“Life after the final bell is the subject of Rod Serling’s screenplay. Anthony Quinn’s performance is as oversized as his fists yet impossible not to adore, with Mickey Rooney’s weary cornerman seeing the inevitable, heartbreaking ending coming even before we do. By then the cloud of shame emanating from Gleason could block out the sun.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 08/30/2018
“I was not above laughing out loud at the most groan-inducing references, as when Kranz wanders the halls looking for room ‘2B’ or Levine ordering his damned dog Spot to get out of his chair. But every Midsummer adaptation stumbles over the supernatural stuff, which is done no favors by the specificity of a movie camera and perhaps needs the abstraction of a stage.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 08/29/2018
Got my toga on sitting in with host Frank Gregory on WDEL’s Saturday HotSpot to talk about forty years of National Lampoon’s Animal House. We discuss the film’s Ivy League origins, controversial casting choices, the enduring legend of John Belushi and how fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life. Listen to MP3’s of the show after the jump.
“Works better than it probably should thanks to the canny casting of Hawke, deftly employing the star’s generational baggage to portray a scruffy, goateed ‘90s icon gone to seed, washed up and living in a barn behind his ex-wife’s house, estranged from litter of children with different mothers who all hate his guts. Reality, as it turns out, bites.” – North Shore Movies, 08/23/2018
“Full of broad comic conceits the direction sheepishly undercuts in search of a psychological realism that the screenplay isn’t specific enough to provide. It’s a curiously muted affair, with large, artificial setups and phony plot hooks of a conventional studio comedy petering out into the disappointments and anti-climaxes of a mopey indie drama.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 08/21/2018
“Frizzell fearlessly marches our heroines into the the raunchy, druggy boys’ club territory of movies like The Hangover and Superbad. Her gasp-inducing finale pays off an hour’s worth of constipation gags with an ever-escalating, scatological set-piece scored to Barry Manilow’s ‘Mandy’ that is both astounding in its grossness and unexpectedly quite tender.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 08/21/2018
“Moretz is a bit too self-possessed to sell the screenplay’s occasional pangs of doubt. The film works better as an aspirational depiction of kids resilient enough to look past the short-sighted hangups of the adults in their lives who are currently calling the shots. These characters are going to mean a lot to young people stuck in similar situations.” – North Shore Movies, 08/16/2018