Author: Rob Blackwelder Page 2

Sahara

Sahara

If "Sahara" weren't quite so dumb, it might have been a lot offun. A tongue-in-cheek action-adventure movie loosely basedon Clive Cussler's best-selling novel, this wild ride stars Matthew McConaugheyas maritime treasure-hunter Dirk Pitt, who follows...

Movie Review posted on 7th April 2005

Fever Pitch

Fever Pitch

"Fever Pitch" is a romantic sports comedy thatgets by on the same kind of lovable-loser charm that has kept its maincharacter obsessed with the Boston Red Sox since age 7. The movie is not especially...

Movie Review posted on 7th April 2005

Sin City

Sin City

Innovative and dazzling in its absolute loyalty to thevisual style of its inspiration, "Sin City" brings comic bookpages alive to a degree that is unprecedented in movie history. A triptych of dark, violent tales set...

Movie Review posted on 1st April 2005

You I Love

You I Love

With its matter-of-fact, almost lighthearted depiction of open sexualityand homosexuality in modernized Moscow, "You I Love" may be culturallygroundbreaking in Russian cinema, but out of that context, it's littlemore than a comedy-drama of shorthand emotions...

Movie Review posted on 1st April 2005

Melinda & Melinda

Melinda & Melinda

Woody Allen hit upon a plucky, imaginative concept for "Melinda andMelinda": The same story, of a woman at loose ends, imagined as bothcomedy and tragedy by two playwrights (Wallace Shawn and Larry Pine) arguingin a...

Movie Review posted on 30th March 2005

Beauty Shop

Beauty Shop

The laughs come fast and easy in "Beauty Shop," a sharp-tonguedspin-off from IceCube's "Barbershop"comedies that follows stylist Gina Norris (Queen Latifah) as she opensher own salon. But the minimal-effort plot keeps getting underfoot. After performing...

Movie Review posted on 30th March 2005

Guess Who

Guess Who

After setting the stage with half a dozen insultingly shopworn plot contrivancesin its first five minutes, "Guess Who" -- a seemingly ill-advisedcross between "Meet the Parents" and "Guess Who's Comingto Dinner" -- eventually finds its...

Movie Review posted on 24th March 2005

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous

Sandra Bullock isn't doing her underappreciated talentany favors by appearing in "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous,"a relentlessly dim-witted sequel to her 2000 hit about a tomboy FBI agentgoing undercover at a beauty pageant.The first...

Movie Review posted on 24th March 2005

Dot The I

Dot The I

"Dot the I" begins with a beautiful, willfulbut vulnerable Spanish immigrant to London accepting the proposal of hersweet, adoring and doting English boyfriend -- then being knocked for aloop by a kiss from a stranger...

Movie Review posted on 24th March 2005

Hostage

Hostage

Several stock action-thriller ingredients are slung togetherand served up as new Hollywood hash in "Hostage," including aburned-out cop with personal problems, novice young criminals in over theirnervous heads, a brave little kid who outwits his...

Movie Review posted on 18th March 2005

In My Country

In My Country

A fictional narrative created to encompass several storiesthat personify the nation-altering emotional crux of South Africa's Truthand Reconciliation hearings, "In My Country" accomplishes itsgoal -- but does so largely through obvious plot devices. JulietteBinoche and...

Movie Review posted on 18th March 2005

Millions

Millions

Director Danny Boyle is known for wildly imaginative visualsin innovative, gritty-cool movies about murderers ("Shallow Grave"),junkies ("Trainspotting")and zombies ("28 Days Later"), so what's he doing makinga sweet, sentimental kids' movie? Virtually reinventing another genre,of course.In...

Movie Review posted on 18th March 2005

Downfall

Downfall

For those not already versed in the lore of Adolf Hitler'sfinal days, the intimacy, immediacy and bunker-mentality minutia of "Downfall"may make for truly engrossing cinema. A detailed, historically accurateaccount that bears witness as the psychotic...

Movie Review posted on 18th March 2005

The Ring Two

The Ring Two

Abandoning the gimmicky defining premise of itspredecessor, about the ghost of an evil littlegirl exacting blood-curdling vengeance on anyone who watched a hauntedvideo tape, "The Ring Two" seems also to have jettisoned allnotions of pacing,...

Movie Review posted on 18th March 2005

Ice Princess

Ice Princess

A pretty high-school science geek with a penchant forfigure skating uses physics to land a better lutz in "Ice Princess,"a follow-your-dream movie that is far less cliche-riddled than you mightexpect from such G-rated Disney fare.Michelle...

Movie Review posted on 18th March 2005

Robots

Robots

With its expensive but largely characterless voice castand an off-the-shelf follow-your-dreams plot retooled for a world populatedby wacky sentient machines, the computer-animated "Robots" islucky to have spectacular production design and one or two curious mechanicalstars...

Movie Review posted on 18th March 2005

Cursed

Cursed

Friday, February 25, 2005If you're looking for a review of "Cursed" or "Man of the House" in your newspaper this morning, you're not going to find one -- in any newspaper anywhere. Opening in theaters...

Movie Review posted on 10th March 2005

Nobody Knows

Nobody Knows

In a similar vein to Steven Soderbergh's "King of the Hill," Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Nobody Knows" tells the story of four Japanese children left to fend for themselves when their mother flits off for a...

Movie Review posted on 10th March 2005

Man Of The House

Man Of The House

Friday, February 25, 2005If you're looking for a review of "Cursed" or "Man of the House" in your newspaper this morning, you're not going to find one -- in any newspaper anywhere. Opening in theaters...

Movie Review posted on 10th March 2005

Diary Of Mad Black Woman

Diary Of Mad Black Woman

"Diary of a Mad Black Woman" is an obscenely hypocritical comedy-drama that climbs high on a rickety soap box to loudly preach Christian values, then turns around to cheer on its wronged-wife heroine as she...

Movie Review posted on 10th March 2005

Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior

Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior

Thai martial arts star Tony Jaa is being touted as the heir-apparent to Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li -- and in "Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior," he certainly makes a mark for himself in...

Movie Review posted on 10th March 2005

Constantine

Constantine

Almost every Catholicism-cloaked supernatural thriller since The Exorcist" has demonstrated an inherent lack of originality, falling back on the same tiresome genre staples: Possessed young women and tied-to-bed exorcisms, "lost" books of the Bible that...

Movie Review posted on 10th March 2005

Riding Giants

Riding Giants

There have been surfing documentaries before -- mostly hot-dogging sports flicks comprised of "wow" footage with ace boarders facing down big, beautiful, ominous waves. But even "Endless Summer," this mini-genre's high-water mark, isn't as comprehensive...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Storytelling

Storytelling

Todd Solondz's "Storytelling" is designed to foster a sensation of absorbing discomfort, not unlike his earlier examinations of esoteric, emotionally disquieting Americana "Welcome to the Dollhouse" and "Happiness." But this film's two shrewd but pointless...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

I Spy

I Spy

It's been 20 years since "48 Hrs." made Eddie Murphy a movie star and the man hasn't aged a day. But his showboating wise-cracker stock persona sure is getting old.Unfurling that same mustachioed smirk he's...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

The Incredibles

The Incredibles

Far less funny and considerably more violent than audiences have come to expect from Pixar movies, "The Incredibles" is the animation studio's first feature to lack the winsome pizzazz that makes for mandatory repeat viewing.Created...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Two Weeks Notice

Two Weeks Notice

The very fact that the trailers and commercials for "Two Weeks Notice" feature Sandra Bullock blushing with allegedly comedic embarrassment as she answers her cell phone during a wedding should serve as a mammoth red...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Old School

Old School

Occasionally (very occasionally) co-writer and director Todd Phillips stumbles into a slight (very slight) snicker in "Old School," an otherwise deplorably inept comedy about unhappy, 30-something losers trying to recapture their youth by belatedly starting...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge

Writer-director Baz Luhrmann wastes no time getting to the flamboyant and cinematic razzle-dazzle of "Moulin Rouge," a spectacular near-opera that breathes 21st Century life into the movie musical by invoking the wildest cultural spirits from...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Big Trouble

Big Trouble

How apropos it seems that the enjoyably outrageous screwball satire "Big Trouble" should open a little more than a week after the death of Billy Wilder, whose influence is felt all over this picture's breakneck...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

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