20 August 2008
Take a helping of the Jack Black family-friendly, rock 'n' roll comedy School of Rock, a dose of the Mark Wahlberg rock 'n' roll fantasy Rock Star, a touch of Almost Famous, throw into the mix one of the funniest actors working in television today, and what do you get? A movie that is much less than the sum of its parts.
The biggest problem with The Rocker is that it simply does not rock. It begins in 1986 with Vesuvius, a clone of Poison and countless other "hair" metal bands, ready to take over the world. You can try to suspend your disbelief all you want, but nothing can hide the fact that this band is a joke and probably would have been considered such even when this type of thing was huge.
14 August 2008
Tropic Thunder is a movie you know should be good just from hearing the names of the actors involved and the characters they play—and, boy, does it deliver on that promise.
Ben Stiller, who directed and wrote the screenplay with Justin Theroux and Etan Cohen, is Tugg Speedman, a once great action star whose career has fallen on hard times. His attempt at respectability, starring as a mentally-challenged man in a movie called Simple Jack, was a colossal flop. The Vietnam war epic Tropic Thunder might be his last chance to salvage his flailing career.
Jack Black is Jeff Portnoy, the drug-addicted star of the Fatties comedy franchise, in which he plays every character in a morbidly obese family.
06 August 2008
Strange as it may seem, Pineapple Express is, in a sense, an experimental film—an action movie from a bunch of guys who look like they've never even seen a fight.
It comes to us from producer Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up), whose name has become its own brand within the comedy world.Apatow shares a story credit on a screenplay written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, longtime friends who previously collaborated on the semi-autobiographical Superbad.
The director is David Gordon Green, known for small-scale indie dramas like George Washington, All the Real Girls and Snow Angels.
The stars are Rogen and James Franco, best known as Harry Osborn from the Spider-Man movies and the one person here who has significant experience with this type of production.
It all adds up to an action-comedy that falls a little short in both areas.
01 August 2008
It must be nice to have $175 million to pump into a sequel for which there appeared to be no real demand.
That’s problem No. 1 for The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.
Problem No. 2 is the choice of director: Rob Cohen, the man behind the Vin Diesel vehicles The Fast and the Furious (2001) and XXX (2002), and Stealth (2005)—a movie that still makes my head hurt when I think about it. He replaces Stephen Sommers, director of both The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy Returns (2001). (Sommers retains a producer credit here.)
Cohen has specialized in action movies, yet has little idea of how to shoot an action scene. In this movie, he has the services of Jet Li as the titular emperor, a ruthless man who conquered ancient China and enslaved his foes. His cast also includes Michelle Yeoh as the witch the emperor employs to give him immortality. Instead, the witch curses him, mummifying him and his entire army.