Jason Bateman has long been one of TrustMovies favorite actors, particularly among those who seem under-rated yet have consistently helped ground a lot of films in which they are not the supposed "star" (remember Hancock?) As a director, Bateman has now made two fine films, the dirty-delight, spelling-bee movie, Bad Words, and now THE FAMILY FANG, which makes its DVDebut this week and proves yet another auspicious outing in which Bateman both directs and co-stars.
Andrew Dodge's fine screenplay for Bad Words, Mr. Bateman, shown above, is helped along by an excellent screenplay for "Fang" by David Lindsay-Abaire, adapted from a novel by Kevin Wilson.
Rabbit Hole, is in a much more fanciful mood here, as he weaves themes of family, parenting, art and life together into an alternately witty and moving, often surprising tale of a family of four led by mom-and-dad performance artists who use their two children as part of their continuing "act." The movie opens with one of these early performance art pieces that takes place in a bank (below),
Nicole Kidman and Mr. Bateman, who play a troubled sister and brother still coming to terms with how their past continues to rumple their present.
Jason Butler Harner (center right, above) and Kathryn Hahn (center, left, above). As the movie evolves, it becomes a tale of art -- maybe good, maybe not so: the movie offers a juicy little argument between two critics about the Fangs' performance pieces -- and parenting, which I think most of us will rate as the not-so-hot sort.
Anchor Bay Entertainment and running 106 minutes, the movie hits DVD this Tuesday, July 5, for purchase or rental. (That's Marin Ireland, above, left, as one of the Bateman character's fans -- and maybe something more.)