Plagued by writer's block, Eddie (Cooper) has become a scruffy loser, which prompts high-flying girlfriend Lindy (Cornish) to dump him. Then his drug-dealing ex-brother-in-law (Whitworth) offers him a clear pill called NZT that lets him access all of his brain. Suddenly, words flow freely and his mind races ahead, learning languages (the better for bedding beautiful women) and working the stock market. But his moneymaking schemes put him in league with both a nasty Russian loanshark (Howard) and a fat-cat businessman (De Niro), just as NZT's dark side-effects kick in.
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When Williams was good--let's say 1982 to 1994 -- the results were oftentimes spectacular, such as 1993's Mrs. Doubtfire, when his cleverness and comic timing transcended the saccharine boundaries of the typical family film and made it legitimately funny. For younger readers looking for a relatively contemporary comparison, Will Ferrell did the same thing in Elf.
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Perhaps a reunion with Ben Stiller rekindled a little of that Farrelly fire. because The Heartbreak Kid, a remake of the Charles Grodin-Cybill Shepherd comedy from 1972, is the brothers' most deliberate effort to recapture that Mary magic.
Continue reading: The Heartbreak Kid (2007) Review
Immediately, the music kicks in. The day-to-day sounds of the bustling town melt with Marc Shaiman's infectious doo-wop score and the camera swoops toward the modest bedroom of typical teen Tracy Turnblad, who is played to perfection by newcomer Nikky Blonsky. Another star is born. But though the angle may descend rapidly, Shankman's movie remains airborne for two full hours, bolstered by the incomparable high that accompanies the raucous joy of musical rebellion.
Continue reading: Hairspray (2007) Review
Plus, it's a Disney live-action movie. Need I say more?
Continue reading: Freaky Friday (2003) Review
Heaven actually softens the blow by refining its cute idea about two souls needing a connection. One of them just happens to be a widow and the other a ghost. The former, David Abbott (Mark Ruffalo), lost his wife and hasn't been able to recover from the shock. The latter, Elizabeth Martinson (Reese Witherspoon), was a workaholic doctor who was the victim in the aforementioned car accident. When he moves in to her newly available San Francisco flat, David discovers Elizabeth's restless spirit around every corner, and the two set out to learn why her soul is trapped in limbo.
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If you can relate to this heady premise, you'll love The Thomas Crown Affair. A loose remake of the 1968 Thomas Crown Affair, this version pits Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo against each other in a game of cat-and-cat. Brosnan is Thomas Crown, an uber-wealthy NYC tycoon with an art fetish. Russo is Catherine Banning, a semi-rogue insurance investigator who instantly pegs Crown as the thief when the local Monet goes missing.
Continue reading: The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) Review
It's safe to say that your enjoyment of the film is bound by this same rule. Dyed-in-the-wool film critics like myself have been down this road once or twice before, and the enormous leap of faith it takes to convince oneself that, deep down, even "bad" people are good makes me want to reach for my DVD of A Clockwork Orange.
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Fortunately, The Next Best Thing covers very different ground than Affection. Unfortunately, that ground turns out to be providing a platform for Madonna to sing, to show off her yoga skills, and To Show You How Much She Can E-Mote During Her Di-A-Logue, all while affecting a slight (yet very pretentious) British accent. Get outta the way, people, Madonna's gonna act!!! And it isn't going to be pretty. (See also: Evita.)
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