Michael Mccullers

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Baby Mama Review

Ah, the infant: cinema's biological cure-all. Give a movie a messed up couple with a mountain of problems, or a young woman working on several self-esteem issues, and watch as reproduction works its zygote-induced magic. From She's Having a Baby to Parenthood, Juno to Knocked Up, pregnancy and all the surrounding hormonal hoopla supposedly symbolizes life celebrating itself. In the new Tina Fey comedy Baby Mama, it's just a manipulative means to a grossly unfunny end.

Super career-woman Kate Holbrook (Fey) has it all -- the ear of her wingnut organic foods tycoon Barry (Steve Martin), a cushy vice-presidency, and a fab-o apartment in Philadelphia. All she lacks is a genetic duplicate of her own professional perfection. Sadly, her internal lady parts can't supply a womb with a view. After trying every available procedure, she resorts to hiring a surrogate. After some bun in the oven bartering with baby broker Chaffee Bicknell (Sigourney Weaver), Holbrook meets Angie Ostrowiski (Amy Poehler), a working class gal with a white trash persona and a heart as large as a Big Gulp. When things go awry in her relationship, she moves in with Holbrook. Middling hijinx ensue.

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Curious George Review

Parents who wisely decided against bringing their youngest to see Peter Jackson's ape epic King Kong will be pleased to learn that the animated adventure Curious George follows the exact same storyline to deliver a kiddie Kong that's accessible to all ages. Plus, at 87 minutes, it's half as long and nearly twice as entertaining.

The two movies are distributed by Universal Studios, hardly a coincidence. In fact, their plots share so many similarities one might want to investigate preliminary plagiarism charges. Both movies involve men facing financial devastation who traipse into uncharted territories in search of a valuable treasure that will put them back on their feet. Fortune eludes these guys, but they do discover a monkey - Kong in one, George in another - that follows them back to the mainland and proceeds to create havoc.

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Austin Powers In Goldmember Review

Goldmember finds Mike Myers returning to his most successful franchise, but desperately running out of steam and resorting to yet another stab at jokes that hit-and-missed the first two times around.

And guess what: They haven't improved with age.

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Thunderbirds Review

Kids who are relatively new to movies and unfamiliar with cynicism will love Thunderbirds, Jonathan Frakes' live-action take on the cult 1960s puppets and rockets show. Kids are bound to love the fast pace and broad characters as the kid cast triumphs over evil adults and get rewarded by the cool ones.

The reason why I can't recommend Thunderbirds is common in mediocre kids' fare: It offers nothing for the adults playing chaperone, who will be flat-out bored. Frakes and his screenwriters make no attempt to entertain anyone over the age of 13, unless you find stuttering and bad teeth uproarious. If ever there was a movie meant for DVD, this is it. Mom can pay the bills or read a book in the living room, as the kids argue over how cool it would be to ride one of the Thunderbirds.

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Undercover Brother Review

The Blaxploitation films of the 1970s starred relatively unknown black actors playing new kinds of male and female superheroes that had all of the style, funk, and butt-stomping moves to tackle any foe. With the exception of the Samuel L. Jackson's remake of Shaft and Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown, very few films in this genre have emerged in the last 30 years. Undercover Brother is a throwback to those classic films, but sadly, contains too little of the fashion or the funk that made its predecessors so much fun.

The film stars Eddie Griffin as Undercover Brother, a modern day black man with a wild afro and everything a '70s man could want, including a solid gold caddy, platform shoes, and polyester bell-bottoms. Brother is recruited by the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. organization to help overpower the evil efforts of "The Man." The Man, along with henchmen "The Feather" (Chris Kattan) and "White She-Devil" (Denise Richards) are causing havoc with race relations between blacks and whites. In "Operation Whitewash," The Man has influenced black General Boutwell (Billy Dee Williams) to not run for President, but rather to open a chain of fast food chicken restaurants.

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Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me Review

James Bond is back - NOT! - as one vaguely remembered star of stage and screen might have said.

Instead of Bond, it's super-groovy spy Austin Powers (Myers) making his triumphant return to the silver screen, the British secret agent frozen in the 60's and thawed in the 90's, where/when he returned to active duty. The Spy Who Shagged Me picks up right where the original left off, with Dr. Evil (also Myers) banished to space in his Big Boy statue/spaceship, and Austin settling down with new wife Vanessa (Elizabeth Hurley, in a cameo re-appearance).

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Michael Mccullers

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