Director: David Cronenberg, Entertainment One, Rated MA, 108 mins

Over his extensive career famed filmmaker David Cronenberg has made many entertaining movies that have dealt with the macabre (such as The Fly), the nature of violence in the History of Violence and more recently a study into human relationships involving renown psychiatrists Freud and Jung in A Dangerous Method.
   But in the case of his latest release, Cosmopolis comes over as nonsensical narrative that begs the question as to why Cronenberg would make such a slow moving movie that is mainly shot inside a luxurious limousine.
   Twilight star Robert Pattinson plays the central character, Eric Packer (no relation to the Aussie Packer) who as a young billionaire conducts all his affairs (both financial and sexual) inside his white stretch limo especially in feeding his sexual appetite with former lovers such as the delightful Didi (Juliette Binoche - Chocolat) - including having daily medical examinations.
   On this particular day Packer is attempting to traverse the gridlocked traffic scene in Manhattan to get a haircut at his favourite childhood barber shop but is advised by his bodyguard Torval (Kevin Durand - Reel Steel) that the traffic congestion is due to the President’s visit.
   When he does stop it is mainly to meet up with his estranged wife Elise (Sarah Gadon - A Dangerous Method) to arrange a promised sexual encounter.
   Cronenberg has literally adapted Don DeLillo’s 2003 novel to the big screen, setting the scene for a Wall Street collapse and showing New York being besieged by dissenting demonstrators (reminiscent of the Occupy Wall Street Movement) who do not hesitate in mobbing and defacing Packer’s limo with graffiti.
   After learning that he has lost his entire fortune from his gamble on the Chinese currency market, Packer’s soul searching begins for the real meaning of life, not appreciating that his wealth is the reason for the revulsion being expressed by the demonstrators.
   This point is particularly highlighted when Packer is drawn to the run-down apartment of the reclusive Benno (Paul Giamatti - The Ides of March), his former employee whose intention is to kill the billionaire to account for the social divide that Packer’s wealth has caused in his community.
   Ultimately Packer’s doomed journey comes to an end with death being the only salvation.
   Disappointingly Cronenberg has seen fit to direct a movie with a shallow storyline, an overabundance of dialogue and one consistent character (Pattinson) appearing throughout the disjointed production whose performance is simply uninspiring.
   The movie’s major highlight was Giamatti’s gripping exchange with Pattinson at the conclusion of the movie which may have brought relief to Packer but also those watching Cronenberg’s cinematic catastrophe.

VIC'S VERDICT:         1 ½ Rubber Stamps

DVD Review

American Reunion

   Release Date – August 2012
   Directors: Jon Hurwitz/Hayden Schlossberg, Universal Pictures, Rated MA, 113 mins

Following the success of the American Pie franchise comes a further slice of outrageous comedy from new directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg (previously producing the Harold and Kumar movies) reuniting the old gang - Jim (Jason Biggs), Oz (Chris Klein), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Stifler (Seann William Scott) and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) - who are now older but not much wiser.
American Reunion
   In the nine years since the latest release of American Pie, Jim and Michele (Alyson Hannigan) have married, high school sweethearts Kevin and Vicky (Tara Reid) and Oz and Heather (Mena Suvari) have gone their separate ways while the crazy Finch has been travelling abroad.
   But this does not stop the entire original cast of characters returning to East Falls high for their high school reunion with the boys bringing back their mischievous misdemeanours and embarrassing moments that are as funny as ever.
   In many respects Hurwitz and Schlossberg have excelled with their entertaining production of American Reunion by providing some interesting insights into the relationships formed at high school at the same time maintaining the level of raunchy humour enjoyed in the American Pie series.
   The DVD is also filled with an array of extras including an unrated version of the movie.
   This is one high school reunion worth watching.
VIC'S VERDICT:         3 ½ Rubber Stamps

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