G.I. Joe's reported $175 million budget can be seen up on the screen, as some of the film's special effects are effectively eye-catching. But viewers are left with a story that feels half-formed at best. Apparently not much of that $175 million went to the screenwriters.
- August 10, 2009 |
In addition to fantastic acting from all of the leads (Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci), the skillful direction and winning screenplay from Nora Ephron help seal the winsome appeal of Julie & Julia.
- August 07, 2009 |
Funny People, the latest Judd Apatow shock comedy, doesn’t have enough of a positive message to overcome its stream of bawdy stand-up comedy and profanity-laced script. Additionally, the film’s excessive length only magnifies its negative elements.
This movie's banal title pretty much tells you everything you need to know. There are aliens in the attic, and there's no compelling reason for the audience to care. Surely Hollywood can offer far more substantive and entertaining kiddie fare, can't it?
While adherence to romantic-comedy genre rules and staples lacks the inspiration of its premise, the refreshing spin of (500) Days of Summer is found primarily in first-time director Marc Webb’s style.
In The Answer Man, Arlen Faber (Jeff Daniels) is a writer who doesn’t know his subject very well. In fact, when it comes to people, let alone matters of faith, Arlen, the author of Me and God, couldn’t be more clueless.
Despite a covert team of “highly trained” guinea pigs, G-Force is jazzed up only by a 3-D presentation. But even those moments deliver few eye-popping delights. It doesn't take special glasses to realize nearly every other element is strictly one-dimensional.
- July 24, 2009 |
What prevents The Ugly Truth from contributing anything worthwhile to the rom-com genre is its sheer absurdity. Not only does the dialogue—and attempts at humor—scrape the bottom of the barrel morally, but there aren’t even 10 seconds of this forgettable movie that are believable.
- July 24, 2009 |
Juxtaposing a far more ominous tone with the clumsy romantic entanglements of its teenage protagonists, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is easily the funniest, darkest and most ambitious film of the successful series.
- July 15, 2009 |
Key to the success of the The Hurt Locker is that its agenda is neither pro-war nor anti-war. Instead, the film is a look at the psychology of the men who go to war, and especially of those who willingly take part in the most dangerous aspects of conflict.
- July 13, 2009 |
Chéri is a period-piece about shallow, immoral and deceptive people, yet its ultimate observations are deep, its resolution moral, and its strength is in how deceptively it reaches those conclusions.
As with all comedies built on outrageous gags, Brüno goes too far. There are a few laughs along the way, but a larger cost to be paid. One can only imagine what further images will comprise future “outrageous” comedies now that Brüno has lowered the bar.
Filmmakers decided Jodi Picoult’s novel, My Sister’s Keeper, had big-screen potential. They also agreed that the original ending was a little too much. So in a move that’s been widely debated online, the story’s conclusion has been softened a little.
Certainly Sam Mendes' direction in Away We Go bears part of the burden of the film's success. And while his guidance is certainly found wanting, the mood Mendes sets largely masks what is a superficial and absurd concoction.
Whatever Works sums up the philosophy of the film’s main character and of director Woody Allen himself. The filmmaker has lived out a no-judgments view of human nature that is reflected in his film scripts and characters.