Screening Room: “Neighbors,” “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return,” “Fading Gigolo”

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The themes from two John Belushi comedies, “Animal House” and “Neighbors,” could be seen as the inspiration for Seth Rogan’s broad and raunchy new farce, “Neighbors.” A young couple's idyllic life is disrupted when a noisy, hard-partying fraternity, led by Zac Efron, moves into the house next door.

Yes, "Neighbors" is a really straight forward comedy. The premise is actually shamefully simple and a device that can't but be predictable. But if you can tolerate Seth Rogen's one note style of humor it's all pretty funny.

There is a lot of sex and drugs humor, so “Neighbors” easily earns a hard “R” rating. A lot of it is infantile, but “Neighbors” manages to deliver a few good belly laughs.

This goofy bromance type of humor has become common. At least in "Neighbors" they aren't bashful about courting cheap laughs. And you will Get your laugh on. The jokes are non-stop and offer plenty of laughs but no substance or anything thought provoking.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags


On the other end of the spectrum is the family-friendly animated flick, “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return,” featuring the voice of Lea Michele and music by Brian Adams. The story picks up where the classic 1939 film left off. The animation is fine, but the movie is strictly standard fare in every other respect.

RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: Did Not Screen

Millenium Entertainment

“Fading Gigolo,” an extremely lightweight adult comedy written and directed by John Turturro, seems like something that Woody Allen may have written in his sleep. Turturro romances women like Sophia Vergara and Sharon Stone for cash while Allen serves as his hustler. Yes, it’s implausible, but has some unexpected moments of sweetness amidst the crudeness.

I really like Turturro, as an actor. "Fading Gigilo" is a good natured film but lacks depth or really a compelling reason to watch. Can we still use the term it's a rental? Cause if we was back in the day that's exactly what we would call this mediocre movie.

RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

Also opening this week, Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton star in “The Only Lovers Left Alive,” a romantic vampire flick from indie director Jim Jarmusch. “Stage Fright” is a low-budget horror movie about a killer who hates musicals and stalks kids at a musical theatre camp. “Mom’s Night Out” is a comedy that shows what could go wrong when dads are left alone to care for the kids, and “Blue Ruin” is a dark revenge thriller. 

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