Andrew Panay

Andrew Panay

Andrew Panay Quick Links

News Pictures Film RSS

Chips Review

Terrible

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the 1977-1983 beloved hit TV series. Firstly, the film ignores the capitalisation that would make sense of the title. And the main characters, while they have familiar names, are completely different people. So fans of the show will be justifiably angry that it has been merely referenced to make a half-hearted mash-up of The Hangover and Fast & Furious. Which might not be a bad idea if the gross-out comedy was funny and the action was even remotely thrilling.

In this version, Poncharello is the undercover name assigned to a Miami FBI agent (Michael Pena) who is sent to Los Angeles to investigate a string of armoured car robberies that might involve dirty cops. He is partnered with officer Jon Baker (Dax Shepard) riding motorcycles with the California Highway Patrol (they're CHiPs, not Chips). Jon is a former hotshot off-road motorbike champ who has broken every bone in his body and has only joined the police to try to win back his estranged, monstrous wife (Kristen Bell). But he's such a high-energy idiot that he's starting the job on probation. As their case develops, it's instantly clear that the mastermind is the villainous officer Kurtz (Vincent D'Onofrio). And their investigation is complicated by the arrival of Ponch's FBI boss (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) and partner (Adam Brody).

The lazy script never tries to crank up any real mystery or tension in the plot. Instead, the film is just a series of smutty jokes and incoherent stunt sequences, plus running gags that never reach a punchline. All of this is infused with relentless sexism, as the camera leers shamelessly at every woman. And the laddish misogyny is accompanied by constant homophobia, which is addressed in the dialogue in a feeble attempt to undercut the baldfaced bigotry. This makes all of the characters resolutely unlikeable. Ponch and Jon are such self-absorbed jerks that it's inconceivable that they would ever be allowed to be policemen.

Continue reading: Chips Review

Adam Lilling, Dax Shepard and Andrew Panay - Celebrating the launch of SHYP (shyp.com) held at a private residence in Beverly Hills at Beverly Hills - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 20th May 2015

Adam Lilling, Dax Shepard and Andrew Panay
Dax Shepard, Soleil Moon Frye, Kelly Sawyer Patricof and Andrew Panay
Michael Muller and Dax Shepard
Greg Silverman, Jon Favreau, Dax Shepard and Andrew Panay
Kevin Gibbon, Jon Favreau, Dax Shepard and Shervin Pishevar

Earth To Echo Review


Weak

The filmmakers behind this pre-teen adventure admit that they were trying to combine the magic of E.T., Stand by Me and The Goonies, but they've forgotten that none of those complex, deeply involving classics ever talk down to their audience. By contrast, this movie is painful viewing for anyone over about age 12, as it indulges in shamelessly cute imagery, seasick hand-held camerawork and superficial emotional catharsis.

It's set in rural Nevada, where a new freeway is cutting through a suburban community, forcing families to relocate, which is devastating to three 13-year-old pals who grew up together. Tuck (Brian Bradley, better known as the rapper Astro) decides to videotape their last night together, as he teams up with Munch and Alex (Reese Hartwig and Teo Halm) to investigate some mysterious images on their phones, which seem to be leading them out into the desert. There they find a chunk of steel that takes them on a scavenger hunt, adding bits and pieces until it emerges as an adorable owl-shaped alien, which the boys name Echo. Inexplicably joined by hot girl Emma (Ella Wallestedt), who won't give them the time of day in school, they spend the night trying to outwit the freeway construction boss (Jason Gray-Sanford) and help Echo get home.

Most of these kinds of films sink or swim on the talent of their young actors, but it's impossible to tell how good these actors are, since first-time feature director Dave Green directs them to over-stated performances while forcing them to deliver first-time feature writer Henry Gayden's ridiculously trite dialogue. Every moment of "wonder" is so heavily telegraphed and pushed that any sense of discovery is lost. Even their school-nerd personas are contrived and unbelievable, as is Tuck's ability to capture every significant moment with one of his gadgety cameras, even in moments of high panic. The idea of him shooting and editing their last night together, which turns out to be rather enormously momentous, is a clever one, but the added melodramatic touches undermine the plot by trying to force it into a standard adventure formula.

Continue reading: Earth To Echo Review

Hit & Run Review


Good

Audiences out for a bit of mindless fun will probably enjoy this raucous road movie, but only if they can look past comedy that relies on jokes about racism, sexism and homophobia. And if the characters are all paper-thin, at least the film is loose and enjoyably silly.

It centres on Charlie (Shepard), who lives in rural California with his girlfriend Annie (Bell). But when she's offered a job in Los Angeles, Charlie has to face up to his criminal past. He's currently in witness protection, and returning to L.A. is very dangerous. Still, he decides to take Annie to her job interview, while his protective agent (Arnold) follows close behind. But trouble is brewing because Annie's still-smitten ex (Rosenbaum) is also in hot pursuit, and when he figures out Charlie's secret, he gets in touch with the gang boss, Alex (Cooper), who wants him dead.

While the film looks whizzy and is packed with banter that sounds offensive, everything is pretty half-hearted. The dialog continually touches on sexuality and ethnicity in ways that are more lazy than inappropriate, and the discussions of serious issues like gender roles have no depth at all. This is a movie essentially made up of nothing but stereotypes. Bell and Cooper just about manage to give their characters personalities, but everyone else has essentially one note. Most of the men are mere chucklehead idiots, while the women are male fantasies.

Continue reading: Hit & Run Review

When In Rome Review


Weak
Despite its over-the-top zaniness, this romantic comedy manages to keep us entertained with its starry cast and a nutty plot. If only the filmmakers had resisted the urge to exaggerate both the humour and the sentimentality.

Guggenheim curator Beth (Bell) is organising an important museum event when she has to dash to Rome for her sister's sudden wedding, where she begins to fall for best man Nick (Duhamel), who rescues her from a few embarrassing moments but lets her down romantically. In a funk, she swipes some coins from a fountain then ends up being stalked back in New York by the lovelorn guys (painter Arnett, wannabe model Shepard, street magician Heder and art patron DeVito) who threw them into the water.

Continue reading: When In Rome Review

Old Dogs Review


Terrible
To call this comedy a disaster is an understatement. It's aggressively awful, and manages to push its worst gags so numbingly off the scale that we're left slack-jawed in disbelief. Amazingly, the cast members just about get out alive.

Charlie and Dan (Travolta and Williams) are old pals and partners as sports publicists. Charlie is a relentless bachelor, teasing Dan about his impulsive, brief Vegas marriage to Vicki (Preston) eight years earlier. What neither of them knows is that Vicki gave birth to Dan's twins (Ella Bleu Travolta and Rayburn), and now she needs him to watch them for two weeks. Nutty antics ensue as these cute kids upset these men's life, dragging them off for a weekend camping trip and of course slowly winning them over in the process.

Continue reading: Old Dogs Review

The Comebacks Review


Excellent
With their themes of perseverance, courage, and teamwork, sports flicks like Remember the Titans, We Are Marshall, and Miracle inspire and encourage millions of moviegoers every year. Conversely, their identical plotlines, stereotyped characters, and obscenely predictable endings inspire some moviegoers to lose their lunch.

I fall into the latter category. That's probably why I'm one of the few film journalists speaking positively about The Comebacks, a riotously hilarious spoof that pokes fun at those annoying inspiring sports dramas. (Editor's Note: Blake, you're on your own on this one. This movie is so bad it made me cry.)

Continue reading: The Comebacks Review

Van Wilder 2: The Rise Of Taj Review


Bad
If I was the studio that produced Revenge of the Nerds, I'd be on the phone to a lawyer to file a plagiarism/copyright violation suit against the studio that produced Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj, which is as close to a scene-by-scene ripoff as you could possibly imagine.

Check it out: Van Wilder 2 (which does not feature the original film's title character in any way whatsoever, nor does it even take place in the same country) has Taj (Kal Penn), a minor character from the original, of to a British university to continue his education. Here he tries to join the ritzy fraternity, only to be quickly turned away. At his new home, he joins with the campus losers to start their own frat house. The bulk of the film comprises a series of contests on campus with some vague prize going to the winning fraternity. Along the way, Taj steals the girlfriend of his posh rival (Daniel Percival). Naturally, no opportunity to present a naked bosom is passed by.

Continue reading: Van Wilder 2: The Rise Of Taj Review

Employee Of The Month (2006) Review


OK
Employee of the Month's main character, thirtysomething box boy Zack (Dane Cook), relishes having a job with the least amount of responsibility. When the Costco-like store where he works hires a new, comely cashier (Jessica Simpson) who has a history for hooking up with the employee of the month, Zack decides to try harder so he can win her affection.

Too bad the movie never follows Zack's example. For 103 minutes, Employee of the Month refuses to go beyond shallow observations and silly slapstick, making for an ordinary outing when that should not be the case. Anyone who has ever worked in retail (or seen Clerks) knows there's a wealth of material for a good comedy. When I managed a used bookstore, a customer argued her case for a lower price by repeatedly stating that she was "a lawyer." At Borders, I had another customer so convinced we carried International Male (we didn't) that he was threatened with police action. Also at Borders, I have never worked with so many people who had visible tattoos, including one who had a small image of a pen and book on her lower back.

Continue reading: Employee Of The Month (2006) Review

National Lampoon's Van Wilder Review


Terrible
It's sad that visual jokes about male bodily fluids no longer shock audiences. Now, for films to surprise us, they must include jokes about the fluids of other animals. Van Wilder, the latest installment in the never-ending National Lampoon series, doesn't stop with just a joke, however. It actually contains a scene wherein characters consume dog semen.

Perhaps in a sick, twisted way, the concept of a person unknowingly consuming animal semen could be somewhat amusing. But actually watching a character manually stimulate a canine with oversized testicles is not funny. The scene continues with the character filling donuts with the ejaculation and then feeding the pastries to his peers. The sequence concludes as characters squirt the contents of the food into their mouths. This is a point when gross-out humor simply becomes too gross to qualify as humor.

Continue reading: National Lampoon's Van Wilder Review

Employee Of The Month Review


OK
Employee of the Month's main character, thirtysomething box boy Zack (Dane Cook), relishes having a job with the least amount of responsibility. When the Costco-like store where he works hires a new, comely cashier (Jessica Simpson) who has a history for hooking up with the employee of the month, Zack decides to try harder so he can win her affection.

Too bad the movie never follows Zack's example. For 103 minutes, Employee of the Month refuses to go beyond shallow observations and silly slapstick, making for an ordinary outing when that should not be the case. Anyone who has ever worked in retail (or seen Clerks) knows there's a wealth of material for a good comedy. When I managed a used bookstore, a customer argued her case for a lower price by repeatedly stating that she was "a lawyer." At Borders, I had another customer so convinced we carried International Male (we didn't) that he was threatened with police action. Also at Borders, I have never worked with so many people who had visible tattoos, including one who had a small image of a pen and book on her lower back.

Continue reading: Employee Of The Month Review

Andrew Panay

Andrew Panay Quick Links

News Pictures Film RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Filmmaker


Suggested

Michael Jackson, Kanye West And Stevie Wonder: Paul McCartney's Top Ten Best Duets

Michael Jackson, Kanye West And Stevie Wonder: Paul McCartney's Top Ten Best Duets

Paul McCartney has worked with some of the world's most talented acts.

Mila Kunis Says Owning Dogs Is Good Training For Having Kids

Mila Kunis Says Owning Dogs Is Good Training For Having Kids

The actress welcomed her second child with her husband Ashton Kutcher four months ago, and she says that owning dogs is great practice for having...

Advertisement
Queen And Adam Lambert Finally Return To The UK For A Full Tour

Queen And Adam Lambert Finally Return To The UK For A Full Tour

November sees Queen and Adam Lambert back in Europe for a 25-date tour.

Will Kris Marshall Take Over Peter Capaldi On Doctor Who?

Will Kris Marshall Take Over Peter Capaldi On Doctor Who?

Rumours surface that Kris Marshall will star as the 13th Doctor.

Advertisement

Andrew Panay Movies

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Earth to Echo Movie Review

Earth to Echo Movie Review

The filmmakers behind this pre-teen adventure admit that they were trying to combine the magic...

Hit & Run Movie Review

Hit & Run Movie Review

Audiences out for a bit of mindless fun will probably enjoy this raucous road movie,...

When in Rome Movie Review

When in Rome Movie Review

Despite its over-the-top zaniness, this romantic comedy manages to keep us entertained with its starry...

Old Dogs Movie Review

Old Dogs Movie Review

To call this comedy a disaster is an understatement. It's aggressively awful, and manages to...

Advertisement
Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj Movie Review

Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj Movie Review

If I was the studio that produced Revenge of the Nerds, I'd be on the...

Employee Of The Month (2006) Movie Review

Employee Of The Month (2006) Movie Review

Employee of the Month's main character, thirtysomething box boy Zack (Dane Cook), relishes having a...

National Lampoon's Van Wilder Movie Review

National Lampoon's Van Wilder Movie Review

It's sad that visual jokes about male bodily fluids no longer shock audiences. Now,...

Employee Of The Month Movie Review

Employee Of The Month Movie Review

Employee of the Month's main character, thirtysomething box boy Zack (Dane Cook), relishes having a...

National Lampoon's Van Wilder Movie Review

National Lampoon's Van Wilder Movie Review

It's sad that visual jokes about male bodily fluids no longer shock audiences. Now,...

Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.