Saturday, April 19, 2014

Movie Review

Friday, April 23, 2010

"Death at a Funeral" is sporadically amusing.

Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence portray brothers at their father's funeral at the home of their mother (Loretta Divine). Along for the jive is Tracy Morgan as a family friend.

Everybody has issues. Even their issues have issues. Rock and his wife (Regina Hall) frustrate mom because they haven't produced a grandchild. Zoe Saldana has an inappropriate boyfriend (James Marsden), in the eyes of her father. An uncle (Danny Glover) could keep a pharmacist busy 24-7. Luke Wilson is a whiny ex-boyfriend.

Friday, April 16, 2010

"Date Night" puts the sparks back in the romantic comedy genre.

The light comedy, with a dash of adventure and mayhem, is an entertaining mainstream movie about keeping the life in married life. There are some thoughtful moments, too, about trust, fidelity and keeping the home fires burning.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

For movie reviewers and entertainment writers who make sport of the Melodrama Industrial Complex that is Nicholas Sparks, his book titles alone are target-ready: "Message in a Bottle," "A Walk to Remember," The Notebook," "Nights in Rodanthe," "Dear John" and now, "The Last Song."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The humorous, adventurous and eye-popping 3-D animated feature, "How to Train Your Dragon," slays the myth of the dragon-slayer.

An unusually-named young Viking, Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel), is an apprentice to Gobber (Craig Ferguson), the village smithy teaching Dragon Fighting 101.

The village is constantly attacked by dragons. Hiccup's dad, Viking leader Stoick (Gerard Butler), worries that the skinny lad won't be up to the task.

Friday, March 26, 2010

We had to wait quite a while, after the last chopper lifted off the roof of the American embassy in Saigon, before the first great Vietnam War film appeared. That was "The Deer Hunter" in 1978, fully five years after the war's end. That epic was followed by Coppola's "Apocalypse Now" a year later and Stone's "Platoon" in 1986.

All three films predate the Internet age, and perhaps it's a sign of our fast-paced times that we already have two outstanding films about the war in Iraq, while American troops remain in large numbers on the ground there.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Bounty Hunter" is an amusing romantic comedy with some out-loud laughs.

It's a throwback to the caper film of decades of yore on the order or, rather, disorder of "Something Wild" (1986) and "The Freshman" (1990) for its mix of shenanigans and small-time crime.

Nicole Hurley (Jennifer Aniston) is a New York Daily News reporter investigating a story about a man's plunge from a building that may or may not have been a suicide.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Remember Me" is memorable.

Robert Pattison, an executive producer of the film, eclipses his "Twlight" fame, proving his acting prowess is deeper than pancake white facial makeup.

Pattison is one reason to remember to see "Remember Me," an emotionally-charged drama with a surprising make that shocking beginning and ending. We won't play spoiler here.

Tyler (Pattison) is an aimless college-age student estranged from his Wall Street executive father (a fine Pierce Brosnan) and still mourning the death of his brother.

Monday, March 15, 2010

PASADENA, Calif. – Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have gone to war together before: On the 1998 film "Saving Private Ryan" and on HBO's 2001 World War II miniseries "Band of Brothers."

After "Brothers," mail poured in from soldiers who recognized in the miniseries their own experiences in Europe and also from veterans of Pacific battles who wished that backdrop had also been included.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

In director Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" Alice wields a sacred sword to battle the Jabberwocky dragon.

What Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, would make of this, one can only imagine.

Imagination is key to this re-imagining of "Wonderland," owing as much to Burton's rococo style ("Edward Scissorhands," "Sleepy Hollow," "Sweeney Todd") as Carroll.

This is not the Disney version. This is the Burton version. And it's dark, not only because it's in 3-D.

Carroll's original characters are intact. Their renderings, especially in 3-D, are phenomenal.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

"The Messenger" is one Oscar-nominated film you don't want to miss. It's unsettling, compelling and important.

The film tells the stories of Captain Tony Stone (Oscar actor nominated Woody Harrelson) and Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery (an excellent Ben Foster, "X Men: The Last Stand," "Alpha Dog," "3:10 to Yuma," TV's "Six Feet Under").

Stone and Montgomery deliver the news from the Army Casualty Notification Office about the deaths of sons or daughters serving as soldiers in the Iraq War to the next of kin of some seven families.