Archive for August, 2006


You’re much too talented to be wasting time on sluggish potboilers like “High Times” and “Twisted.” Formulaic, derivative, and completely boneheaded, the script for “Twisted” should never have made it past a studio reader, much less someone with their client’s best interests in mind. Read the rest of this entry »

Mona Lisa Smile

Talk about an easy pitch. Imagine selling “Mona Lisa Smile” to a studio. What’s it about? Well, it’s “Dead Poet’s Society” with chicks. So it’s a chick flick? Not really, it’s a people flick. Who’s attached? Julia Roberts. Good choice, Oscar winner, can open a film. Who does she play? Read the rest of this entry »

Marci X

Who let the dogs out? Welcome to Hollywood’s Hall of Shame, late August, a favorite dumping ground for mindless movies. No, this isn’t a case of saving the best for last. On the contrary, the Dog Days of Summer are reserved for films aimed at audiences not smart enough to sneak out of town for one last hurrah. Read the rest of this entry »

Sin City

A lot of characters in Sin City lose their head, and if you’ re a fan of the graphic novels, you’ ll probably lose your head too over Frank Miller’s Sin City, pulp fiction so thick and perverse it literally oozes off the theater screen. Director Robert Rodriguez, the independent firebrand who changed the face of low budget cinema with El Mariachi and Spy Kids, doesn’t borrow from Miller’s series of graphic novels about the thugs, pugs and jugs. Read the rest of this entry »

Extreme Ops

In “Extreme Ops,” a team of extreme sports enthusiasts have been hired by a commercial director to outrun an avalanche in the Austrian Alps. You know “Extreme Ops” is a bad film when you root for the avalanche. Read the rest of this entry »

Earth Girls Are Easy

I have two confessions to make. The first one is that I am a big “Beach Blanket Bingo” fan. Not just “Beach Blanket Bingo,” but “Beach Party,” “How to Stuff a Wild Bikini,” “Muscle Beach Party” and just about every film with Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon. Read the rest of this entry »

Deep Impact DVD

The logistics of getting a whole baseball stadium to do the wave are staggering. Imagine trying to get the whole Eastern seaboard of the United States to do the wave simultaneously. That’s the task of director Mimi Leder, who capably brings the first of this season’s two comet movies to the big screen. “Deep Impact” takes a human look at an extinction level event, the threat of a comet the size of Manhattan colliding with Earth. Read the rest of this entry »

Kung Pow: Enter The Fist

In 1966, filmmaker Woody Allen released “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?” Originally a dreadful Japanese spy thriller released to take advantage of the James Bond phenomenon, Allen re-edited and re-dubbed the film to turn it into a satirical comedy sending up the genre. Read the rest of this entry »

The Clearing

One look at Wayne (Robert Redford) and Eileen Hayes (Helen Mirren) confirms the existence of the American dream. Successful, proud parents and grandparents, a good home and a good life. Look closer and you’ll notice dings in their perfect marriage, distance between them and their children, and an American dream that’s about to become a nightmare. Read the rest of this entry »