Beginning of the Great Revival
This epic war film charts events that took place in China that led to the formation of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921. The period between 1911 and 1921, known as the Chinese Revolution, included the rise and fall of a number of different leaders such as Yuan Shikai (Chow Yun-fat), Sun Yat-sen (Ma Shaohua), Mao Zedong (Liu Ye) and Cai E (Andy Lau).
You'll find so many historical figures throughout the film that, unless you're well-educated in the history of China, it will be difficult to keep track of who's who. On a purely aesthetic level, Beginning of the Great Revival has impressive production values given the special effects, set designs and costume designs, so your eyes will certainly not be bored. The terrific ensemble cast of talented actors also help to somewhat invigorate film. Unfortunately, with a weak, bland screenplay, no one comes to life onscreen, so you won't find yourself emotionally invested enough in the story.
The Best and the Brightest
Jeff (Neil Patrick Harris) and Samantha (Bonnie Somerville), a married couple, move from the suburbs of Delaware all the way to New York City where they hope to enroll their young daughter, Beatrice (Amelia Talbot), into a private school. After every other school won’t allow them to send in an application for the fall, their only hope remains in Coventry Day School. Samantha persuades Jeff to hire an expensive consultant, Sue Lemon (Amy Sedaris), to aide them during their frustrating application process and, of course, to increase their chances of securing a spot for their beloved daughter. Sue tells Jeff to lie that he’s an established poet instead of a computer programmer because that would brush up the application thereby impressing the school’s headmaster, Katharine Heillmann (Jenna Stern). That seemingly innocent lie ensues in a series of outlandish situations that won’t be spoiled here, but it should be noted that other comedic characters add to the tangled web of lies, namely, Clark (Peter Serafinowicz), Jeff and Samantha’s friend, and a powerful member of the school board known as “The Player” (Christopher McDonald).
Writer/director Josh Shelov together with co-writer Michael Jaeger have woven a comedy that becomes increasingly absurd as it progresses while its characters remain potty-mouthed. Out of all of the comedic performances, the one that shines the brightest is that of Amy Sedaris because here great timing makes almost everything that comes out of her mouth to be funny. In the Loop also dealt with filthy humor although it was a lot wittier, sophisticated and didn’t insult your intelligence much. The Best and the Brightest, on the other hand, is filled with so much inanity that if you tried to find even a modicum of rhyme or reason with in it, you’ll end up rolling your eyes or rubbing your forehead in frustration. If you chose to leave your brain at the door, though, and just expect to be entertained for roughly 1 hour and 30 minutes, the ideal running time for a comedy, then find yourself laughing more often than not and, at the very least, amused despite that everything that transpires comes across as far-fetched. The main weakness that drags the film down a little, though, is its irritating, overbearing musical score.
The Best and the Brightest manages to be a politically incorrect farce that’s increasingly preposterous and inane yet nonetheless hilarious, zany and bold. Amy Sedaris has never been funnier.
A Better Life
Conan O'Brien Can't Stop
A Love Affair of Sorts
Turtle: The Incredible Journey
Vincent Wants to Sea