New review from Nick at Nite
Resident Evil: Extinction
This was too much even for me. I am sucker for Zombie films. I am even more of a sucker for end of the world Zombie films. I was just not impressed with this, the third installment in the Resident Evil series. In hindsight, I guess one would expect that a movie trilogy based on a series of video games would eventually run out of steam. Without any explanation needed, the plot was a little thin. The Umbrella Corporation is still bad. Most people are sick from the Zombie virus released in the first and second movie. Now the entire world is somehow sick. Query. How does a planet get sick? Anyhow, a movie like this usually makes up for a lack of plot with an increase in action sequences. Did not happen here. Bottom line: not very good. Rent the first movie. It is actually quite good. I give it a “C.”
New review from The Movie Snob
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (B+). John C. Reilly (Chicago) stars in this spoof of the rock-star biopic — Walk the Line is its primary target, with a couple of little jabs at Ray thrown in for good measure. Plot synopsis is pointless; what matters is whether you enjoy movies like Talladega Nights, Airplane!, and This Is Spinal Tap. If you like comedy that is keenly observant but also involves a lot of aggressive stupidity, you will probably like this movie. Or if you’re a big Jenna Fischer (Blades of Glory) fan, like I am; she co-stars in the Reese Witherspoon role. I should also warn you that this movie includes some of the most gratuitous nudity imaginable. But what do you expect from a film co-written by Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin)?
DVD reviews from Nick at Nite
Oddly entertaining film. This indie comedy explores what happens when rampaging zombies are domesticated. The setup is clever, if somewhat predictable. The dead rise, humans battle the undead in a zombie war, scientists discover how to rekill the undead, and then the same scientists learn how to domesticate the undead to perform society’s more mundane chores. So, rather yearn for the taste of human flesh, the undead take out the trash, deliver mail, mow the lawn, wash the car, and carry groceries. Things get complicated when one of the undead gets a little too close to a boy and his mother and the scientists’ company, ZomCom, is forced to step in. I give it a “B-.”
Ah, I don’t get it. I know, I know it was supposed to be outrageously funny. To be fair some of it was, but I found most of it to be unremarkable. Perhaps I am just nostalgic for Weird Science and The Breakfast Club. This story about a couple of high school misfits with potty mouths just didn’t do for me the same thing that 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up did. Is it worth a rental? Probably. Make sure you are watching with people who are not alarmed by too much boys-being-boys-type talk. I give it a “B-.”
DVD review by The Movie Snob
Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby (A-). I think my family has discovered a new Christmas tradition, and that is to watch this movie every Christmas Eve. I intended to see this movie when it was in the theaters but never got around to it, and then my sister said we just had to watch it with our parents. I was skeptical because my parents do not like cussing or raunch of any sort in their movies. Although there is a fair amount of cussing in this movie, even they were guffawing throughout this send-up of NASCAR and the Tom Cruise vehicle Days of Thunder. Will Ferrell (Stranger Than Fiction) is hilarious as dim-bulb NASCAR champ Ricky Bobby, whose winning ways are threatened by a menacing French driver (Sacha Baron Cohen, Les Misérables) and a crash that may keep him from ever racing competitively again. John C. Reilly (Chicago) is great as the best friend and sidekick who steals Bobby’s sponsor, wife, and house. To me, this movie approaches the greatness of Airplane! and This is Spinal Tap.
DVD review from The Movie Snob
They Live by Night (C). The back of the DVD case says it all: “Young, in love — and up to their necks in classic film-noir danger.” Bowie Bowers (Farley Granger, Strangers on a Train) is a 23-year-old convict. He busts out with two other hardcases, and while they’re lying low, he meets Keechie (Cathy O’Donnell, The Best Years of Our Lives), the young niece of one of the other cons. They fall in love, and for a while they manage to get by, keeping a low profile and living off the money Bowie saved from the threesome’s last bank heist. But his two buddies blow all their dough and need Bowie to help them pull another job, and this starts him on the dark, noirish road to his final destiny. Not as good as some of the other films in this film noir collection, but not terrible. Also features Ian Wolfe, who guest-starred in a couple of episodes of the original Star Trek series and also appeared in Witness for the Prosecution.
New review from The Movie Snob
Juno (A-). The ample buzz around this little movie is, to my mind, completely justified. I guess it’s sort of being billed as a comedy, but it’s not laugh-out-loud funny. There are some things you smile or chuckle at, but I thought it was a very thoughtful movie about serious issues and about characters you easily come to care about. Ellen Page (X-Men: The Last Stand) plays 16-year-old Juno MacGuff, a precocious, pint-sized high-schooler who seduces her best friend Paulie (Michael Cera, Superbad) and promptly gets pregnant. She considers and quickly rules out an abortion, tells her dad and stepmom in a great scene, and decides to give her baby to a yuppie couple that is desperately seeking to adopt (Jennifer Garner, Danny Collins; Jason Bateman, Paul). The movie basically takes us from conception to delivery, and Page carries the film like a pro. Sure, there are minor imperfections. Juno is a little too sophisticated for a 16-year-old. Although she and Paulie are supposedly best friends, it seems like they never talk about this rather significant development in their relationship. But these are just quibbles about a movie I really enjoyed. I’d also single out Garner, an actress I have never cared for, for a very nice performance. But they’re all good. Go see it. (But do be warned — it is pretty crude in spots. The PG-13 rating seems a little generous to me.)
From the desk of The Movie Snob
The Final Inquiry (D). I’m a fan of the swords-and-sandals genre, so I was curious when I saw an ad for this movie in the Dallas Morning News. The ad promised that it would be here for only one week, in only one theater, and though it opened on Friday there was no movie review in the paper — or anywhere else that I could find. It wasn’t even listed on Metacritic.com. But the premise sounded promising enough — the aging Roman emperor Tiberius (played by none other than Max von Sydow, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) is curious about the growing cult of Jesus of Nazareth, so he sends a trusted general, Titus, to Jerusalem to investigate. Apparently this is some sort of Italian production being released here by the “Fox Faith” arm of the Fox empire, and although the website bills this as a cross between CSI and Gladiator, it lacks the quality and production values of those programs. In fact, it’s just not very good. Titus’s investigation is hindered at every turn by Pontius Pilate (played Hristo Shopov, the same actor who played Pilate in The Passion of the Christ!), who is in full CYA mode. Titus falls in love with a Jewish Christian named Tabitha (played by Penelope Cruz’s kid sister Monica). Dolph Lundgren (Rocky IV) plays Titus’s faithful German slave Brixos. It’s a pious effort, but, as I say, it’s just not very well done.