National Treasure: Book of Secrets
Is like eating at one of those big family restaurants where everybody walks out full and moderately satisfied. The thing I like best about this film is that they really try hard to give the audience a good time, and mostly succeed.
Neighbors is a pretty funny movie. But it got me thinking about something that isn't quite so funny. For years now, far too many Hollywood movies have promoted irresponsibility among young people. Unfortunately, this irresponsibility has reached out into the real world. Now, as some of these comedic film stars become parents—they're beginning to realize the consequences of what they have helped to create. Maybe it's time for some people in Hollywood to grow up. Just a thought.
Never Back Down
A company named Summit Entertainment has just made two really good "B" movies in a row. The first was Step Up 2 the Streets and the second is Never Back Down. Sean Faris is a bigger stronger Tom Cruise look-alike in his late teens. Djimon Hounsou does a terrific job as the martial arts instructor. At any rate it's a terrific movie for teenagers, and me.
This is a far-fetched story but it definitely held my attention and the people in the theater along with us seemed to enjoy the hell out of it. The idea of being able to see ahead into the future—even 2 minutes—lends itself to a lot of fun. The marketing, in my opinion, was horrible and that's why it didn't do a whole lot better in its first weekend. At any rate, if you liked Minority Report & total Recall, you'll almost surely like Next.
The Nice Guys
Director/writer Shane Black is a very, very funny man. However, there's not an inch of depth here. But it's still great fun. Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe, and Angourie Rice are all terrific. A-
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
I suspect that this is pretty true to life about the way some teens are in the big cities. But I'll tell you this, my son won't be staying out until dawn while he's still in high school. Getting back to the film, it's very well done.
Night at the Museum
The reviews for this movie were mostly pretty bad and I have no idea why. It's a terrific family movie that's fairly inventive, and the performances are just fine and dandy. As I said, though--this is definitely a family movie.
Nights in Rodanthe
Let's get this out of the way first. I'm a big romantic and proud of it. Now as to this movie. Nicholas Sparks knows how to make a story work; somebody involved with this production doesn't. Way, way too many scenes go clunk in the dark. The photography is pretty. My wife, Sue, cried; I didn't.
There just aren't enough good family movies around. (Thank goodness both Maximum Ride and the Dangerous Days of Daniel X have been bought by Hollywood, if I do say so myself.) And Nim's Island isn't a bad offering for the moment. The cast is certainly appealing—Jodie Foster, Abigail Breslin and Gerard Butler are all fine and dandy in their parts. I liked it, Sue liked it, and so did ten year old Jack. 'Nuff said.
This is a flick that breaks down into three unequal parts. The first is the ninja's back story and it's pretty terrific. Creds to the screenwriter Matthew Sand. The second part is basically a bloody videogame which should appeal to bloody videogame players. The third part is talky and murky and concerns a government agency. The performances here are bad, and it looks like it was shot by a daytime soap opera director.
No Strings Attached
You kind of expect a let-down in performance from Natalie Portman, but she really does herself proud in this romantic comedy. So does Ashton Kutcher. So does Ivan Reitman, the director. The script and storytelling are pretty terrific, except that you know exactly where it's all going. Otherwise, well done.
Welcome to the church of Darren Aronofsky, the Word according to Hollywood, and the belief that humankind (except for a handful of vegans) is evil and must be destroyed (as opposed to say, a belief that humankind is, well, human, and desperately in need of inspiration). The movie is beautifully filmed and well-acted.
Notes on a Scandal
This is probably my favorite film lately. I don't know what to make of awards but, if they make any sense, both Judy Dench & Cate Blanchett deserve them for their roles in this film. It's a nasty little film and I couldn't get enough of it.
One of the most honest examinations of faith I’ve come across in a long time. Not for everyone though. This is not Iron Man or Raiders of the Lost Ark. A
I’m usually OK with horror movies, but The Nun just drags and throws up fake scares. And, once again, the dialogue is just not what we would hope for. C-