After Van Helsing, the first G.I. Joe and the Mummy movies, filmmaker Stephen Sommers just about keeps his excessive action instincts in check for this offbeat supernatural comedy. There are still aspects of a thriller here, but the characters have a surprising depth that adds to the humour and drama, providing both strong laughs and moving emotional moments.
Yelchin plays the title character, who isn't sure if his given name is just missing a first T or whether it was prophetic. As Odd grows up, he discovers that he can see dead people who need help solving their murders. The police chief (Dafoe) in his small desert town believes him because he gets every case right. And now Odd's girlfriend Stormy (Timlin) helps him piece together clues when it becomes apparent that something hugely horrific is about to happen. Odd also turns to his psychic friend Viola (Mbatha-Raw) as he grows increasingly worried about the rising presence of deathly creatures that swarm around people who are about to die.
Sommers sets this up with a wry wink, letting Yelchin play Odd as a nerdy nice guy who can't quite believe he has such a hot girlfriend. We like him instantly, so are happy to go along with the fantastical story. And the witty dialogue keeps us chuckling with its snappy commentary and absurd sideroads. Yelchin gives Odd a terrific sense of physical energy, which helps him develop sharp chemistry with everyone else on-screen. With his visions of something momentous on the horizon, the film feels like a comical variation on Donnie Darko.
Continue reading: Odd Thomas Review
US soldiers Duke and Ripcord (Tatum and Wayans) are guarding a terrifying new nano-weapon when they're attacked and then defended by two outrageously high-tech assault forces. They of course eventually join the good side, the G.I. Joes, an elite team led by General Hawk (Quaid). These top commandos (including Nichols, Taghmaoui, Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Park) are hunting Duke's ex Ana (Miller), who has gone over to the dark side to help supervillain arms dealer McCullen (Eccleston) and his Vader-esque evil-doctor sidekick with their nefarious plan for world domination.
Continue reading: G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra Review
Djimon Hounsou plays Solomon Vendy, a fisherman who just wants a better life for his son. But when the rebels come, he is unwillingly thrust into the midst of the violence -- his family is scattered, he is captured, their village is decimated. He is working the diamond mines at gunpoint when he catches, and hides, an epic stone -- huge, flawless, and slightly pink.
Continue reading: Blood Diamond Review
So, when the movie was as bad as the previews, I was not a happy camper.
Continue reading: The Mummy Review
Agent Cody Banks was made just to make money, and to stock Toys 'R' Us shelves and McDonald's Happy Meal boxes with cheap action figures. The script, which feels like the cheapest writers available threw it together in a week, is actually quite impressive in how every mind-numbing scene attempts to manipulate the minds of susceptible adolescents. It uses every trick in the book, from pre-teen humor and Bond rip-offs, to busty secret agents, phony special effects, and, of course, Frankie Muniz. If -- God forbid -- the movie is a hit, the producers have even secured an easy sequel with its carefully formulated ending.
Continue reading: Agent Cody Banks Review
Of all of the dumb action flicks that I have seen, Hard Target is perhaps the easiest target of all to hit. It sits there, a bloated animal on the silver screen, waiting for some nasty critic to take pen to paper and kick it until it stops moving... and I suppose that job would fall upon yours truly.
Continue reading: Hard Target Review
Remember how badly "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" turned out when Steven Spielberg tried to wedge an impish kid into his successful archeology-action-adventure formula? Well, deja vu.
How pathetically contrived and sadly unoriginal is the obviously rushed-into-production "The Mummy Returns"? Everything you need to know can be gleaned from these three facts: 1) Prim-but-sexy Egyptologist Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) turns out to be the reincarnation of Queen Nefertiti. 2) Lantern-jawed adventurer Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) finds out that a tattoo he bears means he was born to be a Medjai warrior. And, 3) their ragamuffin 8-year-old son Alex (Freddie Boath) is "The Chosen One" -- although the movie makes little attempt to explain what that means.
All together now: Oh, brother!
Continue reading: The Mummy Returns Review
Yes, "Agent Cody Banks" is a "Spy Kids" clone. As such, I went into it expecting an uncreative, cash-in-on-a-trend children's movie -- the kind parents are loathe to suffer through, yet for some reason take their kids to see anyway.
But while its plot doesn't stand up to even a modest amount of logical scrutiny, the flick has a comical, junior-James Bond spirit that's hard to resist. Of course, there are a couple differences between James Bond and highly-trained CIA spook Cody Banks (played by "Malcolm In the Middle's" Frankie Muniz): 1) Cody is 15 and lives with his parents who don't know he's a spy, and 2) Cody is hopelessly inept at talking to girls.
His tendency to get tongue-tied around cute classmates becomes a major problem when his hubba-hubba CIA handler (Angie Harmon from "Law & Order") assigns him to get close to the adorable Natalie Conners (Hilary Duff, better known as the Disney Channel's "Lizzie McGuire"). It seems the girl's scientist father is unknowingly developing nanobot technology for a villain (the ominously tan Ian McShane) who wants the microscopic 'bots to eat away US missile guidance systems. It's part of his evil plan to render the country defenseless for no adequately explored reason.
Continue reading: Agent Cody Banks Review
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