Drew whose books were, to girls
of our generation was the equivalent of the Hardy Boys, comes to
the big screen but put us to sleep. Either it's because we're male
or because of an early Saturday morning screening time - never
a problem in the past - but this just didn't work for us.
Nanny Diaries stars Scarlett Johansson, a (literal)
passerby in a park, who is drafted into professional kid watching
service by rich, self-absorbed New Yorkers (Laura Linney and Paul
Next stars Nicolas
Cage as a man who can see the future and has to stop
a nuclear bomb from taking out a metro city. Only problem? He
can only see his future and has no plans to be anywhere near
a nuke blast. It's a Phillip K. Dick's story by way of Marvel
Comics X-Factor/Multiple Man.
other words: Next...
No Country for Old Men is notable more for the Coen Brothers production credit -- these guys rarely disappoint -- as well as Tommy Lee Jones in a lead role. He's not the poor shlub who finds $2.4 millions in Mexican drug money and must run from that mob. No, Tommy just cleans up the mess. The chase and the killings yield a great sit until you realize that the Coens have no ending for the thing. The film then falls apart fast.
Perfect Strangerstars Halle
Berry and Bruce Willis, she as an investigative
reporter and he as some kind of high powered advertising executive.
The screenwriter buries so much detail into the script that it
requires a full two minutes of recap at the end of the film just
to make sure the lucky audience knows what the heck was going on.
Granted, there's a murder to be solved, and we didn't figure out
who dunnit BUT this otherwise OK dateflick could have been a lot
more fun to watch if someone who saved the $12 normal NYC ticket
price had spent that money on a babysitter -- you read that right
-- one kidlet squall all through the big reveal wrecked our sit.
The Reaping stars Hilary
Swank and is, perhaps, the more modern equivalent of the kind
of horrorflick you would have had at a grindhouse, sans body parts
flying around the screen. Swank's character exists to prove that "holy" plagues
have scientific explanation, in this case the ten plagues of Exodus
rip through a feeble screenplay. Only the locust effect is spectacular.
You want cheap thrills, choose the Grindhouse instead.
Redline stars Eddie
Griffin in a story that sounds like a mini Cannonball
Run, set between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Producer Daniel
Sadek used his own cars including a Phantom Rolls Royce, Lamborghini
Murcielago, Enzo Ferrari, Ferrari F430, Ferrari Scaglietti and
two Mercedes SLR McLarens. Sadek's $450,000 Porsche Carrera GT
is actually crashed during one sequence.
But it wasn't screened for us press
grunts. Gee, maybe y'all got enough of a car fix from the Grindhouse bomb???
Science stars Reece Thompson in
a genial comedy about a stuttering high school debater that will
vanish before any reg'lar folk get to see it. We did see
it as the first of a triplet of films, just before torrential rains
hit New York and we tripled over in pain. For those who wish to remember
the name, this will be a fair rental a couple of weeks down the line.
the Third stars Mike Myers,
Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas;
returns Rupert Everett, Julie Andrews, John Cleese and Larry
King to the saga and adds Eric Idle, John Krasinski,
Justin Timberlake, Ian McShane, Amy Sedaris, Amy Poehler, Maya
Rudolph, Regis Philbin to the continuing story of Shrek,
Fiona, Donkey and the biological imperatives of baby making and
baby raising while dealing with quests and coup d'etat and all
sorts of fun stuff. Funny script but lacking all the visual gags
that made earlier editions great.
Slipstream, in the art houses, is the debut production by an writer/ director/ actor named Anthony Hopkins. It is a must see, if only to perfectly illustrate the kind of absolute film school think crap we've been railing about for the last 12 years. If you wanna see a perfect example of a terrible sit, here you go.
Slow Burn stars Ray
Liotta and wasn't shown to us press grunts until the morning
of the day of theatrical release. That's never a good
The complicated story, involving
a district attorney or two, a gang banger and some kind of real estate
deal ... we couldn't possibly begin to explain -- and we have press
notes to explain it (to us!) -- tries to do way too much and, essentially,
shoots itself in the foot. Don't bother.
Cake stars Sigourney Weaver and Alan
Rickman in an arthouse tale of an autistic woman and the
Brit driver who brings news of the death of her daughter.
trying hard not to give details because this is all acting. Short
of a major plot twist in the last five minutes -- we didn't make
it through, sorry -- the film is strictly for art house philes.
While we don't usually review foreign language films -- y'all never read them -- we did plant for an (at least on paper) seemingly unbelievable love story of a man and his wife and his girlfriend, all of whom were imprisoned in the same Nazi concentration camps in World War II. Perhaps we couldn't conceive the gall of someone making such a story up . . . Except that the story of Steal a Pencil is absolutely true -- Find this film. Bug your local arthouse or cineplex to book it and then be very surprised to watch one of the best love stories to hit the big screen in a very, very long time.
school friends need one last blast at "getting some" before
they're separated for college. Thus is the reason for Superbad.
Every sixth word starts with an "f". Every third sentence
is a joke. Once you allow the film to regress you to age thirteen
or so, it's a pretty funny sit. Seriously, idiot funny. The green
reco font is not a mistake, now that you're warned about language
And Then Came Love stars Vanessa
Williams as a single mom who decides to track down the
identity of the sperm donor father of her l'il boy. What is supposed
to be a clever romantic comedy is a terrible sit.
The TV Set stars Sigourney
Weaver and David Duchovny, both of whom we'd guess writer/director Jake
Kasdan may have called uncle or auntie (Jake is son to film
A-list name Lawrence Kasdan). That's the only way to explain their
presence in this terrible film about television pilot season. We
were in the biz and we get all the inside stuff. The thing is just
terrible, though Justine Bateman has a bit role and delivers
that well. OTT, avoid the big screen and wait for the cheapest
Vacancy stars Luke
Wilson and Kate Beckinsale as a couple
who checks into an empty motel in the middle of the night after
their car breaks down. No porn on the telly, just snuff flicks
... shot in the very room they're staying in! A scareflick so
badly written we wondered if the creators of this wreck had ever
seen a modern era horrorshow (sic). The best we can figure from
the press notes, the thing was written by someone for whom English
wasn't the primary language. Those who live for finding continuity
mistakes can't miss the whopper dropped by Wilson in the first
ten minutes of the movie (as to why he got off the highway)
very lovely Keri Russell steals Waitress by,
honestly, being way too pretty for the title role. Said waitress,
finds love while locked in a loveless marriage. For those who prefer
the arthouse, the film did gangbusters at the Sundance festival.
For everyone else, it's an OK rental.
Jet Li in War pits
Chinese Triads against Japanese Yakuza with an FBI agent (Jason Statham)
and hired killer (Li) in between. Not screened until Friday morning because
the direction is a mess. Don't worry about missing the first 5 minutes
'cuz there a flashback recap about 3 minutes later. A good plot twist
ending is wasted as the film takes no time to get an audience involved
with Statham's heroic arc.
Wendell Baker Story, which
stars Luke Wilson, Eva Mendes and Owen
Wilson (with a surprise cameo by an ex-SNL star. We'll
tease) is a middling dateflick about a low rent con turned, uh,
Frankly? If you lug a date and can't get into Shrek or Pirates,