Movie Reviews: 'De Palma' / 'Hard Sell'


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Nice to see this week there are a couple of flicks on the horizon well worth checking out.  From a quaint and quirky coming of age story to a five-star documentary that’s a must for any film fan, these movies are why we go to the cinema.  We’re checking out the doc “De Palma” and drama “Hard Sell” via our encapsulated reviews below!

 

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   Title: “De Palma”

   Stars: 5

   Genre: Documentary

   Cast: Brian De Palma

   Director: Noah Baumbach & Jake Paltrow

   Rating: R

   Running Time: 107 Minutes

   Release Company: A24

   Website: www.a24films.com/films/de-palma

 

In what can only be described as the most wonderful, honest and ultimate DVD extra ever, Directors Noah Baumbach & Jake Paltrow take famed filmmaker Brian De Palma on one of the most comprehensive career interviews ever and the results are five-star for film fans. (Not to mention Top Ten Films of 2016 list!) From the skinny on difficult actor Cliff Robertson in “Obsession” and dedicated insanity of Sean Penn via “Casualties of War” to addressing the life long rumors that have plagued his career (misogyny, violence and his various films that have bombed!) all told within the confines of a career in film makes this one full-length featurette to die for.  But the icing on the cake is definitely getting a rare glimpse into the personal side of De Palma – marriages, children and childhood – right from the man himself.  And even though such life details are told in seemingly small snippets, for those listening and watching it truly speaks volumes.  Fascinating, candid and utterly personal – wow.

“DE PALMA” OPENS IN SELECT THEATERS ON JUNE 10 FROM A24.

 

Hard Sell   Title: “Hard Sell”

   Stars: 4

   Genre: Drama

   Cast: Katrina Bowden, Skyler Gisondo, Kristin Chenoweth

   Director: Sean Nalaboff

   Rating: Not Rated

   Running Time: 120 Minutes

   Release Company: Momentum Pictures

   Website: www.hardsellthemovie.com

 

Coming-of-age is a genre that has been done to death and leaves future filmmakers who try to attempt it with one hard mountain to climb.  What makes “Hard Sell,” a film with a familiar story of a teen coming into his own with the help of an inspiring woman, such a standout are the performances.  As the whiney yet charismatic kid in question, Skyler Gisondo brings just enough adolescent angst and sweetness to his role as the potential ridden Harvey.  Plus all the ladies in his life – his ailing mom Kristin Chenoweth, his lust de jour Katrina Bowden and unattainable teen crush Hannah Marks – all add a little something different to the mix elevating familiar material way above the norm.  Yes, the writing via Director Sean Nalaboff is very clever, but without the right character crew these films are a dime a dozen.  With its killer cast delivering the goods, this teen navigating real-life tale isn’t a hard sell at all.

“HARD SELL” OPENS IN SELECT THEATERS AND ON VOD AND iTUNES ON MAY 20FROM MOMENTUM PICTURES.



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