Sunday Short Reviews

Every Sunday, Gill delves into his archive of over 800 movie reviews and randomly selects three for your enjoyment! Here are this week’s…

Sleepwalk With Me
This film adaptation of the series of stories from This American Life, written by, directed by, and starring the guy at the centre of it all – Mike Birbiglia – surprised me by being one of those rare, genuine, bittersweet slice-of-life films. Sleepwalk With Me is a film that doesn’t take sides, even if it claims to. No character is without fault, and even if you don’t relate to the people, I feel like everyone can relate to the situations it depicts. The stories of Mike’s sleepwalking escapades are funny and must be seen to be believed, and Mike is a perfect Everyman protagonist. His efforts at standup comedy are enjoyable even when he bombs, and his addressing-the-camera voiceover manages not only to avoid being obnoxious, but in fact became one of my favorite things about the movie. I wouldn’t call Sleepwalk With Me perfect, but it was good enough that I watched it again the day after my first viewing. I hope that Mr. Birbiglia can tell more than one story, but if he only has this one, it’s a damn good one.
4 out of 5

Season of the Witch
I can’t say I expected anything good to come from watching this film, and I’ll admit that the only reason I watched Season of the Witch was because I knew it was going to be dumb and I could have it on in the background while I did other things without risk of distraction. I was not prepared for how bad it would turn out to be. Somehow this film, with it’s multimillion dollar budget and Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman in leading roles (these guys aren’t bad actors), managed to not even be so bad it was fun. This is a boring, bloated, uninspired mess. Poor performances and a script as bland as Melba toast mean that there’s nothing to get invested in. The few parts that I actually devoted some attention to watching reminded me of playing knights with my friends in kindergarten, the logic and dialogue were so childish. The only thing I was somewhat looking forward to was a supporting turn from Robert Sheehan of the TV series Misfits, but even he was completely wasted. Even if you think there’s something you might like about Season of the Witch, avoid it anyway.
1.5 out of 5

Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop
This interesting hybrid of a concert film and a standup comedy tour charts Conan O’Brien’s variety show tour that took place in the interim between his dismissal from The Tonight Show and his being picked up by TBS. Because of the difficulty in categorizing it, the film is also difficult to review, simply because it doesn’t follow a conventional formula, and is mostly a series of vignettes featuring Conan coming up with material, rehearsing, and touring. Basically, your enjoyment of this film will be entirely based on how much you like Conan O’Brien, and since I’m a Conan fan, I liked this movie. I just wish they had shown more of the tour.
3 out of 5

See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!

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