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Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan Give Karate Kid a Little Kick

The screenwriters charged with rebooting The Karate Kid, starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan, stick with a faithful, almost scene-by-scene remake of the 1984 film that made Ralph Macchio and the expression "wax on, wax off" household names.

  • Christa Banister |
  • October 05, 2010 |
  • comments
VeggieTales' Meaningful Life Points to God's Perfect Plan

With several blatant allusions to the classic holiday movie on which it is based, It's a Meaningful Life may well be one of the most poignant VeggieTales productions ever. The story honors family, integrity, and living faithfully the quiet life God has called most of us to live.

Iron Man 2 Suffices as a Serviceable Sequel

There are no real high points in Iron Man 2—no standout scenes that will have audiences talking as they leave the theater—but the overall product is sufficient to satisfy audiences in search of another dose of the Iron Man franchise. If it's not a sharper Iron, neither is it a duller one.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • September 28, 2010 |
  • comments
Adorable Babies Offers Peek into Little Minds

With no narration, subtitles and little in the way of actual cultural subtext, Babies definitely isn't your ordinary documentary. In fact, French filmmaker Thomas Balmes is content to let the audience draw its own conclusions as he beautifully captures the first year of four very different babies' lives.

  • Christa Banister |
  • September 28, 2010 |
  • comments
Raunch Knows No Bounds in Get Him to the Greek

A little bawdy humor goes a long way, and Get Him to the Greek goes much further than the bounds of good taste allow. That's part of the movie's calculus, of course—it offers scenes designed to shock, and scenes that will lead to can-you-believe-that moments of laughter.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • September 28, 2010 |
  • comments
Action-Packed Robin Hood Runs Long

Despite its running time, it's hard to look away from the well-composed images and action spectacles, and from the compelling actors trying to make something interesting of characters that should have been better fleshed out.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • September 21, 2010 |
  • comments
Mysterious Ondine Takes a Surprising Turn

Ondine, writer/director Neil Jordan's tale of personal healing and recovery, is more art house than mainstream crowd-pleaser, although the film eventually develops a bit of an identity crisis. What appeared to be a sure-footed, imaginative tale becomes something harder and more of a genre exercise.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • September 21, 2010 |
  • comments
Actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley Finds Inspiration in Amish Grace

How would you react if one of your children was murdered? How easily would forgiveness come? Kimberly Williams-Paisley, star of Lifetime Movie Network’s original film Amish Grace, faced those very questions as she inhabited the role of a grieving mother.

  • Kelley Mathews |
  • September 14, 2010 |
  • comments
Believability Makes This Romance Just Wright

The biggest mistake someone could make after watching previews for Just Wright would be to decide that it's not for them. Or that it's tailored strictly for a minority audience. Many films with all African-American casts are, but this one is different. And better.

  • Jeffrey Huston |
  • September 14, 2010 |
  • comments
Letters to Juliet Suffers from Serious Predictability Overload

Even with a breathtaking Italian backdrop, a nod to one of literature's favorite tragic love stories (Romeo and Juliet) and not one, but two, love stories packed into an hour and a half, Letters to Juliet is still only a notch above mediocre.

  • Christa Banister |
  • September 14, 2010 |
  • comments
SNL-Based MacGruber is Predictably Vulgar

From the standpoint of secular humor, it must be admitted that some of MacGruber can bring an unbidden grin to the face, accompanied by a blush. But from a Judeo-Christian standpoint, much of it is just too over the top to be appreciated or enjoyed. It will most definitely be offensive to most conservative viewers.

  • Richard Abanes |
  • September 07, 2010 |
  • comments
Killers Lacks Any Instincts—Acting or Otherwise

Ashton Kutcher may be the second most popular person on Twitter, but Killers is truly a movie only his mother could love. Not only is the flick sorely lacking instincts of any kind, but the only chuckle in this nearly plot-free endeavor is a wisecrack about his character learning his mad gun skills in 4-H.

  • Christa Banister |
  • September 07, 2010 |
  • comments
Marmaduke is a Barkin' Good Time for Kids Only

Filled with madcap action and a happy ending you'll see coming from a mile away (this ain't Old Yeller, after all), Marmaduke is a movie your kids will probably love, but you'll barely suffer through, thanks to a slew of corny jokes and lame pop culture references.

Oh Baby, This Back-up Plan is Bad

Even if someone manages to suspend disbelief and buy into this lamely conceived plotline, there's nothing about The Back-up Plan that has any resonance in the real world. Not only is the dialogue unbelievable from the get-go, but the characters are just plain kooky.

The Last Song Has a Familiar Refrain

The Last Song, written for the screen by novelist Nicholas Sparks and starring Miley Cyrus, is treacly, preposterous and full of clichés. It's also moving and, for the most part, family-friendly, focusing on themes of human failure and forgiveness.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • August 17, 2010 |
  • comments
Furry Vengeance Shamelessly Attacks Good Taste

Consider yourself warned: Furry Vengeance is truly the worst movie I've screened this year. And trust me, I've already reviewed some doozies (Tooth Fairy, Cop Out and The Bounty Hunter, for starters).

Letters to God Something to Write Home About

Letters to God might not be the most cinematic film viewers will see this year, but it's a faith-affirming story competently told. Viewers tired of having their beliefs assaulted whenever they watch a movie will take comfort in this production, which, for a change, affirms what they believe and demonstrates the power of their shared faith.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • August 10, 2010 |
  • comments
Even Comedy's Dynamic Duo Can't Save Date Night

Somehow in the midst of bad writing and a hackneyed case of missing identity that grows increasingly sillier as Date Night goes on, Steve Carell and Tina Fey still shine as two suburbanites trying to keep their marital spark alive with a little night-on-the-town spontaneity.

Death and Dark Comedy Collide in Death at a Funeral

Other than giving Luke Wilson an opportunity to star in something other than those annoying AT&T commercials, there was really no need to revisit the story of a family funeral gone seriously awry in Neil LaBute's remake of Death at a Funeral.

Believers Enlist Hollywood Pros To Save a Life

If you're a serious evangelical filmmaker, there's one response you do not want to hear: "For a Christian movie, that was pretty good." Yet when it comes to the more impressive motion pictures produced by churches and ministries, this backhanded compliment remains the most ubiquitous—and often, the most deserved.

  • Jay Swartzendruber |
  • August 03, 2010 |
  • comments
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