Brian the Movie Guy checks out 'Identity Thief' and 'Side Effects'


Bottom Line: PLANES TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES meets MIDNIGHT RUN minus the wit, heart, brains, fun, action, laughterand, again, fun. There are a few snarky asides, maybe a couple of semi-successful goofball moments but outside of that we're dealing with a 111 minute lesson on how not to make a funny movie. I love Bateman, I like McCarthy - but put them under the guidance of lazy direction and feed them dialogue from a much-less-than-half-hearted (heck, call it no-hearted) script and you're in for a tremendously boring, eternally seat-shifting sit. I snickered three times (decent jokes), laughed twice (better jokes) and smiled once (the movie ended) - aside from that, however, the rest was a slew of lame gags, unnecessarily convoluted storytelling, far-fetched predicaments and an asinine premise. Simultaneously trying too hard and not hard enough to entertain, the real THIEF here will be any movie theater gladly taking your money to see this falsely told and timidly flat flick.

Starring: Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy
Rated: R
Running time: 111 minutes
Story: Unlimited funds have allowed Diana (McCarthy) to live it up on the outskirts of Miami, where the queen of retail buys whatever strikes her fancy. There's only one glitch: The ID she's using to finance these sprees reads "Sandy Bigelow Patterson"....and it belongs to an accounts rep (Bateman) who lives halfway across the U.S. With only one week to hunt down the con artist before his world implodes, the real Sandy Bigelow Patterson heads south to confront the woman with an all-access pass to his life. And as he attempts to bribe, coax and wrangle her 2,000 miles to Denver, one easy target will discover just how tough it is to get your name back. -- (C) Official Site

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Bottom Line: Have the cinematic dumping grounds of early 2013 left you feeling depressed? Has watching movies like GANGSTER SQUAD and/or BROKEN CITY made you experience joint fatigue, unexplained muscle or abdominal pain, lip sores, gastric retention, nausea, earlobe inflammation, dizziness, dry mouth, night vision problems, day vision problems, constipation and/or fingernail sensitivity? If so, then a night at the movies for the intelligent, refreshingly slow-burn, prescription drug thriller, SYDIFEX? might be right for you. Active ingredients include a sharp, intelligent script, per-usual pinpoint direction from Steven Soderbergh and riveting performances from both Jude Law and Rooney Mara. While watching SYDIFEX?, some may experience a few too many hazily organic twists-and-turns leading to minimal amounts of 'waitwhat?!' moments. Some of the late-in-the-show reveals may not be that surprising - but as a whole, and amidst some of its foggy puzzle pieces, SYDIFEX? remains an entertaining, lethargically absorbing and effectively nimble piece of filmmaking. Clinical studies show that most viewers of SYDIFEX? are prone to sipping hot tea on a veranda, playing Frisbee with a dog, riding bikes with grandchildren and/or simply smiling because they've just watched a movie they actually enjoyed. Do not watch SYDIFEX? if you enjoy watching movies that aren't good (see warning label for IDENTITY THIEF) and always consult with your favorite movie critic after your first dosage - you knowso you can tell me I was right.

Starring: Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Channing Tatum
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh (HAYWIRE, MAGIC MIKE, TRAFFIC and CONTAGION)
Rated: R
Running time: 106 minutes
Story: SIDE EFFECTS is a provocative thriller about Emily and Martin (Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum), a successful New York couple whose world unravels when a new drug prescribed by Emily's psychiatrist (Jude Law) - intended to treat anxiety - has unexpected side effects. -- (C) Official FB

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