Sex and Breakfast
First Look Pictures
The only sex problems twentysomethings should be having is either not getting any sex or getting way too much. Yet the two young, attractive unmarried couples in this movie go to a sex counselor because they're already in a rut. Where's Dr. Ruth and her cucumbers when you really need them?
To solve this dull-emma, they subject themselves to joyless experimental group sex treatment akin to a gynecological exam, the most miserable partner being sexy Eliza Dushku, who practically grimaces when she's gotta make out with the Home Alone kid. Macaulay Culkin appears to have grown up with a permanent smirk, and that facial furrow kinda worked for his first breakout adult role in Party Monster, but seems a distraction here. Like he needs to see Joe Pesci take it in the face with a paint can to get off.
All packaging and promotional tie-ins want you to believe that this is a "smart" dramedy (sample quote: "Shut up, I love penis!"), but the laughs and drama begin and end with Mexican actor Kuno Becker whose girlfriend (Dushku) wants a sexual tryst with a waitress. And apparently, he's the only guy this side of the solar plexus for whom this is a turnoff. He blasts in no uncertain terms that no one named Betty will replace him in the bedroom, yelling, "Tomorrow, it will be clear as hell to her that it's my, and only my, fucking supercock for her from now on!" Yeah, it's no Breakfast at Tiffany's. It's not even Sex in the City. It's more like "Sex and Candy" that dumb song by Marcy Playground. —Serene Dominic
Dave Attell: Captain Miserable
Dave Attell thinks he's pretty funny. The stand-up comedian (and erstwhile host of Insomniac) frequently laughs at his own jokes during the course of this one-hour performance; more tellingly, he frequently berates this Washington, D.C., audience for not laughing at his jokes. While Attell is certainly not a cerebral comic, his comedy does require a bit more attention than the standard observational humor. Maybe that's why he has to occasionally connect the dots for his crowd. Whether it's dropping Isaac Newton into a bit on abortion or expanding a Florida-looks-like-a-penis joke into a golden line about the state shooting a "bukkake of choices and ideas" on Cuba, he manages to be both profoundly obscene and obscenely profound. As fans of Insomniac will surely not be surprised to hear, a good portion of his act is built around drinking too much. But even when Attell is riffing on about how "Jagermeister is for children" or discussing all the great things that were invented because of problem-drinking (the Taser, the morning-after pill) as opposed to weed-smoking (the hacky-sack, ultimate Frisbee), he manages to compose his jokes of multiple layers. Thus, when he wonders aloud whether his audience is "tightening up on me" after a particularly toxic rant about pedophilia, they probably are ... but not because they're disgusted. They may have just had a tough time keeping up. Of note: Many of the better — and more offensive bits — can be found in the DVD's deleted scenes. —Jason Ferguson
PBS Home Video
The assassination of John F. Kennedy is perhaps the sexiest crime of the 20th century. Sure, a tragedy that shocked the world and left Americans reeling into a decade defined by turbulence and upheaval, but — with the passage of time — it's a damn sexy yarn that plays out just the way Americans like their sordid tales.
The young, handsome, philandering president, beloved despite the fact his daddy bought him into office with mob favors, gunned down in broad daylight, a piece of his head landing on the trunk, only to have his stunning young wife climb back to grab it. He's killed by an apparent loser and self-styled Commie with a yen for a place in history ... or is he?
No one knows, of course, and Oswald's Ghost only heightens that fact. Which is not to say the documentary, written, produced and directed by Robert Stone, isn't an utterly watchable, fascinating film. All the usual suspects are trotted out, Castro, the CIA, the Mafia, the KGB, but there are insightful interviews; Norman Mailer, who wrote extensively about Oswald, and Dan Rather, one of the first to see the Zapruder film (he described it on television inaccurately).
At this point, it's a safe bet that we'll never know the truth, which engenders another, safer bet: This won't be the last documentary on that day in Dallas. —Peter Gilstrap
When Evil Calls
Created as the first series specifically for mobile phone viewing, this 20-episode Amp'd Mobile (now belly-up) show was a miniseries at its mini-est. The premise here — a malicious clown stolen from Stephen King's It is granting every kid in Wilburn High School a wish via text message, because even malicious clowns understand the power of telemarketing.
Anyone with a working knowledge of I Dream of Jeannie knows that wishes can and will be interpreted literally. That's why kids wishing they were thin are getting smashed by 10-ton trucks, and girls wishing they were hot are getting their faces burned off.
Evil manages to keep you on the line with yummy models in their mid-20s scampering around in skimpy school uniforms. Watch one simulated girl-girl groping where a participant is neither thespian nor lesbian enough to hide her obvious distress. Watch vet character actor Sean Pertwee as the nerve-twitching school janitor and resident crypt-keeper — he's pure hokum, padding each of his tales with groaning puns like "It's full scream ahead" and "that took a lot of guts" which actually get worse as he gets drunker and more defensive. Pertwee should definitely host a proper horror-comedy series, not stories like these designed for people who don't have the attention span for a screen saver. There's too much repetition here — you see the person making the wish aloud, then getting the fatal text message promising a wish, then the person texting back the wish. Next time Evil calls, maybe he should keep better track of our minutes. —Serene Dominic
20th Century Fox
Joshua sees a seemingly normal, upscale family welcoming its second child into the world. The happy event slowly turns sinister — Mom develops postpartum, the baby won't stop crying and Dad scrambles to spend more time at home and still bring home a paycheck. The first hour plays like an alarmist PSA detailing the rigors of parenthood. But all the domestic drama sets up a wicked third act involving the family's gifted oldest son Joshua and his resentment toward the new kid.
Before Joshua, co-writer and director George Ratliff had only done documentaries — remember 2001's Hellhouse, which took a stark look at a bizarre haunted attraction organized by a Pentecostal church? Ratliff's vision here is similarly unclouded — it's where real life is scarier than anything you can make up. And Ratliff's flick may unnerve you just because of just how plausible it is.