Author: Rob Blackwelder Page 6

Das Experiment

Das Experiment

Psychologically resounding but bedeviled by somewhat preposterous plot developments, "Das Experiment" is a German thriller loosely inspired by a Stanford University study in which volunteers were placed as guards and inmates in a mock prison...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Darkness Falls

Darkness Falls

If the writers, producers or director of "Darkness Falls" would have held themselves to a higher standard than just recycling the same cheap, soundtrack-aided horror movie jump-frights that have made the genre so tiresome, this...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

X

X

Anime clichés run rampant in "X," yet another mock-intellectual 'toon import from Japan in which the world must be saved from fantastically-rendered destruction by a brooding young hero with eyes the size of saucers.Overflowing with...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Hardball

Hardball

Surprisingly, the redemption-by-baseball picture "Hardball" is not some warm-fuzzy "Bad News Bears" clone transplanted to the projects. It's considerably better than that.Yes, it is about a drunk, gambling-addicted ticket scalper who spitefully agrees to coach...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Garfield: The Movie

Garfield: The Movie

The "Garfield" comic strip hasn't been funny in at least 15 years, but Bill Murray rescues the movie adaptation from the same fate by capturing, in his purringly petulant voice performance, that indolent, impudent charm...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy

Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy

There is a sub-genre of comedy that Saturday Night Live alumni seem to specialize in which I've decided to dub the "wouldn't it be funny if" movie. The defining characteristics are as follows: 1) Begin...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Max Keeble's Big Move

Max Keeble's Big Move

Even when presented with a reasonably original idea for a kids' movie like "Max Keeble's Big Move," Disney can always find a way to bleed all the color out of it and give the resulting...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps

The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps

How many times are we going to have to see some former stand-up comedian dressed in rubber fat lady suit, beating to death saggy boob jokes before people realize this kind of comedy just isn't...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Calle 54

Calle 54

"In the late '80s a friend gave me a record that completed my life. It got me hooked on Latin Jazz."Director Fernando Trueba speaks these words in the opening moments of "Calle 54," his Spanish...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Lake Placid

Lake Placid

"Lake Placid" is a sub-standard monster movie with such a greatcast of enjoyable stars you won't even care that it's bad. Star number one: Bridget Fonda, who plays a lab jockeypaleontologist, an indoor kind of...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Fantasia 2000

Fantasia 2000

(Review written for IMAX release)Always intended to be an ongoing experiment in animation, Disney's "Fantasia," which stalled out after its spectacular first installment in 1940, has been reborn with a brand new gimmick -- the...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

The Five Obstructions

The Five Obstructions

An eccentric and intrepid testament to the pure joy of cinema, "The Five Obstructions" is what happens when one of the world's most audacious filmmakers -- Las von Trier, founder of the minimalist Dogme95 movement...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Three Kings

Three Kings

Leave it to oddball indie auteur David O. Russell to take his first studio commission and make a bang-up action flick that's also a dark comedy, a political soapbox, a human drama and condemnation of...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

The Mod Squad

The Mod Squad

That fact that "The Mod Squad" opens with a dictionary definitionof "mod" appearing on the screen -- altered to include GenerationY hipsters -- did not bode well for the intelligence level to which thismovie was...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Perfect Blue

Perfect Blue

A senseless roller coaster ride through the unstable mind of a bubble-headed, Japanese teenager and flash-in-the-pan, cheese-pop singer, "Perfect Blue" is just the kind of anime that could turn Western audiences off from this generally...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

I ? Huckabees

I ? Huckabees

The one philosophy behind the existential screwball comedy "I ? Huckabees" (pronounce the ? as "heart") is that there is no one philosophy. A satire of spiritual gurus, self-help and other psychological gimmickry, it makes...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Narc

Narc

A rogue-cop drama with such robust performances and realistic grit that its flirtation with clichés hardly matters, "Narc" strives to bring back the tough authenticity of 1970s police flicks like "Serpico" and "The French Connection."Jason...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Gone In 60 Seconds

Gone In 60 Seconds

"Gone in 60 Seconds" wants to be a dusky, adrenaline-driven joy ride of car chases and ultra-cool criminal heroes, but it's so bland that it only manages to be exciting for about 20 seconds at...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

The Way Of The Gun

The Way Of The Gun

A belated, Tarantino-spawn crime caper picture packed with highly contrived, high-caliber gunplay and other bursts of meaningless creativity, "The Way of the Gun" is the gritty and stylish, but hollow and hyperbolic, directorial debut of...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Beseiged

Beseiged

If Thandie Newton isn't careful, she's going to get typecastas a drooler. As the title character in last year's "Beloved," she played a wild woman-child who not only slobbered, but ate like an animaland screamed...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Grind

Grind

Think "Blue Crush" without water -- or awesome surfing footage, likable characters with real personalities, beautiful girls in bikinis or anything else worth watching -- and I guarantee whatever you have in mind is still...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

About Adam

About Adam

Let's see if I can, without giving away too much, get to the crux of why "About Adam" self-destructs despite being quite entertaining and consistently amusing.The movie is a buoyant but dark comedy about a...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Bruce Almighty

Bruce Almighty

Jim Carrey may be unconvincing as a TV newsman in "Bruce Almighty" -- he wears khakis and plaid shirts on the air, he needs a haircut, and he hold his microphone as if he doesn't...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Maid In Manhattan

Maid In Manhattan

After exuding clever charm and dodging most of the cheap Cinderella contrivances that linger around every corner of its plot, the ostensibly crisp romantic comedy "Maid in Manhattan" turns so unforgivably trite in its last...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Stir Of Echoes

Stir Of Echoes

It seems this is the summer for deeply chilling psychological horror movies, and "Stir of Echoes" comes close to giving champs "The Blair Witch Project" and "The Sixth Sense a good run for their money.A...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

The Girl Next Door

The Girl Next Door

A shot-on-video, do-it-yourself quality documentary that belongs on late-night HBO rather than in theaters, "The Girl Next Door" skirts the edges of porn star Stacy Valentine's mock-happy life, trying so hard to not pass judgment...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

What Lies Beneath

What Lies Beneath

Robert Zemeckis' self-indulgent direction hangs like an albatross around the celluloid neck of "What Lies Beneath," a soft-peddled yuppie horror flick that could have been -- with some fine tuning -- a sharp and genuinely...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Pokemon The Movie 2000

Pokemon The Movie 2000

If these shoddily animated, dialogue deficient, trite and mind-melting Pokemon movies are going to become an annual ritual, I may be forced to look for a new line of work.For the second time in only...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

Bedrooms & Hallways

Bedrooms & Hallways

Gay guys whining about their complicated sex lives may be wearing a bit thin as a staple for alternative romantic comedies, but "Bedrooms and Hallways" gives this retread genre a good, swift kick in the...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

The Bourne Supremacy

The Bourne Supremacy

Staying 100-percent true to the surprising, cerebral, cliché- and catch-phrase-eschewing spirit of 2002's "The Bourne Identity," screenwriter Tony Gilroy (returning from the original) and director Paul Greengrass have put together a breathless sequel with tense...

Movie Review posted on 8th March 2005

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