Tribeca Film Festival Reviews: April 23

Emile Hirsch and Paul Rudd play lonely laborers in David Gordon Green's "Prince Avalanche" Credit: Scott Gardner
Emile Hirsch and Paul Rudd play lonely laborers in David Gordon Green’s “Prince Avalanche.”
Credit: Scott Gardner

‘Prince Avalanche’
At a time when Terrence Malick was often MIA, there was at least David Gordon Green (“George Washington,” “All the Real Girls”), one of the filmmakers’ too few copycats. Then he started making stoner comedies. The segue into “Pineapple Express,” “Your Highness” and “The Sitter,” although actually often wonderful, is unheard of in film history; it would be like if Michelangelo Antonioni had suddenly turned to Bond parodies. Green’s new “Prince Avalanche” is almost a return to form. Aesthetically it brings him back to the loose, contemplative shooting style of the films that made him a name. It’s still a dude comedy, even if one in shaggy “indie” clothes.

Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch play construction workers spending their summer largely alone repairing a stretch of highway in central Texas destroyed by wildfire. Rudd is comically serious; Hirsch is comically not. They bicker, especially once Hirsch’s sister, whom Rudd is dating from afar, dumps Rudd. Remade from the Icelandic film “Either Way,” this develops into a bros-before-hos comedy, albeit one with funky rhyhms and textures. Both actors (Hirsch especially) do fine work, perched somewhere between caricature and real-life sloppiness. Each character envisions themselves as something they’re not, someone more confident and in control, and the fun of the film is watching them discombobulate, eventually with the aid of drink. It’s a modest lark, both deeper than it has to be and not terribly deep, and its goofier textures are a reminder that, to be frank, Green’s “shameful” stoner comedies are often better than some of his “serious” work.

‘At Any Price’
Ramin Bahrani (“Man Push Cart,” “Goodbye Solo”) is one of the few American filmmakers truly carrying the torch of the neo-realist movements that sprouted up in Italy and elsewhere after WWII. His films dote on the working class, often with non-pros. It’s not particularly odd to see him handling actual names, even if one of them is Zac Efron. But it is strange watching him deal with a more ambitious, often foolhardy narrative. Dennis Quaid plays an ethics-challenged seed farmer whose son (Efron) is a layabout who suddenly gets interested in stock car driving. The script veers madly between Bahrani’s usual, typically perceptive blue collar concerns and go-nowhere subplots he clearly doesn’t care about (namely Heather Graham as a temptress). A last-minute morality lesson shouldn’t have been last minute, but Bahrani, usually all handheld naturalism, proves oddly capable during the actually kinetic racing sequences.

‘Greetings from Tim Buckley’
The late Jeff Buckley was the son of the similarly doomed troubadour Tim Buckley, whom he met only twice. Daniel Algrant’s drama somewhat artlessly jumps between father and son, with Jeff (Penn Badgley), a then-unknown, being summoned to a tribute concert for his dad, peppered with scenes with Tim (Ben Rosenfield), all footloose and fancy-free. Algrant doesn’t lean too much on connections and contrasts, which is a good thing. But he does OD on sensitive singer-songwriter cliches, with Jeff a alternately whimsical and brooding as he hangs with an all-too-susceptible folk music fangirl (Imogen Poots, alert and wonderful as ever). But the real Buckleys were probably this corny, too.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Thousands protest in New York over Eric Garner…

The Reverend Al Sharpton led thousands of chanting but peaceful activists in a march across Staten Island on Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner.

International

Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.

National

SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

Music

Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…