REVIEW: Some Velvet Morning [2013]

“When has love ever been fair?” It’s official: Neil LaBute is back. I know that’s a horrible thing to say considering he’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever talked to in the industry and never actually went anywhere creatively where the theater scene’s concerned, but a decade of watching him direct other people’s scripts (two of which were remakes) can take its toll on a fan. It’s therefore with immense pleasure that I confidently announce Some Velvet Morning is everything I’ve missed and hoped I’d experience again. Whether the…

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INTERVIEW: Adam Brody, star of Some Girl(s)

Best known as geeky Seth Cohen on “The O.C.”, Adam Brody has become a familiar comedic face in Hollywood over the past decade. With a recent turn in Whit Stillman‘s Damsels in Distress and now this Neil LaBute adaptation from his own play Some Girl(s), however, he’s beginning to branch out towards scripts and filmmakers with more palpable weight. It’s a welcome evolution that I believe he’s embraced and excelled at. Taking the time to talk to us—and being nice enough to call back after his first attempts came while…

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INTERVIEW: Neil LaBute, writer of Some Girl(s)

Always prolific on the playwright front, Neil LaBute’s past decade at the movies has been filled by studio pictures that never quite found the creative success of earlier works In the Company of Men or The Shape of Things. However, hot on the heels of his first original work since—Some Velvet Morning—a new adaptation of his 2005 play Some Girl(s) appears to be bringing him back to his roots. The film depicts a young man traveling the country to “right the wrongs” he may have committed with a few ex-girlfriends…

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REVIEW: Some Girl(s) [2013]

“Guys always mean well right before they screw someone over” Often labeled a misogynist misanthrope, Neil LaBute has made a career of writing self-absorbed characters completely ruining the lives of those around them for the fleeting second of giddy happiness resulting from knowing they’re in absolute control. Whether its two men actively seeking to destroy a handicapped coworker or a woman obsessed with proving she has the ability to manufacture the perfect man, his plays shed light on the shadowy corners of human nature in a heightened, darkly comic way.…

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REVIEW: Denise [2012]

“I get along with girls better …” As evidenced by In the Company of Men and The Shape of Things, no one does scathing social commentary like Neil LaBute. So, after the rather questionable decisions to helm remakes of The Wicker Man and Death at a Funeral, it’s good to see the playwright going back to what made him a filmmaker to keep tabs on over a decade ago. His script for the short film Denise—a part of the WIGS series from Jon Avnet and Rodrigo García—takes a discerning look…

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REVIEW: Death at a Funeral [2010]

“Always thought he had a little sugar in his tank” It does not take long to show just how exact a remake Neil LaBute’s Death at a Funeral is compared to Frank Oz’s original. Right from the opening credits, an animated journey of the hearse bringing the deceased to his home for final goodbyes, altered mainly by being more literal than its abstract cousin, everything is just as it was. Once the cartoon fades away to leave reality beneath, however, we get to see just where the differences lie. I…

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REVIEW: Death at a Funeral [2007]

“My father was an exceptional man” And now it takes just three years for a remake of an English language film, that stays in its native language, to happen. Chris Rock may have gotten Neil Labute—it appears he has assimilated into the Hollywood machine for good now—to direct a new version, from the same screenwriter no less, but it is Frank Oz’s British Death at a Funeral that came first. Don’t be afraid of the accents and give the original a shot. I’ll admit that it gets pretty dark there…

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REVIEW: In the Company of Men [1997]

“Let’s hurt somebody” The intrigue and controversy surrounding filmmaker Neil LaBute has always fascinated me. His penchant for biting social commentary with an unwavering slant to the maliciousness of people is what came across in my light research of the man. Not until I visited his superb The Shape of Things, a couple years after its release, did I finally enter his world—and I wanted to stay. The things he was saying were harsh and cruel, but at the same time so steeped in truth and reality. So many want…

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REVIEW: Lakeview Terrace [2008]

“Honey, I’m home—owner” If you wanted to see a face of shock, you should have seen me when I found out the new Samuel L. Jackson vehicle Lakeview Terrace was directed by Neil LaBute. When I think of the man I can only conjure images of the fantastic Shape of Things and In the Company of Men, and I haven’t even seen that one yet. To watch the trailer for this seemingly generic, racially motivated clash between neighbors just made me shake my head in shame. If it weren’t for…

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Top 25 Films of 2003

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 85 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: American Splendor directed byShari Springer Berman& Robert Pulcini #24: The Lord of the Rings:The Return of the King directed by Peter Jackson. #23: Pieces of April directed by Peter Hedges.. #22: Master and Commander:The Far Side of the World directed by Peter Weir #21: Code 46 directed byMichael Winterbottom #20: Big Fish directed by Tim Burton. #19: Dirty Pretty Things directed…

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Top 20 Films of 1997

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 57 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #20: Suicide Kings directed by Peter O’Fallon #19: The Fifth Element directed by Luc Besson #18: Titanic directed by James Cameron #17: Grosse Pointe Blank directed by George Armitage. #16: Mononoke-hime[Princess Mononoke] directed by Hayao Miyazaki #15: Deconstructing Harry directed by Woody Allen. #14: Jackie Brown directed byQuentin Tarantino #13: Funny Games directed by Michael Haneke. #12: A Life Less Ordinary directed…

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