Film Clips: Sept. 11
Terence Nance’s semi-autobiographical film is amusing and heartfelt as well as a visually and narratively imaginative exploration of the vagaries of love in all its angst and pleasure—especially during the uncertainty when flirtation has no clear end. An unseen narrator hits pause, a longer film comments on a shorter one, and animation and claymation illustrate dreams and wandering thoughts. An Oversimplification stars Nance and the object of his desire, Namik Minter. (David Luhrssen)
7 p.m., Sept. 13; 9 p.m., Sept 14; and 3 and 7 p.m., Sept. 15, UW-Milwaukee Union Theatre.
The Family R
After Fred Blake (Robert De Niro) rats out the mob, and his family joins the witness protection program but fails to blend in at several U.S. locations. Reasoning that things can’t get worse, the FBI ships the Blakes off to the sleepy French countryside. Agent Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones) draws the thankless task of keeping the Blakes in line, but between Fred’s violent streak, Mrs. Blake’s (Michelle Pfeiffer) penchant for committing arson and the entitled attitudes of the Blakes’ teen kids, Stansfield’s job is next to impossible. Once again, Jones’ comedic chops are all bark and no bite while De Niro’s performance recalls every other lowbrow comedy he’s done to date. Pfeiffer stretches the furthest as a Bronxy dame dripping in both jewels and attitude, but this fish-out-of-water comedy retains little of that “Badfellas” charm. (Lisa Miller)
Insidious: Chapter 2 PG-13
After nearly losing their son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) to evil spirits, the Lambert family attempts to put the past behind them by moving out of their haunted home and in with Josh Lambert’s (Patrick Wilson) mother, Lorraine (Barbara Hershey). Josh’s wife Renai (Rose Byrne) is concerned for her new baby, as well as for her younger son, so she becomes understandably upset after seeing a shadowy apparition in Lorraine’s home. Director James Wan (Saw) scored a hit with 2011’s Insidious, and his sequel (co-written with Saw scribe Leigh Whannel) picks up where the first film left off. Early viewers claim the original’s inventive streak is missing and that the comic stylings of a pair of ghost hunters (Whannel and Angus Sampson) dissipate any tension the film manages to build. (L.M.)