Mika Boorem

Mika Boorem

Mika Boorem Quick Links

Pictures Video Film RSS

Hearts in Atlantis Review


Weak
The entire time I spent watching the latest Stephen King big-screen adaptation Hearts in Atlantis, I had this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that something was missing. All the key elements of a potentially great film were present -- authentic-looking 1960s Americana scenery, great acting by Anthony Hopkins and newcomer Anton Yelchin (Delivering Milo), an intriguing story line, and strong directing by Scott Hicks. And then, at the end of the film, it just hit me like a sap across the back of the neck.

One common recurring narrative in many of King's better-known novel-to-screen adaptations -- such as Stand by Me, The Green Mile, and The Shawshank Redemption -- incorporates an older gentleman recalling his youth or a life-changing incident of his life. Hearts in Atlantis follows this to a tee. After learning of a childhood friend's death, a middle-aged photographer Robert Garfield (David Morse) ventures back to his hometown for the funeral. Upon arrival, Robert recalls memories of youth and of one innocent, fateful summer when a mysterious man named Ted Brautigan (Hopkins) entered his life and changed it forever.

Continue reading: Hearts in Atlantis Review

Carolina Review


Weak
Just by looking at the cover you'll be able to figure out a fair amount of the content of Carolina. Sure, there will be a love triangle forming its central struggle, and a kindly old grandmother (Shirley MacLaine) will be on hand to dispense wisdom to young Carolina (Julia Stiles).

But will you guess that a major subplot will blatantly (and explicitly) rip off The Rocking Horse Winner? Or that MacLaine will spew a monologue about rubbing manure on her breasts? Wow. How could you?

Continue reading: Carolina Review

Jack Frost Review


Terrible
Not to be confused with the horror film of the same name, this Jack Frost is still so frightening I'd hesitate to put it before any child who ever plans to see a snowman. In this bizarre and god-awful tale, a conveniently-named Colorado blues singer (Colorado blues singer???) called Jack Frost (Keaton) gets his big break on Christmas Day and has to abandon his family to sign the record deal. Naturally, storm hits, car goes off road, Jack dies, and naturally he comes back to life as a snowman. He eats frozen vegetables and tries not to melt, while getting in some quality time with son Charlie (Cross), including hockey lessons with a tree branch. Hideous effects and a just-plain-bad premise make this one to stay away from.

Blue Crush Review


Weak
At 104 minutes, Blue Crush puts the "endless" in the popular surf phrase "endless summer." It certainly feels longer than any movie derived from a magazine article deserves to be (in this case, it's author Susan Orlean's 1998 Women's Outdoor magazine piece "Surf Girls of Maui"). But the bloated undertaking especially disappoints because Crush positively flies out of the gate and entertains for a good 30 minutes before a huge wipeout.

Relative newcomer Kate Bosworth plays Anne Marie, unofficial leader of a trio of surfer chicks and the only one who's tasted fame. Three years prior, she aced a teen championship and flirted with the pro circuit, but a head-on collision with the coral reef resulted in a near-death drowning incident that Anne Marie just can't shake. Her reluctance to get back on the board threatens her final shot at the Pipeline Championship, and the sponsorships and recognition that come with the pro surfing tour.

Continue reading: Blue Crush Review

Sleepover Review


Good
A most pleasant surprise, Sleepover is reminiscent of last year's hit Freaky Friday, an unabashedly goofy kids' movie with good intentions that adults will enjoy more than they have any right to.

Julie (Alexa Vega from the Spy Kids trilogy) is a 14-year-old whose life is in crisis, not a big surprise for a teenager. Her best friend is moving to Vancouver, leaving Julie alone and unpopular as middle school ends and high school looms near. Her former best friend, Stacie (Sara Paxton), has now joined a group of popular, cosmetically gifted girls who resemble an underclass version of the Plastics in Mean Girls.

Continue reading: Sleepover Review

Along Came A Spider Review


Grim
When you think "movie franchise," you think Harrison Ford or maybe Eddie Murphy... but Morgan Freeman? Yet, with the middling $60 million take of 1997's Kiss the Girls, the low-key, dependable actor returns as Dr. Alex Cross, in another try at a psycho thriller. Sadly, Freeman's the only point of interest in this one. Kiss the Girls was average at best -- Along Came A Spider should aspire to such heights.

Both films are based on James Patterson novels, where the good Doctor (detective, psychologist, author, hostage negotiator, model boat builder... good Lord) chases down some scary guy who's either a kidnapper, a murderer, or both. Here, our culprit is a teacher (Michael Wincott) at a D.C. prep school for kids that require Secret Service detail. He conducts his entire teaching career incognito, and then snatches the young daughter of a generic U.S. Congressman (Michael Moriarty).

Continue reading: Along Came A Spider Review

Riding In Cars With Boys Review


Weak

When a movie says it's "based on" a true story, all too often it means that after the script doctors get through with it, what's left is too predictable and packed with clichés to bear any resemblance to the randomness of real life. Such is the case with "Riding In Cars With Boys."

But it just so happens that clichés and predictability are director Penny Marshall specialty. Idle since "A League of Their Own" -- which was totally trite yet thoroughly enjoyable -- Marshall applies her syrupy, low-cal sentimentality to this adapted autobiography of writer Beverly Donofrio, whose youthful ambition was derailed in 1965, by getting knocked up at age 15.

A maudlin but self-deprecating, bittersweet comedy-drama in which major crises are solved with little more than hugs, Beverly's journey through motherhood would be the stuff of a Lifetime Channel movie-of-the-week if not for its gusty sense of humor and a phenomenal performance of extraordinary depth and range by the previously beguiling but frivolous Drew Barrymore.

Continue reading: Riding In Cars With Boys Review

Sleepover Review


Grim

The 'tweenybopper moviegoer is unlikely to be savvy to the rote, one-dimensional nature of clichés like catty in-crowd queen bees, cardboard cut-out dream boys admired from a distance, and underdog cliques of pretty, outcast Everygirls -- but that's no excuse for building a whole picture around such threadbare characters and the inevitable plots that go with them.

Yet that's exactly what happens in "Sleepover," the latest example of how Hollywood can strip a halfway decent idea of any originality by saddling it with tedious stereotypes and the false hope of easy, prepackaged solutions for young girls' adolescent problems.

It's a comedy in which four "average" junior high girls (Alexa Vega, Mika Boorem, Scout Taylor-Compton and Kallie Flynn Childress), typically nervous about being accepted, are challenged by four shallow, cruel, fashionista cheerleader types (Sara Paxton and three indistinguishable minions) to a one-night, sneak-out-of-the-house scavenger hunt. The winners get to eat lunch at the "cool" table when they go on to high school next year.

Continue reading: Sleepover Review

Along Came A Spider Review


Terrible

In its very first scene, "Along Came a Spider" announces its intention to be just like every other genius criminal vs. brooding cop thriller you've ever seen.

Washington, D.C. detective Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman, reprising his role from "Kiss the Girls") blows a sting operation and gets his pretty female partner killed. But not just plain ol' killed, mind you -- she dangles over a dam in a convertible, so he can look her in the eyes as the car slips and she plunges to her death.

As you might expect after a cheap, manipulative, formulaic emotional hook like that, Cross mopes around blaming himself until a big case falls in his lap and he completely forgets all about that incident, which wasn't relevant to the plot anyway.

Continue reading: Along Came A Spider Review

Hearts In Atlantis Review


OK

When Stephen King steps off the pulp horror assembly line, his work tends to turn toward the warm, nostalgic and philosophical -- and the best Stephen King movies have always come from these works.

Set in 1960 Connecticut, "Hearts in Atlantis" is just such a movie, lying somewhere between "Stand By Me" and "The Green Mile" in its heady atmosphere of wonder, mystery, and the rose-colored remembrances of childhood.

It's the story of a young boy named Bobby (freckled, wide-eyed, curly-haired and charismatic Anton Yelchin) who is befriended by an enigmatic boarder living in the upstairs apartment of the house he shares with his acrimonious mother (Hope Davis), a resentful widow left in debt by Bobby's gambling-addicted father.

Continue reading: Hearts In Atlantis Review

Blue Crush Review


Weak

The 40 or so minutes that the newfangled surf-girls movie "Blue Crush" spends in the water is a cinematic blast of pipe-riding pleasure. Post-feminist and almost the antithesis of a "Gidget" flick, it also has a bit more going for it than just bikini babes and bitchin' waves. But its plot is ankle deep at best -- an amalgam of sports and summer love clichés that act as an undertow into the past it's trying to leave behind.

Accessible, freckle-nosed blonde knockout Kate Bosworth (who had small roles in "Remember the Titans" and "The Horse Whisperer") stars as Anne Marie, a gifted, Hawaii-raised board bunny with an ambition toward surfing fame and fortune. But a dysfunctional home life and haunting memories of a near-death wipeout are holding her back.

She lives in a shabby beach shack with her two best friends Eden (Michelle Rodriguez) and Lena (Sanoe Lake), with whom she surfs every morning before they show up late for their low-paying house-cleaning jobs at a ritzy resort hotel. Lip service is paid to the fact that Anne Marie is raising her rebellious 14-year-old sister (Mika Boorem) because mom's off gallivanting with "a meal ticket who doesn't like the kids menu."

Continue reading: Blue Crush Review

Mika Boorem

Mika Boorem Quick Links

Pictures Video Film RSS
Advertisement

Suggested

'New Dr. Dre Album' Set To Drop This Weekend, According To Ice Cube

'New Dr. Dre Album' Set To Drop This Weekend, According To Ice Cube

Surprise albums are becoming increasingly common in 2015, to the point where they’re failing...

Ricki And The Flash - Trailer

Ricki And The Flash - Trailer

Ricki and the Flash is a music comedy drama about the high price of a musician's pursuit of fame.