Let's run down the checklist of necessities for your typical Kevin Smith movie:Profanity: checkInnumerable references to sex or sex-related acts: checkGlorification of the minimum-wage existence: checkNew Jersey: checkBen Affleck: check7-year-olds: huh?
The mind of Charlie Kaufman is very strange place to be.
The first glimmer of its approach came in October, slamming into my awareness like a tractor driven by Satan hitting a chicken at warp speed. It nibbled at my consciousness through November. It sat ponderously on my brain as I frolicked blissfully through December, biding its time.I tried to stop it. But still it came.The ball dropped on New Year's Eve, and a second darkness spread o'er the Earth.Its name was Adam Sandler.
There's little about the Viggo-Mortensen-vehicle-horse-race-adventure flick Hidalgo to inspire strong objection. Mostly, this is because there's little about Hidalgo to inspire any kind of strong reaction at all. Hidalgo trots, occasionally exerting itself into a mild canter, amiably down well-traveled action-adventure paths, incorporating a spectrum of predictable plot devices into a decently entertaining story.
It becomes clear while watching Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights that the film's creators worship the original. What they forget however, is that it was not snappy dialogue, an engaging plot, or sympathetic characters that made 1987's Dirty Dancing a pop-culture classic. The original Dirty Dancing occupies a select place of infamy in the annals of movie history. Along with films like Plan 9 From Outer Space and most of the movies released in the ‘80s, Dirty Dancing is a classic bad movie. And classic bad movies, while humorous in their failings, don't require sequels.
Welcome to Mooseport, Ray Romano and Gene Hackman's bland little ditty about plungers and politics, is as inconsequential as its titular town. A film about elections, it's own campaign slogan could be just one word: "Harmless.” There's simply no distinguishing feature about it. The acting is relatively decent, the conflict generally mild, and the comedy almost offensively inoffensive.
They descend on poor slobs like feather-boa-clad vultures, waving maximum strength everything, from hair dryers to paint peeler, in an espresso-induced frenzy. They fret over each split end on one hopeless loser's head. The merest hint of clashing wallpaper or—God forbid—‘70s décor is enough to send them flying from the room, wrists a'flopping, in a fit of comical disgust.
Beyond the Boulevard
It's happened again: The Earth rotated around the sun, Friends entered its "final” season and the Oscars have arrived to awe us jaded moviegoers with the light of knowledge, dazzle us with a spectrum of stars and irritate us with the annoying afterglow of politics. And once more, Silver Chips is here to enlighten you on who will leave one trophy richer and who will be left in Hollywood's dust.
In the grand tradition of all Adam Sandler films, 50 First Dates is shocking. But not for the usual reasons, a real surprise considering Sandler has followed the usual formula: He plays the lead. He surrounds himself with a host of obnoxious characters. The script is littered with lewd jokes and profanity. Rob Schneider is in this film, for pete's sake- better ingredients for the Sandler's standard gross-out comedy couldn't have been gathered if bits from his previous films hadn't been simply edited together. But what's shocking is that despite its casting and joke material, 50 First Dates borders on the edge of mature.
Let's get one thing straight: This is a Disney movie. The title is Miracle. It's not being ironic.
Nicole pouts, Jude emotes, Renée struts, and the dimensions of Cold Mountain pretty much end there. Cold Mountain has the dubious honor of being the most overhyped and underwhelming film of the year, narrowly edging Master and Commander on the strength of Nicole Kidman's indestructible hairdos. The fact that it has garnered eight Golden Globe nominations, the most of any movie this year, says more about the quality, or lack thereof, of the 2003 cinema season than it does about the merit of the film itself.
Forget storyline, characters, dialogue, and plot. Forget acting, fighting, stunts, and special effects. In fact, simply bundle up everything commonly associated with good movies and toss it out the nearest window. Because none of that is what makes Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy so extraordinary.
My 17th birthday four days past, I jauntily stroll into United Artists Bethesda one blustery night. I strut casually past the pitiful groups of juvenile peons who deviously plot to subvert the rating system, secure in the knowledge that I alone may now legally partake in that ultimate guilty pleasure: the R-rated movie.
"Greetings, prophet!” intones Emma Thompson, dressed in full angel regalia, as she descends through the ravaged ceiling of manic AIDS patient Prior Walter. She is awash in a blinding golden light that suffuses every corner of the wrecked room and held aloft by two immense feathery wings that make her appearance both breathtaking and formidable. Staring the panicked Prior in the eye, she continues, "The great work begins. The Messenger has arrived!”
It's so nice of Hollywood to produce a movie that makes kids truly value their education.
Master and Commander feels like a script that has been frantically and carelessly edited and dumbed-down for a modern American audience tired of actual war (i.e. the kind where people die) and eager for some heroic, black-and-white justification of aggressive foreign policy. Make no mistake, people die in Master and Commander, mostly in the first ten minutes and the last fifteen. But for being attacked by nineteenth century artillery, which mostly operated by blowing very big, messy holes into people, they die in an artificially quick and bloodless manner that sets the tone for the rest of the disappointingly mild film.
If we're to believe Richard Curtis, the director and screenwriter for Love Actually, love is the simplest of human emotions, easily spray-painted pink, perfumed and gift-wrapped for your emotional pleasure. While Curtis' romantic comedies have always led the way in cloying fuzziness, Love Actually is without a doubt the most ridiculously two-dimensional, sermonizing view on love ever to escape his soft-hearted clutches.
The next time I'm indicted for a major felony, I want Dustin Hoffman to be my lawyer.
If one thing is clear after watching School of Rock, it's that subtlety is not in Jack Black's vocabulary. Black is the reigning king of a wildly exuberant, unabashedly narcissistic form of comedy that revolves around him being as loud and outrageous as possible. The incredible charisma he brings to School of Rock infuses the movie's predictable storyline and clichéd characters with such boundless energy that you can't help but be swept up into the wake of his mayhem.
America is on a downward spiral rivaled only by J. Lo's career after Gigli. Recession, pollution and Arnold Schwarzenegger are frolicking about the country like so many headless chickens, and the time has come to take action.Citizens of Montgomery Blair: I sit here before you to announce that, in accordance with my patriotic duty as an American, nay, as a human being, I am joining the masses and running for governor of California.
Ocean's 11 made a life of crime seem like a flashy, glitzy party. The Italian Job portrayed a career of thievery as dangerous but replete with witty repartee, deep personal loyalties and Cooper MINIs. In contrast to the fun-focused attitudes of those films, Matchstick Men shows a criminal's life as sporadically unpredictable but mostly dull and filled with Windex.
Though Oct 31 creeps upon us, it's not yet time to break out the candy corn or creative costumes. So before you carve that pumpkin or bake that pie, get in the mood for the Halloween season with some classic cinematic treats. From the quirky to the creepy, from the funny to the frightening, the quality of the films reviewed here is no trick.
The archives of E! True Hollywood Story are positively bursting with drug addled, emotionally unstable, washed-up child stars, all of whom grant television permission to humiliate them with one shining, desperate hope in mind: that this appearance, however brief, however pathetic, will be enough to rocket them back onto that spot on the Tinseltown A-list that they once enjoyed.
Rape, torment, beating, confinement, coercion, and starvation—though most would perceive these are words of torture, violation, and violence, to the nuns of the Magdalene Sisterhood convent, they are simply the implements of divine justice. The twisted world of 1964 Irish-Catholic fanaticism is realized, sparing no brutal detail, through the eyes of three victimized young women in Peter Mullan's sophomore directing and writing project, The Magdalene Sisters.
Okay, stop me if you've heard this one before.So, two blondes, a brunette, and a black man walk into a nightclub...and then someone dies. The end. That's it. No story, no punchline, no hysterical laughter to follow. Thus goes Uptown Girls. This film may seek to be a modern day fairy tale but more closely resembles a bar joke that everyone's heard a million times and only the drunken teller slumping over his tenth beer finds amusing.
Mandy Moore Barbie comes in two unique personalities, each distinguishable solely by hairstyle. Pop princess Mandy is a blonde. She wears short skirts and low-cut tank tops and misses you like candy. Angsty actress Mandy is a brunette. She, too, wears short skirts and low-cut tank tops, but they're angry tank tops, and her skirts cry, "Take me seriously!” In How to Deal, Mandy tries oh-so-desperately to convince the world that she's troubled, anguished, and a brunette. But just like Skipper is Barbie in a wig, we know that Angst Mandy is just Pop Mandy with a new hairdresser. Mandy Moore is naturally blonde and naturally bubbly, and acting is not her natural calling.
Johnny Depp's entrance is possibly the most brilliant moment in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. He rides the mast of his sinking ship to shore, stepping onto the dock just as his boat gives its final gurgle and goes all the way under. The poise and absolute self-absorbed confidence with which he saunters onto the dock suggests that of a rock star stepping out of a Rolls Royce onto the red carpet; he knows this is his show, and he'll be hung before he lets anyone else at the helm.
In the spirit of the great Hollywood sequelization, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas could easily have been Treasure Planet II: Jim Goes Fishing. And that is exactly what happens in Sinbad. True, the fish may be big, scary monsters from the deep instead of your average trout, but the level of excitement and humor is right on par with that of a bass-catching contest.
Harry Potter is just your average teenage boy. He procrastinates in school, fantasizes about his crush, panics over his upcoming exams, and wiles away the hours with his two best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Of course, these normal activities occasionally get put on hold while Harry creates subversive organizations to illegally teach his friends magical self-defense, learns to shield himself from demonic possession, cares for an adolescent giant with an attitude problem, and as always, battles the forces of evil to save the wizarding world from impending doom.
If endless close-ups of bacteria are your sort of thing, than go see this movie. For such is the extreme and unrelenting boredom of The Hulk, an exemplary monument to human failing that manages to be only slightly less exciting than, say, the Weather Channel. An insult to the intelligence of comic book and movie fans alike, Hulk is unrivaled in its inability to construct any sort of meaningful characters, action, or, in fact, plot at all. There's no hero, no villain, and no point.
Hollywood Homicide is just aching to be hip. There's the hip old guy followed around by the hip young guy who sleeps with the hip young girls. There's also the hip token black guy trying to buy a house from the "I used to be hip, really” aging movie producer guy. And, of course, the film is set to he hippest of the hip-hop soundtracks. And yet, somehow, it all manages to fall flat.
"I had a lot of my first drug experiences with Jason,” says former Blair student Amelia, 17, of her 25-year-old boyfriend. "I tried E for the first time; I tried acid for the first time; I tried meth for the first time.” Jason, with his car, his money and his freedom, became her pipeline into the world of drug addiction and abuse.
The plot of X-Men 2 seems somewhat ashamed of itself. It skulks around, peeping out between the killer action sequences, briefly surfacing, then vanishing whenever its presence is no longer required. But plot there is, and for a superhero movie, that's good enough.
With stunning singing, acting and dancing talent and sets worthy of the professional stage, Blair's production of West Side Story is an emotional, engrossing experience that never fails to entertain.
There's no denying that African genocide, the subject of the new war drama Tears of the Sun, is a topic that gets too little play in today's media in the face of more publicity-friendly evils, and the movie's producers should be commended for releasing this story to the public. However, that the terror of ethnic cleansing must take a second seat to political propaganda and revolting hero-worship is as inappropriate as the movie's themes are tragic.
Nothing you read in this review is real. Or maybe it is. How do you know? You don't know. You can't know. Maybe Saddam Hussein has hacked into this computer system and written this review. Maybe he's disguised as Ms. Fus and is right now forging your attendance records. The government will never know. Your teachers will never know. You think you know? You know nothing.
Forget the rest of this movie, here's the real question on everyone's mind: CanPierce Brosnan convincingly portray a character that neither blows things up nor shags wannabe starlets six ways from next Tuesday? The answer: Not really. But despite Brosnan's lethargy, Evelyn offers viewers interested in an intelligent plot and realistic setting an enjoyable experience.
Some books in the Blair English curriculum are witty, fascinating and just plain peachy. Others, however, are about as enjoyable as removing your own liver without using anesthesia. The time has finally come to credit some fantastic reads and give a sound thrashing to the worst works taught at Blair.
This movie becomes, well, not much better, but at least more tolerable if you have not seen a) Spaceballs, b) Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan , or c) any SUV commercial. But even for those who haven't been privy to any of the above, upon which the entirety of the script of Star Trek Nemesis is based, the movie is so drearily predictable that every ten year old in the audience had spotted each possible obstacle in the Enterprise's way and figured out dozens of possible solutions before Patrick Stewart had turned his aging head.
The holiday season is here, and let the Oscar hopefuls come a'flocking. Case in point: The Emperor's Club, which really wants a best screenplay Award. It's not going to get it. The movie includes too many scenes completely irrelevant to the plot that slow the already plodding action down to receive that much-coveted honor. But for all its faults, the interesting fashion in which The Emperor's Club addresses the nature v. nurture argument and its unorthodox ending make it a worthy pick for the (very) patient intellectual.
What do you get when you add a suspenseful story, cutting-edge computer animation, perfect production design, and about a zillion Academy Award nominated/winning actors? Unfortunately for the over-anticipated Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the answer is a disappointingly dull and disjointed film.
Frida is much more than a mere movie. It is a live-action painting, the inspired realization of an innovative vision that combines elements of evocative cinematography, vivid color and bizarre surrealism to create an artistic masterpiece.
Think 6 Days 7 Nights, only with worse acting, less dialogue, a more unbelievable script, and uglier people. Now you have some vague notion of the unprecedented debacle that is Swept Away, Hollywood's latest installment in the saturated deserted island romance genre.
Unknown enemies of the student population lurk in Blair's corridors. While Blazers are protected from weapons, fires and underwear worn as outerwear, nothing shields the innocent from these foes. Slowly but surely, the adversaries—heavy backpacks—are ravaging the spine, neck and shoulders of students.
"You can't beat a vampy high glam stiletto for nights on the town,” raves Steven Cojocaru on the People Magazine website, where he serves as resident fashion guru. What Cojocaru fails to mention is the hefty price tag on vamp: Strapping on stilettos, platforms and pumps to follow in J. Lo's bone-crunching footsteps can mean a lifetime of pain for teenage girls.
When Meryl Streep makes the nightly news and the Mighty Miramax Publicity Machine is once again a-churnin', the Academy Awards must be just around the corner. So sit back, relax and read on to find out which bright stars should win Oscars and which thieving upstarts will take them away.