Knocked Up

New review from The Movie Snob

Knocked Up (C). I can’t give this movie the lavish praise that my co-reviewer The Bleacher Bum did, but it’s not entirely a waste of time either. The premise is not very novel: thanks to a lot of alcohol, a successful and gorgeous TV personality (Katherine Heigl, TV’s Grey’s Anatomy) has a one-night stand with a flabby slacker (Seth Rogen, The 40-Year Old Virgin). She ends up in the family way and decides to keep the baby and see if she can make it work with the slacker, and we are off to the races in another “can the love of a good woman redeem an unworthy man?” tale. Personally, I did not find the comic bits all that funny, and the movie as a whole was more serious and less crude than I was expecting. In fact, the serious parts were more effective than the comic ones, and I found myself more interested in the subplot about the marital difficulties suffered by the TV star’s high-strung sister (Leslie Mann, The 40-Year Old Virgin) and her more laid-back husband (Paul Rudd, The 40-Year Old Virgin). But the subplot disappears from view as the movie drags on for over two hours, which is just too long. Tolerable, but there are better options out there.

Shooter

New review from Nick at Nite

Shooter

This movie is more my speed. It should be cheesy and not very good. Lots of car chases, people getting shot, bombs, murder, mayhem, explosions, a cute girl, and the good guys winning. This is a good movie (and it does not have one original moment in it). Mark Wahlberg (I Heart Huckabees) plays a Marine sharpshooter who does some bad things, and his friend gets killed while he is trying to do a little too much on a mission (The Sniper). Wahlberg’s character is set up as the shooter in an assassination attempt against the President (The Day of the Jackal). Wahlberg then must spend the rest of the movie on the run in an attempt to prove that he did not commit the crime (The Fugitive). If this sounds like you have seen it before, you probably have. Still, it is a good popcorn film. I give it “B.”

Breach

From Nick at Nite

Breach

You may have noticed from some of my reviews that I watch a lot of bad movies. I actually enjoy them. The more improbable and cheesy the movie is, the more I am likely to enjoy it. After some ribbing from my friend The Movie Snob, I decided to step out and watch a movie that had some redeeming value. This was that movie. Breach is a fascinating story based on the true story of the FBI capturing the worst double agent in the history of the CIA. Chris Cooper (The Town) gives an eerie, cold, believable portrayal of Robert Hanssen. Cooper makes Hanssen’s paranoia palpable. Ryan Phillippe (Crash) is underwhelming as Ed O’Neill, the undercover agent that assists in Hanssen’s capture. Underwhelming is not intended as an insult. Phillippe actually plays O’Neill as he would have to be if he was going to gain Hanssen’s trust. O’Neill had to be obedient to Hanssen and defer to him on all things. The movie was more drama than suspense. That may well be because we all know how it ends. In fact, the movie starts at the end. This is worth seeing so you can see Cooper turn in another fine performance. As an aside, if you have not seen him in Lone Star, then stop what you are doing right now, go to your car, go to Blockbuster, and rent Lone Star. I give Breach a “B+.”

Dancing With the Stars — Live!

Review by The Movie Snob

The touring Dancing With the Stars show came to Dallas last night, and your humble Snob was there. It was quite a spectacle. A huge stage and dance floor took up a fair amount of the floor of the American Airlines Center, and there were tables and chairs around the dance floor just like on TV. (I was up in the stands, first tier.) The stars of the show were four past competitors — Joey Lawrence, Joey McIntyre, Joey Fatone, and Drew Lachey — and four of the professional dancers — Cheryl Burke, Julianne Hough, Kym Johnson, and Edyta Sliwinska. But they were supported by a large cast of additional professional dancers, and all the music was live. It was a fun, energetic show. In fact, I would say, the professional dancers have to be some of the hardest-working people in show biz. The evening slowed down for a little while when four local couples got were summoned to the dance floor for their own little mini-competitions, but then it picked back up once the pros got back to business. A good time was had by all, or at least by my cousin Diane, my friend The Borg Queen, and me.

300

Movie review from Nick at Nite.

300. Wow. A visually stunning masterpiece. Saw this last night at the dollar movie. Tuesday is fifty cent night. It is like they are paying you to go to the movie, which almost makes up for the three troublemakers that talked throughout the movie in the row behind me. Very impressive on the big screen. Battle carnage is just not the same on the small television in your house. 300, based on a comic book, tells the story of 300 Spartans who defended Sparta and Greece from the evil Persian empire. It is a very violent, sometimes cheesy, and always over-the-top film. It is not kid friendly. Some nudity, a rape, and tons of killing. It is also painfully clear from the portrayal of the valiant Spartans and the roguish, marauding Persians, why many in the Middle East are irate with the film. I give 300 an “A.”

The Fountain

DVD review from Nick at Nite

The Fountain. I guess the fact that Brad Pitt abandoned this project should be a sign of something. It could be just a sign that he had to focus on all of those kids that Angelina Jolie is adopting, but it is more likely to be a sign that the movie had some problems. I honestly do not know how to explain it. I rented it because it is suppose to be a science-fiction-type movie. It was, but it was so much so that I have no idea what was happening. It appears to be a love story about a man who loves that same woman or spirit over many, many years. Honestly, it is a little confusing. Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables) moves from being a Spanish explorer, to a modern day doctor, to a 2001 Space Odyssey yoga master, back to being a Spanish explorer, and on, and on, and on. There is a mystical tree that is suppose to hold the elixir to long life or good health. Like I said I was very confused. I give it an “F.”

Apocalypto

DVD review from Nick at Nite

Apocalypto? More like Apocalypse Now. This Mel Gibson tribute to himself is an unoriginal hodgepodge of most of the action movies of the last twenty years, with special emphasis placed on stealing themes and actions sequences from Rambo, The Fugitive, Tarzan, and the Jungle Book. I will give Gibson credit for three things. First, he resurrected a dead language and made a mass marketed movie with subtitles. Second, the costumes and sets were very realistic. Third, he can depict torture and decapitation better than most. Certainly, as good as Eli Roth and Quentin Tarantino in the Hostel movies (should Mel be proud of that?). The story is simple enough. A group of savages attack, kill, rape, maim, and capture villagers living in the jungle. The savages take those that they capture to the city for sale as slaves or sacrifice to the gods. Our hero escapes, kills the savages, and rescues his family whom he hid near the village during the attack on the villagers. I give it a solid “C.”