‘Promised Land’ is a vanity project that doesn’t dig very deep

Matt Damon gets to look good in vanity piece, 'Promised Land'
Matt Damon gets to look good in vanity piece, ‘Promised Land’

[rating=2]Starring: Matt Damon, Frances McDormand, John Krasinski, Rosemarie Dewitt, Hal Holbrook
Directed by: Gus Van Sant
Written by: Matt Damon, Dave Eggers, John Krasinski

Promised Land is the latest in a modern stream of films to weigh the costs of ecology versus economy. It stars Matt Damon as Steve Butler, a small-town boy made good who has left his Eldridge, Ia., upbringing to become a hotshot corporate salesman working for a natural gas company in the Big Apple. The film – co-written by Damon with hungry star-on-the-rise John Krasinski and esteemed nonfiction writer Dave Eggers – aspires to be a virtuous one about the honor of living on the land. But don’t be mistaken. Beneath the t-shirts, jeans and flannel, Land is a vanity project.

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‘Nobody Walks’ is such a wasted opportunity

Olivia Thirlby stars in 'Nobody Walks'
Olivia Thirlby stars in ‘Nobody Walks’

Nobody Walks, from director and co-writer Ry Russo-Young, gets right down to business in its scant 82 minutes. No sooner do we meet Martine (Olivia Thirlby), a 23-year-old Brooklyn artist just off an LAX-bound flight than we see her making out with the guy with whom she has headed to the parking garage. It turns out they’ve only just met, and while she’s happy for the ride, so to speak, that’s all. I guess she doesn’t have much time to waste either.

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