Obba Babatunde - 43rd Daytime Emmy Awards held at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel - Press Room at Bonaventure Hotel, Daytime Emmy Awards, Emmy Awards - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 1st May 2016
How High is definitely one of the good ones. Lowbrow, vulgar, and certainly formulaic, it's also creative, absolutely hilarious, and -- judging from the crowd at my screening -- knows better than to shoot over its audience's heads.
Continue reading: How High Review
The Visit is a prime example of a movie that has clearly been agonized over and loved, but to virtually no ultimate effect; writer/director/producer Jordan Walker Pearlman is so obviously enamored with the material he can't see the forest for the trees. Adapted from a play, The Visit still has that boxed-in feeling, with virtually all of the action taking place in the visiting room of the prison where Alex (Hill Harper) is incarcerated. Wrongly so, we are led to believe.
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A surprisingly bittersweet, comedic "Cool Hand Luke,""Life" is more than just an Eddie Murphy comedy or a Martin Lawrencecomedy. It's actually layered with substance and is even affecting in itsportrayal of the bitterness, depression and fleeting moments of happinessexperienced by two falsely imprisoned bootleggers, doing life for a murderthey didn't commit.
I'm not saying Murphy and Lawrence aren't damn funny. Ofcourse they are. But for the first time in either of their careers, they'reboth called on to truly submerge themselves in real characters, and thesetwo comedians with trademark personalities come through remarkably.
Murphy plays a con man and Lawrence a bank clerk rube whoare framed for murder by white cops while on a moonshine run in Mississippi,trying to save their skins from a gangster (funk star Rick James) theyhad both run afoul of at home in New York.
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Writing a review of a stoner movie is an exercise in futility. I mean, quality isn't really an issue if you see "How High" in the, ummm, blunt condition the filmmakers have in mind, now is it?
There are laughs to be had in this screwball comedy about two ghetto ganja hounds (hip-hop artists Method Man and Redman) who accidentally ace their belated college entry exams and get into Harvard. How did they do it? After smoking some wicked weed grown in soil mixed with the ashes of a dead buddy, they're visited by the guy's ghost who gives them all the test answers. How he knows the stuff is, of course, never explained.
So these two dudes toke their way through freshman year, pulling "Animal House" pranks on the snooty Oreo dean (Obba Babatunde), copping booty from frat boys' babes and sorority virgins in argyle sweaters, and getting hookers for their geek dorm-mates, the Chinese wannabe gansta ("You East Coast, I Far East Coast!") and the pathetic whitebread frat pledge.
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"After the Sunset" is a heist flick in which the audience is left out of the best part -- the logistics of the heist. Whose dumb idea was that?
Pierce Brosnan and Salma Hayek play an ace diamond-snatching couple who begin the film by pulling off their genre-traditional One Last Big Score, swiping a multi-million-dollar rock from an armored FBI transport -- and that scene is actually crackling with creative how-they-done-it details (unlike the rest of the movie), even if the circumstances themselves make no sense. Why would the FBI be transporting a diamond?
After that, they retire to live a quiet life of sunsets on the beach and piña coladas in a Jamaican resort town. The two talented stars take great joy in giving this criminal couple a sexy playfulness that goes beyond the fact that neither of them wears much once the action shifts to the Caribbean. But almost as soon as Brosnan's old FBI nemesis (Woody Harrelson) turns up -- hoping to lure the thief back into the heist life so the lawman can make the big bust that has always eluded him -- the movie springs a leak and begins a slow and torturous sinking.
Continue reading: After The Sunset Review
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