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ALISON STEWART, host:

There were five films our movie guy Dan Holloway could have reviewed for us this week. We'll get to three of them. He told us he couldn't review the new Martin Lawrence film "Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins" on the grounds he had scheduling conflict. And he couldn't review the Paris Hilton movie, "The Hottie and the Nottie," on moral grounds.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: Let's welcome our ethical film friend, Dan Holloway, from Metro Newspapers. I appreciate you taking a stand, Dan.

MARTIN: Your moral fortitude is admirable.

Mr. DANIEL HOLLOWAY (Movie Critic): I told the producers that it was moral. But really, it was just that after two months of having my co0workers, like, sending me images of the movie poster, mock me openly about the fact that I was going to have to see it, I made a command decision not to see this film.

STEWART: I understand. Well, you did get to see this film that premiered at the Sundance Film festival, "In Bruges."

MARTIN: Bruges.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Bruges.

STEWART: The title refers to the city, the name of the city where a couple of hitmen are told to cool their jets for a while.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Mm-hmm.

STEWART: Why are told to do that?

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Colin Farrell is one of those hitmen. He plays a guy named Ray, and a botched job, the nature of the botching doesn't get revealed until later in the film. Basically, a botched job happens and they're told by their boss, who we also don't meet until later in the film, to go cool their heels in Bruges. Bruges, if you've ever been or seen pictures, is just this ridiculously...

STEWART: Gorgeous, yeah.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: ...beautiful city.

STEWART: It's like fake. You think this can't be real.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Right. It's impossible to hate. Of course, Colin Farrell's character is the only guy in the world who can hate Bruges. He calls it, you know, he uses some epithets before he's even been there. He goes, he harasses tourists. He's mean to midgets. It's, you know, he's just the type of malcontent who hates Bruges. And Brendan Gleeson, a fellow Irish actor, is tagging along as his sort of father figure who is just trying to get him to go out and see the sights and settle down and, you know, he just can't. He just effing hates Bruges.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: Well, let's listen to that Brendan Gleeson talking to Colin Farrell. These two hitmen, Brendan's character is trying to negotiate who gets to go out tonight on the town. And just for you listeners at home, beware of thick brogues ahead.

(Soundbite of movie, "In Bruges")

Mr. BRENDAN GLEESON (Actor): (As Ken) I'm staying in tonight whatever happens.

Mr. COLIN FARRELL (Actor): (As Ray) Except?

Mr. GLEESON: (As Ken) Hmm. Except, hmm, what? Except only one of us needs to stay in? Mm-hmm. Which one of us would that be now, Ray? I thought you didn't like Bruges.

Mr. FARRELL: (As Ray) I don't like Bruges, but I did already say I had a date with a Belgian lady. (Unintelligible)

Mr. GLEESON: (As Ken) (Unintelligible) we're keeping a low profile. And this morning and this afternoon we are doing what I want to do...

Mr. FARRELL: (As Ray) Got it.

Mr. GLEESON: (As Ken) Of course.

Mr. FARRELL: (As Ray) (Unintelligible)

Mr. GLEESON: (As Ken) Or we shall strike a balance between culture and fun.

Mr. FARRELL: (As Ray) Somehow I believe, Ken, that the balance tipped in the favor of culture.

STEWART: That was Colin Farrell there. He's always promised to be a compelling actor and hasn't really made good on that promise in many ways. How about in this film?

Mr. HOLLOWAY: This has been a really good month for Colin Farrell. This film, on top of "Cassandra's Dream," which wasn't that great of a movie but he really showed his stuff in it, and this is just the best film he's ever done.

STEWART: Really?

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Yeah, absolutely. Hands down. I think part of it is the fact that he gets to speak in his native accent throughout. Martin McDonagh, whose first film this is, actually changed these characters from Cockney gangsters to Irish gangsters after casting Farrell and Gleeson because he wanted them to be more comfortable in the roles. And you know, Colin Farrell's clean and sober now and I think it's showing in his work.

STEWART: Is it a go-see movie?

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Yes, definitely a go-see movie. It's funny. It's better than any sort of Guy Richie hitman movie you're ever going to see. I think there's like 10 of them coming out in the next year, so just skip them and go see this.

STEWART: I swore off Colin Farrell after "Alexander," so...

Mr. HOLLOWAY: I think a lot people did. I think it's time to revisit your life choices...

STEWART: Let's revisit.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: ...in relation to Colin Farrell.

STEWART: "Fool's Gold" stars Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey. She's got an Oscar nomination. He's got great abs, and is that enough to create chemistry for a whole movie about a couple...

MARTIN: Yes.

STEWART: ...who hunt for treasure?

Mr. HOLLOWAY: The movie is not actually about a couple who hunts for treasure. It's about Matthew McConaughey's abs.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: I kind of got that from the poster.

MARTIN: Awesome.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Yeah, I don't think he wears a shirt the whole time. And there's always, you know, and most of the dialogue is devoted to jokes about his sexual prowess and how - I mean, do you really need to drive that point home? He's Matthew McConaughey. It's not like anyone thinks he's bad at it, okay?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. HOLLOWAY: He's just making all the men in the audience feel bad.

STEWART: Well, this duo embarks on this treasure hunt, which apparently means nothing in the movie. It involves being in a giant boat somewhere. Here, Hudson's character is asking her husband - just how indebt are you?

(Soundbite of movie, "Fool's Gold)

Ms. KATE HUDSON (Actress): (As Tess Finnegan) How much do you owe him?

Mr. MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY (Actor): (As Ben Finnegan) Owe who? Owe who?

MARTIN: He has no shirt on in this clip, by the way.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. HOLLOWAY: No shirt.

(Soundbite of movie, "Fool's Gold)

Mr. McCONAUGHEY: (As Ben Finnegan) I don't owe him any money.

Ms. HUDSON: (As Tess Finnegan) Finn...

Mr. HOLLOWAY: His abs are rippling.

(Soundbite of movie, "Fool's Gold)

Ms. HUDSON: (As Tess Finnegan) ...how much do you owe him? Just tell me so I'll know.

Mr. McCONAUGHEY: (As Ben Finnegan) My God, Tess. I mean, it's so hard to be specific about it. It's a really complex payment schedule.

Ms. HUDSON: (As Tess Finnegan) How much?

Mr. McCONAUGHEY: (As Ben Finnegan) $62,581.4e

Ms. HUDSON: (Tess Finnegan) Is there a reason you didn't tell me this before?

Mr. McCONAUGHEY: (As Ben Finnegan) Yeah, you wouldn't have come.

MARTIN: Oh, romantic music.

STEWART: I was totally pondering up images of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell in "Overboard" doing this.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Yeah, it's - well, it's sort of the same except without Goldie Hawn, like, sort of pampered princess aspect of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. But yeah, these two were together in, oh, what was the film?

STEWART: Where she's got to make him hate her.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Yeah, "How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days."

STEWART: Oh, yeah.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: And I think they're trying to make them a little screen couple together. The problem is, is that you have to make a "Sleepless in Seattle" before you can start making "You've Got Mail" over and over again. And these two...

STEWART: Right, good point.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: ...haven't done that together yet. You know, she looks a lot like her mother, but I don't think has really displayed any of the talent that Goldie Hawn had in her early career; and Matthew McConaughey, super likable guy, but, you know, he's eye candy and not much else.

STEWART: Someone described him once as the mayor of fun.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: He is the mayor of fun.

STEWART: That's what Sandra Bullock when she went out with him, and that ends it there. "The Band's Last Visit" is about a lost band in a lost town. The band is Egyptian and they're lost in Israel?

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Oh, yeah.

MARTIN: I'm totally interested.

STEWART: Yes. It's a political film or...

Mr. HOLLOWAY: No, it's weird. There are no politics in this film, which is sort of a refreshing thing and also, you kind of want - I mean, you kind of want, I mean, it's not, there's not one political moment in the film. So it's a little, you're waiting for it. It's like you're waiting for the other shoe to drop the entire time and it never does. Basically it's the, it's really charming. Really, I don't want to say cute, because that under-sells it. But you know, really very charming film, Israeli made, that premiered at the Cannes last year about a police band from Egypt that gets lost in this sort of forgotten desert town in Israel and they have to stay the night. They get to put up for the night with the owner of a cafe and some friends of hers and, you know, they stay in the café, and you just kind of learn about these guys' lives. And the best part about it is, is they're walking around in these powder blue police dress uniform.

STEWART: Where is the Arab cultural center?

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Yes, yes, and like dragging their instruments through the sand. But yeah, not a moment of politics in the film, which is a little weird.

MARTIN: And it's trilingual, the film?

Mr. HOLLOWAY: It is trilingual. It's in Hebrew, Arabic and English.

STEWART: Subtitle nightmare for the people who had to do that.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Yeah. But actually pretty easy to watch because there's a lot of English spoken in the film because whenever the Israeli and Egyptian characters are speaking to each other, they speak in English, and that's also subtitled, so you get a sense there. And then it's interesting because the only time Arabic or Hebrew is really spoken is when two Israelis or two Egyptians are trying to talk behind the back of someone else who's in the room who's not speaking that language. So it introduces a really interesting element into the film.

STEWART: All right. So it's called "The Band's Last Visit" and I believe we have a clip of that, don't we?

(Soundbite of movie, "The Hottie and the Nottie")

Mr. NATE COOPER (Actor): (As Joel Moore) I think that I have found the perfect guy for her.

Ms. PARIS HILTON (Actress): (As Cristabelle Abbott) What's his name?

Mr. COOPER: (As Joel Moore) Who?

Ms. HILTON: (As Cristabelle Abbott) The guys who's perfect for...

STEWART: Oh, wait, that's not - that's Paris Hilton. I'm sorry, Daniel. I'm sorry. I did not mean to break your moral boundaries.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: I feel so dirty.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: A clip from "Hottie and Nottie."

Mr. HOLLOWAY: I feel so dirty.

STEWART: All right. Daniel Holloway from Metro Newspapers.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: I'm not coming back.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: Thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate that.

Mr. HOLLOWAY: Thanks, guys.

STEWART: We won't do that to you again.

STEWART: It's Friday. Got to have some fun. Okay, that does it for this edition of THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News. Join us online anytime at npr.org/bryantpark. Definitely visit our blog, so much going on.

I'm Alison Stewart.

MARTIN: I'm Rachel Martin.

STEWART: This is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News.

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