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.
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a musical comedy make it to the big screen that was worth the trouble of heading out to the local cinema-plex. Yet easily the year’s most entertaining film thus far, the bright and cheerful Hairspray, gives us a reason to like musicals again.
- July 20, 2007 |
Factory Girl fails because it rests upon such a superficial script. The story never delves beneath the surface to explore why Andy Warhol was the way he was. And, while Edie Sedgwick’s problems are alluded to, they are never dealt with other than in the most trite way.
- July 17, 2007 |
Last year’s Little Miss Sunshine proved there was an audience for a quirky indie film about a dysfunctional family. And naturally, when a film like that meets with unexpected success, it’s not long before copycat efforts follow—like the largely unimpressive Introducing the Dwights.
- July 16, 2007 |
In Talk to Me, Don Cheadle’s character’s slogan is “keep it real.” And while many critics are crying for “realness” in movies, I’m hoping the pendulum is allowed to swing back to the middle with realness that doesn’t barrage with clutter (sex, violence, language, nudity) that’s hard to erase.
- July 16, 2007 |
In all the Harry Potter movies, witchcraft, wizardry, magic, spells and fleshly power look very appealing. The Order of the Phoenix stays away from some of the more overt dark images and teaches (whether intentionally or not) some interesting spiritual lessons.
- July 11, 2007 |
Opening July 4, Werner Herzog’s Rescue Dawn is a celebration of America and the spirit that motivates our servicemen. But like a great celebration that goes on a little too long, it has a few lulls, some uncomfortable silences and certain excesses.
- July 04, 2007 |