'Overboard' gets a Mexican twist

By Tom Von Malder | Jul 29, 2018
Photo by: MGM/Lionsgate Home Entertainment Eugenio Derbez and Anna Faris star in the remake of "Overboard."

Owls Head — Overboard (MGM/Lionsgate, Blu-ray or standard DVD, PG-13, 112 min.). Thirty-one years after the original, which starred Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, we get a remake of "Overboard" that reverses the roles from the original film. This time, the person losing his memory is spoiled wealthy yacht owner Leonardo Montenegro, a member of the richest family in Mexico, which owns Montenegro Industries. The person who takes advantage of that memory loss is Kate Sullivan, a single mother of three girls, who works several jobs and is studying to retake her nursing exam.

Leonardo is played by Mexican film star Eugenio Derbez, last seen in the delightful "How To Be a Latin Lover." Derbez is one of the producers on this film and he brings along at least eight other Mexican actors in prominent roles, with the film in both English and Spanish. Anna Faris (TV's "Mom") plays Kate, who is cleaning carpets on Leonardo's yacht, when he fires her for not bringing him fruit and then refuses to pay her, knocks her overboard into the water and throws her carpet cleaning equipment after her. Another of Kate's jobs is delivering pizza for Theresa's pizza shop. Theresa is played by Eva Longoria (TV's "Desperate Housewives"). With the way her hair is, every time I see Faris onscreen, she reminds me of Hawn, which does Faris no favors.

Anyway, as in the original film, written by Leslie Dixon ("Mrs. Doubtfire," "Outrageous Fortune"), the rich person suffers memory loss and is tricked into believing they are the spouse of the injured party, given a lot of house chores to do and, in this case, a construction job, run by Theresa's Bobby (Mel Rodriguez of "Little Miss Sunshine," "Panic Room"). Additionally, Kate pretends Leonardo is an alcoholic who slipped and thus must abstain from sex for 30 sober days. Of course, Leonardo comes to love the three girls and gets very helpful and thoughtful around the house. He also bonds with his fellow Mexican co-workers (played by Omar Chaparro, Adrian Uribe and Jesus Ochoa) while the men builds a pool for a rich man.

A subplot concerns Leonardo's ill father (Fernando Lujan as Papi) deciding to turn over his company to Leonardo, when his daughter Magda (Cecilia Suarez), who actually works at the company, wants to be in charge instead. Thus, Magda does not identify Leonardo at the hospital after his near-drowning. Also in the cast is John Hannah as Leonardo's right-hand man, Colin. This version is also set in Elk Grove, Oregon and, at one point, the Sheriff makes reference to the last case of amnesia being a young woman in the 1980s, the only direct reference to the previous film.

The comedy is pretty tame and the film does not add much to the original, but it is watchable for Derbez's performance. It is also sweet-natured and does make some points about race relations. Extras include audio commentary by writer/director Rob Greenberg (a TV directing veteran), co-writer/producer Bob Fisher and producer Benjamin Odell. There also is a making-of featurette (13:50), a look at the Mexican actors (6:39) and a look at Bob (Fisher) and Rob (Greenberg) as captains of the film (3:56). Grade: film 3 stars; extras 2 stars

Rating guide: 5 stars = classic; 4 stars = excellent; 3 stars = good; 2 stars = fair; dog = skip it

Don't Grow Up (Shudder, Blu-ray or standard DVD, R, 81 min.). The film is set on an island off Great Britain, where some kind of disease has adults bleeding from the ears, turning crazy and attacking other people. The source of the problem is never given, but the film raises the very real issue of when does one become an adult.

The story centers on nine children, teenagers up to 18, who are inmates of the St. Madeleine youth center, a very large building with a very minimal population. One night, the youth's guardian takes off crazily in his car, so the next day the kids head into town to rob a gas station convenience store. During this expedition, they see evidence of a world gone wrong around them, but they seem very blasé about it until one is knifed and two are attacked at the store.

The young cast is appealing and includes Fergus Riordan ("Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance") as Bastian, Madeleine Kelly ("Redcon-1") as Pearl, McKell David as Liam, Natifa Mai as May, Darren Evans ("Submarine") as Shawn and Diego Mendez as Thomas. Liam is the leader and May is his girlfriend. As the group heads overland to try and leave the island -- filming was done in Spain -- their number quickly dwindles, as this is not a happy-ending film. In addition to the occasional crazed adult, the group has to contend with youngsters with guns who are determined to kill any potential threat.

The film is directed by Thierry Poiraud ("Goal of the Dead," French TV's "Black Spot") and under-written by Marie Garel-Weiss (also "Goal of the Dead" and "The Return of James Battle," another film directed by Poiraud). The script really could use some beefing up. The extras are good, but very short. In a making-of featurette (2:32), the cast talks. Another (3:30) looks at the set, where the crew spoke French and Spanish, while most of the actors were English. Finally, there is a look at the cast and their characters (2:50). Grade: film 2.5 stars; extras 2 stars

Operation Red Sea (China, Go Well USA, Blu-ray or standard DVD, NR, 138 min.). If it is war combat one likes, this is the film for you, with a very intense last hour. Be warned, though, that the film is brutal at times, particular when showing blown apart bodies. It is directed by Dante Lam, who brought us the equaling absorbing "Operation Mekong."

The setting is a fictional Middle Eastern country, Yewaire, which is accessible from the Gulf of Aden and where rebels have started a coup. The 19th Task Force of the Chinese Navy and its specialist Jiaolong Assault Team are sent in to rescue Chinese civilians and foreign refugees. The assault team is led by Yang Rui (Yi Zhang). First, though, the team has to rescue a container ship from pirates. Once ashore, amidst all the fighting (and there is a lot), Rui's team rescues journalist Xia Nan (Christina Hai), who is investigating the smuggling of "yellowcake" (impure uranium oxide that can be used to make "dirty" bombs).

The action is almost nonstop, with one cool scene showing the assault team approaching a factory over rooftops by shooting out cables to slide over on. There also is a convoy attacked by mortars, a standoff with a sniper and, late in the film, a tank chase towards an incoming sandstorm. The best part is when the assault team and allies are down to eight and must rescue some women in a town of 150 bad guys.

This time the grain of truth the film is based on is the 2015 evacuation of nearly 600 Chinese citizens from Yemen’s southern port of Aden during the Yemeni Civil War. Lam also produced and wrote the film, as well as choreographing the action scenes, which are topnotch.  The only extras are five deleted and two alternate scenes (total 13:26), including the foreshadowing of one character's death that is not in the finished film. Grade: film 3.5 stars; extras 1/2 star

Ismael's Ghosts (France, Magnolia DVD, R, 134 min.). This film by writer/director Arnaud  Desplechin ("My Golden Days," "A Christmas Film") is an intricately layered creation. On the surface, the film is about a writer/director (Mathieu Amalric of "The Grand Budapest Hotel" as Ismael), who, while struggling to write his already-in-production next film, is visited by his wife (Marion  Cotillard of "Une Nuit" as Carlotta), who ran off 21-and-a-half years ago and was declared dead eight years ago. Ismael currently is in a live-in relationship with Sylvia (Charlotte Gainsbourg of "Melancholia"). Despite having been married for eight years and living in India up until three weeks ago, Carlotta is determined to take back what is rightfully hers, namely Ismael. Carlotta's father (Laszlo Szabo as Henri) also is a filmmaker and served as Ismael's mentor.  When Henri sees Carlotta late in the film, he believes he is being tortured by a ghost.

The next layer is the film Ismael is making, it is about diplomat named Ivan (Louis Garrel) and often the film shows portions of that film, such as the film's opening sequence. At times, the film says the real Ivan is Ismael's brother, but Ismael's last name is Vuillard, while Ivan's is Dedalus. Amalric has played Paul Dedalus, a roguish academic, in two of Desplechin's films, "My Golden Days" and "My Sex Life (Or How I Got Into an Argument)," while he also played Vuillard in "Kings and Queen." It apparently helps to have familiarity with Desplechin's earlier films. Both the film-within-the-film and the top story get wilder as they go along -- at one point, Ismael accidentally shots his producer in the arm. There are no bonus features. Grade: film 3 stars

If you appreciated reading this news story and want to support local journalism, consider subscribing today.
Call (207) 594-4401 or join online at knox.villagesoup.com/join.
Donate directly to keeping quality journalism alive at knox.villagesoup.com/donate.
Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.