D+

Nothing more satisfying than a good solid confession, unless of course it’s your own confession – then it kind of sucks. What’s great about films is that there’s never a boring confession; no one ever spends 120 minutes of movie watching to learn that the hero was the one who accidently dented his neighbor’s car. So – here are some confessions in films that, because of the performance or the situation, stood out amongst the rest. Oh also, by definition alone the following is practically all spoilers – so heads up.

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Director Roman Polanski is no stranger to scandals, so it should come as no surprise that his next project will cover a real-life event that was very scandalous. The subject matter in question is the infamous Dreyfus affair, which doesn’t have anything to do with Richard Dreyfus’ married life, but instead involves a Jewish Captain of the French army named Alfred Dreyfus. You see, back in 1894 Dreyfus faced court martial because of accusations that he had been passing secrets to the Germans. After being found guilty, he was sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island – but that’s not where his story stops. It continues when the head of French counter-intelligence, Colonel Georges Picquart, realizes that the real traitor is still at large and attempts to prove as much. His efforts lead to clashes with superior officers, framings for crimes he didn’t commit, and, eventually, his own imprisonment. Strange things were afoot at the Circle K. Eventually Dreyfus was cleared of all charges and released, but not until he had endured 12 years of investigations, media attention, and imprisonment.

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George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) live for the fast-paced lifestyle of New York City. Until, that is, things go wrong and they decide they just can’t deal with it any longer. The married couple then head to Atlanta to live with George’s obnoxious brother, but end up spending the night at a roadside bed-n-breakfast that turns out to be a hippie commune. After sampling a combo platter of drugs and other alternative lifestyle trappings, they have second thoughts about returning to any life outside of the commune…and then have third thoughts about their second thoughts. Director David Wain and actor Ken Marino penned the script for Wanderlust, just as they previously did for Role Models. The problem is that where Role Models is a mildly absurd situational comedy peppered with fully developed characters who grow as people without betraying who they are, Wanderlust is a flaccid, one-note joke with possibly  some of the most wishy-washy leads in recent cinematic history, and nary a likable character to otherwise be found. Wain and Marino have created a joke dome in the Elysium Community outside of which they seem to have very little confidence in their ability to make us laugh. They therefore construct contrivance after contrivance to drop their leads back at the commune and mistakenly assume that the dramatic tension will be inherent in their repeated exit from it.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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