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able on all of Jay’s iPads, an all-night odyssey
of bumbling retrieval ensues.
Except, it doesn’t. Midway through the film,
the concept of remote deletion dawns on
the protagonists, thus making most of their
actions extraneous.
Sex Tape
goes to great
pains to establish its premise and intention,
but the film fails in the two main tenets it
should be trafficking in: being funny and
being raunchy. It is a bland, clawless comedy;
a cautionary tale of a high concept gone hor-
ribly, horribly wrong.
H
– Josh Kupecki
Alamo Lakeline, Alamo Slaughter Lane, Alamo
Village, CM Cedar Park, Hill Country Galleria, CM
Round Rock, Southpark Meadows, CM Stone Hill
Town Center, Flix Brewhouse, Highland, Gateway,
iPic, Lakeline, Moviehouse, Tinseltown North,
Tinseltown South
WISh I WAS here
D: Zach Braff; with Braff, Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin, Josh
Gad, Joey King, Pierce Gagnon, Jim Parsons, Ashley Greene,
Michael Weston. (R, 106 min.)
I’m not one of
Garden State
’s belated hat-
ers. Zach Braff’s of-the-moment picture of
generational anomie and mid-Aughties, mass-
appeal, indie film mores was pretty on point.
But a decade’s gone by now, and things
change. Has Zach Braff?
Much as his directorial debut took the tem-
perature of a certain kind of twentysomething
circa 2004,
Wish I Was Here
clearly wants
to impart something just as thumping about
what late-30s life is like, troubled by unruly
kids, ailing parents, and creative aspirations
himself, rather than turn himself in to the
authorities, Luther goes on the run. Although
always very consciously articulating its reli-
gious purpose, here the film slips readily into
The Fugitive
mode.
Stylistically, in fact, the entire film seems
directly cut from the cloth of Hollywood’s
paranoid thrillers of yore, though those works
usually leaned leftist. This variation is fas-
cinating, especially because, as with those
predecessors, the threat is not coming from
the underworld or foreign enemies, but our
own government.
Persecuted
matches its conservative
beliefs to an anachronistic narrative structure
and dated cinematic execution (time-lapse
shots of traffic used to evoke the dizziness
of the modern world). More creaky than fluid,
the film still has certain charms, not the
least of which is its aggressive if somewhat
muddy ideology. Ultimately, it runs aground
on the same dilemma that so often besets
the genre. Initially, the conspiratorial evil pow-
ers are presented as all-pervasive, control-
ling, and manipulating the world. Winding its
way to a climax, the film tightens its focus to
a handful of villains in order to allow for nar-
rative resolution.
Persecuted
will play well only to its choir –
sympathetic, conservative Christians. Sorry,
but the film is very clear as to whom its title
refers. The implication, at least, is that those
not so suffering may well be inflicting.
HHH
n
– Louis Black
Hill Country Galleria, Metropolitan, Tinseltown North
Sex tAPe
D: Jake Kasdan; with Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Rob
Corddry, Ellie Kemper, Rob Lowe, Nat Faxon. (R, 94 min.)
Annie (Diaz) and Jay (Segel) are a married
couple trying to rekindle the spark of romantic
love in the bluntly titled
Sex Tape
. In college,
they had an energetic, fulfilling sex life. But
careers, children, and the usual bourgeoisie
tropes came creeping in, so one drunken eve-
ning, they decide to make an epic, three-hour
document of their carnal knowledge on Jay’s
iPad, re-creating all the positions of Seventies
perennial
The Joy of Sex
. No big deal, right?
Just a personal sex video on an electronic
device that no other human will ever see, ever.
Not so fast! Jay works for a radio station
or something, because there is a scene set
in a radio station where Jay is lamenting his
nonexistent sex life to a radio deejay. Then
someone hands Jay some iPads and says,
“Here are some iPads for your radio station
job!” Jay goes through so many iPads, he
gives them away to everyone he knows. So
all of Jay’s friends and family, and also Jay’s
mailman (because running joke), have Jay’s
old iPads synced together on the “cloud” so
Jay can update and share his amazing music
playlists. And now everyone has the sex tape.
Meanwhile, Annie writes a blog about
being a parent and is brokering to sell her
mommy blog to a big corporation for a lot
of money (does this happen in real life? I’m
pretty sure this doesn’t happen. A Google
search for “mom sold blog for big bucks”
proved inconclusive). So, of course she gives
an iPad to her potential new boss, Hank
(played by Rob Lowe, whose joke-casting will
likely go over the heads of anyone born after
1990) because it has her blog on it, or some
awesome slideshow of her children, maybe.
When it becomes apparent, through sinister
anonymous texts, that their sex tape is avail-
57
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JULY 25, 2014
T H E A U S T I N C H R O N I C L E
57
SPOTLIGHT EVENTS
COMING SOON TO AN ALAMO NEAR YOU
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CRUISE CONTROL
Sun, July 27 @ Ritz
Cruise through the life of a man and
witness all forms of miracles while
soaking in everything he has done to
help crack the code of this enigmatic
titan of celluloid.
Terror Tuesday:
THE SADIST
Tue, July 29 @ Ritz
STAR ARCH HALL, JR. IN PERSON! If
an episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE
was directed by Tobe Hooper circa
1974, it might have turned out like
this movie.
Weird Wednesday:
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CEMETERY MASSACRE
Wed, July 30 @ Ritz
DIRECTOR WILLIAM DEAR IN
PERSON! Bikers vs. cops in an ultra-
violent war for freedom!
David Lynch:
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Mon, July 28-31 @ Ritz
David Lynch throws Southern Gothic
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brewing cauldron for this nightmarish
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Action Pack:
THE PRINCESS BRIDE
QUOTE-ALONG
Thur, July 24, 28, 30 @ Various
“Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You
killed my father. Prepare to die.”
Eastern Fury:
DIRTY HO
Tue, July 29 @ Village
One of the most snicker-worthy
titles ever to grace a movie poster
comes attached to one of the most
sophisticated & astonishing kung fu
movies ever made.
Action Pack:
BANGERZ & SASS
SING-ALONG
Thur, July 24-25 @ Various
We’re going to start the night with a
Twerk Off on stage, and it’s just going
to get more awesome from there. Be a
Teenage Dream and join us!
BEST THEATER IN AUST IN!
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New Releases: Lucy, Hercules • Girlie Night: Pitch Perfect Sing-
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• Afternoon Tea: Emma (7/26) • Action Pack: Totally ‘80s Sing-
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Dance Party (7/26) • The Secret of Roan Inish (7/27) • Zzang!!!:
The Last Dragon (7/27) • David Lynch Mystery Program (7/28) •
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