We all know the new generation of movie Idols have to uphold their Image. Cinematic slackers like Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen and James Franco among others, appear as themselves in the horrendous comedy misfire, “This is the End”.
What a more perfect setting for what their fans expect that hard, all night partying.
Before they can drink themselves into a stupor, It’s the end of the world, which unfortunately occurs much too soon, long before the end of the movie.
Emma Watson of “Harry Potter” fame, can’t decide If you’ll retain her British accent or just Impersonate the sound of a Valley Girl.
It’s terribly obvious this unbearably stupid home movie has no shame. A take off on “The Exorcist”?
Is that the best they can do? “This is the End” is a revolting example of what happens when a bunch of 20 something superstars let their egos get in the way of their thinking.
And If the reaction from their core audience is any Indication, the picture’s just not very funny.
“This is the End” hits rock bottom with 1 star. It’s the kind of movie you want to avoid like the plague….
I learned a long time ago that Summer comedies should never be too original. And the stars should never do anything we’re not completely familiar with. Which makes “The Internship” just the right blend of agreeable, forgettable fluff. To keep the cliché’s and stereotypes timely, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson play victims of the technology revolution.
You know the drill when they compete for Google Internships with the more technically literate kids half their age.
Vaughn has a familiar role to play as the well meaning big mouth whose got a knack for rubbing those in charge the wrong way.
Nothing much that happens catches you even remotely by surprise as Vaughn and Wilson show their old school street smarts are more than a match for these computer age kids.
“The Internship” might have skipped dabbling in romance altogether If not for a mild chemistry between Wilson and Rose Byrne.
Some scattered moments of humor only adds to the picture’s pleasant appeal, even thought “The Internship” gives you just enough for your money to squeeze by with three stars.
You’ll get an education in the flimsy standards set for Summer comedies.
Starring: Colin Farrell, Noomie Rapace, Terence Howard
It’s old home week for the star and Director of the original “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”.
They’re back together for “Dead Man Down”, the ultra grim revenge thriller. Noomie Rapace forms an unholy alliance with Gangster Colin Farrell to get the guy who ruined her good looks.
Everyone’s out to get everyone in this dark revenge thriller where each character is more paranoid and twice as vicious as the other.
The brutal violence is sometimes unnecessarily ugly. The tightly wound characters are always on edge. Crime boss Terrence Howard doesn’t trust anyone.
But It’s that ferocious performance from Noomie Rapace that gives “Dead Man Down” its cutting edge.
Her “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” Danish Director vividly recreates an unsettling realism that challenges the audience.
It’s good to see a European director bring his sophisticated world view to what’s essentially a Hollywood style thriller.
“Dead Man Down” is an unpleasant crime drama about unpleasant people, but the picture is gripping, and you may even find yourself attracted to the charismatic characters.
“Dead Man Down” comes up a winner with 3 stars.
It’s one of those bleak thrillers that’s more fascinating than it’s worth…
How special would you feel if aliens invaded your home every night? “Dark Skies” or “Close Encounters of the most stupid kind” is enough to give extra-terrestrials a bad name.
I can’t believe Keri Russell has so few film offers coming her way. Keri realized too late “Dark Skies” is for the birds. And I don’t mean the ones committing mass suicide against her living room windows.
What passes for spine tingling terror can easily be explained as nonsensical foolishness, as with all of these bogus nerve janglers. In desperation the family, at their wits end, locates a screwball recluse, played by the usually more selective J.K. Simmons, who has all the answers.
Josh Hamilton is even more traumatized by the paranormal phenomenon running roughshod through their home security system.
There’s not much help for a misguided movie that started off on the wrong foot and just grew progressively worse. And that look frozen on Hamilton’s frightened face is just the look of being dumbfounded how terrible the movie is. Look, if we didn’t trash a few stinkers now and then, we’d never full appreciate the really good stuff when it comes along. “Dark Skies” is a dismal disappointment that’s so shockingly inept.
It deserves even less than 1 star. We’re talking really bad, a true turkey.
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Susan Sarandon, Benjamin Bratt
Wrestling’s “Rock” Dwayne Johnson apparently wants us to take his movie acting more seriously.
“Snitch” is a step in the right direction. Johnson volunteers to go undercover for a drug enforcement prosecutor, to save his stupid son from a jail sentence.
The selfless dad has no idea what he’s letting himself in for.
“Snitch” wisely keeps the action to a minimum and maximizes the dramatic tension with a good guy in way over his head doing business with some very ruthless bad guys. Even his wife thinks this volunteer “Snitch” has gone off the deep end playing a very dangerous game. She’d like to know if he’s out of his mind?
How bad can the picture be with the brilliant Susan Sarandon playing a tough prosecutor? She only appears in quality films. And the drug cartel characters Johnson gets involved with are positively scary.
Unlike with a pure action thriller catering to the kids and violence fanatics, every role here is well acted by a fine character.
“Snitch” demands it be taken seriously or else I wouldn’t dream of saluting a Dwayne Johnson movie with three stars.
It’s always a good feeling when a film turns out much better than you expected.
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Jason Bateman, Amanda Peet
Only in Hollywood can the adventures of an “Identity Thief” get twisted into an on the road, odd couple, buddy bonding comedy, and still turn out to be as unfunny as sin.
Wait until Jason Bateman finds out Melissa McCarthy’s been on a buying spree on his credit card. The writers took the easy, uncomplicated way out of his predicament by portraying McCarthy as a victim of circumstance. Meaning, it’s not her fault she’s a born hustler who can’t help playing the role of the incurable victim to make us identify with her grubby character.
By the time the writers have turned McCarthy into a warm hearted saint, the picture’s completely forgotten where it’s going. There’s the barroom pick up by a drunken sleaze for the raunchy comedy crowd. Bateman’s character is so gruff and unappealing, it’s one more reason “Identity Thief” picks your pocket out of the price of admission.
There’s nothing even mildly amusing about this tasteless misfire. “Identity Thief” will get no credit from Becker with two stars.
Melissa McCarthy deserves a lot better and frankly so do we.
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen
Now according to Hollywood, every children’s fairy tale’s got a vicious streak that needs to be exploited in the worst way.
And believe me, “Hansel and Gretel” is exploitation at it’s worst. The sibling Witch hunters are all grown up now and they’re ready to wage war on their childhood tormentors.
Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton take a big step back in their careers. They’re armed to the teeth with every automatic weapon available during the dark ages. Perplexed parents may ask, if it’s a children’s story, how objectionable can it be? You don’t want to find out.
Aside from skinny dipping and the gruesome violence, I can’t imagine any reason why parents would even consider denying their children access to this R-Rated monstrosity. “Hansel and Gretel” goes out of its way to be tasteless and hits the mark every time.
Aside from “Hansel and Gretel’s” more obvious shortcomings like the terrible acting and insultingly stupid storytelling, “Hansel and Gretel” is offensive to those who treasure classic Fairy Tales. This trash can measure up no higher than one star.
I say banish this “Hansel and Gretel” to where it belongs, at the bottom of the barrel.
Life is cheap among the mostly one dimensional characters in “Gangster Squad”. In desperation, the cops become vigilantes to bring down Los Angeles Mobster Mickey Cohen.
But the Incredible blood spattered shoot ‘em up is mostly a waste of good actors.
Straight arrow Josh Brolin has to convince skeptical Ryan Gosling to join the noble cause. The realistic 1950′s atmosphere is just about the only thing “Gangster Squad” has going for it as far as credibility’s concerned.
That, along with Sean Penn’s foaming at the mouth performance as the infamous Los Angeles crime boss, who sees the unorthodox Police action whittling away his underworld empire.
Dramatically the film looks phony, the characters unreal, like some gaudy western with tommy guns instead of six shooters.
“Gangster Squad” is closer in spirit to “Dick Tracy” than that really solid period piece, “L.A. Confidential”. And no one in the cast is more misused than Emma Stone. We’re to believe she seamlessly switches from Mickey Cohen’s “Gang Moll” to Ryan Gosling’s lover.
“Gangster Squad” comes up with numerous other conclusions that are just too tough to swallow. Is it any wonder, “Ganger Squad” musters only enough dramatic punch for a woefully inadequate 2 stars.
With bullets flying every which way, we know why the shaky script ended up with so many holes.
Starring: Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Williams
Did you know that President Franklin D. Roosevelt was quite the lady’s man at the family retreat called “Hyde Park On Hudson”?
Bill Murray puts himself in Oscar contention as the charming seducer who knew how to mix politics with pleasure.
“Hyde Park On Hudson” is based on the memoirs of his distant Cousin, played by Laura Linney, about how they became, how should we say, best friends.
In those days, reporters were too protective to write about presidential indiscretions.
But this Masterpiece theater style drama is mostly about the historic visit by the king and queen of England. Master politician and gracious host that he was, FDR showed compassion for the less than confident English monarch.
and when Cousin Daisy discovered she had to share FDR with his most private Secretary Missy, he defused potential jealousy with his usual personal diplomacy.
“Hyde Park On Hudson” will also treat you with the utmost dignity, If you’re a serious moviegoer.
All that wit and drama come together with enough historical perspective to earn “Hyde Park On Hudson” a very elegant 3 stars. And don’t forget, from start to finish It’s Bill Murray’s greatest acting triumph.