Saturday, July 26, 2014
     

Movie Review

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The title of "Grown Ups" is ironic, given the movie's juvenile humor.

Adam Sandler co-wrote the script with Fred Wolf, former "Saturday Night Live Writer," who wrote the screenplays for "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star" and "Joe Dirt."

Sandler also wrote or co-wrote the screenplays for his movies, "You Don't Mess with the Zohan," "Little Nicky," "The Waterboy," "Happy Gilmore" and "Billy Madison."

So, you know what to expect with "Grown Ups": tart and often humorous observations about perceptions, mistakes and learning from them.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thrills, chills and Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, too.

"Knight and Day" is a nifty thriller, perhaps the blockbuster season's most sheerly entertaining to date.

As someone asked at the screening: "What's this film about?"

"Tom Cruise," was the reply.

Indeed, "Knight and Day" is on Cruise control. Visceral action scenes are right out of "Die Hard," "True Lies" and James Bond movies. The plot is intriguing as in the "Bourne" films. Visual elements recall scenes from director Alfred Hitchcock's "North by Northwest," "The Man Who Knew Too Much" and "To Catch a Thief."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

After 11 years ("Toy Story 2," 1999) and some 15 years after the original ("Toy Story," 1995), favorite friends return to the big screen in "Toy Story 3," this time in 3-D.

It's fun to see Cowboy Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) and the gang back, including Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles), Jessie (Joan Cusack) and Rex (Wallace Shawn). New toys include Lotso (Ned Beatty), a not-so-cuddly purple bear with a strawberry scent.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"The Karate Kid" is emotionally-charged melodrama with a winning performance by Jaden Smith and a performance by Jackie Chan that should please fans.

The movie is not so much a remake of the John G. Avildsen ("Rocky") directed 1984 movie and 1986 and 1989 sequels starring Ralph Macchio as the "kid" and Noriyuki "Pat" Morita (who died in 2005) as his mentor. It's a new take on the theme of martial arts, or any sports activity, for that matter, in teaching respect, discipline, dedication, the work ethnic and moral values.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"The Secret in Their Eyes," the 2010 Foreign Language Film Academy Award winner, sneaks up and leaves you with an overwhelming sense of having experienced greatness. It is an astonishing film.

The story centers on Benjamin Esposito (Ricardo Darín), a retired Argentina criminal court investigator writing a book based on a cold case in which a young married woman was murdered.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Despite the title, like its predecessor ("Sex and the City," 2008) and the HBO television series (1998 - 2004), "SATC2" is more about love, commitment, loyalty, honesty, trust, forthrightness, and being nice.

The movie will be of chief interest to the "SATC" mostly female college to fortysomething fans, judging from the audience at a May 26 midnight screening (I was probably one of about a dozen men among the hundreds of females in the near-capacity-filled movie theater).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Shrek Forever After" is very entertaining, with excellent 3-D animation and funny quips in the fourth, and purportedly final, installment in the "Shrek" series (2007, 2004, 2001).

DreamWorks Animation ("Shark Tale," "Madagascar," "Kung Fu Panda," "Monsters Vs. Aliens," "How to Train Your Dragon") seems to be sticking with the furry critters and monsters subject matter.

Key to successful feature film animation is the characters' personalities. In "Shrek 4," the characters are abetted by their large, expressive and emotive eyes.

Friday, May 21, 2010

At first, Russell Crowe is not the Hollywood image of Robin Hood we've become accustomed to. Even Kevin Costner in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" (1991) is closer to the Errol Flynn image in "The Adventures of Robin Hood" (1938) often associated with the mythical outlaw of England's Sherwood Forest.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"Iron Man 2," arguably the 2010 blockbuster season's most anticipated movie, is entertaining for most of its two-hour length, with its mix of cheeky dialogue and dazzling special effects.

As with the similarly effects-laden "Sherlock Holmes," the main reason to see "IM2" is Robert Downey Jr., reprising his role as billionaire Tony Stark, aka Ironman. There are strong supporting performances, especially by Gwyneth Paltrow, back as Pepper Potts. Scenes with Downey and Paltrow, filled with libido-charged sarcasm, are the film's best.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

"Furry Vengeance" has a funny enough premise: Forest creatures rise up to resist a developer who wants to build million-dollar mansions in their habitat.

The result is a comedy of impervious surfaces.

Call it "Habitat for Destruction."

"Furry Vengeance" is arguably the year's worst movie, albeit, the year is not quite halfway over.

The problem begins with screenwriters Michael Carnes and Josh Gilbert (blame them also for co-writing "Mr. Woodcock"), who haven't built on the concept much beyond an idea jotted down on the proverbial cocktail napkin.