February 22, 2009
Can't Stop the Music might have been a fun, bad cult film had the editor cut a half hour off of the film's running time. At over two hours, it is just too long to be anything but tired. But there is a great scene put together for the Village People's huge hit YMCA that does make a portion of the film worth a look.
February 15, 2009
Gene Tierney doesn't so much as emote in Dragonwyck as rest her performance on those famous cheekbones. Fortunately, she gets excellent support from an eerily, young Vincent Price and an amazingly sinister Spring Byington(!?) in this middling tale of a second wife in a huge mansion home (a la Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca). But when Byington inexplicably disappears halfway through the movie (along with another character), the plot takes a U-turn allowing Price to turn up the heat on the creep.
February 14, 2009
Shutter is another English language remake of another Japanese ghost story. It is also a one-trick pony - no scares and no thrills but enough of a curiosity factor to make me stick around until it ended, interestingly enough I might add. Unfortunately it was not in time to counteract the boredom.
February 9, 2009
Despite the excellent dinosaur effects, Jurassic Park is a kid movie. Villains are bad and heroes are good, kids are in peril, Laura Dern is mom-like and Richard Attenborough is a worse actor here than he was a director here. In fact, when the movie began I had to start it over because I thought I had started it in the middle; no one ever accused Steven Spielberg of subtlety.
February 8, 2009
The Hills Have Eyes II is another mutant cannibals massacre film with a lot of blood and guts and real cringe-inducing scenes (from the first frame!) But the soldiers being hunted were stupid and not worth caring about making the whole thing leave a bad taste in my mouth (despite, or maybe because of, original The Hills Have Eyes writer/director Wes Carven's involvement.) And that's hard to do.
February 7, 2009
Stage bound and talky, Six Degrees of Separation is not - to put it mildly - an exciting movie. Stockard Channing and Donald Sutherland are dull as dishwater, their on-screen children abhorrent, and Will Smith (playing an actor playing a gay male) seems out-of-place. The movie is set in a New York that I don't know but supposedly exists; to tell the truth, I could care less.
February 6, 2009
The saving grace in Rhinestone are the clips, here and there, in which you see and hear Dolly Parton singing and strumming her guitar. The script, designed to mirror the hit song Rhinestone Cowboy (which is not even used in the movie), is just a sea of caricatures with Sylvester Stallone screeching Medusa-like in any number of shitatious scenes. The movie is strictly for Dolly Parton completists (especially those who want to see La Parton kiss a man) or terrorist torture.
February 4, 2009
Miss Congeniality is a sweet confection reminiscent of Goldie Hawn circa Private Benjamin - not surprising as director Donald Petrie was schooled as a Hawn director. Sandra Bullock takes the Hawn role as both producer and lead and comes off a shining star. An able supporting cast (Michael Caine, Benjamin Bratt, Candice Bergen) adds to the fun despite the ending's err on the side of predictability.
February 3, 2009
From the beginning I knew exactly how Baby Mama would end. At the end, I wasn't surprised it wrapped itself up as I had suspected from the beginning. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler do make the adventure fun though despite it's predictableness.
February 1, 2009
Julie Walters sprang fully formed from the armpit of Michael Caine in Educating Rita, a sentimental tale of an adult education student and the college professor from whom she learns. Reminiscent of the on her way up/on his way down story arc used in the myriad adaptations of A Star is Born, this film succeeds with a star-is-born turn by Walters. The script, at times, turns to cliche but when you hear the click-clack of Rita's heels on the university floor you can't help but sit back and enjoy the experience.