Jay Polstein

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Underdog Review


Bad
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.

Continue reading: Underdog Review

Frida Review


Very Good
After withstanding a decade of development, a race between two competing projects, and the mural-sized egos of Jennifer Lopez and Madonna, a film biography of Frida Kahlo has finally made it to the screen. Who would have guessed that a film about a mustachioed, Mexican woman with a peg leg and an overweight, Communist husband would generate so much interest? Nevertheless Frida's producers, including star Salma Hayek, somehow prevented this unique story from becoming a disastrous vanity project and ended up with an unlikely Hollywood film.

Frida Kahlo's (Salma Hayek) first meeting with Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina) and her injury in a horrible bus accident set in motion the two major forces behind Frida. Bedridden for months in a full-body cast, the young Frida keeps herself busy--and learns to express her internal passions and pain--through drawing and painting. Falling in with the womanizing Rivera and his bohemian cadre of artists and revolutionaries deepens Frida's commitment to her painting and life with the loyal but philandering muralist. Their art carries them from Mexico to New York and back in the company of such impressive historical figures as David Alfaro Siqueiros (Antonio Banderas), Nelson Rockefeller (Ed Norton), and Leon Trotsky (Geoffery Rush).

Continue reading: Frida Review

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Jay Polstein Movies

Frida Movie Review

Frida Movie Review

After withstanding a decade of development, a race between two competing projects, and the mural-sized...

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