With her husband deployed in Iraq and her ability to juggle employment and two maniacally crazy kids having reached its breaking point, Leslie (Lisa Kudrow) finally is ready to give in and enlist her unemployed and somewhat useless brother-in-law Salman (Scott Prendergast) to move in and pitch in. Every character, major or minor, is wired to one extreme or another, and Salman himself takes the cake as a jittery bundle of fear, purposelessness and perennial confusion. Such boundlessness almost always is a recipe for cinematic disaster, but "Kabluey" manages to make it work by dumping just enough cold water onto any scene that threatens to take it too far. If it sounds like a mess on paper, don't worry: It's much smoother in practice, and Salman, despite his best efforts to the contrary, emerges as an excellent antihero as a result. Rated PG-13.
On premise alone, "Harold" seems like a can't-miss. Comedies about awkward 13-year-old boys adjusting to a new school are fortified with potential as is, but a 13-year-old boy (Spencer Breslin) who is suffering from male pattern baldness and looks roughly five times his age? That's a goldmine unto itself. The execution of the premise produces a few good laughs, but given Harold's appearance and mannerisms - not to mention the cast of oddities (Cuba Gooding Jr., Rachel Dratch, Chris Parnell, Fred Willard and Colin Quinn, among others) surrounding him - at least that much is to be expected. Unfortunately, that much is pretty much all we get. The gag is wrung dry, and "Harold" shows no restraint in launching fully overboard in terms in how it develops its main character, turning him into a full-blown grandpa instead of an awkward kid who merely looks like one. A little irony to balance out all that weirdness would have done wonders, but "Harold" instead shoehorns itself into familiar teen comedy territory, capping things off with an ending that feels made for any old film rather than specially for this one. These issues don't completely negate "Harold's" upside, of which there is plenty, and the film still holds plenty of appeal as a light, silly, somewhat dumb comedy. Rated PG-13.
Meet David Owen (Tim Robbins), aka The Rectifier, an ordinary man whose hatred of noise caused him to snap and start wreaking havoc on blaring car alarms all over Manhattan. Actually, you know what? Don't meet David. "Noise" tells the story of The Rectifier's transformation from temperamental guy in a bad marriage to cult hero and enemy of the mayor (William Hurt), and the film initially displays flashes of great promise as a dark everyman comedy in the "Falling Down" vein. This, of course, is before the thing flies completely off the rails, as if The Rectifier himself took over script duties midway through and decided to turn "Noise" into a love letter to himself. Robbins' character inexplicably morphs into the world's most unwatchable sex symbol, the women around him (Bridget Moynahan, Margarita Levieva, Maria Ballesteros) start leaking IQ points, the mayor outs himself as a cartoon character, and it isn't long before one realizes that, beyond its entirely unsubtle insistence that loud noise is bad, "Noise" has absolutely nothing to say. Not rated.
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