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See Spot Run Review


Grim
David Arquette gets to reinforce his status as the goofy doofus once again in this below-average family comedy about a boy, a dog, and a dumb, sloppy, immature mailman (that would be Arquette). Peering through this half-assed attempt at a funny movie, it's easy to see that the laughs are few and the comic action is a bore -- even the dog looks kind of fed up.

Arquette, however, through the muck of this movie, is actually good as the hapless idiot. Sure, he's played the part before, but in a film like this, Arquette gets to be genuinely likable, especially in the face of the W.C. Fields edict (never work with dogs or children). Maybe it's his childish demeanor or puppy dog face that makes him fit right in, but he's one of the only bright spots of this film.

Continue reading: See Spot Run Review

Analyze That Review


Grim
Analyze This was a very successful 1999 comedy starring Robert De Niro as a mob boss on the verge of a nervous breakdown and Billy Crystal as his unwilling shrink. The movie pulled off a few laughs, most notably by demonstrating De Niro's ability to turn his tough-guy movie persona on its head. Analyze That is a superfluous sequel representing little more than an opportunity to cash in on that prior success.

The new movie picks up with legendary Mob boss Paul Vitti (De Niro) nearing the end of his term in Sing Sing and Dr. Ben Sobol (Billy Crystal) dealing with the recent death of his legendary father. After a series of attempts on his life, Vitti puts on a semi-catatonic act to avoid the general prison population and save his own life. The FBI, baffled by this turn of events, brings in Sobol, his former psychiatrist, to consult on the case, ultimately releasing Vitti into Sobol's custody. Thus, the reluctant doctor is forced to once again try to mend Vitti's fractured psyche, in addition to housing him and finding him an honest job. Needless to say, this wreaks havoc with the poor doctor's already troubled personal life.

Continue reading: Analyze That Review

See Spot Run Review


Grim
David Arquette gets to reinforce his status as the goofy doofus once again in this below-average family comedy about a boy, a dog, and a dumb, sloppy, immature mailman (that would be Arquette). Peering through this half-assed attempt at a funny movie, it's easy to see that the laughs are few and the comic action is a bore -- even the dog looks kind of fed up.

Arquette, however, through the muck of this movie, is actually good as the hapless idiot. Sure, he's played the part before, but in a film like this, Arquette gets to be genuinely likable, especially in the face of the W.C. Fields edict (never work with dogs or children). Maybe it's his childish demeanor or puppy dog face that makes him fit right in, but he's one of the only bright spots of this film.

Continue reading: See Spot Run Review

Bullets Over Broadway Review


Excellent
Woody Allen puts away the parlor tricks (singing, Greek choruses, supernaturalism) for this straight-up period piece, a fun romantic comedy that, with seven Oscar nominations, is one of his most award-nominated films, tying Hannah and Her Sisters. John Cusack (odd choice) stars as an idealistic playwright in the 1920s who, for one reason after another, finds his would-be masterpiece being overrun by meddlers, bizarre actors, love entanglements, and a series of absurd situations. Dianne Wiest won an Oscar for turning "Don't speak!" into a catchphrase, and the film vaulted Chazz Palminteri into the limelight -- for a couple of months, anyway. Great fun all around.

Sex and Bullets Review


Weak
Not horrible -- though this Judd Nelson crime comedy doesn't have a whole lot going for it, namely its hampering by a rather obvious script. Nelson and the always-fun Seymour Cassel play hit men who have just killed the son of the local mob boss (permanent gangster character actor Joe Viterelli). Apparently oblivious to their imminent predicament, Nelson decides to look for some booty at the local convenience store and Cassel, who has recently outed himself, heads to the local bar for a strawberry daiquiri. Naturally, Viterelli will encounter our hapless thugs -- but not before they have crossed paths with two local waitresses and a pair of goofball slacker types. All of this comes together in, you guessed it, a heap of sex and bullets.

The film is helped admirably by the two slutty waitresses -- admirably played by Marisa Ryan and Amy Hathaway -- two girls who clearly hate each other only slightly less than they hate their own lives. The rest of the film is a bit forgettable -- a bunch of tired jokes about condoms and froufrou drinks, but at least it's not a total loss. Here's to hoping Ryan and Hathaway move on to brighter things!

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Analyze This Review


Extraordinary
Abbott and Costello. Matthau and Lemmon. Crystal and De Niro? It sound odd but Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro play perfectly with each other in Analyze This. The story revolves around psychiatrist Ben Sobol (Crystal) who runs a small place with a small client list. One day, one of New York's biggest mobsters (De Niro) has a panic attack and strolls into Sobol's office. You can imagine where it goes from here.

Analyze This is comedy at it's best. I like how Crystal (the comedian) plays the straight man, and De Niro (the dramatic actor) plays the funny man. We explore De Niro's various problems such as crying when seeing heartwarming AT&T commercials. Lisa Kudrow and the fantastic Joe Viterelli are thrown in for supporting laughs. Kudos to De Niro for doing comedy, he's a talent that rivals some of today's comics. Classic scenes and hillarious lines make this one of the year's best movies. Go see this one with the family.

Continue reading: Analyze This Review

Analyze That Review


Unbearable

The shamefully low standards adhered to in "Analyze That" begin with the comedy's very first scene, in which a conversation is composed of two takes so conspicuously incongruous that the actors aren't even looking the same direction from second to second -- and it's almost all downhill from there.

The performances of Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal (reprising their roles as a mobster and his shrink) are apathetic schtick. The plot is the worst kind of emaciated contrivance (faking insanity, De Niro is released from prison into neurotic Crystal's custody, and havoc ensues). The jokes that aren't reheated leftovers from 1999's "Analyze This" are painfully trite (everyone checks their pockets when a cell phone rings at a funeral), painfully telegraphed (De Niro disrupts a Crystal family gathering in an open bathrobe) or just plain painful ("Maybe if you're quiet enough you can do it without waking your wife," De Niro jibes Crystal about his sex life).

Worst of all, director Harold Ramis actually tries to jerk some tears with a grieving-son story arc for Crystal's shrink and maudlin soft-focus flashbacks of a happy childhood for De Niro's mafioso. Oh, puh-leaze!

Continue reading: Analyze That Review

Shallow Hal Review


Unbearable

If it weren't for Gwyneth Paltrow, "Shallow Hal" would be utterly insufferable.

A nearly laughless, woefully under-written romantic comedy that flaunts its political incorrectness only to conclude with an insultingly insincere sermon about What's Really Important In Life, the picture is a product of the writing-directing Farrelly Brothers, who apparently exhausted their talent for bawdy laughs with "There's Something About Mary."

It stars impish Jack Black (so funny in "High Fidelity," so abrasive in anything else) as Hal, an obnoxious, unsightly, superficial pest who is interested exclusively in physically perfect hotties until the day he's hypnotized -- by self-help guru Tony Robbins (playing himself) -- into seeing only people's inner beauty.

Continue reading: Shallow Hal Review

Mickey Blue Eyes Review


Zero

"Mickey Blue Eyes" is one of those movies that wouldn't last 20 minutes if the main character wasn't a certifiable moron.

A comedy of the uncomfortable, it's predicated on Hugh Grant, playing an tentative, English, auction house proprietor in New York, allowing himself to become embroiled in the mob when he unknowingly proposes to a mafia princess (Jeanne Tripplehorn).

She declines, crying her eyes out and explaining her background and the family she's tried to put behind her. Romantically, he says it doesn't matter. She exacts one promise from him: That he won't agree to do any favors for her family and won't accept any, either. "That's how they get you," she says. "Then you'll be one of them."

Continue reading: Mickey Blue Eyes Review

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