Friday, October 24, 2014
     

Movie Review

Monday, August 2, 2010

In writer-director Christopher Nolan's "Inception," Leonardo DiCaprio falls asleep, Joseph Gordon-Levitt falls asleep, Ellen Page falls asleep and I nearly fell asleep.

I can barely stay awake just thinking about "Inception" in order to finish this movie review.

"Inception" is officially the 2010 summer blockbuster season's worst movie, given its $160-million budget and advance hype. It's, arguably, the most ludicrous movie since "Dune" (1984).

It's Nolan's first original movie since his feature film debut, "Following" (1998).

Friday, July 30, 2010

"Salt" is one of the summer blockbuster season's best movies.

The nifty, slick and satisfying espionage action-thriller is James Bond meets Catwoman. Forget Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis and other movie macho men, Angelina Jolie is the new action hero.

Jolie plays Evelyn Salt, a United States CIA agent accused of being a Russian agent. Liev Schreiber plays her CIA colleague Ted Winter, who says she's not.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Despicable Me" is an enjoyable 3-D movie that should be seen in 3-D.

The animation feature touts its eye-popping effects and indeed they are, especially in 3-D. There's a roller coaster sequence that puts you right in the seat and staring down the tracks. There's an amusement park game of chance scene where you're front and center. You'll blast off to the moon and experience what near zero gravity might be like.

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.