With Brie Larson winning the Oscar this year for Best …
Amy Schumer already cemented her place on my year’s favorite entertainment list when she managed to loosely remake 12 Angry Men for the fourth episode of Inside Amy Schumer, but not satisfied with owning television, Schumer decides to revive the romantic comedy for 2015. Lazy writing has cursed the genre for much of the last few decades and studios have responded in kind by not pursuing that market with the gusto they used to.
Usually the first thing added to a film when it is remade is glitz. American films from the 1970s had their own distinct, philosophical quality to them, something that inevitably gets lost in translation when the material is put to screen again by a new team of filmmakers. Still, the one thing I didn’t anticipate while watching screenwriter William Monahan and star Mark Wahlberg tackle The Gambler was a lack of visceral thrills. Director Rupert Wyatt’s film nails the look of 1974’s The Gambler, but it lacks the feel of the original.
The most difficult part of making a movie about troubled teenagers is authenticity. With inferior films of this type, either the teenagers won’t seem particularly troubled, or the adults’ attempts to help them will seem insincere and ineffective. Destin Daniel Cretton’s new effort Short Term 12 developed sizable buzz at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year as a film which evades those traps and provides a convincing vision inside a group home. Sundance buzz is not always justified, but in this case the film more than exceeds whatever the Colorado audiences might have said about it.