Posts Tagged ‘The Bounty Hunter’


Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 4.56.39 PMCP24 film critic Richard Crouse reviews “Still Alice,” “Cake,” “Strange Magic,” “The Boy Next Door” and “Mordecai.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 10.27.23 AMRichard’s “Canada AM” reviews for “Still Alice,” “Cake,” “Strange Magic,” “The Boy Next Door” and “Mordecai.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

CAKE: 3 STARS. “a great showcase for the new, dramatic Aniston.”

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 12.22.59 PMCareer gearshifts are tough. For every McConaissance there is a Gerard Butler or Katherine Heigl who can’t seem to make the change from rom coms to more serous roles.

For a while it looked like Jennifer Aniston was stuck in the same rut. Forgettable movies like “Love Happens” and “The Bounty Hunter” seemed to pigeonhole her as an American Sweetheart type in a movie market filled to bursting with dramatic darlings.

Lately though she’s been doing some career busting, appearing in raunchy comedies like “Horrible Bosses” and “We Are the Millers” and now “Cake,” a low budget drama about putting the broken pieces of a shattered life back together that should put Rachel on the shelf forever in favor of the more daring work she used to do in movies like “The Good Girl” and “Friends with Money.”

She plays Claire, a churlish woman suffering with chronic pain brought on by a car accident that crushed her leg and took the life of her son. The near death experience blew apart her marriage to Jason (Chris Messina), leaving her alone with her tough-but-tender housekeeper Silvana (Adriana Barazza) and the members of her support group. When Nina (Anna Kendrick), a member of the group, commits suicide Claire becomes obsessed with Nina’s life and death. Her search for answers leads her to Nina’s husband’s (Sam Worthington) door and to a new way at looking at life.

“Cake” has many nicely played dramatic scenes. Putting Aniston’s crusty Claire next to Barazza’s warmhearted Silvana is inspired. Their scenes are by far and away the best things in the movie. When they aren’t sparking off one another the movie loses much of its sizzle.

Not that Worthington fails, he doesn’t, but as part of the Nina/Claire-redemption story arc he’s the engine that drives the most predictable and least interesting part of the story.

Aniston, however, is terrific. The pain that wracks her body and tortures her psyche is evident in every movement, in every word that tumbles from her lips. That doesn’t mean she can’t still deliver a funny line. Ten seasons of sit com work honed that skill to a fine edge so when she asks if Nina’s husband where he got the granite for her gravestone because, “I’m thinking of putting a kitchen rail in my backyard,” it’s prickly but hilarious.

“Cake” is a great showcase for the new, dramatic Aniston but it isn’t a great film. In it’s final moments the movie grasps for a feel good ending which is just slightly out of reach.

Aniston and Butler hook up in The Bounty Hunter RICHARD CROUSE FOR METRO CANADA March 17, 2010

bountyhunter1_1280x1024In The Bounty Hunter, Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler work on the borders of their comfort zones. Butler is the titular character, a former cop so down on his luck he takes a gig tracking down his ex-wife (and alleged real-life girlfriend) Aniston, for a payday of $5,000.

“I felt this was a different role for her,” says Butler of his co-star. “She is the Queen of Comedy and done a lot of romantic comedies, but this doesn’t feel like a romantic comedy. It feels like an action driven comedy. She was playing a much bitchier, hard edged character than I think anyone has ever seen her do before and for me that is exciting.”

Aniston, best known as Rachel from Friends, or Brad Pitt’s ex wife, depending on your appetite for the tabloids, says she was attracted to the role because “it wasn’t your traditional run of the mill girl meets guy, guy meets girl.”

“It is an action comedy and a road movie with a little romance in there and a little suspense,” she said recently in a sit-down with Metro in New York City.

She was, however, taken by surprise by the physical demands of the production. Doing stunts in four inch heels isn’t as easy as it looks.

“Your adrenaline is going and you’re not really feeling it at the moment and then I’d get home and notice a bruise here and a callous here,” said Aniston, who adds she would consider other action roles in future. “Then there were the handcuffs. Try wearing those, attached to a car door for three days. Not fun.”

For Butler, a Scottish heartthrob best known for his sculpted abs and roles in violent films like 300, the challenge wasn’t the physical side, but breaking the action star stereotype.

“My break in America was Attila the Hun, which went into Time Line, Tomb Raider, Reign of Fire and at that point I loved doing that, but it’s not like when you are still making your way in the business that people go, ‘Tomb Raider, Oh my God, the guy should be in a comedy.’ I was waiting for the right opportunity. I thought I don’t want to dive in with something crappy. I wanted to wait until I’m lucky enough to get the right script that felt right.”


THE BOUNTY HUNTERDuring the screening of “The Bounty Hunter,” a new romantic comedy from Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler, I had a feeling I have never experienced before. I found myself wishing be-mulleted reality star Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman would make a cameo appearance and bring some much needed entertainment value to this movie. Not that I’m much of a fan of the A&E bounty hunter show, but his puka shell necklaces and flamboyant hairstyle might have spiced this lame action comedy up.

The premise is simple. Butler is the titular character, a former cop so down on his luck he takes a gig tracking down his ex-wife (and alleged real-life girlfriend) Aniston, for a payday of five thousand dollars. She’s an ambitious newspaper reporter who will let nothing get in the way of getting a story—including a court date. When she skips court to follow a lead a warrant is issued for her arrest. Enter Butler. He finds her easily, but a funny thing happens on the way back to jail—the pair begins to appreciate one another again. Imagine a humdrum sitcom version of “Duplicity” or “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” and you get the idea.

“The Bounty Hunter” doesn’t really know what it wants to be. Is it a romantic comedy? Sort of. Is it an action picture? Kinda. Is it a road movie? Hmmmm, maybe. In fact it’s all those things and less. This truly is a case of the whole being lesser than the sum of its parts.

Aniston and Butler play classic screwball comedy characters, gamely indulging in fast paced repartee and some light farce, but it all feels very “been there, done that.” How many more times can the line “You’re crazy!” be answered with “Maybe I am?” before it takes top dishonors as the Movie Cliché of the Year? The script is on autopilot and even the usually charming Aniston and Butler can’t make these characters interesting. It’s scene after scene of endless (and often unfunny) bickering, very tepid action and screwball situations that seem like we’ve seen them before.

There is the odd bright spot. Christine Baranski sparkles as Aniston’s mom, a be-dazzled Atlantic City lounge singer and raises the movie’s temperature from frigid to temperate when she’s on screen and a dinner scene at a honeymoon hotel has some heat to it, but it comes too late in the movie to make much difference.

“The Bounty Hunter” is an almost instantly forgettable film, one that relies on the appeal of Aniston’s short skirts and Butler’s abs more than a decent script or interesting story.