The musical movie genre has seen a bit of a resurgence in recent years, but last year’s Rent and The Producers didn't really translate that well, and unfortunately the horribly over-hyped Dreamgirls follows suit.
The makers of Shrek now bring us another feature-length animation, Happily N'Ever After, a twist on the old Cinderella story. With similar animation to Shrek, though not with as hilariously funny a script, Happily N’Ever After” is generally acceptable, mindless entertainment.
Surprisingly enough, it’s not musician-turned-actor Justin Timberlake’s acting that makes Alpha Dog such a dud. Instead, it’s the faulty re-telling of a cautionary tale that’s really not worth all the effort in the first place.
The Queen provides the perfect opportunity to discuss the role of our leaders. Do they exist to lead or serve us? And how might that look, during our times of national crises? This well-made, amusing and thoroughly engaging film nudges us to wonder.
- April 27, 2007 |
While there’s certainly a few questionable moments with the movie’s worldview and a lengthy run time, "Night at the Museum" is largely a flick that both kids and adults will enjoy.
It's not a profound work, but Déjà Vu may be the first film from either director Tony Scott or producer Jerry Bruckheimer to demand a second viewing — not only because of the complicated plot, but because of the existential issues it raises about God, man and foreordination.
The new Fox Faith Film "Thr3e" is a cleverly-written psychological thriller with a fun twist at the end and a truly "Wow, I didn’t see that coming" turn, but it’s not overtly a "faith film."
Some plays make the transition to the big screen with great triumph. Others, like "The History Boys," are not as successful. On-screen, the six-time Tony-award winning play feels like a filmed play without any cinematic adaptation.
- April 20, 2007 |
In "The Last King of Scotland," director Kevin MacDonald shows a bit too much torture and dismemberment, but his talent is evident and his message is important. It’s not so much about brutal dictators as it is about Western arrogance.
- April 20, 2007 |
"Notes on a Scandal" reminds us how vulnerable we all are to sin – even the most egregious kind. We may think we’re impervious, but we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be so naïve.
- April 19, 2007 |
Although it doesn't reach the peaks of last year's Akeelah and the Bee in its acting, and goes a bit too far in its sermonizing, Freedom Writers is a fine, uplifting tale of an idealistic woman and the hope she instills in her students.
- April 17, 2007 |
Though it's derivative, Smokin' Aces also is surprisingly stylish and, for much of its running time, entertaining. But it's not noble, pure or lovely. It's an empty exercise in cinematic excess.
- April 17, 2007 |
"Bobby” is less concerned with its title character than it is with teaching 1960s history - presumably to those too young to have considered it previously. What we get is a “highlight reel” of late '60s turbulence set to the most obvious period songs imaginable.
- April 10, 2007 |
If you enjoy foreign films, you might like the latest by acclaimed Spanish writer/director Pedro Almodóvar. It’s a bit quirky and melodramatic, like all of his films, with an ambiguous moral message. Overall, however, it’s good filmmaking.
- April 09, 2007 |
"The Good Shepherd" revolves around the creation of the C.I.A. It’s the WASP version of a Mafia film, where characters kill one another without a thought, and like “The Godfather,” it’s brutal.
- April 06, 2007 |
With a mix of live animals and CG-assisted animatronics and a well-chosen cast of voices, especially Julia Roberts as Charlotte, Steve Buscemi, the perfect choice for Templeton the rat and 10-year-old Dominic Scott Kay in the key role of Wilbur, "Charlotte's Web" is just as entertaining as inspiring.
- April 03, 2007 |
There are many reasons to love a good father/son movie. Fathers so often get the shaft in pop culture and on the big screen. “The Pursuit of Happyness” not only gives us a strong portrayal of a loving father, but an uplifting lesson in perseverance and being happy even when life is rough.
Much like the more vintage Disney fare (think “Bambi”, “Cinderella” or "The Little Mermaid" ), “Happy Feet” succeeds by creating memorable characters that viewers can’t help but care about.
Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men tells a story of a woman with child, societal prejudice, and hope for a better tomorrow. But unlike the Bible’s nativity story, this account is set in the future, where the concern is physical, rather than spiritual.
Rocky’s back – although sweet Adrian is gone. And, although you’re probably bracing yourself for another bad sequel, as I was, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at this final episode in this series.
- March 23, 2007 |