Indie spotlight: ‘All the Boys Love Mandy Lane’ and ‘CBGB’

Amber Heard is on the run from a homicidal maniac in the belatedly released "All the Boys Love Mandy Lane." Credit: RADiUS-TWC
Amber Heard is on the run from a homicidal maniac in the belatedly released “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane.”
Credit: RADiUS-TWC

‘All the Boys Love Mandy Lane’
2 (out of 5) Globes
Director Jonathan Levine’s slight twist on a “Friday the 13th”-style slasher first hit the festival circuit in 2006. In that time Levine has directed three big features (including “50/50” and “Warm Bodies”) and its star, Amber Heard, has become a moderate name. (She’s among the overpacked ensemble distracting attention from Danny Trejo in “Machete Kills.”) Distribution woes (some of them predictably Harvey Weinstein-related) have turned this into a cause celebre, a state it’s too feeble to live up to. Heard plays a high school junior (current age: 27) who’s gone from wallflower to hottie. Suddenly she has the attention of the jocks and Heathers types, and a weekend retreat to a cabin for booze and drugs leads to the gang being dispatched one by one by a mysterious stranger. The look is prettier than most slashers, but the first hour and change are little more than boilerplate gorefest with a mild and superficial indie sheen. The third act twist is what’s made this one’s inflated reputation, but it’s what makes this more risible than a mere genre entry. [SPOILERS COMMENCE] Levine has shown problems with female characters in his other films, and this one’s no different. As in “The Wackness” and the Bryce Dallas Howard subplot of “50/50,” women are seen as duplicitous monsters who betray sensitive boys who thought they were doing the right thing. Even when it’s just killing popular kids off, “Mandy Lane” appears to have something under its sleeve. Turns out that something is not something good.

Rupert Grint goes punk in the docudrama "CBGB." Credit: Beau Giann
Rupert Grint goes punk in the docudrama “CBGB.”
Credit: Beau Giann

‘CBGB’
1 out of 5 Globes

The nightclub designed to play country, bluegrass and blues that instead helped birth the punk and New Wave movements gets the biopic it in no way deserves. But instead of a cornfest, “CBGB” is worse: a broad comedy that gravitates towards the filth and muck and aberrant behavior, but with no feel for the music and especially for casting. Alan Rickman is an inspired outside-the-box choice for owner Hilly Kristal, depicted as a sour malcontent terminally unimpressed with the future legends he’d nonetheless book. (“I bet they stink,” Kristal growls upon hearing about Television, before adding, “but maybe if they perform they’ll get better.”) There’s little attempt to rectify Kristal’s pissiness with his sudden, never-explained fits of warmth, even if Rickman tries his best to smooth over the jagged edges. But there’s not much of a story here, nor even much of a character arc, and all that leaves is miscast actors badly playing famous musicians while poorly lip-synching not to live recordings but the actual record tracks themselves. (The nobody playing David Byrne does it without personality, though Rupert Grint does his best butt tattooed punk as the Dead Boys’ Cheetah Chrome.) Director Randall Miller (“Bottle Shock,” “Nobel Son”) tries to pep things up with endless filth and animated comic panels for no reason. It’s “24 Hour Party People” without the wit and definitely without the love of the music it pretends to lionize.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.