Burlesque will play better or worse depending on what you like to see in a musical—a well told story or big-screen, razzle-dazzle music numbers. The best musicals have both, the biggest failures neither. Burlesque splits the difference.
For those who enjoy nothing more than a big, loud, escapist flick with a little takeaway value on a holiday weekend, don't worry. Faster isn't a turkey. If anything, it's the right move forward for the actor formerly known as The Rock.
Part Love Story, part Up in the Air with a smidge of the satirical spirit of Thank You for Smoking, Love & Other Drugs never quite knows what it is, and the story ultimately suffers for it. Truth be told, bothering to label it "good" is probably too strong of praise.
Unlike in Conviction, where the protagonist places her hope in the law and becomes her brother's own defense counsel, in The Next Three Days Russell Crowe's character decides to go rogue instead by basically borrowing a page from TV's Prison Break.
- November 19, 2010 |
The premise is simple, the execution is competent and the film delivers the requisite amount of crowd-pleasing thrills. And yet, the film feels a little too easy in the depiction of its main characters, who are sketched out with scant information about their motivations.
- November 12, 2010 |
Much like 1987's Broadcast News, there's actually a deeper debate that elevates the light and sunny romantic comedy of Morning Glory into something more substantial, namely the discussion of what's "real" news.
- November 10, 2010 |
Much like its R-rated Planes, Trains & Automobiles predecessor that starred Steve Martin and the late John Candy back in 1987, Due Date is also the madcap tale of two guys who would never take a cross-country road trip together, if extenuating circumstances weren't involved.
Danny Boyle's 127 Hours takes you through the ringer, sure to elicit audible (and collective) gasps, groans and shrieks before concluding in one cathartic exhale of relief and redemption. It's not the kind of movie to engender multiple viewings, but one is enough to sear it into your mind forever.
Although it could have resulted in a unique hybrid of different styles, Monsters is unique more for its failure to generate any well-earned emotions—or thrills. Better to rent District 9, Cloverfield or The Host, which work much better on their own terms, than to try to make do with this.
It's déjà vu all over again with Megamind, yet another superhero story in which super-villains go to great lengths to undermine the good guys. Think The Incredibles, Despicable Me, Shrek Forever After or… well, we've seen a lot of this sort of story recently.
Is there a broader point here? The filmmakers may be saving it for yet another sequel (which is sure to come), although after two films with the same style and approach to the material, one can't help but wonder if the filmmakers have figured out the point of their own story, or if they're just stringing viewers along.
- October 25, 2010 |
While celebrated director Clint Eastwood certainly has a knack for choosing compelling thematic hooks for his films, Hereafter, like last year's plodding, passion-starved Invictus, is simply too hollow, hokey and one-sided to make any sort of lasting impact.
- October 22, 2010 |
Stone is about religion and Christianity on one level, but it's not entirely satisfying on those subjects, nor is it particularly revelatory. The best that can be said is that it raises some intriguing ideas about the nature of faith and our ability (or lack thereof) to do good in the world.
- October 18, 2010 |
Based on a true story, Conviction delivers a life-affirming message about the pursuit of truth and the love of family. It's a powerful story wrapped in an unassuming package, but its adult language and content make it suitable only for more mature audiences.
Like this past summer's surprise hit The Expendables, the bulk of Red's cast may qualify for AARP card-carrying status—Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, etc. But it's a serious mistake to underestimate their strength.