‘Landline’ & ‘Kidnap’
Landline refers to a time approximately two decades ago when people weren’t constantly checking out their cell phones. And when you think about it, society as a whole has shifted with the growth of smartphone technology, especially in the last few years.
If anything, Landline may be the first film to use a floppy disc in a plot twist since the Sandra Bullock starrer The Net (1995).
Basically a sex comedy set amongst a supposedly hip Manhattan family, Landline finds writer/director Gillian Robespiere teaming back up with Jenny Slate, the two of whom previously collaborated on the amusing 2023 comedy Obvious Child. Abby Quinn, Jay Duplass, John Turturro and Edie Falco also star in the ensemble.
Turturro works as an ad copywriter but also hopes to launch a career as a playwright. His youngest daughter finds some hidden poetry on a computer disc that reveals an illicit liaison. The other daughter (Slate) herself is cheating on her fiancée so she’s conflicted on how to proceed.
The whole affair is played for laughs with the typical misunderstandings common to the genre.
Landline opens in area theaters today.
Kidnap operates on fumes: A hard-working single mother sees her six-year-old son being abducted and gives chase — that’s the whole movie.
Halle Berry carries Kidnap as capably as any star of her magnitude. There’s a sub textual perverse pleasure in seeing all the collateral damage she does during the high speed feature length chase that at one point includes backing up in the middle of a busy highway and causing a major multi-car catastrophe.
While effective at times, Kidnap has such gaping holes in logic (What happened to the dog?) that you have to shake your head in disbelief more than once.
Kidnap opens wide today.