Carole Mallory's blog consists of movie and book reviews and commentary on Hollywood. Mallory is an actress who portrayed a Stepford Wife in the original film and appeared in other movies such as Looking for Mr. Goodbar. A former supermodel, her writings are published in The Huffington Post and Hollywood's The Wrap. Her book reviews are published in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Norman Mailer was her mentor. Upon his death she sold her collection of writings with his edits to Harvard University.
The Internship reteaming Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn ain't no Wedding Crashers. The problem isn't their acting. It's Vince Vaughn's and Jared Stern's predictable writing. Clichés abound. Wilson must have been paid a bundle to agree to this turkey. While Vaughn also produced The Internship, it appears he is riding on the coattails of Wilson and a fast talking agent sold this limp bill of goods to mighty fine actors.
The plot is a simple one. Two out of work aging -shall we say aspiring swingers,- lose their jobs because selling watches is an obsolete business in this computer age. We all tell the time on our cell phones. John Goodman is their boss in a "now you see him now you don't performance". And so Nick (Wilson) takes a job selling mattresses with his boss being none other than Will Ferrell, totally wasted in this cameo. Billy (Vaughn) must have used up a marker or two to get both Ferrell and Wilson and also a marker for John Goodman whose cameo is even more brief and less funny than Ferrell's.
After a stint in a mattress emporium, Billy convinces Nick to quit his job and go west young man to San Francisco to apply for a job with Google. Both boys are practically computer illiterate, but champion sales men in the film and in life. Billy talks Nick into trying his talents in the highly competitive tech world. The techies at first laugh at the naiveté of this awkward duo and perhaps have more laughs than you will watching this sad attempt at comedy. A series of challenges were given to several teams as actors: Rose Byrne, Aasif Mandavi, Max Mingella, Josh Brener, Dylan O'Brien, Tiya Sircar, Tobit Raphael, Josh Gad, Jessica, Szohr, Rob Riggle, B. J. Novak and Eric Andre round out a competent cast of genius college students and teachers at Google. A special mention to Aasif Mandavi who is the stern Google trainer. The winner of these challenges is awarded employment at Google. What is enjoyable is seeing what Google looks like on the inside. We have a visit to a strip club followed by a scene showing, 'let's get drunk and have a really fun time and forget the minutiae of the tech world'. Never mind the adolescent mind set behind this dated thinking. The Internship made me recall that iconic director of Last Tango in Paris, Bernardo Bertolucci, and his comments that today's films out of Hollywood have gone by the wayside and that TV is superior.
The direction by Shawn Levy is lackluster and appears that Vince Vaughn was heavily involved over Levy's shoulder in this process.
If you want to watch the real talents of Wilson and Vaughn rent Wedding Crashers again or as Bernardo Bertolucci suggests, 'Watch TV,' and skip this poor excuse for a movie.
With Bryan Forbes passing, I was reminded of what a good director he was. He taught me the importance of listening. Oh, I had taken acting classes with Wyn Handman who directed the American Place Theatre and had classmates the likes of Richard Gere and Brad Davis, and had filmed many commercials as a spokesperson, but Stepford Wives was my first major motion picture. It was the 1975 Ira Levin thriller in which women are turned into docile electronic incarnations of themselves.
The scene in which I, portraying Kit Sunderson, recall his talented direction was the following: All us wives were seated in a group therapy session when the topic turned to how our husbands were forcing us to do intense housework and we were rebelling. But instead of objecting to the masculine brow beating, eager to please any male when the topic wascleaning, I said, "It took me so long to get my upstairs floor to shine, I didn't have any time to bake."
"Have you ever tried Easy Off?" my girlfriend asked. "Is it really that good?" I replied. Bryan wanted me to think about a life and death situation and the gravity this would imply. "Listen to Toni, Carole. You're not listening to her," Bryan yelled.
And he was right. The music became chime-like and eerie and the audience was given a clue that I was dead. That all the wives were dead. We were servants to our husbands. Slaves. Zombies in house dresses. Not wives. Loving wives.
This was a pivotal scene and Bryan made it work because he watched our performances like a myopic hawk and was forceful in his direction. We all listened to him especially when he yelled which wasn't often.
Stepford Wives drew mixed reviews and endures as a cult film and a quasi-feminist document. It helped make the phrase "Stepford wife," describing any woman who seems vapid and compliant, an enduring part of the lexicon.
In 2004 Bryan Forbes was named a Commander of the British Empire. But For all his accomplishments, Bryan remained remembered almost exclusively for The Stepford Wives,and sometimes found himself having to defend the film against misinterpretation. In an interview in 2004, he recounted having been accosted by an umbrella-wielding woman at a press screening.
"I remember saying to this particular savagely disturbed woman, 'You've missed the whole point,'" he recalled. "'A, it's a fantasy; B, if anybody looks stupid, it's the men. It's not an attack on women. It's an attack on women being exploited by men.'"
Who wants to see a film with a six in the title? I certainly didn't. But, boy, am I glad I did! This is a good film. The dialogue is fast and wicked. The cast, as usual, exudes a heat and a sexuality that burns up the screen. The reasons for seeing this film are: to be entertained and to forget the everyday minutiae that clog our regurgitating brains and to laugh. Yes,F&F6 is funny.
The writer of this ripe for pickins' dialogue is Chris Thompson and the screenplay that doesn't quit (do I see a F&F 7 in the making?) is Chris Morgan. While the talented director of this fine film is Justin Lin who was born in Taiwan. Perhaps due to his origin, this former student of UCLA film school has a fresh look at film that enables him to breathe life and longevity into an aging franchise. Long live Lin should be Universal's mantra.
F&F 6 begins with the guys and girls enjoying their millions from the last heist in retirement minus the soul burning, crime fighter Letty (Michele Rodriguez) who is believed to be dead. Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) pays a visit to Dominic Torretto (Vin Diesel) who is on the barbie in a sunny vacation spot and who tries to enlist Luke to rescue Letty. Luke has a photo of Letty that proves she is alive. This photo convinces Dominic to honor Luke's request to unite the gang not only to find Letty, but to bring down special ops soldier Shaw (Luke Evans) who is the head of a team of lethally skilled mercenary drivers, specializing in vehicular warfare.
Luke convinces Dominic that Shaw is holding Letty against her will. And so across 12 countries the gang of Brian (Paul Walker), Han (Sung Kang), Gisele (Gal Gadot), Tyrese Gibson (who handles his lines with skilled comedic talent), Taj (Ludacris), and Elena (Elsa Pataky) drive fast and furiously. Payment for helping Luke bring down Shaw will be a pardon for all their crimes which will enable them to be reunited as a family. Who'd think this franchise was based on family values, but there you have it.
A travelogue of sorts this team drives through London, Liverpool, Spain and ends in Tokyo. Don't walk out before credits end as this tag ending will take you to F&F 7 and I will eagerly await its release.
"You got some serious balls, man," Letty says to Dom. "I've been told." Dom replies