And the Oscar Goes To… Not a Clue

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Review: Neither Wolf Nor Dog

This ever so indie film was funded with a Kickstarter campaign and then self-distributed. And right now it is the longest-running US theatrical release in more than a decade, having premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival back in 2016. And it’s finally making its way to the big cities now. Set in Lakota Sioux country, the film takes a white author on a coerced road trip through Native America as an elder and his friend impart their wisdom to him. The elder is played by the late Dave Bald Eagle who gives the film its deep resonance. Adapted from a semi-autobiographical book of the same name, Neither Wolf Nor Dog isn’t destined to be a blockbuster, but its message from the Native American community is one that should be heard.

Microbe & Gasoline (Microbe et Gasoil)

Sounds like a science flick, but it’s actually a sweet little French coming-of-age film. Theo meets Daniel when he transfers into his school, and as two outcasts often do in movies, they immediately hit it off. Théo (Théophile Baquet) is into tinkering around with motors and has a distinct odor, hence the kids dub him Gasoline, and Daniel (Ange Dargent) is pretty small for his age and known as Microbe. Gasoline is tougher and takes shy Microbe under his wing, helping him meet the girl of his dreams and even exhibit his drawings in a gallery. But when summer comes around, they hatch a plan to get away from their dysfunctional families and adventure ensues.


Judging from the trailer, and fond memories of the 1983 comedy-adventure classic National Lampoon’s Vacation, one might logically surmise that the new Vacation movie is a must-see for first-generation Griswold family followers and their offspring. But one would be very, very wrong. This movie tanks, in a horrifically comical way.

I laughed – a bit. I groaned – a lot. I checked my watch – often.


Tammy is just okay, which translates into disappointing. I generally like Melissa McCarthy, but her shtick is getting old. I felt like I was watching the same (disappointing) character she played in Identify Thief, only this time she shares a car ride with Susan Sarandon instead of Jason Bateman. Or the same character she played in the more solid comedy The Heat with Sandra Bullock.

Identity Thief

Identity Thief isn’t terrible. It’s just not very good. Which wouldn’t be so bad, except that the movie could and should be so much better. Make sense? Especially when you factor in the definite appeal of its two stars, Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses, Arrested Development) and Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, Mike & Molly). The premise starts out decent enough: Bateman plays Sandy Patterson, a mild-mannered corporate accountant whose life begins to implode when an eccentric con-woman (McCarthy) steals his identity and puts him in hot water with the cops and his boss.

The Guilt Trip

Here’s my guess: Gazillions of Jews will flock to the theaters on Christmas Day, only to find Les Miz (and maybe Lincoln) completely sold out. Feeling all verklempt, they will scan the alternate options and land on The Guilt Trip, a harmlessly entertaining road-trip comedy starring the unlikely pairing of Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand. If both stars manage to attract their disparate fan-bases, the film may do okay. Both characters are actually quite relatable in the most familiar, funny and uncomfortable of ways. I suspect that every parent of adult children – and every adult child –will recognize at least some part of themselves in this Jewsome-twosome.

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