10,000 B.C. works as sheer spectacle, but its story is forgettable. Its unknown actors make an impression because of their striking looks, but it’s hard to fathom what their future roles might be based on this special-effects driven extravaganza.
What ultimately lifts Penelope from been-there-seen-that, “believing in yourself” status are the charming performances from leads Christina Ricci, James McAvoy—and even Penelope’s hideously superficial mother, played by Catherine O’Hara.
- March 02, 2008 |
Despite its stunning cinematography, Romulus, My Father plods along, moving from one scene to another, without reaching any real resolution. Director Richard Roxburgh doesn’t seem to have any message, either, which makes the film feel shallow.
- February 29, 2008 |
What could have been a forgettable thriller, Vantage Point instead gives the audience something to puzzle over. Such a film certainly takes advantage of the current popularity of “tell the story out of order” television shows like “Lost.”
Be Kind Rewind starts as a tale about the passing of the torch and serves as a wistful look at the fading days of video-rental shops. It evolves into a sci-fi slapstick comedy before settling into a series of cinematic recreations that play like gag reels. Yet somehow, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Charlie Bartlett is a well-made, funny but sad, targeted look at the very real emotions that plague our children. It is an enlightening case study on the cynicism, meaninglessness, relativism, disillusionment with authority, and desperate search for authenticity that teens deal with daily.
Jumper could have been the start of an entertaining franchise had it registered a pulse. Unable to clear even lowest of plot thresholds, however, it deserves to make a quick trip through theaters and materialize on video shelves imminently.
- February 15, 2008 |
Unlike the mindless frivolity of Fool’s Gold or the by-the-numbers cuteness of 27 Dresses, Definitely, Maybe is a well-conceived love story that doesn’t insult your intelligence. Seriously.
- February 14, 2008 |
The typical magical, fantasy-type outlook pervades The Spiderwick Chronicles' dark worldview. Creatures, spells and potions, and flying and time travel abound. But there are also some interesting spiritual parallels that are worthy of discussion.
- February 14, 2008 |
The Eye, a remake of a film directed by Danny and Oxide Pang, makes the brothers 0 for 2 in American films they directed or that were remade from their original work. It’s deadly dull—worse than 2007’s tepid The Messengers—and should vanish quickly.
- February 04, 2008 |
The target audience for Blonde Ambition is a mystery. With such patently silly production values, it seems geared to young girls and fans of Jessica Simpson. But its language and sexuality make it only appropriate for older teens or adults.
- January 29, 2008 |
The new film Rambo, directed by and starring Sylvester Stallone, presents an interesting case study on the idea of suffering and reacquaints us with John Rambo, a troubled Vietnam vet who has a hard time overcoming his killer instincts.
- January 28, 2008 |