New reviews – ‘Step Brothers’ and ‘Roman Polanski’

I review the new Will Ferrell comedy Step Brothers, a largely plotless exercise in grown men behaving with the juvenile irresponsibility and self-centered obsession of spoiled children, for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. There’s not much really to say:

Man-boys are Ferrell’s stock in trade. John C. Reilly convincingly devolves into an overgrown child behind his pudgy face and high-pitched whine, matching Ferrell for willful obstinacy and screaming tantrums. There’s way too much of both in the one-note gags and it wears thin long before the third act of useless life lessons and forgiveness for a lifetime of infantile entitlement and egregious irresponsibility. Guys, just grow up.

Read the complete review here.

Also reviewed this week is the documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired:


Roman Polanski, the Polish-born director of such modern American classics as “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Chinatown,” survived the Holocaust that killed most of his family, endured authoritarian Communist rule and faced the murder of his pregnant wife Sharon Tate. It was the American media (at its most reckless and sensationalistic) and a judicial nightmare worthy of Kafka that almost destroyed him…. The film walks a fine line between contempt for Polanski’s crimes and sympathy for his trials and his screwed-up psyche, and it manages both while showing us why he fled the U.S. rather than face the corrupted judicial circus.

Read the complete capsule review here.

Author: seanax

I write the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website ( I'm a contributing writer for Turner Classic Movies Online, Keyframe, Independent Lens, and Cinephiled, and the editor of Parallax View ( I've written for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Weekly,, Senses of Cinema, Asian Cult Cinema, and Psychotronic Video, among other publications, and I am a contributing editor to Parallax View. I currently live and work in Seattle, Washington, with my two cats, Hammet and Chandler.

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