Jason Filardi

Jason Filardi

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17 Again Review


Excellent
Zac Efron takes a lot of heat for singing high-pitched tunes and prancing around on basketball courts in the High School Musical movies, but in 17 Again he finally gets to prove that he's more than Disney's poster boy. Here, he plays Mike O'Donnell, a 17-year-old high school senior with a basketball scholarship on the horizon (not exactly a stretch for the actor). When he discovers that his girlfriend, Scarlett, is pregnant, he finds himself having to choose between marrying her and pursuing college athletics. He chooses the girl.

That was back in 1989. Twenty years later, Mike (now Matthew Perry) finds himself regretting some of those choices. He's now in his thirties, and life has fallen apart. He hates his dead-end job and wishes he would have gone to college. His two teenage kids (Michelle Trachtenberg and Sterling Knight) have nothing to do with him, and Scarlett (Leslie Mann) is in the process of divorcing him. All the while, his nerdy best friend, Ned (Thomas Lennon), has become an inventor and has more money than he knows what to do with. If only Mike could turn back the clock.

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Bringing Down The House Review


Good
More than a decade after Steve Martin lost control of his own home in Housesitter, another of his patented Poor Sap characters is in similar trouble. This time, instead of a spunky, conniving Goldie Hawn acting as unwanted tenant, a sassy, street-smart, badass Queen Latifah is movin' on up. Thankfully, Martin and Latifah make for a good high-concept Hollywood odd couple that keeps all races and ages laughing, in director Adam Shankman's speedy, funky -- and politically incorrect -- comedy.

Martin, in a plain, white guy role that's getting a bit tired, is tax attorney Peter Sanderson. He's got a fairly palatial suburban home, an ex-wife, two kids... and a chat room buddy named "lawyergirl." Peter quickly learns that making friends on the Internet can be a bitch -- his dream girl ends up being an ex-con named Charlene (Latifah), a sly loudmouth who's served time for armed robbery. Through some not-so-gentle blackmail, Charlene enlists Peter's legal aid and moves into his house and life.

Continue reading: Bringing Down The House Review

Jason Filardi

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