Audiences out for a bit of mindless fun will probably enjoy this raucous road movie, but only if they can look past comedy that relies on jokes about racism, sexism and homophobia. And if the characters are all paper-thin, at least the film is loose and enjoyably silly.
It centres on Charlie (Shepard), who lives in rural California with his girlfriend Annie (Bell). But when she's offered a job in Los Angeles, Charlie has to face up to his criminal past. He's currently in witness protection, and returning to L.A. is very dangerous. Still, he decides to take Annie to her job interview, while his protective agent (Arnold) follows close behind. But trouble is brewing because Annie's still-smitten ex (Rosenbaum) is also in hot pursuit, and when he figures out Charlie's secret, he gets in touch with the gang boss, Alex (Cooper), who wants him dead.
While the film looks whizzy and is packed with banter that sounds offensive, everything is pretty half-hearted. The dialog continually touches on sexuality and ethnicity in ways that are more lazy than inappropriate, and the discussions of serious issues like gender roles have no depth at all. This is a movie essentially made up of nothing but stereotypes. Bell and Cooper just about manage to give their characters personalities, but everyone else has essentially one note. Most of the men are mere chucklehead idiots, while the women are male fantasies.
Continue reading: Hit & Run Review
When Charlie Bronson, a bank robbery getaway driver on a witness protection programme, jeopardizes his life to take his beloved fiancée to Los Angeles, his past comes knocking at his door in the form of his old best friends who want their money after being released from an 8 month prison sentence. Charlie's abrupt escape leads to a frenzied sequence of car chases involving his former friends, gangsters and the police, not to mention Charlie's fiancée's shock and rage at finding out that he hasn't been honest with her.
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Robert Axle is a wealthy infomercial master. However, when one of his latest inventions has a design fault that chops users' fingers off, his empire shatters. After spending eight years in federal prison, he is released, and begins to attempt to rebuild his fortune.
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Well, not exactly. While Malibu's Most Wanted featured a goofy white guy obsessed with rap culture -- to the extreme annoyance of everyone around him -- Kickin' It Old Skool gives us Kennedy as a goofy white guy obsessed with... breakdancing culture. The key difference? In Old Skool Kennedy is a coma victim who awakens 20 years after a junior-high talent show (after breakdancing his way to a concussion, of course), only to find a world that's unlike the '80s. Wait, haven't I seen this movie before?
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Dave (Barry Watson), Doofer (Harland Williams), and Adam (Michael Rosenbaum) are the only members of the KOK (pronounced cock) fraternity social committee. During one bash, the money the house had saved to sponsor the annual KOKtail Cruise is stolen and the three bumbleheads are accused of pilfering the money. They are banished from the house. They then return for the next night's party to find out who really took the money. To get into the party, though, they need a disguise. What better way to fool their fraternity brothers than to show up at the party as women!? "Daisy," "Roberta," and "Adina" go to the party to find a hidden video camera that recorded the true thief in the act. All they need to do is find the videotape and their innocence will be revealed. If it were only so easy! Instead, they are tossed out of the party during the ceremony known as "dogcatcher" -- usually reserved for getting rid of the unattractive women of the neighboring Delta Omicron Gamma (DOG - clever, huh?) sorority.
Continue reading: Sorority Boys Review
Star/writer/director Gregory "Mars" Martin has certainly taken a few lessons from watching Walken. As pool prodigy Johnny Doyle, Martin sports bouffant Walken-esque hair and mimics the actor's famously off-kilter verbal cadence, but has no idea how to craft a performance aside from these affectations. As an orphaned kid, Doyle was taken under the wing of a mobster named Joe (Chazz Palminteri) who taught him to be a pool-playing con man. Years later, Doyle learns that Joe screwed him out of a chance to go professional, and he turns on his former benefactor - a decision that comes back to haunt him when Joe returns looking for revenge with a professional ringer (a surprisingly convincing Rick Schroder) in tow. Doyle is trying to keep his relationship with girlfriend Tara (Alison Eastwood) afloat despite her disapproval over his pool shark ways, and also attempting to steer his eager brother Danny (Michael Rosenbaum) and his gang of straight-out-of-central-casting wisecracking buddies away from a life of hustling.
Continue reading: Poolhall Junkies Review
Martin, in a plain, white guy role that's getting a bit tired, is tax attorney Peter Sanderson. He's got a fairly palatial suburban home, an ex-wife, two kids... and a chat room buddy named "lawyergirl." Peter quickly learns that making friends on the Internet can be a bitch -- his dream girl ends up being an ex-con named Charlene (Latifah), a sly loudmouth who's served time for armed robbery. Through some not-so-gentle blackmail, Charlene enlists Peter's legal aid and moves into his house and life.
Continue reading: Bringing Down The House Review
If you're looking for a review of "Cursed" or "Man of the House" in your newspaper this morning, you're not going to find one -- in any newspaper anywhere. Opening in theaters nationwide today, these two movies have been kept hidden from critics because, to be blunt, the studios think they're garbage and want to rake in as much money as they can before word gets out.
Of course, nobody will admit to this at Dimension Films or Columbia Pictures, which are releasing the junkers. But it's no coincidence that every movie Hollywood doesn't screen in advance -- either by not holding previews until the night before opening or not holding them at all -- is largely lambasted once critics and audiences have caught up with it.
Continue reading: Cursed Review
Toothlessly trite and inundated with a relentlessly chirpy elevator-music score, "Bringing Down the House" is a ghetto-woman-in-the-ritzy-white-suburbs culture-clash comedy sanitized to oblige the same middle-aged white folks that are the butts of most of its jokes.
It's about an uptight, overworked, miserably divorced tax attorney (a hammy yet vanilla Steve Martin) whose life is turned upside down when a woman he'd flirted with in a legal-forum online chatroom turns up on his doorstep for a date not looking anything like the sophisticated, young white lawyer she'd pretended to be. She is, in fact, a feisty, girthy, street-smart spitfire straight outta Compton (and played with relish by Queen Latifah) who has just escaped from prison and wants Martin's help proving her innocence on an erroneous armed robbery charge.
The movie would have little plot if these two didn't spend the next five reels trying to hoodwink Martin's neighbors and law partners into thinking the loud-and-proud Latifah is a nanny or a maid -- telling lie on top of outrageous lie when a simple variation on the truth ("She's an acquaintance that I'm helping with a case") would have sufficed.
Continue reading: Bringing Down The House Review