Nuts on Clark
 

The Runner / Zipper  (2015; Rated Rated R)

The Runner / Zipper
D+
 

MOVIE INFORMATION

The Runner / Zipper

(2015; R)

In theaters:
Friday, 28 August 2015

Genre:
Drama

Director:
Austin Stark, Mora Stephens

Cast:
Nicolas Cage, Sarah Paulson, Connie Nielsen, Patrick Wilson, Lena Headey, Ray Winstone

Note: This combo review of “The Runner” and “Zipper” features the debut of the Review-0-Matic! — a handy template when two remarkably similar films are released one right after the other.

“THE RUNNER”

In the lurid and cheesy and sometimes unintentionally funny political thriller “Runner,” one of the most intriguing and eclectic casts of the year is wasted in a murky cesspool that comes across as a third-rate version of “House of Cards” with a little bit of “Scandal” thrown in for bad measure.

“ZIPPER”

In the lurid and cheesy and sometimes unintentionally funny political thriller “Zipper,” one of the most intriguing and eclectic casts of the year is wasted in a murky cesspool that comes across as a third-rate version of “House of Cards” with a little bit of “Scandal” thrown in for good measure.

“THE RUNNER”

Nicolas Cage, who once upon a time was a serious actor doing prestige projects (“Leaving Las Vegas,” “Adaptation”) and still has a world of talent when he remembers to call upon it, plays Colin Pryce, a handsome Louisiana congressman with a receding hairline and a growing ambition to achieve higher office.

Colin also has growing ambitions beneath the belt, shall we say. His beautiful, string-pulling, conniving, behind-the-scenes power broker of a wife Deborah (Connie Nielsen, “Gladiator” and the premium cable series “Boss”) throws him out of the house after she learns of his zipper problem.

“ZIPPER”

Patrick Wilson, who once upon a time was a serious actor doing prestige projects (“Angels in America,” “Little Children”) and still has a world of talent when he remembers to call upon it, plays Sam Ellis, a handsome Southern prosecutor with a receding hairline and a growing ambition to achieve higher office.

Sam also has growing ambitions beneath the belt, shall we say. His beautiful, string-pulling, conniving, behind-the-scenes power broker of a wife (Lena Headey, “300” and the premium cable series “Game of Thrones”) throws him out of the house after she learns of his zipper problem.

“THE RUNNER”

The invaluable veteran character actor Wendell Pierce plays Colin’s chief of staff, who believes Colin can become a political star, despite Colin’s weaknesses.

“ZIPPER”

The invaluable character actor Richard Dreyfuss plays a Washington power broker who believes Sam can become a political star, despite Sam’s weaknesses.

“THE RUNNER”

Writer/director Austin Stark seems to have drawn his inspiration from real-life scandals involving the likes of John Edwards, Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner and other sex-crazed politicians who either think they’re too smart and wonderful to get caught, or have a serious self-destructive streak. (Maybe both.) Cage actually does fine work portraying a smart guy who really does want to help people but can’t get out of his own way.

But “The Runner” never approaches the keen insight and social satire of political films such as “The Candidate,” “Primary Colors” or “Bulworth.”

“ZIPPER”

Director/co-writer Mora Stephens seems to have drawn her inspiration from real-life scandals involving the likes of John Edwards, Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner and other sex-crazed politicians who either think they’re too smart and wonderful to get caught, or have a serious self-destructive streak. (Maybe both.) Wilson actually does fine work portraying a smart guy who really does want to help people but can’t get out of his own way.

But “The Runner” never approaches the keen insight and social satire of political films such as “The Candidate,” “Primary Colors” or “Bulworth.”

“THE RUNNER”

Peter Fonda livens things up a bit in a small role as Colin’s father, but when he exits a scene, we wish the movie would keep following HIS character instead of the leads.

“ZIPPER”

Ray Winstone livens things up a bit in a small role as a father figure to Sam’s wife, but when he exits a scene, we wish the movie would keep following HIS character instead of the leads.

“THE RUNNER”

With a running time of 90 minutes, “The Runner” might be entertaining enough in a campy way for you to watch it on demand as long as you’ve got a really big bowl of popcorn and an even bigger glass of wine (or the non-alcoholic elixir of your choice) to get you through. Might. Be.

“ZIPPER”

With a running time of 103 minutes, “Zipper” might be entertaining enough in a campy way for you to watch it on demand as long as you’ve got a really big bowl of popcorn and an even bigger glass of wine (or the non-alcoholic elixir of your choice) to get you through. Might. Be.

COMMENTS (1)
 
Post a Comment
 

Brandon Wrightsaid on Saturday, September 05, 2015 9:17:01 PM
Lol I think this review was more creative and entertaining than the films.

 
 

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