Karen Martin’s Home Movies column

November 13, 2015


directed by Judd Apatow

(R, 125 minutes)

Female audiences tend to love Trainwreck because it’s full of girly insider behavior. Which tends to make male viewers somewhat uncomfortable, and makes women look knowingly at each other and snort with laughter.

Writer and star Amy Schumer is a party-prone New York magazine writer whose zany dad (Colin Quinn) engaged her in conversations throughout her childhood bent on convincing her of the horrors of monogamy. As she wobbles on teetering high heels toward maturity, she learns that sobriety isn’t much fun either. So her evenings are spent guzzling her way into one-night stands and making sure she’s not around with the companion of the evening when the sun comes up, much to the amusement of a street person in the vicinity of her apartment who is a close observer of her habits.

This attitude tends to result in poor choices of lovers, which suits Amy just fine. Then she interviews a prominent sports physician named Aaron (Bill Hader), and despite her best efforts, she soon finds her isolationist philosophy in a state of flux.

With assistance from worthy fellow cast members Vanessa Bayer, Tilda Swinton, LeBron James, Brie Larson, the film defies director Judd Apatow’s tendency to let a story drag out just a little too long. Trainwreck is funny, vulgar, quick-witted, acerbic and decently written, right down to its unexpectedly adorable ending.

Terminator: Genisys (PG-13, 119 minutes) For those who just can’t get enough of James Cameron’s sci-fi classic concerning self-aware computers taking on humanity, here’s a resolutely un-original redo, set in pitch-dark nighttime Los Angeles, complete with the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator. After five films, isn’t it time to move on? With Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, J.K. Simmons, Jai Courtney; directed by Alan Taylor. The Blu-ray combo pack includes a Dolby Atmos soundtrack.

Bad Boys I & II: 20th Anniversary Collection (R, 118 minutes and R, 147 minutes, respectively) Remastered in high-definition 4K, these explosion-filled actioners are directed by Michael Bay and star Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as a couple of engaging narcotics detectives in Miami with lively personalities and lots of energy. Bad Boys bonus features include commentary by the director and a making-of featurette. Bad Boys II bonus features include deleted scenes, production diaries, a visual-effects featurette and sequence breakdowns.

Self/less (PG-13, 117 minutes) A great cast can’t save this psychological sci-fi thriller from mediocre audience responses. It starts out strong, then fades into a ridiculous story about a super-rich guy (Ben Kingsley) who’s not happy that he’s dying from cancer. So he picks up the tab for a medical procedure that transfers his consciousness into the body of a younger man (Ryan Reynolds). But all does not go as planned. With Matthew Goode, Derek Luke; directed by Tarsem Singh.

Tangerine (R, 88 minutes) A loosely constructed, very human transgender comedy, made using iPhones and other devices, with a timeless story of love gone wrong. It’s Christmas Eve when Los Angeles sex worker Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) learns that her boyfriend/pimp Chester (James Ransone) is cheating on her. And she’s determined to find out the identity of her rival. With Karren Karagulian, Mya Taylor; directed by Sean Baker.

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