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'Tweens, Teens Will Be Wowed by Jonas Bros in 3D

The popularity of Jonas Brothers rivals that of The Beatles back in the day (in the U.S. anyway). It’s a fact that’s not entirely lost on the band as a clip from the Fab Four’s first full-length movie rolls in the background of one scene of Jo Bros' first movie.

Street Fighter Delivers Blow After Blow to Viewers

Street Fighter should be a martial-arts extravaganza, but the fight scenes are infrequent, unsurprising and dull. Blame that on director Andrzej Bartkowiak, who in 2005 helmed the forgettable Doom.

Materialistic Shopaholic Is Woefully Misguided

Not only is Confessions of a Shopaholic a cautionary tale of excess gone seriously awry, but it’s a colossal embarrassment to my gender. With a heroine so self-involved that she makes ditzy Elle Woods (of Legally Blonde fame) look like a Rhodes scholar in comparison, it's woefully misguided from the start.

Love of Literature Extolled in Inkheart

Inkheart brings Cornelia Funke's much-loved novel to life without losing the glorious detail and character development in the process—an essential for great literature and an oft-neglected feature of many novels-turned-movies.

Another Phone-in for Martin in Pink Panther 2

While the originals in The Pink Panther series were fueled by comic inspiration, invention and wit, the contemporary rip-offs are barely even trying. The difference is best exemplified by comparing Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau and Steve Martin's pale imitation.

Madea Goes to Jail but Davis Brings the Drama

In light of Oscar nominee Viola Davis' soaring reputation, it's no surprise that the actress takes Tyler Perry's latest tale, Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail, and gives it more dramatic weight than expected.

Tired Formula Gives Gran Torino Some Mileage

Clint Eastwood’s performance as Walt Kowalski in Gran Torino is the film’s highlight—an update on the tough-guy persona he perfected as “Dirty Harry” Callahan. He clings to his older ways in a neighborhood that has changed significantly.

The International Is Densely Plotted Yet Riveting

Literary thrillers are a staple of airplane rides and beachside vacations. The International is their cinematic equivalent, and though it’s as instantly disposable as those paperback counterparts it’s also as equally riveting.

He's Just Not That into You Is Engaging Yet Disturbing

Considering that the source material was a relatively short, best-selling self-help book, He's Just Not That into You serves as an insightful yet equally disturbing barometer of our culture's perspective on relationships.

Revolutionary Road Kicks the American Dream to the Curb

Revolutionary Road juxtaposes the idyllic image of the American Dream with the deterioration of a marriage that has become a nightmare—via an ironic casting reunion of Titanic stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

Zwick's Defiance Reduces Life's Horrors

Edward Zwick’s films feel like they’re more interested in making $100 million than anything else. Defiance is no different as it reduces life’s horrors to genre elements, taking it as an opportunity to shoot bad guys and blow things up real good.

All Talk and Little Action in Valkyrie

Valkyrie is a surprisingly factual narrative about one of the most celebrated of attempts (by conspirators from within the Nazi ranks) to kill Hitler. The film feels more like a documentary, however, as far too many people are talking and doing very little.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • June 01, 2009 |
  • comments
Thanks to Liam Neeson, Taken Works

With echoes of Harrison Ford’s 1988 Frantic, where he searched for his wife through Parisian back alleys, Taken is a decent thriller. It could have been more creative and more subtle, but it works, largely due to Liam Neeson’s acting skills.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • June 01, 2009 |
  • comments
Less Is More for the Timely Wendy and Lucy

This story is extremely timely in these recessionary times, as well, and the message is one of compassion. Wendy’s plight is largely a result of those nagging little problems that life throws in our direction. Without money, transportation or friends to help, desperation can easily set in.

Fanboys Is for You, Star Wars Fans

Attention, all nerds. If you can’t get enough of the Star Wars franchise, if you’ve ever pretended to be Luke Skywalker, if you’ve ever acted like you were going to kill someone with your light saber, then tune in. Fanboys is for you.

Not too Late for Love in Last Chance Harvey

Writer/director Joel Hopkins infuses Last Chance Harvey with a gentle urgency that portrays love in a realistic, very credible way. Starring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, it will leave viewers—especially older ones—smiling in recognition.

James' Comedic Talents Showcased in Paul Blart

Kevin James can take the most standard comic scenarios and spin them into comedy. He can make anything funny and anyone laugh—and he does just that in Paul Blart: Mall Cop, one of the best of its kind since Tommy Boy.

Benjamin Button Is Curiously Short on Life Lessons

Always lovely to look at, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button from director David Fincher, written by Eric Roth, provides so many captivating images that it takes a while for viewers to discover how little the film has to say.

Politics, Press and Principle Comprise Nothing But the Truth

Nothing But the Truth takes on a story ripped from the headlines: that of New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who was jailed after she refused to reveal the source who revealed the identity of CIA operative Valarie Plume. There, however, the similarities between the two stories end.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • April 29, 2009 |
  • comments
Don't Bother RSVPing for Bride Wars

Not only is every stereotype about women and weddings acted out in the course of 90 very long minutes of Bride Wars, but the main characters are about as likeable as leftover fruitcake long after the holidays have passed.

Example: "Gen 1:1" "John 3" "Moses" "trust"
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