Below are the quick recaps, or click on the links for full Scorecard Reviews.
Directed by: Mike Newell Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina Running Time: 1 hr 43 mins Rating: PG-13 Release Date: May 28, 2010
There’s just know “wow” factor with this movie. There’s a “cool” factor but it’s only few and far between. With that said, it’s still one of the best video game adaptations out there. Gyllenhaal and his stunt double do some pretty good parkour on the building tops. Unfortunately, the story is a little too muddled and confusing. There is also nothing between Dastan and Tamina except good looks. The movie starts with Dastan as a young boy who earns his way into the heart of the king, becoming his adopted son. Dastan already has his talents to scale walls and hop on ledges with the greatest of ease. Since that’s the most interesting thing going for this movie, why isn’t there a focus on this talent? Show us how he learned these skills, how he practices, etc. On the podcast Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider we play a game called “Fixer and Defender.” I have a plot fix that I am working on for this movie. Until then, I really don’t plan on spending much time thinking about this film. It’s forgettable. So now, allow me to be one of the thousands of critics to say something “clever” about this film. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time should use the mystical knife to travel back and make an interesting movie.
FINAL SCORE: 5/10
Directed by: Michel Gondry Cast: Suzette Gondry, Jean-Yves Gondry, Michel Gondry Running Time: 1 hr 25 mins Rating: Unrated Release Date: May 28, 2010
Thorn in the Heart is not a bad film, but I doubt it would have seen even this limited release if it wasn’t for Michel Gondry being so famous. There isn’t much story, whether between Suzette and her students or her son. What is interesting are the pieces of Gondry’s life that apply to his art. In rare moments, it’s clear that Gondry get’s a lot of his sense of whimsy from his family. Whether it’s Jean-Yves with his model trains and Super-8 films or Suzette with her unique sense of humor, it’s clear he’s been influenced by them. I can’t say that I love the movie, or could recommend it too highly, but if you’re like me and have everything Gondry’s done, including this “Director’s Series” DVD, the film is still worthwhile for what is says about the auteur.
FINAL SCORE: 6/10
Directed by: Michael Patrick King Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, Chris Noth Running Time: 2 hrs 20 mins Rating: R Release Date: June 27, 2010
If you’re not a fan of the show … And you’ve come this far, I have two things to say. 1. Thanks for reading. 2. Why the hell are you reading? The only people who should consider sitting down to watch this movie are die-hard fans of the TV show. I watched every show, in order, with my wife, shortly after the time the series ended. I really liked the first couple of seasons, and then I felt it faltered the last couple. I feel a connection to these characters and because of that, I am willing to give two hours and 20 minutes to them. But don’t get me wrong. These aren’t movies, they’re events. They are chances to see your old TV friends doing something new. And for the really big fans, anything “new” is worth it, even though this shtick is getting old. “Did somebody say dick?” — No Samantha, no they didn’t! So guys, don’t let the lady talk you into this one if you haven’t been a long for the ride the entire time. With that said, it definitely has better parts than the first film. Carrie and Big feel more like an evolution of the couple I watched on the TV show as opposed to what I was stuck with in the first film. The problem is, while this movie feels like a better, longer episode than the first film, it still doesn’t compare to the best TV moments. When the women are singing “I Am Woman,” it almost feels like they are doing it “for” the die-hard fans. Like, they are living on, giving us an adventure and wearing amazing clothes because we can’t. But here’s the thing, I don’t want or need to hang out with this characters anymore, because they are becoming caricatures. If they just would have shortened the film, and punched up the jokes that feel more like a re-run than something fresh, this could have been a much better film and a look in to the life of a woman who’s not like any other woman.
FINAL SCORE: 5/10
Directed by: George Romero Cast: Alan Van Sprang, Kenneth Walsh, Kathleen Munroe, Devon Bostick, Richard Fitzpatrick Running Time: 1 hr 30 mins Rating: R Release Date: May 28, 2010
Humanity is challenged by the undead again in another movie from George Romero that ends in “… of The Dead.” This time, the obstacle that challenges man’s survival is the blood feuds that whole groups of people cannot put behind them, even when mortality is at stake. Incorporating religious elements into a slow moving story, Survival of the Dead is an ineffective addition to the genre Romero essentially built himself, save for the fact that the movie’s conclusion opens the door for a new method of which the zombies can feast. While the message comes off a bit soggy, not to mention stagnant with the lead protagonists played by two curmudgeons, the thrills are mediocre here. At times Survival of the Dead indulges in classic zombie humor, with either a gross-out dispatch or something of the like, but it rarely redeems entire segments that feel all but fresh.
A step back from the involving Diary of the Dead, this is a movie that slugdes along and leaves us in a state of boredom. There are a couple of ideas that might give reason for another “Of The Dead,” but that’s not enough. Even when Romero uses his unique tactic of aiming for the head, his latest creation is very much undead.
FINAL SCORE: 4/10