Author: Norm Schrager Page 2

The Messengers

The Messengers

While the marketing may seem enticing, The Messengers is nothing more than a run-of-the-mill haunted house movie, and a poorly made one at that. Columbia/Screen Gems would have you believe it's all about gifted children...

Movie Review posted on 11th February 2007

Half Nelson

Half Nelson

Dan Dunne never sleeps in the same place twice. No, he's not bedding some hottie every other night; he's home in his Brooklyn apartment. He might grab a few hours rolled up on his sheetless...

Movie Review posted on 5th February 2007

Jesus Camp

Jesus Camp

While young Americans are now regularly sent to fight in the Middle East, even younger ones are positioned on the front lines of a different battle, a self-proclaimed war within U.S. borders. The vigilant world...

Movie Review posted on 29th January 2007

See Spot Run

See Spot Run

David Arquette gets to reinforce his status as the goofy doofus once again in this below-average family comedy about a boy, a dog, and a dumb, sloppy, immature mailman (that would be Arquette). Peering...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

Moonlight

Moonlight

When we first meet Claire, a privileged teenager growing up in her parents' opulent home, she is in shock. She's been carefully practicing piano in an immaculate room when she experiences the initial drops of...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

Y Tu Mamá También

Y Tu Mamá También

When a film opens with a handheld shot of two teens humping under a Harold and Maude poster, one can assume the movie is different. Y Tu Mamá También is certainly that - an...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

Con Man

Con Man

Documentary filmmaker Jesse Moss was in the presence of greatness when he attended high school in Palo Alto, California some 15 years ago. One of his classmates was a track star of seemingly unending talents,...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

Limbo (2005)

Limbo (2005)

Limbo is an appropriate title for filmmaker Thomas Ikimi's first feature -- his stark tale of an attorney caught in various states of constancy plays like Groundhog Day with a fifth of whiskey. For one...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

Freedom Writers

Freedom Writers

It's always satisfying when a movie defies an obvious formula and delivers something better. Freedom Writers is the first such surprise of 2007, a genuinely touching entry in a genre that often wallows in cliché:...

Movie Review posted on 12th January 2007

My Neighbors the Yamadas

My Neighbors the Yamadas

In the US, we embrace animated families steeped in enormous dysfunction--the Simpsons, Family Guy's Griffin clan, or the poor bastards on King of the Hill. The Japanese Yamadas, on the other hand, title characters in...

Movie Review posted on 4th January 2007

You Can't Take It with You

You Can't Take It with You

Jimmy Stewart's legendary career was just beginning when he co-starred in this Frank Capra classic, a warm, heart-tugging Best Picture Oscar winner. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway show by Kaufman and Hart, Capra's entry...

Movie Review posted on 4th January 2007

The Definition of Insanity

The Definition of Insanity

Robert Margolis is a struggling actor... playing a struggling actor named Robert Margolis. Both Margolises have appeared in indie films Criminals and Morocco, may (or may not) be married, and possibly possess a self-destructive need...

Movie Review posted on 23rd November 2006

Keeping Up with the Steins

Keeping Up with the Steins

Garry Marshall as a free-spirited, Jewish hippie grandpa is funny. Garry Marshall's son, first-time director Scott Marshall, is not. Nor is his handling of a film just dying to be My Big Fat Jewish Bar...

Movie Review posted on 16th November 2006

Renaissance

Renaissance

Animation technology seems to be advancing at exponential speed. Each Pixar film easily out-wows the last, and computer-generated releases are now par-for-the-course for kiddie fare. So its no small achievement that the French drama Renaissance,...

Movie Review posted on 9th October 2006

Big Love: Season One

Big Love: Season One

In its first season, Big Love was often summarily referred to as "the polygamy show." True enough, but as with many of HBO's finer offerings, it offers more than meets the eye. And the expectations....

Movie Review posted on 28th July 2006

Chalk

Chalk

It's often considered the most underappreciated of all professional endeavors: teaching. Long hours, ambivalent students, lunatic teachers... it's all part of the job in writer/director Mike Akel's surprisingly solid debut comedy about public school pitfalls...

Movie Review posted on 18th May 2006

Campus Ladies: Season One

Campus Ladies: Season One

Behold the perils of freshman dorm life: sneaking alcohol, surviving communal bathrooms, heading toward menopause... Okay, definitely not all the problems of your average first-year undergrad, but Barri and Joan are far from average. In...

Movie Review posted on 22nd April 2006

Finding Home

Finding Home

Ridiculously awkward direction and poor pacing are only two of the black marks on Finding Home, an overdone family drama that plays like a Hallmark special -- circa 1970s. Directed and co-written by Lawrence D....

Movie Review posted on 26th February 2006

Cheaper By The Dozen 2

Cheaper By The Dozen 2

You've seen this before. Steve Martin as the nervous parent awaiting a baby delivery. Steve Martin reluctantly acknowledging his daughter's independence. Steve Martin falling victim to kids' pranks. From Parenthood to the Father of the...

Movie Review posted on 25th December 2005

Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D

Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D

When Tom Hanks gets his mitts on a topic, he squeezes it within an inch of its life. So just when you thought Hanks was done with space (Apollo 13, From The Earth to the...

Movie Review posted on 21st December 2005

Limbo (2005)

Limbo (2005)

Limbo is an appropriate title for filmmaker Thomas Ikimi's first feature -- his stark tale of an attorney caught in various states of constancy plays like Groundhog Day with a fifth of whiskey. For one...

Movie Review posted on 14th November 2005

Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D

Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D

When Tom Hanks gets his mitts on a topic, he squeezes it within an inch of its life. So just when you thought Hanks was done with space (Apollo 13, From The Earth to the...

Movie Review posted on 10th November 2005

Purgatory House

Purgatory House

It seems obvious that the best way to get deep inside a teen's troubles would be by talking to a teen. So how close can any filmmaker get to a young adult's real issues? Damn...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Tape

Tape

While the film world awaits what sounds like a daring experiment from director Richard Linklater -- the animated Waking Life, coming in October -- the filmmaker attempts to hold us over with Tape, a failure...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Fever Pitch (2005)

Fever Pitch (2005)

You'll have to forgive my small bias for this Farrelly Brothers boy-meets-girl-but-loves-baseball-team charmer. As an 18-year resident of Boston, the movie's ever-present backdrop, I hooked onto this breezy romantic comedy like an eager fish.It's not...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Dysfunktional Family

Dysfunktional Family

DysFunKtional Family forces the question: Why is there an Eddie Griffin stand-up comedy movie? Comedy concert films normally center on legendary names (like Richard Pryor), big stars (like Martin Lawrence), or giant arena events...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Two Weeks Notice

Two Weeks Notice

After starring in just a few comedies, Sandra Bullock has established herself as the go-to actress to play the loopy, disheveled, well-intentioned woman of today. Her characters may possess poise and beauty, but they're hidden...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Rollerball (2002)

Rollerball (2002)

Seeing a movie remake inevitably leads viewers to make comparisons, matching up new casting choices, storylines, and updated themes. It happens all the time, as moviegoers may catch Open Your Eyes (Abre Los Ojos)...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

Scary Movie 3

Scary Movie 3

There are lots of ways to churn out sequels, particularly comedies. You can speed along like a runaway train to capitalize on a surprise hit -- Miramax rushed Scary Movie 2 into theaters one year...

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

The Invisible Circus

The Invisible Circus

If anyone's considering checking out The Invisible Circus thinking it's Cameron Diaz's latest feature, forget it. Diaz, a burst of sunshine and energy in this hopelessly bland movie, plays a small supporting role....

Movie Review posted on 1st November 2005

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