September 7, 2014, - 2:52 pm

Wknd Box Office: The Trip to Italy, Innocence

By Debbie Schlussel

Late again with my movie reviews, but you didn’t miss much.


* “The Trip to Italy“: This is one of those relaxing, entertaining movies that you go see to get some beautiful views of the Italian coast, while listening to two comedians do endless impressions. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t the greatest movie ever. It’s fun, enjoyable and escapist.

Two British comedians, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon travel to Italy for restaurant review columns they write for a British newspaper. They go to various restaurants and Italian sites and make jokes and impressions throughout during their conversations with each other over food and scenery (including petrified bodies at Pompeii). This also includes discussions of Alanis Morissette music and impressions of famous actors in movies, most notably “The Godfather” films. This is a sequel to 2010’s “The Trip,” but you needn’t have seen that (I didn’t) to know what’s going on here or to enjoy this.

While I liked it, I had a few reservations: the men constantly talk with their mouths open while eating (Guh-ROSS!), and their impressions of various characters in “The Godfather” and Batman movies, while funny, go on for too long and wear out their welcomes. Plus, the movie is a little self-absorbed, as it appears it was done to get a free, tax-write-off trip to Italy. Still, even with all of these caveats, it is overall good, light, funny, and fresh.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Innocence“: This absolute bore is pointless and a complete waste of time and money. It’s billed as a scary or horror movie, but it’s barely scary and I yawned, rather than gasped. It moves so slowly and nothing ever really happens, despite the obvious scary movie cliches scattered haphazardly throughout.

The story: a teen girl’s mother dies from an aneurysm while surfing with her at the beach. The girl and her father move to New York City, where she is enrolled at a fancy private school for girls. The school is run by a group of beautiful, mysterious women, and the teen girl keeps having visions of dead people and their ghosts, so she believes something is amiss at the school. She soon learns that the women are some sort of witches or vampires or something, and various girls who attend have died or been murdered. But the movie never really explains any of this, and then it ends.

So dumb. Skip this.


Watch the trailer . . .

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7 Responses


japple on September 7, 2014 at 4:24 pm

” She soon learns that the women are some sort of witches or vampires or something, and various girls who attend have died or been murdered. But the movie never really explains any of this, and then it ends.”

Probably so many producers and writers are hopped up on crank that they don’t even bother with a “beginning, middle and an end.”

DS_ROCKS! on September 7, 2014 at 7:22 pm

I will give “The Trip to Italy” a go. From this review and the clip, I get the sense that there is good comedic interaction between the characters played by Coogan and Brydon. Plus I already have some familiarity with Coogan’s work and I consider him a highly underrated talent.

For example, there was a movie many years ago directed by Jim Jarmusch called “Coffee and Cigarettes, that was a series of mostly improvised sketches, and one of the most memorable of these involved Steve Coogan and Alfred Molina playing “themselves.” The sketch involved the Molina character inviting the Coogan character to meeting because Molina has discovered to his delight that Coogan is a actually a relative of his (according to the story line). Coogan’s character, however, isn’t particularly enthused by this discovery and his attitude is “what’s in it for me.” I think with that set-up, Jarmusch essentially called “action” and the dialogue and the interaction between Coogan and Molina was mostly if not entirely improvised. The result had a documentary feel and everything seemed completely real. The acting was simply splendid and Coogan displayed a great sense of comic timing.

Ralph Adamo on September 7, 2014 at 10:41 pm

I saw “The Trip” with Steve Coogan and laughed a lot. Like Ralph, I’m looking forward to seeing the “The Trip to Italy” (when it comes out on DVD).

I’m glad at least Ralph Adamo liked “Coffee and Cigarettes.” I hated that film.

Burke on September 8, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Burke, “Coffee and Cigarettes” was essentially a string of skits only linked by the theme of people drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. It was also made over a 17-year period. So the final result as a whole was very uneven. Some skits were excellent, some okay, and some weak. I can only remember the excellent skits and have mostly forgotten the weaker ones. For me, the three most memorable skits in that movie were: (1) the Steve Coogan/Alfred Molin meeting I described; (2) a phone call between Cate Blanchett as her famous “self” with her lookalike “cousin” (also played by Blanchett); and a meeting between Iggy Pop and Tom Waits–the musicians, playing “themselves.”

    Ralph Adamo on September 8, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Coogan also played “Alan Partridge.” Funny guy.

Occam's Tool on September 8, 2014 at 8:35 pm

“This also includes discussions of Alanis Morissette music…”
In my world, Alanis Morissette and music are mutually exclusive.

Not ovenready on September 9, 2014 at 6:23 pm

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