Dylan Sellers

Dylan Sellers

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Footloose Review


Good
A surprisingly faithful remake of the iconic 1984 hit, this crowd-pleasing romp finds some intriguing present-day resonance without pushing it too hard.

Instead, it centres on the interpersonal drama and exhilarating dance moves.

After his mother dies, Boston teen Ren (Wormald) moves to small-town Bomont to live with his aunt and uncle (Dickens and McKinnon). Teens here are prohibited from dancing due to a tragedy three years earlier, so Ren is soon at loggerheads with the local minister (Quaid), whose daughter Ariel (Hough) is a wild child with a redneck boyfriend (Flueger) and an eye for Ren. As Ren deals with his own issues, he teams up with new friends Willard and Woody (Teller and Blain) to take on the system.

Continue reading: Footloose Review

The Replacements Review


Grim
I wish I could have been in the pitch meeting for this ridiculous notion of a sports film. I bet it was some hotshot Warner Brothers agent with an dark Armani suit and manicured fingernails saying, "It would be a very light comedic version of Any Given Sunday, and we could throw in the Hoosiers angle with the casting of Gene Hackman as the tough but determined coach. Throw in that hunk of a guy Keanu Reeves and a cast of wacky characters and poof! We'll have a hit on our hands!"

The Replacements is a hokey mistake of a football film, a mishmash collage of one-dimensional characters, rampant stereotypes of cultures and races, cliched emotional statements of purpose, and Keanu Reeves wishing for The Matrix sequel to start principal photography. The story is loosely based around the pro football players' strike in 1987 and a rag-tag team of replacement football players taking up the reins of professional play for a variety of teams with names like the Washington Sentinels. Keanu Reeves stars as Shane Falco, a has-been football college player looking for redemption. Gene Hackman dons a fedora like Tom Landry and speaks with gusto like a certain coach in Hoosiers.

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Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London Review


OK
As I walked into the theater showing Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London, it seemed as if a thousand kids were talking all at once, led by one particular youngster who had the authoritative rasp of a Teamster leader. The noise continued during the screen scramblers ("I guessed Steve!"), the promotional stills ("That looks like the movie...") and into the coming attractions. I began to wish I had slept in.

Then a miraculous thing happened: Cody Banks 2 started and there was a heavenly quiet--occasionally broken by laughter--that was maintained for the next hour and forty-odd minutes. That's a tremendous compliment for a kids' movie. I would like to say that Cody Banks 2 has a lot to offer adults, as well. For anyone over the age of 16, the movie moves briskly and doesn't make you curse the gods of time. In this pre-summer movie season, those qualities will be a blessing.

Continue reading: Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London Review

The Music of Chance Review


Good
Quirky doesn't even begin to describe The Music of Chance, based on a Paul Auster novel and directed by Philip Haas (Up at the Villa). It all starts simply enough: Two men (James Spader and Mandy Patinkin) lose a poker game and decide to sell themselves into indentured servitude, building a rock wall for Charles Durning, in order to settle the bets. Patinkin sings, Spader gets beaten up and sports a mustache, the two learn a bizarre lesson about, er, something. Strangely compelling, it's hard not to get sucked into this one, even if you can't figure out why.

Agent Cody Banks Review


Terrible
I recently read an article that argued TV shows like CSI and James Bond movies are primarily responsible for young people's increased interest in criminal forensics and special military forces. Since Hollywood is both smart and shameless, it uses these notions to its advantage, devouring the success of Bond and vomiting up films like Spy Kids and Agent Cody Banks. Although the original Spy Kids worked, Agent Cody Banks proves that things seldom taste as good a second or third time.

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

Valentine Review


Terrible
Well, here's something that will make you wish you'd stayed home to watch Survivor instead of shelling out money at the movies. Hell, Valentine, another entry into the yearly, winter horror crapfest, even makes Temptation Island look good.

What we've got here is your standard grade horror flick in the vein of Scream and Urban Legend, revolving around a mysterious killer devising a supposed revenge plot -- a geeky kid who got a Carrie pulled on him in 6th grade. My how the tables have turned! The bunch of girls who refused to dance with him are now getting killed, 13 years later. Has this nobody returned from obscurity to exact his revenge for having punch poured on him?

Continue reading: Valentine Review

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