Tom Poston

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The Old Dark House Review


OK
William Castle "horror" movies don't get much more harmless than this, a simplistic and good-natured romp starring Tom Poston (of Newhart fame). Poston stars as an American in England, invited to visit an eccentric man's mansion, where other eccentric characters quickly find themselves killed. Goofy humor and really cheap fright gags abound. You'll forget it the moment it's over, though it should go without saying that you can never have too much Robert Morley in a movie.

Christmas With The Kranks Review


Bad
Like the honey-glazed ham around which so much of its story sadly revolves, Christmas with the Kranks is tasty at first but soon congeals into little more than a fatty, gelatinous mess. Based on one of John Grisham's bestsellers that isn't about lawyers, Skipping Christmas, the film features the fine directing talents of Joe Roth (America's Sweethearts) and a script by Chris Columbus, who apparently, now that he's done with the Harry Potter series, can go back to cranking out family-friendly pabulum.

The promising premise has Luther and Nora Krank, a couple of parents who have just sent their daughter Blair off to the Peace Corps in Peru, faced with a holiday season alone in their suburban Chicago home. Not exactly relishing the prospect of once again throwing the big Christmas Eve party, and basically just fed up with the whole guilt-induced consumer frenzy, Luther (Tim Allen) convinces Nora (Jamie Lee Curtis) to chuck the whole thing and spend 10 days on a Caribbean cruise instead. He also boycotts everything to do with the holiday, not buying or receiving any presents and taking no part in the neighborhood gatherings and decorations. Nora goes along reluctantly until the neighbors notice what's happening and turn on the Kranks in a campaign of condemnation and isolation that seems like something out of The Lottery. That is, before a convenient plot wrinkle ensures everyone will have to pull together and enjoy some holiday spirit.

Continue reading: Christmas With The Kranks Review

Christmas With The Kranks Review


Zero

As I write this, the time is 8:32 p.m. on Thursday, November 18, 2004, and I have just walked out on "Christmas With the Kranks" after roughly 45 minutes of mind-numbingly humorless, sit-com barrel-bottom idiocy.

An adaptation of John Grisham's "Skipping Christmas" that has been violently stripped of any semblance of humanity, this supposed comedy is about a couple called the Kranks (ha, ha, ha), played by Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, whose daughter won't be home for Christmas, so they choose to bow out of the festivities altogether and take a cruise. But apparently their choice amounts to a social offense of the first order in the bogus, plot-device suburbia where the movie takes place (during a transparently bogus winter). It even makes the newspaper.

Soon an army of neighbors are beating down their door like some Yuletide Gestapo, angrily demanding they put up their seasonal decorations while Curtis inexplicably cowers inside like a child.

Continue reading: Christmas With The Kranks Review

The Story Of Us Review


Weak

Unlike any real-life marriage -- especially a marriage on the rocks -- "The Story of Us" is 100-percent predictable.

Rob Reiner's new romantic dramedy about a married couple's 15-year itch, this "Story" is so faithful to formula that there are moments (several of them, in fact) at which any seasoned movie-goer could shout out what's going to happen next and be right every time.

Fade in. Wife and mom Michelle Pfeiffer has soap suds on her hand and in her hair as her washing machine overflows with sloshing water and bubbles. What comes next?

Continue reading: The Story Of Us Review

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Tom Poston Movies

Christmas With The Kranks Movie Review

Christmas With The Kranks Movie Review

Like the honey-glazed ham around which so much of its story sadly revolves, Christmas with...

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Christmas With The Kranks Movie Review

Christmas With The Kranks Movie Review

As I write this, the time is 8:32 p.m. on Thursday, November 18, 2004, and...

The Story Of Us Movie Review

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