25 June 2010

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Xavier Samuel, center, is shown in a scene from "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse."
It is not exactly praise to call "Eclipse" the best film in "The Twilight Saga" to date.

Cliched, maudlin dialogue and painfully wooden acting gussied up with vampires who sparkle in the sunlight and computer-generated werewolves marked the first two entries, "Twilight" and "New Moon."

And it's more of the same in "Eclipse." The difference is this time, the reins are in the hands of a director ("30 Days of Night's" David Slade) who has some aptitude for creating an air of menace and shooting an action scene.

The story picks up where "New Moon" left off, with Bella (Kristen Stewart) torn between two creepy, borderline stalkers: the eternally 17-year-old vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson) and the werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner).

11 June 2010

The A-Team

Bradley Cooper, left, and Liam Neeson are shown in a scene from "The A-Team."
I remember having an "A-Team" bicycle as a child. I think it was red and black. So I must have watched and enjoyed the TV series that aired from 1983 to 1986 on NBC. Yet aside from Mr. T's Mohawk, I cannot remember a single thing about it.

Hannibal, Faceman, Murdock? Not ringing a bell. The theme music? Nope.

There was no nostalgia factor for me, then, as I watched the big-screen version of "The A-Team" directed by Joe Carnahan ("Narc," "Smokin' Aces"). No memories stirred up, no childlike excitement. Nothing.

I don't know whether that's my fault or the movie's.

04 June 2010

Get Him to the Greek

Jonah Hill, left, and Russell Brand are shown in a scene from "Get Him to the Greek."
The "him" of "Get Him to the Greek" is the fictional British rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), first seen two years ago in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." The "Greek" is the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, where Aldous and his band Infant Sorrow recorded one of the best-selling live albums of all time. Young record company suit Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) must bring Aldous there for a special 10-year anniversary performance.

The catch: Aldous, ardently sober when we last saw him, has fallen spectacularly off the wagon following the failure of his latest album, the hilariously tasteless "African Child," and his split from Jackie Q (Rose Byrne), his longtime girlfriend and mother of his son.

On strict orders from his boss, Sergio (Sean "P. Diddy" Combs), Aaron must retrieve Aldous from London, get him to New York for an appearance on the "Today" show, then take him to Los Angeles for his comeback concert. Aldous, though, is a drinking, drugging mess. It's like watching an episode of VH1's "Behind the Music" in the present tense as he leads Aaron, not to be confused with the character Hill played in "Sarah Marshall," from one party to the next, introducing him to a smorgasbord of substances.