Ep. 134 – Hustlers, Freaks, a MondoCon recap and a Fantastic Fest preview

September 16, 2019 by  
Filed under Podcast

Fresh off a weekend at MondoCon, Cody and Jerrod are back with new prints and reviews of “Hustlers” and “Freaks.”

Also, Cody tells us what to expect from Fantastic Fest 2019.

Click here to download the episode!

The Boy Next Door

January 23, 2015 by  
Filed under Kiko, Reviews

Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman, Kristin Chenoweth
Directed by: Rob Cohen (“Alex Cross”)
Written by: Barbara Curry (debut)

There’s comes a point in the psychological thriller “The Boy Next Door” where one could almost argue that director Rob Cohen (“Alex Cross,” “Stealth”) and first-time screenwriter Barbara Curry had to have known what a terrible movie they created and were simply milking its awfulness as an ironic way to try and save face. How many awkwardly unfunny double entendres can you cram into a screenplay before it feels like a British spy parody, anyway? That instant quickly comes and goes when you realize everyone involved is taking their contribution on the project much too serious. It wouldn’t be surprising if Cohen and company honestly thought they were making the next “Cape Fear.” Whether that generates even more possibilities for unintended laughter depends solely on how much you enjoy watching actress Jennifer Lopez steer her newest vehicle into a brick wall. It’s not a pretty sight, but don’t feel bad if you giggle.

In “The Boy Next Door,” Lopez stars as Claire Peterson, a high school teacher who gets in over her head when she gives into temptation and has sex with her neighbor’s teenage nephew Noah Sandborn (Ryan Guzman). Things get complicating when Claire tells Noah their affair was a mistake, which immediately flips Noah’s psychotic switch on its highest level and causes him to start stalking Claire and threatening her with some damning evidence that would surely get her fired. With everyone fooled by Noah’s boy-next-door M.O., including Claire’s vulnerable son Kevin (Ian Nelson) and her cheating husband Garrett (John Corbett), Claire must find a way to distance herself from the creeper before he destroys her career, family and life.

With a depressingly long losing streak that arguably spans back at least 17 years, Lopez is not doing herself any favors by listening to whoever has been helping guide her movie career during this time. The paycheck is always going to be there for her, especially since she is one of the only major Latina celebrities who has been able to cross over to mainstream Hollywood with ease, but it’s a shame that she can’t see past that and find a role with substance. “The Boy Next Door” is offensively unoriginal and written with zero imagination or character depth. We’re not talking “Gigli” levels here, but it’s close.

Jennifer Lopez – Parker

January 25, 2013 by  
Filed under Chaléwood, Interviews

It’s been 15 years since actress Jennifer Lopez took on the type of grittier role she’s seen playing in the new action film “Parker.” The last time was as U.S. Marshall Karen Sisco in director Steven Soderbergh’s 1998 film “Out of Sight.” Since then, Lopez, 43, has been known in the film industry over these last few years for her romantic comedies, including “The Wedding Planner,” “Monster-in-Law,” and last year’s “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” among others.

In “Parker,” which is adapted from a series of books by Donald E. Westlake, Lopez plays Leslie Rodgers, a real estate agent who gets involved with a professional thief (Jason Statham in the title role). Lopez says returning to this genre was “pretty awesome.”

“When I saw ‘Parker,’ it was like ‘Transporter’ and ‘Out of Sight’ had a baby,” Lopez told me over the phone last week during a conference call with seven other reporters. “This type of character is something I really, really enjoy doing – these sexy-action-thriller-dramas. It was a great thing to get back into and maybe focus on more in the next few years.”

Surprising, Lopez says she was able to connect with her character in many ways she didn’t realize she would be able to until she started filming. This includes the fact that Leslie Rodgers was going through a divorce in the film and during filming, Lopez, too, was experience the same thing with Marc Anthony.

“Leslie is at the worst moment of her life,” Lopez said. “When I was filming this role, there were a lot of similar feelings. I had decided to divorce. It was hard for me to get out of bed every day and even go to the set. In that sense, we were very similar. I knew what those feelings were – to have that sadness and feel like your world is falling apart.”

But like her character, Lopez has a resiliency about her that has never let her down. It’s a personality trait she sees in many of the strong Latina characters she’s played over the years.

“It’s great to play Latina characters, especially ones who triumph at the end like this,” Lopez said. “Of course, there is a Hollywood element to this. No one is really going to go out and team up with a thief and steal jewels, but at the same time, Leslie sees an opportunity and goes for it and doesn’t give up.”

The Back-Up Plan

April 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O’Loughlin, Michaela Watkins
Directed by: Alan Poul (debut)
Written by: Kate Angelo (debut)

If romantic comedies starring Jennifer Lopez are movies you actually find amusing (“The Wedding Planner,” “Maid in Manhattan,” “Monster-in-Law”), then you’re probably programmed to eat up something as frothy as “The Back-Up Plan.” For those with a more discriminating taste, J-Lo’s latest only proves one thing: Lopez can definitely command a screen, but without any back-up from anyone in production, all that’s left is a predictable, poorly-written rom com with zero chemistry between the leads.

In the film, Lopez plays Zoe, a New York City pet store owner who wants nothing more than to have a baby. Single – and without any real suitors – Zoe decides the best way to get pregnant is to go through artificial insemination and raise a baby on her own. What would a cheesy mainstream romantic comedy be, however, if that’s all “The Back-Up Plan” intended to serve up?

The eye-rolling twist comes early when Zoe meets Stan (Alex O’Loughlin), the man of her dreams, on the same day she goes in for the medical procedure. The rest of the film is a cake walk. Zoe and Stan start their courtship and fall in love in standard two-day movie time when Stan invites to spend some time with him at his goat farm. Yes, his goat farm. Soon, Zoe must fess up and tell Stan that she’s has some baggage in the form of a bun in the oven. Will the news send Stan racing for the exit or is he in the relationship for the long haul?

Riddled with dreadfully cliché dialogue and some pregnancy jokes that are simply unfunny (Jo-Lo falls into a wading pool right after a woman has a water birth), “The Back-Up Plan” is an unrealistic look at love, the miracle of birth, or any of the other topics first-time screenwriter Kate Angelo lazily tries to pass off as entertainment.