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July 2008
More of the Same for Ferrell and Reilly in Step Brothers

If you are a Will Ferrell fan who can overlook the film’s flaws and ignore the non-stop coarseness, there may be some laughs in Step Brothers for you. If not, the trashiness greatly overshadows the funny.

 
A Lot to Learn from American Teen

Even if your little Tommy or Sally is more virtuous than the teenagers seen here, at the very least it's fair to say that while levels of conduct vary, American Teen honestly portrays how every teenager feels—and does so in compelling fashion.

 
Powerful Dark Knight a Solid Superhero Film

Driven by Heath Ledger's solid performance, The Dark Knight strengthens the franchise’s reputation under director Chris Nolan, who lays a stable foundation for future films in the series.

 
Mamma Mia! Makes Lively ABBA Tunes Seem Dull

Before watching the screen version of Mamma Mia!, I couldn’t imagine any way to make the music from ABBA seem boring. Yet suffering through Meryl Streep’s and Pierce Brosnan’s failed attempts to deliver these upbeat standards has changed my mind.

 
Space Chimps Isn't Out of This World

In Space Chimps, not only is the low-grade CG on par with most Saturday morning cartoons, but the lack of vitality and movement in the characters themselves stands in the way of any sort of human connection.

 
It's a Bumpy Journey to the Center of the Earth

Films that appeal to the family are so rare that whenever one comes along that doesn’t impress as much as it should, it’s tough to break the news. Walden Media's Journey to the Center of the Earth is such a film.

 
Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy II Not Quite Golden

Fans of Director Guillermo del Toro’s other films will detect a certain sameness to some of the creatures shown in Hellboy II. It also lags a little with special effects taking prominence over story and character development.

 
There’s Not Much Incentive to Meet Dave

The nicest thing anyone can say about Meet Dave is that thankfully, it’s not as bad as Norbit. Once again, Eddie Murphy tries potentially family-friendly fare and this time ends up not quite a total bomb—but close.

 
Will Smith Can't Save Hancock

Will Smith’s latest certainly isn’t boring or lacking energy. If anything, it overcompensates. But all the bells and whistles eventually can’t distract from the fact that Hancock completely falls off the rails halfway through.

 
Kit Kittredge Not Just for Girls But for Generations

Kit Kittredge: An American Girl is not just a movie for little girls but for generations of girls—not simply to enjoy but to share, to connect through, and possibly even bond in ways they never even considered or thought possible.

July 2008
Absurd Wanted Attempts to Mimic Better Films

To say Wanted is far-fetched, would be the understatement of the year. Much of the film rips off much better action movies like The Matrix and Batman Begins—two films that are infinitely more plausible.

June 2008
Imaginative Wall·E Connects Dots Between Man and Machine

Pixar has done it again! With an unlikely robotic protagonist, Wall·E's message is all about pure, unadulterated love that looks out for the best interests of each other-and ultimately, mankind at large.

 
Bonneville Road Trip Barely Makes It

As the debut of writer/director Christopher Rowley, Bonneville—but only barely. It’s full of the usual road trip clichés (the road-tripping gals pick up a handsome hitchhiker and one falls in love with a trucker), but it lacks substance.

  • Annabelle Robertson |
  • June 26, 2008 |
  • comments
 
Get Smart a Truly Hilarious Spy-Spoof Update

Surprisingly, the filmmakers set themselves apart from the typical 1970s “television to film” retread by creating a truly hilarious film, one that updates the spy spoof without the typical comedic contempt.

 
The Love Guru Falls Far Short of Enlightenment

Be warned: The Love Guru is far worse than you think. In fact, the only “comedy” that slightly edges it out in terms of truly lowbrow, adolescent boy humor was the recent barely-seen stoner flick, Strange Wilderness.

 
Gory Happening Doesn’t Make a Twitch of Sense

Not only are there no tidy (or even quasi-rational) answers to why people are spontaneously killing themselves in M. Night Shyamalan’s latest, but the movie actually gets more confusing—and eye-roll inducing—as the minutes tick on by.

 
The Incredible Hulk Unremarkable Comic Book Fare

Summer action movies are often nothing more than mindless explosions and special effects. Occasionally these popcorn flicks offer something a little deeper. With The Incredible Hulk, clearly the filmmakers are reaching for the latter... with mixed results.

 
Kids and Adults Will Get a Kick Out of Kung Fu Panda

Pursuing your dreams—no matter how big or small—has been a time-honored theme in many a kid’s movie. And the new Jack Black vehicle, Kung Fu Panda, doesn’t stray too far from form.

 
You Don’t Mess with the Zohan Is Good Advice

You Don’t Mess with the Zohan isn’t merely the name of Adam Sandler’s new comedy; it’s also good advice. If you were to try and take this movie on—one predicated on sexual jokes, ethnic stereotypes and ludicrous sight-gags—it would simply beat you down.

May 2008
More Manolos and Meaninglessness in Sex and the City

In the midst of the meaninglessness, a movie like Sex and the City does manage to offer a powerful reminder. It demonstrates, yet again, how utterly pointless life is—and how difficult relationships are—without a greater purpose for living.

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