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.
If you’ve seen Rush Hour 1 or 2, then you’ve seen 3. While the first one was clever, edgy and funny, the second paled but managed to hold its own. Now, numero tres is like warmed over scrambled eggs: you can choke it down, but you really hate paying for it.
With some surprisingly good messages and some decent acting from a new cast, it’s a shame that Daddy Day Camp is such a bad sequel. The plot is predictable, and loaded with the two Hollywood “requirements” for kid films: body humor and bratty children.
- August 08, 2007 |
In The Bourne Ultimatum, the identity of Jason Bourne is, at last, resolved, while communicating an uncomfortable message about current events in the post-9/11 world: Those who “volunteer” to “kill the bad guys” are the victims of power-mad warmongers unconcerned about the humanity of their charges.
Based on the TV cartoon series, Underdog has naturally been updated for the big screen. Diehard fans are bound to be disappointed, and parents won’t be mesmerized. The real joy, however, will come from watching this with the kids who will love it.
With so much inherent drama, it’s surprising how artificial Arctic Tale feels. Impressively filmed but driven at times by tension that appears to have been created more in the editing room than by events that actually unfolded on camera, this nature film is a mixed bag.
A feature-length movie based on the animated TV series, The Simpsons Movie includes all the antics, both positive and negative, that those familiar with the show expect. Such antics will prove too much for some Christian fans of the show, while others may see them, in context, as meaningful satire.
Most contemporary science fiction films opt for mind-numbing special effects over finely crafted plot and characters. Not so with the poignant Sunshine which marries heart-stopping suspense with thought-provoking moral quandaries to create one of the most fascinating space movies in years.
Those hoping for a simple boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-and-girl-get-back-together-and-live-happily-ever-after story will get far better comfort food with No Reservations—even if it’s more of a heart-wrenching drama than a by-the-numbers romantic comedy.