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Non-Review Review: Throw Momma From the Train

Throw Momma From the Train feels like something of a dry run for Danny DeVito. The actor had previously directed a cable television movie, The Ratings Game, but Throw Momma From the Train represented his theatrical directorial début. While not nearly as effective as his follow-up, the classic War of the Roses, Throw Momma From the Train sustains itself with an interesting premise and two charming lead performances that help cover for a script that isn’t anywhere near as darkly comic as it would like to think that it is.

Snatching DeVito from the jaws of victory...

Snatching DeVito from the jaws of victory…

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Non-Review Review: The Campaign

The Campaign is hardly the most complex piece of political satire ever written. In fact, the movie suffers a great deal because its observations about political corruption feel fairly superficial. The relationship between donors and politicians, and the sway that what the movie terms “big money” has over elected officials, are hardly cutting insights into the way that lobbying and electioneering actually works. To be fair, there is something in the way that the movie parodies the tendency of US elections to get incredibly dirty incredibly fast, but The Campaign ultimately winds up feeling a little superficial.

That’s not to say that there aren’t moments of wit to be found here. Both Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis are skilled comedians, even when the material isn’t necessarily up to scratch. And in order to make fun of the extreme rhetoric that such campaigns may involve, the movie occasionally pushes itself into the realm of the surreal. However, its observations and its targets seem so obvious that the movie can also be remarkably frustrating.

A candid(ate) look at the electoral process?

A candid(ate) look at the electoral process?

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Non-Review Review: My Cousin Vinny

My Cousin Vinny still works after all these years, I think, because it’s pretty broad and universal in its humour. It’s essentially two types of fish-out-of-water film blended together, simultaneously documenting a street-smart guy tangling with the red tape of legal bureaucracy, and offering a standard city-slickers adventure with “Noo Yawker” Vinny and his girlfriend adjusting to life in the Deep South. My Cousin Vinny is funny and frank, but never offensively so. It’s aware that it’s trading in caricatures and stereotypes, but never seems too mean in its portrayal of anybody.

Giving the legal system the fingers...

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