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Archive for January, 2006

The Longest Yard (Comedy, Remake) 2005

January 1, 2006 Leave a comment

longest y 1_full.jpgThis is a remake of an older film which I’m sure had to be better then this one. The story itself is a great idea and I see how it might have been done under different circumstances. It seems that the producers tried to “add” or make it more relevant to our times and the film dies of “improvements” like super-sized bimbos and gay cheerleaders. Chris Rock does a surprisingly good attempt at a character role and jives well with Sandler though the script is a bit splotchy and jokes predicable at times. The football element is great getting people to play as a team and all and Sandler and Reynolds give good motivational speeches and overcome obstacles in team-building. Sure, there is a good vs. bad moral to draw from it bit it really is not worth the trouble due to the unnecessary language and off-colored sex related humor; it’s really a shame though.

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Categories: Movie Reviews

Runaway Jury (Courtroom Drama/Thriller) 2003

January 1, 2006 Leave a comment

runaway small.jpgI can’t believe it took me so long to see this film. I was all over the US in 2003 including New Orleans where it was playing and tried at every opportunity to see it but never was able to make the time.
That said when I finally saw it was well worth the wait. This is one of the best courtroom drama/thriller novels put to film since ‘A Time to Kill’ also by John Grisham. Originally written about the tobacco industry, the movie version changes it to be about major gun manufactures with convincing ease and relativity. Stellar performances by the whole cast, Hoffman and Hackman particularly show great chemistry as polar opposite lawyers in the courtroom and off. Cusack in I think his first real serious role shows that he can keep up and pull off a convincing lead in this film. The high power pace, great understanding of the city and use of real locations, superb directing and surprise twist ending all make this film the high powered film it was cranked up to be, and some.

Categories: Movie Reviews

Spanglish (Comedy) 2004

January 1, 2006 Leave a comment

SPANGLISH 200w.jpgThis is a fantastic film. I was pleasantly surprised with the depth and presentation of the film. James Brooks (As Good As It Gets) directs yet another powerful film about very different people that come together and how with a little love and understanding the world can be a better place. I know that sounds metaphoric but it is true, this film proves that love needs no translation. This movie celebrates human life in all its colors and shades in-between. The tests, the tears and the joys are all woven together in humorous way. Adam Sandler is not his usual self in this film and that really showed a deeper side to him and that he can carry a real lead role without playing someone mentally or physiologically damaged (Happy Gilmore, Water Boy, Little Nicky, Big Daddy). It’s shown there is life outside of SNL type gags and second grade humor that he has generally resorted to till now. I think Robin Williams set a good standard in wining Oscars for deeper roles (Good Will Hunting, Where Dreams May Come) despite coming from a similar beginning in acting. This won’t get Adam any hardware but it will get him a second look from critics who had written him off and I have now doubts that if given a good role he could take home an Oscar one day. This movie proved he is capable of portraying more emotions and depth of character, certainly more then he’s shown us in the past.

The whole cast of this film did their roles wonderfully, showing such extremes that made this film such a wholesome joy to watch from the inarguable dad to the eccentric/self-centered mother, the foreign housekeeper and loveable children. It brings in many stories but by the end it is really just about one. It also jumps into deep topics like romantic feelings outside of marriage and is handled and resolved in a surprisingly good manner that is neither vengeful nor Hollywood stereotype. When it’s all over and you’re hungry there is a bonus on the DVD for the recipe of “the world’s greatest sandwich”. That alone is well worth the price of the rental fee but you get a great film as well.

Categories: Movie Reviews

Dave Berry’s Complete Guide to Guys – The Movie

January 1, 2006 Leave a comment

g2g.jpgThis is a hilarious audio-visual rendition of the best bestselling book by the same name. Dave narrates this documentary style film with reenacted “interviews” and Saturday Night Live like skits clearly documenting the behaviors of guys from the Stone Age till today. It is brilliantly woven together and also includes various cameo rolls from the likes of Dan Marino, Dick Vitale and others. The addition of John Cleese as a British expert is a welcome addition to otherwise b-rate acting on the part of the other actors. This is the one film I’d say that the acting doesn’t matter. Even their lacks play well into the roles they portray. It really is just a skit to illustrate a point, nothing more.
Like Dave Berry’s columns and novels you are treated to the same wild ride of gut splitting humor as he describes both the most typical and personal things to life, love, relationships and the bathroom as only he can. He is a genius of his craft while at the same time very personable and self-effacing with his Bermuda shirt, flip-flops and all, clearly a REAL GUY and thus more then knowledgeable to be an ample authority on the subject. It leaves you with no doubt why he is probably the most likeable guy to come form Miami to date.
movie_101604.jpgThere is absolutely no reason EVER for girls to say ‘I just don’t understand you guys’ EVER again. Light entertainment only, but discusses some funny realities to relating to others of the opposite sex and marriage.

You can’t go into it thinking it is a movie to just put your feet up and relax, as it really is not. It takes more thinking and keeping up with his jokes then the average running story of a film. If you already don’t like his style of writing you won’t like this either, you’ll be better off renting something else. 

Categories: Movie Reviews