Jim Carrey should have said no to the threadbare script. The tireless comedian has shown he could wring laughs out of one-note pitches like Bruce Almighty, Liar, Liar, or the Ace Ventura films. But the three credited Yes Man screenwriters cook up the flimsiest comedic premise of Carrey's career -- a non-committal loan officer enters a motivational program that permits him from turning anything down -- then forget to back it up with humor, emotional conflict or, you know, an actual plot.
Continue reading: Yes Man Review
Walt Kowalski (Eastwood) served his time in the military, paid his dues at the auto plant -- American cars only, of course -- and wants to spend his days as a widower in peace. He is disgusted by his ignorant, oafish sons and their selfish children -- the ugliest characters you'll see on screen this year. But his disdain isn't limited to kin. Walt also hates the "eggroll," "fish-head" "Charlie Chans" who've moved into his blue-collar Detroit suburb.
Continue reading: Gran Torino Review
Lucky for them -- and, by extension, us -- the creative team behind this rejuvenated Smart wisely tapped the unassuming funnyman to fill the late Don Adams' telephone-disguised-as-a-shoe. Carell's nimble turn as a calculatedly incompetent agent of CONTROL ensures that this modern spin on an outdated television property -- while rarely intelligent -- is consistently witty.
Continue reading: Get Smart Review
Completed in 2005, Lucky legendarily shuffled around Warner Bros.' release schedule (bad sign) before the studio dropped it on the summer's first massive weekend (good sign) where it could compete with Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 for an audience (suicidal sign). Watching it, you easily forget the picture's age and subsequent shelf life until Drew Barrymore's character -- an aw shucks rube from Northern California trying to make it as a lounge singer in Las Vegas -- tosses off a Dr. Laura Schlesinger reference. Hanson even opens with Bruce Springsteen's "Lucky Town," an old-school track off The Boss' similarly titled album that brought me back a few years, but which actually fits the story well.
Continue reading: Lucky You Review
You'll need more than faith to accept the film's ridiculous premise, cooked up by sibling screenwriters Carey and Chad Hayes. These two can't distinguish between horrifying and horrible. They last collaborated on the dreadful House of Wax remake starring Paris Hilton. Enough said.
Continue reading: The Reaping Review
One common recurring narrative in many of King's better-known novel-to-screen adaptations -- such as Stand by Me, The Green Mile, and The Shawshank Redemption -- incorporates an older gentleman recalling his youth or a life-changing incident of his life. Hearts in Atlantis follows this to a tee. After learning of a childhood friend's death, a middle-aged photographer Robert Garfield (David Morse) ventures back to his hometown for the funeral. Upon arrival, Robert recalls memories of youth and of one innocent, fateful summer when a mysterious man named Ted Brautigan (Hopkins) entered his life and changed it forever.
Continue reading: Hearts In Atlantis Review
Troy leaves the talking to its triumvirate of Hollywood royalty - Brian Cox, Brendan Gleeson, and Peter O'Toole. The dying is left up to the chiseled and marketable studs - Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, and Brad Pitt. Whenever a member of the veteran trio interacts with a member of the other on screen, it creates a mismatch of talent not even a Trojan Horse could overcome.
Continue reading: Troy Review
In the Arizona desert town of Prosperity, there is little to get excited about - not even the sparkling new shopping mall can bring energy to this lifeless place. But when a toxic spill oozes its way to a spider farm (local industry!), the spiders mutate into gigantic monsters and this sleepy town is in for a rude awakening. After eating up the dog, cat, and ostrich population, hundreds of hungry eight-legged beasts are ready to feast on the residents. It is now up to a love-struck miner (David Arquette), the best-looking sheriff since Suzanne Somers (Kari Wuhrer), her kids (Scarlett Johansson and Scott Terra), and an annoying ham-radio operator (Doug E. Doug) to save this who-really-cares little town.
Continue reading: Eight Legged Freaks Review
Indeed, Red Planet makes for a far better film than Mission to Mars. While that's not saying a whole lot (since Mission currently ranks as the worst movie I've seen all year) Red Planet is at least competently constructed and mildly engaging, so long as you put aside the sappy melodramatics. Of course, this isn't that easy to do.
Continue reading: Red Planet Review
Jennifer Lopez and James Caviezel trudge with heavy hearts through the muck of suspense/drama/romantic comedy/love story Angel Eyes -- a film with an identity crisis that rivals Plato from Rebel with a Cause.
Continue reading: Angel Eyes Review
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