Dad's lost his job, too, and both his parents think he's gay (thanks to what turns out to be the movie's funniest single moment), so Darren scrambles back to the dorms to figure out how to raise another $1000 so he can stay in school. (Naturally, he's also in love with another resident named Gracie (Kristen Bell), but he can't profess him affections to her.)
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The premise: Tommy Lee Jones plays a Texas Ranger who goes undercover in a girls' sorority house to protect five cheerleaders who have witnessed a murder -- is about as bad a concept as has ever been approved by a studio (at least until the Deuce Bigalow sequel comes out). But a funny thing about this film (about the only funny thing) is that the actors seem to be enjoying themselves -- especially Jones, whose droll, dry persona makes this film, if not a hoot, at least not a total travesty.
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Completed before American Beauty, this artificial little movie resembles it in every way possible, mainly because it examines the very same set of stereotypes about malfunctioning wealthy suburbanites. Vincent (Vincent Kartheiser), a sallow loner, follows Roseanne everywhere with his camera. Given the privilege to provide voice-over for most of the film, we hope that he is the voice of wisdom, or at least revelation in the story. Far from it: His philosophy is one of a self-possessed New Age spiritual guru who is convinced he can save Roseanne from hell she is living in. What Ricky was able to see with his lens in American Beauty revealed the hidden layers of human behavior. Vincent, by comparison, as well as the whole ensemble of characters in Crime + Punishment, goes through the plot's twists and turns without a single coherent thought in his head.
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This lighthearted comedy features the Teenage Girl Class of 1998 in a silly prep school that is about to do the unthinkable: admit boys. Amidst the bulimia and the hair dye pranks, there's not much learnin' to be done so why not hatch a plan to get the boys banned for life? All this culminates in an obviously re-edited (the film has lost 20-some minutes of running time and has earned a new, meaningless title) strike with the gals taking over the school.
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The long-anticipated match-up delivers all the gore, violence, carnage, and brutality you can stomach. By disregarding continuity, the film simultaneously honors its roots and forgets its past. Which means Freddy Vs. Jason picks up where neither franchise left off. Freddy (Robert Englund) still exists in the dreams of frightened children, but the current residents of Elm Street are being fed Hypnocil, a dream suppressant drug. Temporarily powerless, the scarred monster recruits juggernaut Jason (Ken Kirzinger) to infiltrate his 'hood and start scaring kids again. But once Freddy's returned to power, he can't get Jason to leave.
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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.
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For the first time since "Scream," the slasher genre shows signs of life (was that in poor taste?) in "Freddy vs. Jason," a franchise merger that pits hockey-masked psycho Jason Voorhees from the "Friday the 13th" movies against "A Nightmare on Elm Street's" dream-invading bimbo-killer Freddy Krueger and his knife-blade glove.
The scenes in which these two unstoppable supernatural slayers are literally at each other's throats prove to be everything fans of such movies could hope for as they hack, cut, beat, tear and toss each other around, first in Freddy's dream realm (where the burn-scarred nutcase has tapped into Jason's subconscious), and later on Jason's home turf at Camp Crystal Lake after Freddy has been drawn into the real world. Their super-violent showdowns are like John Woo fight scenes with all the elegance sucked out and replaced with brutal fury.
Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is largely the same tired old crap -- 25-year-old half-talents playing unconvincing high-schoolers stalked through the dark by one or the other of our killers. Any bouts of creativity in the script are almost immediately squelched by low standards of hack filmmaking, as evidenced by the boring expository prologue in which Krueger (Robert Englund) blabs on and on about his backstory, then explains the plot: He's awakened Jason (Ken Kirzinger) from the dead by invading his psyche (as a vision of his abusive mother), sending him to Elm Street to rekindle the fear Freddy needs to thrive in the dreams of his hometown teenagers and begin anew his own killing streak.
Continue reading: Freddy Vs Jason Review