- At the Movies
- "Hangover’ is inspired, until it wears off You’d be forgiven for thinking “The Hangover” is a documentary. After all, who hasn’t woken up in a trashed Las Vegas hotel suite with a missing tooth, a tiger in the bathroom, a baby in the closet and little or no memory of what happened the night before?
- ‘Land of the Lost,’ is just that There is exactly one funny bit in “Land of the Lost,” and it stands out because it comes at the very beginning and the very end.
- 'Hangover' is inspired, until it wears off You'd be forgiven for thinking "The Hangover" is a documentary. After all, who hasn't woken up in a trashed Las Vegas hotel suite with a missing tooth, a tiger in the bathroom, a baby in the closet and little or no memory of what happened the night before?
- Too much crammed into one ‘Night at the Museum' sequel “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” is one of those sequels in which “bigger” is supposed to mean “better,” in which more characters, more sight gags and more action are supposed to add up to more fun.
- ‘Angels & Demons’ more summery than solemn Blessedly, “Angels & Demons” is more entertaining and less self-serious than its predecessor, the dense and dreary yet enormously successful “The Da Vinci Code.”
- New ‘Star Trek’ boldly goes, but with some trouble J.J. Abrams’ hugely anticipated summer extravaganza “Star Trek” boldly goes to the past within the distant future of the “Trek” universe, years ahead of the TV series and the myriad movies and spin-offs it spawned.
- ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ is just action and more action Say you’re immortal, and you’ve served in the battlefields of the Civil War and the trenches of World War I. Wouldn’t you eventually want to sit out World War II and Vietnam?
- ‘State of Play’ a slick political thriller “State of Play” looks like a provocative, ’70s-style political thriller, and it’s the murder of a young woman — a rising congressman’s mistress — that drives the narrative.
- You’ve seen ‘17 Again’ — again and again “17 Again” is one of those movies that requires you to suspend all disbelief and assume that someone who looks like Zac Efron could, in 20 years, turn into someone who looks like Matthew Perry.
- ‘Monsters vs. Aliens’ in 3-D has high-energy humor Classic creatures from the 1950s get a high-tech makeover, with a healthy amount of attitude, in the 3-D animated “Monsters vs. Aliens.”
- ‘Witch Mountain’ remake ditches charm for noise If you grew up in the 1970s, you probably have some fond moviegoing memory of “Escape to Witch Mountain.” Sure, the special effects look dated — the flying Winnebago with Eddie Albert at the wheel, for example.
- ‘Watchmen’ movie almost too faithful to book Hey, fanboys. Yeah, you guys, the ones who flooded my inbox with e-mails after I trashed Zack Snyder’s “300,” wishing birth defects on my unborn children and suggesting that perhaps my husband isn’t — ahem — keeping me satisfied.
‘Fired Up!’ is rah-rah-raunchy
It would be news if “Fired Up!” weren’t moronic and adolescent. A comedy about two horny high school football players who infiltrate cheerleading camp to score women couldn’t possibly be anything else.
- Close the book on ‘Inkheart’ Whimsy shouldn’t be overwhelming. It shouldn’t be a busy, messy cacophony. By definition, there should be something delicate about it. Charming, even.
Mike Myers’ ‘Love Guru’ proves endearing at Razzies
Myers’ comedy flop “The Love Guru” led the field Wednesday for the Razzies with seven nominations, among them worst picture and worst-acting slots for Myers, Jessica Alba, Verne Troyer and Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley.
- ‘Defiance’ a muted telling of great story If only “Defiance” were as spirited and feisty as the title suggests. And it held such promise, too. The real-life story of brothers who lead their fellow Jews into the forest of Belarus during summer 1941 to fight Nazis and form their own community offers a glimpse into a facet of the Holocaust we might not have known about before.
- Freeze before seeing "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" The biggest crime of all in “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” is not the bank heist that goes down at a New Jersey mall on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. Rather, it’s the egregious way in which Kevin James’ innate likability goes to waste.
‘Unborn’ offers up more laughs than scares
The Kabbalah. Hot college students. An abandoned mental institution. Gary Oldman. Jogging. Twins. Nazi scientists. A suicidal mother. A lost blue mitten. What do these things have in common? They’re all pieces in the convoluted mythology of “The Unborn.”
- Evocative and real, ’Notorious’ is a B.I.G. winner You love to hear the story, again and again: Young boy trapped in poverty, chooses crime over the classroom, rises to infamous heights only to be gunned down at the apex of success.
- Pitt, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" dazzles visually, emotionally It's the damnedest thing. You look into the elderly man's blue eyes behind a pair of old-fashioned spectacles, look at the sweet smile ringed by wrinkles, and you know that's Brad Pitt under there. But the special effects are so dazzling, and Pitt's performance is so gracefully convincing, that you can't help but be wowed over and over again by "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."
- Tom Cruise distractingly bad in 'Valkyrie' Much ado has been made about "Valkyrie," starring Tom Cruise as would-be Hitler assassin Col. Claus von Stauffenberg.
- ‘Frost/Nixon’ depicts tense TV showdown in 1977 “No holds barred,” Richard Nixon urges to David Frost as the two prepare to sit down for a series of interviews in 1977. As “Frost/Nixon” powerfully reveals, that statement contains equal parts promise and threat from both the disgraced figure on screen and the actor playing him.
- ‘Cadillac Records’ plays song you’ve heard before Darnell Martin could have made an entire movie about Muddy Waters. Or Etta James. Or Chuck Berry. Instead, the writer-director has made a movie about all of them with “Cadillac Records"
- ‘Australia’ is a beautiful but overlong journey Overlong and self-indulgent, Baz Luhrmann’s “Australia,” a homage to epic adventure films, feels like a slog through the outback itself.
- ‘Four Christmases’ is zero fun The size difference between Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon isn’t the only thing keeping them apart in “Four Christmases.”
- ‘Quantum of Solace’ feels too slight “Casino Royale” came along just as the James Bond franchise was sinking into a lazy rehash of all that had gone before. It jump-started 007 with its seamless mix of action and emotion, and now “Quantum of Solace” keeps it humming along — in a familiar, but forgettable, gear.
- Surrender to the catchy kitsch of ‘High School Musical 3' Someday, Troy and Gabriella will actually open their mouths when they kiss.
- Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio liven up ‘Body of Lies’ “Rendition.” “Redacted.” “The Kingdom.” “In the Valley of Elah.” “Lions for Lambs.” They’re all movies about the war on terror that nobody has wanted to see, either because the topic is too daunting or too much of a downer, or it’s simply too soon after 9/11.
- ‘Flash of Genius’ wipes away suspense It’s the first day of school and Greg Kinnear, as a college engineering professor, writes the word “ethics” on the blackboard for his students to ponder. Obviously, this will be important to this character and to his story.
- Ambitious 'Miracle at St. Anna' never hits targets After acclaimed character dramas (“Malcolm X,” “Do the Right Thing”), some ill-fated comedies (“Bamboozled,” “She Hate Me”) and even a documentary or two (”4 Little Girls”), Spike Lee takes on a big, old-fashioned war picture. It’s hard not to appreciate the fact that, after a quarter-century of making movies, he’s chosen this time to leap so boldly away from his comfort zone.
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