Tag Archives: Andy Palmer

Adult Education

The Re-education of Molly Singer

by Hope Madden

I feel a little sorry for The Re-education of Molly Singer because No Hard Feelings exists. Not that we don’t need multiple tales of helicopter parents paying aging party girls to help their socially awkward sons prepare for adulthood and college.

OK, we may not. But that JLaw one was funny as hell, so maybe?

There are definite pluses. For one, Britt Robertson has genuine talent. She was the best thing about both Tomorrowland and The Space Between Us. And she’s quite good here as an ambitious lawyer saddled with college debt and an obvious drinking problem. Molly manages to miss a court date and lose her job on the same day that her boss Brenda (Jamie Pressley, highlight of the movie) drops her only son off at college.

Brenda needs to simultaneously fire Molly and help her son, so why not hire the now-unemployed Molly to handle the latter task? Molly will go back to college and nudge Elliott (Ty Simpkins) out of his shell.

There is some funny dialog – mainly throwaway lines and pseudo sports commentary – but Todd M. Friedman and Kevin Haskin’s writing is otherwise a bit stale. It’s no No Hard Feelings.

Director Andy Palmer delivers a hodgepodge of moments from Eighties comedies, each one drawn out to a painful length. Molly Singer feels too traditionally staged, almost like a reimagining of Revenge of the Nerds, minus the homophobia and rape.

In the end, the biggest disappointment is not that it devolves into a hodgepodge of obvious hijinks but that it does not tell Molly’s story. The film opens on a montage that clarifies the obstacle she must overcome during the course of the film, but by the time the credits roll, the film has lost its way and its focus, and we have no real idea who she is, why she does what she does, or whether she’s in any real way changed.

Like One to the Head

Witness Infection

by Samantha Harden

What would you do if everyone in your small town turned into a bloodthirsty zombie after eating sausage from an esteemed food truck? 

Witness Infection is the story of three friends Carlo (Robert Belushi), Gina (Jill-Michele Melean) and Vince (Vince Donvito), who try to save themselves and the people they love from the zombie infection rapidly spreading through their hometown. 

Writers Carlos Alazraqui and Jill-Michele Melean deliver humor, but the emotion is lacking. There are so many perfectly placed references from classic movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Pulp Fiction and The Godfather. Carlo’s dad (Carlos Alazraqui) even makes a reference to Miller’s Crossing, telling his sons to “always leave one in the head.” Still, Witness Infection misses the mark when it comes to creating a unique and unforgettable screenplay. 

It does, at times, add to the film. Andy Palmer’s direction only seems to cancel it out. Palmer chooses camera angles that don’t make sense and create noticeably unnatural transitions. So unnatural that it takes away from the focus of the movie, and it’s hard to maintain interest when so little of the film surprises. 

Zombie apocalypse movies have been done countless times. Witness Infection is too similar to every other zombie movie to be remembered. Nothing really stands out until we get to see Rose (Monique Coleman) dominate the screen. 

The heroic trio finds Rose at one of the few bars in town, still defending herself and the bar. She refuses to be the black character that dies before the end of the movie. Declaring that she isn’t going to give up, Rose claims the most memorable quote from the film: “I am not Samuel L. Jackson in Jurassic Park. I am not Yaphet Kotto in Alien, nor am I Dwayne mother fucking Johnson.”

Unfortunately, after that amazing performance, we don’t see her again. 

Palmer cut out the one thing that kept me interested in his film and left me instead with three of the most stale and even at times frustrating characters in the movie.