Jack Kehler

Jack Kehler

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Auggie Rose Review


Good
Curious little movie. Jeff Goldblum's morose insurance salesman witnesses a shooting of an employee during the robbery of a deli and decides to look into the life of the man who ultimately dies into his eyes. Auggie Rose, it turns out, is an ex-con fresh out of 20 years in prison with no family ties -- only a pen-pal girl (Anne Heche) who is coming to meet him for the first time. Goldblum's John Nolan takes a giant leap and starts to assume Auggie's identity, slowly weaning himself from his rich guy trappings (and his own form of prison) as he becomes this down-on-his-luck individual. Laconic and contrived beyond belief, Auggie Rose is nonetheless a much better film than I ever expected it could be, largely thanks to Goldblum's prodigious acting chops. If anyone could make you feel the life of a rich insurance salesman is worse than that of a penniless ex-con, Goldblum can.

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This Is Not a Film Review


Weak
Michael wants to find his long lost ex-girlfriend; figures he'll make a film pleasing for information about her whereabouts in the hopes that someone will see the movie, then tell him where she is, a la "six degrees of separation." This Is Not a Film is, of course, a film -- a fictional one at that, and with a rather weak idea at its heart. A camera and sound guy follow Michael through his day, selling shoes, drinking coffee, doing the crossword, and so on. It's a self-referential "here we go walkin' through the city and talkin' about making a movie" movie, though at least everyone involved is reasonably professional. It's not too terribly long, either, and in this one-joke gig, that's a good thing.

Dudley Do-Right Review


Terrible
About two years ago I wrote a short story called "Cinemascopia." The story envisioned the movie critic's hell as being stuck inside one of his own reviews. I revise this. Hell, for me, would be eternally watching Dudley Do-Right.

Dudley Do-Right, a film from Hugh Wilson, the director of Blast from the Past, is a movie so unbearably stupid that it is an utter insult to the industry as a whole for it to have even been created. In Dudley Do-Right, the title character (Fraser) is pitted against his arch-rival Snidley Whiplash (Alfred Molina) when the town of Semi-Happy Valley falls victim to massive consumerism after Whiplash takes over the town and creates an artificial gold rush by placing gold in the streams. At the same time, Whiplash and Do-Right engage in a battle for the affections of Nell (Sarah Jessica Parker). This battle includes, but is not limited to, miniature golf, Indian tribes from Brooklyn, and paint-by-numbers portraits.

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Fever Pitch Review


Weak
"Fever Pitch" is a romantic sports comedy thatgets by on the same kind of lovable-loser charm that has kept its maincharacter obsessed with the Boston Red Sox since age 7.

The movie is not especially creative, the performancesare not especially memorable, the script lacks structure (at least untilthe start of the baseball season provides an external one), and the directingis often slapdash. But there's a saving grace in the underlying, never-say-dieendearment to the fantasized (even fetish-ized) relationship between schoolteacherBen (Jimmy Fallon) and his beloved BoSox. This authentic eternal optimismalso gives amusing life to Ben's desperate hope that insane fandom won'tkill a newer relationship -- with the first girl he's ever loved as muchas baseball.

During the winter of 2003, Ben falls for an out-of-his-leaguebusiness consultant named Lindsey (Drew Barrymore), and she falls for him-- after being convinced by her girlfriends to change her habit of doomedflings with aggressive, career-driven yuppies. The offbeat sweetness ofthis opposites-attract couple and their conflict over baseball feel exponentiallymore authentic than the snowballing little lies and contrived misunderstandingsthat drive most romantic comedies.

Ben and Lindsey have real laughs together (not rimshotdialogue designed exclusively for cheap guffaws from the audience) andthey make real compromises, recognizing the vast differences between them.Their problems arise because until summer rolls around she just doesn'tquite grasp how truly commitment he is to the seemingly cursed Sox -- despitehis honest attempts to warn her and despite the fact that his apartmentis decorated exclusively in classic Sox memorabilia, hung on every wallsave the one painted like "The Green Monster" back wall of FenwayPark.

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Big Trouble Review


Weak

How apropos it seems that the enjoyably outrageous screwball satire "Big Trouble" should open a little more than a week after the death of Billy Wilder, whose influence is felt all over this picture's breakneck comedic pacing.

Reminiscent, if mostly in spirit, of Wilder's lesser-known "One, Two, Three" -- a fast-paced side-splitter starring James Cagney as an American business man who stumbles into Iron Curtain intrigue in 1961 Berlin -- "Big Trouble" features Tim Allen as a fired, freshly divorced newspaper columnist who narrates a lunatic tale of arms trading and assassination attempts in modern Miami.

As one of a dozen characters with equal screen time, Allen's connection to the plot is almost peripheral, but he gives great voice-over (from the zany Dave Barry book on which the film is based) that helps keep straight the cavalcade of well-cast kooks to come.

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