Directed by Clint Eastwood, Invictus is the story of South Africa's political transformation in the late twentieth century and the role its rugby team played in bridging the racial divide. How could it go wrong? By not generating the requisite momentum for a triumphant story about cultural and ethnic identity.
- May 18, 2010 |
Did you enjoy Mel Gibson in Payback or Ransom? He's on that level in Edge of Darkness. It's a decent comeback, if those movies are your idea of a good time. But it's truncated rather than taut, sluggish rather than satisfying, and dull rather than edgy.
Daybreakers takes the vampire genre in some new directions, but it can't memorably resolve its story. With strong atmosphere and respectable performances, it jolts viewers with a few shocking moments. But the filmmakers' attempts to cater to the basest impulses of today's horror-movie audiences ultimately work against the movie.
Legion has elements of the first coming of Christ and an apocalypse suggesting the second coming, dressed up in all sorts of religious terminology that might make viewers who don't know any better believe they're watching a Bible-based film. But Legion is nothing of the sort. It's a mess—and it can't be saved.
If you think the sight of The Rock in a pink tutu and oversized sparkly wings is funny, well, Tooth Fairy is the movie for you. After all, the screenwriters get a lot of mileage out of seeing the former wrestler play a has-been hockey star forced to reveal his softer, fairy side.
In what's basically a remake of Frank Capra's It Happened One Night set in the always-photogenic Irish countryside, Amy Adams and Matthew Goode do manage some winsome chemistry a la Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in Leap Year.
It's not that the message of Preacher's Kid (directed by Stan Foster) is bad. Its message good. But the movie's execution of this truth is where it fails miserably. The script is poor. The acting is amateurish. And the music uninspiring.
Even with five Oscar-winning actresses delivering fantastic performances without really having that much to work with, the screen adaptation of Broadway musical Nine may have the star wattage but ultimately does little in the way of actually illuminating the audience.
Between serving up a pitch-perfect portrayal of Julia Child in this summer's Julie & Julia, voicing George Clooney's wife in Fantastic Mr. Fox and proving that 50 is apparently the new 30 in the saucy rom-com It's Complicated, it's been another dazzling year in cinema for the Oscar winner.
- April 27, 2010 |
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is so bursting with visual wonders and ideas about faith and belief that one viewing can't do it justice. With only time for one viewing, this reviewer absorbed enough, however, to understand that, despite some memorable moments, the film is a disjointed mess.
- April 27, 2010 |
It's an old tale told a thousand times—the washed up, boozed up, aging singer, who's making his rounds at bars and music dumps, hoping for one more chance at life and love. That's Crazy Heart in a nutshell. And that's where this review would end if it were not for a stellar performance by Jeff Bridges.
- April 23, 2010 |
The Young Victoria is not the best film currently playing, or even a particularly good one, because the story has a split personality. But some beautiful interior shots and costuming compensate somewhat for this period piece's identity crisis.
- April 20, 2010 |
Those hoping for glimpses of Peter Jackson's stunning foray into dream-like drama with 1994's Heavenly Creatures will be sorely disappointed in The Lovely Bones. Not only does it lack the book's emotional gravitas, but the choice of garish, Cirque du Soleil visuals end up downplaying the story's real focus.
- April 20, 2010 |
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective has been reinvented for the Jason Bourne age. Adding to the brawn and brains is a dash of romance. But the main chemistry is between Holmes and Dr. Watson, a sidekick who just can't kick the habit of helping Holmes solve another case.
- March 30, 2010 |
In addition to an old-fashioned love story complete with a gloriously throwback aesthetic, An Education poses the age-old question of which educational experiences are really the most important: what happens in the classroom or in "the real world."
- March 30, 2010 |
After burnishing her star power with the summer hit The Proposal, Sandra Bullock embodies Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side and, in the process, creates one of the year’s more memorable characters. And she’s no fictional creation.
It's nearly impossible to overstate how wonderful this movie is. Living up to its title as well as any film of recent memory, Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox is a whirlwind of madcap humor, surprising emotion and true artistry.
Just in time for Christmas—and for President Barack Obama's newly announced strategy for the war in Afghanistan—comes Brothers, director Jim Sheridan's (In America) remake of a Danish drama about sibling and generational conflict among one military family.
Though not perfect, The Men Who Stare At Goats still makes for a good time at the movies. At this time of year when many films are self-important Oscar-baits, it’s refreshing to have one that’s main goal is to simply make us laugh.
With a strikingly different tone than its swoony, spooky counterpart, New Moon actually answers the age-old question that most romantic comedy scripts never have the opportunity to: What happens after the girl actually lands the man of her dreams?
- March 16, 2010 |