CHICAGO – One potential theater-goer loves the “The Book of Mormon.” The other would rather stay home and watch old Ethel Merman YouTube videos. Pride Films & Theater offers the ultimate solution by combining both in a campy musical, “The Book of Merman.” Yep, two Elder characters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meets foghorn singer Ethel Merman.
Film Review: Dax Shepard, Kristin Bell Stall Out in ‘Hit & Run’
CHICAGO – Pardon the clichés for a minute. I can’t help myself. Dax Shepard’s “Hit & Run” doesn’t just lose the drag race. It doesn’t just blow a flat tire or run out of gas. Think of all the Shalit-esque puns you can about a disastrous experience in a car and apply them to this lurching mess of five or six movies that aspires to be Tarantino-esque but completely misses its mark. There are a number of likable people in “Hit & Run” and they’ll walk away clean from this accident but audiences will want to quickly forget they ever took the ride.
Shepard wrote, co-directed, and stars as Charlie Bronson, a name his character chose for himself when he entered the witness protection program after testifying against a notorious criminal played by Bradley Cooper. Bronson has been living peacefully in a small town with his lovely girlfriend Annie (Kristen Bell) while occasionally meeting with his irritable WitSec Officer Randy (Tom Arnold). When Annie gets an amazing job opportunity in Los Angeles, Charlie decides to take the risk of traveling with her out of his protective bubble. When Annie’s ex Gil (Michael Rosenbaum) gets suspicious enough about Charlie to blow his cover online and get the bad guys back after him, a “True Romance”-esque journey across country ensues.
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Hit & Run” in our reviews section.|
“Hit & Run” has elements and moments that work. In fact, it opens strong with a tender dialogue scene between Shepard and Bell that feels reminiscent of Shepard’s recent indie film “The Freebie.” And then the film shifts gears and becomes something wacky and broad with Arnold. And then it switches again and becomes a car race movie with extended driving sequences a la “Death Proof.” And then it switches gears again and becomes a relationship dramedy with the arrival of Gil. By the time that Cooper was throwing a leash around a grown man and dragging him around, I had completely tired of keeping track of the references.
Hit and Run
Photo credit: Open Road