Reviewed in brief: 'Rich Hill,' 'Let's Be Cops' & 'Alive Inside'

  • Updated: August 14, 2014 - 3:14 PM
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Musical therapy is the subject of “Alive Inside.”

Let’s Be Cops
⋆½ out of four stars
Rating: R for language, sexual references, nudity, violence, drugs.

 

The laughs are loud, lewd and low in this spoof of cop buddy pictures. Jake Johnson of TV’s “New Girl” is paired with Damon Wayans Jr. in this farce about two Ohio losers losing their way through Los Angeles. No woman gives either guy a second look — until they wear police gear to a party. Next thing you know, they’re cruising the streets in uniform. Johnson’s timing is sharp, and Wayans has that Wayans way with dopey under-reactions to crazy situations, but the script is short on laughs.

ROGER MOORE, McClatchy News Service

 

RICH HILL
⋆⋆⋆ out of four stars
Not rated • Theater: Lagoon.

 

The parents of filmmakers Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo hail from the depressed Missouri town that gives this documentary its title. But rather than attempt an elegy for the town, a former coal producer, the pair zero in on three boys at the cusp of adolescence. Harley trudges around, keeping up a quirky running commentary about his temper or his beloved mom, who’s in prison for tragic reasons that emerge later. Andrew is mysteriously beatific, the son of a free spirit who covers Hank Williams songs. Appachey has an abiding rage but none of its dignity. Each boy has a need to be heard out, and much (maybe too much) is conveyed through their voice-overs. Hazily scored gauzy interludes cut into the film’s immediacy and tone. But the filmmakers shade in humble, sympathetic portraits of these children, “neither good nor bad,” to borrow from a Williams song, just kids.

NICOLAS RAPOLD,New York Times

ALIVE INSIDE
⋆⋆⋆ out of four stars
Not rated • Theater: Edina.

 

It isn’t news that musical therapy can produce striking results, but rarely has it been as movingly illustrated as in “Alive Inside.” When 94-year-old Henry hears the music of Cab Calloway, his eyes glow, his body sways to the beat and he even sings along. Denise, a bipolar schizophrenic who normally uses a walker, is inspired to dance by her beloved Schubert. Writer-director Michael Rossato-Bennett is on less sure ground when he tries to address shortcomings in nursing home care and the health care industry in general.

Walter Addiego,San Francisco Chronicle

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  • Jake Johnson, left, and Damon Wayans Jr. star in “Let’s Be Cops.”

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