Bill Gerber

Bill Gerber

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Grudge Match Review


It's a little annoying that this high-concept marketing project (Rocky vs Raging Bull!) is as entertaining as it is: we want to hate it, as tired actors are sending up their own faded images. But while the script never even tries to be something interesting, it at least gives the stars some engaging scenes to work with. And we can't help but cheer for them in the end.

The film stars with a bit of history (and digital trickery), as young bucks Henry "Razor" Sharp and Billy "The Kid" McDonnen (Stallone and De Niro) battle it out back in 1982. Local fans in Pittsburgh are divided between them and are hugely disappointed when, at the peak of their fame, Razor suddenly retires before a climactic rematch. Now some 30 years later, a young promoter (Hart) decides to finally get them back together in the ring. But this stirs up an old feud involving Kid's affair with Razor's wife Sally (Basinger), which resulted in a son BJ (Bernthal), who's now a father himself. Can these two men possibly work together to promote their epic grudge match?

Silly question. Of course they start off gruffly snarling at each other but eventually find the expected mutual respect. And that's about the extent of the acting required of these two iconic stars. Add some fast-talking comedy from Hart, veteran battiness from Arkin, steely femininity from Basinger and soulfulness from Bernthal and the film at least has a veneer of complexity. But aside from wondering whether the filmmakers will fudge the final match so no one loses (they don't), there isn't much to worry about.

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The Dukes Of Hazzard: The Beginning Review

It seems that all bad movies deserve a direct-to-DVD sequel, so why not a sloppy prequel to the film version of The Dukes of Hazzard, purporting to tell the "beginning" of the Duke boys story?

Along this 95-minute ride we'll find out where the General Lee came from (dredged from a lake), why everybody hates Boss Hogg (because he's a money-grubbing jerk), and how Daisy got so hot (she just had to take off her glasses and give her wardrobe a trim). If these are burning questions that keep you up at night then, by all means, purchase this DVD immediately.

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Beerfest Review

Has there been one laugh-out-loud comedy, with the exception of Ricky Bobby, this summer? The excellent Little Miss Sunshine was more of a drama, though Abigail Breslin's pageant finale was hilarious. The Break-Up, with its force feeding of wacky characters, was terrible. Scoop felt too much like a compilation of Woody Allen's not-so greatest hits. Clerks II had its moments, but it lacked the spontaneity and rawness that made the first one so great. Poseidon was funny for all the wrong reasons.

Now enter Beerfest, the newest comedy from the Broken Lizard comedy troupe. It's not nearly as funny as Super Troopers, but it's not nearly as atrocious as the laugh-empty Club Dread. In this dead season of laughs, that makes Beerfest almost a rousing success.

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Juwanna Mann Review

Hollywood's latest cross-dressing comedy comes from Warner Bros., a studio that up until now has been enjoying a successful summer run (Scooby-Doo, Insomnia, and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood). Juwanna Mann -- best described as Tootsie in high tops -- should stop the studio's momentum dead in its tracks when it finally hits screens, as this bland, tiresome and uninspired farce has been sitting in the can awaiting distribution for almost two years, gathering mold and cobwebs when it should have been polishing jokes and shoring up plotlines.

Miguel A. Nunez Jr. stars as Jamal Jeffries, egotistical bad-boy of the UBA (apparently the NBA didn't want their brand associated with this Mann), who gets suspended from the Charlotte Beat for repeated examples of lewd behavior on and off the court. His agent (Kevin Pollak) quits on him, claiming no one will employ a hothead, regardless of his talent. Desperate to fuel his extravagant lifestyle, Jeffries dons a wig, some padding, and his aunt's best sneakers to create Juwanna Mann, a muscular two-guard who tries out for and makes the Beat's female counterpart, the WUBA Charlotte Banshees. Whether he/she can maintain the ruse all season lies at the heart of this limp comedy.

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Grind Review

Putting off their futures as long as they can, four lifelong buds hit the road in hopes of landing a pro skating sponsorship. Eric (Mike Vogel) motivates the group, made up of college-bound Dustin (Adam Brody), spacey Matt (Vince Vieluf), and ladies' man Sweet Lou (Joey Kern, blatantly ripping off Matthew McConaughey's Dazed and Confused persona). Their plan includes shadowing pro skater Jimmy Wilson (Jason London), though Eric's quick to be distracted by the smokin' hot skater chick (Jennifer Morrison) that keeps wheeling across his path.

Surprisingly, the four friends aren't slackers. They're motivated when it comes to getting what they want, which in this case happens to be an audience for their "Sponsor Me" tapes and, hopefully, a long-term contract and a gig skating for a living. Along the way, they encounter a healthy mixture of professional skaters, scantily clad skate babes (one female is actually listed in the credits as "Another Hot Girl"), and an army of washed up comics in cameos. Director Casey La Scala certainly keeps us guessing, as Bobcat Goldthwait, Dave Foley, Randy Quaid, and Tom Green grace the screen.

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The Dukes Of Hazzard Review

I have no problem admitting that the main reason I wanted to review The Dukes of Hazzard was to see Jessica Simpson strutting her stuff in some ass-cheek-hugging short shorts. Yummy! Much of the film's early buzz has been on Simpson's big screen debut as bombshell Daisy Duke. Yet what's been lost amongst all the discussions of Simpson's rump are the even bigger questions surrounding the reasons for reviving this small, unsubstantial television relic from the '80s that few of us remember.

Now, I know I'm not the only one seeing Hazzard because of Simpson, and quite frankly, she's the film's biggest draw. This is her Crossroads. But let me caution that while you'll come to see Simpson, it's really the zoom-zoom of that little orange 1969 Dodge Charger that will make you stay. When the film is all said and done, I'm guessing that you'll leave the theater wondering what all the fuss over Simpson was about to begin with.

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American Outlaws Review

Not so long ago, men by the names of Peckinpah, Ford, Leone, and Eastwood made westerns. Real westerns. These were some of the best films of the twentieth century.

Those days are gone. Now we have crap like Wild Wild West to pass for the western. And that record is not improved with the unbearable tale of American Outlaws.

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What A Girl Wants Review

Don't be fooled by the title. Despite being named after a Christina Aguilera song, What a Girl Wants is not a movie about a good-girl-turned-trashy-ho. Rather, it's the story of a sweet, all-American girl who generally enjoys her life but can't get past one thing: She's never met her father. As her high school days come to an end, young Daphne Reynolds (Amanda Bynes) decides it's time to meet this mysterious man who managed to woo her mother so many years ago, and so she throws her passport into her backpack and heads off to London.

What ensues is a standard fairy tale: Daphne quickly finds her father, Henry (Colin Firth), but is hindered in her attempt to forge a meaningful relationship thanks to an evil stepmother and debutante stepsister who are only interested in Henry's status and wealth. Fortunately, Daphne's got her American charm on her side and, with the help of her wise grandmother and cute new boyfriend, she's able to win Henry's heart and even manages to get him back together with mom. They all live happily ever after, as we are told at the end.

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