Review: New York, I Love You

Directors: Natalie Portman, Jiang Wen, Mira Nair, Shunji Iwai, Yvan Attal, Brett Ratner, Allen Hughes, Sheekhar KapurFatih Akin, Joshua Marston, Randy Balsmeyer
Writers: Emmanuel Benbihy, Tristan Carné, Hall Powell, Israel Horovitz, James C. Strouse, Shunji Iwai, Israel Horovitz, Hu Hong, Yao Meng, Israel Horovitz, Scarlett Johansson, Joshua Marston, Alexandra Cassavetes, Stephen Winter, Jeff Nathanson,
Anthony Minghella, Natalie Portman
Producers: Marina Grasic, Emmanuel Benbihy
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Natalie Portman, Orlando Bloom, Rachel Bilson, Bradley Cooper, Maggie Q, Hayden Christensen, Christina Ricci, Andy Garcia, Ethan Hawke, Blake Lively, Anton Yelchin, Shu Qi, Carlos Acosta, James Cann, Justin Bartha, Eli Wallach, Cloris Leachm
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 103 min.


Three years ago one of my favorite films of the year, Paris Je’ Taime was released to theaters and I was actually taken aback at how much I liked the piece. It was a series of vignettes, each directed by a famous director (from Gus Van Sant to the Coen Brothers to Wes Craven) with a whole slew of great, character actors and A-list stars. Each vignette was a cute little story examining a relationship somewhere within the great culture of Paris. Not necessarily lovers either. There were fathers and daughters, sisters, elderly couples and even a vampire tale amongst many others. Within months it was announced that a follow-up to the film would be coming soon that would take place in New York. So I’ve been waiting the better part of three years to see the sequel of sorts to one of my favorite films of 2007 with another set of great stories told by world class film makers and actors. And finally it is here in America showing to a fairly wide audience.

There had been some grumbling that New York, I Love You wasn’t quite the film its predecessor had been. Quite honestly I can’t fathom that notion as this film is at least the former’s equal; if not superior to the “original.” If you liked Paris Je’ Taime (or loved it as much as I did), there’s no reason to steer clear of this reimagining. It’s got the same amount of heart and inspiration and should capture your heart just as quickly and steadfast as the stories did threeyears ago.
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Review: The Hangover

Director: Todd Phillips (Old School, Road Trip)
Writers: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 100 min.


Feeling like the multi-plexes are strangely devoid of quality comedies that actually have a laugh factor of more than one for every thirty minutes? You and me both. Quality jokes are hard to put together; even harder to follow through with and harder still to get the butts in the seats during the summer with the onslaught of “mindless” cinema being released. Luckily, The Hangover seems to be doing all three – and doing it fairly well.

Low-brow, pretty standard plot line for a comedy: four buddies head to Vegas for a bachelor party and the time of their lives. We see them have a drink before hitting the town and then flash forward to waking up on the floor the next morning. The room looks like Hunter S. Thompson spent the summer there and the groom is missing. With no recollection of the previous night, the three “survivors” head out in search of their friend; retracing their steps with what clues they have: an abandoned baby, a missing tooth, a hospital bracelet and splitting headaches. Hijinx and hilarity ensue.
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