David Blocker

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Hannah Montana: The Movie Review


Very Good
Hannah Montana: The Movie acted as my official introduction to the identity crisis that is Miley Cyrus and her pop-music-powered alter ego. I have two boys, after all. The farthest we've ventured down Disney's empowered-female food chain is Kim Possible (which, for the record, deserves its own live-action film adaptation in the vein of Tomb Raider, yet better). But now, at least, I understand the hoopla surrounding this spunky, cool, and charismatic young performer. Her overly produced musical anthems aren't my cup of tea, but I get why so many people line up to drink what she's serving.

Chances are those reading this review won't have to be told how aspiring singer Miley Stewart (Cyrus) created Hannah Montana so she could live a normal life off the stage. Or how her down-home, country-boy of a father (Billy Ray Cyrus) worries that his daughter is spending too much time in the self-centered, shallow celebrity pool and losing touch with her Tennessee roots.

Continue reading: Hannah Montana: The Movie Review

Frailty Review


Extraordinary
What if God spoke to you? No, I'm not talking about last night when you drank that bottle of tequila. What if he came to you sober and gave you a mission?

The Maiks family was a happy one. Father and two young sons, they had carved out an all American existence after the boy's mother died giving birth to the youngest. Until the boy's father (Bill Paxton) gets a visit from God, bestowing upon him a terrible mission to rid the world of demons, complete with a list of names of real human beings upon which the family is to wreak divine vengeance. And you thought your family was dysfunctional. Still firmly grounded in the real world, 12-year-old Fenton Maiks (Matthew O'Leary) is convinced his father has gone mad, and struggles to find the courage to stop his insane killing spree, before his younger brother is completely brainwashed.

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Someone Like You Review


Very Good
Based on the Laura Zigman novel, Animal Husbandry, Someone Like You is a romantic comedy about a late night TV talent coordinator named Jane (Ashley Judd), whose luck in love is predictably bad. So predictable is her misfortune, in fact, that she has devised a pervasive theory on the subject, revolving around the notion that men are like cattle.

When she meets her show's new executive, Ray (Kinnear, You've Got Mail), however, her luck -- she thinks -- begins to change. But Ray, she discovers, is just a typical bull, looking to spread his seed in wider pastures. And it's not until he dumps her for his ex-girlfriend that she realizes the true depth of her plight. Jane, it seems, is an old cow. And Ray is looking for a new cow. This joke more or less carries the film, and -- though interesting at first -- it gets old after its twentieth or fiftieth appearance in the script.

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Dark Blue Review


Weak
Call it L.A. Confidential lite. In Ron Shelton's derivative new police corruption drama - adapted from a story by Confidential scribe James Ellroy - Kurt Russell stars as Sgt. Eldon Perry Jr., a self-professed gunslinger who sees himself as a noble warrior charged with cleaning up his beloved city's streets. A member of the LAPD's elite Special Investigations Squad, he's the kind of guy who freely expounds on the depravity of L.A.'s lower classes with a barrage of bigoted epithets, and feels no pangs of conscience when gunning down unarmed suspects in back alleys. According to Perry's tunnel vision logic, a criminal is a criminal, and worrying about the vague, inconsequential differences between each one is not only a waste of time, but a disservice to the community he's trying to save.

Unfortunately for Perry, it's April 1992, and not a very good time to be an arrogant, white LAPD officer. The Rodney King trial has set L.A. on the precipice of Armageddon, and the verdict - to be announced imminently - has become the focal point for a metropolis simmering with class and racial tension. Perry, however, has more pressing matters to worry about. His partner, a wet-behind-the-ears rookie named Bobby Keough (played with baby-faced blankness by ex-Felicity hunk Scott Speedman), has screwed up an arrest, and Perry - always looking to back up a fellow brother in blue - has killed the defenseless perp (with Keough's gun) rather than letting him escape. The film begins with both officers knee-deep into lying their way through an eight-hour inquiry, since Perry has decided that his incompetent protégé should take the heat for the killing anyway. As far as Perry is concerned, one's first shooting inquiry is a right of passage - a baptism into an immoral system that's primarily sworn to protect and serve its own members.

Continue reading: Dark Blue Review

Breakfast Of Champions Review


Bad
The word "unfilmable" is often bandied about over cult classic books. That never stops people from filming them.

Witness The English Patient, which turned out to be filmable after all. And then there was Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which wasn't. But maybe unfilmable is the wrong word. Breakfast of Champions might have proved filmable, but it sure isn't watchable.

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The Greatest Game Ever Played Review


Weak
You learn several facts about golf in Bill Paxton's adaptation of The Greatest Game Ever Played, including that the sport was once so dominated by social standing that family background played as big a role as a player's skills.

That tidbit of information is not so appealing when it's shoved down your throat for two hours. Paxton and writer Mark Frost (adapting from his own non-fiction book), so intent on remaking Seabiscuit on a golf course, so zealous to show the triumph of the common man, don't create a feel-good, root-for-the-underdog movie, but a caricature of one. You've never seen so many scenes of fat, rich men in fancy suits, huddled around oak desks sipping brandy and talking in solemn tones. You've never seen so many scenes of working class strife. If the movie's working class hero (Shia LaBeouf, looking all grown up) was tied to a railroad track by the dastardly duo of J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie, it wouldn't come as a surprise.

Continue reading: The Greatest Game Ever Played Review

15 Minutes Review


OK
Point of fact: 15 Minutes is far longer than fifteen minutes long. It's pretty much a full 120 minutes long, and even with my rough math skills, that makes it 105 minutes over.

OK, the title is actually an apt reference to Andy Warhol's "fifteen minutes of fame," but that doesn't mean it isn't too long. Slow, plodding, and so far-fetched it stretches the boundaries of "suspension of disbelief," 15 Minutes does very little with a good cast, hoping instead you'll bite into its shock value and simply love the taste.

Continue reading: 15 Minutes Review

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David Blocker Movies

Frailty Movie Review

Frailty Movie Review

What if God spoke to you? No, I'm not talking about last night when...

Someone Like You Movie Review

Someone Like You Movie Review

Based on the Laura Zigman novel, Animal Husbandry, Someone Like You is a romantic comedy...

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Dark Blue Movie Review

Dark Blue Movie Review

Call it L.A. Confidential lite. In Ron Shelton's derivative new police corruption drama - adapted...

The Greatest Game Ever Played Movie Review

The Greatest Game Ever Played Movie Review

You learn several facts about golf in Bill Paxton's adaptation of The Greatest Game Ever...

15 Minutes Movie Review

15 Minutes Movie Review

Point of fact: 15 Minutes is far longer than fifteen minutes long. It's pretty...

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