St. Vincent

2014_review_disappointments

Let me just say this right up front before you declare us legally insane and/or possessing of piss-poor taste in films — inclusion on this list doesn’t necessarily mean we think the movie is bad. Sure, that’s true of some of them (I’m looking at you Horns), but in most cases these are simply films we had reason to expect so much more from only to be let down — sometimes dramatically — in the end. 2014 was a spectacular year filled with great cinema, and there’s a lot that we absolutely loved (as evidenced by many of our other year-end lists posting this week), but these are the films that fell short. We walk into every movie hoping for the best, but sometimes our expectations get the best of us whether due to the talent involved or the power of a great trailer. We’re only human after all. So here are fourteen movies we had good reason to suspect we’d like more than we did.

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The Weinstein Company

Hey, is there actually any inherent humor to old person / little kid duos? A lot of movies take for granted that they are, but I’m not so sure that’s the case. The latest film to push this old sale is St. Vincent, and the only thing it does to distinguish itself from any other is that Bill Murray is the elder. Murray plays the title character, Vincent. The “saint” part is ironic, since he’s a boozing, gambling, whoring old fart who likes no one and is liked by no one. Or is the “saint” part ironic? Perchance, could there be a heart of gold beating within that saggy bosom? Young Oliver (newcomer Jaeden Lieberher) is poised to find out after Vincent becomes his “babysitter.” Oliver and his newly-divorced mother Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) have just moved next door to Vincent, and Maggie’s job as a nurse keeps her busy at late hours. So the cash-strapped Vincent agrees to watch over Oliver, and of course both theoretically hilarious shenanigans and even more theoretically heartwarming life lessons ensue.

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St. Vincent

This is what dark comedy does — it takes sad situations (impoverishment, alcoholism, horse racing, Naomi Watts doing a really bad accent while also sporting an obviously fake baby bump), and plays them up until they make us laugh, not cry. Ted Melfi‘s St. Vincent looks to be aiming a little to the left of the dramedy mark (in directional comedy speak, that means he’s going a bit too funny with this one) with his debut film, St. Vincent, but at least he’s somewhat in range. The film stars Bill Murray as a character clearly pitched as “what if Clint Eastwood from Gran Torino was actually kinda kicky?” who finds his life turned upside down with the arrival of a new neighbors — sad Melissa McCarthy (is it horrible to comment on how it’s nice to see McCarthy going for just a little bit of pathos for once?) and her very cute son Oliver (newbie Jaeden Lieberher, who looks to be quite charming) into the house next door. Their first introduction isn’t too fun, though, there’s some blood and a big tree limb and lots of confusion, but things change when Murray’s Vincent and Oliver start hanging out together. The twist is, of course, that Vincent doesn’t mix up his all-drinking, all-hemming and hawing, all-horse racing routine once he starts hanging out with the tween. Oopsie. Take a look at the film’s first trailer, which is both very sweet and very clearly trying to be quirky. It’s like Royal Tenenbaum went to California and never looked back.

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Your daily recommended allowance of random movie stuff, stories that fell through the cracks, and news you can’t use.

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Please Not Johnny Handsome 2

All signs point to Mickey Rourke staying in the spotlight for the immediate future. His latest upcoming project announced during the thick of the Oscar race will reunite him with Walter Hill, his Johnny Handsome director.

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


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