The premise is simple: a high school ugly duckling named Dizzy (Road Trip's DJ Qualls) turns it around and starts fresh at a new school, strutting like a badass and making a new personality for himself as a guy named Gil. The supposedly funny twist is that he gets his education in cool while hanging at a prison, taking lessons in toughness from Eddie Griffin (wasted in his short appearance), learning how to dance like a hipster from Horatio Sanz (also wasted), and getting a makeover from the stereotypical cross-dressing cons in the pen. In each scene, Decter and screenwriter David Kendall (big blame goes to him too) want to get right to the funny immediately - the only problem is that each attempt results in a vacant black hole.
Continue reading: The New Guy (2002) Review
If you want to remember the Alamo, the latest feature film version of the Texas fort's famous last stand may not be much help.
A beautifully produced but relatively bloodless (literally and figuratively) Hollywood rendering of the 1836 siege on San Antonio by tyrannical General Santa Anna, who was determined to recapture the territory for Mexico, it's a movie more concerned with details like Jim Bowie's terminal case of consumption than it is with the historical context of its story and its legendary characters.
In this movie, Bowie (Jason Patric) the frontier adventurer and volunteer army colonel is presented as little more than an infamous "knife fighter" haunted by his wife's death. Newspaper publisher, lawyer and militiaman Lt. Col. William B. Travis (Patrick Wilson) is just a determined dandy with questioned military skills (questioned mostly by Bowie) who rises to the occasion as temporary commander of these now-fortified grounds surrounding an unfinished mission. David "Davey" Crockett (Billy Bob Thornton) is a fiddle-playing former senator made famous by a stage play written about something he once did while wearing a coonskin hat -- and why he's even at the Alamo isn't entirely clear.
Continue reading: The Alamo Review
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