In The Kingdom, the underlying theme is that all people are basically alike with the same loves, hates and desires. The problem is that it tries too hard to make Islam noble and beautiful. A film showing just as many scenes of praying, kneeling and supplication in an American church would never get made.
- September 28, 2007 |
The Greek meaning of entertain is “to inform with delight.” Lord willing, a new generation of filmmakers will begin turning the pendulum and elevating the hearts and minds of their patrons, rather than bringing them further into the gutter with films like Good Luck Chuck.
Sean Penn is one of the most talented screenwriters and directors in Hollywood, and this film may be his best yet. It’s longwinded and a bit rambling, and he romanticizes what most will consider a reckless, self-indulgent quest. But it’s a very worthy film nonetheless.
This left-wing propaganda film preaches the following message: If you are stupid enough to send your son to war in Iraq, there’s a high chance he will do drugs, torture the enemy for fun and turn so psychotic that he’ll learn to cooly murder his fellow soldiers for no good reason.
With the white-knuckle suspense of Flightplan, the “keep it real” radio host vibe of Talk to Me, and the terrifying psycho-thriller shock effect of Mr. Brooks, The Brave One is a well-crafted, entertaining film marred by excessive foul language, violence and a dark worldview.
If you’re looking for a straightforward narrative—and musicals aren’t your thing—you’ll want to bypass Across the Universe. But if you’re a big Beatles fan and love all things ‘60s, this is definitely worth the trip. Goo goo g’joob.
Even with the star power of Richard Gere and Terrence Howard, The Hunting Party is so cynical and profane that it largely fails to entertain or inform. This “hunt” is long, slow and dull—a party full of unlikable people that make a night at home a preferable alternative.
Even under the careful eye of director James Mangold, the script for 3:10 to Yuma lacks a focused, coherent plot. And without that, even stellar performances from Russell Crowe and Christian Bale can’t make up the difference.
This film could have easily been melodramatic, which would have relegated it to an “After School Special.” Instead, Stephanie Daley offers an excellent character study and a glimpse into the world of teenage pregnancy—with a powerful message about why it should be avoided at all cost.
Sometimes a low brainpower movie is the perfect escapist entertainment. But even then, ping-pong farce Balls of Fury still doesn’t deliver. After all, the filmmakers’ idea of a good laugh is making fun of an Asian (because he’s Asian), a fat guy (because he’s fat) or an elderly man who swears a lot (because he swears a lot).
- August 31, 2007 |
Resurrecting the Champ has plenty of redeeming values and will likely be a great choice for families this summer. Josh Hartnett does a fine job as the husband, father and reporter-on-the-ropes, while Samuel L. Jackson is fabulous as the resurrected champ.
- August 24, 2007 |
Although lacking the whip-smart, satirical edge of the novel it’s adapted from, The Nanny Diaries is still a pleasant surprise. In fact, there’s even a few food-for-thought moments on priorities and parenting that aren’t even patronizing or particularly cloying. Imagine that.
- August 24, 2007 |
Even if you can get past all the blasphemy and disturbing sexual themes that form the bedrock of the “commandments” in The Ten, there’s simply nothing here. It doesn’t convey any message—save that anyone who believes in the Ten Commandments is an idiot.
- August 17, 2007 |
What would happen if a space shuttle crashed on earth, carrying an alien virus on the thousands of scattered parts? Answering this question, The Invasion borrows from the old Invasion of the Body Snatchers without totally copying the film. And it’s good and creepy!
- August 17, 2007 |
This film by writer/director Jeffrey Blitz pulls back the veil on high school debating, showing us the popular rapid-fire speech pattern called “spreading.” He also portrays what it’s like to be in high school, without all the clichés that plague other school films.
- August 10, 2007 |