Everybody could use a good laugh these days, and humor right now seems all the more fun if we feel we're getting away with something. In other words, it's a great time for a guilty pleasure comedy.
A reviewer friend once asked me if it is acceptable to praise a movie for what it's not. After seeing "Julie & Julia," I'm finally ready to answer: "Yes!"
Judd Apatow has decided to grow up, and we should all rejoice.
Sitting through "Orphan" is like being forced, like Alex in "A Clockwork Orange," to watch videos of child abuse. This is easily the worst film of the year, and it exploits child actors so shamelessly I can scarcely believe it's legal. I've seen plenty of bad movies, but it's a rare film that sends me into moral outrage.
Harry Potter comes to our rescue this week. The sixth installment of the Potter series will undoubtedly banish all gay caricatures and obnoxious robots to the bottom of the box office top 10, even though the movie doesn't offer the pyrotechnics we usually expect during summer.
What kind of a world do we live in when "Brüno" opens to fanfare and a wide release, yet an instant science fiction classic like "Moon" barely makes it to theaters?
"Public Enemies" makes a rather strange midsummer release. This somber gangster piece set in the 1930s comes out at a time when transforming robots and Sacha Baron Cohen's latest affront to comedic taste ("Bruno") look sure to rule the box office for weeks.
"Transformers 2" features the most impressive robots ever programmed into a computer and many battalions of heavily-armed American military men, all of whom blow up everything in sight. And all this carnage adds up to a dizzying, exhausting, loud, clanging, clanking, whirring, headache-inducing scrap pile of a movie.
"Away We Go" provides perfect counterprogramming for those who aren't impressed by computer-generated dinosaurs, overblown violence and all the other trappings of summer blockbusters.
So right now you're thinking, a review of "Up," isn't Marker a little late on this one?
"Land of the Lost," this week's only big-budget release, brings an end to this summer's streak of solid releases. It's the immediate frontrunner in the race for worst summer movie.
Sam Raimi has gone back to using his powers for evil, and it's a good thing.
It's mid-May and we're already two releases into summer: "Wolverine" (yawn) and "Star Trek" (neat-o!). From now until September, the movie forecast calls for enormous explosions, spectacular special effects and mediocre writing. Surprisingly, there's also some comedy and romance for those who don't eat testosterone for breakfast. Here are the summer movies on our radar.
It's difficult to overhaul any successful TV or movie series, but when that series is "Star Trek," it seems downright impossible. Gene Roddenberry's original series has spawned many spinoffs, but fans tend to get a little touchy when someone tampers with Kirk, Spock and the rest of the Enterprise crew.
"Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" marks a great departure for Matthew McConaughey as an actor: he only takes his shirt off once in this movie.
"Selma" wasn't the only film about race to get short shrift from Oscar voters this past year. "Black or White" is a frank, touching and very well-acted melodrama about child custody and cultural perceptions of "blackness" and "the race card," and could have earned Octavia Spencer and Kevin Costner fresh Oscar nominations.
We have forgotten how subtle Al Pacino could be, pre "Hoo Hah!" Something about his Oscar winning turn in "Scent of a Woman" unleashed the beast, a performer as big, broad and puffed up as that mountain of hair he keeps teased about his head.
In June of 1964, three civil rights workers, two white and one black, went missing in Mississippi. Later found murdered and buried in an earthen dam, the case captured national attention and sparked a massive FBI investigation.
"The Wedding Ringer" is "Wedding Crashers Redux," a "Hangover Lite" that softens manic funnyman Kevin Hart's persona into someone almost as funny, but more sentimental than abrasive. That helps "Ringer" work as a bromantic comedy that feels like a romantic comedy.
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