That we are to be moved by the big-screen version of Elizabeth Gilbert's yearlong journey of self-discovery in Eat Pray Love is absurd. That the memoir on which it's based (and is reverent to) has become a phenomenon is downright disturbing.
Like watching Simon LeBon attempting to bust a move while singing "Hungry Like the Wolf" during a Duran Duran reunion tour, you can't stop wondering why 64-year-old Sylvester Stallone, who wrote, directed and stars in The Expendables, simply didn't quit while he was ahead.
Gamers will understand the structure and hodgepodge approach to storytelling in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World—or so I'm told—but the rest of us, who demand a smidgeon of narrative and stylistic consistency, will wonder what this film has wrought.
For anyone who loves Will Ferrell's brand of absurd man-child humor, you get more of that in The Other Guys—but only in fits and starts. If his early films felt consistently inspired, this one follows the trend of feeling more like a work-for-hire. Ferrell's just coasting here, as is the whole movie.
- August 06, 2010 |
Though many independent films favor an equally bleak canvas for telling such a sad story, Kisses is striking and beautifully conceived thanks to gorgeous black-and-white photography and an enchanting score, even when the storyline turns dark and dangerous.
- August 02, 2010 |
Aside from Toy Story 3 and Despicable Me, kids have really gotten the short end of the cinematic stick this summer. And sadly, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, which is so bad it should've gone straight to video, doesn't exactly up the ante.
The trouble with Charlie St. Cloud is that the screenplay tries to be so many things (part Field of Dreams, part The Sixth Sense, part The Notebook), that it doesn't do anything particularly well, including generating the necessary waterworks to win over its target demographic.
The latest adaptation from Walden Media of a beloved series of children's books is unobjectionable G-rated family entertainment. It's not very cinematic, nor is it memorably performed by its lead actresses, but a charming performance by John Corbett as the girls' father helps the film immensely.
- July 23, 2010 |
The standard Angelina Jolie summer action flick is a generic retread of better work from waning genres, and Salt is no different. This Manchurian Candidate meets The Fugitive isn't so much a throwback to a Cold War thriller as it is a relic.
- July 23, 2010 |
Cyrus is a peculiar mixed bag. To say it's a complete failure would be unfairly reductive, though it doesn't fully succeed either. There's something very interesting going on here that can't be denied, yet neither can the sense that it fails to form into a complete whole.
- July 16, 2010 |
Inception, the new film from director Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Memento) is complex, and its story about exploiting the dreams of others has rewards for those who can follow its story across multiple levels. But ultimately, it doesn't quite coalesce.
- July 15, 2010 |
Even with Jerry Bruckheimer's name attached to the project, there's nothing remotely spellbinding about The Sorcerer's Apprentice. It's a classic case of a clunky, horribly clichéd story further destroyed by a series of outlandish stunts and less-than-superb CGI trickery.
- July 14, 2010 |
Despicable Me bears some resemblance to Pixar's The Incredibles and has some of the irreverence of the Shrek series, but feels more like a missed opportunity than a home run.
- July 09, 2010 |
From a purely technical perspective, Eclipse gives its devoted fanbase plenty to cheer about. Not only is the production value far more upscale, but the CGI has drastically improved, making it feel more like a blockbuster than a made-for-TV movie. As far as the storytelling goes, there's also far more at stake.
- June 30, 2010 |
The new Adam Sandler comedy Grown Ups is the movie equivalent of a skit that airs between 12:30 and 1 a.m. on Saturday Night Live. A lot of it falls flat, but if you're in a forgiving mood, you might find yourself chuckling despite your better judgment.
- June 25, 2010 |
With this summer's light-as-air but still thoroughly enjoyable popcorn flick Knight and Day, Tom Cruise should officially be back in the audience's good graces. After all, this is the Tom Cruise we all like—funny, charismatic and yes, slightly unhinged.
- June 23, 2010 |
Depicting the lives of the rural poor facing dire circumstances, Winter's Bone is not a pretty picture. Yet it is an artful film with a harrowing ending that delivers a punch to the gut that, unlike the effect of mainstream summer movies, lingers long after the closing credits.
- June 21, 2010 |