Jonathan Levine

Film Review: Snatched

by Carrie Kahn on May 12, 2017

Hawn, Schumer deserve better than middling comedy

Emily (Amy Schumer, l.) and her mom Linda (Goldie Hawn) find themselves in a bit of a predicament when their Ecuador vacation goes awry.

Legendary comedienne Goldie Hawn has not been seen on the big screen since 2002’s The Banger Sisters, so it’s a shame that her return from a 15-year absence is in a mediocre film unworthy of her talents. On paper, the premise for Hawn’s revival movie probably sounded great: an adventure comedy that would pair her with Amy Schumer, the current generation’s hip young blonde comic actress (can a remake of Private Benjamin with Schumer in the lead be far behind?). But the genius of casting the legend as mother to the edgy newcomer only works if the material is fresh, sharp, and funny, and, unfortunately for Hawn and Schumer, Snatched falls short on that front.
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left: Analeigh Tipton, Teresa Palmer, and Dave Franco in WARM BODIES; right: writer/director Jonathan Levine

2013 is off to a pleasantly promising start when it comes to genre films. Just a few weeks after the soulfully spooky Mama, we are now treated to Jonathan Levine’s thoroughly delightful adaptation of Isaac Marion’s beloved novel Warm Bodies. A hilariously self-aware and surprisingly sweet reimagining of the overly familiar “love transforms a monster” trope, Warm Bodies tells the story of a zombie named R (Nicholas Hoult), who narrates much of the film from his very unique point-of-view. Although zombiedom has robbed R of his ability to express himself verbally, his thoughts are as articulately human as ever; the film mines quite a bit of humor from this cognitive disconnect.

R spends his days staggering around an abandoned airport with a familiar lineup of other zombies, grunting and pondering what these people were like in life. But R is roused from his undead existential crisis when he meets Julie (Teresa Palmer), the daughter of one of mankind’s last great protectors, Grigio (John Malkovich). Julie enters zombie territory on an armed mission along with her boyfriend Perry (Dave Franco) and best friend Nora (Analeigh Tipton); it’s love at first sight for R despite the fact that Julie is trying to kill him. When the mission goes haywire and Julie is left behind, R devises a plan to keep her safe from the other zombies in the hopes that she’ll fall in love with him in spite of their, uh, differences.

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Will Reiser and Seth Rogen on the set of 50/50

Have you ever watched a cancer movie and thought, “You know what this needs? More dick jokes!” If so, 50/50 is the cancer movie for you. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Adam, who seems to have his life together: he works for a public radio station in Seattle, he has a devoted (if obnoxious) best friend, Kyle (Seth Rogen), and a beautiful girlfriend, Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard). But when Adam is suddenly diagnosed with cancer, his life begins to fall apart. His relationship with Rachael becomes increasingly strained, he is assigned a counselor named Katherine (Anna Kendrick) who is barely out of diapers, his overbearing mother (Anjelica Huston) won’t leave him alone, and Kyle keeps using Adam’s cancer to get himself laid. And if that sounds like too irreverent of a storyline for a film about cancer, then take it up with screenwriter Will Reiser. Because it’s inspired by his life.

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