Victoria Jelinek

Meet the Parents: Little Fockers

Ex-CIA agent Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro) is still concerned that his son-in-law Gaylord Focker (Ben Stiller) isn’t good enough for his daughter (Teri Polo) and suspects he’s cheating on her with a sales rep (Jessica Alba), even as he’s finally ready to trust Gaylord and bestow the position of ‘Godfocker’ on him.

However, like the previous two films, Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers, as a crowded supporting cast pop in for their cameos, the family begins to have a meltdown. And the cast and cameos in this film are impressive: Harvey Keitel, Dustin Hoffman, Blythe Danner, Barbra Streisand, Laura Dern…one remembers when Keitel, Hoffman, Streisand and De Niro were making amazing films that would go down in the Modern Classics realm.

There will inevitably be some laughs with a cast like this. And if you find the joke about the last name sounding rude, humorous, or an innocent flirtation taken for an affair, or children throwing up on grownups, or a four-year-old surprising his father by giving his grandpa a penile injection to counter the effects of an unwisely-taken erectile dysfunction medication and then drawing a picture of the incident while auditioning for a posh kindergarten, then this is the film for you.

The Killer Inside Me

Deputy Sheriff Lou Ford is a respected member of his community even as he’s also a shrewd and sadistic sociopath. However, after the son of a local mogul is found dead with the beaten body of a local prostitute, suspicion falls on Ford.

The film, which takes place in Texas 1952, is adapted from Jim Thompson’s  psycho-noir novel of the same title. Fifty years after the book was written, this portrait of small-town America and its depiction of violence against women is deeply unsettling. Directed by Michael Winterbottom, this is a darkly disturbing film that’s brutal and visceral but not gratuitous. Ford’s Southern manners, baby face, and bland homilies are the epitome of evil.

From Casey Affleck’s sociopath Ford, to Jessica Alba’s sad and compelling role as witness, to Kate Hudson’s moving performance as Ford’s girlfriend, the ensemble cast are the best elements of this movie. This isn’t a film for everyone, and this writer didn’t like the ending, but it’s nonetheless a very good film.