Michael Aguilar

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The Crazies Review


Very Good
As far as unnecessary remakes go, this revamp of the 1973 George A Romero B-movie thriller is actually pretty good fun, thanks to sharp direction, a strong cast and some extremely unnerving touches.

In a small Iowa farming community, Sheriff David (Olyphant) and his pregnant wife Dr Judy (Mitchell) are perplexed by the odd behaviour of the townsfolk, who begin losing their minds and acting out violently against each other. Then David and his deputy (Anderson) discover a mysterious crashed plane nearby, followed by an invasion of government containment officials who round up the residents and separate them into groups of infected and healthy. But something's still not right, and the craziness only escalates.

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What Happens In Vegas... Review


Bad
The battle for the human heart has official morphed from witty, sophisticated banter between star-crossed lovers to something akin to mixed martial arts. Or, in the case of the new Ashton Kutcher/Cameron Diaz romcom What Happens in Vegas..., dull marital artifice. In this cloying, created-by-committee exercise in screaming and facial mugging, personal humanity is reduced down to five or six of the seven deadly sins -- particularly: greed, sloth, and... no wait, that's about it. As a result, we witness gender dynamics as primitive pandering.

After getting dumped by her stiff-collared fiancé, efficient New York securities trader Joy McNally (Diaz) gets talked into a trip to Sin City by her best friend, slutty bartender Tipper (Lake Bell). A mix up at the front desk finds recently fired NYC furniture builder Jack Fuller (Kutcher) and his shyster slacker pal Hater (Rob Corddry) sharing the same room. A night of drunken debauchery finds Joy and Jack married. As they discuss divorce, the random pull of a slot machine sees the pair win $3 million. Taking the matter to court, a defiant judge (Dennis Miller) orders the pair to actually live as husband and wife for six months. If they survive, they'll split the money. But if one fails, it's an unexpected windfall for the other.

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Semi-Pro Review


Weak
Will Ferrell hasn't run out of sports to exploit in the name of comedy, but if Semi-Pro is any indication, he has run out of original ideas.

The funnyman's stable of petulant and grossly overconfident buffoons grows with the addition of Jackie Moon, owner, coach, and starting power forward for the Flint Tropics, a fictional ABA basketball squad hoping to survive the 1976 merger with the NBA.

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Unaccompanied Minors Review


Good
Every year, we get a fresh batch of treacle at the movie theatre, all in the name of "family holiday entertainment;" approximately 68 percent of it stars Tim Allen. Because many Christmas movies have so little to recommend them, when Unaccompanied Minors comes in as "not too shabby," it's actually a rather glowing recommendation, given the context.A group of wee teens, flying for reasons that range from divorce to Judaism, get snowed in to a fictional Midwest airport on Christmas Eve. They balk at staying in the unaccompanied minors' lounge -- sort of an unsanitary recess in a demilitarized zone -- and make a break for it. They have a mission (to deliver Christmas to one boy's idealistic little sister) and a sworn enemy (Lewis Black as the airport's Scroogetastic head of passenger relations), and between them, they also have the full range of plucky teen clichés. There's Spencer (Dyllan Christopher) the ringleader, a geek who is only geeky in the world of movies, a spoiled princess with a heart of gold (Gina Mantegna), the sassy tomboy (Quinn Shephard), and the stereotype trifecta, the anal, prematurely grown teen who is also the black kid and the Jew (Tyler James Williams).To their credit, the kids in Unaccompanied Minors aren't cloying moppets, and all have a handle on how to act as real-kid-like as a holiday film will allow (Williams especially rocks the pitch-perfect comic timing he uses each week on TV's Everyone Hates Chris). And further thank heaven that the film is not, in fact, the Home Alone ripoff the previews advertise. Yes, there are precocious kids outwitting ill-tempered adults, but there are also a lot of jokes made at the expense of bio-diesel (Spencer's dad, played by Rob Corddry, is a tree-hugger who sets out across a couple of blizzarding states to pick up his stranded son).Director Paul Feig, who's made a career out of directing cult-popular TV series like The Office, Arrested Development, Freaks & Geeks (which he co-created), trades on some of his cachet and rounds up a laundry list of pals and former co-workers to turn the supporting cast into sort of a who's who of hip comedy talent. In addition to Black and Corddry, fellow correspondent from The Daily Show Rob Riggle is a security guard; The Office's writer/actors Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak both show up as disheartened airport employees; Tony Hale and Jessica Walter, both late of Arrested, each have a cameo; and former Kids in the Hall Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, and Mark McKinney play an inept group of guards (in the hall).The killer cast, though, is pretty much the only nod to the sly humor Minors could have boasted to make it as appealing to adults as it will be to precocious pre-teens. The rest is purely PG-level wackiness that is admittedly funny at times -- I like a good jack-in-the-box Santa gag as much as the next person -- even as it is relentlessly predictable and unabashedly heartwarming. Screenwriters Mya Stark & Jacob Meszaros, both working on their first feature-length films, clearly do not have the same handle on subversive comedy that many of the actors, and Feig, have shown such brilliance with in the past, and they head instead for the broadest of gags.In the context of comedy films, Unaccompanied Minors is probably mediocre at best. There are rather too many aw-shucks moments, the plot is wafer thin, and airport hijinks like this are patently ludicrous in a post-9/11, no-water-or-moisturizer-past-security world. But when it comes to movies that are meant to promote family togetherness and holiday cheer, there are certainly worse things you could be dragged to by your children/parents/siblings. And yes, I am looking at you, everything that Tim Allen has done for November release in the past decade.Where's Sinbad when you need him?
Michael Aguilar

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'Modern Family' Casts TV's First Transgender Child Actor

'Modern Family' Casts TV's First Transgender Child Actor

Jackson Millarker will star in episode ‘A Stereotypical Day’ set to air in the US on Wednesday evening.

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'Will And Grace' Comes Back For Mini Episode To Voice Support For Hillary Clinton

'Will And Grace' Comes Back For Mini Episode To Voice Support For Hillary Clinton

The cast had teased something big was coming and all was revealed on Monday night.

Drake Launches Intense New Short Film 'Please Forgive Me'

Drake Launches Intense New Short Film 'Please Forgive Me'

The rapper teams up with Apple Music on his latest project.

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Michael Aguilar Movies

The Crazies Movie Review

The Crazies Movie Review

As far as unnecessary remakes go, this revamp of the 1973 George A Romero B-movie...

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Unaccompanied Minors Movie Review

Unaccompanied Minors Movie Review

Every year, we get a fresh batch of treacle at the movie theatre, all in...

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