Gary Barber

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G.I. Joe: Retaliation" LA Premiere

Gary Barber - G.I. Joe: Retaliation LA premiere, held at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre - Arrivals - Los Angeles, CA, United States - Thursday 28th March 2013

The Vow Review

Inspired by a true story, this film is watchable mainly because of the extraordinary events, which are genuinely involving and moving. Although typically, Hollywood has ramped up the emotions while avoiding subtlety at all costs.

Goofy recording engineer Leo (Tatum) and adorable artist Paige (McAdams) had a cute romance, quirky wedding and four happy years together before a car crash changed everything. Leo only has minor injuries, but Paige has lost some five years of memories. Crucially, she has no idea who Leo is. And she doesn't remember turning her back on her law course, smirking fiance (Speedman) and wealthy parents (Lange and Neill). They're all she remembers now, so Leo tries to remind her of who she became after she left them behind. If they'll let him.

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Footloose Review

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.

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National Multiple Sclerosis Society's 37th annual Dinner of Champions

Gary Barber Monday 12th September 2011 National Multiple Sclerosis Society's 37th annual Dinner of Champions Century City, California

Gary Barber

The Tourist Review

This is a thoroughly offbeat concoction from the gifted filmmaker behind the acclaimed The Lives of Others: a rather goofy action comedy that deflates the suspense by telling us pretty much everything from the start.

Elisa (Jolie) is a sleek, overdressed woman of mystery who is being stalked by a tenacious British detective (Bettany). When she boards a train from Paris to Venice, his men are in hot pursuit, so she sidles up to American touristFrank (Depp) to throw them off the scent. He looks similar to her boyfriend, who's wanted by the cops and a vicious Russian mobster (Berkoff). Once in Venice, Frank finds his world turned upside both by this ludicrously elegant woman and the army of goons pursuing him at every turn.

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Leap Year Review

Neither funny nor original enough to really register, this breezy little film will only really entertain those who haven't seen very many rom-coms, and therefore can't predict every single scene. Although the cast members just about emerge with their dignity intact.

Anna (Adams) is an energetic professional woman in Boston with the perfect heart-surgeon boyfriend in Jeremy (Scott). Except that he won't propose to her.

So when he heads for Dublin to attend a conference, she decides that, since it's a leap year, she'll surprise him there and ask him to marry her, a proposal that tradition says he can't refuse. But the journey goes all wrong, and she ends up on the road with scruffy, cantankerous, gorgeous Irishman Declan (Goode). Gosh, what could possibly happen?

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True Romance Review

Pardon the unprofessional lingo, but True Romance is one of the more awesome movies of the past 20 years. It is a film about the guttural connection between the heart and soul and the blood and guts. It is a brilliant romance about people who love movies, are obsessed with Elvis, and who love so deeply that they will kill in the most heinous, merciless, cold-blooded ways. It may seem contradictory to call a movie like this both hardboiled and sweet, but True Romance is a movie that thrives on its contradictions. It is wacky, scary, violent, funny, and completely off-the-wall -- just like love itself.

At the heart of all great films is the joy of discovery. We become not merely entertained with a fascinating story and engaging characters, but consumed by a vivid new landscape that excites and frightens us. In its own twisted way, True Romance opens up a whole new world. And this world of pimps, guns, drugs, and love is zanily, ridiculously brilliant. Not often do we see such a world in what is otherwise a simple love story, but that is the essence of True Romance; it is the most warm-hearted movie ever made about killers, coke dealers, and hookers.

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Wanted Review

A scrawny, self-loathing office drone gets plucked from his humdrum existence by a steely, gun-wielding super babe, is mentored by a Zen warrior with limitless intelligence but limited patience, then endures harsh physical training to prepare for a deadly mission only he can complete.

What sounds an awful lot like The Matrix is actually Wanted, an adaptation of Mark Millar's 2004 comic book miniseries by style-conscious Russian filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov. His name may ring a bell with adventurous moviegoers who sampled his frenzied vampire thriller Night Watch and its muddled sequel, Day Watch. And though it's unlikely Bekmambetov will become a household name once Wanted explodes on the scene, a wider audience certainly will become more familiar with the director's uniquely kinetic aesthetics.

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The Love Guru Review

There is a fine line between genius and junk, especially in the realm of comedy. What makes one audience member laugh can legitimately cause another to groan in disbelief. No one has been more adept at this schizophrenic approach to satire than Mike Myers. The kitchen sink cacophony of his big screen spoofs expertly illustrates the "anything for a laugh" paradigm. Sadly, his latest effort, the lame Love Guru, forgets to move beyond the groin to mine its wit. If cleverness were a symphony, Myers composed this tired tune for male organ only.

Born in America but raised in India, the self help guru Maurice Pitka (Myers) is tired of being known as the poor man's Deepak Chopra. When Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco), star player for the Toronto Maple Leafs, gets into a scoring slump near the start of the Stanley Cup finals, team owner Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba) and coach Cherkov (Verne Troyer) are desperate. Seems Roanke's wife (Meagan Good) has recently left him, and is now shacking up with the goalie for the opposing Los Angeles Kings, the infamously well-endowed Jacques "Le Coq" Grande (Justin Timberlake). If the Leafs have any chance at all of winning, they must find a way to mend the leader's marriage. The answer appears to be Pitka and his radical "DRAMA" method of enlightenment.

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The Hottie and the Nottie Review

The Hottie and the Nottie is a clichéd film that manages to be both predictable and offensive. That's OK, people who rent The Hottie and the Nottie won't be looking for high art or a subtle satire on the superficiality of the West Coast. In fact if you're thinking of renting The Hottie and the Nottie, there is likely only one reason: You're hoping to enjoy the movie because it is awful, the idea being that movies can be so bad they actually become enjoyable. It is a little like getting a kick out of watching Plan 9 from Outer Space.

The Hottie and the Nottie follows the travails of Nate Cooper (Joel Moore) as he tries to woo the "hottest girl in L.A.," Cristabelle Abbot (Paris Hilton). Nate's pursuit of Cristabelle is aided by his first-grade friend Arno Blount, played with enthusiasm by Greg Wilson, who happens to have a three-inch thick file on Cristabelle. Arno lives with his mother, so one surmises he has plenty of time to devote to cataloging first grade friends.

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27 Dresses Review

Occasionally cute but consistently dim-witted, the romantic comedy 27 Dresses suffers the same number of generic clichés as it glides down the aisles toward a resolution that's as predictable as a wedding band's set list. Celebrate good times? Don't bet on it.

But don't blame the leads. Last year's breakout charmers Katherine Heigl (Knocked Up) and James Marsden (Hairspray, Enchanted) almost salvage this shabby, flabby date movie. He displays impressive comedic timing, and she shows off her deep reservoir of charm. If Knocked marked the arrival of a new rom-com starlet, Dresses at least proves Hollywood's relationship with Heigl is built to last.

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Underdog Review

Someone needs to send an exorcist over to the Disney Studios, PDQ. The House of Mouse needs a ghostbuster to purge its demonic tendencies toward remaking classic cartoons and other 2D animated properties into shoddy live action spectacles. First there was George of the Jungle and Inspector Gadget. Now the glorified product pitchman Underdog falls under the reinterpretation light. Originally conceived by General Mills' ad agency (and its head, W. Watts Biggers) as a way of selling cereal to wee ones, the once noble anthropomorphic pup with the Superman-like powers has been reduced to a post-modern joke where everything's ironic and nothing's endearing.

After he messes up an important training test, failed police dog Shoeshine (with the voice of actor Jason Lee) winds up in the lab of Dr. Simon Barsinister (a perfectly cast Peter Dinklage) and his dopey assistant Cad (a totally out of whack Patrick Warburton). A genetic engineering experiment goes haywire, turning our hound into a hero, and our scientist into a psychopath. On the run, Shoeshine winds up with young Jack Unger (the vacant Alex Neuberger). While he tries to hide his special talents -- especially his ability to talk -- Shoeshine relents, and quickly becomes pals with his new owner. As he settles in for a life of chasing his tail, scratches fleas, and fighting crime, Barsinister will not let such a supremely successful example of his research slip away. He plots to kidnap and capitalize on the newly named Underdog, destroying anyone who intends to stop him.

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Balls Of Fury Review

The humor of a game like ping-pong is the outright laziness and inaction that goes into it. It's a sport designed for drunken high-school parties, frat-house basements, and stoners who need to do something while Jerry and Marley jam out (the same could be said about billiards). Ben Garant's Balls of Fury is contingent on this knowledge; the absurdity of lending some sort of importance to something that is basically as relevant as the color of sock you are currently wearing.

At first, Fury nails this ridiculous tone. The rise of ping-pong star Randy Daytona, a 10-year-old prodigy of the game, is adorned by numbskull television personalities and revered by the entire nation, including Ronald and Nancy Reagan. His defeat at the Olympics by German player Karl Wolfschtagg (Thomas Lennon, who also serves as producer and co-writer) is viewed not only as a personal loss, but a loss for America. His father (Robert Patrick) has his head lopped off due to the German victory, and Randy vanishes into obscurity.

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