake Bell at WLS

Monday, August 5th, 2013


The Weinermobile!

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Jennifer Aniston Talks ‘The Millers’

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

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