Considering what might have been expected of a big-budget romance featuring two top stars, The Tourist is rather slight. The lead characters' banter starts with promise, but the film shortchanges the romance as it struggles to incorporate its espionage and gangster storylines.
- March 22, 2011 |
This is a comedy about bodily fluids, with a few funny moments that unfold during the switch that give the film its title. But this is also a character-driven comedy about a man's slow awakening to the possibility that he's found someone he can spend his life with, and a responsibility to someone other than himself.
While celebrated director Clint Eastwood certainly has a knack for choosing compelling thematic hooks for his films, Hereafter, like last year's plodding, passion-starved Invictus, is simply too hollow, hokey and one-sided to make any sort of lasting impact.
The cobbled-together story is weighed down by far too much family drama and not enough of the protagonist's journey against the ropes. Good, but not great.
Much like 1987's Broadcast News, there's actually a deeper debate that elevates the light and sunny romantic comedy of Morning Glory into something more substantial, namely the discussion of what's "real" news.
- March 08, 2011 |
Unlike in Conviction, where the protagonist places her hope in the law and becomes her brother's own defense counsel, in The Next Three Days Russell Crowe's character decides to go rogue instead by basically borrowing a page from TV's Prison Break.
- March 08, 2011 |
‘Twas the Night Before Easter contrasts the popular sentiment that “bigger is better” with the gospel truth that Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection is our true source of hope. The writers did not flinch from including the Bible’s themes of hope and salvation. In this tale, the gospel message shines bright and clear.
- March 05, 2011 |
Burlesque will play better or worse depending on what you like to see in a musical—a well told story or big-screen, razzle-dazzle music numbers. The best musicals have both, the biggest failures neither. Burlesque splits the difference.
Danny Boyle's 127 Hours takes you through the ringer, sure to elicit audible (and collective) gasps, groans and shrieks before concluding in one cathartic exhale of relief and redemption. It's not the kind of movie to engender multiple viewings, but one is enough to sear it into your mind forever.
For those who enjoy nothing more than a big, loud, escapist flick with a little takeaway value on a holiday weekend, don't worry. Faster isn't a turkey. If anything, it's the right move forward for the actor formerly known as The Rock.
Part Love Story, part Up in the Air with a smidge of the satirical spirit of Thank You for Smoking, Love & Other Drugs never quite knows what it is, and the story ultimately suffers for it. Truth be told, bothering to label it "good" is probably too strong of praise.
An uplifting story of guilt, repentance and reconciliation, Get Low is a low-key work that is profound in its simplicity.
It's déjà vu all over again with Megamind, yet another superhero story in which super-villains go to great lengths to undermine the good guys. Think The Incredibles, Despicable Me, Shrek Forever After or… well, we've seen a lot of this sort of story recently.
Much like its R-rated Planes, Trains & Automobiles predecessor that starred Steve Martin and the late John Candy back in 1987, Due Date is also the madcap tale of two guys who would never take a cross-country road trip together, if extenuating circumstances weren't involved.
The premise is simple, the execution is competent and the film delivers the requisite amount of crowd-pleasing thrills. And yet, the film feels a little too easy in the depiction of its main characters, who are sketched out with scant information about their motivations.
- February 15, 2011 |
Whether or not viewers wholeheartedly agree with how documentarian Davis Guggenheim actually goes about proving his thesis, Waiting for "Superman" is still an important and compelling look at the current state of public education—unsightly warts and all.
- February 15, 2011 |
In Life As We Know It, the latest rom-com to hit theaters, the combined charms of Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel, plus a little help from an adorable baby, ultimately elevates what could've been a big-screen sitcom gone seriously wrong.
A film about depression that isn't depressing; how's that for a small miracle? Starring Keir Gilchrist and Zach Galifianakis, It's Kind of a Funny Story is a title perfectly suited to this appealing slice of despondent life, one that comes by its laughs in insightful ways.
If you've never seen a romantic comedy, or a story about old rivalries rekindled, then you might—just might—find You Again tolerable, even enjoyable. It's well performed by a game cast that tries to make the most of a limp screenplay that's virtually free of surprises.
Is there a broader point here? The filmmakers may be saving it for yet another sequel (which is sure to come), although after two films with the same style and approach to the material, one can't help but wonder if the filmmakers have figured out the point of their own story, or if they're just stringing viewers along.