Capsule Reviews of Current Movies 

Critical Capsules

Doomsday (R) Rhona Mitra stars in what looks like a revamped Mad Max.

Horton Hears a Who (G) Jim Carrey and Steve Carrell star in this animated Dr. Seuss' classic.

Funny Games (R) Naomi Watts and Tim Roth star in a story about a family vacation and psychotic visitors.

Never Back Down (PG-13) A teenager is lured into an underground fight club.

In Bruges (R) Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes star in this action comedy.

10,000 B.C. (PG-13) You may have seen worse movies than 10,000 B.C., but you'll have to work hard to find a dumber one. Even for a Roland Emmerich picture, this sets new standards for stupidity. This is like Uwe Boll with a budget. This is the village idiot of movies. With no respect for history, science, geography, or even decent drama, Emmerich assaults and insults the viewer for nearly two hours with a witless story of prehistoric folks (with astonishingly good teeth and razors) who have to deal with CGI woolly mammoths, sabre-toothed tigers, ill-tempered giant ostriches, and slave traders who kidnap them and their mammoths to take to Egypt to build the pyramids about 7,300 years before any pyramids were built. It's even sillier than it sounds. It may be the most amazing amalgam of idiocy your eyes have ever beheld. —Ken Hanke

The Bank Job (R) Roger Donaldson's The Bank Job — detailing the real-life robbery of the Baker Street branch of Lloyd's Bank in London in 1971 — is two-thirds (the first and the last) of a great movie marred by a middling middle third. The big problem with that is that the film's mid-section is the heist itself, which is never more than adequate. The backstory of the government-engineered robbery to get ahold of incriminating photos of Princess Margaret's sexual antics in order to de-claw a troublesome "black power" radical — and drug trafficking pimp and extortionist — is fascinating. So is the aftermath with everyone scrambling to contain the scandal, but the heist just doesn't cut it, even with Jason Statham as a perfect working-class hero. Screenwriters Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais capture the era, but director Donaldson can't keep the requisite atmosphere going. —Ken Hanke

Be Kind Rewind (PG-13) This genial, sweet, gentle comedy is not apt to be to everyone's taste, since it requires the viewer to accept several somewhat fantastic notions, starting with the idea that Danny Glover's character could be running a VHS rental store in 2008, and more, that he doesn't know what DVDs are. If this — or the idea that Jack Black could become magnetized and accidentally erase the store's entire inventory — is going to bother you, go see something else. —Ken Hanke

The Bucket List (PG-13) In The Bucket List, we're introduced to Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman), who has just learned that he has cancer, and Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson), billionaire CEO of the private health company that runs the hospital. It's sad when you become your own type. ­—Scott Renshaw

Charlie Bartlett (R) It's tale of Charlie (Anton Yelchin), a rich boy who becomes a hit at public school by playing psychiatrist and providing his classmates with prescription drugs, is not without merit or moments of truly inspired humor. Think of it as Harold and Maude for the age of Ritalin. Terrific performances from Yelchin, Robert Downey Jr., Hope Davis, and Tyler Hilton go a long way to smoothing out the rough edges. —Ken Hanke

College Road Trip (G) I guess one thing can be said in defense of College Road Trip. At the very least, its title practices truth in advertising. I mean, there are colleges, and there is a road trip in the movie. Of course, one should also take into account that the words "funny," "original," or "entertaining" can be found nowhere in the title (then again, the silver lining is that neither are the words "big momma" or "bad boys"). The movie is exactly what you expect from a G-rated Disney family comedy filled to the brim with recycled sitcom humor and a complete lack of subtlety in exchange for the kind of ham-fisted mugging that would make Jerry Lewis blush. It's all about overprotective dad Martin Lawrence learning to trust his college-bound daughter (Raven Symone). If that — or the idea of being trapped in a car with Donny Osmond — amuses you, go for it. —Justin Souther

Definitely, Maybe (PG-13) Adam Brooks' Definitely, Maybe marks a notable improvement over his last few efforts. Maybe just setting the film in New York cleared away the cobwebs that had started appearing on the British locales. Whatever the case, this is an often charming, always entertaining film built around soon-to-be-divorced Ryan Reynolds telling his daughter (Abigail Breslin) the story of the three women (Elizabeth Banks, Isla Fisher, Rachel Weisz) in his life and how one of them became her mother. You'll likely guess the outcome, but it won't matter much because the cast and characters are too likable to resist. —Ken Hanke

The Eye (PG-13) The only vestige of horror to be found in the tepid supernatural thriller The Eye is the display of Jessica Alba's rudimentary acting skills. Even by the dictates of the PG-13 rated horror flick, this is lame stuff — worse, it's lame stuff you've seen many times before. —Ken Hanke

Fool's Gold (PG-13) Fool's Gold works on the premise that watching pretty people in pretty locations is somehow sufficient entertainment all by itself. —Ken Hanke

Hannah Montana (G) Calling this peculiar, pre-fab phenomenon a movie is a bit of a stretch. It's really nothing more than a cut-down version of Disney Channel pop diva Hannah Montana (aka Miley Cyrus, daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, who also appears) in concert with occasional backstage glimpses. —Ken Hanke

Jumper (PG-13) Jumper is so indefensibly bad that it goes beyond awfulness to become, if not good, then at least hugely entertaining in its unintended hilarity and transcendent dopiness. I honestly do not believe that it would be possible to make a list of truly bad ideas and come up with anything nearly this dumb — and I'm not just talking about casting Hayden Christensen in the lead. —Ken Hanke

Juno (PG-13) It's a familiar tale: Juno MacGuff, high schooler (Ellen Page), finds herself preggers after some sexual experimentation with her best friend, Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera). Right from the get-go, and on through the whole film, there's a refreshingly nonpanicky approach to the whole situation: Yes, having a baby can dramatically affect the rest of a young woman's life, but it's not the end of the world. —MaryAnn Johanson

No Country for Old Men (R) Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) is Evil itself. Bardem performs with such casual mastery that it feels as though he has originated the concept of a sociopathic killer. In a film full of exceptional performances, his stands out not because his role is flashy, but because he makes it precisely the opposite of flashy. He is the bad thing that happens indiscriminately to the sinner or to the saint, its own logic oblivious to constructed human morality. —Scott Renshaw

The Savages (R) Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman are Wendy and John Savage, estranged siblings struggling to extract themselves from the damage of their fractious childhood. The pair is reunited when they must care for an abusive father who abandoned them. They must cope with his recently diagnosed dementia. The performances are top-notch, and the cast deserves better than a series of scenes that fail to create a cohesive film. —Andrea Warner

Semi-Pro (R) This Will Ferrell movie almost resembles an actual movie, which is done by including such foreign concepts as plot and characterization. What's odd is that, for this kind of comedy, nothing's really spoofed of satirized. Instead it resembles your basic, run-of-the-mill sports flick. Ferrell seems grafted on as an afterthought — a supporting player in his own movie with the film being carried by Woody Harrelson and Andre Benjamin. That may make it less painful for anyone who doesn't think Ferrell is nearly as funny as Ferrell does, but it doesn't make it good. — Justin Souther

Spiderwick Chronicles (PG) This film breaks the cardinal rule of show, don't tell, giving us far too much information about the feelings and lives of the Grace family through stodgy dialogue. The refreshingly down-to-earth children of the book are replaced by characters who talk like psychology majors. They do their best with the material, and there are likeable barely-there cameos by Nick Nolte and Andrew McCarthy. —Nick Smith

Step Up 2 the Streets (PG-13) The story of a young dancer from the streets is forced to go to a private arts school, where she starts a dance crew in order to compete in an underground dance competition, Step Up 2 does absolutely nothing new. I'm sure the film is supposed to be some raising of the bar of the dance movie, though it lacks any exploding car windows a la last month's How She Move. Instead, the best director John Chu seems able to come up with is having people dance in the rain, though I'm sure Gene Kelly would have something to say about that. —Justin Souther

There Will Be Blood (R) Based on Upton Sinclair's novel Oil!, this movie is as effortless as it is resolutely uneasy, from the harsh discordancy of its weirdly urgent soundtrack by Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood to the oddly stilted yet deeply, coldly expressive performance by Daniel Day-Lewis as Daniel Plainview, a turn-of-the-century oilman who comes into a small California desert town and pumps out its oil. It's a mythology of oil, a fairy tale for the industrial age. —MaryAnn Johanson

Untraceable (R) This movie undercuts itself by attempting to condemn us for finding its admittedly well-produced action-with-deadly-stakes enthralling. It's frustrating. —MaryAnn Johanson

Vantage Point (PG-13) The story of the attempted assassination of the president told from several different points of view, Vantage Point is gimmick filmmaking at its most banal and half-baked. Instead of the edge-of-your-seat thrill ride the film is supposed to be, we end up spending the majority of the movie watching the same assassination and the same explosions and the same conversations over and over throughout the film's 90-minute running time. —Justin Souther

Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins (PG-13) Lawrence plays an obnoxious talk-show host who goes home to the Deep South and his outrageous family where he learns that his trophy fiancée is a golddigger, family comes first, etc. It's all loud, crass, vulgar, and boasts at least four gags predicated on the hilarity of a Pomeranian having sex with a Labrador retriever. That should warrant jail time. —Ken Hanke

Witless Protection (PG-13) These Larry the Cable Guy creations are determined to actually lower the common denominator and to encourage their target audience to take pride in willful ignorance. It's a nasty little mean-spirited badly-made movie —Ken Hanke


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