Robert Lawrence

Robert Lawrence

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Rock Star Review


Good
In his short career, Mark Wahlberg has been most effective when playing characters full of naïve sincerity. In Boogie Nights, The Yards, and even Three Kings, his talent is in making the audience believe he's a good guy with a lot of heart, just trying his best. That honest hopefulness works well for him in Rock Star, a generally entertaining tale of an 80s heavy metal superfan who suddenly becomes his favorite band's lead singer. The problem with the film lies in director Stephen Herek's inability to take advantage of the strengths that Wahlberg displays.

The story is loosely based on metal icons Judas Priest, who, in 1997, replaced singer Rob Halford with an actual fan (so tell me, how would one actually know if Judas Priest replaced a band member?) Wahlberg, as Steel Dragon fan Chris Cole, is just brimming with dedication -- he works hard as a copy machine repairman, busts his ass in his Steel Dragon cover band, tells his parents he loves them, and has a long relationship with his girlfriend/best friend/manager (Jennifer Aniston, still underrated by Hollywood). After being booted from his band for taking things too seriously, Chris gets a call from the real Steel Dragon, who are interested in his pipes. Just like that, he's the new guy out front.

Continue reading: Rock Star Review

The Last Castle Review


Good
After critic-turned-filmmaker Rod Lurie's pitiful attempt at a White House drama (and I use that word loosely) with last year's The Contender, Lurie provides a bit of redemption with The Last Castle, a semi-decent drama set in a tough-as-nails military prison.

Robert Redford, in his first acting role since 1998's The Horse Whisperer, plays venerable three-star General and war hero Eugene Irwin, a soldier who quickly pleads guilty in his court martial, resulting in a ten year sentence to an unnamed military prison. When hearing of Irwin's impending arrival, head warden Colonel Winter (James Gandolfini) is astounded, saying they should be naming a base after the guy, not locking him up for a decade.

Continue reading: The Last Castle Review

Clueless Review


Bad
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Amy Heckerling, director of the now-classic Fast Times at Ridgemont High, after free-falling through Look Who's Talking and its (first) sequel, has turned in an unquestionably dismal look at the wealthy teen's life in the mid-'90s.

But this ain't no 90210. Starring Alicia Silverstone and a gaggle of talentless teen actors and actresses, the title of Clueless is perfect Truth in Advertising. Told as a "This is my life" from rich kid Cher (Silverstone), the film is an update of Emma that follows the socialite through her daily ritual--schmoozing for better grades, applying makeup, leading on boys, and generally being a snob (but proud of it). Flat jokes abound; the laughs are at the cast, not with them.

Continue reading: Clueless Review

Down Periscope Review


Bad
The horrors of a genre needing a spoof that got a nutty Kelsey Grammer comedy... in this wacky, comic submarine adventure the funniest bit is Lauren Holly finding that her clothes have been shrunk. Yes, I think I can hear you not laughing, right now.
Robert Lawrence

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Robert Lawrence Movies

Rock Star Movie Review

Rock Star Movie Review

In his short career, Mark Wahlberg has been most effective when playing characters full of...

The Last Castle Movie Review

The Last Castle Movie Review

After critic-turned-filmmaker Rod Lurie's pitiful attempt at a White House drama (and I use that...

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