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September 2006
"Flyboys" Barely Gets off the Ground

In its desire to reach a broad audience, "Flyboys" intersperses action with romance, settling for clichés in both instances. The bland performances from a mostly undistinguished cast don’t help matters either.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • September 27, 2006 |
  • comments
 
Penn Dominates a Handsome "All the King's Men"

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • September 22, 2006 |
  • comments
 
Children Will Be Inspired by Christopher Reeves' "Hero"

"Everyone's Hero" was the dream of the late Christopher and Dana Reeves. Throughout the film, it is clear they wanted to inspire children to value little life experiences along the road so that, if handled properly, they can all help when life calls us up to bat.

 
 
Hollywoodland Tells a Fallen Superhero's Hopeless Tale

Superman Returns revived the superhero's franchise, but Hollywoodland gives us a much more serious side to the Superman story. Unfortunately, this tale of the rise and fall of actor George Reeves delivers the same mixed results as Bryan Singer's over-hyped vision of the superhero.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • September 11, 2006 |
  • comments
August 2006
How to Eat Fried Worms is a Questionable Concoction

How to Eat Fried Worms is not a cinematic delicacy by any means, but neither is it difficult to digest. Like a decent fast-food meal, it’s bound to please kids but leave adults thinking about their next entrée.

  • Christian Hamaker |
  • August 30, 2006 |
  • comments
 
Invincible Triumphs Over Usual Sports Movie Clichés

Before one assumes that Invincible follows all the sports movie cliches, it doesn't. Instead, the movie is the true story of the rather unlikely NFL career of Vince Papale.

 
Tricky Illusionist Plays With Our Expectations

Not all it could be, but it has one big trick up its sleeve — and it’s a doozy. Is it magic, manipulation, or a little of both? If it’s judged to be the former, the film will prove rewarding; if the latter, the film will feel like a cheat.

 
 
Talented Cast Makes Little Miss Sunshine Glow

Much about this independent film is formulaic and clichéd. But brilliant acting by a colorful cast has deservedly won the film high marks from critics.

August 2006
Value of Fathers, Role Models Highlighted in Barnyard

Several recent movies, such as “Chicken Little” and “Curious George,” highlighted issues related to the need for good fathering. In the same vein, “Barnyard” is a vivid portrayal of the need for children to model their lives after strong, sacrificial role models.

 
Talladega Nights Takes the Lowbrow Course

Ultimately kind to its simpleminded characters, and all demographics represented. Unfortunately, the movie has decided that you can’t be funny without also being over-the-top vulgar. Too bad, since Talladega could have been one of 2006’s funniest.

July 2006
Crud Outweighs Character in "The Ant Bully"

There is something mechanical about "The Ant Bully," and the writers seem to rely heavily on scatological humor to juice up their formulaic script. My eleven-year-old son insists that “Kids love that stuff, Mom." But anyone over eleven might wish they had held out for “Barnyard,” which opens in theaters next week.

 
Miami Vice Brings Nothing New to the Cop Movie Genre

There is no lack of "spoof-worthy" material in television's Miami Vice. The show's '80s outfits and décor are generally remembered by most with a chuckle. Yet director Michael Mann, who was involved in the creation of the original, has taken his new film in exactly the opposite direction.

 
Lady in the Water Not a Typical Shyamalan Splash

Although not quite on par with some of M. Night Shyamalan's earlier work, Lady in the Water is the only one of this director's films that might be appropriate for older children. Not a rigorous workout, it's a nice dip during the arid summer moviegoing season.

 
Scoop Sags Under Weight of Allen's Self-Serving Script

It’s somewhat surprising to discover that Allen has followed the triumph of "Match Point" with yet another light, dialogue-heavy comedy that runs out of gas long before it reaches the finish line. It’s essentially two people talking, then three people talking — but it’s only fitfully amusing.

 
 
Not Even Owen Wilson Can Save "Dupree" From Being a Dud

You, Me and Dupree

 
Pirates 2 - Dead Man's Chest Contains a Few Jewels

Open up Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and what do you find? A few pearls of laughter and some gem performances amid the rot of a second film in a planned trilogy that goes on much too long, then makes no effort to provide a satisfying ending.

 
Obsession with Meaningless Satirized in The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada gives the 99 percent of us regular folks a humorous, insightful, satirical glimpse into the world of those obsessed by and enslaved to the colossal business of high fashion.

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